Newly-preserved farm protects Readington’s historic character

READINGTON TWP. – A partnership of the New Jersey State Agriculture Development Committee, New Jersey Conservation Foundation, Readington Township and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service on Tuesday, Feb. 21, preserved the 21-acre Cole Farm on Readington Road.

Back in the late 1700s, a German indentured servant named Casper Berger repaid his debt and became a free man.

“He was a mason by trade, and he was required to build three homes,” said Robert Cole, Berger’s descendent. “He built them, earned his freedom and settled in the village of Readington.”

According to a family history, the house on the Cole farm property was likely built by John Berger, a grandson of Casper Berger. The barns are believed to predate the farmhouse.

During the Civil War era, the farm was owned by John Berger’s daughter, Anna, and her husband, Thomas Johnson, the village doctor. Their daughter, Sarah Johnson, married Charlie Cole, a local farmer.

Charlie and Sarah Cole’s son Robert, and his wife Gladys, purchased the farm during the Great Depression. Robert was one of the first farmers in the area to own a combine, which he made available to neighboring farmers. Access to this technology supported and fostered the agricultural community. Robert Cole farmed the land through the 1950s, selling some of the original acreage in his retirement.

The property was passed down to Robert’s son, Richard Cole, who had two sons, Robert and David. The younger Robert Cole and his wife purchased the farm in 1994, and still live there today. Robert and Janet Cole’s children, Bobby and Sarah, represent the ninth generation of their family to live on the land.

Eight generations later, Casper Berger’s farm is still in the family. And it is likely to remain a family farm, now that the Hunterdon County land has been permanently preserved.

Preserving the farm will make it easier for future generations – including Robert and Janet Cole’s son and daughter – to continue to own and farm it.

Cole said he and his wife felt strongly about preserving the farm.

“When we walk on the land, we can feel the history,” he said. “It’s a special place, and we feel that we’re being stewards of our family heritage. It felt like the right thing to do.”

The preservation of the farm also helps protect the character of Readington Village, which is listed on the state and national Registers of Historic Places. The Cole farm is the last remaining property of sizeable acreage in the village.

The centerpiece of Readington Village is the historic Dutch Reformed Church, which is surrounded by 18th and 19th century houses. Casper Berger and several succeeding generations are buried in the church’s cemetery.

The Cole farmland – which overlooks the church and cemetery – will continue to be owned by the family, but is now permanently restricted for agricultural use. The family’s historic house and barns were not included in the preservation project.

“The Cole family farm is very important to the landscape and character of Readington Village,” said Michele S. Byers, executive director of New Jersey Conservation Foundation. “We’re very pleased the family chose to preserve this beautiful piece of land.”

Development rights on the Cole farm were purchased using New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s funding from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Readington Township’s funding from the State Agriculture Development Committee.

“We were happy to partner in the preservation of this farm to ensure that it remains in agriculture for generations to come,” said Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher who chairs the State Agriculture Development Committee.

Readington Township Mayor Benjamin Smith said that the township is happy to have assisted in this preservation.

“Preservation of the Cole farm in the heart of Readington Village is an important part of the township’s multi-decade program to preserve our farms and maintain the rural character of the township for future generations,” Smith said.

State Conservationist Carrie Lindig praised the farmland preservation project.

“The Natural Resources Conservation Service values the New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s leadership in preserving New Jersey’s farmland,” Lindig said. “We are pleased to partner with them and the State Agriculture Development Committee in acquiring a conservation easement on this Readington Township farm, and we appreciate Mr. Cole’s commitment to preserving their valuable, historic family farm.”

Source: NJ Hills.com March 22, 2017

Federal funding available to restore habitat

SOMERSET, N.J. — USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service is now accepting applications from farmers and landowners in seven New Jersey counties who are interested in installing conservation practices to help restore pine savanna, a critical wildlife habitat of the Northern Bobwhite. With a decline of suitable habitat, the bobwhite quail population in eastern North America has declined by more than 85 percent since the 1960s.

Northern Bobwhite, commonly referred to as bobwhite quail, is a state-identified target species of the Working Lands for Wildlife partnership, an NRCS initiative that brings partner groups together to develop a collaborative approach to conserve habitat on working lands.

Through this WLFW effort, NRCS can provide technical and financial assistance to eligible landowners to implement a variety of conservation practices to restore northern bobwhite quail habitat. Restoration projects will include developing and implementing forestry plans that include activities such as tree thinning and prescribed burning to improve forest health.

