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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Learn More About Hanging Rock

Sat, April 10, 2010 @ 2:00pm The View from the Rock A park ranger will be at the top of Hanging Rock from 2:00 – 2:45 to talk with visitors, answer questions, and point out the various sights visible from the summit. Feel free to stop by and chat! *Weather dependent* Meet at Hanging Rock Summit Sun, April 11, 2010 @ 2:00pm Hike to Tory's Den Learn about the Revolutionary War era history of Tory’s Den by joining a ranger for a short (0.3 miles one way) hike to the cave. We will also visit a small waterfalls and talk about how Hanging Rock became a state park in the 1930s. Meet at the Tory’s Den parking area.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Guinea Pig Veterinary Edition of

A good drug reference for guinea pig owners is the Veterinary Edition of It will help you understand more about any drug prescribed by your veterinarian or mentioned in a web article that you may be reading.
Save this web site to your Favorites for future reference.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Stokes Purple Sweet Potato

The North Carolina-grown purple sweet potato may soon be available in stores all over the country. Stokes Foods, the Walnut Cove grower of the Stokes Purple, has signed a distribution agreement that will take its line of purple sweet potatoes and purple sweet potato products to stores nationwide. The deal, with Georgia-based Columbus Gourmet, will help the company expand its reach. For the past year, the Stokes Purple has been sold in Southeastern Whole Foods stores, including those in the Triangle. The new deal will allow Stokes to work with Whole Foods stores in other regions, as well as offer potential inroads with other retailers with which Columbus Gourmet works, including Southeastern grocery chain Publix. The additional business will help Stokes' bottom line as well as farmers in the Stokes County area, said Bill Cobb, the company's managing director. "I think it's safe to say we expect to be able to double volumes [annually] for some time to come," he said. Read More

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mostly Local Market Open House

On Saturday, April 4, Mostly Local Market of Lewisville, NC will be having an open house along with their neighbors, Brush Strokes Art Studio and Roger's Nursery. They will have specials, samples and crafters. Make plans to drop by from 7AM until 5PM. Buffalo Gal's Soap is available at the market up until April 4. After that time, you may purchase soap from our other locations, the farm or our on-line store.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Agritourism Workshops

A series of six upcoming Agritourism Networking Association workshops across North Carolina will focus on how to start or continue a successful agritourism operation. The workshops are designed for current agritourism entrepreneurs and those who may be interested in starting an agritourism business. “People want to have a better understanding and a closer connection to the source of their food,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Agritourism ventures help people connect to educational, unique and entertaining farming experiences, and we continue to see a growing interest in these types of farms.” The workshops will focus on topics such as liability insurance, zoning, risk management, marketing and hospitality tips to bring in and keep customers, and working with elected officials. Participants will also have an opportunity to network and share ideas with other agribusiness owners. All workshops start at 3:30 p.m. Cost is $20 to $25 and includes workshop materials and dinner. Following are dates for the workshops: March 25 -- Gillis Hill Farm in Fayetteville (Cumberland County) April 8 -- Maple View Farm and Agricultural Center in Hillsborough (Orange) April 15 -- Flint Hill Vineyards in East Bend (Yadkin) April 22 -- Giardini Trattoria & Gardens in Columbus (Polk) April 29 -- Banner Elk Winery in Banner Elk (Avery) May 6 -- Mike’s Farm in Richlands (Onslow) For more information, contact Martha Glass, manager of the Agritourism Office at (919) 733-7887, ext. 276 or e-mail at

Monday, March 22, 2010

Needle Felting Workshop

A Sculpting with Wool/3-D Needle Felting Workshop will be held on Saturday, April 10, from 11:00 AM until 4:00 PM at 9185 Huff Farm Road in Kernersville, NC. Participants will learn the basics of making 3-D figures by creating a sheep made with 100% homegrown wool! This workshop is oriented toward beginners in 3-D needle felting, but experienced needle felters are welcome! All supplies and materials are included in the $75.00 fee. Bring a bag lunch. For more information and to register by March 26, contact Laura Frazier at 336.971.3834.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Worlds Oldest Sheep

Lucky was the world’s oldest sheep. She died in November, 2009 at the age of 23, twice the life expectancy of a sheep. Lucky succumbed to the effects of a heat wave in southern Australia and died peacefully after a short illness. The previous record for longevity was held by George, a Merino wether, also from Australia. George died in his sleep in 2006 at the age of 21. Lucky and George were both pets and were recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest sheep. Wild & Woolly (Maryland Sheep & Goat Producer Newsletter)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Too Pooped To Blog

