Manure’s deadly contribution

2021-11-23T20:42:44-05:00November 23, 2021|Mid Atlantic|

by Sally Colby

Nearly everyone in the farming community is familiar with the story of three brothers, all in their 30s, who succumbed to manure gas while repairing a pump inside a manure storage pit on their Ohio farm. The story made international news and brought an outpouring of support for the family. Unfortunately, despite ongoing educational efforts regarding the dangers of manure gases, the incident probably won’t be the last of its kind. (more…)

More sleep, less stress and PPE for everyone

2021-11-23T21:01:55-05:00November 23, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

It’s easy to forget – or just ignore – health, safety and PPE (personal protective equipment) during harvest. But Ellen Duysen, outreach specialist and coordinator, Agriculture Safety and Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said ignoring risk during this busy time can be deadly. (more…)

Different perspectives on grazing dairy cows

2021-11-23T20:34:32-05:00November 23, 2021|Mid Atlantic|

by Tamara Scully

Penn State Extension’s Dairy Team has launched a podcast, “Bovine Banter,” where diverse dairy farmers and experts discuss a wide array of topics and provide an inside look at their farms, their experiences and lessons learned. These discussions have recently included interviews with two dairy farmers who utilize grazing on their PA dairies. (more…)

Youth beef advocates

2021-11-23T20:32:45-05:00November 23, 2021|Mid Atlantic|

by Sally Colby

If young people are the future of the ag industry, a new program will take full advantage of their energy and enthusiasm.

The Northeast Beef Ambassador Program, initiated in 2020, provides an opportunity for youth ages 5 to 18 to learn how to advocate for the beef industry. Kaitlyn Swope, director of consumer affairs for the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, said the program is modeled after a similar effort in South Dakota. (more…)

CSAs: Thinking inside the box

2021-11-23T21:56:05-05:00November 23, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic|

by Courtney Llewellyn

Data collected in 2015 by the USDA indicated that 7,398 farms in the U.S. sold products directly to consumers through a community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement. In that year, CSAs accounted for $226 million (or 7%) of the $3 billion in direct-to-consumer sales by farms. Anecdotally, that number skyrocketed over the past two years, thanks in large part to COVID and consumers’ desire to both shop and eat local. (more…)

Natural Rendering: Composting Livestock

2021-11-23T20:04:48-05:00November 23, 2021|Mid Atlantic|

On Oct. 16, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County presented an interesting (although unusual) program: “Bring Your Own Carcass Composting Training.” Held at their Education Center & 4-H Park in Otisville, NY, the program was designed for Department of Public Works/Department of Transportation administrators and field workers, veterinarians and animal producers interested in learning the benefits of composting carcasses. (more…)

Genesee Valley Hunt Races and Fall Festival

2021-11-23T20:38:40-05:00November 23, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

The dog events include a Jack Russell terrier race, a sled dog demonstration, the Canine Grand Prix of dog agility, the Parade of GVH Hounds and a wiener dog race (for dachshunds and other similar breeds). It was amazing to see such a large pack of well-trained foxhounds respond to the huntsman’s horn. Marion A. Thorne, MFH, and huntsman, dismounted from her horse and invited children and parents from the audience to greet the hounds. (more…)

John Deere green gets back to work

2021-11-23T18:26:08-05:00November 20, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

John Deere is back to work. Photo by Troy Bishopp

by Troy Bishopp

ANKENY, IOWA – Jason Aldean’s song is back in play: “You can take a ride on my big green tractor” again.

The 2021 John Deere strike that began Oct. 14, which involved about 10,000 employees for John Deere, is over. The United Auto Workers, which represents the workers from a dozen Midwest Deere & Co. factories, announced on Nov. 17 that its members had voted 61% to 39% in favor of the six-year deal that includes an $8,500 ratification bonus, an immediate 10% increase in wages with further increases over the life of the six-year agreement, as well as other benefits.

Both parties claimed a positive harvest: “UAW John Deere members did not just unite themselves, they seemed to unite the nation in a struggle for fairness in the workplace,” UAW President Ray Curry said in a statement. “We could not be prouder of these UAW members and their families.”

“The sacrifice and solidarity displayed by our John Deere members combined with the determination of their negotiators made this accomplishment possible,” said UAW Vice President Chuck Browning. “They have started a movement for workers in this country by what was achieved here today and they have earned the admiration and respect of all that strive for what is just and equitable in the workplace.”

Deere Chair and CEO John May said in a statement, “I’m pleased our highly skilled employees are back to work building and supporting the industry-leading products which make our customers more profitable and sustainable … John Deere’s success depends on the success of our people. Through our new collective bargaining agreements, we’re giving employees the opportunity to earn wages and benefits that are the best in our industries and are groundbreaking in many ways … Together, our future is bright.”

Despite the new contract celebration, the Des Moines Register reported the head negotiator for the Des Moines Local UAW 450, Curtis Templeman, died of COVID-19. “He fought through what he thought was ‘the sniffles’ to finish these negotiations,” the union reported. “I don’t know that I’ve seen [a] more [selfless] act … He pushed through to make sure he served the brothers and sisters that elected him … Our thoughts and prayers go out to Curtis Templeman’s family and his John Deere Des Moines Works coworkers.”

Improving tie-stalls promotes dairy health

2021-11-19T16:03:24-05:00November 19, 2021|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Could improving the size and function of tie-stalls help your herd become happier and healthier? In a recent webinar hosted by Dairy Cattle Welfare Council, Elsa Vasseur explored the topic, sharing her organization’s research. She is an associate professor at McGill University in the Department of Animal Science and has been chair of the NSERC Industrial Research Chair Novalait-Dairy Farmers of Canada-Valacta on Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle since 2016. (more…)