Tony the Longhorn and Itch get new shoes

2019-07-19T16:22:19-05:00July 19, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by Laura Rodley

Shades of our American cowboy heritage were present recently when Tony the Longhorn steer was present at the Draft Animal Day in Woodstock, VT. From the size of his two-foot-long horns, and his 1,500-plus-pound bulk, it is easier to get an appreciation of the cowboys’ bravery, herding hundreds with bullwhips, faithful brave horses, little sleep and the promise of a fat paycheck. Unlike the cattle being driven to market for beef, this steer is 15 years old, and has been owned by Jim Palmer of Silver Ledge Farm in Gorham, Maine for most of those 15 years. (more…)

Make way for the heifers

2019-06-17T15:58:42-05:00June 17, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by Laura Rodley

Organizers work all year long to bring the world renowned Strolling of the Heifers to Brattleboro, VT. Every year, people throng the sidewalks to watch calves and heifers stroll through town in honor of all farmers and the hard work they do, and to connect people firsthand with the farmers and the source of healthy local food throughout the region. As “Farmers Are Our Heroes” was this year’s theme, many of the cows and strollers alike wore caped crusader costumes or capes. Children at the end of the parade were also adorned with capes, emulating superheroes. (more…)

USDA meat processing in the Northeast

2019-07-12T15:38:20-05:00June 17, 2019|Eastern Edition, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

One of the oft-cited impediments to growing a local red meat food supply is the need for USDA inspection for both slaughter and butchering of direct-market retail cuts of meat. Livestock producers often lament long wait times for harvest dates, as well as the distance to USDA certified plants. There is a perceived lack of harvesting facilities in the Northeast region. (more…)

How to ruin a family dinner – Part 1: Faulty thinking and procrastination

2019-07-19T13:05:39-05:00June 17, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Dr. Alex White, Department of Dairy Science at Virginia Tech, has tip for ruining a family dinner: start bringing up topics that many families avoid, and ask questions like “Hey Mom and Dad – what am I getting from your will?” or “When are you going to retire so I can take over?” or “We should invest in new equipment.” (more…)

Maternity pen design

2019-06-17T15:59:17-05:00June 17, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

Animal welfare isn’t only about physical health. Biologically healthy dairy cows can be mentally or emotionally stressed, and unable to express their natural tendencies or preferences. Dr. Katy Proudfoot, Ph.D., of the Ohio State University has been researching cow behaviors in the maternity pen since her undergraduate days at the University of British Columbia. Proudfoot presented research findings from her own research as well as from that of colleagues in a recent Dairy Cattle Welfare Council webinar. (more…)

A different kind of dairy princess

2019-07-19T13:04:15-05:00June 17, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Courtney Llewellyn

Many people are familiar with the concept of a dairy princess – the poised young woman in the sash strolling around the county fair or visiting local schools to talk up the benefits of the dairy industry. Emily Shaw was never a dairy princess, but she is a different kind of royalty: an Instagram influencer, with nearly 7,000 followers. As @DairyGirlFitness, she inspires others to keep in shape and support the dairy industry. (more…)

A race you can’t win

2019-06-17T15:59:51-05:00June 17, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

While only two percent of the population is involved in farming, injury and fatality statistics indicate it is the most dangerous industry.

Dan Neenan, National Education Center for Agricultural Safety, discussed the hazards of working in grain bins, which are considered a confined space, and how farmers can avoid entrapment. (more…)

They saved my life

2019-06-17T08:11:02-05:00June 17, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

On a sunny day in late May, longtime Ohio crop farmer Jay Butterfield was going about his regular farm duties, including working in one of the farm’s grain bins. When Butterfield found that the auger in the bin was clogged, he used a plastic rod to dislodge it. Butterfield was successful in his effort to free the soybeans, but he also dislodged the crusty surface he was standing on. (more…)