I've been too pooped to do any "personal farm" blogging the past couple of weeks so all of you have been reading my generic "what might be of interest to you" information. I've got 9 Nubian bottle baby kids who are eating 3 times per day, 4 are on a bucket with the other 5 still on a bottle. I also have 5 more who will be taken away from their mom in a few days and they will also be put on a bottle 4 times per day. Nubian kids are the cutest things with those big brown eyes and long floppy ears. But beware, they have the sharpest baby teeth and will suck on anything that gets near their mouths, including fingers, hands, clothes and sweatshirt strings. They are like man eating fish and will eat you alive! Today we put in a new sidewalk in front of our rent house on the farm. It is made of big, flat rocks and stays in character with the cottage. We will hopefully finish it up tomorrow and install the large rock that we have for the front step. We also hung a white swing on the porch too! I delivered a Dutch rabbit and her babies to Giulia Smith of Fantasy Photography in downtown Germanton. Giulia is making photographs starting Friday of children in their Easter finery with rabbits. She'll be busy Friday thru Sunday with her sessions. She can be reached at 336.575.7088. Three more Nigerians are left to kid. Should happen any day now. One is sitting up like a dog. She is so fat that she sits so she can shift her kids back to breathe better and another's udder is huge and shiney. At least now, the weather is nice so the cold doesn't play a factor in birthing like it did earlier this year. Spring will be here tomorrow! Grass is already greening, flowers blooming and things looking up from such a long, cold winter.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

National Ag Week

This week, communities across the country are celebrating National Ag Week. The week is focused on raising awareness of the importance and abundance of agriculture in America. National Ag Week leads up to National Ag Day, which is Saturday, March 20. Agriculture provides the food we eat, the clothes we wear and many other things we use in our daily lives. We all need to appreciate the significance of agriculture in our lives. We all need to understand how food, fiber and renewable resource products are produced. We need to value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy, and we should appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products. Agriculture and agribusiness form a $70 billion industry in North Carolina, our largest economic sector by far. We should not take it for granted. In The Field Blog

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tour

Carolina Ziplines Canopy Tour has the East Coast's largest zipline canopy tour with over twenty cables. They have 2 different courses with each course consisting of multiple cables (spanning from 100 to 1400 feet) and a swinging bridge. They are located near Winston-Salem and five miles from Hanging Rock State Park. It is a perfect adventure of anyone over two years of age. They have something for the whole family. Their tours start with a walk through the woods in beautiful Stokes County, North Carolina. Then your heart gets pumping as you zip across each of their cables as you see a bird's eye view of the forest canopy and the seasonal vegetation below. E-mail or call 336.972.7656 for more information.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Small Farms Week

Small Farms Week runs March 21 - 27, 2010 at NC A&T University in Greensboro. This annual event is designed to recognize a farmer who exemplifies success, innovation and leadership in small-scale agriculture. Small farms are described as those with a net farm income of $100,000 or less. 2009 Small Farmer of the Year was John L. Council Farms of Hoke County. Their 68-acre farm produces pasture-raised hogs, chickens and turkeys, cows, goats and rabbits. They also produce hay and vegetables. This year's award will be presented on March 24 during Small Farms Week in Greensboro. Programs are scheduled for the entire 7 day run of this week. A good educational opportunity to see NC A&T's operations and the research they are involved in.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Center For Environmental Farming Systems

