A Plug for AgStockPhotos

Some exciting news: I am officially a contributor for AgStockPhotos! Stock photo websites have been places to which I’ve been encouraged to contribute in the past, but the behemoth sites didn’t seem like a place where my photos would be found easily.

Then along comes AgStockPhotos. There are over 1,000 photos of livestock, crops, equipment, barns, and more on the site.

A couple of my first photos (the dog and the hay bale) contributed ended up on the homepage for a little while:  Continue reading

Fenceless Farming to Water Concerns: Current Events in New Zealand Agriculture

As a journalism geek, I like reading through agriculture news. Here are some recent New Zealand agriculture news stories, their openings, and notes from my experiences here:

Breaking out of the milk powder trap: Why dairy may turn to barns

April 29, 2017

“The next big thing for dairying in the South Island looks like it might be – indeed it may have to be – cows in barns.

“Cue the sharp intake of breath, but Jeff Gould, a dairy farmer who runs 1100 cows by the Rangitata River near Ealing in mid-Canterbury, agrees.

“Yes, he knows. Putting cows indoors? That is what other countries do. New Zealand prides itself in being all natural. Animals grazing free range in a field.

“And it is regarded as the lower cost production model too. Our competitive advantage. Elsewhere they truck in grain for the cows, as well as having to pay for their housing.”

For me, this has been a story of high intrigue as I observe the differences between New Zealand and American dairy farming. A major difference is the use of barns as shelter for the cows. New Zealanders plant shelter belts around large blocks of land and plan the paddocks within them. Continue reading

In the Words of Doctor Who, “RUN!”

Last night, I helped Dad sort cows and calves. Some were going to the other farm to be turned out with one bull for the breeding season, the others were staying at this farm to be bred to our second bull.

We loaded the group destined for the other farm on the trailer, and when we arrived, closed gates so the creatures could step out into the barn lot and then meander into the pasture south of the barn. They generally knew the routine, and all went well.

The bull could hear that there were new residents on the farm, and he showed his excitement with deep bellows.  Continue reading