With a chicken house turned freestall barn, Haiglers become dairy farmers

CM-MR-3-With a chicken 2by Karl H. Kazaks
MONROE, NC — “Everybody said it wouldn’t work,” Steve Haigler said. “‘Chicken houses are not built for cows.’”
But for the past year — since April 10, 2012, when the Haiglers milked cows for the first time, when (after years of research) they became dairy farmers — the Haiglers have proven that you can adapt a chicken house to a freestall barn.
“What’s made it work is the tunnel fans,” Steve said. “With just ceiling fans it wouldn’t work.”
The family farm — led today by Steve and his wife Reba and their son Evan — has been raising chickens here in North Carolina’s southern Piedmont for over 100 years. At their peak, the Haiglers operated 13 broiler houses. But a few years ago, when their processor asked them to convert their conventional curtain-sided houses to tunnel houses, the Haiglers decided not to make that investment. [Read more…]

Augusta County 4-H and FFA Market Animal Show still going strong after 68 years

CM-MR-3-Augusta County 3by Jennifer Showalter
STAUNTON, VA — Believed to be the largest show of its kind east of the Mississippi, the Augusta County 4-H and FFA Market Animal Show is more than just any little county show. With 68 years in the books now, this annual outing has quite the story behind it.
The show has been held at the Staunton Union Stockyard since its beginning. In those days the show was referred to as the Baby Beef Show. Exhibitors experimented with fattening cattle on grain for a short period of time so the beef would be ready for market in less than two years from the date of birth. [Read more…]

Sow the Grains of Knowledge: Organic Wheat, Spelt, Emmer & Einkorn Production Workshop in Centre County for Grain Enthusiasts of All Levels

logoMILLHEIM, PA. [June 13, 2013] The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), the Organic Growers Research and Information-Sharing Network and Penn State Extension will present a Field Day on growing organic grain. This workshop is open for anyone with an interest in locally grown heritage grains, from growers to everyday consumers alike.
[Read more…]

Upinngil Farm and Raw Milk

CN-MR-3-Upinngil Farm 3by Laura Rodley
When Sorrel Hatch was four years old and her brother, Rhys, was two, their parents Clifford and Patricia Hatch bought a ‘fixer upper’ home in Gill, MA. It was 1989.
“It was a wreck,” Sorrel recalls, now 28. They were living at their aunt’s in Whately while it was being fixed up. They were so excited to help, whenever their father left to work on it, they chorused that they wanted to go, “Up in Gill, up in Gill.” The refrain stuck and the resulting 12 acre farm was dubbed Upinngil Farm. For the locals, it is a household name. [Read more…]

Alleghany Meats serves producers looking to market USDA-inspected meat

CM-MR-3-Alleghany 3by Karl H. Kazaks
Highland County is Virginia’s least populous county, and neighboring Bath County to the south isn’t much larger. But residents in those counties — as well as surrounding West Virginia counties — have banded together to invest in, build, operate, and support a USDA-inspected meat processing facility, Alleghany Meats.
Alleghany Meats opened last year in the early spring. It slaughters and processes beef, bison, pigs, goats, and sheep. The demand for the facility’s services is growing so rapidly that General Manager Chris Fuller said he would not be surprised to see the facility process 50 percent more animals this year than it did last year. [Read more…]