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems has some great sessions coming up in 2010. A majority of the sessions will be held in Goldsboro, NC. There is something for everyone and the registration fees associated are quite reasonable with most being "free" or up to $20. April 21-Small Ruminant Integrated Gastrointestinal Parasite Control, Smart Drenching and FAMACHA May 8-CEFS Spring Farm Festival May 23-Farm to Fork Picnic May TBA-Organic No-till Corn and Soybean Production May 25-Conservation Practices in Outdoor Hog Production June TBA-Organic No-till Corn and Soybean Production June 5-Food System Assessments Part I: Community-based Assessments July 13-Food System Assessments Part II: Local, Regional and State Food Assessments July 14-Farmscaping for Pest and Wildlife Management July 27-Alternative Management Strategies for Dairy Grazing Systems with Potential Application for Both Organic and Conventional Pasture-based Systems August 25 WEBINAR–High Tunnel Enhancements: Using Inner Covers to Increase Production August 26-Organic Certification October 13-Fall Tomato Production October 21-Use of Riparian Buffers to Mitigate Nutrient Runoff November 16-Managing Nutrients & Pests in Pasture-based Livestock Production Below is detailed information regarding each session: Small Ruminant Integrated Gastrointestinal Parasite Control, Smart Drenching and FAMACHA© Wednesday, April 21, 2010 8:45 a.m. – noon CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $10 (includes lunch; can be reimbursed – contact Niki Whitley at or 336-334-7956 for details) Coordinator: J-M. Luginbuhl Instructors: J-M. Luginbuhl, Niki Whitley, Eileen Coite Controlling gastrointestinal nematodes in their animals represents the biggest challenge facing small-ruminant producers worldwide. Participants will learn about the biology of the gastrointestinal nematodes, where we are and why, a quick review of dewormers, and how to integrate smart drenching, FAMACHA© and pasture management for more effective control. New alternatives being researched will also be discussed. An optional (brief) hands-on session will be held after lunch to teach participants how to use the FAMACHA© card as an effective tool. CEFS Spring Farm Festival Saturday, May 8, 2010 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. CEFS Small Farm Unit, Goldsboro, NC FREE EVENT!!! A great FAMILY EVENT with lots of kid-friendly activities. Please join us at the CEFS Small Farm Unit as we celebrate sustainable agriculture and local food and farming in North Carolina. The Festival will include educational booths and activities, workshops, tours, kids' activities, a farmers market, local food and live music all day. Exhibits: Learn about organic and sustainable farming, home gardening, small farm equipment, healthy eating, and more through exhibits hosted by extension offices, university faculty and staff, nonprofit organizations, and other agricultural organizations in North Carolina. Kids' Activities: Children of all ages will enjoy hands-on agricultural activities including games, crafts, and much more! Workshops: Local experts will offer demonstrations on topics of interest to farmers and home gardeners. Live Music: Enjoy live music while you visit the educational booths, or simply enjoy a walking tour of the farm. Farmers Market: Purchase farm-fresh products from local farms at the Festival Farmers Market. Farm Tours: Tours of the CEFS farm will be offered throughout the day. Tour stops include the pasture-based dairy and beef facilities, swine hoop houses, and cropping system research areas. Farm to Fork Picnic NEW DATE: Sunday, May 23, 2010 NEW TIME: 4 – 7 p.m. Location: Breeze Farm, Hillsborough, NC Ticket Cost: TBA Advanced ticket purchase required. Join Piedmont cooks and farmers for an evening of food, live music and fun activities for the entire family! In a unique collaboration, the regions most acclaimed cooks will pair with Piedmont farmers to prepare a picnic-style feast that celebrates our local foods and the people who grow and make them. Organic No-till Corn and Soybean Production May 2010, Date TBA 5 – 7 p.m. Location and Registration Fee TBA Coordinator: Molly Hamilton Instructors: Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton, Dr. Julie Grossman, Mary Parr, George Place One of two on-farm workshops that will demonstrate no-till/roll-kill practices that can be used in organic corn and soybean production. The technique for planting corn and soybeans into roll-killed cover crops will be discussed, and potential follow-up weed control methods will be demonstrated. Crop yields, fertility and crop management will also be discussed, as well as research results from the previous year. Conservation Practices in Outdoor Hog Production Tuesday, May 25, 2010 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $20 (includes lunch) Coordinators: Silvana Pietrosemoli, Lee Menius Instructors: Silvana Pietrosemoli, Lee Menius This workshop will give agents and producers training on the environmental problems associated with outdoor hog production and conservation practices needed to address these issues. The group will tour and discuss the outdoor swine research sites at CEFS and nearby farms. Organic No-till Corn and Soybean Production June 2010, Date TBA 5 – 7 p.m. Location and Registration Fee TBA Coordinator: Molly Hamilton Instructors: Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton, Dr. Julie Grossman, Mary Parr, George Place One of two on-farm workshops that will demonstrate no-till/roll-kill practices that can be used in organic corn and soybean production. The technique for planting corn and soybeans into roll-killed cover crops will be discussed, and potential follow-up weed control methods will be demonstrated. Crop yields, fertility and crop management will also be discussed, as well as research results from the previous year. Food System Assessments Part I: Community-based Assessments Saturday, June 5, 2010 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $10 Coordinator: Tes Thraves Instructor: Sidney Cruze Community-based food assessments identify food access, availability and demand questions, but also provide an engaged mode of community outreach and education about the importance of healthy food and local economics, as well as community development possibilities based in good food projects. This workshop will help you understand the basics of community-driven food assessments, will let you hear from youth and community members doing successful projects in North Carolina, and will give you some tools for beginning or expanding your own local assessments. In Part I, we'll cover different types of community-based assessments, examine ways that they help with outreach and education, and introduce youth-driven community food assessment activities. If you want an introduction to community-based food assessments or want to jump into exploring the baseline of your own area, we'll offer the information and materials to get started! Community-based food assessments can create the foundation for a comprehensive food system assessment. See the workshop titled "Food System Assessments Part II: Local, Regional and State Food Assessments" (below, July 13) for ways to leverage your community-based assessment. Food System Assessments Part II: Local, Regional and State Food Assessments Tuesday, July 13, 2010 9 a.m. – noon CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $10 Coordinator: Tes Thraves Instructor: Sidney Cruze