Friday, January 30, 2015

Small Livestock Parasite Workshop Set for Feb. 7 in Canton

There will be a parasite assessment, management training workshop fro m10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday Feb. 7 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm, 2043 Route 68, Canton.

The program is for small livestock farmers to reduce and manage parasites that affect pastured sheep and goats.  

The cost is $30 per person; second person from same farm added for $10. Lunch, materials included. 

Preregistration is required by calling 379-9192 or emailing

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Deadline Feb. 16 for Ag Society Foundation Grants

News from the New York State Agricultural Society:

The New York State Agricultural Society Foundation will be awarding a total of $10,000 in grants this spring to organizations across the state with a focus on “Building the Agriculture Intellect of Youth.” 

The Foundation will consider programs targeting youth – junior high age and older – that improve awareness of how agriculture works.

Founded in 2011, the organization is leveraging charitable contributions and partnership opportunities to support agricultural education, leadership development and industry recognition; the mission of the NYS Agricultural Society.  

“We want to continue to be a vehicle for action,” said Ann Noble Shephard, foundation chair. “Our goal is to plant seeds of influence today to help positively change the playing field for agriculture in the future. Partnering with non-profits in local communities to help spread the message is a tool that can be very effective.”

The new Foundation funded its first round of grants in 2014 — six grants, totaling $10,000 reached 266,000 people.

Applications for 2015 are due Feb. 16.  Details at: 

The Foundation plans to award grants of up to $2,500 and is most interested in supporting new activities in all parts of New York State. The focus for each grant year will change depending on current events and industry developments.

Maple Expo Saturday in Gouverneur

The 2015 Northern New York Maple Expo is set for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 31 at Gouverneur High School.

The program is put on by Cornell Cooperative Extension and includes lunch and classes. The cost is $16.

The school is at 133 E. Barney St. For more information, call 379-9192.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Meeting About Ag District and Ag Value Assessment Feb. 2 in Mexico

From Oswego County Farm Bureau:

Oswego County Farm Bureau, as a part of their Coffeecake Meeting Series, will host a Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County discussion of the Agriculture District Review currently being done at 2 p.m. Monday Feb. 2 at the Oswego County Federal Credit Union, 5828 Scenic Ave., Mexico.

All farms in the Oswego Count Ag District are reviewed every eight years and will have to be reauthorized for the district. This a very important component of every farm operation in the county. 

Also speaking at the meeting will be John DeHollander of the Oswego County Soil and Water District regarding Ag Value Assessment and how this program affects your property taxes. Take this opportunity to learn from the experts about the Ag District and Ag Value Assessment protections and how they affect your farm and farmland, whether you are farming it yourself or are renting land to another farm. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Ritchie Re-Appointed Chair of Senate Ag Committee

State Sen. Patricia Ritchie, R-Oswegatchie, has been re-appointed as chair of the state Senate Agriculture Committee.

She also was named to the powerful Finance and Transportation Committees. 

“In recent years we’ve made great progress to grow the agriculture industry, increasing funding for critical programs and making investments in initiatives that support our state’s hardworking farmers,” Ritchie said in a release. "I am thrilled to once again be named as Chair of the Agriculture Committee and am looking forward to working alongside my colleagues and New York’s farmers to help the industry continue to grow.”

Since first being appointed Senate Agriculture Committee chair in 2011, Ritchie has helped increase funding for critical agriculture programs by more than $21 million above the governor's  recommendation, repeal costly mandates affecting farmers, launch new initiatives including the innovative “Young Farmers NY” — a program that aims to protect the future of agriculture by attracting young people to careers in the industry — and leading the fight against deadly diseases like EEE and rabies. 

Ag Budget Shows Gains, Reductions

Gov. Andrew Cuomo during his budget presentation Wednesday.


Alcoholic beverage tax exemption. Extend the wine tasting sales and use tax exemption to other alcoholic beverages. Currently, wine tastings are exempt from the sales tax. The budget extends this exemption to include beer, cider and liquor. The beer, wine and spirits industry has created nearly 1,600 jobs since mid-2011.

Diesel fuel business tax refund. Allow petroleum business tax refunds for farm use of highway diesel motor fuel. Farmers who purchase taxable highway diesel fuel will be able to request a refund for the portion used for farm use. This will relieve farmers of the need to maintain separate tanks for taxable and non-taxable diesel fuel.

