Friday, June 27, 2014

New York Still Number 2 in Maple Production

New York again is the second largest maple syrup producer in the country.

Figures released Friday June 27 show New York producers in 2014 made 546,000 gallons of syrup with 2.2 million taps. New York edged out Maine for the number 2 spot – Maine syrup makers made 545,000 gallons in 2014.

Number 1 is still held by Vermont, with 1,320,000 gallons of syrup made.

Production this year is down a bit from 2013 when producers made 574,000 gallons. The weather was challenging this year because the cold weather held on longer this late winter and early spring, resulting in a late start to the sap flow.

Producers with newer vacuum equipment had an easier time of it as they were able to get more sap out of the maple trees than those producers who rely on regular sap flow into buckets.

“Every year, we are reminded that Mother Nature is in charge and the percentages of maple syrup colors produced in largely determined by environmental factors,” said Dwayne Hill, president of the New York State Maple Producers Association. “This was, there was a low percentage of light amber syrup, with most of the crop comprising medium and dark colors. This is a good thing for consumers as the most popular flavors of maple are medium and dark amber.”

The maple association always has a large booth inside the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fair. The association announced this week it will have two new exhibits in its booth this summer.

For more information, go to

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Horses, Beer Focus of This Weekend at the State Fairgrounds

Beer and horses are on tap at the New York State Fairgrounds this weekend.

The World of Beer Empire Brewfest moves to Chevy Court at the New York State Fairgrounds Friday and Saturday. The veteran event features dozens of craft brewers, offering samples of their products.  Many of the beers offered come from New York companies, and the show’s promoter promises some beers will be available for sampling that are not often seen in this area.  

The show is expanding to two days at its new home, running from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and non to 9 p.m. Saturday.

Food will be available from various vendors, and bands will play on the Chevy Court stage Friday and Saturday. There are two options for admission to the event.  For those who want to sample many beers, advance sale tickets are $35, with the second ticket for the same day priced at $17.50.   For those who only want to enjoy full glasses of a beer or two, admission is free and a $7 glass is needed to get 12 ounce glasses of beer costing between $4 and $6.  Designated drivers are admitted free of charge.

Visit for details and locations for advance sale tickets.

Wednesday through Saturday, more than 800 horses and their owners will compete in the Syracuse International Horse Show, perhaps the largest of the more than 30 horse shows held on the Fairgrounds this year.  

Competitions will be held in scores of categories, with more than $50,000 in prize money to be awarded.  The show also holds a silent auction to raise money for the New York Hospice Alliance.

Admission to the Toyota Coliseum is free. Shows begin at 8 a.m. Thursday and Friday and 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

A live web stream of the show is scheduled to be available through

Also this weekend, the 4-H Rings and Stables plays host to the Bridle Path Manor Classic Horse Show on Saturday and Sunday. Horses and owners will compete for prizes in a number of categories.  The event is part of a five-show Central New York-based series that concludes in September. Admission is free. Events begin at 8 a.m. each day.  

More information is available at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Importance of Dairy

Even though this is from the Western Dairy Association, it still is a great reminder about the importance of dairy,

Happy Dairy Month!!

Go to to check it out.

A Second Career in Farming

What a cool story.

Thanks to NY FarmNet for sharing it.

Go to to see the NY Times story.

Postal Service To Honor Farmers' Markets

Now this is cool.

The U.S. Postal Service is honoring Farmers' Markets. These will be Forever stamps and will be available in August.

Here is what the USPS says about these upcoming stamps:

Fruits, vegetables, cheeses, flowers, and other fresh products invitingly displayed on tables or bins — farmers markets invite us to share America’s agricultural bounty.

Four stamps depict a table laden with typical farmers-market fare. 
The stamp on the far left has among its products various fresh breads such as baguettes and rolls, cinnamon buns, cookies, artisan cheeses, and both brown and white eggs. 

The produce on the second stamp includes vegetables and fruits: apples, eggplants, watermelons, peppers, grapes, potatoes, broccoli, and gourds. 

