Western Pennsylvania’s Windy Ridge Dairy is, in many ways, a typical small dairy farm. But in just as many ways, it isn’t. Lindsay Fischer, along with her mother Chris Fischer, milk 40 head of registered Jersey cows at the family’s dairy, just north of Pittsburgh. Her father Steve, along with her brother Matt, both work full-time off of the farm, but do all of the field work. The family is busy both on-farm and off. Continue reading
Beau Ramsburg and his wife Cat have been farming for about seven years in rural Adams County, PA, raising broilers and heritage breed pork. They own a small farm property, rent an additional 40 acres, and in June of 2013, they purchased a 38-acre farm.
“We want to expand our farm operation,” said Ramsburg. “It had an existing building that at one time was a store, and lends itself well as a building and a location to sell our farm products.” Continue reading
By Sept. 1, the U.S. dairy industry should have an entirely new USDA dairy policy in place. Once the new program rules of the Agricultural Act of 2014 are in place, gone will be decades old milk price support programs, the Dairy Exports Incentive Program and the limited MILC program. Without the weighty coexistence of the SNAP and other domestic food assistance, the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the “Farm Only Bill” includes the provision of federal margin insurance program for the U.S. Dairy industry in this era of global marketing expectations and a shift from disaster payments to risk management. Continue reading
by Sally Colby
Dr. Christina Cowger, who conducts scab research at the ARS laboratory in North Carolina, says scab is the trickiest and most intractable fungus that affects grains. But organizations are fighting back in the form of initiatives, informational websites and online tools for farmers.
“The U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative is funded by the USDA through our budget,” said Cowger. “It started when scab became a huge problem in the upper Midwest in the 1990s. There were devastating scab epidemics of wheat and barley, and it really changed the face of the local communities. Some local towns were shut down because people lost their farms.” Continue reading