Douglas Open Farm

CE-MR-3-Douglas Open Farm10by Al Dorantes
Jack and Tina Douglas, Douglas Farm, hosted a Cabot Cheese Open Farm Sunday, Oct 13. They operate a small dairy farm, located at 502 Cedarville Road, in Cedarville, NY. The public was invited to come visit, learn about farming practices, and sample Cabot and McCadam cheese.
McCadam and Cabot are sister brands of Cabot Creamery Cooperative, and are owned and operated by Agri-Mark, the Northeast’s leading dairy cooperative. The cooperative makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter, and is owned by 1,200 dairy farm families located through New England and upstate New York. Jim Young, an AgriMark representative, said, “The milk went a ways to get made into cheese but it came back.” He added, “Every time you buy McCadam or Cabot products you support your local AgriMark farmer.” [Read more…]

Lazor’s organic grain book draws a crowd

CN-MR-3-Lazor's book 2by Bethany M. Dunbar
NEWPORT, VT — About 100 people turned out to celebrate the publication of Jack Lazor’s new book, “The Organic Grain Grower; Small Scale, Holistic Grain Production for the Home and Market Producer” in a celebration at the Gateway Center recently.
Among them was Earl Ransom of the Strafford Organic Creamery. Ransom brought ice cream to the party, and when people were asked if they wanted to comment, he told a story about the book’s author, who is from Westfield, VT. When he was thinking of getting into dairy production, he came to Lazor for advice. Should he start a creamery?
Lazor’s advice: “Why not? Just go ahead and do it. You can figure it out.”
Ransom said the advice was good. He said he’s heard a comment that the two most important words in farming are “Oh well.” [Read more…]

Food Safety Modernization Act as it impacts artisanal cheesemakers and dairies

CN-MR-1-Food Safety 1by Sanne Kure-Jensen
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed in January 2011. Details are still being finalized. The USDA seeks comments from farmers, producers, handlers, resellers and consumers. The comment period ends Nov. 16.
A webinar called ‘Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) — Its Impact on Artisan Cheesemakers’ was hosted by the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) Office of Compliance and Outreach last month. Dr. Dennis D’Amico, UConn assistant professor of Animal Sciences, described relevant changes within FSMA and their potential impact on artisanal cheesemakers. D’Amico urged those affected to send comments to the USDA before the comment deadline. [Read more…]

Going for the Guinness

CMN-MR-3-Going for 1by Steve Wagner
Chefs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have again set a new Guinness World Record, this time by creating a 15,291-pound fresh fruit salad at the Labor Day barbecue that celebrates the return of students to the campus. The record fruit salad was the work of a team of culinary experts including celebrity chef Jet Tila of the Food Network, Willie Sng, UMass Amherst’s executive chef, and Oliver de Volpi, head chef at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, who set the previous record of 11,197 pounds of fruit salad last year. [Read more…]

Cub Run Dairy continues to invest for the future

CM-MR-2-Cub Run Dairy 1by Karl H. Kazaks
McGAHEYSVILLE, VA — Gerald Heatwole and his son Monte have made a number of improvements to their dairy here in eastern Rockingham County over the past several years.
It all stems from a concerted effort to invest in the future, a strategy that led the Heatwoles this year to install a new concrete manure lagoon and to buy new farming equipment.
“We’re constantly making improvements,” Gerald said, “putting extra cash flow back into the farm. We’re always looking to identify and improve the weak link in our operation.”
The recent spate of improvements began seven years ago when the Heatwoles — who milk 420 Holsteins 3x — put in a loose housing barn. The barn supplanted several sacrifice lots, providing not only better environmental management but also better conditions for the herd.
“It’s worked really well for us,” Heatwole said. [Read more…]