Cut flowers adorn the next stamp, with bouquets of bright flowers next to a bucket of sunflowers and a collection of celosia. 

The final stamp on the far right features live plants, with various herbs, tomatoes, and flowers like marigolds and nasturtiums. Most items bear handwritten labels that identify the product and its price.

The artist chose and arranged the products so that each stamp has a large focal point; each stamp is complete in itself yet forms a cohesive whole with the entire stamp strip. The stamp art was created using acrylic paint.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

New Exhibits Planned for Maple at New York State Fair

Buckets hang from maple trees collecting sap.
The New York State Maple Producers Association will have a new exhibit at the New York State Fair this summer.

Association Executive Director Helen Thomas said the exhibit, in the Horticulture Building, will feature a working tubing system with water (representing sap) so people can see how the sap moves from the tree into a collection releaser. The releaser will periodically fill and dump, creating a noise and splash.

The association also is designing a cutaway of a tree to show how the sap flows up and down in the maple tree as the temperature changes.

These two features will highlight a brand new interactive display that will make folks feel like they are standing in the maple woods,” Thomas continued. “This display will also provide fairgoers with free samples of maple syrup. We hope that these new features will entice people to stop at the maple center where we make all sorts of confections on the premises, and where they can meet and talk with the hard working maple producers of the Great State of New York.”

New York state ranks second nationwide in maple syrup production (Vermont is number 1) and accounts for 18 percent of the nation’s output with 574,000 gallons produced in 2013.  

This year, we want fairgoers to encounter the mystery of maple’s sweet sap,” Thomas said. “How does the maple tree share its tasty sweetness?  How do they get all that sap out of the woods and over to the sugarhouse?  How does the sap become the great sweetener we know as maple syrup?  You can experience these mysteries first hand by stopping by the new maple display in the Horticulture Building at the New York State Fair beginning Aug. 21.”

 “Maple syrup is such a hugely important agricultural industry here in the state,” said state Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball.  “The primary focus of the Great New York State Fair is to educate fairgoers about the breadth of New York agriculture and we are pleased that the New York State Maple Producers Association will be ramping up their educational efforts at this year’s fair.”    

For more information about New York’s huge maple industry, please visit

Monday, June 23, 2014

9 Practices that Set Dairy Operations Apart


Check out

Might get some good tips here.

New GMO Labeling Will Cost Consumers Hundreds per Year

A study released by Professor William Lesser in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management at Cornell University shows that pending legislation that mandates labeling of foods containing ingredients that have been genetically modified would dramatically raise food costs for consumers in New York. 

A family of four would see an average increase of $500 each year, but for some, the increase could be closer to $800.

“Consumers already have a choice to buy food labeled as non-GMO or organic when they shop,” said Jeff Williams, chairman of the Empire State Council of Agricultural Organization.  “Families in this state shouldn’t be burdened with additional costs because of this unnecessary legislation.”

Hundreds of studies have shown that GMO foods are safe and have the same nutritional value as conventionally grown products. 

The full report can be viewed at:

Register by June 30 for Empire Farm Days FFA Tractor Driving Safety Contest

June 30 is the deadline to pre-register for the New York State FFA Tractor Driving Safety Contest at the 2014 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott & Son Farms in Seneca Falls, NY. 

The competition for students aged 14 to 18 will be held Thursday, August 7 at the Northeast’s largest outdoor agricultural trade show.

The Junior division of the contest is open to 14-16 year olds; the Senior division is for 16-18 year olds. The Senior Division winner goes on to compete at the Big E Exposition in Springfield, Mass., in September.

Preparing for the annual competition teaches students the importance of learning and using safe farm equipment operating skills. Students complete a written safety exam, a parts identification task, and driving courses with 2-wheel and 4-wheel wagons.

‘This competition helps students test how well they have learned safe tractor operation and driving skills. A strong performance at Empire Farm Days is something they can add to their resumes in pursuit of an agricultural career,’ says New York State FFA Tractor Driving Safety Contest Coordinator Jon Clayson.

