Principles of bio-security

CM-MR-2-Principles 2by Steve Wagner

Dr. Ernest Hovingh describes himself as ‘a James Herriot kind of man.’ Herriot was a veterinarian in the UK’s Yorkshire Dales who wrote a series of bestselling books about his practice nearly 40 years ago. Dairy cows are where Hovingh has spent the past 20 years of his life. “But,” he explains, “I also work on the bio-security aspect of things.” Hovingh honed in on infectious disease for his presentation at Penn-Ag’s Pork Expo and Poultry Progress Day at Shady Maple in East Earl, PA. [Read more…]

Diversifying milk

CM-MR-2-Diversifying 1by Tamara Scully

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. [Read more…]

Local ordinance makes farm expansion difficult

CM-MR-1-Local 1by Sally Colby

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.” [Read more…]

Will dairy margin insurance be for you?

CEWN-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…]