Category: Livestock

Forage Quality

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Want to save money and feed your animals well at the same time? On most farms the biggest cost for keeping livestock is feed. The quality of the feed can seriously impact the health and production of livestock. For ruminant animals, most if not all of their feed will come from

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Notes from Livestock Meetings

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. The Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) Field Days, held in Mansfield, Penn., in September, featured talks on innovative ideas, current research and practical strategies for enhancing the health, productivity and profitability of organic dairy farms. Here are some tips from that event. Fodder from Sprouted Grain John Stoltzfus of Be-A-Blessing

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Livestock

By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Part of my job is to attend meetings where experts, including farmers, talk about livestock. This year those meetings included the Maine Agricultural Trades show, which had a session for the Maine Grass Farmers Network, the Common Ground Country Fair, and the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) meeting. Tips from

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Organic Sheep and Goat

A well-made lane guides sheep to pasture at Susan Littlefield’s Yknot Farm in Belmont, Maine, which is transitioning to organic. Photo by Diane Schivera. By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Raising sheep and goats organically can be a challenge, so many farmers who support organic principles have not transitioned their animals to certified organic. Presently MOFGA Certification

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Highlights

Toki Oshima drawing By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Conferences and workshops are rich sources of tips for livestock care, pasture management, marketing and more. Here are some ideas gleaned from 2011 events that I attended. At the Maine Grass Farmers Conference, Jim Gerrish of American GrazingLands Services LLC in May, Idaho, said that to raise meat,

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Livestock

By Diane Shivera The Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association has done a few livestock related workshops in the past two years. This column will recap some of the highlights of these workshops for those who weren’t able to attend. It will also include information that we have become aware of that might help in

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Livestock

By Diane Schivera, Assistant Director of Technical Services for MOFGA The new National Organic Standards have some management practices that differ from the practices that MOFGA has allowed in the past. Farmers will have to become familiar with these new requirements and begin putting them into practice before the Rule goes into effect on October

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Animal Health

By Diane Schivera Holistic Health Care necessitates a frame of mind that differs from that of allopathic medicine. I have been reminded of the importance of that requirement often lately. One case was a question on ODairy about hairy heal warts. (Odairy is a electronic mailing group that allows organic dairy producers to interact by

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Moldy Grain

By Jean English If the grain or feed that you buy for your animals is green or blue/green and stinky, it’s not good. That was the bottom line of LeBelle Hicks’ talk at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in Augusta in January – and it was what people in the audience, who had inadvertently purchased

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Why We Need Cows

Joann Grohman and her Jersey cow, Jasmine. and Should not Worry about Their Carbon Footprint or Methane Contribution By Joann Grohman The cow, that enduring nursery icon, has been losing fans lately due to misinformation being spoken in the highest places. Some of this character damage may be deliberate; much is due to city dwellers

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