This workshop offers an overview of food system assessments and outlines key steps for developing local and regional assessments. Comprehensive food system assessments often combine secondary data gathered from health departments, ag extension and the USDA Census of Agriculture with primary data gathered by professionals from community members. We will look at a variety of professional food assessment models—the data collected, plus how they are conducted and used—as well as examples of some done in North Carolina. We'll cover one in detail as a case study and discuss concrete steps to getting a comprehensive county-wide or regional assessment in your area. If you want an introduction to food assessments or you want to explore the baseline data for your own food system, and we'll offer the information and materials to get started! Comprehensive food system assessments can create the foundation for a community-based food assessment. See the workshop titled "Food System Assessments Part I: Community-based Assessments" (above, June 5) for ways to leverage your food system assessment. Farmscaping for Pest and Wildlife Management Wednesday, July 14, 2010 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $20 (includes lunch) Coordinator: Dr. David Orr This workshop will provide an overview of practices designed to enhance beneficial insects (predators, parasites, pollinators) as well as farmland wildlife. Field demonstrations will focus on establishment and maintenance of habitats to provide all the life-cycle needs of these organisms. Alternative Management Strategies for Dairy Grazing Systems with Potential Application for Both Organic and Conventional Pasture-based Systems Tuesday, July 27, 2010 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $20 (includes lunch) Waste Management Credits and Pesticide Credits are available. Coordinator: Dr. Steve Washburn Instructors: Dr. Sue Ellen Johnson, Dr. Kevin Anderson, Dr. Mark Alley, Dr. Wes Watson, Dr. Steve Washburn, Eileen Balz, Keena Mullen This workshop will include observations on research using alfalfa-grass pasture mixtures being managed either organically or conventionally as well as other pasture-management topics. The workshop will include preliminary observations from alternative approaches in managing reproduction, udder health, and general herd health in pasture-based and organic dairy cows. We will also observe the use of a vacuum system to physically remove horn flies from lactating cows as well as other novel strategies for parasite control. WEBINAR – High Tunnel Enhancements: Using Inner Covers to Increase Production Wednesday, August 25, 2010 Noon – 1 p.m. Location: WEBINAR – DELTA Registration Fee: FREE Coordinator: Steve Moore in conjunction with DELTA NCSU Instructor: Steve Moore Are you getting the most out of your high tunnels? This short webinar will focus on the use of low-cost inner tunnels in cool weather to increase microclimate temperatures. These microclimate enhancements have provided significant increases in plant growth and production capacity. There will be a significant portion of time for high tunnel questions. Please register online at Organic Certification Thursday, August 26, 2010 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $50 Coordinator: Lisa Forehand Instructor: Tony Kleese This workshop will help you understand what you need to know and do to get your farm certified under the USDA's National Organic Program (NOP). Find out what the standards are, how to get certified, how to fill out an organic certification application, and how to find and choose a certifier. You'll receive an extensive notebook with record-keeping templates, mock applications, resources, approved materials lists and more. If you are thinking about getting certified organic, this is the place to start! Fall Tomato Production Wednesday, October 13, 2010 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $20 (includes lunch) Coordinator: Dr. Keith Baldwin Instructors: Dr. Keith Baldwin, Rickie Holness In North Carolina, the traditional "direct marketing season" for small-scale vegetable producers is from April to October. Successful North Carolina growers who sell primarily at tailgate markets attempt to have quality produce for sale every week during that period. Getting the best price for product brought to market involves production planning. As often as possible, smart growers will want to bring product to market when supply is low so that they can charge high prices. One such production strategy is referred to as "season extension." Season extension provides producers with a competitive advantage, because it enables them to produce, harvest and sell crops when they are not typically available to consumers. For example, growers can make "early" spring specialty lettuces or "late" fall tomatoes available to consumers when demand is high at market and supply is low. Having produce available for sale at market when other growers do not can boost farm income and establish customer loyalty. A common season extension strategy employed by growers is to plant a crop at a nontraditional time. For example, tomatoes are normally planted as soon as the danger of spring frost is past. However, tomatoes can be planted much later in the growing season for market sales beginning in September and ending with the first fall frost. Having tomatoes for sale in the fall, when spring-planted tomatoes have "played out" and supply in the marketplace is limited, is a recipe for increasing sales and making money. This Extension workshop will focus on the production of high-quality tomatoes that can be sold at market from September until the first fall frost. Use of Riparian Buffers to Mitigate Nutrient Runoff Thursday, October 21, 2010 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $20 Organizer: Josh Idassi Riparian buffers are a technology in sustainable agriculture used to reduce excess amount of sediment, organic materials, nutrients and pesticides in surface runoff. Riparian buffers consist of grass, shrubs and/or trees grown alongside water sources (streams, rivers, ditches, etc.). This workshop will describe the design and maintenance of riparian buffers and the potential additional benefits of creating them, including the use of specialty crops within the buffer such as fruit shrubs or trees, nut trees and herbs. The workshop will include a classroom section with pictures and educational materials followed by a tour of CEFS areas with riparian buffers. Managing Nutrients and Pests in Pasture-based Livestock Production Systems Tuesday, November 16, 2010 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. CEFS, Goldsboro, NC Registration Fee: $20 (includes lunch) Coordinator: Dr. Steve Washburn Instructors: Dr. Steve Washburn, Dr. Matt Poore, Dr. Jean-Marie Luginbuhl, Dr. Wes Watson This workshop will improve participants' understanding of how nutrients cycle in pasture-based systems. Participants will be introduced to the nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in a pasture ecosystem, and will improve their understanding of how to manage excreted nutrients. Use of composted poultry litter and dry bedded swine waste on forage crops, and optimal control of insect and plant pests in conventional and organic systems, will also be discussed. Continuing education credits for animal waste system operators and pesticide applicators will be offered.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Extension's Home & Garden Series

