Thursday, November 3, 2011

Irene and Flora Meet

First meeting of Flora and Irene   

The sunshine we have been having here in Southside, VA has been great for getting Flora up and about.  At first confined to the space in front of the cow stalls, and then actually in the cow paddock where she and Irene could meet.  Irene has been racing around trying to impress Flora with her speed and agility, and Rosebud did the dutiful momma thing by pushing her away until Flora was ready to touch noses!  Lovely for Irene to have a playmate instead of those stuffy old "aunties".

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Welcome Flora

Flora after one hour

After 2 days

Triskelion Farm is proud to announce the arrival of Triskelion's Flora and our second heifer in 3 months.  Thanks to Rosebud for Flora, who is just about our smallest calf yet.  Measured the day after birth she is 22 inches tall and looks very like her very small sire Baby LP (son of Little Professor).  She came equipped with a good covering of hair as the nights had just dropped to frost level, but has acclimatized well to her new environment.  Irene is excited to see another calf to play with.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Irene- once again!

This calf is too sweet. She is the daughter of Riverview's Baby LP and we were surprised at how cuddly she is! All of Bessie's girls have been sweet, but Irene just wants to hug everyone.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Welcome, Irene!

"Welcome, Irene!" was probably not the message we had in mind on Saturday! However, it seems totally apt that Bessie's new heifer calf should be named Triskelion's Irene. She was born today, September 1st, 2011, to Tanglewood Cookie Dough (Bessie). Mother and daughter are doing well. The sire is Riverview's Baby LP, making Irene a Foundation Pure Miniature Jersey, small and cute. After a long and anxious night, we were assured that Bessie had decided to wait another day. We let her out with the other cows, and within an hour, we were greeting our newest arrival. It was a very warming experience to be able to watch, and remarkable how quickly they stand and take their first wobbling footsteps. A great day.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Right School, Wrong Year.

This photograph appears in the current University of Virginia Magazine and portrays a summer school course at the University of Virginia in 1907. Women were not allowed general admission to Mr. Jefferson's University in those days, except to take summer classes like this one, or to earn degrees in a few traditional women's disciplines. It wasn't until 1972 that students were allowed to enroll in all programs regardless of gender.

Throughout the years, classes in stock judging gave way to more mundane foundation courses, as well as the occasional "gut" course such as "Circus in America." While I never signed up for "Circus," I would certainly have been intrigued by the class shown in this photograph. I am sure that I would not have met the style requirement, though, since it appears that wearing an over sized hair bagel was necessary for acceptance.

Photo from: University of Virginia Magazine. Full article at:

Friday, January 28, 2011

Agricultural animals; care by owner, penalty. (HB1541)

This bill, which loosens the regulations governing the care of both food animals and horses, has now passed the full committee. We need to make the full GA aware of the implications of this bill by lobbying our representatives. For horses in particular, it would mean that they would lose the option to be taken to a rescue and the obvious conclusion is an increase in the slaughter truck population. Once that happens then the calls for US equine slaughter houses (already showing up across a number of States) will be intensified. This is part of a concerted effort by pro horse slaughter advocates to shoe horn their agenda into as many legislative bills as possible. In VA they can conveniently attach themselves to the big Ag attacks on food animal care regulations as horses are included. In other States they are using bills on the relaxation of food sources to push horse meat production and, in yet another approach, to use the economy and high jobless rates to promote slaughter houses (which employ relatively few people, have little impact on the local economy, but make big profits for the private owners!).

Sunday, January 16, 2011

VA Bill HB 1541 Would Weaken Protections for Horses and Farm Animals

Virginians for Animal Welfare


It hasn't been our posture to take a position nor to ask our membership or Alert readers to take a position on farm animals or equines but the language of and strategy for a Farm Bureau/Agribusiness bill (introduced simultaneously in both houses (HB1541-Orrock and SB1026-Puckett) with identical language) which would dilute minimum care standards for these animals not only makes our doing so justified and appropriate but an imperative.

We trust you will agree and will speak actively and often against these bills, starting immediately.

The language of these bills replaces the animal care standards presently in the Code at 3.2-6500 and elsewhere with new "standards". These new standards are no more than enough "food to prevent emaciation, water to prevent dehydration and veterinary care to prevent [but not repair] impairment of health or bodily function, but none of these are required if the animal is to be humane destroyed or if an act of God or of a veterinarian or if "animal husbandry" makes any of these requirements unnecessary".

This is the pending "pushback" against animal welfare the Farm Bureau/Agribusiness has promised in news stories.

