Changes in Ingersoll Distributor Network

Ingersoll Tractor Company has announced changes to the company’s distributor network. O’Neill Associates of Victor, N.Y., will expand their territory to include Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. Rottman Sales of Moline, Mich., will expand their territory to include Indiana.

NYCAMH Increases ROPS Rebate Amount

The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health (NYCAMH) has increased the amount of the rebate available to New York farmers who retrofit their tractors with a rollover protection (ROPS) kit, from the maximum of $600 last year to $703 for 2008. This amount matches the average increase in cost of ROPS kits from manufacturers in the past year. The Northeast has the highest rollover fatality rates in the country. Studies have shown that the use of a rollbar in combination with a seatbelt could prevent virtually all tractor rollover deaths, yet half the tractors in New York state are unprotected. In the past year, NYCAMH’s ROPS program has facilitated the retrofitting of more than 350 tractors, and for many farmers, the price of retrofitting a tractor after rebate has been about $250. New York farmers interested in retrofitting a tractor should call 877-ROPS-R4U.

New Jersey Recognizes Growers

William Brooks Jr. and Gary and Pam Mount received Distinguished Service Citations at the New Jersey Agricultural Convention held in Cherry Hill on February 5. Citations are awarded to farmers, agricultural leaders and allies of the industry who have made outstanding contributions to agriculture and to enhancing the quality of rural life in New Jersey.

Brooks has owned Dusty Lane Farms since 1965 and currently manages over 1,200 acres of vegetables and grain with more than 600 acres of the farm secured in the state Farmland Preservation Program. He is a founding partner and director of Keystone Potato Products, a Pennsylvania potato dehydration plant.

Since 1975, the Mounts have owned and operated Terhune Orchards, which now consists of 185 acres growing 36 different fruits, vegetables and flowers. Fifty-five of those acres have been in the Farmland Preservation Program since 1984. Terhune Orchards offers educational programs and farm tours, attracting 500,000 visitors a year. Gary had a hand in the development and growth of the state’s Farmland Preservation Program, and he has been a leader with the International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association. Pam is active in the New Jersey Agricultural Society and has helped initiate the Agricultural Leadership Development Program, Farmers Against Hunger and School Gardens Program. 

Guide Promotes Sustainable Viticulture

New York Cooperative Extension’s sustainable viticulture program has released a workbook, ”New York Guide to Sustainable Viticulture Practices’’, that allows growers to assess their vineyards and plot out changes to reduce environmental impact. The program is funded in part from the New York Farm Viability Institute, the Northeast Center for Risk Management Education and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation. Completing workbooks and action plans will reduce input costs, increase quality, connect growers with cost-sharing funds for conservation, and improve crop marketability. Adoption will also reduce environmental risks, improve neighbor relations, enhance consumer awareness and facilitate product marketing to major wine and juice purchasers. Printable copies of New York Guide to Sustainable Viticulture Practices are available at www.vinebalance.com.  For more information, contact Martinson at 315-787-2448 or tem2@cornell.edu.

Organic Valley Contributes to Conservation

The New York Agricultural Land Trust (NYALT), a new non-profit organization dedicated to protecting land for the future of farming in New York, received contributions from both Byrne Dairy and Organic Valley to support the development of NYALT’s communication and outreach plan. NYALT, established this year as a 501(c)(3) organization, is currently working toward protecting 11 farms in Central New York, an effort that will result in the preservation of over 5,500 acres. Funding from Byrne Dairy, a Syracuse-based dairy processor, and Organic Valley, the nation’s largest organic farmers cooperative, will enable NYALT to create a Web site and printed materials for educating landowners and municipal officials about protecting farmland, as well as help the land trust to communicate with farm families interested in conserving their land for future generations. NYALT is New York’s only statewide agricultural land trust, and was created by farmers to assist landowners in identifying the best options for conveying agricultural conservation easements to permanently protect their property from development.

Massachusetts Awards Ag Grants

Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Ian Bowles has announced $989,174 in grants to help the state’s agricultural sector diversify and compete in the marketplace. The ten awards will fund projects to explore farm-based renewable energy, conserve water, boost aquaculture and assist a slaughterhouse destroyed by fire. The state grants require substantial matching funds from industry and other sources. Recipients of the Agriculture Innovation Center grants include: the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, two grants totaling $239,263; Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association, East Wareham, $81,543; Community Teamwork, Inc., Lowell, $50,000; Massachusetts Fruit Growers’ Association, North Amherst, $95,000; Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture, South Deerfield, $50,000; Southeastern Massachusetts Aquaculture Consortium, Barnstable, $48,368; Massachusetts Woodlands Cooperative, South Deerfield, $150,000; The Trust to Conserve Northeast Forestlands, Phillipston, $25,000; and Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, Athol, $250,000.

New York Cooperative Seeks Producers

The Upstate New York Growers & Packers cooperative recently received a $189,000 grant from the New York Farm Viability Institute to help the cooperative grow and to provide marketing models for other producers. The grant will underwrite the costs of a manager/marketer for two years. The job is well defined and built around performance targets to reach at least $2 million in annual sales and 50 members by 2010. The position will be filled by mid-February and sales from the cooperative will support the job position after two years. The farmer cooperative was formed in 2002 and currently has 18 members from Albany, Herkimer, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario and Oswego counties. The group is also pursuing financing to construct a processing and distribution facility.

New U.S. Sales Manager at MOI

 Marrone Organic Innovations (MOI) has appointed David Warman as its U.S. sales manager. Warman will oversee sales to all markets including agriculture, specialty, and turf and ornamental s. Particular attention will be given to current and new distribution partners to effectively launch new compounds. Prior to MOI, Warman was responsible for the development of AgraQuest Inc.’s professional biological products line. He has also worked for Griffin LLC as regional manager and with Ciba/Geigy (Novartis) where he spent 21 years in various sales, marketing, and sales management positions. A native of Oregon and a graduate of Oregon State University with a degree in agronomy, Warman now resides in Ocala, Fla.

New Quality Monitoring Program for Growers

The USDA has established a new service that was developed in response to the processed and fresh fruit and vegetable industry’s need to supplement internal quality control programs. The new Quality Monitoring Program (QMP) permits companies to submit specific processed produce samples for review to graders from USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Chicago-based U.S. Foodservice is the first company to sign an agreement with AMS to provide QMP services at several of its distribution centers. After an AMS inspection, products that do not conform to assigned specifications are immediately reported back to the company. For more information, e-mail Terry.Bane@usda.gov or call 202-720-4693.

Kiefer Joins ACI

Agri-Cover, Inc.  (ACI) has expanded its sales team with the addition of Russ Kiefer. In his new role as national sales manager for ACI’s ag division, Kiefer is responsible for growing accounts in the U.S. market. He brings six years of experience building dealer networks in the U.S. and international markets and over 20 years of sales and marketing experience.