Practical advice on revised minimum wage

CEW-MR-1-Farm-labor-issues41by Pat Malin

ORISKANY, NY — What will be the impact of a higher federal and state minimum wage on my farm’s tax obligations?

Are farmers required to pay an unemployment insurance tax for part-time or seasonal employees? Should I be worried about an impromptu OSHA inspection?

These were among the concerns of a group of farmers who attended a seminar titled Agricultural Employers’ Requirements and Responsibilities sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension Oneida County. [Read more…]

PA Farm Bureau member appointed to National YF&R Committee

CDM-RP-1-NATIONAL-APPOINTME11NT_bentremWestern PA Cattle Farmer Set to Join AFBF Committee

CAMP HILL, PA — Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is pleased to announce that the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) has appointed Washington County cattle farmer David Bentrem as a new member of the National Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee for the 2016-2018 term, beginning in March. The committee is comprised of 16 positions representing all regions of the United States.   [Read more…]

Shearing on the rise at Whitney Acres Farm

CN-MR-3-WHITNEY-ACREwS_876by Laura Rodley

Faye Whitney of Whitney Acre Farms started out with two Shetlands and now owns 27, the largest flock of registered Shetlands in Massachusetts. Currently the executive secretary of the North American Shetland Sheepbreeders Association, she has served on the Board of Directors and been the secretary for 12 years. Shetlands caught her interest in 1993.  “I inherited my family farm, and we were down to just two horses. My husband (Phil Lussier) and I thought we should have livestock, and keep sheep to keep brush down.” Their Ashfield, MA farm was started by her great-great grandfather, Walter Lesure, who also raised sheep that appear to have been Merinos, according to an old photo, notes Whitney. She is the fifth generation to work the land.
She located the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy that promoted and protected heritage breeds, and decided, “Let’s get a minor breed and do a good thing.”   [Read more…]

Conservation district shows appreciation for partnerships

CE-MR-3-Conservation-distqrict1by Troy Bishopp

HAMILTON, NY – Architect, Richard Rogers conveyed, “The only way forward, if we are going to improve the quality of the environment, is to get everybody involved.” When it comes to amassing the people, projects, equipment and financial resources to put practical conservation on the ground, the Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District leads the charge in bringing environmental stakeholders together. [Read more…]

Lake Effect whitens north – green grass to the south

CE-MR-4-Lake-effect13by Troy Bishopp

TURIN, NY – Cattle are still grazing south of Utica but travel 45 minutes north of the NYS Thruway and you come upon a winter wonderland. New Yorkers are very familiar with this phenomenon called the “Lake Effect.” Sculptor, Andy Goldsworthy said, “Snow provokes responses that reach right back to your childhood.” [Read more…]