Women leading the way in veterinary medicine & dairy farming

2019-08-23T10:50:54-05:00August 23, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by Alice H. Allen

Recently there’s a lot of attention being paid to women working in farming as well as veterinary medicine. There’s even a TV program called “FarmHer” as well as a blog of the same name. To be sure, women in agriculture isn’t a new thing, nor are women in veterinary medicine something new and unique – although in the past few decades the shift from men to women in veterinary medicine has changed from mainly men in that profession to now at least 80% women to barely 20% men. (more…)

Dairy Crawl – A passport to promote dairy farmers & farms

2019-07-31T15:20:39-05:00July 31, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by Laura Rodley

During June six farms in Western Massachusetts created a way for customers and the public to be more involved in their farms and to increase business. They created a postcard-like passport that could be stamped at each business. After all the businesses had been visited, the customer’s passport would be entered into a drawing for a prize from one of the participating farms. This act of solidarity is the hallmark of the farming families involved who have known each other as friends and neighbors for decades. This was the second year for the annual event. (more…)

Facility design for special cows

2019-08-23T10:54:52-05:00July 29, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Facilities for special cows – cows in transition – should be nothing short of careful planning and consideration of herd goals.

John Tyson, Penn State ag engineer, said spikes in calving numbers throughout the year can easily overwhelm a facility. Tyson referenced a study that showed 65% of 170 herds in the Northeast were overcrowded by at least 25% for at least two months, and 4% of those herds overcrowded by 35%. “Transition calving areas need to have some flexibility designed into them to allow for hiccups in management or uniformity that are going to happen on every farm out there,” he said. (more…)

Three generations raising Double D Dexters

2019-07-22T11:03:59-05:00July 22, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by Laura Rodley

When Laura Scott calls her Dexter cattle, they come running. On a beautiful June morning, they gamboled, ambled and ran down a slope to the fence to see what she had to offer them. A rare and hardy heritage breed that originated in Ireland in the 1800s, they are small and compact, about three to four feet high, the size of a small pony, and very inquisitive. They are a dual purpose breed, used for milking or beef. (more…)

Weed management in organic systems

2019-08-20T10:39:49-05:00July 22, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Organic growers list weed management as their top production challenge, but having a plan and planning ahead can help. Sam Hitchcock Tilton, horticulture instructor of Lakeshore Technical College in Wisconsin, advises growers to look at the big picture and manage weeds at each stage of growth throughout the season. (more…)

For all the cheese in Dudley

2019-07-22T10:26:58-05:00July 22, 2019|New England Farm Weekly|

by George Looby

For many of us, exposure to events in our childhoods have profound effects on the career paths we take as adults. For Marie-Laure Couet of Dudley, MA, it was a visit to a cheese facility in the Alps that set her on her path. At 8, her parents embarked on a tour of France that included hiking through the French Alps. On one of these excursions they found their way to a modest Alpine cottage where the occupants made goat milk cheese. This visit made a lasting impression on young Marie, one that stayed with her through her adolescence when her career goals began to take shape. She felt compelled to manufacture cheese. (more…)

Foot rot: Eradication

2019-07-22T10:22:47-05:00July 22, 2019|Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly|

by Tamara Scully

Foot rot is a serious concern for those raising sheep or goats, and eradicating it isn’t easy. Two specific organisms, a muddy and wet environment and high animal density combine to make the “recipe for foot rot,” Dr. Mike Neary, Extension ruminant specialist at Purdue University, said during an American Sheep Industry Association webinar. (more…)

Every cow is special – Part two: Grouping special cows

2019-07-22T10:28:28-05:00July 22, 2019|Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

by Sally Colby

Although every cow on the farm is special, certain groups of animals require extra care and attention at various times throughout the year.

Special cows, whether they’re transition cows or part of a group separated for pregnancy checks or hoof health, will have to be moved at least once. (more…)

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…)