Monday, July 6, 2015

Produce Growers Should Wait 24 Hours After Rain to Harvest Crops

From Cornell University:

To protect consumers from foodborne illness, produce farmers should wait 24 hours after a rain or irrigating their fields to harvest crops, according to new research published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Rain or irrigation creates soil conditions that are more hospitable to Listeria monocytogenes, which when ingested may cause the human illness Listeriosis. Waiting to harvest crops reduces the risk of exposure to the pathogen, which could land on fresh produce.

Cornell scientists, along with other agricultural researchers from around the country, are conducting more food safety research in order to set rules, standards and guidelines for the Food Safety Modernization Act, which became law in 2011.

“We’re looking at the science that helps governmental entities, such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and private entities create policies that keep our food supply safe,” said Daniel Weller, a doctoral student in the field of food science and the lead author of the new work, “Spatial and Temporal Factors Associated With an Increased Prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in New York State Spinach Fields.” 

The other authors are Martin Wiedmann, Cornell’s Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety, and Laura Strawn, assistant professor at Virginia Tech.

Factors such as proximity of a field location to water and other landscape features also play important roles in the presence of Listeria. 

The researchers tested fields in a variety of locations throughout New York and found that after rains or irrigation, the chances of finding Listeria were 25 times greater. But, after the fields dried at least 24 hours, the chances of detecting Listeria dropped dramatically, to levels similar to baseline.

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has proposed rules allowing farmers to apply “wait periods” after application of irrigation water. This would allow for “potentially dangerous microbes to die off,” said the FDA.

Through a combination of weather data, GIS technology and data driven information, technology allows farmers and producers to take a systems approach managing food safety.

“Current technology tools are improving food safety and increasing consumer confidence in food products,” Wiedmann said.

The Center for Produce Safety funded this research.

Tragic Accident on Wayne County Dairy Farm

Go to for more information.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Tradition Continues at Cornell Vet School

Photo courtesy of Cornell University

Graduates of this year’s class of the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine uphold a long-standing tradition of blowing up palpation sleeves as balloons and waving them during commencement. The plastic sleeves can be seen with the students in the rear. A total of 95 students graduated this year after their years of studying the care of both small and large animals. The palpation sleeves are long plastic sleeves that vets wear on their arms for internal examinations of large animals such as dairy cattle. The sleeves also are worn during artificial insemination procedures.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!!

This is Mimi, owned by Carol Yerdon in Redfield. Have a great Fourth of July, everyone.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Advance Sale State Fair Tickets On Sale July 13

Advance ticket sales for the 2015 Great New York State Fairgo on sale at 9 a.m. July 13  with expanded online savings for advance admission, midway and bargain book items. 

For the first time, online purchases will be available throughout all 12 days of the fair and fairgoers will be able to use an electronic ticket on their smartphone for easy entry. Tickets will be available online and in hundreds of stores across New York.
Five products will be sold online at, the fair's official and only online ticket seller: 
** Single-day advance sale tickets for $6, a 40 percent savings over the full admission price; ** Six-day admission Frequent Fairgoer coupon books for $30, a 50 percent savings over full price; ** Vouchers for ride-all-day wristbands at the Wade Shows Midway for $20, a discount of $5 over the weekday price and $10 over the weekend price; ** Vouchers for ride-everyday Mega Passes to the Wade Shows Midway for $70, which is $20 less than full price; ** The Fair’s Best Bets Bargain Book of more than 100 coupons for $4, a 20 percent savings over the full price.

No processing fees will be charged for tickets bought online, though credit card fees will apply.

Morrisville State College Continues to Grow its Ag Offerings

Kara Budinock, of Wolcott, Wayne County, a recent graduate of Morrisville State College’s horticulture floral design program, prepares poinsettias for a sale at the college. Horticulture students grow the colorful flowers to sell for the holidays.
Morrisville State College was founded in 1908 to provide agriculture and technology education for men and women.

More than 100 years later, its focus hasn’t changed.

Today, though, there are many more subject areas Morrisville students can delve into and several more degree options than in the early 1900s. In fact, in the past 20 years, the college that started by offering only two-year associate degrees has expanded to include four-year courses of study and bachelor’s degrees.

