National Angus Tour highlights

CEW-MR-2-Angus highlights32by Steven E Smith
Some of the richest history in the American Aberdeen Angus breed was written in the Hudson Valley during the twentieth century. This year’s National Angus Tour brought Angus breeders from across the country to Eastern New York for a tour of some of the Angus herds that helped drive the breed to a place of dominance in the beef industry today.
Garret Farm
The first farm on the tour was in Hillsdale, NY, at the Garret Farm. Owner Garret Matteo, who started his operation in 1976, stated he enjoyed the privilege of hosting the event. He told guests how they raise cattle in northern Columbia County. “We have a phenotype focus tempered with weigh gain performance and fertility. We are managing our pairs on about 1.5 acres each. For the winter months, we feed our own haylage, baleage and winter barley silage. By using barley in the rotation, we can harvest in the boot stage and turn around and plant short day corn or soybeans. Ultimately, corn silage though is key to high performance. With our calves born from January to March, we have cattle on forages and calves who are creep fed to get our animals off to a good start,” said Matteo. [Read more…]

Howard Stoner, Urban Farmer

CE-MR-3-Urban Farmer546by Katie Navarra
Born and raised on a dairy farm in Iowa, Howard Stoner traveled around the world working for a non-profit organization establishing schools, agricultural systems, safe drinking water systems, infant care and more in isolated villages in remote corners of Alaska, Japan, Australia and Zimbabwe. When it was time to settle down, he and his wife chose inner-city Troy, NY, nearly 20 years ago.
Once in Troy, Howard accepted a professor’s position teaching mathematics at a local college. As he neared retirement, he began to consider the possibility of returning to his farming roots. “People were talking about food security and what they could grow for themselves,” he recalled. His goal, included growing grains and milling it into flour. He approached a neighbor and worked out an agreement to use a portion of their lot to grow grains and other vegetables in exchange for keeping weeds and other invasive plants from consuming the small plot of land.
When most people learn that Howard farms the first question they ask, is how many acres? [Read more…]

Montgomery County celebrates 13th annual Sundae on the Farm at MMT Cattle, Inc.

CE-MR-3-Day on the Farm2by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
Over 2,250 people attended Montgomery County’s 13th annual Sundae on the Farm.
Marc and Nicole Tommell’s MMT Cattle Inc., of Fonda, NY hosted this year’s event, which was sponsored by Montgomery Co. Farm Bureau, Montgomery Co. Ag Farmland & Protection Board and Montgomery Co. Soil & Water.
Many were first time attendees that had heard about the event through fliers circulated through surrounding area schools.
Displays, demonstrations and, of course, ice cream sundaes made with over 60 gallons of donated Stewart’s ice cream, were available to all who attended. A variety of farm animals were exhibited, including Puthaven Farm’s immense oxen and Eastern Regional Draft Horses, which also took folks for wagon rides.
“The wagon rides are the best thing!” said 7-year-old Donoven Melo of Tribes Hill. Many other children at the event echoed his sentiment. [Read more…]

The Big E features livestock, fun and food!

CN-MR-3-The Big E 3by Sanne Kure-Jensen
For almost 100 years, The Big E has highlighted New England agriculture, livestock and produce. Since 1917, this fair has hosted agricultural competitions and displays, following the vision of Joshua L. Brooks, founder of Eastern States Exposition. Well over one million people visit New England’s Grandest Fair, enjoying its 4-H and FFA demonstrations, exotic animal rides and petting zoo. Teens and families return year after year for the midway rides, live entertainment, and naughty foods.
Agricultural Shows and Competitions
The Mallary Agricultural Complex hosts most livestock shows and competitions. Visitors can walk among hundreds of dairy, beef and sheep. Families can see farmers shearing sheep and grooming their cows and watch sheepdog herding demonstrations. Most of the livestock shows and competitions are during the first week or 10 days of the fair. [Read more…]

Raising the Roof on Manda Farm

CN-MR-3-Raising the roof 1by Laura Rodley
This summer has been full of happy endings for Anna Hanchett and Michael Kalagher, owners of Manda Farm. The two have sold certified naturally grown beef, turkey, eggs, organic vegetables and Gloucester Old Spots since 2006 on Pleasant Street in Plainfield,MA. “Manda” is derived from combining letters of their first names, M and A.
On Friday, Aug. 16, a crowd of 50 looked on as a huge crane lifted a new second story onto the top of their stately 1825 farmhouse that burned in January.
The fire affected only the second story and roof, travelling around the metal of the chimney in an enclosed space, which kept it contained, then going up into the rafters.
No people or animals were hurt, but extensive water and smoke damage made the main house unlivable so the two have been living in an onsite trailer until it is restored.
“So many people invited us to dinner. We didn’t have to cook for weeks,” said Hanchett, who besides running the farm full time, is chairman of Plainfield’s Agricultural Commission. [Read more…]