Will dairy margin insurance be for you?

CM-MR-1-Dairy Margin Insuranceby Steven E. Smith

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. [Read more…]

Bird’s Hollow Beef: Animal Welfare Approved

CEW-MR-1-Birds Hollow7by Tamara Scully

Having animals that are naturally adapted to pasture, and grow well on a 100 percent grassfed diet, is of prime importance to Bird’s Hollow Beef producers Candice and David Eldredge. They’ve selected purebred Whiteface Herefords, crossed with purebred Black Angus bulls. The resulting calves are known as Black Baldies. Both breeds are hardy, suitable for pasture, and good finishers on grass. They also raise some pure Whiteface Hereford calves. [Read more…]

Thank a farmer

CE-MR-3-Thank a farmer2by Al Dorantes

On a cold, gray skied June 14, Wild West Frogfest and Rodeo 2014 presented by White’s Farm Supply took place at the Herkimer County Fairgrounds in Frankfort, NY. The smell of French fries, onion rings, barbecue, and pizza made the fairgrounds seem not as cold. The Painted Pony Rodeo, from Lake Luzerne, NY, brought 22 bull riders and 25 bulls as well as bareback bronc riding, saddle bronc riding, steer wrestling, tie-down roping, team roping, cowgirls’ barrel racing, and cowgirls’ breakaway racing. The big draw was the concert promoted by Big Frog 104, featuring James Wesley who returned to thank Central New York farmers. [Read more…]

JKW Polled Herefords helps youth showmen

CE-MR-2-JKW herefords54by Sally Colby

Kathi and John Wagner, who own JKW Polled Herefords in Athens, NY, started raising purebred Hereford cattle in a rather unique way. “John’s grandparents came over from Germany,” said Kathi. “They ran a German boarding house and had a dairy farm. Then his parents took over the dairy until the 1960s when they got out of the dairy business. They bought a few commercial Herefords, and we converted to registered Herefords in the early 1990s.”

Today the Wagners keep about 25 brood cows. When asked why they like Herefords, Kathi, who was not raised on a farm, replied that Herefords are a docile, gentle breed. [Read more…]

Three-generation family farm thrives in Maine’s dairy center

CN-MR-2-ThreeGenby Sally Colby

When Jenni Tilton-Flood talks about Flood Brothers Farm, she prefers to leave numbers out of the conversation.

“There’s a lot of variation in herd size within the state,” said Jenni, who wasn’t a farmer until she married Dana Flood. “We’re very proud of our approach. We’ve always felt that if we provide everything the cows need, we can make outstanding milkers out of them.” [Read more…]