Margo Hale Tag

After two years of delays due to COVID-19, NCAT finally hosted an Armed to Farm training in the Southwest. At the end of March, we hosted 27 veterans and their spouses or family farm partners in Albuquerque, New Mexico, for a week of training. As the Director of Armed to Farm, I have had the joy of participating in the majority of our 27 in-person Armed to Farm trainings. Each time, it is a delight to meet farmer veterans who are eager to expand their farm and ranch operations and connect them to the many resources and networks that are...

In this episode of Voices from the Field, Margo Hale, NCAT’S Southeast Regional Director, and NCAT Agriculture Specialist Tracy Mumma discuss considerations in raising hair sheep. Both have raised hair sheep but in very different climates – Tracy in Montana and Margo in Arkansas. Because hair sheep are less common than wool sheep in many part of the country, Margo and Tracy begin by explaining what hair sheep are and go on to discuss some of the benefits of hair sheep as well as some potential pitfalls to be aware of when deciding whether a hair sheep enterprise is right for...

Do you know what 11% of U.S. producers have in common? It’s not that they grow tomatoes or sell at farmers markets—it’s that they have served or are serving in the military. And do you know who offers training and networking opportunities specifically for military veterans interested in sustainable farming operations? NCAT does!
By Margo Hale, Southeast Regional Director and Livestock Specialist...

Weather events bring all sorts of challenges to livestock producers, but perhaps none more than severe winter weather. The bitterly cold temperatures in February 2021 sparked a conversation among NCAT Livestock Specialists about how we provide water to stock during such times.
By Linda Coffey, Margo Hale, and Dave Scott, NCAT Livestock Specialists...

While in Washington, DC, last spring, just as the rising tide of COVID-19 began, I had the pleasure of visiting with Senator John Boozman of Arkansas during a chance encounter outside the Capitol. A warm and friendly man by temperament, his dedication to sustainable agriculture and local food systems quickly animated our curbside conversation.
By Steve Thompson, NCAT Executive Director...

In this episode, Margo Hale, NCAT’s Southeast Regional Director, visits with U.S. Senator John Boozman of Arkansas. Margo has known the senator since she was a child and has worked with Sen. Boozman’s office on agriculture issues since he entered Congress. With Senator Boozman’s new role as Ranking Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Margo welcomed an opportunity to visit with the senator about issues affecting small farmers. In their conversation, Senator Boozman shares his connection to agriculture, and they talk about the diversity of Arkansas agriculture. They also discuss the impact COVID-19 has had on the food supply and farmers, opportunities...

NCAT Southeast Regional Director and Livestock Specialist Margo Hale and I are doing a series on getting started in livestock: see blog posts 41 and 42, and listen to podcast episodes 179 and 182 to read or hear our discussions. We have a lot more to say on the subject. We often joke that episodes might be titled, “What Linda Should Have Done,” and so I offer to you some stories in hopes that I might save you some hard lessons. I’m focusing on our sheep enterprise to keep this post short, and also because we learned the most...

I want to share with you a few pieces of infrastructure and equipment we have on our farm, why they work for us, and ways they don’t work. I always find it helpful to see how other farmers feed and water their animals. Maybe you will get ideas that you can implement on your farm—or you can send me ideas for improvement.
By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director, Armed to Farm Program Director, and Agriculture Specialist ...

My day begins with a hot cup of coffee and a quick check of our farm. What a thrill to find a new baby calf from our Belted Galloways, to watch the antics of our pig, to have my girls gather farm-fresh eggs, and to watch the goats grazing. Livestock bring life to the farm!
By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director, Armed to Farm Program Director, and Agriculture Specialist...

In this episode, Margo Hale and Linda Coffey, lifelong livestock producers and long-time NCAT livestock specialists, talk about getting started in livestock. What is the appeal, and what are the important considerations? Margo is director of NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where she and Linda both work. In their conversation, Margo and Linda emphasize the importance of keeping farm goals and resources in mind and stress the need to start small but plan for expansion. They mention essential infrastructure to have in place before bringing livestock home and offer many tips that will help beginners succeed with livestock. For more information...

Part of my role as an NCAT Agriculture Specialist is to connect farmers to the resources that they need, so I always include USDA agencies in our Armed to Farm trainings for military veterans and other educational events we organize. The USDA has dozens of agencies and programs to help farmers—as depicted in the graphic below—but for this blog I will mention just a few.
By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director, Armed to Farm Program Director, and Agriculture Specialist...

In this episode, Margo Hale, NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office director and a livestock specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, joins livestock specialist Linda Coffey to discuss the important problem of internal parasites. The conversation covers why internal parasites are such a force to be reckoned with, as well as ways producers can work with nature to manage their pastures and animals to minimize issues with parasites. Related ATTRA Resources: Animal Health and Nutrition Managed Grazing Tutorial Publications Adaptive Grazing: You Can Do It Tools for Managing Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goats: Pasture Management Tipsheet: Organic Approach to Animal Health Grazing to Control Parasites   Tips for Managing Internal Parasites Videos Integrated Pest...

While we never have a problem selling what we have available, we also don’t usually have an overwhelming demand. As soon as COVID-19 hit, though, people who have never bought meat from us before began reaching out to see if we had any meat available for sale. They wanted to stock their freezers!
By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director and NCAT Livestock Specialist...