Farmers should use social media to influence consumers’ views of ag industry

CEW-MR-1-Social-Media11by Pat Malin

EAST SYRACUSE, NY — There is no doubt there are unscrupulous individuals and groups who have an ax to grind with the farming industry. On the other hand, there are other individuals who are plainly uninformed of acceptable farming methods, yet still curious about how their food is produced.

Whether you, as a farmer, happen to be confronted by a group that means deliberate harm or whether you run into the latter, you need a plan of action to deal with them.

This was the basis of a vital discussion at the New York Farm Bureau’s Animal Welfare Conference on Oct. 29 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Syracuse. [Read more…]

Putting MOVE in the Movement

CW-MR-2-NESAWG41721NESAWG annual It Takes A Region conference

by Katie Navarra

Putting MOVE in the Movement. Effecting change. That was the theme of the 2015 Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) annual conference, which took place Nov. 12-14.

Prominent activists and advocates Shirley Sherrod, the executive director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, and Andy Bichlbaum, of the YES MEN, offered conference attendees insight into diverse strategies that have been successfully used to influence change. [Read more…]

Panel discusses animal issues

by Pat Malin

An hour-long panel discussion on animal issues was held at the New York Farm Bureau’s Animal Welfare Conference at the Doubletree by Hilton in Syracuse.

Animal abuse, whether it’s perceived or actually exists, took up much of the discussion of the animal issues panel. Jerry Bilinski, DVM, was the moderator and drew up initial questions for the other panelists: Robert Brooks, board member, Harness Horse Breeders of New York State; Mel Chesbro, New York State Fair Coordinator/Ag Manager, NYS Department of Ag and Markets; Carlin Jones, VMD, equine clinic at OakenCroft; Ulf Kintzel, a farmer at White Clover Sheep Farm, and David Smith, DVM, director, Division of Animal Industry, NYS Department of Ag and Markets. [Read more…]

Dietary guidelines: hold your beef

by Tamara Scully

The “sustainability” equation has officially been disregarded by the USDA’s 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), much to the satisfaction of many players in the dairy and beef industries. The original request for “sustainability” to be included in the update to the Guidelines — which are mandated under 1990 National Nutrition Monitoring and Related Research Act (NNMRRA) and updated every five years — was ultimately denied.

[Read more…]

Don Baker Farm & Orchard ~ striving to survive in a changing marketplace

CE-MR-3-Don-Baker51by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“Most small family farms have already closed,” remarked Dale Baker, while sorting Asian pears at his fruit farm in the Hudson Valley. “This farm has been in my family for over 100 years but the fruit part was started by my grandfather, Gordon Baker, in the early 1920s.”

The farm, which lies just a few miles south of the city of Hudson, NY, consists of a total of 104 acres, with 75 acres fenced in with 8 foot woven wire fencing, “to escape the tremendous deer problem that had developed in the 70s and 80s, with the switch to more dwarfing trees — and with my change to growing more stone fruits that began in the 90s.” [Read more…]