The Big E dairy shows

CN-MR-3-The Big E 1by Sanne Kure-Jensen
The Big E in Springfield, MA includes a variety of Dairy Breed Shows contests where exhibitors compete against peers, family and friends. Judges choose animals that best conform to breed standards and rank exhibitors on specific behaviors and interaction with their animals. Seven breed associations hold competitions each year at The Big E: [Read more…]

Flayvors of Cook Farm

CN-MR-3-Flayvors of 2by Laura Rodley
If you look closely, you might just see Elvis Presley at the Flayvors of Cook Farm ice cream store and restaurant on 129 South Maple Street in Hadley, MA, checking out their latest flavor, Elvis Remix. It is made with chocolate peanut butter ice cream and bananas, because — as Elvis would quickly tell you — besides his music, he is famous for eating peanut butter and banana sandwiches — sometimes with bacon, which wouldn’t work very well with ice cream. Elvis Remix is just one of 24 flavors now served at Flayvors, brainchild of owners’ Beth and Gordon Cook, made from the milk of their Jerseys and Holsteins, which are among the top 100 classified Holstein herds in the nation.
Cook Farm won Premier Breeder for 18 consecutive years at the Mass State Show. [Read more…]

Year-round grazing works for North Carolina beef producer

CM-MR-3-Year-round grazing 3by Sally Colby
On a Monday afternoon, V. Mac Baldwin and his wife Peggy are busy filling orders for their premium Charolais beef. They chop blocks of dry ice, line shipping boxes with Styrofoam and check customers’ orders. They select the appropriate cuts of beef, add sufficient dry ice to ensure proper temperature until the box reaches the customer, and fill the spaces with newspaper. After rechecking the order, they seal and weigh the package, then set it aside for pickup by UPS.
The Baldwins, of Yancyville, NC, didn’t start out raising Charolais cattle, but they’re convinced that their choice to switch to the breed was the right thing to do. “We have a good set of genetics, they’re great milkers and they do well on grass,” said Baldwin. “Our customers love the fact that they’re lean cattle — our ground beef is typically 90/10. The cattle grade low choice or high select, and we can do that on grass.” [Read more…]

Halifax County tobacco growers see fertilizer leaching thanks to copious rain

CM-MR-3-Halifax county 3by Karl H. Kazaks
SOUTHWEST HALIFAX COUNTY, VA — Roland Coleman is 67 years old and has been growing tobacco since he was a young boy.
Today he and his brother grow 15 acres of leaf near Alton.
This year, Coleman said, “It’s been kind of rough on us. We had a time.”
The rain came down all spring and summer. “When we were getting the land ready, it was wet,” Coleman said. “When we bedded — and we bedded in a hurry — it was wet. When we planted, it was half wet. When we started pulling, it was wet.”
The precipitation has had an impact on the Coleman’s crop. “We put fertilizer down but it washed off,” he said. He went back and added nitrogen but nonetheless their tobacco plants turned a “right smart yellow.” [Read more…]

Marketing matter at Wallbridge Angus

CEW-MR-2-Wallbridge Farm37A family commitment to sound Angus genetics and farm marketing

by Steven E Smith
Deep in the heart of Angus seed stock country, the Wallbridge Angus herd is going strong today. Known as a respected Angus herd within breeder circles for many years, today the Wallbridge herd is owned and managed by a young family that has taken added steps of bringing their products and customers together.
Wallbridge Angus started when the farm was established by George Wallbridge Perkins in 1950. The Perkins family developed a presence in the Angus breed through careful matings that yielded a internationally recognized results. The Perkins Wallbridge bred the 1968 International Grand Champion Female with Wallbridge Barbara 12 and the 1967 Royal Highland Champion Bull, Great Northern. Wallbridge cattle were recognized in the show ring by the time the family dispersed their herd in the 1981, save a small group of cattle. [Read more…]