the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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the shortage of livestock veterinarians is reaching “crisis levels”


Even after the lamb comes, the ewe continues to strain. Sticky with afterbirth, the ram lamb calls to his mother in quavering tenor, but though she lifts her head in his direction and lets out a low moan of response, her heaving sides won’t let her rise and go to him.

In the compounded darkness of the manger—it’s well after sunset—it’s hard to see what’s happening. The ewe stretches a hind leg in effort, and then again, and again, pushing. She stops her rhythmic movement, breath ragged. Someone shines a light: there is something there, behind her hind legs, on the straw. A second lamb? The thing is dark, darker than the first lamb. A black lamb? But no, it glistens too strangely in the odd glare/shadow contrast of the flashlight.

“I—I think that’s part of her body.” What? “I think those are her organs.” 

The stillness breaks. The livestock manager is called. “Prolapse,” “iodine,” “warm water,” “towels.” There is a flurry of activity in service to these words. The rumble of a truck announces the arrival of Josh, the livestock manager, from down the road. He clicks his headlamp on to peer at the lumpen tangle between the prostrate ewe’s legs. “That’s her uterus,” he says, and walks away to call the vet.

He returns shaking his head. The vet can’t come for two hours—there’s another emergency, over the border in Vermont. “I guess I’ll try to put it back, but I’ve never had much luck.”

Josh instructs someone to fetch sugar, someone to fetch a better light, someone to prepare a bottle of colostrum for the new lamb (“He’s huge, look how huge he is! That must be what did it”). He sloshes iodine up to his elbows while two people hold the ewe still. Gingerly, he lifts the uterus from ground, pulling off bits of straw and hay. He pours sugar over it. “The vet says this will make it shrink, so that it will fit,” he tells us. Then in a low mutter, to himself, “This was my favorite sheep.”

After a few moments, he begins trying to push the uterus back into the ewe. But even gritty with sugar, reverse-osmosis starting to drain the fluid, it’s slippery and swollen, bulging any place where Josh’s hands can’t stretch, the task like trying to fit a water ballon into the tap from which it was filled. “She’s pushing against me,” he says. “Her body thinks she’s having a lamb.”

He keeps trying: adding more sugar, repositioning, applying prolonged pressure, but it won’t go. Josh sits back on his heels. There’s nothing to do but wait for the vet.
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oil seed crops and on farm processing workshop


Join Clemson University oilseed crop researcher David Thornton and Virgin Oils Co-founder Mathew Rudolf to learn about ideal edible and high value specialty oil crops for our southern climate and lessons learned from their experience producing food and non-food grade oils. Clemson Extension Program food safety experts Kimberly Baker and Adair Hoover will provide information on regulatory guidelines for making and selling edible oils.

This workshop will cover: crop selection, process techniques, food grade processing guidelines and potential markets. Participants will perform hands on activities expelling and processing their own edible oils to take home.  Participants should come prepared for both indoor and outdoor weather conditions and wear closed toe shoes and clothing that can get dirty.

When: May 28th 2015
Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Where: Clemson University Madren Conference Center
Address: 240 Madren Center Dr, Clemson, SC 29634

Register here

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the workshop we’ve all been waiting for: insects!

Hosted by Clemson Universitybsf
August 30th 2013
Registration fee: $25.00 (includes lunch)
Register and pay online HERE
Implementing a black soldier fly waste recycling operation on your farm
August 30th, 9:00 – 3:00
Clemson University Organic Farm and Kresge Hall, Clemson University Outdoor Lab (directions will be provided)
Clemson, SC
Event abstract:
This workshop is aimed at farmers looking for innovative techniques to convert waste into value-added outputs. Continue reading

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growing new farmers in charleston!

Check out the Charleston Wine & Food Festival and the folks at Lowcountry Local First !
The festival has been praised as one of the top five food and wine festivals in the U.S. by Forbes Traveler. The four-day event infuses home-grown flavor with the most celebrated chefs, culinary professionals and winemakers in the world! Have you gotten your TICKETS yet??

Come by and visit the Lowcountry Local First tent in the Festival Village.  Participate in one of our Plow to Chow sessions, see a film on our Growing New Farmers Program and pick up your local bling! We will have an antique tractor available for farm pics so you can “Get Your Tractor On!”.  Check out our website for a schedule of what is happening in the LLF tent. Continue reading

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sell to schools, get GAP trained

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) Certification Training
February 15th &16th 2011

Anderson County Civic Center. 3027 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.; Anderson, SC
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, in partnership with the Clemson University Sustainable Agriculture Program and Anderson County, is offering Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training to local farmers, extension agents, institutional food service managers, and other interested agricultural professionals who work with vegetable and/or fruit growers.  Typically offered only during the growing season, this is a unique, off-season opportunity for area farmers to take advantage of an educational opportunity that is in high demand. The workshop is scheduled for February 15 & 16, 2011, from 8:30am – 4:00pm both days.  Breakfast and lunch is included on both days. Continue reading