Category: Dairy

Milk as a Medium: Considerations for Raw Milk Production

By Jacki Perkins The history of dairy consumption dates back nearly 5,000 years. Milk pasteurization has existed since 1862 and has become mainstream right along with the push for urbanization and the loss of agrarian lifestyles. One can find studies and articles arguing both sides of the pasteurization debate. What I would like to highlight

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A Total Immersion Dairy Farm Apprenticeship at Wolfes Neck Center

Left to right: Matt DeGrandpre (farm operations manager), Tierney Lawler (apprentice), Caitlin Morgan (apprentice), Big Cow, Haden Gooch (graduate apprentice, current journeyperson) and Corinne Carey (apprentice). Cows head out to pasture at Wolfe’s Neck Center. Wolfe’s Neck Center hosts about 50,000 visitors per year. Entrance to the milking parlor. By Sonja Heyck-Merlin Wolfe’s Neck Center for Agriculture

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Manos o Machina

Toki Oshima illustration The decision to switch from hand to machine milking By Jacki M. Perkins Recently a question on a listserv for beginning farmers piqued my interest. When and why have any of you switched from hand milking to a machine?” Having grown up milking cows commercially, been formally educated in dairying, then switching

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The Sweet Spot

Drawing by Toki Oshima By Jacki Martinez Perkins The dairy industry has found itself in the same position that many small businesses encountered during the past few decades. Small farms are being driven out of business by the natural progression of capitalism. Large-scale dairies can operate at lower costs per cow, negotiate their price points and own

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Maine AgrAbility Addresses Cheese Making at Appleton Creamery

Nearly every cheesemaking task requires strong hands and shoulders. The work surface height is important for musculoskeletal health. Alternate standing with sitting on a stool to reduce leg fatigue and lower back stress. The important thing is to be able to work without stooping. Larger handles protect finger joints and cartilage from stress. A fireman’s

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Value Added Dairy

Caitlin Frame and Andy Smith of The Milkhouse in Monmouth, Maine, make yogurt and ship milk. Photo courtesy of The Milkhouse At MOFGA’s November 2015 Farmer to Farmer Conference, Jack and Anne Lazor of Butterworks Farm in Westfield, Vermont, and Caitlin Frame and Andy Smith of The Milkhouse in Monmouth, Maine, talked about value-added dairy.

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The Once and Future Cow

Toki Oshima drawing By Joann S. Grohman Maine has the highest rate of new farmers in the 48 states; we’ve gained 1,000 just in the past 10 years. Many of these new farmers will, I hope, consider keeping one or several cows, as nearly everyone did until less than 100 years ago. Even in towns,

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Cows and Climate

By Joann S. Grohman I listen to many talks by highly qualified scientists and others deeply concerned about our future, as well they might be. Some are concerned about climate change, others about starvation. In their summary remarks – I wait for it: Their suggestions for how we can mitigate disaster always include a well-meant

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Organic Grain

Maine Organic Milling has taken over the old Blue Seal Feeds mill in Auburn and is beginning to make dairy rations from corn, barley, okara, peas, lentils and flax. Calf starter rations, as well as pig and chicken rations, will also be mixed here. Photo by Diane Schivera. Why Buy Moo Milk? By Diane Schivera,

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Organic Transitioning

Resources for Organic Dairy Farmers Maine dairy farmers Erik Johnson and John Donald talked about their recent experiences transitioning from conventional to organic production at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta in January. Johnson has about 60 to 70 milkers and 700 acres of crop ground; he is transitioning about one-third of his farm

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