To pre-register, contestants may submit their name and age division to Clayson by June 30 at Walk-up registrations will be accepted the day of the contest.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

ICYMI: What Farmers are Saying about GMOs

This is from the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food:

A hot topic grabbing headlines recently is GMOs. 

The technology behind GMOs is fairly new, quite sophisticated and basically misunderstood by the masses. Many consumers view GMOs with suspicion and even fear, and there is plenty of misinformation on the Internet to fuel these emotions. However, there are potential benefits to this technology that may be surprising to some people: 

Farmers using GMO crops report using substantially less pesticides, water and fuel. GMO technology has enormous potential for solving some of our world's big problems – such as increasing production to feed a growing world population, or delivering key nutrients to third-world countries.

Consumers should be aware that GMOs have been tested for safety, and a recent review of 1,783 high-quality research studies concluded that they are safe. While that's reassuring, there still remains uncertainty over why GMOs are used in the first place, and how they might impact our environment. For these questions, it's best to talk to farmers.

Jennie Schmidt, Maryland farmer
Schmidt is a registered dietitian who also works on her family farm in Maryland, growing many types of crops – including GMO corn and soybean – alongside non-GMO crops. Her farm is progressive, continuously trying out new forms of technology in order to strengthen and protect the family business. Schmidt explains that her GMO crops have a higher yield than the non-GMO crops, but the real benefit comes from savings in time, labor, fuel and wear and tear on her machinery. "All those things combined are very meaningful to a family farm,” she notes.

Ken Kamiya, Hawaii farmer
In some cases, GMO technology has saved family businesses. Papaya farming is a prime example. Kamiya is president of Kamiya Gold, Inc, and he notes that “without GMO technology, there would be no papaya business, and I would be out of farming." Kamiya’s family has been growing papayas for the past 40 years, with the past 16 years using GMO papaya. His confidence in the safety of his product is rock solid, and he points out that the papaya industry has marketed roughly 400 million pounds of papaya since the introduction of GMO technology, without a single negative incident.

Katie Pratt, Illinois farmer
The decision to use a GMO seed is not one that farmers make lightly. According to Pratt, her family uses GMO crops because of the clear value they bring to their family business. They have greatly reduced the amount of insecticide that needs to be sprayed, and they only need to treat the weeds at one point, not several times over a growing season. Her soil has now improved, because she and her family don't have to tromp through the fields as often. The family also uses less fuel, because they spend less time in the tractor. “No one is more aware than the farmer of the impact we have on the environment, in addition to the urgency to feed and fuel a growing population, while reducing our footprint on the planet,” she maintains.

Kevin Rogers, Arizona farmer
Sustainability is a word not often associated with GMOs in popular press, but farmers who grow GMO crops see them as a tool for sustainable farming. According to Rogers, if it were not for GMO technology, the cotton industry in Arizona would not be thriving or sustainable. The pest that was destroying Arizona cotton crops was winning, and it was costing farmers more money to fight that pest than the crop was worth. GMO cotton has produced plants that resist the pest, and according to Rogers, it “has allowed farms in Arizona to be sustainable over the long haul. This technology allows us to produce more product on the same footprint, with less expense.”

Jay Schultz, Canadian farmer
Farmers use many different tools to manage a healthy, sustainable farm. Farming involves weed management, insect control and the wise use of resources in order for a farm to thrive as a business. Schultz notes that farmers take the issues of health and environmental safety very seriously when choosing farm management tools. “As a farmer, I would not produce anything that I am not willing to serve to my own family," he says. "Farmers work very closely with the environment, and I want to leave the land in better condition than when I found it. I want to create more with using less, with less impact on the environment. GMOs are an invaluable technology to help achieve this end goal.”

Farm Bureau Weighs in on Legislative Session

Statement from NY Farm Bureau President Dean Norton on the end of the state legislative session:

“Agriculture in the state will be in an even stronger position to flourish following the success of the 2014 legislative session. In these final days, lawmakers have supported a number of key bills that will benefit every farmer in the long run.

