Sheep Shearing Instruction
Producers interested in learning to shear their own sheep, or those wishing a refresher course, can attend one of four training classes held in spring and fall throughout Pennsylvania.
Further to my previous email, I am happy to announce that our general meeting on the 22nd will be hosted by Robin Perelli at Shelterwood Farm in Pennington, NJ from 11AM – 1 PM. We will have our general meeting, a farm tour and a special fiber activity that Robin has planned out. Dress comfortable and wear farm clothes. Meeting will be rain or shine. Lunch will be served.
Pennington is in Mercer county and a central location for members from all over New Jersey and Eastern PA. It is minutes away from state highways and interstates. I am hoping that this locale will provide us with the occasion to pull in members from all parts of the state and provide you the opportunity to interact with other shepherds in the region.
The address is 315 Pennington – Harbourton Rd, Pennington, NJ 08534. Robin’s phone number is 609-737-8107 and e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to get a head count for lunch so please let us know if you are attending as well as if you may have any food allergies.
Looking forward to seeing you at the meeting.
WASHINGTON — The House Agriculture Committee has held a hearing to examine how the tax code impacts agricultural producers. Members of the committee heard from a panel of Members of Congress—including Rep. Kristi Noem (SD-at large) and Rep. Lynn Jenkins (KS-2)—from the House Committee on Ways and Means, the committee charged with crafting our nation’s tax code. The Committee also heard from a diverse panel of witnesses including agricultural and tax professionals.
“Both the ranking member and I are CPAs, and many of our colleagues in Congress are small business owners in their own right,” said Agriculture Committee Chairman K. Michael Conaway. “Few business sectors in America are subject to as many unknowns as farming and ranching. With the upcoming potential for tax reform, it is important to highlight the unique challenges of the agricultural industry and explore opportunities within the tax code to better support a vibrant farm sector.
“As with tax reform changes from years past, the devil is in the details. Providing for a simpler, fairer tax code means that many parts of the tax code may have to change, but these individual proposals cannot be evaluated in a vacuum. I look forward to working with Chairman Brady and his colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee as they craft a tax reform package, and I urge all of my colleagues to reserve judgment until they’ve had an opportunity to evaluate a complete package.”
Ms. Patricia Wolff, Senior Director, Congressional Affairs, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, DC
Mr. Doug Claussen, CPA, Principal, KCoe Isom, LLP, Cambridge, NE
Mr. Chris Hesse, CPA, Principal, CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP, Minneapolis, MN
Mr. Guido van der Hoeven, Extension Specialist/Senior Lecturer, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Raleigh, NC
Dr. James M. Williamson, Economist, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, Washington, DC
TRENTON, N.J. — The New Jersey Department of Agriculture has quarantined properties in Hunterdon and Somerset counties after a horse developed highly infectious equine herpes myeloencephalopathy. EHM is the often deadly neurologic form of the Equine Herpes Virus infection. No recent movement had occurred at the farm where the virus was reported prior to this case. The horse was moved into the isolation barn at a local animal hospital the evening EHM was confirmed. Both the horses at the original farm and the hospital are under quarantine.
Nine horses were being treated at the hospital at the time of the incident; several horses were exposed to the ill horse. Seven of these horses will be moved to a remote facility, which also will be placed under quarantine so the hospital can be cleaned and disinfected in order to reopen. Other than the initial case, none of the quarantined horses at either location are showing clinical signs at this time. Both locations are taking the necessary biosecurity precautions to limit the spread of the virus. Temperatures also are being taken twice daily on all quarantined horses.
“The Department took swift action to prevent the disease from spreading to other horses by enacting a quarantine, which stops movement of horses in and out of the properties and puts in place preventive measures to contain the virus,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher.
The EHV-1 organism spreads quickly from horse to horse and can cause respiratory problems, especially in young horses, spontaneous abortions in pregnant mares, and the neurologic form of the virus can result in death. The incubation period of EHV-1 is typically 2-10 days. Clinical signs include respiratory disease, fever, nasal discharge, depression, cough, lack of appetite and/or enlarged lymph nodes. In horses infected with the neurologic strain of EHV-1, clinical signs typically include mild incoordination, hind end weakness/paralysis, loss of bladder and tail function and loss of sensation to the skin in the hind end. The virus spreads readily through direct contact with infected materials. While highly infectious, the virus does not persist in the environment for an extended period of time and is neutralized by hand soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizers and sunlight. The virus does not affect humans and other domestic animals, with the exception of llamas and alpacas.
Concerned owners should consult with their veterinarian prior to taking any action as the clinical signs of infection with the neurological form of EHV-1 are common to many other diseases. EHM is a reportable disease in New Jersey. If an owner has a horse exhibiting neurologic signs or suspects Equine Herpes, they are directed to call their veterinarian immediately.
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
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.
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
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:
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 email@example.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.