Farming Film Festival Video Contest

This contest was suggested to me. What could my game changing idea be? Help me come up with an idea and I’ll enter the contest. Any cash received will go to support Texas Wildfire Victims.

Farmers are facing new challenges every day. They work hard to produce safe and nutritious food for a growing population. But… they also have to keep their animals healthy, protect the environment, and pay the bills. All the while, raw material costs are climbing through the roof.

Farmers need game changing solutions to meet rising expectations and costs. We want to hear from farmers. If you are a farmer, create a video that tells us about a game changing idea or technology on your farm. If you’re not a farmer, find one and help tell their story. First prize is $2,000 and the winning videos will be shown at our annual Symposium. Details and official rules are available at our Farming Film Festival video contest page.

It’s really easy to enter. Create a video » Upload it to YouTube » Send us an Email » Tell Your Friends!

The Farming Film Festival is just one of the reasons to attend our 27th International Animal Health and Nutrition Industry Symposium. We have a great line up of speakers this year. Don’t miss the discussion.

via Alltech’s Blog – Agriculture and Science – The Farming Film Festival Video Contest Wants Your Story.


  1. I am re-visiting Mason-Dixon Farm on the Md./Pa. line north of Frederick to do an update. Did a story in ’03. They are amazing! The Waybrite family milks 700+ cows with robotic milkers and uses their manure in methane digesters to produce the electricity, etc., for the farm and their machinery. They even have turned a shed into a small theater where they show their operation to visitors before they take them around. This would make a terrific film about what farmers are doing to preserve the environment, etc.

  2. MASON-DIXON -2003

    Md. farm showcases ‘manure power’



