5 stories farmers read this week: March 5, 2016

5 stories collage: March 5, 2016

Here are the most-read stories on FarmandDairy.com this week:

1. Pa. budget impasse hits Penn State ag college, Extension

The eight-month-long partisan budget stalemate in Harrisburg has been holding up more than $600 million in funding for Pennsylvania’s four state-related universities. The impasse could negatively impact Penn State University’s ag college, Extension and research.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed the Land Scrip Fund, which funds Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, its research and Extension. Unless the Land Scrip Fund is restored, Extension staff positions are at stake, and 4-H and Master Gardeners programs could be cut.

2. Hog wild: March 1 is National Pig Day

On March 1, we celebrated National Pig Day by taking a look at the importance of the hog industry in the U.S. We also tipped our hats to pig farmers across the nation for their hard work and care for the swine they raise. Take a look at Ohio’s pork production stats as well as what it takes to raise pigs. We saved the best part for last: bacon.

3. FFA advisor feels blessed by community support

Brett McKelvey has been through a lot in his first two years of life. His twin brother is healthy, but Brett was born with a congenital heart defect.

Brett’s mom, Joanna McKelvey is a teacher at Wilmington Area High School and is also an FFA advisor. When Wilmington Area High School student and FFA’er Ty Phillips heard about Brett’s condition, he decided that he wanted to do something to help him and his family. Phillips restored a John Deere pedal tractor and auctioned it off, raising more than $10,000 to pay for Brett’s hospital bills.

4. Goat kid care: horn removal

Removing horn buds from kid goats isn’t required, but many farmers do as part of their herd management practice, market requirements and farm infrastructure.

Online columnist Ivory Harlow says that goat horns should be removed when kids are between 3 and 10 days old. She uses a disbudding iron to remove horns from the goat kids on her farm and provides step-by-step instructions for completing the process. You can also read her lists of reasons to keep horns and reasons to remove horns to help you decide what is best for your farm.

5. ‘It’s a fun time to be in the hop industry’

There’s no doubt that Ohio’s hop industry is growing. The state’s craft brewing industry increased by 17.6 percent in 2014.

This year’s Ohio Hops and Malting Barley Conference brought in more than 2,000 producers. With sessions designed for beginners and seasoned growers, the conference highlighted some key tips for hops growers.


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