The highlights include the passage of substantial changes to State Liquor Authority laws that will allow craft beverage makers to take advantage of new opportunities to reach customers. Also, counties will now be able to establish smaller agricultural districts of 250 acres, down from 500 acres. This will especially support new farms in more densely populated and suburban areas. Protections from things like eminent domain and nuisance lawsuits are important in communities that are seeing a growing local food network.

New York Farm Bureau is also pleased lawmakers have established a revolving loan program to assist beginning farmers.  Accessing the money needed to start up an operation is one of the greatest challenges facing new farmers. This bill will help them climb over that early hurdle.

These successes and others follow what was an especially productive state budget process for farmers. From an increased threshold in the estate tax to more funding for environmental and worker safety programs and critical commodity research, New York agriculture is primed for more growth.

New York Farm Bureau would like to thank Governor Cuomo, Senate Agriculture Chair, Patty Ritchie, and her counterpart in the Assembly, Bill Magee, and their fellow legislators for their hard work this year. Their support recognizes the value of New York’s farmers and contribution each family makes in providing local food, jobs, and economic support for their rural communities.

Moving forward, New York Farm Bureau will continue to advocate for the nearly 36,000 farms in this state, and make sure lawmakers understand the decisions they make in Albany have far reaching implications for our food system and rural economies upstate and on Long Island,” said Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau President.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Get Your Strawberries Now!

Strawberries are out all over NYS.

Here's a story I wrote about Oswego County. Go to 
to find a farm where you can U-pick or buy strawberries.

After maple syrup, is there anything that says sweet and delectable more than strawberries?

Those beautiful, plump, red, juicy fruits are out now across Oswego County. Most growers say the crop looks good and plentiful and delicious.

“The heat has really been ripening them up,” said Eric Behling, of Behling’s Orchards in Mexico. He has about 5 acres of strawberries ready for customers.

“The spring was real good, there was no freeze, which is kind of on the odd side,” he said. He did his normal irrigating, but didn’t have to flood fields with water to keep them warm because spring temperatures never plummeting below freezing.

Pete Ferlito, owner of Ferlito’s Berry Patch in Scriba, agreed.

“We didn’t have a frost — it’s the first year in which a while there’s been no frost,” he said, noting his fields opened for U-pick Wednesday June 18. “We’re just loaded with berries right now.”

When a freeze hits in the spring and fruit have started to flower or bud, they must be protected or the fruit will die. This holds for all fruit, including berries on the ground and apples on the trees.

Ferlito said the winter’s harsh, cold temperatures made him put more straw on his fields to insulate his berries. “I would have probably had a lot of winter kill” if he hadn’t done that, he said.

The cold and wet from last year and this spring had a negative effect on some fields at Godfrey’s Last Stand in Schroeppel. Josephine Godfrey said the stand has fewer strawberries than normal and customers should call (593-7291) before coming out.

U-pick berries are going for about $1.90 to $2 a pound. Many stands also sell quarts of already picked berries for a higher price.

In 2013, New York state ranked eighth in the country in strawberry production with an overall value of $7.729 million.

In 2012, growers harvested 3.2 million pounds of strawberries in New York state.

Bill Helps Craft Beverage Industry

A bill has been passed that will continue New York state's support of the growing craft beverage industry by cutting burdensome requirements placed on producers and rolling back restrictions regarding the marketing of craft products.

This bill would provide New York manufacturers with greater opportunities to market their products, including allowing producers to serve “by the bottle” and “by the glass” as well as permitting farm distilleries to increase the retail outlets where they can sell and offer samples of their products. In addition, this bill would reduce costs for small manufacturers by permitting them to produce more of their product at lower fees.

The legislation is a result of the state’s second Wine, Beer, Spirits, and Cider Summit, held this past April. The Summit brought the farm-based beverage sector together with agricultural producers and government officials in an effort to find ways to support the rapid growth of New York’s beverage industry.

Pollinator Health Task Force Praised

News from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand:

U.S. Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) praised the Obama Administration for creating a Pollinator Health Task Force to develop a federal strategy to promote the health of honeybees and other pollinators. 