The Forsyth County Public Libraries are hosting a series of informative gardening programs throughout the Spring presented in partnership with the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Service. All programs will be presented by Master Gardener volunteers and Extension Agents of the Forsyth County Cooperative Extension Service and are free to the public. Programs range from an hour to 90 minutes and include a question and answer period at the end of the program. To register for an upcoming program, call 703-2867. This year's lineup features the following programs: Attracting Birds to Landscape Carolina Yards and Neighborhoods Community Gardening 101 Backyard Chickens Growing Small Fruits in the Landscape Growing Roses Beginning Vegetable Gardening Organic Gardening Container Gardening Low Maintenance Gardening Landscaping for Curb Appeal Managing Your Pests From Trash to Treasure Lilies and Daylilies Growing Herbs Low Cost Home Maintenance Rain Gardens and Rainwater Harvesting 101 Complete schedule of gardening programs Brochure with schedule of gardening programs by Topic

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cow Tipping?

Call it bovinemetrics. Call it cowculus. Whatever, the physics of cow-tipping is not exactly the well-funded darling of the scientific community. Nevertheless, a 2005 study at the University of British Columbia investigated the mechanics of upending udders and found much about this rural legend to be complete bull. At least two people would be required to exert the force needed to topple a static cow. And they would have to act fast—it is unlikely that even the jolliest Jersey would allow itself to be jostled without some resistance, so the hopeful pranksters would need soft shoes and quick reflexes. Unlike horses, cows do not sleep on their hooves. They may rest while standing but remain acutely aware of their surroundings. Cow-tipping may be possible, but it doesn't appear to be easy or pleasant. And the notion that cows can't get back up once they're down is just silly. Cows sleep on the ground and stand up without any trouble.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

5 Tips For Raising Goats

Without a doubt, goat farming is one of the more profitable businesses these days. Aside from selling fresh and processed meats in the markets, there is also goat milk that can be harvested and sold fresh or used as ingredients to other food items (e.g. candy, cheese, yogurt, etc.) and skin care products (e.g. lotions, soaps and creams.) Fibers from these animals also yield wool, mohair and cashmere wool; and there are now farms that raise and sell docile goats as pets. If you are thinking about raising goats as a business venture, here are 5 guide to raising goats tips you might want to consider. Guide to raising goats tip #1: Consider what kind of production you want to get into. Would you like to sell goat meat, milk, fibers or pets? Naturally enough, you can sell both goat milk and meat at the same time, (or whatever combination you would want.) But that would entail a huge overhead expenditure right from the very beginning. It would also mean getting a very large number of animals, and an equally large farm space. Try to start this business venture small. This will help keep your expenses down while you learn the ropes of raising goats on a commercial scale. Guide to raising goats tip #2: Now that you have chosen what kind of production you want to get into, you need to choose carefully what breed of goats you can order in. Goat breeds like the Angora, Cashmere, Nigora and the Pygora are excellent for fiber production. The best producers of goat meat are the: South African Boer, Kiko, Brush, Myotonic (also known as the Fainting goats,) West African Dwarf and the Spanish goats. Goats breeds like the Alpine, Anglo-Nubian, La Mancha, Saanen, Toggenburg and Oberhasli are the best milk producers; while docile breeds like the: Anglo-Nubian, South African Boer and the Pygmy goats can be raised and sold as pets. Guide to raising goats tip #3: Learn all you can about commercial goat raising. Subscribe to lessons in goat rearing, and how to harvest and sell goat based products. Ask local goat farmers for tips and a few tricks of the trade. The more you know about this kind of business endeavor, the more you can quickly regain your overhead expenses and profit from your hard work. Guide to raising goats tip #4: Always seek out the services of a veterinarian. As a rule, goats are very hardy animals, and are quite low maintenance too. But if you are selling the meat and milk of the animals, you need the animals to be issued clean bills of health. Besides, having a vet on your farm's payroll is mandatory in most states. Guide to raising goats tip #5: Build adequate housing for your animals. Goats would need protection from both the elements and potential predatory animals. In order to thrive, one goat would need at least 4 meters of indoor floor space with a lot of head room so that it can stand. Housing should also include a separate feeding area, watering station, beddings, and milking or shearing stations, especially if you are raising goats for milk or fiber production respectively. Raising goats does not need to be difficult if you know how. If you would like to learn more guide to raising goats and avoid the costly mistakes, please visit: Article Source And the most important goat tip #6 is fencing. This will make or break your venture.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Food Safety on the Farm

