Family farming

CN-MR-2-FamFarming1by Tamara Scully

Small farms — at least successful ones — can’t be stagnant. They need to evolve to meet the needs of their customer base, keep production profitable and grow with the farmer’s changing needs. One such farm, which has continually reassessed its farming model as the farm, the local food community and the family has grown, is Sandiwood Farm in Wolcott, VT. [Read more…]

Vermont beef producers take slaughterhouse tour

CN-MR-3-NEKProcessingby Bethany M. Dunbar

LYNDONVILLE, VT — The Vermont Beef Producers Association got a tour of the new slaughterhouse and meat processing plant in Lyndonville on Aug. 9. Beef farmers from all over Vermont and some out-of-state farmers got a look at Northeast Kingdom Processing.

The company is owned by Scott Oeschger of Derby. Oeschger also owns Spring Hill Angus, and his farm manager is Bob Butterfield of Barton. That afternoon the beef producers took a tour of the farm. [Read more…]

4-H & FFA competitions benefit students, livestock and communities

???????????????????????????????by Sanne Kure-Jensen

Local and regional fairs with 4-H and FFA competitions help educate fair visitors about agriculture as well as build competitors’ skills, self-confidence and leadership skills. These competitors and audiences may become be our next generation of farmers and ranchers.

4-H fairs and competitions offer students feedback on their agricultural projects and a chance to compete against their peers. Students face their public speaking fears and hone their presentation skills. Many find financial incentive to improve their skills and knowledge. [Read more…]

It’s back to the future for Hager Hops Farm family

CE-MR-2-Cooperstown2by Pat Malin

COOPERSTOWN, NY — For a pair of millennials, 20-year-old Alicia Hager and her 30-year-old brother, Louis Hager III, have a surprising grasp of their family’s history and how it relates to their own future.

The Hagers hosted a group of hops growers, brewers, consultants and others interested in the beer and beverage industry on a tour of Hager Hops Farm outside Cooperstown on in August. The visit was the fourth and last stop during a field day sponsored by the Northeast Hops Alliance (NeHA) and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County. [Read more…]

Traveling hooves on the move

CN-MR-2-Travelingby Laura Rodley

Liebe Coolidge of Plainfield, MA has been winning championships with her French Alpine goats for decades as a USDA class C inspected exhibitor. In addition to that, now she and her husband Douglas Premo travel with their business Traveling Hooves to schools, detention center, and fairs with their collection of French Alpine goats, miniature pigs and assorted donkeys to allow children a chance pet the animals. It is a championship of a different sort — forging ties, however brief — between children and animals they might otherwise never have met. [Read more…]