The new interagency task force will help address troubling pollinator declines in California, New York and elsewhere by improving federal coordination to protect the long-term viability of native and managed pollinators.

“New York’s agricultural industry is a key part of America’s economy and pollinators play such an important role in that success,” said Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “With the alarming drop in pollinators, farmers across America have been suffering from a decrease in agricultural productivity. This new federal strategy to promote the health of honey bees and other pollinators is a step in the right direction. It will allow research to be advanced to better understand and rectify this drastic loss that is impacting America’s agricultural system.”

During negotiations for the 2014 Farm Bill, Boxer and Senator Gillibrand introduced a honeybee and pollinator amendment that among other provisions would have created an interagency task force dedicated to developing a federal strategy to address pollinator declines and sustain a healthy pollinator population. The amendment was included in the Farm Bill passed in the House, but was not included in the final bill.

Since 2006, winter hive losses for managed honeybee hives have averaged nearly 30 percent, compared to historical losses of 10 to 15 percent. The losses in part have been attributed to a phenomenon commonly referred to as Colony Collapse Disorder, which results in sudden and catastrophic hive depopulation. 

Honeybees and other pollinators are under threat by a multitude of stressors including habitat loss, disease, exposure to certain pesticides and management practices. The new task force has been directed with creating an action plan to focus federal efforts on understanding, preventing and recovering pollinator populations.

Friday, June 20, 2014

USDA Announces Money for Honeybee Populations

From the USDA:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Friday June 20 announced $8 million in Conservation Reserve Program incentives for Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin farmers and ranchers who establish new habitats for declining honeybee populations. 

More than half of the commercially managed honey bees are in these five states during the summer. This announcement comes in addition to $3 million USDA designated to the Midwest states to support bee populations earlier this year through the Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program.

"American agricultural production relies on having a healthy honeybee population," said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "In recent years, factors such as diseases, parasites, pesticides or habitat loss have contributed to a significant decline in the honey bee population. This $8 million is part of the Administration's ongoing strategy to reverse these trends and establish more plant habitat on Conservation Reserve Program lands to restore the bee population."

The new Conservation Reserve Program pollinator initiative is designed to further enhance current Conservation Reserve Program land, allowing it to provide better access to nutritious pollinator forage. The program allows for managing or replacing existing vegetation, known as 'covers', with lower cost, high nutrition seed mixes that can support distinct blooming cycles of plants that benefit pollinators. 

Honeybees, the pollinator workhorse of U.S. fruit and vegetable agriculture, will have more blooms from which to collect nectar and pollen to sustain and promote colony growth and honey production throughout the growing season. 

By assisting honeybees, the pollinator initiative helps USDA continue to secure the food supply. More than $15 billion worth of agricultural production, including over 130 fruits and vegetables, depend on the health and well-being of honeybees.

Now is a critical time for efforts to support honeybee populations. The honey bee population in the United States has been declining for decades. The number of managed U.S. honeybee colonies dropped from 6 million in 1947, to just 2.5 million today.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Vaccine for Pig, Hog Virus OKed for Use in NY

News from the state veterinarian Dr. David Smith:

A vaccine has been approved for use in New York state that will help protect swine against the PED (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea) virus.

This will not change the decision to eliminate sow and piglet exhibits at the 2014 State Fair. But it will help swine farmers.

Here is Smith's statement:

“Last month, in an effort to protect the health and safety of animals in our care, we announced The Great New York State Fair would suspend its piglets and sows exhibit for 2014 due to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus, which has taken a heavy toll on the nation’s hog farmers. 

When sows and litters become infected, PED kills nearly 100 percent of piglets less than 10 days old.  At that time, we stated that a vaccine that effectively induces protective immunity against PED would be a powerful tool in helping swine across New York State overcome this disease.  

Yesterday, the State Department of Agriculture and Markets reached out to Harrisvaccines in order to expedite the approval to use their PED vaccine, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDv) Vaccine, RNA, in New York State.  This vaccine is now approved for use in New York under a conditional license from USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics, which assures us of the product’s safety and purity.  

