Clinic teaches tips for shearing sheep

CN-RP-1-SHEEP-CLINIC_011The State 4-H Sheep Shearing Clinic, held Nov. 1, provided an opportunity for Vermont 4-H club members to gain valuable tips from a professional sheep shearer.

The clinic, sponsored by University of Vermont Extension 4-H, was open to any 4-H’er, age 12 or older, who is enrolled in the 4-H sheep project. It was hosted by Neil and Terri Metcalf at their farm in Addison. [Read more…]

Genetic Practices to Improve Beef Cattle Reproduction

 by Darrh Bullock, University of Kentucky

Reproduction is typically a lowly heritable trait, but there are genetic practices that can help improve reproduction rates.

Introduction

Reproduction has a great impact on the profitability of beef cattle producers and is therefore an important consideration when making genetic management decisions.   Due to the low heritability of most reproductive traits many producers feel there is little that can be done through genetic management and rely solely on other management practices such as health programs and nutrition management.  While nutrition and health are critical to good reproductive rates, this publication will focus on genetic practices that can have a positive impact on reproduction. [Read more…]

Ivermectin toxicity in herding dogs

CM-MR-3-IVERMECTIN-TOXICITY_031by George Looby, DVM

At any given moment in time it would be most difficult to estimate how many herding dogs are roaming the fields, pastures and barnyards of this country. To watch them work puts many of us to shame as they respond to the hand signals and whistles of their Shepherds with a zeal that never ceases to amaze. Unfortunately some of these animals have inherited a defective gene that puts them at risk for a potentially deadly illness. [Read more…]

Opening the barn door to the public

CEW-MR-2-Barn-door11by Pat Malin

EAST SYRACUSE, NY — If farmers wish to become transparent with the consumer and the public about their activities, it can be as easy as setting up a farm profile on Facebook.

On the other hand, opening up these lines of communication can come with risks and unwanted attention.

How the farmers balance their need to market their products and engage in dialogue with the public versus maintaining their privacy was a major topic at the New York Farm Bureau’s Animal Welfare Symposium on Oct. 29 at the Doubletree by Hilton. [Read more…]

Penn State Poultry Judging Team first in the Nation

CDM-RP-1-PENN-ST-POULTRY_011Penn State’s Poultry Judging Team placed first in the nation at the 50th National Collegiate Poultry Judging Contest held Nov. 1-3 at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. It is the first time since 2005 that the team has placed first, though it has been second six times, third two times and fourth once. The team scored an impressive 4,258 points out of 4,500.

Josh Cassar, Lansdale, PA, led the team as first place overall individual, having also won high individual at the spring national contest earlier this year. Cassar placed first in Egg Production and Quality and second in Breed Selection and Carcass Quality. [Read more…]