the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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best milking practices online course

Penn State Extension are running a best milking practice course for professionals in the dairy industry who want to learn about problems on dairy farms that result from mastitis. “Best Milking Practices” is a self-paced course primarily designed for dairy producers, employees and managers that teaches concepts to help them measure and reduce levels of mastitis, and it offers practical solutions to help apply that knowledge to milking practices.

Mastitis is a common and expensive problem on dairy farms. It is, on average, costlier than veterinary care, food, housing or equipment maintenance. To maximize a dairy’s profitability, it’s important for producers to learn as much about mastitis as possible to reduce or eliminate the spread of it on their farm. The course includes eight sections: Mastitis Basics, Cleanliness, Handling Cows, Pre-milking Prep, Milking and Post-milking, Managing Infection, CMT and On-farm Culturing, and Standard Operating Procedures.

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new research identifies cold weather strategies to avoid respiratory illness in calves

 

As winter approaches, research funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has identified cold weather strategies for attention by regional dairy calf managers.

“Winter weather poses a natural challenge to raising young animals. Respiratory illness in calves can negatively impact weight gain, age at their first calving, first lactation milk production, farm revenue and costs,” says project leader Kimberley Morrill, Ph.D., a regional Cornell Cooperative Extension dairy specialist, Canton, NY.
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interactive geoengineering map

 

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credit: ETC Group and the Heinrich Böll Foundation

ETC Group and the Heinrich Böll Foundation have produced an interactive map of geoengineering projects around the world in an attempt to shed light on the worldwide state of geoengineering. The map is the first of it’s kind that is publically available that  shows the scope of research and experimentation.

This latest addition to the project builds on an earlier map of Earth Systems Experimentation that was published in 2012. The original map documented almost 300 projects and experiments related to geoengineering. Five years later, more than 800 projects have be identified. These include projects in Carbon Capture, Solar Radiation Management, Weather Modification among others. This is not a complete record of weather and climate control projects, so expect it to grow as the ETC group continue researching and as new experiments are launched.

Click HERE to explore the map and HERE to read more about geoengineering.


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can we really restore degraded landscapes?


New and exciting things are happening at the Permaculture Skills Center. The Eco-Landscape Mastery Course is already underway! It couldn’t be a more opportune time to continue our work educating our communities and ourselves! 

It’s a degraded world out there. So many acres/hectares of landscapes have been destroyed and it’s having negative consequences for humans as well as the environment. Can we really restore these degraded landscapes? Is it possible to scale regeneration? Can we actually create businesses that focus on this vital work? The answer is…YES, YES, YES! Anyone and everyone can do this with the right knowledge. We know YOU can too, and the Eco-landscape Mastery School want to give you the roadmap to make it happen.
The course is ideally suited to:

  • Anyone who wants to start a business in ecological landscape design and contracting.
  • Beginning landscape designers who want to learn best practices and quickly grow a successful landscape design business.
  • Experienced designers, landscapers, and contractors ready to grow their business to the next level through having professional mentorship and business development support.
  • Landscape and maintenance workers who want to grow out of manual labor and into higher paid positions or start and run their own companies.
  • Permaculture practitioners and designers who want to professionalize their work.
  • Consultants who want to establish a successful and professional consultation business.
  • Regenerative agriculturists who want to educate and mentor their clients, neighbors and communities to help them grow and develop successful regenerative agriculture projects.
  • Newly Certified Permaculture Designers who want to add to their learning experience with professional tools to create a permaculture based business of their own.
  • Ecological design educators who want to support their students and colleague’s interests in  providing ecological design professionally to the world.

Are you or someone you know looking to start or scale a regenerative business? Don’t wait! Registration for the Eco-Landscape Mastery Course closes November 14, 2017

Click HERE to read more about the course.


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allegheny mountain institute is now accepting applications for their farm and food education fellowship.


Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) is seeking applicants for its fully-funded Fellowship program. Now in its seventh year, the 18-month Fellowship prepares and empowers individuals to become teachers and ambassadors for a more vibrant and accessible local food system. Selected Fellows spend six months in immersive training on their mountain farm campus (Phase I) and one year in service work with non-profit partner organizations (Phase II). AMI is an educational non-profit organization with the mission to cultivate healthy communities through food and education based in Staunton, VA.

Phase I – Farm Study (April 22-October 31, 2018)

  • Gain hands-on experience in sustainable fruit and vegetable production, small animal husbandry, beekeeping, homesteading skills and more on our mountain farm in Highland County, VA.
  • Study regenerative farming, nutrition and wellness, permaculture design, and community development through expert guest instructors, field trips, and educational sessions.
  • Explore local food system leadership opportunities and participate in school gardens, farmers markets and other community events.
  • Stay in handcrafted cabins, study in wifi-equipped common spaces and share farm-fresh meals supplemented with whole food staples.
  • Receive $1,000 upon successful completion.

Phase II – Service Work (January 2- December 31, 2019)

  • Work with AMI and Partner Organizations to help build healthy communities through food and education in Highland and Augusta Counties.
  • Contribute to projects such as: developing school gardens and site-based curriculum, creating infrastructure for local food systems, growing food and increasing food access, and teaching nutrition and cooking.
  • Build leadership skills through monthly professional development sessions and continuing education opportunities.
  • Receive an annual salary of $18,000 (less payroll taxes, paid bi-weekly)

Applicants must be physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds, walk distances up and down steep hills, work outdoors for extended periods of the day, and be comfortable living and working communally as a team in a remote, mountain setting.

Applications are due by February 1, 2018 and are available at: www.alleghenymountaininstitute.org. Applications are considered on a rolling basis and are reviewed as soon as complete. For more information please e-mail jessa@alleghenymountainschool.org or call 540-886-0160.


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organic gardening tips from MOFGA

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credit: MOFGA

The seedcorn maggot is the larvae of a fly, says Eric Sideman, MOFGA’s organic crop specialist, in the fall issue of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener. He continues: This critter spends the winter as a pupa in the soil. Flies emerge very early in the spring from these pupae and lay eggs near decaying organic matter and germinating seeds. The eggs hatch into maggots that feed on the seeds or young plants. Gaps in rows of crops such as onions, spinach, corn, peas, etc., often blamed on poor seed, actually result more often from seedcorn maggot feeding. The fly is often attracted to decaying organic matter, including some fertilizers that organic farmers use, such as soybean meal. In such cases the maggots end up feeding on the seeds and seedlings.

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emancipatory educational experiences in scotland

Drumduan school, in the Scottish highlands, offers it’s students a unique and emancipatory education experience free of any form from exams or standardised testing. It’s educational focus is on participatory and practical education. Academic study is enhanced and balanced with movement, music and artistic work, with crafts, foraging  and outdoor activities. Students learn through experience,  they learn their science by building a Canadian canoe, or making a knife, or caramelising onions. What’s more, the teenagers who attend the school are happy and inspired and have the opportunity to discover who they are and what they want to achieve from life. Aspects that are all too frequently missing from the tradition educational experience.  Continue reading