Cazenovia Equipment is priming the market for drones

CEW-MR-1-Caz Equip2by Pat Malin

LIVERPOOL, NY — Cazenovia Equipment, a farm equipment dealership in central and northern New York, isn’t waiting for farmers to catch up with technology — it’s already pushing the envelope in that direction.

Cazenovia Equipment began promoting and demonstrating unmanned aerial vehicles or drones for agricultural use at various trade shows in 2014. It has purchased four UAVs from Precision Drone, an Indiana company.

Cazenovia Equipment’s website has a special section devoted to the UAVs. It sells three different Precision Drone models, all helicopter-style (hexacopters) that have six rotors. [Read more…]

Unique cheese from big, gentle cows

CW-MR-2-CROSSWINDS 2by Sally Colby

On a farm situated on a high ridge between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake, a twelfth generation farmer is pursuing her dream. Sarah Van Orden grew up on her family’s dairy farm in the Catskills area, and after completing her formal education at Cornell, she and her partner Charlie Morrow are successfully raising Brown Swiss and operating Crosswinds Farm and Creamery in Ovid, NY.

“My grandfather had Brown Swiss in the 50s and 60s, and that’s how I got hooked on them,” said Sarah, explaining her passion for the breed. “They make the most sense as a breed — they produce the volume of a Holstein and closer to the same components as Jerseys. They’re very rugged and don’t have a lot of health problems, and have a low somatic cell count.” [Read more…]

Assistance for veterans returning to the farm

by George Looby, DVM

There has been a noticeable resurgence recently in the level of support given to new, beginning and young farmers from an increasing number of support groups and agencies. These groups includes federal, state, local and private agencies that have developed a wide variety of programs that encourage and provide direct assistance to this select group who have chosen to pursue careers in some area of agriculture. Included in this group are returning veterans who have served their country so well and now have chosen to hopefully fulfill long held dreams of a career in farming or a closely related field. This special group of citizens deserves the encouragement and support of everyone they left behind while giving up some of the best years of their lives to ensure the rest of us could carry on our own lives without fear. [Read more…]

The Farm to School Connection

by Lorraine Strenkowski

Launched by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League in collaboration with the USDA, the “Fuel Up to Play 60” is the largest in-school nutrition and physical activity program in the nation. The program was designed to provide funding for schools looking to improve their access to nutrient-rich foods like dairy and local produce and to introduce “60” minutes of physical activity opportunities. This program is now in more than 73,000 schools nationwide.

New England hosts 3,600 of those programs with over 1,000 in Connecticut alone. Funding for “Fuel Up to Play 60” in Connecticut comes from dairy farm families through the Connecticut Milk Promotion Board, in partnership with the New England Dairy & Food Council. [Read more…]

$50 Million Anti-trust case in Federal Court

CEWN-MR-1-MILK LAWSUITby Bethany M. Dunbar

BURLINGTON, VT — A group of dairy farmers who sued their milk cooperative in an anti-trust case in federal court are divided on a potential $50 million settlement. Some involved would like to accept the settlement and have the six-year-old case finished, saying the case is a distraction to the co-op’s real purpose and taking time away from programs that could help farmers. Others say it is unfair and that the lawyers would make more money on it than the farmers. “Farmers want justice,” testified Claudia Haar, who farms in a small town in central New York State. The proposed settlement amount is so small in comparison to the damages that have been done, she said, it would be “like getting a dead calf back from a crooked cattle dealer who has just stolen your whole herd.” [Read more…]