Solar heating and barn expansion at Finndale Farms

CE-MR-2-Finndale-Farm21by Pat Malin

HOLLAND PATENT, NY — With some 800 cows, the sprawling Finndale Farms is one of the largest, most modern and efficient operations in the greater Mohawk Valley.

But the 50-year-old farm has faced one significant problem for years — steadily rising energy costs. Thanks to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County and New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), the Finn family is now incorporating renewable solar thermal hot water technology. [Read more…]

Birch: the other sap

CEW-MR-Birch21by Tamara Scully

In Alaska and Canada birch trees have been tapped for sap for centuries. In New England, maple syrup has been the prime product, although birch trees are also prevalent in many parts of the region.

For Bucky Shelton, a partner in Vermont Birch Syrup Company and long-time maple syrup producer, birch trees have become more than just another tree in the sugarbush. They’ve become a food crop, providing sap which is ultimately transformed into a versatile cooking syrup. [Read more…]

Dairymaster’s Latest Innovation Launched at World Dairy Expo

Dairymaster-Swiftflo-Commander-31As herds are getting larger there is less time for individual cow attention – during milking having access to the right information at the right time is essential. The Swiftflo Commander, the new brain of the milking parlor, controlling everything to do with milking, feeding and animal health has arrived! The launch at World Dairy Expo created great excitement especially after having won 2 major awards at the leading agricultural show in Ireland, the National Ploughing Championships. It offers a new level of intelligence that takes command of each milking unit within the parlor. [Read more…]

Connecticut’s largest dairy farm protects prime farmland under State Agricultural Preservation Program

CN-RP-2-CT-LARGEST-FARM_021ELLINGTON, CT — More than 125 acres of Connecticut’s largest dairy farm have been forever dedicated for agricultural use under the state’s Farmland Preservation Program.

Oakridge Dairy, owned by the Bahler family, conveyed the development rights to 125.7 acres of the farm, where corn and hay are grown to support its herd of approximately 4,000 cows. More than 90 percent of the land, along Abbott and Middle roads near the East Windsor line, contains prime and statewide important farmland soils. [Read more…]

Vermont dairy farmer testifies before Senate Agriculture Committee on Federal Regulation of Biotechnology

CN-RP-1-BIOTECH-DAIRY_011WASHINGTON, DC — Joanna Lidback, a dairy farmer from Westmore, VT recently told a panel of Senators on Capitol Hill how important biotechnology is to her family’s farm, explaining that the efficiencies of using biotech crops help sustain the business she and her husband own.

Lidback spoke before the Senate Agriculture Committee, outlining several reasons why she supports the use of genetically-modified crops, and does not support her home state’s mandatory GMO-labeling law. [Read more…]