Quentin and Anita Shirk moved with their family and their breeding ewes from a smaller farm in southeastern PA to their current 100 acres in New Columbia in northern Union County in 2010. With the move, they gained plenty of space for pasture rotation; wooded sections of pastures for shade for their sheep; 3 natural water sources; and top-quality (river bottom) soil, which benefits both their pastures and their produce operation. [Read more…]
Visitors might have thought they had been magically transported to Peru or Bolivia when they entered the llama barn at the Big E. After all, the Big E is the Disneyland of animals and livestock. Llamas and alpacas of all shades and their young were in abundance and being cared for by their owners, being readied for showing. Rather than the llamas guarding their livestock, some owners slept in sleeping bags guarding their llamas. [Read more…]
The first of three, free, incubator workshops focusing on added value dairy products offered by Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) took place on Oct. 3.
“Dairy farmers are currently having a difficult time covering the costs of production,” said CADE’s Executive Director Rebecca Morgan. “Dairy value added product development makes sense as a more viable direction for many dairy farmers. [Read more…]
ALLENTOWN, PA — Highlighting its roots and reason for being, The Great Allentown Fair held its annual “Agriculture Recognition Night” during the 2016 fair to honor accomplished students and adults that have contributed to Pennsylvania’s number one industry.
The ceremony was held recently inside the Agri-Plex exhibition building sponsored by Lehigh Valley Health Network while the fair was in full swing. [Read more…]
The first thing regular attendees to this year’s coronation might have noticed is a general upgrading of the quality in the trimmings of the affair. At the doors outside the banquet room stood an easel with a diagram of table locations so ticket holders could see before entering exactly where they were located. “In previous years,” said PA Dairy Princess Promotion Services Administrative Director Laura Daubert, “not doing that seemed to translate into a minor disaster.” [Read more…]
WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Oct. 3, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the start of a new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jobs program that will use the national apprenticeship system to hire new employees as agricultural commodity graders, a key role in USDA’s mission to protect American consumers. The new program will also serve as a way to increase jobs for U.S. veterans. [Read more…]
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA — A network of computers fed a large image dataset can learn to recognize specific plant diseases with a high degree of accuracy, potentially paving the way for field-based crop-disease identification using smartphones, according to a study by a team of researchers at Penn State and EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. [Read more…]
BOSTON, MA – With large portions of Massachusetts continuing to experience rainfall amounts remaining below average for a seventh straight month, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton declared the following drought levels throughout the Commonwealth: a Drought Warning for the Connecticut River Valley, Central, Northeast and Southeast Massachusetts, unchanged for the Central, Northeast and Southeast Regions and up from a Drought Watch for the Connecticut River Valley in September; and a Drought Watch for the Cape and Islands and Western Massachusetts, up from a Drought Advisory for Western Massachusetts and unchanged for the Cape and Islands in September. [Read more…]