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Northeast

Updated July 10, 2014.

To have your news included here, please send potential news links, press releases, or articles to Bill Baker at bbaker@dairybusiness.com.

 

Maine Agriculture is “Up” in More Ways than One

Maine's agriculture and farm-related demographics are growing and diversifying each year. Check back next Thursday to learn more about the 2012 Census of Agriculture results as we highlight another state.

Maine's agriculture and farm-related demographics are growing and diversifying each year. Check back next Thursday to learn more about the 2012 Census of Agriculture results as we highlight another state.

When examining the status of Maine’s agriculture using statistics derived from the 2012 Census of Agriculture, the words “up” and “increase” appear quite often. Our state’s agriculture and farm-related demographics are growing and diversifying each year.

Both the number of farms and land in farms in Maine increased since the last Census of Agriculture in 2007. In fact, we have the most farms of the New England states, and the land in farms is up eight percent from 2007. In addition, the average size of a Maine farm is 178 acres, up seven percent since 2007. Organic production and aquaculture sales increased from between 2007 and 2012 as well: the value of aquaculture sales increased from $26.3 million to $75.1 million (ranking us eighth nationally) and organic products increased from $23.3 million to $36.4 million. Lastly, since the 2007 Census, the total market value of agricultural sales increased 24 percent, the average value of sales per farm increased 23 percent, and the value of crops, including nursery and greenhouse, went up 46 percent.

There are even more examples of increases on the demographic side of Maine’s agriculture. For instance, in 2012, the average age of a principal farm operator was 57 years-old, up from 56.4 in 2007. However, this is still younger than the national average of 58.3 years for principal operators. Additionally, the number of female operators increased 17 percent, and the percent of principal farm operators who were women in 2012 increased to 29 percent from 25 percent in 2007. Nationally, women make up about 14 percent of all principal operators. Finally, although the percent of principal operators in Maine who were beginning farmers (those who have been on their current operation 10 years or fewer) did not change from 2007 to 2012, the number of those who had been on their present farm two years or fewer increased 23 percent.

In addition to its general upward momentum, Maine agriculture is unique in other ways.  In 16 Maine counties there are 1,133 farms turning out forest products totaling $8.6 million in sales. We also have 2,311 operations with direct market sales, placing us fifth nationally for direct market sales measured in percent of farms. Five percent of Maine farms participate in a community supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement, placing us third nationally, and we have three counties in the top twenty nationwide for the number of farms practicing a CSA arrangement. We rank fifth nationally for potato acreage, second nationally for land in berries, and first nationally for blueberry (our state fruit) acreage. We have 264 farms that have their own renewable energy producing systems, with solar panels being the most popular, followed by wind turbines. Lastly, Somerset County ranks first nationally for the number of maple taps and the gallons of maple syrup produced and Aroostook County ranks first for oat acreage and oat production.

The rapid increases and diversification of Maine’s agriculture reflects the dynamic nature of agriculture and farm-related demographics in our country, and it’s clear that our state will remain a key player.

- See more at: http://blogs.usda.gov/2014/07/10/maine-agriculture-is-up-in-more-ways-than-one/#sthash.g3QqlkdY.dpuf

 

Montana Stockman Curt Pate Coming to 2014 Empire Farm Days August 6 Only

Seneca Falls, NY – Nationally-recognized stockmanship instructor Curt Pate will share his expertise on cattle handling on Wednesday, August 6 only as part of the New York Beef Industry Center programs at the 2014 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott & Son Farms in Seneca Falls, NY.
The Montana rancher will be available after the 11:30am demonstration on Wednesday at the NY Beef Quality Assurance exhibit in the New York Beef Industry Center, near the New York Beef Producers Association BBQ tent.
 
Pate teaches techniques to put the proper pressure on cattle at a different angle and at varying amounts that helps move them comfortably and without bad experience.
 
‘Sometimes you can not see pressure or understand its effects until it has created a problem. When you force cattle to go into a pen, they may get excited, go on the fight, and become dangerous or very difficult to work. Negative pressure creates stress, positive pressure creates contentment,’ Pate says.
 
An avid environmentalist, Pate is passionate about grazing animals to improve the environment as well as for a profitable farm business.
 
‘We need to utilize the Earth’s resources in a way that works like a good ranch, combining Mother Nature with technology then adding common sense and integrity. With the growing public scrutiny of livestock production, improving our livestock handling practices will help the sustainability of the cattle industry,’  Pate says.
 
‘Proper stockmanship reduces injury to handlers and animals, fosters positive response from the public, increases herd performance, and enhances the sustainability of the beef industry,’ says New York Beef Council Executive Director Carol Gillis.
 
Cornell University Beef Extension Specialist Dr. Mike Baker will discuss chute and pen, Bud Box and other cattle handling systems and offer demonstrations with live cattle at 11:30am on Tuesday, August 5 and Thursday, August 7 at the event that is the largest outdoor agricultural show in the Northeastern U.S.
 
The New York Beef Industry Council activities at Empire Farm Days include live cattle breeds in the beef tent, the opportunity to chat with producers of the major beef breeds, information on the Beef Quality Assurance Program that combines technology, common sense, and concern for animal wellbeing in a consumer-oriented production system, free recipes, information on how Beef Checkoff dollars increase product demand through programs with health professionals, retailers and consumers.
 
For details on the 2014 Empire Farm Days, the Northeast’s largest outdoor agricultural show, visit www.empirefarmdays.com. Show admission is free; parking is $10.

 

Penn State Extension Dairy Team Offers Workshop

“You Get What You Negotiate!”

 

Success in business often hinges on negotiation skills to effectively work with vendors, employees or business associates to achieve a beneficial outcome. The Penn State Extension Dairy team is offering a workshop exclusively for dairy producers and managers to help them perfect the skills needed to bring negotiations to a successful conclusion.

The hands-on negotiations workshop will be offered in two locations, once in Indiana County and once in Perry County. Both workshops begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 1:30 p.m. Cost is $25 per person. 

Dates and locations are:

January 15 – Keystone Restaurant, 190 Keystone Road, Ebensburg

January 22 – Ranch House Restaurant, 3456 Susquehanna Trail, Duncannon

Designed for dairy producers and managers only, attendees will learn strategies for more 

effective negotiations. This interactive program is based on the best-selling book, “Getting to Yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in.” Participants will have the option of purchasing the book. 

Small group discussions and practice in a non-threatening environment will help attendees increase their “negotiation vocabulary” while practicing negotiation scenarios.

This program is eligible for two SmartStart credits from Ag Choice Farm Credit.

For more information contact: Dr. Lisa Holden, lah7@psu.edu, 888-373-7232; Ximena delCampo, xfd1@psu.edu, 717-394-6851; or Rebecca White raw43@psu.edu, 814-863-3917.

 

Farm Credit East releases CSAs and Farm Retail video

The Northeast is home to all types of farm operations, including community supported agriculture (CSA), organic and traditional farms, wholesale growers and farm retail. Farm Credit East works with all of these diverse farms to provide loans and financial services to help them be successful. Farm Credit East has released a short video featuring the Northeast’s diverse farms and how they serve many of these farmers.

In this video, Farm Credit East senior loan officer Jason Hoagland explains the services Farm Credit East offers to Northeast farms, including programs such as FarmStart and the Young, Beginning, Small Farmer program to help folks get started in farming. He also highlights some of the unique types of farming here in the Northeast, including Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA, which is a unique business model that allows the farmer to sell their crop before it is even planted. 

To view this short video and for more information on loans and financial services from Farm Credit East, visit FarmCreditEast.com.

 

 

2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit is Feb. 12-13

Planners of the 2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit are excited about the changes coming to the two day conference hosted annually by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence.  The Summit, which has been drawing brings in more than 500 dairy producers and other industry enthusiasts for two days of learning and networking is being held at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, Pa., on Feb. 12-13.

The Penn Stater Conference Hotel is expected to draw even more new attendees and changes are also being made to the layout and format of the summit to enhance the learning and networking opportunities for dairy producers looking to increase their production and remain viable.  More programming has been added for the crop and forage side of the operations, and new data will be made available that may have profound implications for early life management of calves and heifers.

“In a way, we are emulating the dairy producers we attract to the summit who are trying to improve every day for better results and the Penn Stater offers us an opportunity to expand our programming and to accommodate more dairymen and women,” offers Jennifer Heltzel, Chair of the 2014 Summit.  “We are covering more specialties like the crop side of the business and even offering hands on, interactive programming throughout the conference.” 

Among the new program elements is the “Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Forage Analysis Competition,” which will give Pennsylvania dairy producers and other crop growers the opportunity to submit their corn silage, haylage and cool season grass samples to compete for monetary prizes. The competition will be part of a new “Forage Management Track,” which will be offered as one of four program tracks in 2014. Other new program tracks include a “Young Entrepreneur Track,” “High Production Track,” and “Technology & Innovation Track.”

And as part of the Summit’s focus on the young entrepreneurs within the industry, a special "Young Entrepreneur Reception" will held on Tuesday, Feb. 11, for those who can attend.  “As a member of the under-45 set, I’m encouraging my peers to attend the Summit this coming year,” says Justin Risser of Lancaster County and Vice Chair of the 2014 Summit.  “I have learned so much from just being around all these great producers who attend and present at the Summit, I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t take advantage of all that intellect and experience in one place.”

A demonstration area has also been added where producers can run their numbers through computer models, learn how to measure and monitor corn particle size for best results in formulating rations and more.  For more information about the summit and for information on registering or sponsoring, go to www.padairysummit.org or call (814)355-2467.

 

Apply for Profit Team, Dairy Decisions Consultant programs

Dairy farm families are encouraged to apply to use either the Dairy Profit Team Program or a Dairy Decisions Consultant to bring better decision-making to your dairy operation. Applications are now available and being accepted to receive funding for the 2014 calendar year. Farms can receive up to $1,500 in funding to establish a profit team or up to $2,000 in funding to establish a transition team. Up to $1,500 is available to use a Dairy Decisions Consultant, which can be used to evaluate options for your farm's future viability. To learn more about the center's on-farm business tools, click here

 

Volunteers wanted to share dairy story at "Today's Agriculture" Display

Volunteers are needed to be part of the "Today's Agriculture" display at the 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg from Jan. 3 - 11. The display, unveiled during the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show, has helped to bridge the gap between consumers and the farming community, while clearly depicting how dairy and other livestock animals are raised. The dairy portion of the "Today's Agriculture" display includes two mature cow, a baby calf and video display. To learn more, click here.

 

Jan. 15 is deadline for on-farm Internship Program

January 15 is the deadline for college-aged students to apply for the On-farm Internship Program. Through this program, the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Dairymen's Association and Center for Dairy Excellence offer grants for farms and students to participate in a 10  - 12 week on-farm internship program, intended to provide on-farm learning experiences to the next generation of dairy managers in Pennsylvania. 

To learn more about the program, click here. To read testimonies from 2013 participants, click here.

 

Submit forage samples for PA Dairy Summit Contest

Dairy producers and crop growers are encouraged to enter their samples in the first-ever "Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Forage Analysis Competition." Up to $10,000 in prizes will be given away, with forage samples wanted in six categories. The contest will be held as part of the 2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, being held at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 12 - 13. Learn more. 

 

CDE: 2013 Joint Summary Now Available!

The Joint Annual Summary of the Center for Dairy Excellence and the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania is now available, detailing a review of resources and support made available through the two organizations. To request a copy of the report, email Jayne Sebright at jsebright@centerfordairyexcellence.org. 

 

CDE Foundation names Lamb as development coordinator

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania has named Allyn Lamb as its Foundation Development Officer. In this post, Lamb will work with Regional Development Committee members to build momentum for the center foundation and share its vision with potential contributors and benefactors across the state.

“Allyn brings a lifetime of leadership and insight into the industry to this position, and we are looking forward to having him represent our foundation within the industry,” said John Frey, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence. “Allyn will play a critical role in our quest to achieve the funding goals for the Foundation.

Lamb grew up on a dairy farm in western New York and spent eight years in commercial banking before spending 32 years in the Farm Credit System, with the last fourteen years as president and chief executive officer of AgChoice Farm Credit. Since retiring from the Farm Credit system, Lamb has done volunteer work supporting farmers and cooperatives in Ghana, Nigeria and Sri Lanka.

In his role, Lamb will be responsible for meeting with key individuals, organizations, and other entities on behalf on the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation. He will follow key leads from Regional Development Committee members, Center for Dairy Excellence staff, and other Center Foundation board members to share the story of the Center Foundation.

“I am very excited about having this opportunity to make a difference for the Pennsylvania dairy industry through the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania,” Lamb said.

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization created to support educational initiatives that grow and sustain the Pennsylvania dairy industry. The foundation provides the opportunity for individuals and organizations to make tax-deductible contributions to support educational initiatives within Pennsylvania’s dairy industry.

Since launched in 2010, the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania has delivered on its commitment to the future of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry by offering scholarships, hosting dairy tours and delivering a full-fledged dairy business curriculum for high school level students. The foundation’s flagship program, the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow, currently has nearly 600 students in 33 classrooms participating in the online curriculum.

More information about the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania can also be found at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/Our-Foundation. Donations can be given online through the Center Foundation’s PayPal account.

 More information about the foundation, its core objectives and how to contribute can also be requested by contacting the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or by emailing Emily Yeiser, Dairy Initiatives Manager, at eyeiser@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

 

 

 

Farm Credit East and Farm Credit of Maine merger goes to stockholder vote

 

ENFIELD, CONN. – Farm Credit East and Farm Credit of Maine are pleased to announce that the board of directors for both associations have approved a merger of the two associations. The merger vote will now go to customer-stockholders for consideration.

