USDA launches new apprenticeship program targeting veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Oct. 3, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the start of a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jobs program that will use the national apprenticeship system to hire new employees as agricultural commodity graders, a key role in USDA’s mission to protect American consumers. The new program will also serve as a way to increase jobs for U.S. veterans. [Read more…]

Artificial intelligence could help farmers diagnose crop diseases

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA — A network of computers fed a large image dataset can learn to recognize specific plant diseases with a high degree of accuracy, potentially paving the way for field-based crop-disease identification using smartphones, according to a study by a team of researchers at Penn State and EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. [Read more…]

Drought conditions continue for large portions of Commonwealth, Western Region

cn-tm-48-1-ma-drought-statIncreased to Drought Watch, monitoring of water resources to continue, water conservation by public necessary

BOSTON, MA – With large portions of Massachusetts continuing to experience rainfall amounts remaining below average for a seventh straight month, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton declared the following drought levels throughout the Commonwealth: a Drought Warning for the Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast and Southeast Massachusetts, unchanged for the Central, Northeast and Southeast Regions and up from a Drought Watch for the Connecticut River Valley in September; and a Drought Watch for the Cape and Islands and Western Massachusetts, up from a Drought Advisory  for Western Massachusetts and unchanged for the Cape and Islands in September. [Read more…]

You can save a life

cew-mr-3-grain-bin-rescue8993by Bill and Mary Weaver

Becoming trapped in a grain bin is fatal over half the time. What you decide to do in the first 10 minutes after finding someone trapped may save a life. If you decide to do the wrong things, you may just make the situation worse. [Read more…]

Every cow pulls her weight

cm-mr-54-2-every-cow-pulls-62106by Sally Colby

Dale Thompson grew up on a dairy farm, and recalls that his family was in and out of the dairy business for 32 years. “We also had beef cattle off and on,” said Dale, “and we had hog houses too.” [Read more…]