Watch: ‘This is food for your soil’

If you’re interested in compost bedded pack dairy barns, University of Vermont Extension has an excellent, straight-from the-farmer introduction to how it works here (video, 6:23). The compost produced by such a system “all goes back to the soil,” says organic dairy farmer Guy Choinere. “This is, for me, a fertilizer factory. It’s producing what I need to grow crops.”

Christmas tree sale benefits CFAES forestry students … plus here’s how you can be one of them

Our college’s Forestry Forum, a group for students interested in forestry as a career, will hold its annual public Christmas tree sale from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2. Proceeds will support scholarships, travel to academic conferences and other activities for the students. Learn about majoring in forestry in our college here. And read about a USDA study on the carbon sequestration potential of Christmas tree farms here.

Dec. 5: Compost bedded pack dairy barn workshop at OARDC

OARDC, which is the research arm of our college, will host a workshop on compost bedded pack dairy barns on Dec. 5. Possible benefits of these systems include increased comfort and longevity for the cows and less environmental risk from their manure. The manure is composted (and intensively managed) together with the cows in the barn rather than being turned into liquid manure. The national Cooperative Extension System’s eXtension website has details on how these systems work here.

OARDC receives $6.5M grant for biofuel, bioenergy research

The research arm of our college, OARDC, has received a $6.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant’s purpose: To test and expand a university-developed technology that can produce biogas from a variety of solid organic wastes and bioenergy crops. Read the full story here.