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Dairy graziers and dairy grazing enthusiasts from several states will be gathering in October to share and increase their knowledge about pasture-based and organic dairy production systems. The eighth Mid-Atlantic Dairy Grazing Conference and Organic Dairy Field Day is based in Wytheville in southwestern Virginia where Interstates 77 and 81 meet. The event begins at the Wytheville Meeting Center on Monday, Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. and concludes on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 2:15 p.m.

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Has anyone ever asked you why sows are in gestation stalls; why egg layers are in cages; or other questions about the way we raise livestock today? The 2010 Farm Tour, a two-day trip starting in Wabash, Indiana, will allow you to experience modern farrow-to-finish, dairy, egg-laying and aquaculture operations first hand. You will get an in-depth look at what techniques are being used on modern livestock farms. The goal of the farm tours is that you come away with a better understanding of the livestock industry and be able to share what you learn with others. Space is limited, register soon!

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Just like the song, rain is a good thing, especially for dried out fields, farmers and Maryland & Virginia’s Young Cooperator (YC) Program. Rain showers followed the cooperative’s annual YC Summer Break event in Franklin, Tennesse, in early July. The weather didn’t affect the record attendance of nearly 100 YCs from several states as they toured four dairy farms and capped the evening with a cook-out and hay ride.

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Van Dyk Dairy Farm biogas plant

The 400 kWh CHP system will be installed in Lynden, Washington, about 95 miles north of Seattle. It is scheduled to be installed in late 2010. Lynden-based DARITECH Inc. will build the anaerobic digester, and the Van Dyk Dairy Farm owns and operates the biogas plant.

The plant is expected to produce 4706 MW of thermal energy and 3320 MW of electricity per year, with any excess power sold to the grid. The combined heat and power plant uses the 2G agenitor, a thermodynamically optimized MAN cogeneration gas engine coupled with the patented 2G-Drive technology, especially developed for biogas operations. Benefits over conventional MAN, or any other gas engine, include much higher efficiencies, extended life and less maintenance cost.

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Helping farmers connect from the heart with the consumer – that is the goal of the Farmer Voices program hosted by American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology (AFACT). The first phase of Farmer Voices was held July 20-22, 2010, in Owatonna, Minnesota.

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