Fees will be repealed in the Department of Agriculture and Markets, saving New Yorkers $40,000 annually beginning in 2015. They are:
** Commercial Feed License Fee. This $100 license fee is collected from manufacturers of commercial feed on an annual basis.
** Farm Product Dealer’s License Fee. This $20 license fee is collected annually from farm product dealers.
** Food Salvage Fee. This $100 license fee is collected from Food Salvage Dealers every two years.
** Liming Brands License Fee. This $20 license fee is collected from suppliers of liming materials every two years.
** Refrigerated Warehouse Fee. This $200 license fee is collected from refrigerated warehouses every two years.
** Rendering Plants Fee. This license fee is collected from operators of disposal plants on an annual basis. The annual license fee for disposal plants is $100, plus an inspection fee of $10 for each vehicle. The annual license fee for transportation services is $25, plus an inspection fee of $10 for each vehicle.
** Rendering Transportation Fee. This license fee is collected from rendering (i.e. animal remains) transportation facilities on an annual basis. The fee amount is $25
per service and $10 per vehicle.
** Seed Potato Inspection Fee. This regulatory fee of $34 is collected annually for the inspection of both seed potato plants and seed potato tubers for the NY Seed Improvement Project.
** Soil and Plant Inoculants Fee. This $40 license fee is collected every two years for the purpose of selling product brands which contain microorganisms for inoculation purposes.
** Farm Grower Permit Fee. This is a $40 fee charged to agriculture growers who apply for a one-year permit which allows the grower to employ more than five non-H2A migrant farm workers.
** Farm Labor Contractor Permit Fee. This is a $200 fee charged to farm labor contractors that apply for a one year permit to transport and provide non-H2A
migrant farm workers to a grower.

Broadband Internet. A $500 million New NY Broadband Fund is established to significantly expand the availability and capacity of broadband across the state. This program will build on the Connect NY Broadband Program and expand the creation of ultra-high-speed network and promote broadband adoption through a multi-pronged approach. This is important to farmers because many rural areas do not have broadband Internet capabilities.

Southern Tier and Hudson Valley Agricultural Enhancement Program. A total of $50 million from the Special Infrastructure Account will assist farmers and other related businesses in the Southern Tier ($30 million) and Hudson Valley ($20 million) with maintaining and growing their businesses. Money would be used for strategic farming initiatives, including preservation of farmland, to ensure farms in the Southern Tier and Hudson Valley remain intact and vibrant for generations to come.

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. The college would receive an additional $19 million multi-year investment to expand and upgrade infrastructure and teaching facilities at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to accommodate larger class sizes.

Department of Agriculture and Markets: Total funding for Ag and Markets is decreased by $12 million, primarily due to the discontinuation of one-time local assistance program funds ($6.9 million) and the completion of capital spending.

State Fair Revitalization. In addition to capital funding and other sources, the state fairgrounds in Geddes west of Syracuse will receive $50 million from the Special
Infrastructure Account to improve the experience for visitors by making enhancements at the fairgrounds and in the surrounding area.

Expand Access to New York Grown Agricultural Products. The budget include $1.1 million for the “Taste NY” program. This program is branding and expanding New York’s food and beverage industry by making the wide variety of foods and beverages grown and produced in the state readily available and recognizable to New Yorkers and the public nationwide. Taste NY products are available in more than 25 retail locations statewide, and more than 5.9 million people in 2014 attended the 55 events at which Taste NY participated.

FreshConnect farmers’ market program. The budget includes $350,000 for the FreshConnect farmers’ market program, which benefits farmers and consumers alike by awarding competitive grants to create and expand farmers’ markets in underserved communities throughout New York.

Hops. To increase the availability of locally grown hops for the state’s growing craft brew industry, the budget continues $40,000 for a program to evaluate and
test hop varieties in New York.

Commission to Study Protecting Dairy Farmer Profits. The state will create a commission to evaluate dairy prices and programs that would help maintain dairy farm profitability, including options to encourage dairy farmer participation in a Federal Margin Protection Program. The federal government recently unveiled a program to address the pricing hazards dairy farms face, and offers protection against losses due to declining milk prices. The commission, chaired by the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture & Markets (now Richard Ball), will develop recommendations intended to encourage farmers to purchase this coverage protection offered through the USDA. The commission will submit its recommendations to the governor by May 1.

Maintain Core Agriculture and Markets Local Assistance Funding. Funding for core agricultural programs that protect health and safety, provide education, and support the promotion of New York state products will continue, Cuomo said. But as in past years, he has cut funding to some programs and eliminated funding for other programs.

Here is a list of some of the state ag programs and how much Cuomo has put into the budget for them:

Northern New York Agricultural Development -- $0, down from $600,000 in the 2014-15 enacted budget
Wine and Grape Foundation -- $713,000, down from $1 million in 2014-15 enacted budget
Local fairs -- $340,000, down from $500,000
New York Apple Growers -- $206,000, down from $750,000
Maple Producers Association -- $0, down from $150,000
North Country Low Cost Vaccines -- $0, down from $25,000
Farm Viability Institute -- $400,000, down from $1.5 million
New York Christmas Tree Farmers -- $0, down from $120,000
Agricultural Child Care (migrant) -- $6.521 million, down from $7.521 million
Dairy Profit Teams -- $150,000, same as last year
Dairy Profit Teams through the Farm Viability Institute -- $0, down from $220,000
Cornell’s Pro-Dairy -- $822,000, the same as last year
Berry Growers Association -- $0, down from $320,000
Ag in the Classroom -- $80,000, same as last year.
FFA -- $192,000, down from $350,000
Tractor rollover protection -- $0, down from $150,000

USDA Awards Loans (None in NY) to Create Jobs, Spur Economic Development

Five awards were awarded Friday Jan. 23 to expand access to credit for rural businesses, particularly small businesses in poor and underserved areas.