“This is a good merger for members of both associations,” said Andy Gilbert, chairman of Farm Credit East’s Board of Directors. “Both Farm Credit East and Farm Credit of Maine are successful associations, closely aligned in their missions, customer delivery and optimism for the future of Northeast agriculture. Together, the combined association will benefit from increased loan diversity, a stronger capital base and enhanced earnings.” 

In the coming weeks, stockholders of each association will receive a merger information packet by mail. Voting stockholders include those customers who own stock in their respective association as of September 30, 2013. Each association will hold a separate vote with ballots mailed in early November. All ballots are due by Friday, November 22, the same day that stockholder meetings will be held in both associations. 

“This is an exciting time for both Farm Credit East and Farm Credit of Maine,” said Hank McPherson, chairman of Farm Credit of Maine’s Board of Directors. “Both associations are financially and operationally strong, and together will be able to provide enhanced member service and strengthen Farm Credit in the Northeast.”

 

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Farm Credit East extends more than $4.6 billion in loans and has 19 local offices in its six-state service area. In addition to loans and leases, the organization also offers a full range of agriculturally specific financial services for businesses related to farming, horticulture, forestry and commercial fishing. Farm Credit East is governed by a 15-person board of directors. For more information, go to FarmCreditEast.com.

 

Farm Credit of Maine extends more than $580 million in loans and serves the state of Maine from two regional offices. Loans, leases, appraisal and crop insurance services are provided primarily to family businesses in Maine's agricultural, forest products and commercial fishing industries. The state-wide credit cooperative is governed by a seven-member board of directors, six of whom are elected by its customer-owners. For more information, go to FarmCreditMaine.com   

 

Penn State program to focus on cropping and feeding management

Good feed management practices and having cows receive the best nutrition possible are vital to maintaining profitability on a dairy farm. In 2014, the Penn State Extension Dairy Team is offering a training program on developing a cash flow statement to include a farm’s cropping and feeding management plan to ensure proper utilization of home raised forages and feeds. Now is the time for companies and organizations to schedule a workshop for their producers. 

Programs will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with locations determined on a case by case basis.  There is a $50 per farm registration fee which covers the cost of training, materials and lunch, and allows multiple business partners from the same farm to attend as a group without an additional charge. 

Available dates in 2014 include: Jan. 14, 16, 21, 23 and 30, and March 6, 11, 13, 18, 20 and 27. 

Part of the program will explore the concept of alternative forage plans from a feed management standpoint. Experts will discuss the strategies for harvesting, storing and incorporating alternative forages into a feeding program. 

The Extension Dairy Team can accommodate groups of 5 to 10 farms. It is highly recommended that the winter dates be scheduled as soon as possible to ensure availability of extension specialists. Laptops will be provided and an extension specialist will be partnered with each farm to assist in data entry. They will also work with each farm to revise a cash flow plan if one has been completed, or to complete a new plan. 

This program is eligible for 2 SmartStart credits from AgChoice Farm Credit.

Companies and organizations interested in presenting this workshop to their producers should contact: Virginia Ishler, Penn State nutrient management specialist, at 814-863-3912 or vishler@psu.edu or Tim Beck, Extension Educator, at 717-870-7702 or tbeck@psu.edu.

If an individual farm is interested in participating, it is recommended that you contact one of your businesses/ consultants/ suppliers to check if they are interested in hosting a group of clients.

For more information, visit www.extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy.

 

Volunteers wanted to share ‘dairy story’ at “Today’s Agriculture” display

Volunteers are needed to be part of the “Today’s Agriculture” display at the 2014 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg from Jan. 3 – 11. The display, that was unveiled during the 2012 Pennsylvania Farm Show, has helped to bridge the gap between consumers and the farming community, while clearly depicting how dairy and other livestock animals are raised.

The dairy portion of the “Today’s Agriculture” display is being developed by PennAg Industries, the Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association, the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and the Center for Dairy Excellence to show how dairy cows are housed and cared for in modern dairy facilities. The 2014 dairy exhibit includes two mature cow, a baby calf and video display.

  During the week, a dairy freestall facility will be set up within the “Today’s Agriculture” display, complete with mattresses, floor matting, a bunk feeder, fans a cow brush, and dry cows and a calf from local dairy farmers. Volunteers are needed to staff the exhibit, visit with spectators, and answer questions about today’s dairy farm practices. Volunteers are also needed to facilitate discussion in the milking area at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.

Shifts for “Today’s Agriculture” volunteers are broken into 3.5 hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day of the show. Individuals, families, or company groups are welcome to volunteer. Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the display should contact Emily Yeiser, dairy initiatives managers with the Center for Dairy Excellence, at 717-346-0849 or eyeiser@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

 

Deadline to submit Pacesetters nominees extended to November 30

The deadline to submit nominations for the Center for Dairy Excellence’s 2014 Pacesetter Award has been extended to November 30, 2013. The annual award honors individuals or organizations who are innovators and leaders in the industry working to build a positive image of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and a prosperous, marketable future for dairy.

Nominations must be postmarked or emailed by November 30 and can be mailed to the center at 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Applications are available on the center’s website at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org.

“We are fortunate to have outstanding leaders and innovators in Pennsylvania’s dairy industry,” said John Frey, executive director of the center. “The Pacesetter Award gives us the opportunity to recognize these role models.”

Originally initiated by the Pennsylvania Dairy Stakeholders, which merged with the center in January 2011, the Pacesetter Award is designed to promote and encourage a progressive dairy industry in Pennsylvania. Since its creation in 2000, 29 recipients have been honored with the award.

Individuals, companies or organizations are recognized as Pacesetter Award winners because they have distinguished themselves through accomplishments and/or programs that:

·         Bring positive recognition or advancement to Pennsylvania’s dairy industry;

·         Create positive attitudes about the industry among producers and their families;

·         Invest in a long-term commitment to Pennsylvania’s dairy foods industry; and

·         Create a growing recognition by consumers that a healthy, growing dairy industry is positive for everyone who lives and works in Pennsylvania.

Anyone can submit nominations to the center for the award. The center’s board of directors will evaluate Pacesetter Award nominees based on how their work provides vision, innovation and progress in a unique package, while demonstrating these accomplishments’ performance.

Up to three nominees are presented the Pacesetter Award each year, with recipients receiving a commemorative gift and formal recognition at the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, held February 12 – 13, 2014, at the Penn Stater Conference Center. The award may also be presented at other industry events to provide additional exposure.

For more information about the Pacesetter Award or to obtain a copy of the nomination form, call the center at 717-346-0849 or visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org. Click on “Programs & Events,” then on “Pacesetters Award

 

New York Farm Transfer/Retirement Workshops Set for Burrville, Canton, Chazy

Farmers interested in transferring their farm to the next generation or another buyer will have the opportunity to learn from succession and estate planners at workshops organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Registration is open for workshops at: 

Canton: December 4 at CCE St. Lawrence County Learning Farm, 315-379-9192

Burrville: December 5 at Farm Credit East office, 315-376-5270

Chazy: December 12 at Miner Institute, 518-962-4810 x409.

Presenters at the 10:30am to 2:30pm workshops include Farm Credit consultants Dan Galusha and Bill Zweigbaum, Business and Succession Planning Coordinator Dan Welch from NY FarmNet, and Cornell Cooperative Extension

(CCE) farm business management specialists, and, at the Canton meeting, attorney Lynn Fountain of Pease and Gustafson LLC.

The workshop agenda will focus on farm transfer considerations and pitfalls, retirement and estate planning options, tax and Medicare considerations, how to establish equity, and respectful listening and discussion in family meetings.

The workshop fee is $50 including lunch and materials and $25 for additional participants from the same farm. CCE organizers encourage both junior and senior generations to attend. 

 

Penn State Extension Dairy Team offers “QuickBooks” webinar series

The Penn State Extension Dairy Team is offering a series of webinar modules plus a hands-on workshop for producers to learn agricultural accounting principles using QuickBooks software.

This course is comprised of four learning modules, which will be released two weeks apart.  Online instructor help sessions will be held from 1:30 - 2:30 pm. The topics covered include:

Nov. 8: Module 1: Chart of Accounts, Managing for Reliable Data (Identify Hot topics for registrants)

Nov. 22: Module 2: Credits, Loans, and Assets 

Dec. 6: Module 3: Basic Reports P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow

Dec. 20: Module 4: Using Reports to find Mistakes / Customizing Reports

For those needing a refresher, or new to QuickBooks, a supplemental module on invoices and bills is also available for use.

The final portion of the course is a hands-on one day training covering: inventories, income statements from cash based reports, payroll, managing records for financial and tax-based needs, and participant identified hot topics. Locations will be decided after participants have registered based on their proximity on one of the following dates: January 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 2014.

Registration fee is $150 per person, or $225 for two people from one farm. This program is eligible for SmartStart credits from AgChoice Farm Credit. (1 credit for each 2 hour webinar; 2 credits for workshops) 

Register online at extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy, or download the form and mail to Penn State Extension Dairy Team, 324 Henning Bldg., University Park, PA 16802. Registration deadline is Nov. 7. Registration may also be done by calling toll-free 888-373-7232. 

For more information contact Rob Goodling, Penn State Extension Associate, rcg133@psu.edu, 717-270-4391.

 

Cornell Dairy Executive Program Management Symposium

Calling all progressive dairy managers and management teams!  Join us for the Cornell Dairy Executive Program Management Symposium on Jan. 14-15, 2014 in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Learn what key CEO management/leadership skills will be important within the changing dairy industry, how the dairy farm may change in the future,  and develop and sharpen your negotiation skills while networking with other progressive dairy producers.

Full program, registration and event details can be found online at www.ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/dairyexec/.  Register before Dec. 15 to receive a $25 discount. 

 

Upcoming events

Calf Congress 2013 – Dec. 4-5, 2013

RIT Inn & Conference Center outside of Rochester, NY

More information online at: www.nwnyteam.org

 

Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) Conference

March 19-20, 2014

Holiday Inn, Liverpool

Registration opens in January 2014

www.ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/nedpa

 

Herd Health and Nutrition Conferences

April 8, 2014 – Syracuse, NY

April 10, 2014 – West Lebanon, NH

Registration opens in February 2014

www.ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/HHNC  

 

Middle Managers Conference rescheduled for March 5

The Penn State Extension Dairy Team has re-scheduled the Middle Managers Conference for March 5, 2014.  Originally scheduled for Nov. 6, the conference will help managers and mid-level supervisors develop practical skills to make their dairy farms more successful businesses.

The March 5 conference will be held at the Best Western Premier Central Hotel and Conference Center, Harrisburg, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. 

 The program will remain the same, featuring a keynote speaker, breakout sessions and panel discussions to allow for maximum discussion and learning.  

This program is eligible for 2 SmartStart credits from AgChoice Farm Credit.

Registration is $95 per person. The Center for Dairy Excellence is providing $50 Scholarships for the first 30 registrants. Contact Laurie Porter for more details: 888-373-7232 or lap34@psu.edu

Hotel registration may be made directly with the Best Western Premier Central Hotel & Conf. Center, 800 E. Park Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17111Phone: 717/561-2800

For more information contact Dr. Lisa Holden, Associate Professor of Dairy Science, Penn State University, by email at lah7@psu.edu or phone at 814-863-3672. Or visit the website, http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/courses/middle-managers-conference.

 

10th NNY Dairy Institute focuses on quality milk and components

The 10th Northern New York Dairy Institute course will help farmers missing out on quality milk premium income. The 3-session course is organized by the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Northern New York and Quality Milk Production Services, and will focus on improving farm income through producing quality milk and components.

The course of interest to all dairies consists of one 10am-3pm session each month in November, December and January at sites across Northern New York. Lunch is provided. Producers may register for one or all three sessions. A pre-registration discount applies for all those who sign up for all three sessions by Oct. 23.

Co-organizer and NNY Regional Dairy Specialist Kimberley Morrill says, "Many dairy farmers are missing out on quality milk premium income, may also be spending money on mastitis treatment, and losing income to milk loss. One way to satisfy increasing demand for milk and to reduce costs is for farmers to produce quality milk. This 10th Dairy Institute course will help them

pinpoint areas for improvement."

The November 2013-January 2014 educational sessions will include:

Session 1: What is mastitis costing your farm? Economics of mastitis, mammary anatomy and physiology, importance of milking protocols and cow handling, mastitis organisms, and taking samples for culturing.

Session 2: Cow comfort and equipment maintenance and how they impact somatic cell count and milk quality as well as heat abatement strategies, plus a review of teat end scoring. 

• Session 3: Record keeping for mastitis control, the importance of knowing what strain of mastitis your cow has for treatment purposes, and the value of records to reducing residues and identifying problem cows.

The pre-registration deadline is two weeks prior to each session. The cost is $35 for one session, $90 for all three by the Oct. 23 pre-registration date, or $50 at the door per session.

The course schedule by county is:

• Jefferson/Lewis counties: Nov. 6 and Dec. 11, 2013 and Jan. 15, 2014, at the Farm Credit East office in Burrville;  

St. Lawrence County: Nov. 7 and Dec. 12, 2013 and Jan. 14, 2014, at the CCE Extension Learning Farm in Canton; and

• Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties: Nov. 8 and Dec. 13, 2013 and Jan. 15, 2014, at Mo's Pub and Grill in Malone.

The Northern New York Dairy Institute provides milk producers with access to the expertise of Cornell University faculty, regional and state veterinarians, Quality Milk Production Services lab specialists, agricultural facility engineers, and others. FSA borrower credits are pending. 

To register for the NNY Dairy Institute course closest to you, contact Ron Kuck, CCE Jefferson County, 315-788-8450; Melissa Spence, CCE Lewis County, 315-376-5270; or for Clinton, Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties: NNY Regional Dairy Specialist Kimberley Morrill, 518-564-0498 or 315-379-9192, kmm434@cornell.edu.

