‘Dairy Leaders’ tour to showcase DD Drycreek, Kulp dairies

High school students with an interest in dairy should apply now to participate in a day-long tour of two Blair County dairy farms on April 11. The tour is being coordinated by the Center for Dairy Excellence and supported by the Center for Dairy Excellence Foundation of Pennsylvania as part of its Dairy Leaders of Tomorrow program. Applications must be received by March 31.

DD Drycreek Farm is a multi-generational family business owned and operated by Doug and Veronica Smith, Martinsburg, Pa. It consists of about 150 milking cows and about 400 acres of cropland. The Smiths have a parlor and freestall set-up, which includes a greenhouse barn for their heifers. They also recently installed solar panels which provide about one-fifth of their energy needs for the farm.

Kulp Family Dairy LLC is owned by Phil and Larry Kulp. The home farm includes 1,430 milking cows with two satellite dairies that house 700 and 450 cows, respectively. The home farm has a Boumatic Double-25 Parallel Parlor with a tunnel ventilated freestall barn. The sand from the home farm is separated and the pressed manure is used as bedding on the satellite dairies and heifer facilities. The farm crops about 4,000 acres, all no tilled, with about 1,000 acres that are double cropped. About 20-25% of the farm’s milk supply is sold into the Kosher market.

Those interested in the tour must complete a brief application and include a statement on why they are interested in the dairy industry. The application must also be signed by their agriculture teacher or an educational advisor and a parent. Absentee excuse forms should also be submitted with the application, so they can be signed to ensure that the tour is considered an educational field trip.

Applications can be downloaded from www.centerfordairyexcellence.org under “Upcoming Events” or in the “Student and Educator” section. Call 717-346-0849 to request an application.


Vermont program preserves historic farm buildings

A c. 1780 English barn, mid-twentieth century corn crib, c. 1840 sugarhouse and 1915 dairy barn are among a list of 20 historic agricultural buildings across Vermont receiving Barn Preservation Grants in 2014. The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation recently awarded matching grants totaling $282,786 to help restore and maintain historically and architecturally significant agricultural buildings.

More than 35 applications were received, with selected grant projects ranging from roof replacements, to structural and frame repairs, window restoration, and foundation and drainage improvements. The complete list of funded projects is available online at: http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accd/files/Documents/strongcommunities/historic/FY2014_Barn_Grants.pdf.


New York: Only large dairies will be OSHA-inspected

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) officials issued a clarification regarding New York dairy farms inspections scheduled for later this year. Random comprehensive dairy farm inspections of “large dairies” will be conducted, July through September.

According to the New York OSHA Work Group, “large” dairies are those that have had 11 or more non-family employees at any one time in the last 12 months.

Smaller farms that house workers will not be inspected, at least through the end of September 2014, even though OSHA may consider those workers to be temporary. 

The New York OSHA Work Group includes:

• PRO-DAIRY ansci.cornell.edu/prodairy/

• Northeast Dairy Producers Association NEDPA.org.

• New York Farm Bureau NYFB.org.

• NY Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health nycamh.com

• Cornell Cooperative Extension cce.cornell.edu.


Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference is March 26-27

The Mid-Atlantic Nutrition Conference (formerly the Maryland Nutrition Conference) will be held March 26-27.

For a copy of the agenda and links to registration and hotel information, visit http://www.manc.umd.edu/generalprogram.html


Vermont ROPS, Agrability programs available

The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension has a couple of programs to address farm safety and farmers with disabilities.

The Rebates for Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS) program helps prevent injury by providing a 70% rebate (up to $865) for the installation of a ROPS on farm equipment. ROPS are 99% effective when used with a seatbelt in preventing rollover deaths and serious injuries.

Farmers with tractors that do not have ROPS installed, should call (877) 767-7748 with the year, make and model of the tractor for help in finding the right ROPS to purchase and for information about the rebate offer, which ends soon.

The Vermont AgrAbility Project provides resources for farm and equipment modifications for farmers with a disability or chronic health condition. Farmers are eligible for the free, confidential service if they have any type of acquired or traumatic disability, physical, cognitive or sensory.

AgrAbility addresses many conditions, including, but not limited to, arthritis, spinal cord or back injury, paralysis, amputation, brain injury, visual/hearing problems, respiratory ailments and muscular impairments. The program offers education, assistance and referrals for financial assistance as well as facilitates farm modifications to accommodate these unique abilities. On-site and technical assistance may include helping farmers to restructure work tasks and operations, modify farm equipment and tools, acquire assistive technologies and explore alternative agriculture enterprises. Farmers also will learn how to prevent further injuries or disabling conditions and have a chance to connect with others who have accommodated their own disability.

For more information, contact Geoff Whitchurch, Vermont AgrAbility Project Education and Outreach Coordinator, at (802) 888-4972, ext. 403, or (866) 260-5603 (toll-free in Vermont) or by e-mail at vtagrability@uvm.edu.