USDA’s conditional license also indicates that there is reasonable expectation that the vaccine does provide some degree of protection against PED. Conditional licensure is reserved for situations in which an animal health emergency exists and serves to shorten the time to get new vaccines to market.  We expect the vaccine to come to market in New York State around mid-July.  

As is the case with any veterinary vaccine or drug, the Department strongly recommends that swine owners consult with their veterinarian to decide whether or not this product is appropriate for their herd and their production practices.

While this vaccine will not change our decision with respect to the piglets and sows exhibit at this year’s State Fair, the state wants swine producers in New York to have every available tool to combat PED. And while it is too early to speculate on how much impact this particular vaccine will have, it does indeed look promising.”

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Another Reason to Love Jerseys

I've always loved Jerseys and now here's another reason why everyone should love them.

Go to this story from Hoard's Dairyman to see what I mean.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Dairy Month Celebration Monday at Hood Plant in Oneida

The new commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture and Markets is coming to Madison County Monday in celebration of Dairy Month.

Richard Ball will tour the HP Hood plant on Genesee Street in Oneida at about 9:30 a.m. He will be accompanied by state Sen. David Valesky, of Oneida, Assemblyman William Magee, chair of the Assembly agriculture committee from nearby nelson, Madison County, and Hood officials Steve Pelkey and Rick Kovarik.

Plant officials will show Ball the entire milk manufacturing process, from the milk truck to the grocery store.  

New York is the third largest milk-producing state in the nation and accounts for 6.7 percent of national production. In 2013, there were over 5,000 dairy farms in New York and 610,000 dairy cows across the state, with the average dairy farm had 121 cows producing 2.67 million pounds of milk per year. From 2010 to 2013, New York saw a 6.1 percent increase of pounds of milk per cow, compared to a 3.2 percent increase at the national level.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Bills to Help Farmers Pass Senate

Information released by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie's office:

Three bills to help farmers were passed today by the state Senate and are being sent to the governor for his signature.

The measures would expand markets for New York farm products, allow farmers to increase their land that’s available for agriculture purposes, and look for ways to boost programs that can help aging farmers who want to stay in business.

“New York’s $5.7 billion agriculture industry is key to our region’s and the state’s economy and I am constantly working to find ways to keep farmers growing,” said Sen. Patricia Ritchie, who serves as chair of the Senate’s Agriculture Committee.

“These three bills build on—and complement—my earlier legislative efforts to strengthen New York agriculture and help preserve family farming as the backbone of our agricultural industry.”

The measures passed today by the Senate include:

·         “Buy from the Backyard” Act — sponsored by Sens. Ritchie and Deputy Senate Leader Thomas Libous, of Binghamton, this measure (S. 978) would require state agencies — which each year serve tens of millions of dollars worth of food products in prisons, hospitals, colleges and schools — to make 20 percent of those purchases from New York growers. The bill was sent to the Assembly. Last year, Ritchie won praise for a new “food metrics” law that she sponsored which requires agencies to more accurately track the sources of their farm purchases.

·          Drainage tile revolving loan fund — recommended by Ritchie’s farmer-based Agricultural Advisory Council, a group of local working farmers who regularly advise the senator on key agricultural issues, this bill (S. 5482) would provide low-interest loans to farmers to install drainage systems to increase the availability of tillable farmland or areas for grazing, and would be especially helpful to “muckland” farmers in Oswego County and Central New York. There would be no cost to taxpayers because the fund would be replenished by farmers’ repayments.

·         Support for aging farmers — This bipartisan bill (S.7433) is sponsored by Ritchie and Sen. David Valesky of Oneida and would direct the state Agriculture Commissioner to find ways to support aging farmers who want to stay in business. The average age of farmers in New York is now over 57 years old, and Ritchie has been focused on expanding the number of farmers, such as through the new, $1 million “Young Farmers” initiative she included in the State Budget. This measure complements those efforts by ensuring longtime farmers can continue to work if they want.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Find Farmers' Markets, Greenhouses, Nursery Growers Online

More than 450 spring and summer farmers’ markets across the state as well as locations of licensed nursery growers and greenhouses are now available on the state’s open data website, found at

This comprehensive data website provides New Yorkers in the market for locally grown products with a user-friendly avenue to find them quickly in their area. 