    Mason Dixon Farm straddles the Adams County, Pa., and Frederick County, Md., line.
    Last week it drew the attention of the Environmental Matters Committee of the Maryland House of Delegates visiting the area to look at alternative energy sources. At Mason Dixon, methane gas from dairy manure is used to generate electricity.
    Mason Dixon Farms maintains a herd of 2,300 Holstein cows and 1,700 replacement heifers.
    Frederick County Delegate Paul Stull, R., a long-time champion of agricultural issues, said he hoped the visit would help the committee better understand some of the farming practices that are used on farms like Mason Dixon and it would lead to a program of grants for Maryland farmers to help them install methane generators, among other things. Mason Dixon Farms has been energy self-sufficient for 25 years, according to owner, Richard Waybright.
    In 1950, Waybright built a liquid manure pit.
    “I noticed how it bubbled up in the summer and someone remarked the same thing happened with gas wells,” Waybright said.
    “So, I did a lot of reading and a lot of research.”
    During the energy crisis of the late 1970s, with the aid of Roland Shaffer of Chicago, a biogas digester was built and installed on the farm in 1979.
    “Our goal was to make the farm energy self-sufficient,” Waybright said.
    From the collecting pits, the liquid manure is pumped into the digester that has hot water pipes that use heat from the engines to maintain a temperature of 105 degrees F., to make the methane produce bacterial growth.
    It has been a reliable source of energy for 25 years and the farm has only been out of electricity for 15 minutes in that entire time, Waybright said.
    The biogas is vacuumed off the top of the digester and put under two pounds of pressure to feed carburetors.
    Barns have automatic scrapers that collect urine and dung that is pumped into one of three digesters daily.
    There are four and a half miles of piping with 10 center pivots that deliver the liquid to the fields in what Waybright calls his “fertigation” system. Very little additional fertilizer is required and, he said, soil quality has been greatly improved.
    A new system of sprinklers that are lower to the ground are being tried to hold down evaporation and odors. They also receive all the waste water from nearby Emmittsburg, Md., and apply it to their growing crops. This gives them additional soil nutrients and helps the town keep waste disposal costs down.
    Three thousand plus acres of crops are grown now at Mason Dixon and all are used as silage. There are 1,000 acres of alfalfa, 1,700 acres of corn, and 400 acres of barley as cover crop.
    Waybright and his family have been known to build their own industrial quality machinery as well. They use a harvester system they designed that has interchangeable parts. Crops are mowed with a rotating mower that cuts a 30 foot swath at 30 acres per hour. Crops are raked at 68 percent moisture just ahead of the harvester.
    The harvester has rubber tracks to eliminate ground compaction and pulls a chassis that holds a 30 ton container. The containers are filled by the harvester and then can be exchanged because of the torpedo hydraulic hookups that was developed at Mason Dixon Farms.
    The system controls the hydraulics and the electric systems which includes the clearance lights, turn signals and stop lights with a truck hauling an empty bin without either driver leaving his seat. The hydraulic legs that allow the exchange are reminiscent of Star Wars movies” robotics. The same chassis can also be used to haul the liquid manure tanker truck to the fields.
    The trucks can unload 30 tons in less than three minutes. Harvested material is loaded into 13 horizontal concrete bin silos with a total capacity of 40,000 tons of storage.
    The crop is packed 24 feet deep and covered with a plastic to prevent oxygen exposure to assure good fermentation. This also assures a high quality silage that can be stored several years and still retain its nutrient value for the herd.
    Mason Dixon Farms has maintained a closed herd since 1978 to prevent the introduction of disease by live animals. Cows are sonogramed to check for pregnancy. Three days prior to calving they are moved into calving pens. Newspaper is used here for bedding to prevent diseases.
    When the calf is born, it is given colostrum. then placed in its own pen and given fermented milk and molasses coated calf starter. These pens have a southeastern exposure which allows for maximum sun during the morning. After calves are moved to other quarters, the pens are cleaned and exposed to sunshine for 10 days.
    Replacement heifers are kept in pens in small groups to help reduce competition. There is a surplus of heifers and, after they are bred, they are sold as replacement heifers to other dairy farms Cows are kept in each free stall loafing barns with 800 cow capacity. Three barns have tunnel ventilation.
    Thirty-six fans on each barn pull air through the barn at a two minute exchange rate to cool in summer and tarps pull down to keep the barns warm in winter. Hooves are trimmed once a year. Cows are washed before milking and milking is done three times a day. There are usually about 2,000 cows in milk and they produce 70,000 quarts of milk per day. The rolling herd average is almost 25,000 pounds.
    The original milking parlor was built in 1951, when the Waybrights milked 12 cow. The cows are now milked in two double 12 and one double 24 parlors with automatic milkers. The milk is cooled to 32 degrees F and is stored in 6,000 gallon tankers and on the way to the processor’s’. The herd produces 53 million pounds of milk per year.
    Fresh water is constantly available to all the animals and 125 tons of silage is fed per day to the herd.
    Each cow wears an electronic necklace so that she receives the proper nutrition for whatever stage of development she is in.
    The original Mason Dixon Farms was a 375-acre tract deeded to by Michael Waybright in 1784 by William Penn. The seventh and eighth generation of Waybrights are now running the operation and the ninth generation will follow. There are 53 employees in all, including family members, Waybright said. Most of the buildings have been added since 1975 and were all built by in-house employees.
    “That helps keep everyone employed year ‘round,” he said. “The farm is a living lab kept profitable through efficiency and innovation.,” Waybright said. “Change is inevitable. We try to keep up with the new technology and use it to our benefit. But none of this is possible without the teamwork and cooperation of the family and all the employees, past and present.”

  3. Instead of a solution what about a process? When you posted about fixing the fence the right way the first time it kind of reminded me of how I tend to work. I’d rather spend a little extra time in the beginning not taking any short cuts knowing it will save me a ton on the back end. I’m a graphic designer who works on large projects. I know they will come back for multiple rounds of edits so, before I even start working on a job I think about how to set it up so when it comes back I can make the edits quickly without having to reinvent the wheel. Think of the time and energy (your’s and fuel) you save by not having to go back and redo a job. So, even though it’s not sexy, by thinking ahead and being smart you save a ton of money and time in little bits and pieces. Maybe your video can be about all the little things anyone can do that add up. Just a thought.

    Or you can invent a perpetual motion machine. That would get a bit of attention. 😉

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