Bootstrappin’: Everything a new farmer needs to know but was afraid to ask

CN-MR-1-Bootstrappin' 1by Terry Lynn Colligan
That Sunday morning, Sept. 22, looked less than promising weather-wise for the final day of the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity, Maine. Yet, by 2 p.m. the in and out sunshine shone down on fairgoers and the weather became slightly humid. The sponsor of the fair, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), formed in 1971, is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country.
Now in its 37th year of operation, the Common Ground Country Fair is encouraging young farmers in their chosen careers. To this end, Rebecca Thistlethwaite was a featured speaker addressing the topic of: Bootstrapin’: Everything a New Farmer Needs to Know but was Afraid to Ask!
During the past 15 years she has been a farm worker, a food retailer, an agricultural researcher, an educator, a farm owner, a nonprofit manager and a consultant to all sizes of farms. Most recently, she is the author of the book, “Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business.” [Read more…]

New Canton farmer named Virginia’s Farmer of the Year

CM-RP-1-New Canton farmer 1Virginia Cooperative Extension recognized Berkley Linwood “Lin” Jones of New Canton, VA, as Virginia Farmer of the Year at the State Fair of Virginia on Oct. 2. The award applauds individual contributions to the commonwealth’s agricultural industry.
A farmer for 33 years, Jones operates Berk-Mar Farm, primarily as a beef producer with a herd of 200 Angus-Gelbvieh cross cows. His work in improving beef genetics, saving money on mineral feed supplements, and using cooperative, value-added marketing of beef calves has gained nationwide attention while adding countless dollars to the value of cattle sold from his farm and other beef farms in Buckingham County. [Read more…]

Merrymead Farm

CM-MR-3-Merrymead 3by Bill and Mary Weaver
Merrymead Farm, probably the closest working farm to Philadelphia, is an exceptional farm run by the Rothenberger family. Milking 100 cows, and having the lowest somatic cell count in Pennsylvania for many, many years, Merrymead is also a Century Farm, as well as one of the top dairies in the country, producing National Quality Award Winning Milk.
In addition its owners are able to market 50 percent of their on-farm processed milk at their farm store, and the other 50 percent, with Merrymead’s label, to four upscale co-ops that make a circle around Philadelphia. [Read more…]

NYCAMH celebrates 25 years

CEW-MR-4-NYCAMH 3by Emily Enger
The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) celebrated their 25th anniversary on Saturday, Oct. 19 at The Carriage House in Oneonta, NY. The event included a catered dinner, live music, and speeches. Local band ‘Eleemosynavy’ — which means “pertaining to charity” — serenaded guests and concluded the night with country dancing lessons.
NYCAMH began when two men — Dr. David Pratt and Dr. John May — were working as pulmonologists together at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, NY. A young farmer came in with fever and coughing, among other symptoms. [Read more…]