Landowners in Ocean, Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, Salem, Cumberland and Atlantic counties are eligible to apply. Eligibility requirements for NRCS programs set forth in the 2014 Farm Bill will apply.

NRCS accepts applications on a continuous basis but makes funding selections at specific times. For funding consideration in 2017, please submit an application before April 21. To apply or learn more, please contact your local USDA service center. In Ocean County, Burlington County and Camden County, call NRCS at the Columbus Service Center 609-267-1639, ext. 3; in Salem County and Gloucester County, call NRCS at the Woodstown Service Center 856-769-1126; and in Atlantic and Cumberland Counties, call NRCS at the Vineland Service Center 856-205-1225, ext. 3.

USDA

Source: Morning Ag Clips NJ March 23, 2017

Legislation would support young farmers

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, introduced legislation to support young people in agriculture by creating a tax exemption for the first $5,000 of income students 18 years of age or younger earn from projects completed through 4-H or FFA. Their bills, the Agriculture Students Encourage, Acknowledge, Reward, Nurture Act (S. 671) and the Student Agriculture Protection Act (H.R. 1626), enable students to keep more of the modest income they earn, which can then be invested in education savings or future agricultural projects.

“With the number of new farmers trending downward and more mouths to feed than ever across the globe, Congress must support young people who are interested in a career in agriculture,” Sen. Moran said. “This bill is one step we can take to encourage those involved in FFA and 4-H to turn their modest income from the agricultural projects into savings, money for education and training, or toward a future project. Farming kids across the country represent the future of a critical industry and way of life, and this legislation represents an important investment in the next generation.”

“Ensuring members of student organizations like 4-H and FFA are afforded every opportunity to succeed is not only important for the student’s future, but the future of our nation’s agriculture,” said Sen. Ernst, a former member of the 4-H. “I’m proud to support the Agriculture Students EARN Act to allow our future farmers to gain valuable experience and skills through hands-on projects. By investing in our students’ futures, we are investing in the next generation of our nation’s leaders that will be on the forefront of agricultural innovation and production for years to come.”

“We must do more to encourage our future farmers to stay in the farming business so our country can maintain a secure and steady food supply,” said Rep. McCaul. “These students across the nation today represent the future of agriculture, and enabling them to succeed means we all succeed. That is why I am proud to reintroduce the Student Agriculture Protection Act. This bill would eliminate unnecessary barriers for our young farmers to ensure the U.S. remains outfitted with innovative minds that have allowed us to be the world leader in the agricultural industry.”

“Recruiting and retaining the next generation of young people to the family farm or to other agricultural pursuits starts here; it starts with legislation like the Agriculture Students EARN Act and theStudent Agriculture Protection Act,” said National FFA Western Region Vice President Trey Elizondo. “This proposal would undoubtedly enable me and other agricultural education students to strengthen agriculture and support the communities in which we live. My generation is ready to accept the challenge of feeding, clothing, and sheltering our world, and this legislation helps us accept that challenge.”

Typical 4-H and FFA projects include showing animals at local and state fairs, growing and harvesting crops, building agricultural mechanic projects and many others. Ag Students EARN would lower the tax burden on the students and give them an opportunity to invest more of what they’ve earned in future projects, college funds or savings accounts.

Supporters of the legislation include National FFA Organization, National 4-H Council, American Farm Bureau Federation, National Farmers Union and National Young Farmers Coalition.

— The Office of  Joni Ernst, R-Iowa

Source:  Morning Ag Clips NJ March 22, 2017

Spring General Meeting April 22nd and Note From the GSSB President

For our first general meeting this year, we are targeting Saturday, April 22nd. Time and location to be determined as a host volunteer is needed for this meeting.  If you are interested in hosting a general meeting or have topics that you would like covered during a general meeting, please let Reni  know.   

Note from the President Kevin Melvin:

Hi All,

As Mother Nature reminds us once again that she is the boss and delivers us a snow storm that feels more like February than mid-March followed by spring-like highs, I wanted to take the opportunity to send out my first message since becoming President of the group.

First I want to thank Eunice Bench for her time, tremendous efforts and her tireless work as President for more years than she probably cares to remember I look forward to her support and learning her secrets on being a successful President. Additionally I want to thank her for continuing on as the Festival Committee Chair and taking on the role of Treasurer.