The Governor’s Open NY initiative is aimed at increasing citizen engagement with their government, and encourages New Yorkers to visit the State's comprehensive data transparency website,Data.NY.Gov, which highlights an array of resources and services for New Yorkers. With the summer tourism season rapidly approaching, some of the great things that can be found on the website include top fishing spots; wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries; and places of historic significance.

The Farmers’ Market Dataset includes information detailing the hours of operation and location of markets as well as the name and phone number of the market manager.

A map of farmers’ markets across New York State can be found here, or by county here
A listing of nursery growers and greenhouses across New York State can be found here

The state Department of Agriculture and Markets will continue to provide updated information on farmers’ market locations for the website as they continue to arise throughout the summer. To confirm the hours and location before traveling, please contact the local market.

Dairy Farmers of America Opens Milk Powder Plant

Here's a story from DairyBusiness Communications:

Go to to check it out.

Oswego County Onion Growers Meeting June 25

Oswego County Onion Growers Twilight Meeting
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 — 5 to 7 pm 
John Dunsmoor Farm, 777½ County Route 53, Oswego, NY 13126

Presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County with generous support from: Seedway,   Synagri, Crop Production Service, Stokes Seeds, and Bejo Seed.

This two-hour on-farm meeting will provide crucial, in season research to aid the onion growers of Oswego County in their management decisions to keep them profitable.  The twilight meeting will emphasize strategies to prevent economic loss from problem weeds and bacterial rot damage.

“Strategies to Control Problem Weeds in Onions” Christine Hoepting, Vegetable Specialist - Onions, Cabbage Cornell Vegetable Program will discuss her field experiences utilizing different practices to control problematic weeds in onions, and provide recommendations on integrated pest management strategies for their control.

“Understanding What is Causing Onion Bacterial Rot ” Dr. Steven Beer Cornell University will discuss some of his latest research on onion bacterial rot pathogens and agriculture growing practices that growers can utilize to reduce center rot and sour skin in onions, an expensive issue for growers.

Two New York State Recertification Credits have been approved in categories 1a, 10 & 23, bring your pesticide ID card.  The cost of the program is $10 and dinner will follow.  

Pre-registration is required.  Please return registration form or call in reservation by Friday, June 20, 2014.  If you have questions or if you have any special needs, please call Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315-963-7286. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

New York State Fair Wins Awards

From New York State Ag and Markets:

            State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today accepted the Medal of the Onondaga Historical Association on behalf of the Great New York State Fair in recognition of the Fair’s ongoing efforts to educate the public through history.

            “As the oldest state fair in the United States, the Great New York State Fair itself is filled with rich history, and part of our job as administrators of the Fair is passing down that history to others,” Commissioner Ball said.  “We thank the Onondaga Historical Association for this great honor and look forward to doing our part to promote history once again at the 2014 Great New York State Fair.”

New Shipwreck Exhibit:

            Continuing the Fair’s aim to promote history in 2014, Commissioner Ball and Acting State Fair Director Troy Waffner today announced a new exhibit that will take place at this year’s Fair called “Great Shipwrecks of NY’s “Great” Lakes.”  NY Sea Grant is partnering with the Great New York State Fair, Great Lakes Seaway Trail, Great Lakes Research Consortium, Lake Champlain Sea Grant, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, and the H. Lee White Marine Museum along with other partners and sponsors to present this new exhibit, which will tell the story of various shipwrecks located throughout the state. 

For more than three centuries, Lakes Erie and Ontario, and the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers, in addition to the Finger Lakes, Lake Champlain, and Lake George, have been major thoroughfares for military, shipping, and recreational endeavors. As a result, their waters are home to an extraordinary collection of historic shipwrecks. In fact, hundreds of shipwrecks are located across New York State, including Benedict Arnold’s gunboat Spitfire, which was discovered at the bottom of Lake Champlain in 1997.

