Cartwheels at the 147th Annual Cummington Fair

CN-MR-2-CUMMINGTON-FAIR_1261by Laura Rodley

When you win at the 147th Annual Cummington Fair, sometimes you have to break into cartwheels to celebrate. That’s what Justin Clark did after he helped his father Tim Clark win the Free for All in the Draft Oxen division. The team of Butch and Sonny were hitched to the 12,500 pound plus stoneboat so they could pull it past the required six feet distance. As his father led the team out of the ring, his son broke into a series of spontaneous cartwheels, delighting the crowd. “That’s the first time he’s done cartwheels in the ring,” noted his father. Both he and Justin are native sons of Hawley, MA, “We’re excited, it’s a pretty big ordeal,” said Clark. [Read more…]

Untoward acceleration

by Troy Bishopp                                                                                                                                                                                       

CEW-MR-1-Untoward-acceleration11Back in 1959, French Agronomist and rotational grazing visionary, André Voisin, warned farmers in his book, Grass Productivity, that “untoward acceleration” was the greatest danger to rational grazing practitioners. You would think someone who has read one of the bibles of grazing management wouldn’t go down that laneway. It seems my complacency and optimism that it would rain, overshadowed the fact that I was about to hit the proverbial wall. Running into walls usually hurt. [Read more…]

Conservation planning in organic livestock systems

by Tamara Scully

Conservation planners may not be familiar with working with certified organic livestock producers, and may harbor misconceptions about organic farming. Yet conservation planning and organic livestock farming share the same foundation: to preserve natural resources and promote biodiversity. [Read more…]

New methods of vaccine production on the horizon

CEW-MR-1-VACCINES1by George Looby, DMV

Animal agriculture has long relied on the addition of antibiotics to increase feed efficiency and to aid in the control of low grade intestinal infections, especially in young animals. This practice has come under increased scrutiny in recent years as the human population has had to contend with the development of so-called super bugs which are resistant to conventional antibiotic therapy. [Read more…]

Frankenfield says ‘Tell your story’

CM-MR-1-GMO_06171by Steve Wagner

Taking center stage at the 2015 edition of Farming for Success, Andrew Frankenfield with the Penn State Extension, is also a produce grower. Frankenfield told those in attendance, “My customers want to know — ‘Is this Bt sweet corn or Monsanto sweet corn?’” After seven years, this is the first year he is actually not growing Bt sweet corn because, as he says, technology isn’t as effective any more and the seed is nearly twice as much. [Read more…]