Soil health improves with managed livestock impact

2013-10-11T09:07:38-05:00October 11, 2013|Country Folks Article|

CE-MR-Soil Health (cover photo)East Berne, NY — A family, a farm and a flock of sheep is a beautiful thing especially if you’re a soil microbe under a thick, diverse blanket of grass at the Helder-Herdwyck Farm in East Berne, NY.
Hosts Ray, Erin and Rena Bradt opened up their growing operation to 20 farmers and agency personnel for an all-day grazing workshop entitled “Manage Your Livestock So They Work for You”. It was a snapshot of how grazing animals, properly managed, and dialing in adequate pasture recovery times improves the health of the sward while mitigating the parasite presence. The Bradts demonstrated how they took a weedy pasture and scrubby hedgerows and made them into vibrant ecosystems using animal impact and portable flex-netting while feeding the soil manure and trampled forage. (more…)

Schoharie County’s inaugural Family Farm Day attracts folks from far and wide

2013-09-03T09:44:21-05:00September 3, 2013|Country Folks Article, Eastern Edition|

CE-MR-7-Schoharie Farm Day7by Elizabeth A. Tomlin
Folks from as far away as New York City had an opportunity to visit working farms, see the diversity of Schoharie farms and their products and view the remarkable recovery progress from the 2011 flooding, during the inaugural Schoharie County Family Farm Day that took place on Saturday, Aug. 17.
Twenty-two farms and three farmers’ markets participated in welcoming visitors.
Visitors were given tours, received samples and had the opportunity to participate in a variety of farm activities and demonstrations. (more…)

Letter to the Editor- Has Congress failed the dairy farmer once again?

2013-07-12T09:00:27-05:00July 12, 2013|Country Folks Article, Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

Has Congress failed the dairy farmer once again?
Certainly Congress has the American Dairy Farmer in their crosshairs! (Or maybe in shackles!) It’s time that Congress pulls the trigger and does something realistic for the dairy farmers; and we don’t mean any fiscal handouts for the dairymen.
The passage of the Goodlatte-Scott Amendment in the House prevents the undesirable supply management part of the Dairy Security Act from being in the proposed House version of the Farm Bill. (more…)

Tioga County crowns 50th Dairy Princess

2013-07-05T08:56:46-05:00July 5, 2013|Country Folks Article, Eastern Edition|

CW-MR-0-50th Tioga County D#200Submitted by Ruth Strong, Committee Chairman
The 50th Tioga County Dairy Princess Coronation was held on June 1, at the Countryside Community Center in Owego, NY. One-hundred-ten dinner guests were present for the delicious dinner as the three candidates presented their milk promotion speeches with much confidence and poise.
Each of the three candidates met individually with the judges before presenting well-prepared and very interesting speeches. Following judging, Kristy Alexander, daughter of Arlene and Michael Alexander of Barton was crowned the 2013-2014 Tioga County Dairy Princess by Taylor Mead, 2012-2013 Tioga County Dairy Princess. Alex Aman and Alexis Zuck were selected as 2013-2014 Tioga County Dairy Princess Alternates. (more…)

Strolling of the Heifers

2013-06-14T07:48:58-05:00June 14, 2013|Country Folks Article, New England Farm Weekly|

CN-MR-3-STROLLING OF HEIFERS 1by Laura Rodley
Over 50 heifers adorned in garlands were led in the 12th annual Strolling of the Heifers that occurred on Saturday, June 8 in Brattleboro, VT. Mules, Morgans, tractors, clowns, alpacas and marching bands dressed in cow costumes took part, cheered by viewers approximately 50,000 strong who lined the streets of Brattleboro from Flat Street to the town common, almost a mile away. Festivities started on Friday with a Mardi Gras Street Festival and Gallery Walk. (more…)

Sow the Grains of Knowledge: Organic Wheat, Spelt, Emmer & Einkorn Production Workshop in Centre County for Grain Enthusiasts of All Levels

2013-06-13T07:21:20-05:00June 13, 2013|Country Folks Article, Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, Western Edition|

logoMILLHEIM, PA. [June 13, 2013] The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), the Organic Growers Research and Information-Sharing Network and Penn State Extension will present a Field Day on growing organic grain. This workshop is open for anyone with an interest in locally grown heritage grains, from growers to everyday consumers alike.
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Why farmers farm

2013-05-31T08:56:07-05:00May 31, 2013|Country Folks Article, Eastern Edition, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

CEW-MR-3-Why Farmers Farm 3cby Julia Hudyncia
Dairy farmers work hard every day to bring you fresh, great tasting, wholesome dairy products. Ninety-seven percent of all dairy farms are family-owned and are active members of their communities. Farm families take pride in feeding our world and maintaining natural resources; that means preserving land where they live and work, protecting the air and water they share with neighbors, and providing the best care for their cows-the lifeblood of their business. (more…)

Uniting the ag community

2013-05-31T08:18:15-05:00May 31, 2013|Country Folks Article, Mid Atlantic, New England Farm Weekly, Western Edition|

