“I’m so thankful and so honored to represent New York dairy farmers,” said Casey Porter of Jefferson County, as she was crowned and titled “2014-2015 New York State Dairy Princess” by American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc. (ADADC). The 51st annual New York State Dairy Princess Coronation, was held Tuesday, Feb. 18, at the Holiday Inn in Liverpool, NY. Pageant emcee Dale Sweetland brought humor and laughter to a roomful of 368 people, mostly dairy farmers and their families. (more…)
by Troy Bishopp
ALBANY, NY — This year’s robust installment of Albany County’s Cornell Cooperative Extension Winter Green-Up Grass-Fed Grazing Conference highlighted burgeoning grass-fed markets, grazing management and the little guys under the soil. As guest speaker, Missouri’s NRCS State Soil Health Conservationist and Beef Farmer Doug Peterson put it, “It’s all about the soil biology.”
The theme throughout the two-day event resonated well with farmers from around the Northeast who continue to hone their skills and minds on how to improve their operations. And lest we forget knowledge is better taken with food, graziers enjoyed “the best conference meals in the region.” (more…)
by Brad Johnson, SUNY Cobleskill, Assistant Professor of Animal Science
At the SUNY Cobleskill School of Agriculture faculty meeting on Jan. 16, John Rose, Project Manager for the new, $38.766 million Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, reported that the expected completion date for the building is June 11.
The 98,000 square foot facility will house the Animal Science, Fisheries and Wildlife, and Plant Science departments, featuring a USDA inspected meats lab, cold and warm water fish hatcheries, and 18,000 square feet of gutter-connected greenhouse space. (more…)
by Brad Johnson, Assistant Professor of Animal Science, SUNY Cobleskill
If they’re not already knee-deep in new-born lambs and kids, lambing and kidding season is on the very near horizon for sheep and goat producers throughout the Northeast. Planning ahead for this stressful and sleepless time can significantly impact the success or failure of a producer’s lamb or kidding crop. (more…)
by Emily Enger
They’re farmers. They’re growers. They’re businesspeople. They’re entertainers. When your job includes doing everything, often the vocabulary at your disposal is limiting. So now, they’re writers, as well, having coined a new term to describe what they do.
“We’re trying to train ourselves to say ‘entrepeneurial farmers,’” explained NAFDMA’s Director of Membership and Resources Virginia Schwarzenbach.
These newly-dubbed ‘entrepeneurial farmers’ make up the membership of the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing Association (NAFDMA), a 501(c)3 Membership Association reaching throughout the United States and Canada. And when these busy folks are in the so-called “off-season” — the petting farms and corn mazes are shut down and the orchard is under frost — they get together for a lengthy, indepth, six day annual convention. This year it was held Jan. 31-Feb. 5 in Kansas City, MO and was titled “Makin’ Hey in the Heartland.” (more…)
by Troy Bishopp
LATHAM, NY — When Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources District Forester and Organic Farmer, Roy Brubaker presented the case for expanding silvopastures in the Northeast to a capacity crowd of farmers, foresters and agency professionals, he drew inspiration from Sir Alfred North Whitehead who said, “Nature doesn’t maximize, nature optimizes.” (more…)
by Pat Malin
ONEIDA, NY — Stability. That one word was on everyone’s lips during a recent discussion of the 2014 Farm Bill.
Dairy and crop farmers and representatives from the New York Farm Bureau joined U.S. Representative Richard Hanna (R-22) at the HP Hood milk processing plant on Feb. 13 to weigh the impact of the new legislation on Central New York farmers, and they all agreed the five-year bill is an improvement over the previous versions.
“It brings consistency of supply on our end,” said Rick Kovarik, director of operations for the Hood plant, which packages 45 million gallons of milk annually. (more…)
by Rebecca Long Chaney
NASHVILLE, TN — More than 8,000 Cattlemen and Cattlewomen arrived at the National Cattle Industry Convention to attend meetings, be inspired by speakers and special guests, enjoy the trade show and network with cattle friends from coast to coast and overseas.
Whether beef producers wanted to learn new trends in the industry by visiting the more than 300 exhibitors in the trade show or take in meetings and workshops, there was something for everyone in Nashville. The convention marks the largest annual gathering of the beef industry and included special meetings of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), American National CattleWomen (ANCW), as well as the Certified Beef Board (CBB). (more…)
Miller’s Mills, NY — Families from all over New York drove, snowmobiled and skated their way to the concisely cut checkerboard of ice on Unadilla Lake in Herkimer County for what many call, an absolute wintertime necessity.
The community of residents, grange and church volunteers, teamsters, fire and ambulance personnel and local highway departments welcomed guests to an abundant ice harvest averaging over 14 inches per 200 pound block. Founded in 1790 by Andrew Miller and his six sons who ran a gristmill and sawmill from the sacred headwaters, the kind folks of Herkimer County have upheld the importance and nostalgia of old-time refrigeration and the tools to get the job done. (more…)
The O-H-M (Otsego, Herkimer, Montgomery Counties) Holstein Club is pleased to announce that their 2014 winter barn meeting will be held on Saturday, February 22 at Roedale Farm in Richfield Springs, NY from Noon to 3PM. A complimentary lunch will be served throughout the afternoon and all are invited to attend. (more…)
by Sally Colby
Like all seasons, winter comes with its own set of obstacles. In most cases, farmers deal with winter weather fairly smoothly, but this winter has been particularly challenging for many producers who have dealt with frustrations from extreme cold and broken pipes to making equipment repairs in frigid temperatures. (more…)
by Tamara Scully
Grazing beef cattle year-round, over-wintering them outdoors, stockpiling forages and bale-grazing on pasture, is becoming more common in Northern Tier states. Omitting grain altogether, or feeding it minimally, and keeping animals on pasture year-round has re-emerged as an environmentally-sound, humane, low-impact way to raise meat. (more…)