Evaluating calves for wellness

2021-10-22T10:39:58-05:00October 22, 2021|Country Folks Article|

by Sally Colby

Calf feeders can be among most important personnel on the dairy when it comes to recognizing calf illness. Properly trained employees who learn and pay attention to the habits of healthy calves will be able to identify early signs of illness in young animals, which can save calves’ lives and result in healthier replacements.

Dr. Jessica Pempek, assistant professor and animal welfare specialist, Ohio State University, said the most common problems in young calves are navel infections, diarrhea and respiratory disease. As cooler weather and winter approach, respiratory disease will become a leading cause of illness and death in pre-weaned dairy calves.

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Drive more local leads with SEO

2021-10-22T10:39:11-05:00October 22, 2021|Country Folks Article|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

The goal of any business’s website is to attract more customers; however, for a business that thrives on local customers, driving more local leads is vital. Rhode Island Small Business Development Center recently presented “Drive More Local Leads with SEO” with Amanda Basse, owner of Amanda Basse Online in Boston.

SEO stands for search engine optimization. “This is a process where you improve content so that it ranks higher on platforms like Google,” Basse explained. “This is not something you set and forget or you do once. It’s a process. Local SEO is all about optimizing content so that your business appears higher in the local search engine results pages, which are called the SERPS. You want to focus on ranking higher than the competitors. It’s much easier to rank higher on local results than nationwide.”

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While the sun shines

2021-10-22T10:37:52-05:00October 22, 2021|Country Folks Article|

by Sally Colby

“The secret to good hay is knowing what you have, knowing how to market it and learning the art of making it.”

That’s what Mike Stefan, of North Collins, NY, says about the skills involved in making consistently good hay. Stefan started to learn how to make hay while growing up on the family dairy farm. After high school, he studied to be a teacher, but wanted to farm even after the dairy herd was sold. “I didn’t want to lose the farm, so we thought hay would be a good option,” he said. “I could work that in with a teaching job.”

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Building clean water

2021-10-22T10:36:40-05:00October 22, 2021|Country Folks Article|

by Sally Colby

Savvy farmers in early civilizations managed cropland drainage for higher yields. Over the years, farmers experimented with a variety of drainage methods, including clay pipes that were widely used until the 1970s. But no matter what the year or design, the goal was the same: to keep excess water away from roots.

The terms “tile drain” and “tiling” are still widely used, but instead of cylindrical clay pipes, drainage systems are comprised of poly tubing. Although tiling improves yields on poorly drained acreage, the practice comes with a cost in the form of excess nitrate levels in water exiting the drainage system. Increased concern about water quality in sensitive watershed areas has led to the development of systems to reduce the amount of nitrate leaving farm fields via drainage systems.

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Hampden County Beekeepers keeps apiculture buzzing

2021-10-22T10:35:31-05:00October 22, 2021|Country Folks Article|

by Enrico Villamaino

For Jim Stefanik and Sharon Roulier, the Hampden County Beekeepers organization is very much a family affair.

A native of Agawam, MA, Jim has been keeping bees for over 25 years. His daughter, Sharon, grew up learning from Jim firsthand, and officially began beekeeping in her own right five years ago. The father-daughter team was on hand to represent the organization at the annual Eastern States Exposition (the Big E) in West Springfield, MA.

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A day at the Genesee Valley Hunt Races

2021-10-22T10:34:28-05:00October 22, 2021|Country Folks Article|

by Pauline E. Burnes, PLA

Dark overcast skies did not dampen the spirits of the incredible spectator turnout for the 92nd running of the National Steeplechase Association (NSA)-sanctioned Genesee Valley Hunt Cup. This event, also known as the Genesee Valley Hunt (GVH) Races and Fall Festival, takes place at the Seven Nations Farm just north of Geneseo, NY. The venue attracted approximately 35,000 spectators from the region.

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SUNY Cobleskill wows with WDE success

2021-10-22T10:33:17-05:00October 22, 2021|Country Folks Article|

by Emily Carey

World Dairy Expo is the premier place for all things dairy. The best of the best converge in Madison, WI, and this year, SUNY Cobleskill students were among the top in the Post-Secondary Dairy Judging Contest, placing third overall.

This year, the team of four students, coached by professor Carrie Edsall, practiced hard to compete successfully. The team was made up of Erin Curtis, Tesika Kilmer, Abigail Hatch and Emily Hatch.

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Grazing for farm-fresh products

2021-10-22T10:31:44-05:00October 22, 2021|Country Folks Article|

by Sally Colby

Children who show dairy heifers often lead to a life change for a family, and that’s how the Doody family started their own dairy farm.

Although Amy Augur-Doody grew up on a dairy farm in Connecticut, her husband Patrick Doody did not have a farm background. They kept some milk cows and show heifers primarily for their children, who were becoming old enough for 4-H. In the autumn of 2007, when they decided they wanted to have their own farm, they moved to Jordanville, NY and purchased additional cows to fill the barn.

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Beef benefits from genetic improvement

2021-10-19T13:58:28-05:00October 19, 2021|New England Farm Weekly|

by Sally Colby

The beef industry has worked hard to introduce changes that would make beef production more profitable. Shane Bedwell, COO and director of breed improvement at the American Hereford Association (AHA), discussed the role of genetics in rapid breed improvement and how changes have benefited both purebred and commercial herds of all breeds. (more…)

Policy impacts private timber owners

2021-10-19T13:56:52-05:00October 19, 2021|Mid Atlantic|

by Sally Colby

Owning large tracts of forested land is an asset, but it can also be a tax liability.

Scott Jones, CEO of the Forest Landowners Association (FLA), said the organization’s priorities are set on core tenets that will ensure success for private forest landowners, which involves taxes, private property rights and representation of family and private forest owners and markets. (more…)

Transforming your team – Learning to lead

2021-10-19T13:57:31-05:00October 19, 2021|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Transforming the work team begins with communication and relationship building. Everyone communicates, whether it’s with family, friends or those we work with. Richard Stup, Cornell Cooperative Extension, said that in some communications, we’re actively working on building a relationship. “As leaders and managers, we need to be doing the same thing, all the time, with the people we want to lead and have influence with.” (more…)