There’s a lot of serious stuff going on right now. As we speak, it seems more and more likely that the sequester will be pulling millions in planned expenditures out of the US budget, and in turn out of states’ budgets. Joanna Richards reported this morning on how the sequester could affect Fort Drum and on the potential ripple effects throughout the North Country, and we’ll have more on that story tomorrow.
But let’s take a moment to consider something, if not lighter, then at least less abstract: animal farming. There are several animal-related notices in the news today to which I’d like to call your attention. First, thinking about raising pigs? If so, why not attend Ward Lumber’s Swine Night? Ward Lumber in Jay is hosting speaker Steve Schaefer from Adirondack Heritage Hogs on March 26. Schaefer and his family have been raising the hogs since 2005 at their farm in Lewis. According to a press release, the Schaefers ‘strive to raise healthy pigs with family friendly demeanors. Their mission is to help supply quality pork or piglets to their community so they can raise them on their own.”
For more information on Swine Night, you can contact Mary Rankin at (518) 946-2110 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can register at wardlumber.com. Oh! And there’ll be pizza, too.
If sheep or goats are more your style, North Country Now tells us you can learn more about them at Cornell Cooperative Extension’s “Sheep and Goat 101″ class, on March 9. Apparently interest in raising sheep and goats is on the rise, so the extension is offering this course to “teach the basic knowledge needed to properly care for such animals.” The course will cover how to buy animals, differences between breeds, health management and feeding, and “the ‘how-to’ of body condition grading, hoof trimming, tagging, tattooing and 4-H showing.”
Finally today, North Country Now also tells us that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is now accepting applications for those wishing to participate in the North Country’s pheasant release program. They’ll accept applications until March 15.
What is the pheasant release program, you ask? Well, basically, the state gives you a day-old pheasant chick, and you raise it, and then release it when it’s reached maturity (starting at 8 weeks old) you release it in a DEC-approved site. The program is intended to enhance pheasant hunting in New York, and is funded through the state conservation fund from license fees paid by anglers, trappers and hunters.
As I said, you can’t just release the pheasant chicks anywhere: They can’t be released on private shooting preserves, and the DEC needs to approve any potential bird release sites. All sites “must be open for public pheasant hunting opportunities.”
If you’re interested in raising a pheasant chick of your own, you’ll need to fill out an application with the DEC by March 15. There’s more information in the story.