Learn how to minimize fresh produce risks on your farm. Learn Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and what it takes to become GAPs certified. Cost to attend is $5. Pre-register by calling or e-mailing the Davidson County Cooperative Extension by March 19th. For more information, view the event flyer. March 25th, 2010 @ 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM Davidson County Agricultural Building 301 East Center Street Lexington, NC 27292 Contact Leslie Vinesett at (336) 242-2085

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Web Marketing & Social Media for Small Farms

Web Marketing & Social Media for Small Farms: Cultivating Connections March 18th, 2010 @ 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Agriculture Building Auditorium Pittsboro, NC Cultivating Connections: Web Marketing and Social Media for the Small Farm Do you want to build a website for your farm, farmers' market, or ag-related business? Do you have a website but feel like it is stagnant and not very effective as a marketing or educational tool? Do you have a desire to educate people about farming and agriculture? Do you want to increase the visibility of your farm or farmers' market or ag-related business? Would you like to be more connected to a thriving local foods community of farmers, eaters, entrepreneurs, and educators? Do you need help managing your CSA memberships? Then come on over to Chatham County and spend the day learning how social media can help you accomplish your goals! The Chatham County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension will offer a workshop entitled Cultivating Connections: Web Marketing and Social Media for the Small Farm as part of its Enhancing Sustainability Series on Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 9:00 am-5:00 pm in the auditorium of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro. We’ll learn how farmers in NC and beyond are using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to connect with consumers as well as their peers. (Follow Growing Small Farms on Twitter and Facebook!) Live demonstrations of how to use these different social media tools will highlight their features and ease of use. Who should attend? Farmers, farmers' market vendors, and market managers. Ag-related businesses and non-profit organizations. Restaurants that buy from local farmers. Workshop Agenda: 8:30-9:00 am Registration and coffee 9:00-9:30 am Social Media and Agriculture: Benefits, Challenges, and Opportunities How do I decide which tools are best for me and my farm? How to maximize your time in the field and minimize time in front of the computer! Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center Social Media Tools 9:30-10:00 am Facebook How to market your farm and connect with customers through Facebook. Examples of NC farms and ag-related businesses on Facebook. Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center 10:00-10:30 am Twitter What is it, how do I do it, and how does it help me as a farmer? Examples of farms and ag-related organizations on Twitter. Demonstration of how to use Twitter. Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center 10:30-10:45 am Break 10:45-11:00 am YouTube Examples of how farmers are using YouTube. Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center 11:00 am-12:00 pm Blogging What is it, how do I do it, and how does it help me as a farmer? We’ll look at how farmers are using blogs to tell their farm story, strengthen their connection to their community, and communicate with CSA and farmers' market customers. Demonstration of how to use free software like WordPress to create a farm blog. Examples of farms that have blogs. Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center Emily Lancaster, Dutch Buffalo Farm Jason & Haruka Oatis, Edible Earthscapes 12:00-1:00 pm Local lunch catered by Angelina's Kitchen 1:00-1:45 pm Principles of Web Marketing for Farms Choosing and buying a domain name. Components of a good farm website. Search engine optimization tips. Marketing your website. Email marketing. Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center Simon Huntley, Small Farm Central 1:45-3:00 pm Creating a Farm Website How to create a dynamic, professional, and successful farm website using software such as WordPress (free) and Small Farm Central (subscription service). We will build a simple website during the workshop using both of these tools. Examples of farms that have created websites using WordPress and Small Farm Central. Debbie Roos, NC Cooperative Extension, Chatham County Center Simon Huntley, Small Farm Central 3:00-3:15 pm Break 3:15-4:15 pm On-line Tool for Managing Community Supported Agriculture Memberships Simon Huntley, Small Farm Central Judy Lessler, Harland’s Creek Farm 4:15 pm Questions and Evaluation Registration form. Registration fee is $25.00 per person and includes breakfast, local lunch (catered by Angelina's Kitchen), and handouts. The deadline for registration is March 12, 2010. To register, download the registration form and mail with your check. For more information, contact Debbie Roos at 919-542-8202.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Vegetable Gardening Workshop

Vegetable Gardening Workshop March 11th, 2010 @ 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Lexington, NC Learn how to grow fresh vegetables. In a time where our food supply is uncertain and new precautions come out almost daily; it's time to think about producing your own supply of vegetables. There has never been a more urgent time to learn these skills than now. There is no cost to attend. Call or e-mail our office to pre-register. Event Location Agricultural Building 301 East Center Street Lexington, NC 27292 Contact Leslie Vinesett at (336) 242-2085

