Life pies served up at Vermont grazing conference

CEN-MR-4-Life pies 3by Troy Bishopp

FAIRLEE, VT— The menu at this year’s 18th annual Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference had over 300 farmers from around the Northeast munching on grazing, soil health, financial and life goal entrees rich in practical knowledge. Complementing the enthusiasm for this whole farm decision-making focus were delicious local food choices and the ever popular ice cream social that filled participants’ stomachs and minds with a new perspective for the future of grass-based farming. [Read more…]

Blame it on REO: an Avian REO virus update

C4-MR-2-Blame it 2by Steve Wagner

REO virus is a malady that appears and goes away, only to re-appear now and then, here and there, seemingly defying any pattern of severity or species. It is so hard to spot that often only vigilant farmers and/or veterinarians who conduct more than cursory examinations are likely to become suspicious of an REO virus presence. At a recent annual Penn-Ag sponsored Meat & Egg Meeting held at Shady Maple in Lancaster County PA, Dr. Donna Kelly, interim head of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine PADLS New Bolton Center, brought an audience up to speed on the REO. [Read more…]

Mother Nature meets her match in Hunt Farm

CN-MR-3-Mother Nature 1by Laura Rodley

All farmers know that Mother Nature is unpredictable and try to work within her good grace and confines, no matter what weather she delivers. What is predictable on George Hunt Jr.’s Hunt Farm, a dairy farm in Orange, MA, is that calves are born all year long that keep the cows circulating in steady milk production, three calves a week. On Jan. 1, two calves were born and one expected any minute on Jan. 2, with temperatures expected to reach 15 below F. [Read more…]

Grazing at Applecheek Farm

CN-MR-2-Grazing 1by Tamara Scully

It’s all about the grass at Vermont’s Applecheek Farm. The 300 acre former dairy farm has 120 acres of open pasture, used both for mixed species rotational grazing and for hay production. John and Rocio Clark now run the farm, which John’s parent operated as a dairy farm for many years. They certified the dairy as organic in 1999. Today, however, the next generation has opted to focus on raising organic and natural meats, and recently stopped dairying altogether. The farm also hosts an on-farm event and catering business, and rents some land to vegetable growers, who are operating a Community Supported Agricultural program. [Read more…]

The vicious horse case

by George Looby, DVM

A case presently under review by the Connecticut Supreme Court could have far-reaching implications for the horse owners of Connecticut and, if carried to a possible ultimate conclusion, the equine industry throughout the U.S. In this case, a young boy was bitten by a horse and when the case was brought to trial the Appellate Court hearing the case ruled that horses are “a species naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious.” [Read more…]