6th Annual Fiber Festival of New England features full line of diversity

CN-MR-3-FIBER-FEST-7931by Paul Burdziakowski

The sixth annual Fiber Festival of New England took place Nov. 7-8 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. The event, put together by the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association (NESWGA) and the Eastern States Exposition, promotes the use of wool, natural fibers and other related products.

This year 168 exhibitors were onsite showcasing their carefully crafted handmade products which included clothing, blankets, yarn, raw fleeces, spinning wheels, shawl pins, Christmas ornaments and much more. Some exhibitors didn’t even need to be onsite to sell their products. For a $2 fee NESWGA members could mail in their fleece along with the date shorn, breed of animal and producer information. The fleece sale was ongoing throughout both days of the festival. In addition to the shopping opportunities there were several other activities for participants to take part in such as workshops, competitions, demonstrations, live animal displays and even a fashion show. [Read more…]

Equine Affaire 2015

CN-MR-3-EQUINE-AFFAIRE-1031by Laura Rodley

People arrived in droves to spend their money, taking home wagonloads or armloads of state-of-the-art, high quality saddles, horse feed, bridles, horse bling, buckles, or sweatshirts, cowboy boots and coats for themselves at the 51st Annual Equine Affaire. There were almost 500 vendors and over 47 presenters, plus a multitude of horse related clinics. Over in the C Barn, there were 46 more exhibitors, featuring horses from New England Morgan Horse Association to Walnut Ridge Farm Haflingers from Medina, OH. [Read more…]

PFB: Budget deal good for agriculture, fails to yield meaningful property tax relief for farmers

CM-RP-1-PAFB-MEETING-011Unveils new partnership to identify uncounted farm practices improving Chesapeake Bay

HERSHEY, PA — Pennsylvania Farm Bureau (PFB) says the overall state budget agreement reached between Governor Wolf and Republican leadership appears to include necessary funding increases to support the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and positive steps toward reforming an out-of-control pension system, but it falls woefully short in providing property tax relief for farm families. [Read more…]

What I now know about turkeys

CN-MR-2-TURKEYS11by Hope Holland

My agricultural background rests firmly in the equine area. However, with the impending Thanksgiving holiday and the looming threat of bird flu I was pressed into service to find a turkey breeder willing to allow a stranger onto their farm to take a picture of a turkey for a cover.

I learned very quickly that in the face of not only the avian flu outbreak but also the possibility of animal rights activists, the breeders of turkeys, whose main crop after all will be greatly in demand at this time, are not welcoming of strangers. I can’t say that I blame them, come to think of it. I know that if I had a crop of fancy sales yearlings headed for a major horse sale I would be cautious too. But it did mean that I couldn’t just hit the Internet, call a few of the listed turkey farms and expect a welcome mat to be laid out at the end of the farm driveway. [Read more…]

A possible link between human breast cancer and bovine leucosis

by George Looby, DVM

The cause(s) of breast cancer in humans continues to elude researchers in their ongoing quest for answers to the many possible factors that may contribute to its development. This devastating disease has been recognized for many years with many of the world’s best and brightest minds searching for answers that will lead not just to a cure but more importantly to the cause. Here the question arises as to whether it is one disease or does it have many contributing factors which, when interacting, give rise to the condition that clinicians are trained to recognize. [Read more…]