Bird enthusiasts flock to New England’s largest poultry show

CN-MR-3-Poultry-show39117by Paul Burdziakowski

The Northeastern Poultry Congress held its 43rd annual poultry show, Jan. 16 and 17, at the Eastern States Exposition Fairgrounds in West Springfield, MA. There were a total of 306 exhibitors with 2,946 fowl on display making this once again the biggest poultry show in New England. Attendees enjoyed free admission to the event, which offered plenty of things to do including friendly competitions, poultry sales, informative seminars, varieties of vendors, raffles and plenty of bird watching.

Various classes of poultry were on display during the two-day event including large fowl, bantams, waterfowls, turkeys, pigeons, and the trio classic, which consists of one male and two females of the same breed, variety and age. Contestants had plenty of time to prepare their birds with various cleaning, grooming and styling techniques. Licensed judges performed careful inspections of the birds and awarded ribbons and cash prizes to the best in show. [Read more…]

The new American farmer

CE-MR-1-American-Farmer471by Troy Bishopp

HAMILTON, NY — Students equipped with their smartphones and tablets packed a lecture room at Colgate University to learn about, of all things: The new American farmer. Dr. Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern, Assistant Professor of Food Studies from Syracuse University’s Falk College gave a perspective and presented research about Latino immigrant farmworkers striving to become farm owners. According to the USDA Ag Census, this is the largest population of new farmers entering agriculture.

In her lecture: “The New American Farmer: Agrarian Questions, Race, and Immigration”, the Cornell graduate explored the significance of farmworkers and other first-generation Latino immigrants to the United States aspiring to be small-scale farmers and their agrarian contributions in changing the food system landscape. Dr. Minkoff-Zern’s field exploration embodied her extensive experience with sustainable development and agricultural biodiversity projects abroad, combined with work on migrant health issues domestically after spending many years working on farms and with agriculture and food organizations in Guatemala, New York, Virginia and California. [Read more…]

Jonas brings the unexpected

CEW-MR-3-Roof-collapse7541by Sally Colby

Throughout winter storm Jonas, which dumped snow that would be measured by the foot, Christy Stermer had a plan to care for the 14 horses stabled at her TNC Equine Center in Dillsburg, PA. Christy’s instructor/trainer Mady Schubbe stayed with Christy for the weekend, and Christy’s son and a friend who plows snow would make sure there was access to the barn. Christy and Mady knew they were in for a lot of extra work, but no amount of planning could prepare them for what happened after the snow stopped falling.

“We got up Sunday morning, fed the horses and put some of the horses in the indoor to run around and stretch their legs because they were in all day Saturday,” said Christy. “We started cleaning stalls and plowing snow. I got the gate open to put more horses outside, and turned the mares outside and the boys in the indoor arena. I was standing outside the barn and I heard an enormous crack.” [Read more…]

The recipe for starting a farm

CN-41-4-The-Recipe-44712by Laura Rodley  

Farming requires teamwork, physical strength, chutzpah and a daily, if not hourly, gram of patience. Elissa Miller and her husband Phillip’s teamwork extended from Kansas to Connecticut as he looked for a farm for them to relocate to from Kansas last year.

While starting his new role as a Director for Brooks Brothers, his farm search took him further and further north until he found 40 acres on what used to be a working farm until the 1960’s, in Orange, MA. [Read more…]

Healthy keys to chicken success

CN-MR-1-Chicken-success1by Paul Burdziakowski

Having a small flock of chickens is a growing trend in countries around the world. Country folks are not the only ones taking up this hobby. Many cities are relaxing their laws and ordinances when it comes to owning chickens so urban dwellers are now a part of this phenomenon.

When it comes to knowledge on topic of poultry professor Michael Darre of the University of Connecticut is one of the top experts in all of New England. Darre holds a PH.D. in Environmental Animal Physiology and has taught introductory poultry courses at Connecticut’s most esteemed university since 1981. In addition Darre is also the lead Cooperative Extension poultry specialist for the New England area. Being a part of the Extension allows Darre to work closely with professionals in the commercial poultry industry as well as children who are involved in programs such as 4-H. [Read more…]