Global food security ~ Part 3

CDM-MR-45-2-Global-food-pt3-11“We can do it better than anyone else.”

by Steve Wagner

Dr. Janelle Larson is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at Penn State, as well as a Rhodes Scholar with an Oxford Education. She has had a hand in sweet potato production in Ghana; and a grant received by Penn State is being used to look at the potential of horticulture for women in Honduras with both an empowerment and nutrition focus. Horticulture in Cambodia with a focus on rice production is another project on the agenda.

Larson says the problem can’t be solved without focusing on small-scale agriculture. Whereas farming in the U.S. is often conglomerate or large-scale family operations, 84 percent of family farms globally are smaller than five acres. Larson thinks that has to be the jump-off point. Noting problems in the U.S., she says they are exacerbated in the developing world: access to credit, access to market. [Read more…]

Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention 2016

BOTH-MAVF-PP-45521The Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention, held at Hershey, PA in February enjoyed its best attendance ever. One hundred sixty exhibitors and their displays filled the Trade Show.

Bill Troxell, PVGA Executive Secretary, estimated the Convention attracted a total of about 2,400 people. “The bus tour and workshops on Monday, preceding the convention, attracted more than 500 people,” noted Troxell, “and we had to turn some people away for lack of space.” These recently started special activities, “add a whole new dimension to the Convention, and make it more worthwhile for growers to travel to the Convention from out of state,” Troxell added. [Read more…]

Chase Hill Farm

CN-MR-46-3-Chase-Hill41by Laura Rodley

In France, the Normande breed of cattle with their dark brown checkerboard coats dot the landscape, the way that black and white Holsteins dotted the New England landscape when farmer Mark Fellows grew up in Warwick, MA. The Normandes are dual purpose, bred for both high quality beef and bred for producing the best milk for cheese production.

Fellows was well acquainted with Holsteins as he grew up on his parents’ dairy. Oliver and Virginia Fellows started farming in 1950 on land that had a house and views of New Hampshire’s Mt. Monadnock. They built a barn and outbuildings, but didn’t name the farm. His father laid the cinder blocks for the hay barn by hand. “They had a conventional dairy farm,” said Fellows. [Read more…]

Priorities for 2016 discussed at local Farm Bureau meetings

CE-MR-2-LocalPriorities21by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

Recently in Montgomery County, New York Farm Bureau President Dean Norton spoke to a full house concerning 2016 issues — including the impending wage hike.

Farmers report being unable to afford paying higher wages to their employees with no options except cutting existing staff, reducing farm products, or even leaving the farming industry entirely. [Read more…]

Connecticut Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers Conference

CN-MR-CT-vegetable-and21by George Looby

In January vegetable and small fruit growers from the state and beyond gathered at Maneeley’s Conference Center in South Windsor, CT for their annual conference.

The first speakers of the day were Heather Callahan and Neley Agudelo from the U.S. Dept. of Labor who addressed the topic of how to comply with labor laws and survive a U.S. Dept. of Labor investigation. The rights of farm workers are covered under the provisions of the U.S. Dept. of Labor and cover an array of situations and conditions under which employees might find themselves. Many workers fall under the Migrant and Seasonal Ag Worker Protection Act (MSPA). Items falling under the MSPA umbrella include wages, housing, transportation, working conditions and work-related conditions. [Read more…]