The 15th North American Alpaca Show (NAAS) was held April 1-3 at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, MA. There were approximately 500 people in attendance during the two-day event, which featured 480 registered alpacas, vying for the opportunity to be selected as the grand champion. Other features of the show included educational seminars, commercial vendors, clothing sales and a silent auction. This family-friendly show was free to all. [Read more…]
Beginning farmers can range from those just embarking on their passion after years of work outside of agriculture to younger adults choosing to farm for a living; those who happen to own enough land to qualify for reduced taxes or other incentives. No matter where on the spectrum a producer fits, keeping land in active agriculture is a benefit to everyone. [Read more…]
by George Looby
In March, Atina Diffley arrived at Maneeleys Conference Center in South Windsor, CT from her home in Farmington, MN to meet with a group of vegetable farmers from southern New England to share some of her experiences in marketing produce to wholesalers. Atina and her husband Martin operated a large organic vegetable farm until 2008. They continue to be actively engaged by sharing her experiences with other farmers considering the switch to Certified Organic — with a view to supplying to wholesalers. [Read more…]
Ten years ago, a tick was a tick. They crawled onto a dog, perhaps hitched a ride on your pants leg and then latched onto your scalp. Moms became experts at finding and removing ticks after kids played outside.
“The tick climbed up to the top of your head, and you’d feel the bump,” said Dr. Tom Mather. “Your mom would remove it because she had pointy fingernails. And no one got sick.” [Read more…]
Ben Weikert has seen nearly every side of beef production possible. He started with beef projects as a young 4-Her, and he competed on a collegiate livestock judging team as he pursued a degree in animal science. He and his brother Owen have developed an elite herd of show cattle and have served as judges at numerous livestock shows. After receiving a master’s degree and serving as an extension agent, Ben is now working toward a PhD in agricultural leadership, and has some tips for youth who plan to show cattle this season. [Read more…]
Attendance at the recent Central New York Beef Producers (CNYBP) workshop-hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties — exceeded expectations, with a full house.
Featured speakers, Cornell University Beef Specialist Dr. Mike Baker and Jerry Emrick, Northeast Beef Specialist with Select Sire Power discussed estrus synchronization, bull scoring, artificial insemination (A.I.) and Expected Progeny Differences (EPDs). [Read more…]
Inadequate tie stall design — or lack of stall comfort — contributes to a loss in cow comfort, thus a loss in productivity; as was discussed by Penn State Agriculture Engineer Dan McFarland during CCE Central New York’s 2016 Dairy Day.
McFarland, an advocate of tie stalls, emphasized providing larger stalls in tie stall barns to accommodate the cow’s need to lay with her legs out-stretched and accommodate her posture when lunging low and forward to regain her feet for standing. [Read more…]
Managing manure on a dairy farm can be challenging, especially with ever-changing regulations about when, how and where to put it.
Dr. Robert Graves, Penn State professor emeritus of Ag and Biological Engineering, says that methane digesters are a good option for handling manure on some dairy farms, but producers should be well informed about what a digester does, the cost of establishment and upkeep, and how to keep a digester healthy. Graves added that having an on-farm digester means that the farmer must acquire skills in wastewater treatment, electric power and organic materials management. [Read more…]