the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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heritage grass discovered in wisconsin

EPSON DSC picture

A forgotten forage grass imported from Europe in the 1800s could soon begin to help boost cattle and dairy production in parts of the Upper Midwest. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists in Madison, Wisconsin, recently released the grass for commercial production.

The grass, named “Hidden Valley,” was discovered on a farmer’s shaded hilltop in a long-time pasture that had never been seeded with commercial forages. Cattle thrived on the grass, and it gradually spread from the hilltop into gullies and open areas. The farmer fed hay made from the grass to more cattle and spread the seeds in the manure. He also eventually began consulting with Michael Casler, a plant geneticist with USDA’s Agricultural Research Service(ARS).

Casler and his colleagues at the U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center spent more than a decade evaluating Hidden Valley, named for the farm where it was discovered. They found that cattle digest it more easily and eat more of it than other forages, thus gaining more weight when it’s available and producing more milk.

DNA tests show that the grass is a meadow fescue that has adapted to the Upper Mississippi River Basin since its arrival in the 1800s. It is drought tolerant and will survive freezing temperatures and repeated grazing. Surveys of the Upper Midwest “Driftless Region,” which includes parts of Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota, show that the grass can be found in a wide range of habitats. It also grows well on land taken out of crop production and allowed to revert to pasture.

To read more, click HERE!


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great opportunity in maine for aspiring dairy farmers

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Wolfe’s Neck Farm is now accepting applications for thier newly launched an organic dairy farmer training program on our farm in Freeport, Maine. This is an intensive, experiential 18-month residential paid program that offers a high degree of support to help new organic dairy farmers start their own operation.

Ideal applicants will have dairy farm experience and are certain that they want to be a dairy farmer. The curriculum provides a solid background in the fundamentals needed to start and manage a dairy farm (business management, pasture and soil management, and animal health are the main areas we’ll focus on). Our team of experts provides specialized support through training, securing financing, locating land, and during the first few years of operation.


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wolfe’s neck farm organic dairy incubator: apply today!

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Wolfe’s Neck Farm is now accepting applications for their newly launched an organic dairy farmer training program on our farm in Freeport, Maine. This is an intensive, experiential 18-month residential paid program that offers a high degree of support to help new organic dairy farmers start their own operation.

Ideal applicants will have dairy farm experience and are certain that they want to be a dairy farmer. The curriculum provides a solid background in the fundamentals needed to start and manage a dairy farm (business management, pasture and soil management, and animal health are the main areas we’ll focus on). Our team of experts provides specialized support through training, securing financing, locating land, and during the first few years of operation.

Learn more and Apply by visiting:  www.wolfesneckfarm.org/organic-dairy-farmer-research-training-program


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cookbook: kitchen creamery

The Milk Maid, Louella Hill, presents her DIY creamery cookbook: how to make yogurt, butter, and cheese at home.  As a member of the California Artisan Cheese Guild and a professional cheesemaker, she is an authority on this timely trade.  The knowledge presented in this book will reach readers from novice to professional skill level.  Reclaim your food: Learn to make your own dairy products from local, raw milk! The release date is April 14th. Pre-order your copy here!


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new york organic dairy discussion series

A series of free discussion meetings for dairy farmers — lunch included! — will take place from 11 AM to 2 PM between March 19 and April 1 at the New York farm sites listed below. These meetings are great for beginners and an excellent place for farmers who are considering organic production to ask questions.

Photos of dairy cows grazing green pasture with barn in background

Photo by Kate Whittemore for the Cornell Small Farms program blog.

Titled “Lunch with Jerry,” these discussions will honor the late Jerry Brunetti. Fay Benson, organic dairy extension educator at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, will show video trainings produced by Jerry Brunetti for the NY Organic Dairy Initiative.

To register for a lunch discussion at any of the sites below, please contact Ellen Fagan at etf22@cornell.edu or 607-753-5078, or visit http://scnydfc.cce.cornell.edu. Lunch will be provided.

March 19, 2015:
Alfred State College Farm
1315 New York 244, Alfred, NY 14803
Host: Virginia Chamberlain, Alfred State Farm Manager

March 20th, 2015:
Dave Hardy Farm Shop
718 Aney Hill Rd, Mohawk, NY 13407
Host: Dave Hardy

March 26, 2015:
Hooper Farm
7197 River Road, Memphis, NY 13112
Hosts: Mike and Karen Hooper

March 31, 2015:
Hammond Village Hall
24 S. Main St. Hammond, NY 13646
Host: Farmer Liz Bawden

April 1, 2015:
Malone Courthouse
355 West Main Street #456 Malone, NY 12953
Hosts: Farmers Fred and Gwen Tuttle


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women dairy farmers: three short films

The National Young Farmers Coalition featured three women who had started dairy farms in 2013. Later, they were shipped goodie bags of film equipment. These videos are the result of that.

Chaseholm Farm

Read Sarah’s blog posts HERE

Golden Yoke Farm

Read Laura’s blog posts HERE

Clover Mead Farm (a neighbor of the Greenhorns!!)

Read Ashlee’s blog posts HERE

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