Does anyone care what prices dairy farmers receive?

Recently Land O’Lakes, a giant dairy cooperative located in the upper Midwest, announced to many of their dairy farmers on the East coast that they were going to impose a supply management program on the co-op members to commence Jan. 1, 2016. Some of their reasons may or may not be justifiable.

However, the large concern of Land O’Lakes program is, they left out of their program the strong need for their members (and all dairy farmers) to receive a realistic price for their milk. [Read more…]

NJFB Women’s Leadership Committee provides assistance throughout New Jersey

CE-MR-1-Womens-leadership11by Jane Primerano

The image of a farm wife in a kitchen with steam hovering over the boiling canner, wearing a flour sack apron and a beatific smile is the stuff of old movies and 1950s television.

Women play every imaginable role on a farm, from management to marketing, and also in the parallel universe of community service. The Women’s Leadership Committee of the Farm Bureau has a long history of service in New Jersey. [Read more…]

Breeding better beef

CE-MR-3-Mountain-Hollow31by Sally Colby

When Randy and Laura Rockhill purchased a large property in Madrid, NY, their intent wasn’t to start a purebred cattle operation.

“We bought it primarily for hunting,” said Randy, describing the 400-acre home farm. “We bought a few head of cattle, and went from a few cattle to over 200 head.” In addition to the home farm, the Rockhills rent an additional 500 acres for crops and pasture. [Read more…]

New crops for New Jersey

by Jane Primerano

Benjamin Franklin called New Jersey a barrel tapped at both ends: New York City and Philadelphia.

For better or worse, this is still true. Many New Jersey farmers take advantage of this by growing specialty crops for the cities’ restaurants. In addition to the lucrative tourist market, the ethnic diversity of the state is creating new markets right here.

Over the past 16 years, Dr. James E. Simon (Dr. Jim) has worked to bring in and improve new crops to suit these markets. [Read more…]

6th Annual Fiber Festival of New England features full line of diversity

CN-MR-3-FIBER-FEST-7931by Paul Burdziakowski

The sixth annual Fiber Festival of New England took place Nov. 7-8 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. The event, put together by the New England Sheep and Wool Growers Association (NESWGA) and the Eastern States Exposition, promotes the use of wool, natural fibers and other related products.

This year 168 exhibitors were onsite showcasing their carefully crafted handmade products which included clothing, blankets, yarn, raw fleeces, spinning wheels, shawl pins, Christmas ornaments and much more. Some exhibitors didn’t even need to be onsite to sell their products. For a $2 fee NESWGA members could mail in their fleece along with the date shorn, breed of animal and producer information. The fleece sale was ongoing throughout both days of the festival. In addition to the shopping opportunities there were several other activities for participants to take part in such as workshops, competitions, demonstrations, live animal displays and even a fashion show. [Read more…]