Friday, March 5, 2010

Dan River Company

The Dan River Company provides professional rental and shuttle services on the Dan River. They are located in the foothills of the Sauratown Mountain Range and adjacent to Hanging Rock State Park in Danbury, North Carolina. Whether you are located in Winston Salem, Martinsville, High Point, Mt. Airy or Greensboro, you are less than 1 hour from adventure. Rent canoes, kayaks and Sit on Tops, or bring your own boats. To make a reservation for a trip or shuttle service, call 336.593.BOAT.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Growing Small Fruits in the Piedmont

Growing Small Fruits in the Piedmont March 9th, 2010 @ 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Asheboro, NC Have you ever wanted to grow strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, muscadines, or bunch grapes for yourself and others? North Carolina Cooperative Extension Agent Mary Helen Ferguson, for whom the topic of small fruits is a not-so-secret favorite, will hold a class on “Growing Small Fruits in the Piedmont.” No fee will be charged, but those planning to attend are asked to pre-register. For accommodations for persons with disabilities or limited English proficiency, contact Mary Helen Ferguson at 336-318-6000 (phone), 336-318-6011 (FAX),, or in person, no later than five business days before the event. Event Location NC Cooperative Extension - Randolph County Center 112 W. Walker Ave. Asheboro, NC 27203

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nigerian Dwarf Breed History

