Shepherds now have a place to find all the latest information on sheep production, industry research conducted at Ohio State, and daily management tips. The recently rebuilt The Ohio State University Extension Sheep Team blog page can be found at http://u.osu.edu/sheep/.
The site is managed by Sheep Team Program Coordinator Brady Campbell and includes contributions from the more than 25 Ohio State faculty and staff who each have unique interests in sustaining the sheep industry. Once at the site, readers will find current management information, a listing of upcoming events, research summaries and a library of resources.
Sheep producers who are considering the use Artificial Insemination to improve their flock genetics might want to consider attending the 2017 Symposium of the Dairy Sheep Association of North America, Nov. 30-Dec. 2 in Orford, Quebec, Canada.
The first day of this year’s symposium will be devoted entirely to AI. Speakers from Canada, Europe and the United States will present on AI techniques used in France, Iceland and Canada, both cervical and laparoscopic, with both frozen and fresh semen. Presenters will also discuss protocols that will improve conception rates and litter size in ewes who have been artificially inseminated.
Furthermore, a large number of dairy sheep producers who have begun using AI to incorporate European genetics into their flocks will be in attendance. Developments in AI techniques, as well as improved availability of internationally-sourced semen, are offering American sheep producers some real opportunities to broaden and improve their breed’s gene pool.
The symposium will be at the Estrimont Suites & Spa in Orford, in southern Quebec just north of Vermont. Attendees can register for just one day (i.e., for the day of AI presentations on Nov. 30th), or for the full symposium – which includes two days of presentations, a wine-and-cheese reception featuring Canadian sheep-milk cheeses, tours of two Quebecois sheep dairies and an optional cheese-making workshop.
For more details on the symposium schedule, go to www.dsana.org.
“I was always acutely aware that there were less women shearers,” photographer Nich Hance McElroy said of photographing women shearers up and down the West Coast for Vogue. But last year, when he began shearing on commercial crews for a shearer and sheep rancher named Robert Irwin, McElroy noticed more and more women working on flocks – many who Irwin actively recruited. Some were already farmers or gardeners themselves, some were tech professionals in the Bay Area with a back-to-the-land mind-set, some were part-time knitters who wondered why it was next to impossible to find local wool. McElroy began photographing them, too.
“I really think, going forward, it’s going to be women doing farm work,” Irwin told me recently by phone from California. “The last five years or so, teaching guys to do this stuff, a lot of them just don’t have the mentality of waking up and thinking to themselves, ‘I’m going to get better at this.’ The women do. They’re more apt to stick with this; they’re more detail-oriented; they’re tougher.”
To support animal disease traceability and scrapie eradication efforts, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has provided both metal and plastic ear tags and applicators to sheep and goat producers – at no cost – since fiscal year 2002.
These changes will reduce APHIS tag and applicator costs while still providing sheep and goat producers with a free identification device. APHIS will provide a limited number of plastic tags to producers newly enrolled in the Scrapie Free Flock Certification Program who submit tissues for scrapie surveillance in order to encourage on-farm scrapie surveillance.
The agency will continue to work closely in partnership with states and industry to achieve scrapie eradication.
WIN THE OXFORD SHEEP FOUNDATION FLOCK
Since 2007, prominent Oxford Breeders have donated lambs to establish a Foundation Flock. The Foundation Flock is given annually to establish one new Oxford Flock. The flock consists of quality Registered Oxford ewes and one Registered Oxford ram.
To win the award flock, you must write an essay to the Oxford Foundation Flock Award Committee. Include information about yourself, illustrate your goals and intentions with the animals should you win the award. Please type your essay and e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 18. Kindly include your mailing address and phone number.
The only request we ask of the Winner is to donate one ewe lamb within the first three years to a Foundation Flock. The Winner will be invited to attend the National Oxford Sale at Springfield, Illinois to receive their award. If you cannot attend, other arrangements to receive the flock will be made. Good Luck!
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
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
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