 

AFBF appeals Chesapeake Bay ruling

The American Farm Bureau Federation took action to appeal a recent court decision that upheld the Environmental Protection Agency’s “pollution diet” for the 64,000-square-mile Chesapeake Bay watershed.  AFBF filed a notice to appeal the Sept. 13 federal district court ruling, seeking reversal of a decision that gives EPA wide latitude to dictate local land-use and development decisions.

AFBF seeks an appeal to preserve the primary role of states in setting land use policy and determining how to achieve water quality goals. According to AFBF, the Clean Water Act puts states in the drivers’ seat to determine how farmers, builders, homeowners and towns will share the responsibility of achieving clean water.  EPA’s framework puts EPA in control of those decisions.

 

Farm Credit awards $37,300 to Northeast farm programs

Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement Program recently awarded $37,300 to 14 organizations to promote northeast agriculture, support young and beginning farmer initiatives and encourage agricultural youth programs.

The program is a joint effort of Farm Credit East, Yankee Farm Credit, Farm Credit of Maine and CoBank. Since its inception in 1996, Farm Credit Northeast AgEnhancement has awarded more than $1.4 million through 553 grants.

Dairy program recipients include:

  •     • North American Intercollegiate Dairy Challenge (Northeast Region).

New England Green Pastures.

Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets dairy human resources management training.

Cornell Junior DAIRY LEADER Program.

Holstein Foundation Young Dairy Leaders Institute Class 8

 

Cornell University professor selected as 2013 winner of Zoetis Cattle Call 

Rodrigo Bicalho, DVM, PhD, assistant professor of dairy production medicine at Cornell University, is the recipient of the 2013 Cattle Call grant from Zoetis.

With the $150,000 grant, Dr. Bicalho will evaluate ways to prevent retained placenta and ultimately improve overall uterine health in cattle. “It’s a widespread issue across the industry,” he said. “Retained placenta has a link to immune suppression, can cause a significant amount of economic loss and is an animal welfare concern, too.”

The Cattle Call research grant program, in its second year, awards funding to support the development of new products and services that help improve the health and productivity of beef and dairy cattle. In 2013, Zoetis asked researchers to submit proposals to address ways to improve cattle reproduction or develop models for managing cattle pain.

The Cattle Call grant program has been an effective mechanism to establish  collaborative research partnerships aimed at addressing key issues facing the cattle industry, explained Michelle Haven, DVM, PhD, senior vice president of corporate development, alliances and solutions at Zoetis. In addition to Dr. Bicalho’s proposal, Cattle Call also generated new research leads to evaluate pain management in cattle.

“The program gives Zoetis a unique opportunity to continue our commitment of working together with top researchers and veterinarians to discover innovative solutions for the cattle industry,” Dr. Haven said. “Having partnerships with academia are necessary to discover groundbreaking solutions that address industry issues.”

“Industry support allows us to tackle real problems and gives us a chance to develop technologies that can be useful for producers,” Dr. Bicalho said. “It’s a very important project for us. We’re excited to be able to work on it. We’re hopeful we can produce solutions that will help make animals more comfortable, healthier and more profitable.”

 

 

Penn State Extension Dairy Team to hold Precision Dairy Technology Forums

Penn State’s Extension Dairy Team will host two programs on using precision technologies for maximum efficiency on dairy farms. With increasing competition and shrinking margins, new technology can save labor costs, improve animal performance and open opportunities for more effective herd management.

The one-day Precision Dairy Technology Forums are designed for farm managers and will be held on Oct. 18 in Franklin County and Oct. 31 in Lancaster County, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Both locations will feature speakers and dairy producer panels. 

Dairy farm owners, herdsmen, and related industry personnel will learn the positives and negatives associated with various precision technologies and gain the ability to make an informed decision regarding the role of the technology on their dairy.

Topics in Franklin County include robotic milking systems and group calf raising. Speakers will be Jud Heinrichs, Professor of Dairy Science; Penn State University; Paul Berdell, Robotic Milking Solutions; and Jared Yousey, Delaval.  

Program topics in Lancaster will include genomics and future genetic technology, and activity monitors to manage breeding.  Speakers will include Chad Dechow, Associate Professor of Dairy Cattle Genetics, Penn State University; Paul Haskins, Genex; and Ray Nebel, Vice President of Technical Services for Select Sires, Inc. 

For more information, call toll-free 888-373-7232 or contact: Logan Horst, Extension Educator, lug131@psu.edu; Ximena del Campo, Extension Educator, xfd1@psu.edu; Mat Haan, Extension Educator, mmh29@psu.edu

 

Vermont ag secretary  to lead NASDA

Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Food, and Markets, Chuck Ross, has been named president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). NASDA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit association which represents the elected and appointed commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the departments of agriculture in all 50 states and four U.S. territories.

Ross was named President at the NASDA annual meeting, held in North Carolina in September. He succeeds Steve Troxler, Commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Agriculture.

In his acceptance speech, Ross highlighted his top priorities for the year ahead.  Food safety and the Farm Bill topped his list. He also emphasized the importance of bridging the gap between stakeholders within the Ag community.

“We need to end the ‘Food Fight’ – the in-fighting that takes place between organic vs. non-organic, big vs. small, and any other number of divisions. Less than 2% of the American population is involved in growing the food and fiber the rest of us depend upon. It makes no sense for that 2% to waste time cutting each other down.”

Ross also emphasized the importance of increasing “Ag Literacy,” which he defines as a basic understanding of how food is produced, where it comes from, and why it matters.

 

Enter Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Forage Analysis Competition

Dairy producers are encouraged to save samples of their 2013 forages for the first-ever “Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Forage Analysis Competition.” The contest will be held as part of the 2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, being held at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center on  Feb. 12–13. Hosted annually by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence, the annual summit brings in more than 500 dairy producers and other industry enthusiasts for two days of learning and networking.

Forage sample entries will be accepted for the contest from Dec. 1–31, so producers are encouraged to gather gallon-sized samples of forages when appropriate to freeze until the entry period is opened. The contest provides the opportunity for Pennsylvania dairy producers and other crop growers to submit their corn silage, haylage and cool season grass samples to compete for monetary prizes. Growers not only have an opportunity to showcase their silage and win prizes, they will also gain from the new “Forage Management Track,” which will be offered as one of four program tracks at the 2014 Dairy Summit.

Six categories will be judged in the forage analysis competition: conventional corn silage, BMR corn silage, perennial legume silage, mixed perennial silage (alfalfa and/or clover with grass), cool season annual silage (small grains and/or annual ryegrass), and forage sorghum silage. Class sponsors for each category are currently being solicited, with a top prize of $1,000 available in each class. Those who participate in the contest will also receive free forage analyses for their samples from Cumberland Valley Analytic Services.  Sponsors of the Forage analysis competition to date include: Master Choice, Alta Seeds, Kings's Agri Seeds, and ECOSYL Products.

Contest entry forms are available to download at www.padairysummit.org, but entries should not be submitted before Dec. 1. All samples should be from the 2013 growing season, and producers are encouraged to save and freeze any first cutting samples in two gallon-sized Ziploc bags to submit as entries for the contest.

For more information about the summit or forage analysis competition, contact Caroline Novak from PDMP at 877-326-5993 or caroline@pdmp.org or Jayne Sebright from the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-259-6496 or jsebright@centerfordairyexcellence.org

 

Vermont plans ‘whole farm’ planning course for women

Women farmers interested in building a sustainable and profitable agricultural operation through a holistic management approach to farming are invited to apply for one of 17 spots in the Whole Farm Planning for Beginning Women Farmers course offered through the University of Vermont (UVM) Extension New Farmer Project.  Applications will be accepted until Nov. 15 with notification of acceptance by Dec. 15. 

The course is geared to women who have operated a farm or agricultural enterprise in Vermont for one to 10 years. The 10-session course, which includes visits to Lamoille County farms and classroom sessions in the Morrisville area, begins Jan. 7. 

Full and partial scholarships are available to cover the registration fee, which is on a sliding scale of $150 to $500. An online application form may be found at www.uvm.edu/newfarmer. Click on "Classes." 

Participants will learn how to create a values-based farm mission, improve leadership and communication skills and use management tools such as business planning and marketing strategies to increase farm profitability. The course also covers whole farm decision making, time management, land and infrastructure planning, soil fertility and integration of livestock on the farm. 

The course was developed in collaboration with Holistic Management International, with grant funding from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.  For additional information, or to request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Jessie Schmidt at newfarmer@uvm.edu or (802) 223-2389, ext. 203 or (866) 860-1382, ext. 203 (toll-free in Vermont) by Nov. 15.

 

Vermont offers ‘Farm to School’ grants 

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has announced $75,000 of available funding for Vermont schools interested in Farm to School programing. Application deadline is Oct. 25. Any school, consortium of schools, or school district interested in Farm to School programing is encouraged to apply for this for this funding.

 The program encourages schools and school districts to serve food to Vermont students that are as fresh and nutritious as possible. This grant program is made possible by collaboration between the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Agency of Education, Department of Health, VT FEED (Food Education Every Day) and the Vermont Farm to School Network.

More information about Vermont’s Farm to School program, as well as grant application forms, can be found on the Agency of Agriculture’s website

http://agriculture.vermont.gov/producer_partner_resources/funding_opportunities/vaafm_funding/farm_to_school/apply

For more information about the Farm to School Grant program contact Johanna Herron at the Vermont Agency of Agriculture at (802) 505-0590 or johanna.herron@state.vt.us.

 

 

Northern New York Dairy Institute to focus on milk quality, components

The 10th Northern New York Dairy Institute course will help farmers missing out on quality milk premium income. The 3- session course is organized by the Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Northern New York and Quality Milk Production Services, and will focus on improving farm income through producing quality milk and components. 

The course of interest to all dairies consists of one 10am-3pm session each month in November, December and January at sites across Northern New York. Lunch is provided. Producers may register for one or all three sessions. A pre-registration discount applies for all those who sign up for all three sessions by Oct. 23.

The November 2013-January 2014 educational sessions will include:

• Session 1: What is mastitis costing your farm? Economics of mastitis, mammary anatomy and physiology, importance of milking protocols and cow handling, mastitis organisms, and taking samples for culturing.

 • Session 2: Cow comfort and equipment maintenance and how they impact somatic cell count and milk quality as well as heat abatement strategies, plus a review of teat end scoring. 

 • Session 3: Record keeping for mastitis control, the importance of knowing what strain of mastitis your cow has for treatment purposes, and the value of records to reducing residues and identifying problem cows.

The pre-registration deadline is two weeks prior to each session. The cost is $35 for one session, $90 for all three by the October 23 pre-registration date, or $50 at the door per session.

The course schedule by county is:

• Jefferson/Lewis counties: November 6 and December 11, 2013 and January 15, 2014, at the Farm Credit East office in Burrville; 

 • St. Lawrence County: November 7 and December 12, 2013 and January 14, 2014, at the CCE Extension Learning Farm in Canton; and

 • Clinton, Essex, and Franklin counties: November 8 and December 13, 2013 and January 15, 2014, at Mo’s Pub and Grill in Malone.

The Northern New York Dairy Institute provides milk producers with access to the expertise of Cornell University faculty, regional and state veterinarians, Quality Milk Production Services lab specialists, agricultural facility engineers, and others. FSA borrower credits are pending. 

 To register for the NNY Dairy Institute course closest to you, contact Ron Kuck, CCE Jefferson County, 315-788-8450; Melissa Spence, CCE Lewis County, 315-376-5270; or for Clinton, Essex, Franklin and St. Lawrence counties: NNY Regional Dairy Specialist Kimberley Morrill, 518-564-0498 or 315-379-9192, kmm434@cornell.edu.

 

Farm Credit East report highlights importance of farm ‘benchmarking’

Farm Credit East released a briefing report indicating the importance of benchmarking for farm businesses. Operating a farm business can be challenging, but benchmarking can be a beneficial tool to improve profitability. 

“Northeast farmers leave tens of millions of dollars in profit on the table each year,” said James Putnam, executive vice president for marketing and planning at Farm Credit East. “Through financial benchmarking, business owners are able to make continual profitability improvements year over year by comparing their business to a standard and using that standard to compete to be the very best.”

The first critical step to improving a business’s profitability is accurate, current financial information and analysis of that information to pinpoint action steps to improve a business’s bottom line. With this information in place, benchmarking can compare a business to its industry peers, including identifying the business’s strengths, where it exceeds standards and areas where it might be falling behind. A plan for the business can then be created accordingly. 

This report from Farm Credit East explains some of the key measures that are looked at when comparing a farm to benchmark data. The report also looks at some benchmark data from sample industries, such as greenhouse, nursery, cash field, vegetables, fruit and dairy.

To view the full Farm Credit East Knowledge Exchange Report, The Road to Farm Profitability: Benchmarking Can Show the Way, visit FarmCreditEast.com. For farmers that would like to obtain additional information on Farm Credit East’s benchmarking programs email Kristie.Schmitt@FarmCreditEast.com or contact your local branch office. 

 

Cornell Vet College to upgrade

The College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell will begin a $63 million capital project to upgrade and expand its infrastructure and teaching facilities to accommodate increasing the pre-clinical (first three years of study) class sizes from 102 to 120 students. 

Plans call for demolishing 68,000 square feet of existing space, replacing it with 65,000 square feet of new space, and renovating 33,000 square feet. Construction is scheduled to start next summer with completion in fall 2017.

Cornell currently has the smallest class size among top-tier veterinary schools, due in part to facilities that lack lecture halls and other spaces capable of supporting more than 102 students. The fourth-year class size is now 120 students; an additional 18 students, many from Caribbean schools, complete their clinical training during their final year at Cornell in the college’s veterinary teaching hospital, which already has capacity for the additional students.

Additionally, the project will support the growing needs of an annual veterinary conference held at the college that attracts approximately 700 people. Along with practicing veterinarians and students, the conference is attended by veterinary technicians who will have access to Cornell’s new facilities to augment their programs with experiential learning.