Of interest to Nigerian Dwarf breeders and others is the following article on their breed history: Like many breeds of domestic livestock, the history of the Nigerian Dwarf is incomplete. Through the years and stages of development, records were not always kept, or they were sketchy at best. Developing the history of the breed is much like putting together a jigsaw that is missing many of its pieces. To produce the present day Nigerian Dwarf, one has to use a combination of documented facts, speculation, deductive reasoning and a little imagination. What is known is that throughout tropical West Africa, there is a type of goat referred to as the West African Dwarf (WAD). These goats are used as a food source, providing both meat and milk for the local population. Due to economic hardships, keeping "pets" is not an option. It appears that today little thought is used in breeding and a survival-of-the-fittest phenomenon is taking place. In the writings of Albert Schweitzer a local goat is often times referred to, credited with supplying the milk for the hospital Schweitzer worked at in Lambrene in the country now known as Gabon. The imported breeds, typically known as dairy breeds, weren't able to withstand the tsetse fly, and therefore were not productive. The WAD goats continued to survive and thrive. Throughout books on Dr. Schweitzer, pictures of goats similar to those referred to as Nigerian Dwarves in the U.S., can be found. The beginning of the breed in this country lies in zoos. Exactly how the WAD came to American soil is one of the missing pieces in the puzzle. One theory is that as big cats were shipped to zoos, goats were loaded onto the vessels as a food source for the cats while in transit. The goats that weren't consumed went on to the zoos. The first miniature goats to appear in this country were part of zoo exhibits and research institutions. As early as 1918, Joseph Crepin reported in the second edition of La Chévre that WAD goats had been imported to the United States. Additionally, there were a number of documented importations from the 1930s to the 1960s. As they grew, it became necessary to reduce the number of animals, and individuals had an opportunity to own these unique goats. Originally, all small goats of WAD origin were indiscriminately referred to as pygmies. In the beginning, "pygmy" was used more to describe a size of goat rather than a specific breed, much like "Swiss" is often times used to refer to the various erect-eared breeds hailing from Europe. As time went on, breeders began to notice differences in type within what had become the Pygmy breed. There were two distinct types: the shorter legged, heavier bodied, round-boned animals more typical of what is known today as a Pygmy, and the more refined, angular animal that has become today's Nigerian Dwarf. As breeders began to communicate, they discovered there were others in the Unites States and Canada that had similar observances. Mrs. Bonnie Abrahamson of North Ogden, Utah, was one of the first to notice the distinctive difference while working in a zoo in California. Mrs. Abrahamson brought several black and white animals that she referred to as "Nigerian Dwarves" to an AGS Pygmy certification committee. Despite their more refined bone and dairy appearance, these animals were accepted into the AGS Pygmy herd book. At about the same time, Mr. Heabert Woods of Alexandria, Indiana, had animals similar in type to Mrs. Abrahamson's but brown in color, which were refused entry into the National Pygmy Goat Association (NPGA) herd books because of their color. These two breeders petitioned the International Dairy Goat Registry (IDGR) to open a herd book for Nigerian Dwarves. IDGR opened a separate herd book for the breed, complete with a standard emphasizing dairy characteristics, and on July 24, 1981, Mr. Robert Johnson's Bullfrog Alley Johnny Jump-Up #2, a buck bred by Mrs. Abrahamson, became the first Nigerian Dwarf registered by any registry. By January 1987, there were 384 animals registered in the herd books of IDGR as Nigerian Dwarves, with 93 of those registered in the previous year alone. In part, largely due to the fact that IDGR does not sanction shows, the popularity of the registry has waned over the years. The early Nigerian Dwarves were seen most often in three distinct color lines, all of similar type, even though many of the early breeders attempted to keep each color line separate from the others. A majority of these early animals were brown, black or gold, all with or without random white markings. Possibly because of the limited number of representatives of the breed, breeders did begin to mix the color lines fairly early on, although references to specific color lines could still be found as late as 1988. In 1984, the American Goat Society (AGS) opened a herd book for Nigerian Dwarves, and by September of the following year, 82 animals, representing breeders from eight states and Canada had been registered. The first AGS registered Nigerian Dwarf distinction goes to Wright's Pansy, AGS #D-1f, owned by Francis Wright of Indiana. Mr. Woods was instrumental in getting a separate herd book for the breed with AGS, and was made chairman of the Nigerian Dwarf Committee. Mr. Wright and Pat Freeman of Dutton, Ontario completed the original Nigerian Dwarf Committee for AGS. To form the foundation of the breed, applications were submitted to the committee, along with a clear photograph of the animal and a measurement of the animal at the withers. If the committee unanimously agreed that the animal, which had to be at least one year of age, met the breed standard, the animal was then eligible to be registered as a purebred Nigerian Dwarf. Animals that were accepted for registration using this process are oftentimes referred to as a "committee animal." Some of the animals submitted, such as Mrs. Abrahamson's, were previously registered as Pygmies. It also would include animals with unknown backgrounds that showed true Nigerian Dwarf characteristics, and as time went on, animals that were of registered ancestry but which did not have current paperwork. Many times, it was easier to submit the animal for certification than to retrace the paperwork for several generations. The original closing date for the herd book was set at December 31, 1987. A change in the standard that year, however, would allow animals that previously were ineligible and the date was extended to December 31, 1990. In 1990, with fewer than 400 Nigerian Dwarves registered, the AGS Board voted to extend the deadline until December 31, 1992, to allow for a sufficient genetic base of foundation stock. The certification process ended in 1992. All animals registered through his point, whether by ancestry or committee approval, carry the "f" suffix to their registration number to indicate that they are considered a foundation animal. Unfortunately, accurate records were not kept indicating how many animals were admitted via certification, but by the end of 1992, approximately 2000 Nigerian Dwarves had been registered with the American Goat Society. There was still some concern that the breed needed a broader genetic base, and a progeny program was put into place until December 31, 1997. An unregistered animal would still be considered for registration if, when bred to several different AGS registered Nigerian Dwarves (three for does, four for bucks), the animal and all surviving offspring met breed standard and received unanimous approval of the Nigerian Dwarf Committee. Again, accurate records were not kept, but one committee member recalls very few of these coming through committee. In keeping with AGS' philosophy of closed, purebred herd books, since January 1, 1998, the only way to be registered as a purebred Nigerian Dwarf is to be the offspring of two registered purebred Nigerian Dwarves. All breeds begin somewhere, but where we are going is more important than where we started. Using the wide genetic base created though the open herd book, breeders are now molding the breed into a superior milk-producing animal that also happens to be small. While the Nigerian Dwarf and Pygmy share common ancestry, they have clearly become two distinct breeds through the efforts of breeders. The popularity of the breed has continued to grow, in part because of AGS sanctioned shows being held across the country. The first show that offered a separate sanction for the breed was the 1985 AGS National Show held in Graham, Texas. Only two exhibitors of Nigerian Dwarves were present (Shaula Parker and Kathleen Claps), and the breed wasn't official, but there has been no looking back since. Pine Cone Valley Black Satin, a doe that is listed as an original import, owned by Ms. Claps, had the distinction of being crowned the first AGS National Champion Nigerian Dwarf. While the popularity of shows skyrocketed after this, another AGS National Show would not be held until 1996. Through the hard work of the Nigerian Dwarf breeders, and AGS sanctioned National Show has been held every year since. As the primary registry of the breed, AGS has registered more than 41,000 purebred Nigerian Dwarf goats to date (April 2008). AGS maintains a closed-herd book on which both the NDGA (Nigerian Dwarf Goat Association) and the ADGA (American Dairy Goat Association) have based their herd books. The Nigerian Dwarf which was until recently considered a rare breed has grown in popularity over the years. The number of animals registered with AGS each year, continues to increase. The American Goat Society, For more information visit

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Langston University Goat Research

This is a good link to read from Langston University in Oklahoma on goat research. It contains Fact Sheets on: Grade A Dairy Goat Farm Requirements Low Cost 4-H Animal Projects Goat Housing Goat Hoof Trimming Castrating Meat Goat Production and Marketing Marketing Meat Goats and Consumer Demand for Goat Meat