Teaming up for dairy goat competition

CW-MR-1-Dairy goatby Pat Malin
Thirteen-year-old Nicole Mrzywka and her 16-year-old sister, Natalie, insist they have been competing in the state fair their entire lives. “I was three months old when I first came here in 2001,” said Nicole, adding that her sister was just over two years old at the time.

The sisters and their cousin, Rylie Leer, 14, of Holley in western New York, teamed up to win 19 ribbons and two plaques in the Meat Goat competition at the New York State Fair, including grand champion, percentage doe, percentage doe reserve, master showman, blood doe, reserve junior champion, etc. with their Nubian and Boer goats.

The three girls have also been busy breeding, training and showing cows, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs and dogs. “It’s hard sometimes, but everything falls into place,” said Nicole of the teens’ hectic schedule.

Dangerous manure moves to a higher level

C4-MR-3-MANUREDEMO1by Steve Wagner

“If you drop your monkey wrench, you could bend down to pick it up, and be in a dangerous place.” With that statement, Rob Meinen, senior extension associate at Penn State’s Department of Animal Science, essentially described the tone of the seminar this day at Pleasant View Dairy Farms LLC in Pine Grove, PA. Looking at a soon-to-be-filled lagoon surrounded by cyclone fencing, he further cautioned heightened awareness to match an increasing threat. “We need to be aware that an outdoor storage like this should be considered a confined space. Confined spaces are not designed for normal worker occupancy.” [Read more…]

Schaghticoke Fair wrap-up

CE-MR-3-Schaghticoke713by Katie Navarra

Alpacas, sheep, cattle, goats and horses, oh my!

It must be the annual Schaghticoke Fair, which ran Aug. 27 to Sept. 1. Featuring 4-H and open competitions youth and adult exhibitors alike hauled livestock of all breeds and types into the Fair.

Exhibitors had their animals on display for both competition and to engage the general public in learning about the farming way of life. [Read more…]