The bill strategy is to call these "unprecedented care standards" and offer both through seasoned Agriculture Committee members in a short session with many momentous issues and no advance collaboration with the animal welfare community, or any public notice of intent to exempt farm animals from present care standards other than by warning a "pushback" against care standards was coming..

A broad and effective response is critical to each of the Agriculture Committee members below before Wednesday, January 19, 2011, and thereafter until this bill is dramatically changed or defeated. So is a broad and effective response to all your Delegates and Senators whether serving on the Agriculture Committee or not. For any who don't know how to do this, please see below or email us for guidance.

We oppose this bill and ask that you do as well for your own reasons or those which follow:

1) There are presently standards in the Code of Virginia for animals at 3.2-6500 and elsewhere, and penalties for cruelty violations;

2) There is Virginia case law upholding these standards and violations thereof, all decided in local Virginia courts and by the Virginia Supreme Court, among which is Sullivan v. Commonwealth;

3) To demonstrate the need for or merit of new "standards", an Attorney General Opinion could have been sought or issued as to the adequacy of the present (or even the new) standards, or whether there were any enforcement defects in the present standards, but no such Opinion was requested;

4) There is a long history of successful enforcements under the present standards;

5) The widely accepted veterinary standards used in prosecutions of animal cruelty cases are nowhere to be found in these new "standards", and are in fact superceded thereby;

6) The new "standards" are both vague and exculpatory, and as such are putatively unenforceable and unconstitutional on these grounds;

7) It appears that no Commonwealth's Attorney or law enforcement groups (VACA or Sheriffs) were consulted about the enforceability or desirability of these new "standards";

8) The bill was introduced "under the radar", without fanfare (the manner in which the legislation was proposed and absence of full and complete disclosure to animal welfare groups and the general public of its need, purpose and content speaks of its patently self-serving character);

9) The bill mirrors and implements a national Farm Bureau "pushback" strategy;

10) The bill is another step in the promotion of animals as creatures without any feelings, awareness or susceptibility to pain and suffering, is a stark reminder of the treatment of chattels under slavery laws, and likewise unwisely promotes the notion that "animal husbandry" is tantamount to care or compassion.

Read the bills and see the existing Code by Googling.

Legislative Information System, Virginia

Or, if you prefer, you may use either of the following links:

Legislative Information System,

For your legislator,

(neither gives you Code of Virginia access conveniently; for the bill, go to the following)

If you use Google,

select Bills and Resolutions then enter the bill number (HB1541 or SB1026) to see the bills;

select Code of Virginia and Table of Contents then Title 3.2 then Chapter 65 (6500 et seq) to see the present Code;

select Standing Committees and House Agriculture and Senate Agriculture to list Committeemembers;

select General Assembly Members and Who's My Legislator to find your legislators (Delegate and Senator) if you don't already know;

Email contact is best, but phone contact, fax or letters work fine if that's what you prefer. All this contact information is available on the Standing Committees membership lists by clicking on each member.

Be sure to send your first emails (or contacts) to House Ag Subcommittee members: Bobby Orrock,, (D.W. Marshall,, Charles Poindexter,, Barry Knight,, Richard Bell,, John Cox,, James Shuler,, Mark Sickles,

There is a separate bill, as you know, in the Senate. The Senate Ag Committee must also be contacted promptly.

Please do this immediately, and also please promote additional support among your friends and animal welfare colleagues.

This alert was originally posted by Virginians for Animal Welfare and is reproduced here to help spread the word and defeat these bills.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Shelter Challenge

It is Shelter Challenge time again and our resident rescue, the White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue, is hoping to move up a few places on the leader boards.  With your help in spreading the word we should be able to gain the two places that would put us in the top ten in Virginia.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Welcome 2011

"Is it Spring yet!?"

The arctic temperatures have finally relented for a few days and we bask in the 50s and 60s for a while. Perhaps a portent that 2011 may be a better year! Amazing to think one decade of the 21st century has already gone by. We have learned a lot in the short time we have had our mini Jerseys, and while we no longer have "no experience" there is still much more to learn about them. The farm continues to be improved (yes we will finish painting the Red Barn) while at the same time we fight to stop the natural decay and bits falling off that is farm maintenance. Even in the cold and gloom of winter, we can look out over our small bit of the world and think how lucky we are. I have a commute of 400 yards, and am met at every step of the way with moos, neighs, bleats, cock-a-doodle-dos and miaows that signify their relief that breakfast will be served once again. Nothing like being wanted, even if it is the feed that is really important.

All at the farm hope that you and yours will have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011 and, as the old Gaelic blessing goes:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.