 While uniting major teaching, clinical and research spaces of the college, the project enhances the sense of community and collaboration opportunities among students, faculty and staff.  The design includes creating a public auditorium; larger classrooms to expand pre-clinical education, including two additional tiered lecture halls; a dining facility closer to the hospital; renovating existing anatomy, tutorial and student surgery areas; and developing meeting and event spaces, an e-learning center and study spaces as well as a central student locker area.

The project is predominantly funded by New York State with the remainder coming from gifts and other college resources.

 

CDE offers scholarships to dairy events

The Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) is offering producer scholarships to attend one of two upcoming industry events:

• Middle Managers Conference, hosted by the Penn State Extension Dairy Team on Nov. 6, at the Best Western Premier Conference Center in Harrisburg, Pa. The Middle Managers Conference is designed for those working or interested in middle management on a dairy, with the conference held in a workshop format to provide real-life examples and opportunity for discussion. To learn more about the Middle Managers Conference, visit http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/courses/middle-managers-conference. To receive the scholarship, please call Laurie Porter at Penn State at 1-888-373-7232.  The conference will be held from 9 a.m. – 3:15 and is designed to help dairy middle managers and mid-level supervisors develop practical skills they can use to make their dairy farms better places to work and more successful businesses.

• Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania’s November Issues Forum, on Nov. 7, in Elverson, Berks County. The PDMP Issues Forum will include a morning panel discussion on business transformation and robotic milking facilities, with an afternoon tour of Kurtland Farms planned. To learn more about the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania’s Issues Forum, visit www.pdmp.org. Or contact PDMP at 1-877-326-5993 or registration@pdmp.org.  The forum will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., including lunch and the afternoon tour of Kurtland Farms.

The scholarship from the center will cover $50 toward the registration at either event. Thirty $50 scholarships are available for the Middle Managers Conference, with them offered through Penn State Extension’s registration on a first-come, first-serve basis. Fifteen $50 scholarships are available to the PDMP Issues Forum. First time, non-PDMP member participants are eligible to apply when they register for the forum through PDMP’s business office. These are also offered on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org/dairy-producer-scholarships/. Or call the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or email info@centerfordairyexcellence.org.

 

 

OSHA plans random, unannounced New York dairy farm inspections in 2014

Source: PRO-DAIRY

In August 2013, PRO-DAIRY  learned from an OSHA official that the Syracuse office of the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA Division, is developing a “Local Emphasis Program” that will focus on random, unannounced compliance inspections at New York State dairy farms starting sometime in 2014.  At the time of this writing, it is unclear if the LEP will be conducted statewide or regionally.  

 

OSHA can inspect certain businesses based on four priorities:

1) Imminent danger

2) Catastrophes and fatal accidents

3) Complaints and referrals

4) Programmed inspections 

While regulated farms can be inspected under any one of these OSHA priorities, the upcoming focus on NYS dairy farms is related to item 4:  Programmed inspections.  Farms that are subject to a Programmed inspection have:

  • had more than 10 employees, not including immediate family members, at any time in the past 12 months preceding the day an inspector shows up (a part time employee counts as “1”); and/or
  • provided housing to temporary labor (employees hired for a specific period of time and are not full-time, permanent staff) at any time in the past 12 months preceding the day an inspector shows up, even if the housing was only for just one person.  There are several tests for this provision and producers should evaluate further.   

Though safety should be a priority at any farm operation, farms that do not fall into the above categories are not subject to OSHA activities.

We understand that the first task of an OSHA inspector during a visit is to determine if the farm is eligible for inspection activity.  If the farm is exempt, inspectors depart the farm immediately.  Therefore, it is important for a dairy producer and staff to know if the farm meets the OSHA exemption.  This is likely to generate some questions, and there will be regional meetings this fall to help sort out these issues.  OSHA has also been very clear that inspectors will NOT ask about employee immigration status.  

 

What’s being done?

Since the OSHA notification, PRO-DAIRY and the following organizations have formed the “OSHA Work Group”: NY Farm Bureau (NYFB), Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA), NY Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH), and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE).  Our goal is to help the NYS dairy farm community prepare for OSHA inspections.  The OSHA Work Group cooperated with Farm Credit East to develop and record two informational webinars on what to expect in an OSHA inspection (link provided below).  

The OSHA Work Group has determined that due to OSHA inspection issues covering a broad range of topics, currently, there does not appear to be a comprehensive, up to date program for compliance education/training in NYS.  However, over time, NYCAMH has developed numerous materials and trainings that cover health and safety programs relating to OSHA compliance topics.  The Work Group is cooperating closely with NYCAMH to identify gaps as well as add to and update their materials and build on the excellent foundation already established. 

Many aspects of health and safety requirements are FARM SPECIFIC; each farm has different chemicals, machinery and facilities and this means managers must develop a customized health and safety program for their conditions.

There appears to be few cookie-cutter approaches to OSHA compliance and a successful inspection will require thoughtful preparation and ongoing commitment by farm managers and employees.  Compliance will require farm-specific analysis and planning, safety equipment purchases, training and periodic updates for staff (this is not a once-and-done process), routine self-inspections to find hazards, recordkeeping and efforts to maintain equipment and systems once compliant.

The OSHA Work Group is cooperating with OSHA regional compliance assistance staff to confirm the areas of emphasis for inspections, to identify and correct gaps in training materials, to identify conflicts with other rules and to make sure that existing training materials are consistent with what OSHA inspectors will be evaluating on dairy farms.  Our goal is that farm managers get the right information the first time.  The Work Group is also developing a compliance checklist.  These and other materials will be widely circulated as soon as they are available.

 

What can I do now?

If you have not already done so, watch the two OSHA related webinars on the Farm Credit East Web site: www.farmcrediteast.com/en/Webinars/2013SeptOSHA.aspx.

There are a few areas that non-exempt farms can work on right away as part of preparing for an OSHA inspection by implementing the following items:

  • PTO drive units and shafts are properly shielded and protected (same for belts, chains and rotating shafts on other equipment and machinery around the operation);
  • Slow moving vehicle emblems are clean, bright and not faded and equipment safety lighting is in good working order;
  • Farm tractors manufactured after October 25, 1976 are equipped with a Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) and a seat belt in good working order (there are two exceptions:  low profile tractors and tractors when used with mounted equipment that is not compatible with ROPS);
  •  Develop an inventory list of all chemicals, create a file with MSDSs (in Spanish where appropriate) for each chemical and make sure all chemical containers are labeled.  MSDSs can be obtained directly from the manufacturer.

In the coming weeks, the OSHA Work Group will provide a farm safety checklist and PRO-DAIRY will hold OSHA informational meetings and farm safety walks around NYS; further information on these items will be released as soon as details are finalized.

PRO-DAIRY’s mission is to facilitate New York State economic development by increasing the profitability and competitiveness of its dairy industry. PRO-DAIRY specialists have made a positive impact on the technical knowledge, management skills and economic strength of New York State’s dairy industry since 1988. Visit PRO-DAIRY online at http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/index.html.

 

Northeast farm organizations to host webinar on dairy farm OSHA requirements 

Farm Credit East is joining again with Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA), New York Farm Bureau and Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY program to host a webinar to help dairy farm businesses gain further understanding of the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) as applied to agricultural operations. This webinar will be held on Friday, Sept. 27 at 10:30 a.m. 

This webinar is a follow-up to the session the farm organizations held in late August providing insights into OSHA compliance for farm businesses (a recording of this webinar is available at FarmCreditEast.com/webinars). While the focus of the OSHA requirements webinar is on dairy farms, any Northeast farm business is welcome to participate.

Joining us to present this webinar will be Ron Williams from the U.S. Department of Labor-OSHA. Mr. Williams is the Compliance Assistance Specialist for OSHA’s Syracuse, N.Y. office. Previously, Ron was the assistant area director at the SYAO, where he oversaw safety and health inspections for over 15 years, as well as having served as an OSHA safety compliance officer, where he inspected hundreds of construction job sites and manufacturing facilities. During this webinar, Ron will explain what is involved with an OSHA audit and address twelve key areas of concern for OSHA, called the “dairy dozen”. 

These farm organizations are also working with OSHA staff to identify, evaluate and seek updates for compliance resources for farms that will be put together in a one-stop-shop website. This farmer-friendly website will provide dairy producers with answers to their OSHA compliance questions regarding the “dairy dozen” and other OSHA-regulated farm areas and activities.

Join Farm Credit East, NEDPA, New York Farm Bureau and PRO-DAIRY on Friday, September 27 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon to learn more about OSHA requirements for your dairy farm business. This webinar is open to all interested Northeast farm related businesses and free to participate. Visit FarmCreditEast.com/webinars for registration information.

 

Northeast producers earn Horizon Organic awards

Horizon Organic® announced the 2013 recipients of its two annual farmer awards. 

Chuck and Julia Deichmann of Belmont, N.Y. received the 2013 HOPE Award, and Jeffrey and Sharon Sheen of Gouverneur, N.Y. won the National Quality Award for the second time.

The Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Award is given to those who advocate for organic agriculture, while the National Quality Award recognizes the Horizon farmer who produces the highest quality organic milk in the entire Horizon milk supply.  

The Deichmann family, who has shipped milk to Horizon since 2000, received this year’s HOPE Award for their community involvement, ongoing support for farmers interested in transitioning to organic and their innovation in being the first organic dairy farm in the country to install robotic milkers. The family also helped establish the organic dairy farming community in western New York.

Throughout the year, the Deichmanns host field days, pasture walks and school tours of their 365-acre Willow Creek Farm to help educate families and other farmers about organic agriculture and sustainable practices. Chuck Deichmann has served as a valuable resource to countless farmers, both those interested in transitioning to organic and those interested in adding robotic milkers to their operation. He also regularly speaks at organic industry conferences and served on the planning committee for Alfred State College’s Sustainable Agriculture Program from 2006 to 2011. He has served on the Organic Review Committee of Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) of New York and is currently on the Cattaraugus/Allegany counties Cooperative Extension board of directors. The Deichmanns have nationally represented organic farming, including hosting Senator Hillary Clinton at their farm in 2005. Chuck Deichmann spoke at the Organic Trade Association’s Policy Hill Days in 2012. Julia Deichmann also serves as an advocate for establishing healthy eating habits for children both as a first-grade teacher in her community and within the organic industry.

Willow Creek Farm has been in the Deichmann family since 1974. In 1995, Chuck and Julia Deichmann took over the farm from Charles Deichmann, Sr. and soon made the transition to organic. In 2007, the Deichmanns decided to try a new automated milking system for improved cow health and to allow them to spend more time with their three sons and daughter. Robotic milking allows a cow to decide her own milking time and intervals.

Horizon announced two honorable mentions for the 2013 HOPE Award. Andrew Batdorf of McVeytown, Penn., was recognized for a third time with an honorable mention award. Jim and Rick Davis of New Sharon, Maine, earned their first honorable mention award. They have been shipping to Horizon since 2007. The brothers often host farm tours for their community and encourage other farmers to make the transition to organic.

Jeffrey and Sharon Sheen are now two-time recipients of Horizon’s National Quality Award, winning this year and in 2011. The Sheens, who have been shipping to Horizon since 2004, milk 45 Holsteins on their 343-acre farm. Sharon Sheen grew up on a dairy farm, but neither she nor Jeffrey had milked a cow before they decided to start their farm 18 years ago in Gouverneur, N.Y. with 30 cows. 

Horizon also recognizes the top 10% of Horizon farmers in each state whose milk is the highest quality within the network. For consideration, farmers must ship organic milk to the company for one full calendar year, and the average test results for each shipment must be among the best in their respective states.

 

CDE seeking Pacesetter nominations

Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence is seeking nominations for the 2014 Pacesetter Award, which honors innovators and leaders in the industry working to build a positive image of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry and a prosperous, marketable future for dairy.

The Pacesetter Award is designed to promote and encourage a progressive dairy industry in Pennsylvania. Since its creation in 2000, 29 recipients have been honored with the award. Up to three nominees are presented the Pacesetter Award each year, with recipients receiving a commemorative gift and formal recognition at the Pennsylvania Dairy Summit, held Feb. 12-13, 2014, at the Penn Stater Conference Center. The award may also be presented at other industry events to provide additional exposure.

Nominations are due by Nov. 15 and can be mailed to the center at 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110. Applications are available on the center’s website at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org.

For more information about the Pacesetter Award or to obtain a copy of the nomination form, call the center at 717-346-0849 or visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org. Click on “Programs & Events,” then on “Pacesetters Award.”

 

2014 CDE internships available

College students with an interest in advancing Pennsylvania’s dairy industry can apply for an internship during the summer of 2013 with the Center for Dairy Excellence, based in Harrisburg, Pa.

Interns will provide assistance and support for the Center for Dairy Excellence in communications, event planning and promotion of the Center for Dairy Excellence’s programs and initiatives. Interns will also work directly with dairy farmers utilizing center resources. Applicants should have strong communications and interpersonal skills and be proficient in PowerPoint, Microsoft Word and Excel software programs. Extensive knowledge and understanding of the dairy industry is also preferred.

Students interested in the internship opportunity should submit a cover letter and résumé to Emily Yeiser at eyeiser@centerfordairyexcellence.org by Oct. 31, 2013. Interviews will be conducted in November and December.

The Center is a non-profit organization launched in 2004 to enhance the profitability and viability of dairy in the commonwealth. The organization is an initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and provides coordination and leadership of programs supporting individual dairy farms and the larger dairy industry in Pennsylvania.

 

Penn State Extension Dairy Team offers ‘Technology Tuesdays’

Dairy producers, employees and consultants will have the opportunity to gain the most up-to-date information on topics ranging from facilities design to financing to animal nutrition through a series of free online workshops beginning Oct. 8. The 12 webinars take place on Tuesdays, 8:30-10:00 a.m. Registration is free, but advance registration is requested. 

