Elvis is in the building!

The herd sire returnith Although I’ve witnessed the scene several times now, the simplicity and unvarnished single-purpose of it continues to amaze me. Dave and I met the cattle hauler at a neighboring farm late in the afternoon. The hauler had, in fact, gotten to Turnip Rock farm five or ten minutes ahead of us and had already backed the long, aluminum trailer to the cow barn. He and Josh, owner of Turnip Rock, were in the old barn coaxing my BueLingo bull, Full Throttle, away from the Jersey cows he’d been “keeping company” with since late May. I stayed … Continue reading

Learning to talk – and eat – like a farmer

Growing up in New York City meant being able to speak at least two or three languages, each reflecting the mindset and philosophies of a distinct group. I spoke ‘Bronx’ of course, Puerto Rican Spanish and spanglish (mix of English and Spanish), Bronx High School of Science Yidlish (Jewish expressions and inflections mixed with English), and a bit of Italish (Italian expressions mixed into the English). My brother, who was a little kid when we moved into an mostly Italian neighborhood, is much more fluent in Italish. He took to the inflections like a duck to water. When I first … Continue reading

Tune in. July 19, 9-9:30AM CT – Grazing guru Cody Holmes – how multi-species grazing benefits soil, livestock, and people

What: Deep Roots Radio interview with Cody Holmes When: Saturday, July 19, 2014, 9:00-9:30 AM Central Time Where: Broadcast and streamed live on WPCA Radio, 93.1FM, http://www.wpcaradio.org I was lucky. It was a cold early December afternoon, and Cody Holmes was at the front of the room. There were about 70 of us in that St. Paul, Minnesota hotel meeting space; men and women from all across the country, Canada, Mexico and Europe. We sat behind long tables, our legs stretched in front of us, and our attention intent on Cody – one of the top grazing gurus in the … Continue reading

Growing agricultural tourism – good for farmers, good for visitors

How Midwest farmers can use agri-tourism to increase revenues and boost local economies.

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Temporarily stymied by farming.

June 26, 2014 I just stood there. I stared at the full 150-gallon water trough and wondered, “How am I going to move that thing 300 feet to the next paddock for my thirsty cows?” An experienced farmer would have looked at the situation and immediately pulled from years of similar challenges to come up with three or four possible approaches. A much younger – and stronger – farmer would have applied brawn as well as brain to implement a solution. But I am neither deeply experienced nor young and strong. I am, like so many new farmers across the … Continue reading

A day in the life

6:00 AM – As always, MPR’s Cathy Wurzer’s bright voice from the bedside radio let’s me know the world has survived another night and Minnesota is involved in all kinds of activity. Although I now farm in Western Wisconsin, I pulled many of my Minnesota habits with me when I crossed the river. In an hour the radio will automatically switch to Wisconsin Public Radio – new alliances. 6:45 AM – Doing some laundry. In the heat of summer, and when you’re dealing with livestock, sweat, dirt and manure build up on everything. Dave and I often go through two … Continue reading

John Mesko, Exec Dir, Sustainable Farming Assoc of MN. When farm plans meet reality

Sustainable Farmers Association of MN Executive Director John Mesko on the benefits of farm planning and what it means to play out the plan.

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Update: Plowing with my keyboard

Grrr, and Happy Anniversary It’s part of farming – a part that cramps my neck and makes my eyes water from fatigue: computer work. I’ve been rebuilding this website – From the Bronx to the Barn – for several weeks now. Why so long? Because a website that includes podcasts, automated feeds to iTunes, videos to YouTube and photos to galleries isn’t the easiest thing to construct. At least not for this farmer. I’m migrating my website to a new service provider and I’m doing it with unfamiliar software. Yes, I’ve a few bald patches to show for the effort. … Continue reading

Dr. Gail Hansen – on industrial ag and antibiotic-resistant bacteria

Dr. Gail Hansen describes how the overuse of antibiotics in industrial livestock production creates antibiotic-resistant bacteria – a healthcare crises in the USA

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U of Guelph research links GMO crops to dramatic decline of monarch butterfly

This Canadian research shows how industrial-sized crop farming has dramatically reduced monarch butterfly populations in North America

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