“We began by offering ag degrees for men and home economics for women,” said Christopher Nyberg, dean of the School of Agriculture, Sustainability, Business and Entrepreneurship at 

Morrisville State. He said these days, men and women enroll in ag programs, from ag mechanics and engineering to equine science, aquaculture and renewable energy.

Morrisville State students receive direction from their professor during a solar panel installation in the community in the agriculture department’s renewable energy program.
Morrisville has a total enrollment of 2,800, with about 950 students studying in the School of Agriculture, Sustainability, Business and Entrepreneurship.

Morrisville prides itself on preparing students for the real world. Many degree programs allow students to graduate and then immediately start their own business or fit nicely into another business.

For example, men and women in the dairy science program not only learn how to care, milk and feed cows, they are taught how to run a dairy business. Nyberg said if they see milk production is down in the herd, they check all the statistics of what and how much the cows are eating and drinking and try to devise solutions to increase milk production.

“It’s a good ag-based school with a close-knit group of people,” said Kara Budinock, 20, of Wolcott, Wayne County, who received her associate degree in greenhouse production in May and will return to school in the fall to work on her bachelor’s in horticulture business.

Joelle Detrick, who graduated from Morrisville in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business development, gives a bath to one of the college’s Holsteins.
Budinock said Morrisville students get their hands dirty and have wide experiences in their chosen field.

“I loved the hands-on work,” she said.

One of the newest programs at Morrisville expands on the college’s ag programs to take in the local hops industry and craft brewing of beers.

Nyberg said a state grant and collaboration with Steve Miller, Cornell’s hops specialist for the state, resulted in:

** Morrisville housing a hops picker on campus (in a permanent enclosure designed and built by Morrisville students).

** The school’s ag students helping to rebuild the picker.

** Morrisville ag students designing and building their own hops picker, which will be used at the Geneva Experiment Station for its hops harvest this year.

** An agreement to build a brewery — in addition to the college’s restaurant, the Copper Turret — on campus so that local hops and barley can be used to create craft beers.

“Craft brewing and the craft beverage industry are growing,” Nyberg said. “There is an increasing demand for ag products for these, such as all the local barley and malt and hops.”

With this expansion, Morrisville students in the new Brewing Studies Program will be at the forefront of learning about brewing beer, growing hops and barley, and working in the brewing industry.

Bids for the brewing equipment and the design of the Copper Turret expansion are being sought. 

Nyberg said the Brewing Studies Program should be running for the 2016-17 academic year and will offer a certificate program with options in associate and bachelor’s degree programs.

Morrisville State also has been expanding its renewable energy curriculum, Nyberg said. Students are able to learn about solar, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and geothermal energy from installation of these systems to their design, operation and maintenance.

He said the college — which has had a methane digester for about 10 years to extract gas from cow manure to make electricity for the campus — will be getting a new digester that will use not only animal waste, but food waste also.

“We will take food waste from neighboring campuses (including Colgate University, Hamilton College and Cazenovia College) and other small agriculture industries and add it to our waste,” Nyberg said. “We can use that to generate heat and power for our campus, and it helps by keeping this waste out of the landfills.”

The agricultural degrees offered in Morrisville State College’s School of Agriculture, Sustainability, Business and Entrepreneurship:

Agriculture business
Agriculture engineering
Agriculture mechanics
Agriculture science
Animal science
Aquaculture and aquatic science
Equine racing management
Equine science and management

Agriculture business development
Dairy management
Equine science
Horticulture business management

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Let's Go to the Fair!!!

The county fair season in New York State is up and running with the start this week of the Oswego County Fair in Sandy Creek.

The 158th Oswego County Fair runs through Sunday. More than 50 county and youth fairs will run from July through early October, closing out the season at the Long Island Fair Sept. 25 to 27 and Oct. 2 to 4.

County fairs across New York State provide fairgoers with family-friendly fun, great music and food, but also a unique opportunity to learn about local agriculture, including where our food comes from.

"Every summer, millions of New Yorkers gear up for their local county fair and take part as exhibitors, competitors and visitors," said state Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball. "We have a great story to tell about our farmers and the hard work they do, and the county fairs provide New Yorkers a first-hand opportunity to learn about our vital agriculture industry."

Fairgoers can find a county fair in all 10 regions of the state. A listing of  county fairs can be found at