 In their fourth year, Penn State Extension Dairy Team’s “Technology Tuesday” webinars are available to anyone with a computer and a high speed internet connection. This year a Robotic Milking Edition Series has been added to the lineup.  

Dates and topics are: 

• Oct. 8: Precision Agriculture in Dairy Housing. Topics will include the types of data that can be collected, options to collect it, how to sort out what is useful data, and finally using that data to enhance the management. Presented by Dr. Jeffrey Bewley, University of Kentucky and John Tyson, Penn State Extension Engineer.

• Oct. 22:  Robotic Milking Edition: Housing & Management - Characteristics of Dairy Farms Using Robotic Milking Technology. Find out what farmers who have already made the transition to robotic milking are doing on their farms. Presentations by Mat Haan, Penn State University Extension, and Jim Salfer, University of Minnesota.

• Nov. 26: Robotic Milking Edition: Facility Design for Robotic Milking Dairies. Key concepts in the design of robotic milking facilities will be discussed, both benefits and challenges. Presentations by Jeff Preshew, Delaval and John Tyson, Penn State Extension Engineer.

• Dec. 10: Bedding for Dairy Cows: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. This webinar will cover the benefits and challenges of common bedding material types used, as well as effective management strategies. Presented by Dr. David Wolfgang, Penn State Extension Veterinarian, and Dan McFarland, Penn State Extension Engineer.

• Jan. 14: Is Group Calf Housing for You? Feeding methods, housing design, environmental control, and management of group housing will be discussed. Presenters include Curt Gooch, Cornell Pro-Dairy Engineer, Christine Rossiter-Burhans, VMD, Technical Support Veterinarian, Poulin Grain, Inc., and Dan McFarland, Penn State Extension Engineer.

• Jan. 28: Robotic Milking Edition: Financing a Robotic Milking Start-Up. This webinar will present factors that dairy farmers and their financial advisors need to consider to ensure a profitable and successful transition to robotic milking. Presented by Mat Haan and Tim Beck, Penn State University Extension, and Lamar King, Fulton Bank.

February 11: Heat Stress Abatement in Dairy Shelters. Now is the time to start considering modifications to housing to address upcoming summer heat events and their impact on milk production and herd health. Presenters will include Penn State Extension Veterinarians and John Tyson, Penn State Extension Engineer.

• Feb. 25: Robotic Milking Edition: Feed Management in a Robotic Milking Dairy & Success Factors for a Successful Robot Start-up. This webinar will include presentations on feeding management and managing a successful robot start-up. Presentations by Charlie Gardener, Cargill, and Ben Smink, Lely North America.

• March 11: Dairy Housing Lighting for Convenience & Performance. Work on modern dairy farms often continues well after the sun goes down. Effective lighting is necessary to accomplish tasks properly and safely. Presenters include Dr. Daniel Ciolkosz, Senior Extension Associate, Penn State Agricultural & Biological Engineering, and Dan McFarland, Penn State Extension Engineer.

• March 25: Robotic Milking Edition: Relationships Between Humans, Animals and Technology What behaviors are expected from the cows and humans in a dairy using robotic milking, and how are farming routines and activities changed? What positive and negative effects on animal welfare are associated with robotic milking? Presented by Chris Bear, Cardiff University, UK.

• April 8: Getting a Handle on Lameness Hoof health is incredibly important in a dairy herd. The design and management of both the flooring and resting area have a direct influence on overall foot health of the dairy herd. Presenters are Dr. Ernest Hovingh, Penn State Extension Veterinarian, and Dan McFarland, Penn State Extension Engineer.

• April 29: Robotic Milking Edition: Cow Behavior in a Robotic Milking Dairy Because robotic systems allow cows to select their milking frequency, the way cows interact with herd mates and with their physical environment will have a great impact on how well the system works. Presented by Janice Siegford, Michigan State University.

All sessions are held 8:30-10:00 a.m. (EDT/EST.) All webinars are recorded; to watch past seminars, visit http://extension.psu.edu/animals/dairy/courses/technology-tuesday-series/webinars.

Registration for the Technology Tuesdays Webinar Series is free of charge, but you must pre-register for the first session that you wish to attend. Pre-register online at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TechnologyTuesdays1314 no later than noon the day preceding the session. Prior to the webinar session, you will receive an email that confirms your registration and contains the webinar URL. You need only register once; the same URL is used for all sessions.

This webinar series qualifies for 1 SmartStart credits for every 2 webinars from AgChoice Farm Credit.

For more information contact the Penn State Extension Dairy Team Office at 888-373-7232, or Dan McFarland at dfm6@psu.edu, John Tyson at jtt107@psu.edu or Mat Haan at mmh29@psu.edu.

 

Extension dairy cattle webinars schedule

These webinars are geared toward bringing pertinent information to dairy producers, Extension educators, allied industry professionals, and veterinarians across the United States.

• Oct. 7, noon: Economic Benchmarks for Dairies: Eight Rules You Cannot Break, Gary Sipiorski, Vita Plus. There are many financial benchmarks and ratios a lender will use to evaluate a dairy farm’s financial position and progress.  During this webinar, Sipiorski will sort out and discuss eight key items that are critical for a dairy producer to monitor.

• Nov. 7, noon: Discovering Hidden Feed Costs for the Milking Herd, Dr. Michael Brouk, Kansas State University. Unsure of where your dairy's feeding program might be leaking money? Dr. Brouk will help you do a little detective work to identify some common sources of unseen feed costs in a dairy herd. Just a few areas he plans to cover include commodity shrink, mixer errors, refusals, and expense of inventory.

• Dec. 16: Critical Economic Decisions when Raising Heifers, Dr. Jason Karszes, Cornell University. Karszes will discuss some key items every dairy farmer should consider in heifer raising. He will cover the costs involved, factors that influence those costs, the economic impact of the replacement program on the dairy farm's performance, and several other factors to consider in a replacement program.

• Jan. 13, noon: Basic Vaccinology: Why Vaccines Work or Don't Work, Dr. Dan Grooms, Michigan State University. Vaccines are a vital part of maintaining the health and well-being of a dairy herd, but have you ever wondered about what makes them work? Grooms will cover some of the basics of vaccinology, including basic immunology and how vaccines work, as well as the different types of vaccines and important considerations for designing and implementing a vaccine program for your farm.

For more information, visit www.extension.org/pages/29156/upcoming-dairy-cattle-webinars#.UjjxOrwkOUc

 

John Frey from the Center for Dairy Excellence and Dean Joan Hendricks, with PennVet’s New Bolton Center signed a memorandum of understanding, while Walt Moore, Chatham, Pa.; Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture George Greig; Tim Kurtz, Elverson, Pa.; and Dr. David Galligan look on.

 

CDE, PennVet’s New Bolton Center sign MOU

The Center for Dairy Excellence and Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center signed a Memorandum of Understanding to formally recognize their partnership to help the state’s dairy industry increase profitability.

The memorandum was signed by John Frey, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence, and Joan Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11 at the New Bolton Center campus in Kennett Square, PA. 

“This strengthened partnership is going to be productive and good for  and the Pennsylvania dairy industry,” said George Greig, Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture, who attended the ceremony.  I really believe in the Center and Penn Vet and their commitment to the dairy industry. We have a lot of opportunity ahead of us. Anything we can do to further that opportunity is tremendously beneficial.”

The Center for Dairy Excellence and New Bolton Center have worked together for many years and collaborated on a detailed analysis of the dairy industry published last year. The “Pennsylvania Dairy Futures Analysis” recommends a plan of action to improve the profitability of the state dairy industry through 2020.

“This Memorandum of Understanding signals a new level of recognition of our partnership with the state and the dairy industry,” said Dean Hendricks. “I am pleased to see this formal partnership happening on my watch, so we can ensure that we are delivering on our vision to influence the financial health and productivity of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry.”

One of the main architects of the memorandum is David Galligan, VMD, MBA, director of Penn Vet’s Center for Animal Health and Productivity at New Bolton Center.

“At Penn Vet, we are passionate about seeing the dairy industry meet the challenges of the future,” Dr. Galligan said. “We believe in healthy cows producing healthy products, and economically healthy producers operating environmentally healthy farms. It’s a natural synergy for us to partner with the Center for Dairy Excellence, which has those relationships with the farms that our resources can benefit.”

Dean Hendricks described the innovative programs created by Penn Vet’s Center for Animal Health and Productivity (CAHP) that are used around the world. The latest is Penn Vet’s Dairy Analyzer computer program that compares dairy herd production and business performance to industry benchmarks. “We focus on the economics, health, and production of animals, and ways to reduce the impact on the environment,” Hendricks said.

Frey said the pace of change in the dairy industry continues to be a challenge for the state’s farmers. “The goal of our analysis was to better position ourselves to safeguard Pennsylvania’s role as a leading dairy state,” Frey said. “As our industry changes, it will require tomorrow’s dairy farmers to be different than today’s. We are pleased to partner with Penn Vet, an organization that has the intense desire to provide unique resources essential to a profitable dairy industry.”

Walt Moore is the owner of Walmoore Holsteins Inc., a large dairy farm and milk transport company in Chatham in Chester County, PA, that has been in his family for 104 years. In recent years, he started working with New Bolton Center’s CAHP veterinarians to improve his farm operations. He has been able to increase his herd size to 850 cows from 600, and to increase milk production by 20 pounds of milk per cow per day, as a result of the collaboration.

“It’s been incredible,” Moore said. “With our farm just three miles down the road, we have benefited from working with the New Bolton Center for many years. There is a tremendous wealth of knowledge and talent right here in this organization.”

Moore said that Pennsylvania has the best soils, a great climate and is close to the marketplace. “The resources here are phenomenal, and the memorandum is a great opportunity to pool these resources to keep dairy moving forward,” Moore said. “With the advancement of new technologies, we can level the playing field and be an even stronger player in our national industry.”

Tim Kurtz, owner of Kurtland Farms in Elverson, PA, and a member of the board of directors for the Center for Dairy Excellence, increased his herd to 400 from 100 cows in the past year, in part because of the relationships that the Center for Dairy Excellence helped him establish. 

“What really excites me is the big-picture stuff – dairy image and economics – and how we can develop strategic alliances like this one to address those issues,” Kurtz said. “When we do things together, we can really change the tide in the dairy industry.”

The memorandum states that Penn Vet and the Center for Dairy Excellence will:

·   Partner and collaborate at new levels to the benefit of the broader Pennsylvania dairy industry.

·   Provide leadership to identify and coordinate the direction, goals, and resources necessary to ensure a competitive, sustainable, and profitable Pennsylvania dairy industry.

·   Develop and implement cooperative partner resources that focus on improving dairy family business profitability and viability. An example of this would be Penn Vet’s Dairy Analyzer Program that would compare dairy herd production and business performance to industry benchmarks.

·   Engage in cooperative research projects that would introduce diverse dairy business models to provide information that will assist Pennsylvania dairy producers in increasing business viability and profitability.

Pennsylvania has the second-largest number of dairy farms in the nation, but the performance of those farms has been falling behind other states. As a result, the state established the Center for Dairy Excellence in 2004 to form partnerships and coordinate resources to give family dairy farms much-needed analysis and support to improve profitability and performance.

Pennsylvania is a national leader in the dairy industry, with 7,100 dairy farm families generating 10.6 billion pounds of milk and contributing more than $6 billion in revenue to the Commonwealth each year. The dairy industry supports more than 60,000 jobs related to farms, processing and manufacturing of dairy foods, and support industries.

 

Learn more about CDE at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org

For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.

 

 

Calf Congress 2013 is Dec. 4-5

PRO-DAIRY’s Calf Congress 2013 – “Growing the Next Generation” – will be held Dec. 4-5 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center outside of Rochester, N.Y. 

A variety of topics will be presented of interest to dairy producers and agriservice personnel. The focus will remain on the young dairy replacement heifer. The format includes an evening reception, dinner, presentation and panel discussion followed by a full day of speakers ending up with a moderated panel discussion. Topics include:

  • Systematic Approach to Health and Disease – Dr. Simon Peek, University of Wisconsin
  • The Risks and Rewards of Various Calf Rearing Systems  -  Dr. Bob James, Virginia Tech 
  • Colostrum: Quality, Management and Options - Dr. Kim Morrill, Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Calf Immunity: Expectations and Reality – Dr. Amelia Woolims, University of Georgia
  • Calf Vitality Scoring - Christine Murray, University of Guelph
  • Birth Through Weaning: Building a Model Diet – Dr. Mike Van Amburgh, Cornell University
  • Panel Discussion:  “Group Housed Calf Systems Review – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly” 
  • Panel Discussion:  “Assessing the Value of Dairy Replacements: Genomics, Health, Growth & Culling”

Organizing responsibilities have been taken on by the regional PRO-DAIRY affiliate, the NWNY Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Team. Further conference details regarding registration, fees, hotel accommodations and sponsorship will follow soon.  To be added to the mailing list, contact Cathy Wallace at cfw6@cornell.edu.   

 

 

 

CDE Foundation awards dairy scholarships

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania has selected six individuals to receive $1,000 Student Leader Scholarships. The recipients of the scholarship include:

• Hannah Bachman, a senior studying agribusiness management and agriculture economics, sociology and education at the Pennsylvania State University. Hannah’s parents are Mark and Melanie Bachman, from Ulysses, Potter County, and she is planning to return to work in the family’s artisan cheese business.

• Isaac Haagen, a junior studying animal science at the Pennsylvania State University. Isaac is the son of Stephen and Sandra Haagen, who live in Howard, Centre County. Isaac helps on his family’s registered Holstein dairy operation and plans to complete a master’s degree program in animal science before pursuing a career in genetics.

• Kayla Romberger, a junior studying livestock science and management at Delaware Valley College. She is the daughter of William and Kathy Romberger, who have a farm supply business in Pitman, Schuylkill County. Kayla’s internship with Nationwide Agribusiness sparked an interest in either agriculture education or agriculture finance.

