NY Farm Bureau speaks out against new EPA proposed rule ~ Deadline extended

CEW-MR-1-EPA proposed ruleby Elizabeth A. Tomlin

“It’s time to ditch the rule!” said New York Farm Bureau State Associate Director of Public Policy and National Affairs, Elizabeth Wolters, who spoke at an annual October Farm Bureau meeting.

Wolters joined NYFB District 8 Director Dean Casey to inform attendees about updates on important issues concerning farmers across the state. Standing out among those issues was the proposed regulation by the EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expanding its regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act (CWA) to include the power to dictate use of land decisions and farming practices, in or near puddles, ponds, ditches, isolated wetlands and land that floods during heavy rain — but is normally dry. The rule would cause more difficulties to farmers who need to change farming operations to remain profitable. [Read more…]

Diversity is key to success at Damin Farm

CE-MR-3-Damin Farm2by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

When Barb Keegan first met Steve Damin and he told her he was a dairy farmer from New York, she said “Yeah right, and the moon is made of green cheese!” Now, over 36 years later, she says she knows better!

Steve and Barb Damin met in Hill City, SD in late winter of 1977, where Barb (Keegan) worked for the U.S. Forest Service. She was a local girl from Rapid City, SD. Steve, a New York native who had traveled to South Dakota after high school, had opened a mining company located in Keystone, SD.

Steve’s parents, back in St. Johnsville, NY, were having difficulty finding and keeping farm help, so, as their two little girls neared school age, Steve and Barb made the decision to move back to New York State onto Damin’s family farm. [Read more…]

Christie Administration announces 2015 Outstanding Young Farmer, seeks applications for 2016 honoree

CE-MR-Christie CE cover storySussex County farmer to receive award at 2015 State Agricultural Convention
TRENTON, NJ — Henry Richard Byma, a 36-year-old Sussex County dairy, hay and grain farmer, has been chosen as New Jersey’s 2015 Outstanding Young Farmers by the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture. Byma, who farms 680 acres in Wantage, will be presented with his award at the February 2015 New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.

“Coming from a premier dairy farming family, Henry Byma continues to innovate and improve his farm operation, enacting practices to increase both milk and grain production while being environmentally responsible,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “He is a leader in the agricultural community and will proudly represent New Jersey in the coming year as Outstanding Young Farmer.” [Read more…]

Planning for production

CM-MR-2-PlanningforProdby Tamara Scully

“It’s all about the consumer now. We’ve gone from a production-driven market to a consumer-driven market,” Dr. Robin G. Brumfield, Farm Management Specialist, Horticultural Economics, of Rutgers University, said in a recent webinar. “Try to put yourself in the consumer’s shoes when trying to decide what to grow and how much.”

Production planning means asking the hard questions before planting the first seed. The first step is to identify a need that isn’t being adequately addressed in the market. In today’s mature market, finding a niche to fill means doing something new, doing something better, and adding value by offering services. [Read more…]