Together with the other officers and committee members, we are planning for another great year for the club including a fabulous festival. In addition to regular festival planning committee meetings, we will continue to have general meetings at member’s farms on a weekend date in an effort to increase our meeting attendance. For our first general meeting this year, we are targeting Saturday, April 22nd. If you are interested in hosting a general meeting or have topics that you would like covered during a general meeting, please feel free to let Reni or myself know.

I have also set up a new email address for club business where you can reach me directly which is kmelvinnjsheep@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you in person at our general meeting on the 22nd Once we have firmed up the logistics for the meeting including time and location, we will send an email and update the website with the information.

Cheers,

Kevin Melvin

Save

Bucks Montgomery PA Annual Wool Pool First Saturday in June

The Bucks/Montgomery Cooperative Wool Pool will hold it’s annual wool pool 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, June 3rd, at Delaware Valley University’s Roth Farm, 1260 Welsh Road, North Wales, Pa. (Date verified with the Wool Pool staff March 20, 2017).

The wool will be graded, sorted, bagged and loaded on a truck headed to a woolen mill in South Carolina. More than 23,000 pounds of wool was handled in 2015.

The wool will be graded by fiber diameter, length and color. Any wool producer from any county is welcome to sell their wool through this pool. No quantities are too big or too small.

Hand spinners and crafters also are welcome to buy fleeces by the pound from noon to 1 p.m..

The wool pool is a collaborative effort between Penn State Extension, Delaware Valley University and the Wool Pool Cooperative. For more information, call Bob Brown, Penn State Extension, at 215-345-3283.

Date:    Saturday, June 3, 2017
Time:     7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Place:    
Roth Farm of Delaware Valley College
Rtes. 63 & 202, Upper Gwynedd

8 miles west of DVC main campus

Source (2016 notice, 2017 not yet posted): http://www.lancasterfarming.com/news/meetings_and_notices/wool-pool-set-for-june-at-delval-farm/article_ec0a71c0-c449-55aa-8bb5-1d2dbd654f98.html

Also check the following Facebook pages:

Bucks Montgomery County Wool Pool

DVC 4H

PSU Extension Montgomery County

 

ASI 2017 Convention Presentations

2017 ASI Convention Presentations

VFD and Dr. Grandin videos from the 2017 ASI Annual Meeting are available on the ASI YouTube Channel at SheepUSA1 or at www.sheepusa.org at News and Media > Video

2017 Industry Sponsors — A special Thank You to our Industry Sponsors who help to make this event the success it has become.

Thursday Genetic Stakeholders, Animal Health and PERC Meetings

NSIP vs Non-NSI Sires
Reid Redden, Ph.D., Texas A&M

Genetic Trends Over Time with Breeds on NSIP
Rusty Burgett, NSIP Program Director

Scrapie Eradication Program Update
Diane Sutton, DVM, USDA/APHIS/VS

Medically Important Antimicrobials in Animal Agriculture – Sheep
Mike Murphy DVM, JD, Ph.D., DABVT, DABT; Veterinary Medical Officer, Office of the Director, Center for Veterinary Medicine, FDA

Animal Health Committee Updates
Cindy Wolf, DVM, and Jim Logan, DVM – Animal Health Committee Co-Chairs

Research Update from the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center
Brad A. Freking, Ph.D., USDA, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Meat Animal Research Center

National Wildlife Research Center Update
Larry Clark, Ph.D.

Livestock Protection Dog Update
Julie Young, Ph.D. and Daniel Kinka

Thursday State Executives/Contacts Meeting

Tri Lamb AUS/NZ Tour
Ryan Mahoney, 2016/17 Tri Lamb Young Leader

Let’s Grow Funding and Resources
Alan Culham, Let’s Grow Coordinator

Thursday Resource Management Council Meeting

Public Lands Council
Ethan Lane, PLC Executive Director

National Grazing Lands Council Sterring Committee
Ben Lehfeldt, ASI Representative to Grazing Committee

Domestic Small Ruminants & Bighorn Sheep Respiratory Disease Research
M. A. Highland, DVM, DACVP, PhDc; USDA-ARS Animal Disease Research Unit

Control of Infectious Diseases
Don Knowles, DVM, Ph.D.; USDA-ARS Animal Disease Research Unit

Thursday and Friday Wool Council Meetings

State of Objective Measurement Industry
Angus McColl, Yoco-McColl Testing Laboratories

