“While many of the pension reforms included in House Bill 2497 are noble, I cannot support legislation I know does not meet constitutional muster. No matter what provisions are included in the bill, if it does not correspond with the constitution I have sworn to uphold, it is my duty to vote no.” Those were State Representative Bryan Cutler’s words on Nov. 15, 2010. He hasn’t changed his tune. [Read more…]
Swine producers are all familiar with TGE, or transmissible gastroenteritis. TGE is a coronavirus, and has been identified in swine herds since the mid-1940s. However, a new coronavirus disease, PEDv (porcine epidemic diarrhea virus) has challenged pork producers throughout the United States.
“PED was in Europe for 50 years, and they haven’t had a problem with it,” said Dr. Meghann Pierdon, swine veterinarian at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. “More recently, between 2008 and 2010, there have been more severe outbreaks in Asia. But we had never seen it here in the U.S. until May of 2013.” [Read more…]
Gerald “Jerry” Brunetti, 63, of Lower Mt. Bethel Twp., passed away peacefully on Dec. 20, 2014, at St. Luke’s Hospice House, Bethlehem. Jerry was born Dec. 28, 1950 in Easton, PA. He was the son of the late Aurelio “Rello” Brunetti and Rena Tarsi Brunetti.
Jerry was a highly demanded lecturer and speaker, both nationally and internationally, on topics that included soil fertility, animal nutrition and livestock health. He passionately proclaimed to his audience the strong link between healthy soil, truly nutritious food, profitable farming and healthy communities. [Read more…]
It’s tough for young farmers to get started in farming. If there’s no access to farm property through family, it can be close to impossible to fund even a small parcel of land. The Farmland Access Program of the Vermont Land Trust has made it easier for farmers to acquire agricultural land and start farming enterprises that provide long-term benefits for both farmers and the community.
Two Vermont couples are among the most recent beneficiaries of the program. Noah Hoskins explains how the program helped jump-start their farm operation.
“My brother-in-law Mike Euphrat and I are both from this area,” said Noah. “We had been working in small-scale agriculture enterprises of our own for the last ten years or so. Our wives are sisters who moved here from Mt. Desert Island in Maine, and we were connected through living across the street from them. This farm became available, and it was a farm we were familiar with. We submitted a proposal and were successful.” [Read more…]
MT. ULLA, NC — In 2006, Mary L Farm, operated by Rick and Dorcas Parker, was the first North Carolina dairy to be certified organic. Recently, two of the Parkers’ children, Taylor and Maurice, shared their perspective on what the past nine years have brought.
“Being organic is different, not easier, than conventional production,” said Taylor, who is a student at Catawba College and helps on the farm when not in school. “The transition brought a whole new set of struggles.” [Read more…]
Remember NAIS, or National Animal Identification System? It was the USDA program that was essentially abandoned after drawing ire from producers who thought the system was difficult and expensive to initiate. After dropping the concept of NAIS, USDA officials worked on developing a program that was more flexible and that would improve the ability to track animal movement across state lines, and came up with USDA/APHIS veterinarian Dr. Paul Pitcher says one justification for a national database of beef cattle is the international market. “Our consumers are present around the globe,” said Pitcher. “Producers in the United States are under the gun to be more responsive to the international customer. Animal traceability is becoming more important and will impact producers’ ability to make a profit.” [Read more…]
Three bleachers bulged with spectators during internationally renowned horse trainer Mark Rashid’s talk, “Herd Dynamics: Understanding the Difference between Domestic and Feral Horses’ Behavior” at the 50th Equine Affaire, which was held in November in Springfield, MA.
Attendees were quiet, avidly paying attention as Rashid spoke, as though putting into action something he has noticed while studying feral herds. “[Horses] have to stay quiet. If they make noise, attract predators. There is one reason bands of wild horses are so quiet — preservation,” said Rashid, of Estes Park, CO, the author of seven horse-related books. [Read more…]
HAMILTON, NY — Flannel shirts, calloused hands, delicious food and colorful stories marked the culmination of another year in protecting Madison County’s natural resources while assisting local agriculture and municipalities to make sensible land and water management decisions.
The 5th annual appreciation luncheon held at the White Eagle Conference Center credits the family of farmers, contractors, town supervisors, Agri-business companies, engineering support, state and federal conservation partners and funding organizations who collaborate together to get practical conservation on the ground. “The day is dedicated to saying thank you for contributing to the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District’s mission and enjoying food, friendships and the holidays together,” said District Manager, Steve Lorraine. [Read more…]