• Roxanne Seltzer, a senior studying dairy science and communications/public relations at Virginia Tech. Roxanne’s parents are Dennis and Nancy Seltzer from Selinsgrove, Snyder County. Roxanne recently completed an internship with Pfizer Animal Health and would like to eventually work in the agricultural communications industry.

• Corbin Wood, a senior studying building construction and management with an emphasis in agriculture at the Pennsylvania College of Technology. Corbin’s parents are Steve and Chrissy Wood from Littlestown, Adams County. Corbin’s future plans include returning to his home farm, Penn Gate, to expand the business and take advantage of agritourism opportunities in that area.

• Ryan Zimmerman, a freshman studying dairy science at Virginia Tech and the son of Kathy Zimmerman in Littlestown, Adams County. Ryan graduated 12 out of 162 students in his high school and is completing his first year at Virginia Tech. He would like to pursue a career in either cattle genetics or consumer education.

The scholarships provide recognition, encouragement and financial assistance to outstanding students enrolled in academic programs that support the dairy industry. Funds for the scholarships are made possible through contributions to the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation’s scholarship fund.

To learn more about the Student Leader Scholarships, visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org and click on “Scholarships” under the “Student & Educator” tab. For more information on how to support the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania, click on “Our Foundation” under “About the CDE.”

 

 

2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit scheduled

 The 2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit will be held Feb. 12-13, 2014 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, State College, Pa.

The 2014 Summit is expanded, modernized and changed, with a different location, exhibits spread throughout the conference center and more programming. Companies interested in sponsoring activities and participating in the trade show should contact the Summit Business Office at 814-355-2467.

 

Cornell University receives $600,000 grant from Farm Credit

Two of the Northeast’s largest agricultural lenders have joined with a New York farmer to contribute $600,000 to Cornell University’s internationally recognized ag research and education programs.

The joint gift is from Farm Credit East, CoBank and Sheldon Brown, a Cornell alumnus who previously served on the boards of both organizations. It will support a faculty fellowship focused on agricultural sustainability, including sustainable production practices and how agriculture can adapt to challenges posed by climate change. In addition, a portion of the grant will be used to fund student scholarships.

“As farmers throughout the Northeast increasingly cope with unanticipated challenges and new opportunities posed by a changing climate, understanding the evolving economic landscape and management needs of farming sustainably will be a growing factor in the success of their enterprises,” said Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “By helping Cornell to continue to provide the very best research and education at the nexus of agriculture, business and sustainability, this generous gift represents an important investment in the future of the region’s agriculture sector.”

Farm Credit East and CoBank have each committed $250,000 to Cornell, to be paid over the next five years. Brown, who graduated from Cornell in 1968, committed $100,000.

Brown, who owns and operates a dairy farm in Salem, New York, said he made the contribution out of gratitude for the lifetime of benefit he got from his education at Cornell.

“Cornell helped me to understand at a young age that agriculture is and always will be a knowledge industry,” Brown said. “It is vital that we continue to promote research and education in the field of agriculture in order to maintain the competitive advantage our nation has built and ensure American agriculture’s continued success. 

 

‘A Day On The Farm’ video series released

Jefferson County Farm Bureau and YNN 10 News have just released their news series, "A Day ON The Farm" on Youtube. The five-part series provides news snapshots of dairy farming. The five videos, each 3-4 minutes long, include:

Part 1 - Crops and Nutrition

Part 2 - Milking, Parlor and Robots

Part 3 - Cleaning and Environmental Issues

Part 4 - Vet, Cow Comfort, and Hoof Trimming

Part 5 - Current Farm Policy

The series aired on YNN 10 during the third week of June, appearing 12-18 times per day across northern New York, central New York west to Rochester and eastern New York except Albany and New York City.

 

Vermont Bobolink Project raises $31,000

The Bobolink Project, a collaborative effort of University of Vermont (UVM) Extension, UVM's Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and the University of Connecticut (UConn), raised over $31,000 this summer to protect bird nesting habitat on 200 acres of Vermont hayfields. Most contributions ranged from $10 to $100 with several pledges well above $100, and one household pledging $2,500.

The project offers a way for Vermonters to support farms interested in managing their lands for wildlife by raising money through voluntary contributions to provide a financial incentive for farmers to delay mowing their hayfields until after the bobolink-nesting season is over. This measure helps ensure the survival of the species, which, according to the recently released Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas, has declined in numbers by 75% during the past 40 years. Other ground-nesting species that favor tall grass also are impacted.

Bobolinks arrive here and in other places in the northern U.S. in mid to late May, building their nests in grasslands, which have become scarce in recent decades. Farmers' hayfields make ideal nesting sites – until haying time. The young hatch around mid-June, which coincides with when farmers typically harvest their first cut of hay. Mowing not only destroys nesting sites but exposes fledglings to predation with mortality near 100 percent.

Using a reverse auction where farmers bid to receive payments, the Bobolink Project matched the bids requested by farmers with the contributions to establish a market price. That ensured that all farms were paid equally and fairly, with incentives to keep costs down.

Bids from farms under the reverse auction approach ranged from $50/acre to $160/acre. After examining the optimal arrangement for supply and demand, eight farms in Addison and Chittenden counties received $160 per acre or $1,600 for each 10-acre parcel.

Research and administrative costs for the project were covered by an Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, so 100% of the money collected in Vermont went directly to Vermont farmers.

For more information about the Bobolink Project, visit the web site www.bobolinkproject.com.

 

New York Dairy Acceleration Program announced 

Governor Andrew Cuomo, in partnership with the New York Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation, has announced the Dairy Acceleration Program. 

This program is designed to enhance profitability of New York dairy farms and to maintain a commitment to environmentally responsible growth. The program will be delivered in collaboration with Cornell PRO-DAIRY and Cornell Cooperative Extension. 

Eligible projects assist New York dairy farmers to develop business plans for successful and environmentally responsible growth. Funds may be used for creation of strategic business plans focused on growth, design of new or remodeled facilities, or development of environmental and farmstead plans. Farms must have lactating dairy cattle.

Eligibility:

  • Must be a dairy cattle farm
  • Must have complete financial records for business planning
  • Preference is given to farms with under 300 cows
  •  Must complete and submit an application

Dairy Acceleration Program funding covers 80% of a project’s cost. The farm is responsible for 20%, of the project cost, which is paid directly to the service provider, including any in excess of established limits.

Funding may include:

  • Up to $5,000 per farm to write a business plan or to develop a combination of a business and facility growth plan
  • Up to $6,000 to develop a new Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) for farms under 300 cows
  • Up to $4,500 to update an existing CNMP for farms under 300 cows
  • Up to $3,600 for an initial and combined evaluation of financial an environmental needs of the farm for farms under 300 cows

Business planning to account for the cost of environmental improvements associated with growth of the dairy is encouraged. 

Agri-business personnel who wish to provide services for the Dairy Acceleration Program should contact Caroline Potter for more information at cjh42@cornell.edu.

For more details visit the DAP Web site at: http://ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/dairy_acceleration/.

Read: http://www.governor.ny.gov/press/08192013-aid-for-farms

 

New York: Large herd dairy farm business summary available
The 2013 New York Large Herd Dairy Farm Business Summary has been released, summarizing the performance of 108 dairy farms with more than 300 cows in New York. Highlights from the summary:

Trends from 2011–2012 (same 102 farms)

  • Herd size increased 3.8% to 836 cows.
  • Milk production increased 2.8% to 25,736 pounds per cow.
  • Total milk shipped of the farm increased 6.6 percent.
  • Net milk prices decreased 9.1% from 2011, averaging $18.93 per cwt. for the year.
  • Purchased grain costs increased $0.70 per cwt from 2011, averaging $6.82 in 2012.
  • Farm operating costs increased $0.90.
  • Milk sold per worker equivalent increased 0.7%.
  • Cost per hired worker equivalent increased 1.3% to $37,994.
  • Investment per cow increased 7.5% to $10,157
  • Net farm income w/o appreciation per cow fell 46.8% to $645.
  • Rate of return on all capital averaged 5.75%, a decrease of 53.2%
  •  Farm net worth increased 8.3%.
  • Debt per cow increased 10% to $3,397 per cow.
  • % net worth went from 69% to 68%. 

For 2012 (all 108 farms):

  • 94,932 total cows
  • 2,444,500,200 pounds of milk produced
  • 2,098 worker equivalents working on the farms
  • Invested $97,151,400 back into their businesses
  • Cropped 186,624 acres of land

To obtain a copy of the E.B 2013-11, New York Large Herd Farms, 300 Cows or Larger, 2012, visit www.dyson.cornell.edu/outreach/order.php or contact Cathryn Dymond at 607-255-1589 or ced72@cornell.edu.

 

Upcoming PRO-DAIRY Programs 

75th Annual Cornell Nutrition Conference

Oct. 22-24 – Doubletree Hotel, Syracuse, NY

Register at: www.ansci.cornell.edu/cnconf

 

Northeast Dairy Producers Association (NEDPA) Conference
March 19-20, 2014 – Holiday Inn, Liverpool
Registration opens in January 2014
www.ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/nedpa

 

Herd Health and Nutrition Conferences
April 8, 2014 – Syracuse, NY
April 10, 2014 – West Lebanon, NH
Registration opens in February 2014
www.ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/HHNC  

 

Students earn career training at Farm Credit East

Farm Credit East continues its successful college intern program for college students in 2013 with eight interns focused on careers in agriculture. This year’s Farm Credit East team of eight interns included: Christian Carrion, Cornell University; Darren Fuller, Hamilton College; Samantha Graf, University of Connecticut;  Alyssa Guilianelli, Delaware Valley College; Gregory Murray, Cornell University; Kaitlyn Miller, St. John Fisher College; Ashley Simmons, SUNY Cobleskill; Casey Wells, Western New England University.

This 12-week internship opportunity is offered to college juniors each summer. Interns are placed throughout Farm Credit East branch offices. During the experience, students earn an inside look into Farm Credit East and the various careers available by shadowing employees of all different roles. Each intern also completes a major project, many of which fulfill business plan initiatives. These projects contribute valuable information to be used in reports and future planning.

Farm Credit East, the largest lender to Northeast agriculture, implements the program for individuals working towards degrees in agribusiness, accounting, finance or similar fields. 

Interns are recruited from college campuses across the Northeast. On many of these campuses Farm Credit East has established relationships with campus organizations such as Future Farmers of America (FFA), Farm Credit Fellows and 4H. The organization also utilizes their network of customer and employee referrals to recruit interns and employees. For more information on the Farm Credit East internship program, contact Briana Beebe at Briana.Beebe@FarmCreditEast.com

 

Bailey Brook Farm named Rhode Island ‘Dairy Farm of the Year’

The Rhode Island Green Pastures Committee named Bailey Brook Farm,  East Greenwich, Rhode Island’s 2013 Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year, according to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the RI Agricultural Council. Winning dairy farmers from each New England state will be honored at an awards banquet on Sept. 13, at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Mass.

The Rhode Island Green Pastures Committee chose Bailey Brook Farm because of its outstanding relationship with the community, use of good management practices, and commitment to ensuring a viable agricultural industry in the West Bay. The farm is owned by three siblings – Rodney Bailey of East Greenwich, Gladys Bailey of East Greenwich, and Priscilla Crofts of North Stonington, CT.

Since 1980, Bailey Brook Farm has been a member of Agri-Mark Cooperative, the regional dairy cooperative which owns the Cabot brand, which picks up their milk every day and markets it to customers in southern New England. Part of their milk is also sold locally under the Rhody Fresh brand in conjunction with seven other local farms. The farm has been a member of the RI Dairy Farmers Cooperative, which produces Rhody Fresh Milk, since 2009. Rodney Bailey formed a partnership with his son, Paul, in 1998. Today, the Baileys milk 40 cows on their 225-acre farm. They also produce hay on 30 acres, silage corn on 20 acres, and have 25 acres of pasture. The Bailey family farms land on both Bailey Brook Farm and the adjacent Fry Farm on Route 2 in East Greenwich, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“The historic Bailey Brook Farm is one of Rhode Island’s finest dairy farms and we are pleased that it has been selected for this special award,” said DEM Director Janet Coit. “Including the Fry Farm, the Baileys farm some of the oldest, continually-farmed parcels in Rhode Island. The success enjoyed by the Bailey family and other dairy farmers who produce local milk products is helping to protect and preserve hundreds of acres of farmland that will support continued agricultural endeavors for this and future generations to enjoy.”

Rodney and Judy Bailey have been members of Rocky Hill Grange for more than 50 years, and have been very active in their local community. Judy served on the East Greenwich Town Council from 1990-1994, on the RI Agricultural Lands Preservation Commission for 18 years, and was a member of the RI State Board of Elections for 10 years.

The couple has four children including Kathy Burroughs, Paul Bailey, Cynthia LaPrise, and Iva Reynhout, and 10 grandchildren. Kathy Burroughs is currently president of the RI 4-H Club Foundation, and Cynthia LaPrise and her family started EMMA Acres Farm, which is a member of Agri-Mark and Rhody Fresh. EMMA Acres Farm won the Green Pasture Award in 2010.

The Bailey family is also very active with their local 4-H chapter, which introduces young people to agriculture. While growing up in the 1970s, all four of their children were members of 4-H. Today, six of their grandchildren have been involved in 4-H since 1999 and have shown their Jersey, Red, and White Holstein cows. Three granddaughters have been active members of Future Farmers of America and have served as chapter and state officers. Bailey Brook Farm is one of 15 dairy farms remaining in the state.

The Outstanding Dairy Farm of the Year award is sponsored by the New England Green Pastures Committee, made up of agricultural interests such as state and federal agricultural offices and farm organizations. Rhode Island’s Green Pastures Committee is coordinated by DEM’s Division of Agriculture and the RI Agricultural Council, with members including the RI Dairy Farmers Cooperative, the RI Farm Bureau, the RI Farm Service Agency, and the Agri-Mark Cooperative.

