The NOFA/MASS Winter Conference

CN-MR-2-NOFAMASS1by George Looby, DVM

On Saturday morning Jan. 10, 2015 there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that winter had descended on the Campus of Worcester State University. With the temperature hovering around the zero mark, the pace of pedestrian traffic was brisk with little time elapsed as attendees moved from building to building in search of their next session. On the up side it was a perfect day to attend this meeting where everyone was anxious to share information in the warmth of the campus classrooms and other meeting venues.

This was the 28th Annual Winter Conference presented by the NOFA/MASS, this year held on the campus of the Worcester State University where over 1000 members and others with an interest in organic agriculture came together to be updated on the that which is at the cutting edge of things organic. As always there was an extensive menu of workshops available offering a wide range of subject matter ranging from tips on growing and storing onions to a legislative update and preview for Massachusetts agriculture. [Read more…]

Letter to the Editor: OK dairy farmers, it’s now up to you!

OK dairy farmers, it’s now up to you!

Do you as a dairy farmer really think the margin insurance program will help you to manage your farm in a more efficient way? Well, let’s look at it realistically! The Secretary of Agriculture announced on Jan. 12 that slightly over 23,000 dairy farmers signed up for the margin insurance program. Now however, nearly one half of those producers signed up for the minimum coverage of $4 per hundred weight (cwt). Allegedly, there are 46,000 dairy farmers in the United States. These figures mean that between 34-35,000 dairy farmers did not sign up for the program, or took only the minimum coverage. This is a long ways from being a real exciting support for the program. [Read more…]

Cherry Knoll Farm

Margaret and Timby Katie Navarra

What do National Grand Champion Angus cattle and Olympic caliber dressage and show jumping horses have in common?

Cherry Knoll Farm in West Grove, PA.

Margaret Duprey’s childhood aspirations included owning a farm. Introduced to horses at a young age, she soon became a skilled rider with a passion for Grand Prix level dressage horses. [Read more…]

Pennsylvania Farm Show Oxen Demonstration

CEW-MR-2-Oxen demo1by T.W. Burger

Darwin Braund stood keeping an eye on his oxen, Frye and Burg and said he was about to enter his fourth retirement.

He has retired from the feed industry, and then again from North Carolina State University, and more recently from a 10-year stint as the volunteer curator at the Penn State Agricultural Museum in State College, his current home town.

And after this year, he is retiring as chief cook and bottle washer of a loose affiliation of oxen enthusiasts around the country, but mostly in New England. [Read more…]

Diversify your farm products; diversify your outlook of world events

CEW-MR-1-Diversity Kohl23by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — What is happening to agriculture on the other side of the country and what is happening to agriculture on the other side of the world has to concern today’s farmers almost equally.

That recommendation was voiced by Dr. David Kohl, who presented the keynote speech on the value of diversification at the New York State Agricultural Society’s 183rd annual meeting and agricultural forum on Jan. 8 at the Holiday Inn outside Syracuse.

The professor emeritus of Agriculture and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, Kohl insisted that diversification is not just a local activity. Only a day prior to coming to the Ag Society’s conference, Kohl presented his views and got feedback on world events at an agricultural producers expo in Canada. [Read more…]