Tag Archives: poultry

BridgeCare Finance wins Edg3 Fund prize

The Smithshyre farm in Poulsbo
The Smithshyre farm in Poulsbo

Mount Vernon-based BridgeCare Finance won Kitsap Bank’s $20,000 Edg3 Fund small business prize Thursday, according to a news release.

BridgeCare offers short-term loans to help working families afford childcare.

The Smithshyre farm in Poulsbo earned the $5,000 Community Edg3 Award, recognizing the entrant that “best embodies the spirit of community.”

The farm specializes in rearing organic, pasture-raised poultry.

Edg3 Fund winners were selected by a panel of judges during a live event at Kitsap Conference Center.

Farmers keeping wary eye on avian flu cases

Blackjack Farms

While public health agencies respond to the escalating human flu season, agriculture officials are tracking cases of avian influenza in the Northwest.

The H5N2 strain of bird flu was reported in British Columbia late last year, and since has been identified in four Washington counties. The virus can be deadly for birds but does not pose a threat to human health.

H5N2 was recently confirmed in Clallam County. Agriculture officials euthanized 118 infected ducks, chickens and geese at a Port Angeles farm Sunday, according to the Peninsula Daily News.  A quarantine was established around the property.

turkeys2_9797083_ver1.0_640_480While H5N2 has not been reported in Kitsap County, local farmers are taking basic precautions to protect their flocks, said Stuart Boyle, a Silverdale grower and president of the Western Washington Poultry Farmers Cooperative.

The bird flu cases are cause for concern, but not panic, Boyle said. H5N2 seems to have moved very slowly, he said. Growers should “just be conscious of what’s going on.”

H5N2 is carried by wild waterfowl and spread through bird feces. Officials recommend farmers try to keep their poultry away from wild birds.

Boyle said growers should also learn the symptoms H5N2 and be quick to report deaths or illnesses that appear consistent with the virus. The hotline for avian influenza reports is 1-800-606-3056.

Boyle said he’s been asking visitors to his farm about their travel history, and determining whether they’ve been in areas where wild waterfowl gather. Basically, he wants to make sure visitors don’t inadvertently track poop from wild birds onto his property.

You can find much more detailed avian flu information on the state’s Avian Health Program website.

Poultry and pork classes offered for small producers


Want to propagate poultry or profit from pigs?

The Washington State University Extension is offering a good place to start. The extension will host day-long classes on chicken and pig rearing July 11 at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.

0528_KSLO_PoulsboBeer28538_t607The classes, titled Pork 100 and Poultry 100, are intended as primers for farmers interested in expanding into livestock production or refreshers for experienced producers. Each intensive class is eight hours.

WSU instructors will also teach a Youth Livestock Quality Assurance course at the fairgrounds July 11. The class for young producers and 4-H participants covers all aspects of livestock production with an emphasis on meeting quality assurance standards.

Topics addressed in the classes include nutrition, management on pasture, breed selection, genetics and reproduction basics, production and marketing and health.

Courses are taught by WSU Extension meat and livestock specialists. Each course will also feature a panel of local producers discussing livestock in Washington.

Click here for information.

Meegan M. Reid photos