Herding helpers on the farm

CEW-MR-2-Herding dogs16by Sally Colby

Although many sheep farmers use herding dogs to work livestock, not all of them had sheep when they started.

Julie Williams, who lives in the Hudson Valley area, had herding dogs before she had sheep. Her first dog was a Kelpie named Lucy. “I trained her all the way through knowing how to do a shed,” said Williams, referring to the act of separating designated sheep from the flock. “I worked with Warren Mick, of Ultima, NY, and he’s really good at what he does. He had a Border Collie named Glen that I really liked, and I found out I could get a puppy sired by Glen — that’s how I got Dan.” Dan was Williams’ first Border Collie, and Joe, her second dog, is related to Dan. Williams started both Dan and Joe as young pups. [Read more…]

Wedgenock Farm

CE-MR-1-Wedgenock Farm1by Al Dorantes

In 1985 Bobbie and Terry Jones took over the Cedarville, NY, farm that her family had owned since 1954. About 10 years ago they put up a new free stall barn and new milking parlor. Every morning Bobbie is up at 4 a.m. to milk approximately 140 cows. Counting her grandson, Nicholas, the Jones’s are going on the 4th generation of farmers to work Wedgenock Farm. But, like most farmers in Upstate New York they were always dealing with the constant question of how to keep their farm going. [Read more…]

Close attention at calving time pays off

C4-MR-3-Close attention 1by Sally Colby

When there’s trouble during a calving, someone on the farm is usually willing and able to don an obstetric sleeve and help that cow safely deliver the calf. But the decision to assist a cow should be a part of careful observation skills and overall good cow sense. [Read more…]

Maine Water Buffalo Company


If you raise cows, don’t go rushing to diversify your herd with water buffalo. Although a bovine species, they can’t interbreed with cows or bison, they don’t graze in the same way and can’t be fed the same rations. They do best with access to water and mud, their horns serve to regulate body temperature, and they go feral quickly.

“They are very similar to cattle, but very different,” said Jessica Farrar, who raises these majestic animals along with her husband, Brian. “Our advice to anyone interested in water buffalo is for them to do their homework.” [Read more…]

Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross holds listening session in Newport 

CN-MR-1-Vermont Secretary 1by Bethany M. Dunbar

NEWPORT, VT — Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross held a listening session and talked with local farmers about agriculture issues. The two-hour session Dec. 3 was part of a series of meetings, the Secretary has been holding around the state.

Ross had met with U.S. Senator Pat Leahy shortly before, and he told the local farmers that the farm bill is in better shape than it was a few months ago. It passed the Senate some time ago, but more recently a version has passed the House and now is in a conference committee. “The biggest battle is not dairy. It’s SNAP,” he said, referring to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. [Read more…]