Farming at Handy Hills Dairy Farm

CE-MR-2-Handy-Hills31by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“We are proud to be a Bicentennial Farm,” commented Stacy Handy of Handy Hills Dairy Farm, St. Johnsville, NY, as she explained that her husband, Israel is the eighth generation actively involved in the family dairy and crop farm.

Israel and Stacy each come from farming backgrounds. [Read more…]

Focusing on Agriculture’s Workforce at Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance annual meeting

CEW-MR-3-NE-agribusiness21by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Two days of panel discussions and presentations focusing on the future of agriculture’s workforce took place at the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance’s 2016 annual meeting in Albany on Feb. 2 and 3.

One topic explored was the problem with immigration reform and how it concerns the Ag industry. Reports of dairy herd managers and other farm employees being suddenly removed from farms by local authorities has been an ongoing issue for farms across the country, and New York farmer Jeff True of Perry, Wyoming County, NY, spoke to the large audience about “what goes on behind the scenes” on his farm. [Read more…]

Hiring your farm workers through H2A ~ part 1

CN-MR-1-Hiring-workers-part1-1413by Bill and Mary Weaver

“It would certainly be ideal if growers could put an ad in the newspaper, accept applications, and hire American workers,” stated Kerry Scott of MAS Labor. Unfortunately, that approach isn’t working. For example, a grower/packer near Reno, NV needs 1725 seasonal laborers. Some of the work offered is in an air-conditioned packing shed, and even the fieldwork doesn’t involve actual “stoop labor.” Harvesting is done mechanically, with workers at the back of the harvesting machines. The grower also pays very well.

“The area around Reno, Nevada has the highest unemployment in Nevada, and most of the time, Nevada has the highest unemployment in the country,” Scott continued, speaking at the Mid Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Growers Convention recently. “The grower ran ‘Help Wanted’ ads in the local papers. They had zero applicants for these well-paying jobs!” [Read more…]

Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance addresses key industry issues

ALBANY, NY — Over 200 members of the Northeast Agribusiness and Feed Alliance attended two days of panel discussions, presentations and networking opportunities during the organization’s 2016 annual meeting and forum held Feb. 2 and 3 in Albany, NY.

The event kicked off with a trip to the New York State Capital where five groups of Alliance members met with 18 legislators, or their staff, to discuss their strong concerns about the proposed $15 New York minimum wage. The small group meetings provided Alliance members the opportunity advocate their positions and provide insight into the economic importance of northeast agricultural businesses. [Read more…]

Feeding lower-starch diets to dairy cattle

CW-MR-1-Feeding-low-starch1by Heather Dann and Luiz Ferraretto, William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, Chazy, NY

Fermentable carbohydrates are the main energy source in diets of high-producing dairy cows and play a major role in microbial growth and protein synthesis in the rumen. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF), soluble fiber, starch, and sugars are the main carbohydrate sources. Although these varied carbohydrate sources can be used for energy, they differ in fermentation end-products produced by rumen microorganisms, which in turn alter metabolism and performance by dairy cows. [Read more…]