Diversified faces, backgrounds and business plans contribute to four upstate farms recognized at the NYS Ag Forum

CEW-MR-1-Diversified Faces40by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — The old adage, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” seemed perfectly suited to the theme at the New York State Agricultural Society’s 183rd annual meeting and agricultural forum at the Holiday Inn outside Syracuse.

Four upstate New York farmers presented their unique stories during a panel discussion moderated by agricultural economics expert Dr. David Kohl titled, “Diversification for Success: Strategically Positioning You and Your Business for the Future.” [Read more…]

Freeman Farm

CN-MR-3-freeman farm 002by Laura Rodley

David Freeman has worked with cattle most of his life. Since age 12, he raised his own calves at his grandfather Oswald Freeman’s Sunnyside Dairy, in northern New York where he grew up. He worked on neighboring farms through school. He helped his brother Dale Freeman during summers after his grandfather passed away and Dale bought the family farm from his grandmother and the one next to it. From there, David moved to Hartford, CT to teach special education and later to Heath, MA to raise beef cattle on his own Freeman Farm, with his wife Christine. Right now he’s rebuilding his herd for next year, with thirty head, mostly Herefords and Murray Grays. His grandfather and brother raised dairy cows, but he chose to raise beef cattle, “Mostly because I hate morning chores, don’t like getting up at 3 o’clock in winter, never did, never will.” He commuted to his job in Connecticut for years until he “got the farm going well enough,” and retired early from teaching in 1996.   [Read more…]

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…]