World Wool Market, 2017
Goetz Giebel, ASI Wool Consultant

Business in China
Kitty Gu, ASI Wool Consultant

Responsible Wool Standard Update
Lisa Surber, Ph.D., ASI Wool Consultant

Agriculture Marketing Service Report
Chris Dias, AMS Market Reporter

Friday Lamb Council and American Lamb Board Meeting

Food Service Trends and American Lamb
Mary Humann, American Lamb Board

Lamb Quality / Flavor Researcj
Karissa Maneotis, Colorado State University

Livestock Mandatory Reporting
Erica Sanko and USDA/AMS

Instrument Augmented Lamb Grading Status of the Industry
Willie Horne, Ph.D., USDA/AMS

Lamb Market: Situation and Outlook
James Robb, Director, Livestock Marketing Information Center

Friday Legislative Action Council Meeting

Best Practices and Federal Overview
Jim Richards, Cornerstone Government Affairs, Washington, D.C.

Friday Let’s Grow Committee Meeting

Leading Edge Sheep Producers
Tom Boyer (Utah) and Brandon Bitner (Utah)

Use of Electronic ID to Enhance Lamb Productivity & Value-Based Marketing
Reid Redden, Ph.D. Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Brad Anderson, Mountain States Rosen

S.D. Post Weaning Lamb Performance Program
Dave Ollila, SDSU Extension and Jeff Held, Ph.D., SDSU Extension

Fine Wool Consortium
Ben Lehfeldt and Rusty Burgett, NSIP Program Director

Grass Based Pipestone in the Southeast
Shawn Hadley

Friday Board of Directors Informational Session

Veterinary Feed Directives for the Sheep Industry — How Did We Get Here? And What Do We Do Now?
Meg Oeller, DVM – Director, Office of Minor Use & Minor Species, FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine
Watch the presentation video on ASI’s YouTube Channel at SheepUSA1

Farm to Feet
Kelly Nester – Nester Hosiery

Twizel, Inc.
John Fernsell – Twizel, Inc.

What is a brand?
John Bellina – Brand Juice

Political Discussion, or…What the heck happened???
Jim Richards – Cornerstone Government Affairs

Tri-Lamb Young Leaders
Brad Osguthorpe – Utah
Karissa Maneotis – Colorado
Katie Olagaray – Kansas/California
Ryan Mahoney – California

Friday and Saturday ASI Young Entrepreneurs SessionS

Crossbreeding to Improve Productivity
Dave Notter, Ph.D., Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Virginia Tech

Social Networking and Your Flock
Emily Buck, Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Transition Planning is Optional – Well, Kinda!!!
David Specht, Family Dynamics National Development Manager

Tri-lamb Young Leaders
Brad Osguthorpe – Utah
Katie Olagaray – Kansas
Kariss Maneotis – Colorado
Ryan Mahoney – California

Saturday Board of Directors Meeting

Conducting a proof of concept for differentiating the inherent differences in flavor that exists among American lamb using volatile flavor compound analysis.
Karissa Maneotis, Colorado State University

American Sheep Industry Incident Management (ie. Emergency Response)
Linda A. Detwiler, DVM

2017 Face of Farming and Ranching
Emily Buck, Ph.D., The Ohio State University

Responsible Animal Care
Rita Kourlis Samuelson, ASI Director of Wool Marketing

Responsible Wool Standard
Lisa Surber, Ph.D., ASI Raw Wool Service

National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Update
Steve Lee, NSIIC Executive Director

National Lamb Feeders Association Update
Bob Harlan, NLFA President

National Livestock Producers Association Update
Scott Stuart, NLPA Executive Director

Let’s Grow Committee Update
Susan Shultz, Let’s Grow Chair

 

Source: http://www.sheepusa.org/ResearchEducation_Presentations_2017Convention

 

2017 GSSB Officer Election Results

Thanks to all members that voted – the results are in!  A link to the results is provided below. Results will also be posted to the FB site, and the Yahoo Group.

You can view detailed results by following this link:

https://electionbuddy.com/elections/27148/results/7cy9h4xsh

________________________________________

Trustees:

Royal Unzicker (2017) – completing term of Judi Lehrpaupt

Marlene Halstead and Steve Feryok (2017- 2018)

President: Kevin Melvin

VP: Reni Melvin

Secretary: Judi Lehrhaupt

Treasurer: Eunice Bench

3 Scottish Blackface Sheep Looking for a Home

I am moving from Coopersburg PA to Oregon and cannot take my 3 Scottish Blackface Sheep. They will be 3 years old in the spring and are in excellent health. Can you you help me find a good home for them? They are siblings, very friendly and gentle for scotties.

Thank you – Laurie Walsh-Rumsey

Contact info: lauriewalsh53@gmail.com