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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just a quick reminder that work songs are awesome!

We found this worksong among a wonderful collection of other songs on worksongs.org, which is run by Maine farmer-musician Bennett Konesni. It’s kind of a digital soundbook and Bennett has created a collection of songs used to aid labor and has included lyrics on many of the songs. His long term goal is to have recordings, lyrics, history, usage tips and comments on each song. He created the site to address three needs:

First, the need to share songs that people can use in their fields, markets, kitchens and at the table. Second, and more generally, my wish to understand and enliven the culture of food. Third, and in a universal sense, my desire to explore ways to make all work more fun.

It’s a really cool project and he and his trained harbor seal Andre accept donations if you would like to support him.

Click HERE to check out the full site.


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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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young farmers on church land

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credit: Emily Michot at the Miami Herald (emichot@miamiherald.com)

You have have read about our upcoming Faith Lands conference in our newsletter during the week. The purpose of the gathering is to connect landowning faith groups with landless young farmers. We want to help create a network that will help nativiate some of the complex issues that can arise in these situations. We are not the first to have this thought however, and we are delighted to see that there are already relationships blossoming between these two diverse groups. Once such example can be seen in the collaboration between Moses Kashem and the St. Simon’s Episcopal church as reported by the Miami Herald this week.

St. Simon’s Episcopal church was going broke. It’s a tiny squat building on 4 acres of land in south Miami-Dade County, with a tiny congregation. That’s when a new member of the congregation, Moses Kashem, came up with an idea. A young farmer, he asked the church elders to give him half an acre to farm specifically for local restaurants and chefs, and he already has signed up several chefs to purchase his produce.

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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.