 

CDE to launch ‘Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow’ curriculum

High school students interested in pursuing careers in the dairy industry can benefit from a new dairy focused curriculum called “Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow.” This curriculum offers dairy business and herd management education to high school students interested in pursuing dairy careers. Developed by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania, the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program can be completed in a classroom setting or independently online. 

Students and educators are invited to participate in the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow learning opportunity, designed to prepare students specifically to work in dairy production or agribusiness careers. First developed in 2012, four lessons from the curriculum were successfully piloted in 20 different high schools across Pennsylvania during the 2012/13 academic year.

Courses offered in the fall of 2013 include dairy farm business management, introduction to the dairy industry, ruminant anatomy and nutrition, and dairy herd health. Industry-recognized certifications are available to students upon completion of the coursework. The coursework could also be used to garner articulation agreements for post-secondary institutions.

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania is currently soliciting for organizations to sponsor students to complete the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program. Sponsorship opportunities are available to support one or multiple scholarships to complete the program. For more information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Emily Yeiser with the Center Foundation at 717-346-0849 or eyeiser@centerfordairyexcellence.org. More information about the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program can also be found at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org. Click on “Students & Educators,” then on “Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow.” Or call the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849.

  

Farm Credit East mid-year outlook: Northeast farmers cope with excessive rain

Farm Credit East  released the cooperative’s mid-year Agricultural Credit Conditions report information, indicating that while most farmers are in good financial condition in 2013, the excessive rains of the past three months could result in problems for some producers. 

At this point, the overall extent of weather related problems to the industry is uncertain. However individual farm operations have seen flooding resulting in delayed planting and drown-out in wet spots of fields. Excessive rain can also reduce retail activity and in some situations cause an increase in disease for fruits, grapes and vegetables.

At the midway point in 2013, financially sound farm businesses will have no problem with credit availability. While variable interest loan rates remain at historically low rates, long-term rates have been moving up from their lows. Interest rates for variable and fixed loan products could change at any time.   

The report also shows that production costs for many animal-based farm products, while down from record levels, remain high. Milk prices have declined from end-of-year 2012, but they are expected to average higher in 2013 than in 2012. Volatility in commodity prices can be expected to continue. Grain prices have declined from last year’s highs.

To view the full report, 2013 Mid-Year Credit Situation and Outlook Report, please visit FarmCreditEast.com.

 

 

Horizon Organic presents ‘HOPE’ scholarships

Horizon Organic® announced the four recipients of the 2013 Horizon Organic Producer Education (HOPE) Scholarships, a program designed to  encourage young people to enter the field of organic agriculture. The students, each of whom will receive $2,500, are children or grandchildren of Horizon’s more than 600 family farmers. For more information about Horizon’s organic dairy products, visit www.horizondairy.com.

 

This year’s four scholarship recipients are:

  • Callie Brodt (Ferndale, Calif.), age 19, is the granddaughter of Horizon farmer Jim Walker of the Walker Dairy in Ferndale, Calif. Callie attends Chico State University, where she is majoring in Agriculture Business.
  • Mieke DeJong (Bonanza, Ore.), age 21, is the daughter of Horizon farmers Arie and Jenneke DeJong, who run the Windy Ridge farm in Bonanza, Ore. This is Mieke’s third HOPE Scholarship, and she plans to graduate in spring 2014 from Oregon State University with a degree in Agricultural Business.
  •  Damen Jeg (Chehalis, Wash.), age 19, is the son of Horizon farmer Heinz Jeg of Jeg and Sons Dairy in Chehalis, Wash. Damen, who is a first-time recipient of the HOPE Scholarship, plans to attend Washington State University to pursue a degree in Animal Science.
  • Sierra Knight (Lisbon, N.Y.), age 19, is the daughter of Horizon farmer Bradley Knight of Knight’s Meadow View Farm in Lisbon, N.Y. Sierra, now a two-time recipient of the HOPE Scholarship, is attending The State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam, where she is majoring in pre-veterinary with a minor in biology. She would like to become a veterinarian.

Vermont Ag Hall of Fame inductees named

The Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame Committee announced its 2013 inductees. They will be honored Aug. 28, during the luncheon at the Champlain Valley Exposition.

 

Recipients are chosen based on their accomplishments and significant contributions to Vermont agriculture.  The 2013 inductees are:

• Darby Bradley, well known for his dedication to the conservation of forest and farmland throughout the state of Vermont;

• Elizabeth Carr, former UVM Extension Service educator (posthumously)

• Sam Cutting III, who provided leadership in research needs, marketing and regulatory issues to the maple community

• Robert Davis, former manager of Cabot Creamery Cooperative and owner of Maple Glen farm

• John Deere, Rutland native who apprenticed to blacksmiths in Vermont and took his knowledge to Illinois where he developed the plow that would open up the mid-west (posthumously)

• Thomas Magnant, former dairy farmer and leader in state and national dairy organizations (posthumously)

For more information about the event, please contact Jackie Folsom, Chair of the Committee, at crkdbrks@aol.com or at 802-426-3579.

 

Future co-op leaders explore dairy brand equity

Recognizing the significance young members have in the future of their cooperatives, Ted Sowle represented Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) at the Northeast Cooperative Council’s Future Cooperative Leaders Conference in Batavia, N.Y.

The annual conference is comprised of cooperative members who show potential for leading a cooperative in the future through governance or management. The conference allows participants the opportunity to learn more about the cooperative business structure, as well as cooperative leadership and how a cooperative business builds value to the farm operation. 

Sowle, assistant vice president of consumer marketing at DFA, served on a panel designed to highlight the importance of brand equity. DFA manufactures and markets several well-known, high-quality brands found in grocery stores throughout the country. Sowle’s primary responsibility is to ensure that DFA grows brand equity for each of the brands in the Cooperative’s portfolio.

Sowle discussed the various factors that comprise brand equity, such as brand awareness, a brand’s personality and most importantly, brand loyalty. Sowle also expressed the importance of allocating resources for new product development.

Joining Sowle on the panel were Karen Murphy of Farm Credit East, Ken Voelker of Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. and Rob Smith of National Grape Cooperative Association.

 

 Connecticut first state to pass mandatory GMO labeling law

In late June, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed H.B. 6527 into law as Public Act No. 13-183, making Connecticut the first U.S. state to require GMO labeling. Under the Connecticut law, the label of any food containing genetically engineered ingredients must include the phrase “produced with genetic engineering.” 

The law applies to genetically engineered products that are “intended for human consumption and seed or seed stock that is intended to produce food for human consumption.” 

The law will not take effect until two triggering events occur. First, four other states, including one bordering Connecticut, must enact similar labeling legislation. Second, the aggregate population of northeastern states (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) to enact similar labeling legislation must exceed 20 million people. 

Malloy noted the triggers prevent an undue burden from being placed on Connecticut farmers by ensuring the surrounding region adopts similar legislation. 

For more information on this topic, please visit the Current Issues section of the Agricultural Law Center website.

 

Farm Credit East awards scholarships 

Farm Credit East, the Northeast’s largest agricultural lending cooperative, recently awarded $42,000 in college scholarships to 28 student recipients. Each student received a $1,500 scholarship to apply towards his or her higher education.

The Farm Credit East scholarship program is for college-bound students with career aspirations in agriculture, forest products and commercial fishing. 

To be a candidate for a 2014 scholarship, contact a Farm Credit East branch office or visit FarmCreditEast.com. Applications will be available in January 2014.

 

PDA donates $10,000 to CDE Foundation

The Pennsylvania Dairymen’s Association has donated $10,000 to the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania to support the Center Foundation’s Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program. The donation was made possible through milkshake and dairy foods sales profits generated at Pennsylvania Farm Show and other events.

The Center Foundation has launched a “$20 for Tomorrow” drive through the end of 2013. This campaign will be promoted at upcoming industry events, with giving baskets at Center for Dairy Excellence exhibit booths and giving opportunities included on center event registration forms.

Individuals with a passion for dairy are encouraged to donate to support the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania’s mission. 

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania is a charitable 501(c)(3) organization created to support educational initiatives that grow and sustain the Pennsylvania dairy industry. The foundation provides the opportunity for individuals and organizations to make tax-deductible contributions to support educational initiatives within Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. Since launched in 2010, the Center Foundation has delivered on its commitment to the future of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry by offering scholarships, hosting dairy tours and delivering a full-fledged dairy business curriculum for high school level students.

To support the “$20 for Tomorrow” campaign, visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org and click on “About the CDE,” then on “Our Foundation.” Donations can be given online through the Center Foundation’s PayPal account. More information about the Center Foundation, its core objectives and how to contribute can also be requested by contacting the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or by emailing Emily Yeiser, Dairy Initiatives Manager, at eyeiser@centerfordairyexcellence.org

 

Farm Credit East provides grant to N.Y. Animal Agriculture Coalition

Farm Credit East, the Northeast’s largest agricultural lender, provided a $10,000 grant to the N.Y. Animal Agriculture Coalition. These funds will be used to support a Dairy Cow Birthing Center to be exhibited at the New York State Fair.

The Dairy Cow Birthing Center will debut at the 2013 New York State Fair. Through a combination of live animals and educational displays, this exhibit will allow fairgoers to witness a cow giving birth to a calf. In addition, the public will have the opportunity to learn more about the dairy industry, animal agriculture, veterinary science and the birthing process. This exhibit is coordinated by the Animal Agriculture Coalition and Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

 

Twenty-nine Junior DAIRY LEADERs from New York will graduate Aug. 7, 1:30 p.m.. at Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls, N.Y.

 

NY Junior Dairy Leaders to graduate

Twenty-nine Junior DAIRY LEADERs from New York will graduate Aug. 7, 1:30 p.m.. at Empire Farm Days in Seneca Falls, N.Y. 

The Cornell PRO-DAIRY program is for youth ages 16-19 with an interest in learning about career opportunities in the dairy industry and gaining hands-on experience in the field.

From September 2012 into August 2013, the Junior DAIRY LEADERS participated in eight workshops on team building, personality styles, resume and leadership skills development as well as specific facets of the dairy industry in veterinary science, dairy nutrition, production management, and on-farm production analysis. The program includes a seven-day trip to Madison, WI, to tour dairies and agribusinesses and to attend the National 4-H Dairy Conference.

NY Junior DAIRY LEADER sponsors include the Cornell PRO-DAIRY Program, the Northeast Agricultural Education Foundation, New York Farm Viability Institute, New York Center for Dairy Excellence, DEHM Associates, Select Sire Power, SHUR-GAIN USA, Genex/CRI, Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement Program, Cargill Animal Nutrition, Table Rock Farm, Inc., and the Cornell University Department of Animal Science.

The 2013 Junior DAIRY LEADERS class includes:

Cayuga County: Amy Stranger

Cattaraugus County: Brandon Gross

Delaware County: Kasey Hulbert, Jonathan VanValkenburgh

Erie County: Avery Richmond

Genesee County: Connor Nesbitt, Brittany Mowry

Herkimer County: Hannah Douglas, Andrew Chlus

Jefferson County: Erik Shelmidine, Casey Porter

Oneida County: Emily Dibble, Taylor Short, Nicholas Finn, Wayne Wratten

Ontario County: Peter Record, Rachel Holtz

Otsego County: Lauren Hill, Alexis Joy, Peter Gartung

Oswego County: Makayla Folwer

Rensselaer County: Courtney Luskin

Schoharie County: Kayla Stanton

St. Lawrence County: Reilly Pierce

Tompkins County: Hannah Baker, Eleni Rigas

Tioga County: Kristy Alexander

Wyoming County: Chelsey Downs, Alton Rudgers.

For details on the Junior DAIRY LEADER Program, contact Deborah Grusenmeyer at 607-255-0656, djc27@cornell.edu

 

FDA, DOJ takes action against Vermont dairy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that the United States District Court for the District of Vermont entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against Lawson Farm of Irasburg, Vt., its owner, Robert Lawson, and its manager, George R. Lawson, for selling cows and bull calves for human food that contain illegal drug residues. 

The decree, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Consumer Protection Branch and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont, prevents Lawson Farm, Robert Lawson, and George Lawson from purchasing or selling any animals for use as food unless and until they take certain actions to assure that animals with illegal drug residues do not enter the food supply. It also requires the defendants to keep written records to identify which animals have been medicated and to maintain a drug inventory. Previous FDA inspections of defendants’ operations found recurring violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act that defendants failed to correct.

The FDA previously issued a Warning Letter to Lawson Farm for similar violations. The request for injunction states that FDA inspections of the farm revealed that defendants administered animal drugs, including penicillin, in a manner not specified on the label, without a prescription and did not maintain adequate treatment records to prevent treated cattle from entering the food supply. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service reports illegal drug residues to the FDA, which has the responsibility of investigating the misuse of veterinary drugs in food animals.  The FDA can take enforcement actions, such as issuing warning letters and injunctions, to companies in violation of the Act.

 

CDE documents dairy herd health care

Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence has released a series of case studies focused on animal welfare and herd health standard operating procedures. This report offers a look into how standard operating procedures improved herd health care on nine Pennsylvania dairy farms. The report was made possible through a grant provided by the Pennsylvania Soybean Board.

The case study report is available under the “Business Tools” section of the center’s website at www.centerfordairyexcellence.org. It shares key findings from a “Dairy Animal Welfare and Herd Health Care” project that the Center for Dairy Excellence initiated in 2011 to help nine participating farms address a cow care bottleneck on their farm. The nine farms received a $1,000 grant from the center to work with their herd veterinarian and others in a team environment to create standard operation procedures to improve the resolve the identified bottleneck.

