Equine Affaire 2014

CN-MR-3-EquineLooby3by George Looby

This year’s Equine Affaire held on the grounds of the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA was the 50th in a string of events dating back 22 years. If bigger and better is an overused phrase in the world of entertainment then it will have to suffice until a better one comes along. Those attending were educated by experts, brought up to speed on the latest in horse tack and equipment and got a chance to view breeds of horses that many in attendance might be hard pressed to properly identify. [Read more…]

The bottomless pit of Pennsylvania pensions

CM-MR-PA PENSION_1196by Steve Wagner

“While many of the pension reforms included in House Bill 2497 are noble, I cannot support legislation I know does not meet constitutional muster. No matter what provisions are included in the bill, if it does not correspond with the constitution I have sworn to uphold, it is my duty to vote no.” Those were State Representative Bryan Cutler’s words on Nov. 15, 2010. He hasn’t changed his tune. [Read more…]

What we know about managing emerging swine diseases

CEW-MR-1-Swine diseases9484by Sally Colby

Swine producers are all familiar with TGE, or transmissible gastroenteritis. TGE is a coronavirus, and has been identified in swine herds since the mid-1940s. However, a new coronavirus disease, PEDv (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) has challenged pork producers throughout the United States.

“PED was in Europe for 50 years, and they haven’t had a problem with it,” said Dr. Meghann Pierdon, swine veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. “More recently, between 2008 and 2010, there have been more severe outbreaks in Asia. But we had never seen it here in the U.S. until May of 2013.” [Read more…]

In memory of Gerald “Jerry” Brunetti

CEW-MR-1-Jerry BrunettiGerald “Jerry” Brunetti, 63, of Lower Mt. Bethel Twp., passed away peacefully on Dec. 20, 2014, at St. Luke’s Hospice House, Bethlehem. Jerry was born Dec. 28, 1950 in Easton, PA. He was the son of the late Aurelio “Rello” Brunetti and Rena Tarsi Brunetti.
Jerry was a highly demanded lecturer and speaker, both nationally and internationally, on topics that included soil fertility, animal nutrition and livestock health. He passionately proclaimed to his audience the strong link between healthy soil, truly nutritious food, profitable farming and healthy communities. [Read more…]

Making farming easier for young farmers

CN-MR-young farmers-3_2784by Sally Colby

It’s tough for young farmers to get started in farming. If there’s no access to farm property through family, it can be close to impossible to fund even a small parcel of land. The Farmland Access Program of the Vermont Land Trust has made it easier for farmers to acquire agricultural land and start farming enterprises that provide long-term benefits for both farmers and the community.

Two Vermont couples are among the most recent beneficiaries of the program. Noah Hoskins explains how the program helped jump-start their farm operation.

“My brother-in-law Mike Euphrat and I are both from this area,” said Noah. “We had been working in small-scale agriculture enterprises of our own for the last ten years or so. Our wives are sisters who moved here from Mt. Desert Island in Maine, and we were connected through living across the street from them. This farm became available, and it was a farm we were familiar with. We submitted a proposal and were successful.” [Read more…]