Combating antibiotic resistant bacteria

CN-MR-1-COMBATING-BACTERIA1by George Looby, DVM

For years the critical question of antibiotic resistant bacteria and it’s relationship to the health and welfare of the general population has been debated and discussed at a variety of levels. Now the question has reached the highest level of government prompting President Barak Obama to issue an Executive Order to thoroughly study the problem. This order would appear to signal a significant shift in the thinking of those who have long been involved in studying the problem. For decades the addition of antibiotics to animal feed has been an accepted practice defended by animal scientists as having little or no impact on the possibility of antibiotic resistance. [Read more…]

Kicking the proverbial can down the road

CM-MR-3-KICKING-CAN_03861by Steve Wagner

Pennsylvania “has a lot of open space,” said Governor Tom Wolf to a legislative lunch audience at the Harrisburg Hilton Hotel. Ten weeks into his term, this was his first agricultural exposure since becoming the commonwealth’s chief executive. “We have a unique geography,” the Governor added, reminding those in attendance that they are located smack-dab in the middle of the richest market possibly in the world. With several metropolitan markets like New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Washington D.C. in close proximity, the Governor said “There is no other place in the world that can say this, in the 1700s, Pennsylvania was the breadbasket of the colonies and that was no accident.” [Read more…]

Destiny calls: Ben Ketchie is a dairy farmer

CM-MR-3-KETCHIE_-31by Karl H. Kazaks

UNION GROVE, NC — Ben Ketchie was a recent North Carolina State graduate, working at a feed store in Mt. Ulla, NC when he got a call on his 22nd birthday. Growing up in Rowan County, Ben worked on a variety of dairy farms and now that he was out of school, he was looking to establish a dairy of his own. “It had been a dream I’d been talking about,” Ketchie said. Chris Hoffner, a former employer, heard of a rental farm in far northern Iredell County. It was early in 2013 when Ketchie called the landowner, who was encouraged by his confidence and his plan to keep dairying on the 108-acre farm, rather than just rent the ground, so she decided to lease the farm to him. [Read more…]