To view the report, visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org and click on “Business Tools.” Then look under the “Dairy Farm Case Studies” section for Herd Health Care. For more information, contact the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or info@centerfordairyexcellence.org

 

Pennsylvania Dairy Summit changing venue, announces forage competition

The 2014 Pennsylvania Dairy Summit will be held Feb. 12-13, at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center. Hosted annually by the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania and the Center for Dairy Excellence, the annual summit brings together more than 500 dairy producers and other industry enthusiasts for two days of learning and networking, according to Jennifer Heltzel, event chair.

Among the new program elements in 2014 is the “Pennsylvania Dairy Summit Forage Analysis Competition,” which will give Pennsylvania dairy producers and other crop growers the opportunity to submit their corn silage, haylage and cool season grass samples to compete for monetary prizes. The competition will be part of a new “Forage Management Track,” which will be offered as one of four program tracks in 2014.

Six categories will be judged in the forage analysis competition: conventional corn silage, BMR corn silage, perennial legume silage, mixed perennial silage (alfalfa and/or clover with grass), cool season annual silage (small grains and/or annual ryegrass), and forage sorghum silage. Class sponsors for each category are currently being solicited, with a top prize of $1,000 available in each class. Those who participate in the contest will also receive free forage analyses for their samples from Cumberland Valley Analytic Services

More details regarding the competition will be released in August and contest entries will be collected in December. All samples should be from the 2013 growing season, and producers are encouraged to save and freeze any first cutting samples in two gallon-sized Ziploc bags to submit as entries for the contest.

 For more information about the summit or forage analysis competition, contact Caroline Novak from PDMP at 877-326-5993 or caroline@pdmp.org or Jayne Sebright from the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-259-6496 or jsebright@centerfordairyexcellence.org.  
 

Hershey Company supports CDE Foundation 

The Hershey Company has donated $10,000 to the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania to support educational resources for Pennsylvania’s dairy industry. Hershey’s contribution will go directly to support the Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow platform, which funds a dairy business curriculum, dairy tour and other resources for high school students.

“Milton Hershey chose Central Pennsylvania as the location for his chocolate plant, in part, because of the high-quality milk produced on local dairy farms,” said Frank Day, vice president of global commodities for The Hershey Company, who also serves on the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation Board of Directors. “Hershey’s contribution to the Center Foundation is just one way to say thanks to Pennsylvania’s dairyland for being a valuable partner over the past 100 years.”

The Hershey Company continues to source fresh milk daily from Pennsylvania dairy farms for its chocolate manufacturing plants located in Hershey, Pa.   

The Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania was established in 2011 as a charitable 501(c)(3) organization to support educational initiatives that grow and sustain the Pennsylvania dairy industry. The foundation provides the opportunity for individuals and organizations to make tax-deductible contributions to support educational initiatives within Pennsylvania’s dairy industry.

 More information regarding the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania, its core objectives and how to contribute can be found online atwww.centerfordairyexcellence.org or by contacting the Center for Dairy Excellence at 717-346-0849 or by emailing Emily Yeiser, Dairy Initiatives Manager, at eyeiser@centerfordairyexcellence.org

 

NNY farms test cover crops for dairy forages

Farmers in northern New York and a Cornell University research team are evaluating the value of planting winter cereal crops, such as triticale, wheat and cereal rye, as cover crops for spring harvest as a forage for dairy cows. 

The farmer-driven Northern New York (NNY) Agricultural Development Program funded two years of cover crop trials on 11 North Country dairy farms in 2011-2012. Eight NNY farms are participating in 2013 trials to learn how much nitrogen is needed for winter cereal crops for harvest in May as forage for dairy cows.

The research focus has included the amount of nitrogen (N) taken up by the cover crop seeded after corn silage harvest; the amount of N that can be credited for use by the spring-planted crop after the cover crop is harvested or plowed into the soil; and the yield and forage quality that can be expected from harvesting the cover crop. Among the trials:

 • At McKnight’s River Breeze Farm in Waddington, N.Y., Travis McKnight successfully harvested triticale planted in early October. 

 • Yields at Mapleview Dairy in Madrid, N.Y., were excellent in 2011 and 2012, but the trial this past winter showed that without snow cover, triticale can winterkill with prolonged periods of exposure to low temperatures. 

• Trials on these St. Lawrence County farms show the potential for cover crops to provide excellent yields of high quality forage. The trials also demonstrate that attention to recommended crop management practices, such as seed bed preparation, is critical to success. 

More information on this cover crop research is on the Cornell Nutrient Management Spear website at http://nmsp.cals.cornell.edu. Details for the cover crops in corn silage systems are posted at www.nnyagdev.org

 

 

 

Poster showcases Pennsylvania dairy farm families

The Center for Dairy Excellence has partnered with the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program and the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association to release a new “Something to Treasure” brochure that showcases the benefits that Pennsylvania dairy farm families bring to their local communities. The attractive 2 ft. by 3 ft. poster complements the Center for Dairy Excellence’s “Something to Treasure” tri-fold brochure, released in 2010 to highlight the economic, environmental and sociological benefits a dairy farm brings to a community.

With photos of three Pennsylvania dairy farm families, the poster is available free of charge to educate non-farm neighbors and community leaders about contributions of local dairy farms. The poster features the “Your Milk Comes from a Good Place” logo to tie into the regional campaign introduced in 2011 by the Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association.

Copies of the full-color “Something to Treasure” tri-fold brochure are also available at no cost to farmers, agribusiness members, civic leaders and others who want to educate the general public about the dairy industry. Ideal for distributing to community leaders, economic planners and general consumers, both the poster and brochure could be used at farm tours, dairy princess promotions, community events or as part of scheduled presentations. They can also be made available at visitor centers and other community meeting places.

To order the “Something to Treasure” poster and brochures, call the center at 717-364-0849 or visit www.centerfordairyexcellence.org. Click on “Advocacy and Outreach,” then on “Reach Out to the Community.”

 

Farm Credit East releases ‘healthcare reform’ video for ag producers

One of the challenging regulatory requirements facing many farm businesses is compliance with the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (health care reform). To help farm employers better understand these provisions, Farm Credit East joined with Cornell Cooperative Extension and other organizations to sponsor a seminar in Syracuse, N.Y. A segment of this seminar was recorded and is now available to view. To view the recording of this seminar, visit FarmCreditEast.com.

This video segment features Sheldon Blumling, partner with Fischer and Phillips, LLP, as he talks about the key issues of healthcare reform for agricultural producers. Topics covered in the presentation include: the big picture of what healthcare reform means; employer play or pay mandate; and what employers should be doing now to prepare. 

Understanding the Provisions of the Affordable Care Act seminar was coordinated by Cornell University. Sponsors included Cornell Cooperative Extension, New York State Horticultural Society, Agricultural Affiliates, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairylea Milk Cooperative, Farm Credit East and the Northeast Dairy Producers Association. The seminar recording was made possible by Farm Credit East.

 

Pennsylvania: How much is dairy worth to your community? 

Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence has a new web-based calculator to help determine the value of the dairy industry to local communities.

Pennsylvania's local communities are stronger because of their dairy farms. Dairy farms bring valuable economic revenue, good jobs and environmental benefits to a local community.

Do you know what dairy is worth to your community? Click here to find out.

 

Northeast dairy farm income down in 2012

Northeast dairy farmers’ net earnings fell by 48% in 2012, according to Farm Credit East, the Northeast’s largest ag lending cooperative.

The information, compiled in Farm Credit’s ”2012 Northeast Dairy Farm Summary” report, shows net earnings per cow for participating dairy farms decreased to $415/cow, down from $797/cow in 2011. For the third year in a row, cash flow on the dairy farms was more than sufficient to meet financial commitments, including operating expenses, debt repayment, family living and income taxes. Net worth held steady at 72%. 

Farm Credit East, in conjunction with Yankee Farm Credit and Farm Credit of Maine, compile the annual Northeast Dairy Farm Summary that looks at farms from New York, New England and New Jersey. The summary reviews all aspects of dairy financial information from participating dairy farm businesses. This year, 504 dairy farms participated.

Farm Credit East will host a webinar to provide an overview of the report, April 29, 10:30-11:30 a.m. (Eastern). The free webinar will also include reaction and commentary from an expert panel. Visit FarmCreditEast.com/webinars for registration information.

For further highlights on the 2012 Northeast Dairy Farm Summary, or to purchase a copy, interested parties can check FarmCreditEast.com

Farm Credit East extends more than $4.69 billion in loans and has 19 local offices in its six-state service area. In addition to loans and leases, the organization also offers a full range of agriculturally specific financial services for businesses related to farming, horticulture, forestry and commercial fishing. Farm Credit East is governed by a 15-person board of directors. For more information, go to FarmCreditEast.com

 

Genex DG29 blood pregnancy testing expanding to Northeast lab

Dairy One Cooperative Inc. of Ithaca, N.Y., has joined the list of certified DG29 testing laboratories to for  DG29 bovine blood pregnancy testing. Other certified labs include AgSource Laboratories in Menomonie, Wis., and Jerome, Idaho.

The DG29 test is over 98.7% accurate, according to research published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal. To use the test, producers draw blood samples from cattle on the farm or ranch, forward the samples to a certified laboratory, and receive pregnancy diagnosis results via mail or email. The test detects a specific pregnancy-related protein within the bovine’s blood sample. Based on the presence of that protein, positive (pregnant) or negative (open) results are reported.

For best results, testing should be conducted on cows or heifers 29 days or more post-breeding. Cows must also be at least 90 days post-calving before blood samples are collected.

Genex Cooperative, Inc. offers several DG29 purchasing options. Complete test kits come in packages of 24, 48, 72 or 144. The complete kit include blood tubes, disposable needles, needle holders, shipping containers, test analyses and shipping to the farm or ranch. Kit components are also sold individually.

Purchase DG29 from your local Genex representative, by phone at 888-333-1783 or online through the Genex Profit Shop at profitshop.crinet.com.

 

Pennsylvania CDE unveils new website

Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) has unveiled a newly designed website (www.centerfordairyexcellence.org).

On the homepage of the new website, visitors will find CDE’s upcoming events, social media posts and latest press releases. They’ll also find a listing of “Dairy Margins,” based on current milk and feed prices, which are updated weekly.

The new website design has six main sections, including:

· Business Tools, where users will find information on the center’s on-farm resource programs, risk management tools, and business planning template. Case studies on dairy farm business transformation are also included in this section.

· Dairy Information, where links to the latest market and industry reports from the center are included. Users can subscribe to blog posts of Markets and Management Updates and Dairy Week in Review issues, as well as the latest columns from Center for Dairy Excellence Executive Director John Frey.

· Programs and Events, which will house a dairy events calendar that any organization can upload their dairy events to. Information on the center’s core events, including the “Dairy PROS Series” and the “Open House and Dairy Tours” can be found in this section as well.

· Advocacy and Outreach, where users can find resources to help them share their dairy story with their non-farm neighbors, key leaders in their communities and with students and educators.

· Students and Educators, which includes information on the center’s resources for dairy youth and its “Discover Dairy” Lesson Series for upper elementary and middle school classrooms. Links to the “Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow” curriculum and the center’s scholarship program are also here.

· Dairy’s Value, a section created for community leaders to learn more about the benefits dairy farms bring includes a map showing how much dairy is worth in each county and an overview of Pennsylvania’s dairy industry.

To view the new website, go to www.centerfordairyexcellence.org.

 

Group-Housed Calf Symposium proceedings available

Select presentations from 2012 Group-Housed Calf Systems Symposium and 2013 Operations Managers Conference are now available for download.  Visit the PRO-DAIRY Conferences and Events website and click on the conference you are interested in to access these files on the Proceedings page.  Additional softcover copies are also available for purchase.

 

Pennsylvania age at first calving continues to decline

Holstein herds in Pennsylvania have made progress in reducing the average age of heifers at first calving, based on dairy herd management records. 

Extension data collected in 1985 found average age of Pennsylvania Holsteins calving for the first time was 26.9 months. In summarizing 2011 DRMS data, age at first calving was down to 25.5 months.

Age at first calving can be a large factor in average cost of raising heifers. Keeping un-bred heifers often costs $50-$70 a month, and extended calving ages can lead to large increases in annual replacement costs for the dairy farm. Current recommendations are for age at calving to be 23 to 24 months of age.

For more information, contact Jud Heinrichs, Professor of Dairy Science, or Coleen Jones, Research Associate.

 

Vermont studies formaldehyde foot baths, air quality risks

There is no evidence that spreading manure from farms that use formaldehyde foot baths influenced either indoor or outdoor air concentrations of formaldehyde as compared to other farms, according to a study conducted in Vermont.

Last spring, Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture and Commissioner of Health petitioned the federal Agency of Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) for a study to determine if there is increased public exposure to formaldehyde associated with this agricultural practice.

In May 2012, the Vermont Department of Health, Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets, and ATSDR conducted a study to determine if formaldehyde from used foot baths emptied into manure pits adds to public exposure when that manure is spread on farm fields.

Two sites (farm houses and properties in East Berkshire and Fairfax) were tested for both outdoor and indoor levels of formaldehyde in the air. Indoor air measurements ranged from 4.2 to 47 parts per billion, consistent with indoor air levels measured in nationwide studies. Outdoor air measurements were mostly below the detection limit; three detections ranged from 4 to 5.7 parts per billion, consistent with outdoor air levels measured in nationwide studies. Only one detection occurred on a day that manure was spread.

Manure was sampled just prior to spreading. Samples were taken from farms that use formaldehyde foot baths and from several that do not. Similar measurements of formaldehyde were detected in manure from farms that used and did not use formaldehyde foot baths.

The results of this study indicate that the current use of formaldehyde foot baths on farms, disposal into manure pits, and manure spreading on fields does not contribute to elevated levels of formaldehyde in air. Spreading manure that has been mixed with formaldehyde from foot baths is not expected to result in acute health effects.

For more information, visit http://www.whminer.com/fr_12_11_03.html.

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