Keeping it under cover

2021-01-22T12:14:39-05:00January 22, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Farm properties often have an assortment of outbuildings, some old and some new, put to use for a variety of purposes including equipment storage. When a farm’s existing buildings are no longer sufficient to store existing equipment, or if new equipment requires more space than what it’s replacing, new construction is probably a worthwhile investment. (more…)

Riding the waves

2021-01-22T12:04:10-05:00January 22, 2021|New England Farm Weekly|

by Laura Rodley

Coombs Hill Farm sits on the top of a hill in Colrain, MA, overseeing coveted vistas, the same as those frequently visited by sightseers and hikers at nearby Mass Audubon Society’s High Ledges Wildlife Sanctuary with views of five states. (more…)

Shifletts have seen the highs and lows of farming at Ridgeview Acres

2021-01-22T11:57:29-05:00January 22, 2021|New England Farm Weekly|

by Karl H. Kazaks

NEW HOPE, VA – David Shiflett and his son Jason operate Ridgeview Acres, a diversified chicken, commercial cattle and registered and commercial sheep operation in northern Augusta County. They have five chicken houses in which they grow six-pound broilers, and the income from poultry is critical to making everything work on the farm. (more…)

High school senior delves into ag

2021-01-22T11:24:15-05:00January 22, 2021|New England Farm Weekly|

by Sally Colby

Being a senior in high school isn’t enough to keep someone like Clayre Ames busy. The Orange, MA, teen grew up on her family’s farm and started participating in 4-H as a Cloverbud. “That’s where I started to learn about showing and judging,” she said. “When I was 12, I joined Grange, which is one of the country’s first agricultural organizations. I recently became a subordinate member and got my seventh degree.” (more…)

Flurries of activity for first-gen farmers

2021-01-22T11:58:29-05:00January 22, 2021|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Sonja Heyck-Merlin

Bo Lait Farm is owned and operated by first-generation farmers Alexis and Conor MacDonald. The farm is located in Washington, Maine, 25 miles southwest of the state capital. The name Bo Lait is a nod to the couple’s French and Scottish heritage – Bo is “cow” in Scottish Gaelic and lait is “milk” in French. The couple has a three-year old son, Rory. Except for some occasional help from a neighbor and Conor’s parents, Alexis and Conor operate the farm themselves. (more…)

You’re not alone

2021-01-22T12:12:26-05:00January 22, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Enrico Villamaino

The American farmer has for years been described as stoic and self-reliant. And while these traits can be thought of as virtues, they may also contribute to a dire mental health crisis. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) hosted an online workshop at its 2021 convention titled “Farm State of Mind – Responding to the Challenges of Rural Mental Health” to spread the word about this growing concern and help farmers find the resources they might need. (more…)

Farm Bureau covers Washington updates

2021-01-22T12:08:24-05:00January 19, 2021|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Enrico Villamaino

The incoming Biden Administration’s likely agricultural policies and priorities were recently discussed at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 2021 annual conference. The online presentation “Washington Update: What to Expect from the New Biden Administration and the 117th Congress” was presented by a panel of experts. (more…)

‘State of the Chesapeake Bay’ report card

2021-01-22T11:13:41-05:00January 19, 2021|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Stephen Wagner

In recent years, whenever the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) issued its annual report card, the grade has been on the cusp of failure. This year’s grade was a 33 (D+) grade. That grade is most often aimed at their favorite truant, Pennsylvania, presumably due to the close proximity of ag run-off. The main whipping boy is agriculture, though other factors share the blame – rain washing street effluent into drainage outlets, for example. (more…)

The Grass Whisperer goes digital

2021-01-22T12:10:16-05:00January 19, 2021|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Courtney Llewellyn

Dedicated readers of Country Folks are familiar with the work of Troy Bishopp, better known to some as “The Grass Whisperer.” He is a well-seasoned grass farmer, grasslands advocate and a vocal promoter of grass-fed livestock producers. The owner and manager of Bishopp Family Farm in Deansboro, NY (with his understanding wife, daughters, grandchildren and parents), he raises 100% grass-fed dairy heifers, grass-finished beef and background feeder cattle on 100 acres of cool season pastures. (more…)