CEW-MR-1-Uniting the 1 copyby Sally Colby
Trent Loos talks about ag with just about everyone he encounters, and wants every farmer and rancher to do the same. “What we’re talking about is getting everyone in the food business, from food producer to food consumer, in the right frame of mind,” he said. “Not to be defensive and reactionary, but to seek opportunities and to be good listeners.”
Loos is a sixth-generation United States farmer with a strong passion for ag. After realizing that celebrities and vegan zealots had more voice and influence than real farmers and ranchers, Loos began to speak on behalf of those who dedicate their lives to producing food. (more…)

In southside Virginia, Blue Ridge Aquaculture gears for growth

2013-05-24T08:15:10-05:00May 24, 2013|Country Folks Article, Mid Atlantic|

CM-MR-3-In southside Virginia 1by Karl H. Kazaks
RIDGEWAY, VA — Blue Ridge Aquaculture (BRA) is already the world’s largest sustainable indoor fishery — yet it’s poised to get even bigger.
BRA is looking to add a facility somewhere in the western U.S. to reach markets in that part of the country in addition to the eastern markets it already serves. What’s more, the company is more than five years into a research program to develop commercial indoor shrimp production, which would give it an extra product to sell along with the live tilapia it currently produces.
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All Breed Beef Cattle Clinic at Stonewall Farms huge success

2013-05-24T07:55:58-05:00May 24, 2013|Country Folks Article, Eastern Edition, Western Edition|

CEW-MR-2-All beef breed 622by Judy Van Put
Stonewall Farms, located on Callicoon Center Road, Jeffersonville, NY, was the place to be recently for all who have an interest in Beef Cattle. Host Eddie Moran worked tirelessly in preparation of the event, which drew Beef Cattle enthusiasts from near and far, along with his wife, Barbara, who was pleased with the almost-300 that came to their farm for the clinic. (more…)

Corn Growers Pleased to See House Ag Committee Progress on Farm Bill

2013-05-16T07:35:46-05:00May 16, 2013|Country Folks Article|

WASHINGTON (May 16, 2013) – National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson released the following statement in response to the House Committee on Agriculture’s farm bill passage late Wednesday night:
“We greatly appreciate the work by House Committee on Agriculture’s Chairman Frank Lucas, Ranking Member Collin Peterson and the Committee to move forward in the process to develop a five-year farm bill. NCGA is assessing similarities and differences between the legislation and our grower-developed policy.
“While we are pleased the process is moving forward, NCGA remains extremely concerned with the Committee’s decision to adopt a fixed-target-price program that moves U.S. farm policy away from the market-oriented reforms that have made possible a robust rural economy. It is also disappointing the Committee failed to use this opportunity to ensure a Revenue Loss Coverage program that is a genuine risk management option for producers.
“We understand this is only the second step in a long process, and we do applaud the House Ag Committee for holding a markup. Now, we call upon Speaker John Boehner to quickly take up the bill in the full House. We look forward to our continued work with members and staff on this important piece of legislation and urge Congress to pass a farm bill this year.”

House Agriculture Committee Passes Farm Bill, ASA Calls on Full House to Bring Bill to the Floor

2013-05-16T07:19:52-05:00May 16, 2013|Country Folks Article|

ST. LOUIS (May 15, 2013) – The American Soybean Association (ASA) applauds Chairman Frank Lucas, Ranking Member Collin Peterson and the members of the House Agriculture Committee for passing the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act earlier today. The bill, which passed the Committee on a 36 to 10 vote, will now head to the House floor for consideration. ASA President Danny Murphy, a soybean farmer from Canton, Miss., commended the Committee and called on the full House to pass the bill as quickly as possible.
“ASA is very pleased that the farm bill is moving forward, and we applaud Chairman Lucas and Ranking Member Peterson, as well as the entire Committee, for their work on the bill,” said Murphy. “The House bill contains several key ASA priorities including provisions to strengthen crop insurance and continue our overseas marketing programs. We remain concerned with the bill’s inclusion of a price-based program under which payments are tied to current plantings, and the potential planting distortions this program could cause if market prices fall. That said, we believe these differences can be ironed out, either on the House floor or in conference with the Senate.”
Murphy noted that ASA was particularly pleased that Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio) offered and spoke to an amendment that would have decoupled payments under the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program from current-year plantings in order to avoid production distortions. Rep. Gibbs made clear in his remarks that the PLC program, as included in the draft Committee bill, could distort plantings during periods of low prices, and he argued that all crops should be supported at a consistent level, based on market prices. In withdrawing his amendment, Rep. Gibbs made clear his intention to raise these issues again when the bill moves to the House floor.
“We appreciate Rep. Gibbs’ efforts to highlight the potential distortions that could result from a program based on target prices that are coupled to current-year plantings. The avoidance of such distortions has been a core ASA priority from the beginning, and we commend the Congressman for bringing up this concern during Committee markup.”
Rep. Gibbs was successful in including a second amendment that would require the Secretary of Agriculture to report annually on the impact of the PLC and Revenue Loss Coverage (RLC) programs on the planting, production, price, and export of commodities, as well as on the cost of these programs. ASA supported this provision as a means for monitoring Title 1 programs, particularly if payments based on high support levels are tied to current-year production, which could distort planting decisions.