Travelers and residents are fascinated by the story of these vessels, the people that lived and worked aboard them, and the scientists who study them today. This exhibit will guide fairgoers through a journey on the many ways they can continue discovery of New York’s shipwrecks whether it be diving underwater, exploring a historic site, or taking in a scenic view.

            A 30 by 60 foot tent will be situated in the mini-state park, located just outside of the Horticulture Building on the Art and Home Center side.  It will display a replica 18th century bateau, which is a French and Indian War vessel.  The display will also provide fairgoers with information on various wreckages throughout the state through panels, photographs and videos.  In the reflecting pool, a remote sensing buoy will provide real time weather and water conditions. 

David G White, Recreation Specialist at NY Sea Grant, and Associate Director at the Great Lakes Research Consortium, said, “New York is home to some of the most important and historically significant shipwrecks in the entire country, and this summer our goal is to help educate fairgoers on some of the history that took place right in their own backyards.  Our ‘Great Shipwrecks of NY’s “Great” Lakes’ exhibit will highlight some of this history and bring New Yorkers back in time to when our waters were the most important transportation and strategic defense hubs in our entire nation.  We want to take fairgoers on a journey through another place and time, and we can’t wait to show you what’s in store this summer.”

History of the Fair Exhibit:

            The History of the Fair Exhibit, which debuted in the Grange Building at the 2013 extravaganza with much fanfare, will return in 2014 with a number of new features.  Even more historical artifacts will be on display, including historic photos of “tea time at noon at the Colonnade.”  An exhibit commemorating the 80th anniversary of the Art and Home Center will also be featured this year.

            A three tiered, interactive sand castle will give fairgoers a small sample of what it takes to complete the annual sand sculpture, which in itself uses 180 tons of sand, and takes two workers six days to complete. 

A gift shop will sell a DVD that tells the story of the 1969 Fair, as well as vintage posters and pins, logos old and new, and a collectible holiday ornament that will change annually.  This year’s ornament will be the Horticulture building and will provide a brief history of the building itself.

Witter Agricultural Museum:

According to the New York State Agricultural Society, the purpose of the entity known as the Daniel Parrish Witter Agricultural Museum is to enhance, advise, promote, develop and assist in the operation of the museum to share the heritage of New York’s Agricultural development with museum visitors.

The Society established the State Fair and conducted it for 57 years; the organization was also instrumental in developing the Daniel Parrish Witter Agricultural Museum, built on the fairgrounds in 1928. “The Witter Museum is a great resource,” comments Penny Heritage, spokesperson for the NYS Ag Society, “sharing the heritage of New York’s agricultural development with visitors.”

            The museum, situated next to Restaurant Row, features a log cabin that was unassembled, brought within the museum’s boundaries, and rebuilt exactly as it was.  It’s also a living history museum dedicated to telling the history of New York agriculture.  It features tradespeople like basket weavers and broom makers - local artisans making actual products for fairgoers to enjoy.  There is also an interactive display on modern agriculture, featuring farm facts and statistics. 

Carriage Museum:

The Carriage Museum, located next to the Witter Museum, offers fairgoers a unique perspective on carriages used for everyday agricultural purposes, including old milking trucks, buggies, sleighs, carriages of all shapes and sizes, and chuck wagons.  The Museum has a number of interactive, living history shows for fairgoers, showing how a chuck wagon works and an actual working blacksmith shop that makes specialty items such as horseshoes.  A blacksmith is on-site every day in the Carriage Museum to walk fairgoers through the process of the blacksmith trade.  

Antique tractors on also be on display for the full Fair at Gate #10.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 21 – September 1, 2014.  The Fair’s mission, reflected in its 2014 theme, “Summer’s Best in Show,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment.  This year’s tagline – “New Attractions, Old Favorites, Timeless Fun” – highlights the more than two dozen new events and attractions and the expansion or enhancement of several Fairgoer favorites.

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at