Our column, The Life of the Land, is an exploration of local agricultural practices. Several of our pieces will focus on farms which raise grass-fed animals; here we address the environmental implications of locally raised livestock.
It is indisputable that industrial livestock management is an ecological disaster. This has led to pronouncements from numerous authoritative agencies to eat “less meat” or even “no meat”. Yet grass-fed production of livestock is an important and growing component of our local agricultural economy. For those of us who wish to support these farms, is their meat actually environmentally “better meat”?
Glimmerglass Film Days this year featured a documentary entitled “Storm Lake” that chronicled the operating of The Storm Lake Times, a small local newspaper in Iowa farm country much like The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta.
The community of Storm Lake endured profound changes in the last two decades as the local farm economy declined and was replaced by a very large Tyson pork processing plant that now employs 2,500 mostly migrant workers. The town’s population is about 11,000; its surrounding Buena Vista County about 20,000 in all.
The film cites corporate consolidation of corn and soybean farming and the “vertical integration” of the pork processing business — a fancy term for owning your suppliers — as the primary reasons for an agricultural downturn. Before the consolidation of the pork business, corn and soybean family farmers in Buena Vista County supplemented their crop business with hogs.
CULLEN — In September and October, the delivery trucks stop at Cullen Pumpkin Farm and its twin Shypski Farm nearly every day to load up on pumpkins.
“We certainly hope so,” said Barbara Shypski. “September and October are only two months, so there is a lot of pumpkins to get out.”
Just north of Otsego County, in the town of Columbia, in the hamlet that gives the farm its name, Cullen Pumpkin Farm has been supplying central New York with pumpkins for four, going on five, decades.
Brothers Tom, Richard and John, with help from Tom’s wife, Barbara, and other family members, have been carrying on the family tradition begun by their father, Nester.
Vitamins, minerals, and other supplements – there are numbers of people who say you should take vitamins.
Vitamin C for tissue repair, A for healthy skin, B for stress, E for women over 40, and a very popular one today – Vitamin D for overall health.
But the cost of the vitamins keeps getting higher and higher. A men’s multivitamin today will cost well over $50!
I was looking at the label on the jar and it said that a number of the ingredients are foods, from foods? Why not just eat the right foods? Well, they say foods are
not as nutritional us as they used to be.
I remember reading about one genetically modified grain that was created so it would grow faster. One of the reasons that it grows faster was that the roots are shorter. Well , the shorter roots do not go deep enough to absorb enough minerals, which in turn affects the brain function because of the lack of the minerals.
You can see why a lot of people think that you should eat organic, non-GMO foods. So I wonder why isn’t the food as good as it used to be?
A lot has to do with the soil. It’s been depleted and in many places contaminated.
There’s a graveyard for cars around here. Tons of cars lined up near a river. Every time I drive by I think how stupid to be so close to the river. The acid rain comes down on all the cars and carries all the pollutants into the river and into the farmland.
Man just ignores the cycles of nature, giving little respect to the natural process. They think science can do a better job. There is no balance between nature and science. You really don’t want to wait for nature to build the soil back up.
The way she takes care of things! Think about this: the COVID virus. It is keeping people inside, thereby reducing their impact on nature. Example: air pollution. The virus is killing lots of people, which reduces the population and also the stress on the environment.
Nature has her way of balance if we don’t play fair. Building up the quality of soil in Otsego County should be a pretty high priority on the list. Quality of soil equals quality of food equals quality of people.
I wonder what is being done to protect and enrich our local soil for, as they say, future generations?
FARM CLASS – 5 – 7 p.m. Learn about sheep, goat nutrition for this season when the farmer is solely responsible for the feed with Dr. Tatiana Stanton, Small Ruminant Specialist from Cornell University. Cost, $5/person. Cornell Cooperative Extension, 123 Lake St., Cooperstown. 315-866-7920 or visit cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2020/01/21/sheep-goat-nutrition-101
FAMILY FARM DAY – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit local farms in Otsego and Schoharie counties and bring home a cooler of farm fresh goods. Call (518) 234-4303, ext. 119 or visit FamilyFarmDay.org
CLOSING CONCERT – 8 p.m. End the season with an exploration of feminine sovereignty through dance, song, and text by Laura Carelss, dancer, choreographer, and actress, in the World Premier of “She Wolves.” Tickets, $15 adults, $12 youth, seniors, and veterans. The Church, at the decommissioned Baptist Church, 2381 St. Hwy. 205, Mount Vision. www.upsi-ny.com/upcoming-events-news/
SOUTH AFRICAN BANQUET – 6-9 p.m. The Mali Education project presents a South African benefit bazaar, dinner and documentary fill titled “Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai,” about the founder of the Green belt Movement in Kenya and winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Tickets, $15 adults, $10 children over 5. Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave, Oneonta. Reservation, call (607)434-3303 or email email@example.com. Info, uuso.org
PICKLEBALL – Noon-2 p.m. Come learn the sport. Gymn floor, Clark Sports Center, 124 Cty. Hwy. 52, Cooperstown. Info, www.clarksportscenter.com
CONSERVATION MEETING – 12:30-3:30 p.m. Discussion of manure spreading strategies to reduce nutrient runoff. A must for farmers spreading or storing manure this winter. Otsego County Meadows Complex, 140 Ct. Hwy. 33W. RSVP by 1/12, (607)547-8337 ext. 4. or email firstname.lastname@example.org
AUDITIONS – 3-6:30 p.m. Catskill Choral Society opens auditions for new members and potential Dox Apprentices. Unitarian Universalist Church, 12 Ford Ave., Oneonta. Call 431-6060 to schedule and appointment.