Lady Antebellum sang as calves were being born

CM-MR-2-Rock0509by Laura Rodley

Where else would you expect to see country music group Lady Antebellum performing and live calves being born on the same grounds, both attended by huge and adoring crowds? At the Delaware State Fair, of course. Lady Antebellum was the musical headliner on Saturday, July 26. Over in the Birthing Center, a crowd of 100 packed into a tent, waiting for a cow to calve. The calving was attended by several veterinarians. In an exciting mixture of agriculture and technology, more than 8,000 people had downloaded an app from the fair website to their smartphones to be alerted when a birth was imminent. [Read more…]

Managing feed from the other end of the cow

CN-MN-MR-2-Managing-feed160by Sally Colby

There was a time when a dairy farmer’s biggest concern about manure was whether the gutter cleaner was functional, if the tractor might break down or if there was a spare hand to send to the field with a spreader full of manure. The chemistry of that manure was probably not at the top of the farmer’s mind.

Although farmers have been using manure to their advantage for centuries, increased knowledge about the impact of manure on the environment has led to science-based research and legislation that dictates how manure must be handled. [Read more…]

Overcoming life’s challenges

CM-MR-3-Overcoming-life2158by Sally Colby

Michelle Kirk took her husband Bill to the emergency room in September 2012 because he hadn’t recovered from what they thought was a minor illness. They were shocked to find that Bill was in kidney failure, but doctors didn’t know the reason. After exhaustive testing, Bill was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of bone cancer. Over the next several months, he underwent stem cell treatment, dialysis and chemotherapy. In February 2013, Michelle brought him home from an extended hospital stay, right in the middle of calving season. She says the first thing Bill requested when he returned home was to be driven to the pasture to see his cows. But keeping him inside as he continued his recovery proved to be difficult. [Read more…]

A local legend and her border collies

CN-MR-3-Colliesby Laura Rodley

Local legend Becky Peterson’s shadow doesn’t stay behind her or disappear at high noon. It runs in front of her, to her side, a little bit ahead. Sometimes she has four or five. Her shadows are pedigree border collies she raises at Orchard View Farm. They follow her wherever she goes, although not all at once. When needed, she can choose from five working dogs. [Read more…]