Median grazing: Crazy enough to work?

CEW-MR-1-Grazing mediansby Troy Bishopp, The Grass Whisperer

I’m pleased The New York Times released an op-ed piece titled, Keep Farmland for Farmers, poignantly written by Hudson Valley Farmers, Lindsey Lusher Shute and Benjamin Shute which chronicles the plight of finding land and making a go of it beyond the boroughs of New York City. In it they reveal that one-quarter of the land trusts that oversee conservation easements have seen protected land go out of production. Why? A non-farmer had bought it. [Read more…]

NYFB delegates vote efficiently on strategic issues at statewide conference

CEW-MR-2-NYFB delegates247by Pat Malin

SYRACUSE, NY — If the U.S. Congress really wanted to get its act together, it should take a page from the New York State Farm Bureau playbook.

“This is true democracy at work,” Farm Bureau president Dean Norton commented as he chatted with fellow farmers from upstate New York during the Farm Bureau’s annual statewide conference, which was held at Holiday Inn in Liverpool, on Dec. 3-5.

Norton, a dairy farmer and livestock owner from Elba in western New York, gave his annual address on Dec. 4 to about 400 delegates from all 62 counties. “What makes our organization so strong comes from you,” he said. [Read more…]

Lending a hand to youth in the sheep industry

CEW-MR-2-Clarkshire Farms7869by Sally Colby

Although living on a farm is an advantage for young people who are interested in activities such as 4-H and FFA, it’s harder for non-farm youngsters to participate — unless someone provides an opportunity.
John and Pat Clark have provided that opportunity for youth in their area. After raising their two daughters on their Mohawk, NY, farm, they help other youth who are interested in sheep. [Read more…]

Pacing toward a career

CW-COVERby Sally Colby
Many adults who are involved in the livestock industry can trace their career path back to time spent in agricultural activities such as 4-H and FFA. This is the case for Jennifer Schwab, of North Java, NY, where she and her family have a start-up purebred breeding stock operation specializing in Spotted hogs, or ‘Spots’.

“We’ve had pigs for 4-H since I was 10 years old,” said Schwab. “My brother Kevin and I raised two pigs each year for eight years. “They’re enjoyable to work with. They’re docile, more gentle than the others we’ve had, and they’re very protective moms.” Schwab says that that the first Spot they had was named grand champion at the New York State Fair, and that fueled her interest in the breed.

To promote their growing operation and to learn more about purebred seedstock pigs, Schwab and her family exhibit at numerous shows throughout the year. [Read more…]