Knowledge Center Blog

Welcome to the Farm Credit Knowledge Center Blog!  This blog is a combination of posts from industry experts, Knowledge Center staff and guest contributors covering all aspects of agriculture and life in the country.  We want you to participate in this blog, sharing your thoughts and comments about the topics posted here.

September 2014

The Science of Agriculture

Thank you to Sarah Burleson, Soybean Variety Development Breeding Research Assistant for Monsanto for this week's post! 

 

To the general public, agriculture may not seem like the rapidly advancing, science based, technology driven industry that it is.  Agriculture is an industry that is vital to the existence of every person on earth, and yet is understood in first world countries by less than 5% of the population.  The opportunity to educate others who are unfamiliar with agriculture and to share news with those who are is our responsibility as members of the agriculture industry.  It is critical to make our resources and opinions available to the public to allow them to understand these advances and their necessity for improving efficiency and sustainability so that farmers can continue to meet demands of a growing population. 

 
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Farmer-Chef Express: Connecting Buyers and Sellers of Local Food

The Piedmont Environmental Council is a regional community-based environmental non-profit that works to conserve open space to ensure clean air and water, preservation of historic resources, and the availability of productive farmland and forests  for future generations. Over the years, PEC has helped landowners permanently protect over 357,000 acres of rural or natural land in our nine-county area.

 

 

 

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Meet the Bowmans, makers of sorghum molasses

Molasses-making has become a rare art, but a few Virginians still carry on the old homesteading practice using sorghum, a plant that came from Africa and is used in various forms for grain, biofuel, and silage. The molasses that shows up on store shelves is made from sugar canes or sugar beets, and technically the thick, sweet product created from the sorghum plant is “sorghum syrup.” However, the traditional title of “sorghum molasses” still stands amongst many producers and the two names are sometimes used interchangeably. “Sweet sorghum” is the moniker used to categorize the unique varieties chosen for molasses-making that have more stalk juice and sugars than the forage or grain sorghum varieties do.

 

 

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Getting Started in the Poultry Industry

Writing an article about poultry farming seemed easy – until I started doing it.  The industry appears simple at first but I find myself wrestling with where to stop instead of where to start.  I’ve financed poultry farms, construction/equipment companies and poultry integrators over a 20+ year career with Farm Credit.  My perspective is certainly different than it was 20 years ago and admittedly changed once I began working with more than just the farms.

 

 

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The True Bottom Line - Beyond the Money and the Drama

Many of you may have seen the Washington Post article that ran a week ago about kid’s livestock shows and how they have become a cutthroat and expensive business. (If you have not read it, you can find it here)  I read it, and refrained from comment on it until now – mostly because when I read it initially, to say that it did not sit well with me would be an understatement.  Since its publication several people have written rebuttals from different perspectives, all valid and well written.  One pointed out that the writer did not even attempt to cover what these kids learn from being a part of 4-H and FFA, which is a very valid point.  Another discussed the fact that it seems that every article tries to pit “family farms” against “factory farming” when in fact many of the 4-H and FFA projects sold are sold by family farmers – which is also true and oh so important to point out.

 
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Yum...Chicken!

In addition to Labor Day (today!) September also has the honor of being National Chicken Month!  In honor of both of these occasions, we wanted to share some tips and tricks for safe poultry handling as well as some great recipes!
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