June 2, 2013

Farm briefs: June 2, 2013


Ward Lumber to host Goat Night

JAY — Ward Lumber is hosting a free Goat Night on Tuesday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. for anyone interested in learning about or raising goats.

Seminar topics include Breeding (selection of breeding stock, buck and doe physiology, heat cycles); Kidding (supplies needed, what to do with mom and the kids); Milking (how to milk properly, storing and using milk); and Kid Care (feeding and weaning, medications, commons problems and how to avoid them). Kids will be on hand and there will be a milking demonstration.

The guest speaker is Rose Bartiss from Rose’s Goats. She has been raising dairy goats near Vermontville for more than nine years. In 2011, she started the Adirondack Goat Club to bring together goat owners and enthusiasts all over the area. The mission of the club is to create a network of people who can rely on each other for help with their goats, for the sharing of information and equipment and for the sale and trade of quality animals.

Bartiss will share what she has learned over the years with attendees of Goat Night to help goat owners and aspiring goat owners learn how to take good care of their animals and raise happy, healthy goats.

The event is free and there will be prize drawings, pizza and refreshments. To register, go to or call Kim at 946-2110, Ext. 120.

USDA offers funding to repair rural homes

NEW YORK — Funds are available to help repair homes in rural New York, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Acting State Director Dave Schermerhorn.

USDA remains focused on carrying out its mission despite a time of significant budget uncertainty, he said. The announcement is one part of the department’s efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

“Improving the quality of life in rural areas is one of Rural Development’s primary goals,” said Schermerhorn. “We are making sure that homes in rural New York are safe, reliable and energy efficient.”

Funding is available through Rural Development’s Rural Housing Service Section 504 Loan and Grant Home Repair Program. The program offers very low income homeowners living in eligible rural areas loans to make general home repairs or modifications, which may improve or modernize a home. The interest rate on these loans is one percent and the maximum term is 20 years. Applicants may obtain multiple loans, with a maximum outstanding loan amount at a given time of $20,000.

To be eligible, an applicant must have the ability to repay the loan, an acceptable credit history and an income that falls within the very-low income category for the size of their household.

Grants are available to very-low income homeowners age 62 or older who cannot afford a loan. Grants are limited to a lifetime assistance of $7,500 and must be used to remove health and safety hazards or make a home more handicap accessible. To see if you meet the income and property eligibility, visit

For more information on the Home Repair Program and other USDA Rural Development programs, contact the New York State Office at (315) 477-6400 or visit to find a local USDA office.