USDA Rural Development is providing a total of $2.55 million in loans to five nonprofit groups through the Intermediary Relending Program (IRP). Under the IRP program, USDA provides loans to local organizations so they can create revolving loan funds for businesses.

Those receiving money are:

Mississippi's North Central Planning and Development District, $600,000, help reduce poverty and address economic development and infrastructure issues on a multi-jurisdictional basis.
Iowa, Newton Development Corporation, $200,000
New Hampshire, Coastal Economic Development Corporation, $500,000
Missouri, Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority, $500,000
South Dakota, Four Bands Community Fund, $750,000

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Magazine Names Finger Lakes Top Wine Region for 2015

From the New York Wine and Grape Foundation:

Wine Enthusiast has named the Top 10 Wine Destinations of 2015, with New York's Finger Lakes region right at the top of the list.

Anna Lee Iijima, who has written about the region and tasted extensively (including as a judge at our New York Wine & Food Classic competition), has written a great piece about the wineries, wines, other attractions, and recommendations on where to stay and eat.

New York state has also been selected by the magazine as Wine Region of the Year based on the ever-increasing quality of its wines, close partnership with the state and strong growth. The Finger Lakes is by far the largest single region, with 128 wineries, hundreds of top awards in 2014 and about 4 million tourist visits annually.

The region's growth in all respects has commanded widespread attention in the world of wine.  

In 2004, there were 73 wineries, compared to 128 today, with the growth rate strong and increasing, especially in the past five years (38 new wineries). Similarly, in the past few years the number of Gold medals and ratings of 90 or above has steadily increased (from 557 in 2011 to 886 in 2014), reflecting the ever-increasing quality of wines.

The Finger Lakes led the top 10 list of wine country destinations, with the others being Piedmont, Italy; Hawks Bay, New Zealand; Rhone Valley, France; Orlando, Florida (for restaurants); Galicia, Spain; Okanagan, British Columbia; Loire Valley, France; Mendocino, California; and Isrtria, Croatia/Slovenia/Italy.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Organic Landscape and Turf Management and Farm Transitioning Courses Set

Two courses are coming up soon in the north country.

A webinar about organic options for landscape and turf management is set for 4:45 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 2043 Route 68, Canton. To register, call 379-9192 or email Paul Hetzler at

A course about farm transition called “Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Farm Transition Planning,” for farm women is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays Feb. 10 through March 10, at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Learning Farm, 2043 Route 68, Canton. 

The cost is $75 per person which includes a workbook and lunch. The program is limited to 15 people. 

To register, call or email Kimberley Morrill, 379-9192, or go to, prior to Friday, Jan. 30.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Meetings Focus on Northern New York Farm Successes

News from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program:

North County farmers who want to learn more about the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program's latest projects should come to meetings Jan. 30 in Watertown and Feb. 27 in Chazy.

The research report sessions begin at 1 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Watertown and at Miner Institute in Chazy. Registration is not required to attend.

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a farmer-driven research and technical assistance program serving all sectors of the agricultural industry, from dairy and crops to livestock, maple and horticultural production, in Jefferson, Lewis, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties.

"The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is noted for producing real-world, practical results, and the 2014 project reports live up to that expectation," says program Co-Chair Jon Greenwood, a dairy producer in St. Lawrence County.

"Northern New York Agricultural Development Program small grants connect North Country farmers with faculty, researchers, and specialists with Cornell University, Cornell Cooperative Extension, the State University of New York, W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute, and other expertise to address critical needs and emerging opportunities," says program Co-Chair Joe Giroux, a Clinton County dairyman.

Reports at the meetings will cover:

** Emerging corn and soybean diseases
** The identification of mastitis-causing pathogens
** Corn grain variety trials under Northern New York growing conditions
** Evaluating alfalfa-grass mixes for dairy and livestock forage
** Production practices for the Juneberry superfruit
** Health management for sheep and goats, and
** How the inexpensive biocontrol developed with long-term program funding to beat back the highly-destructive alfalfa snout beetle now holds promise for helping fruit and vegetable growers statewide.

One of the acclaimed Northern New York Agricultural Development Program successes came through long-term funding that provided the time needed for Cornell University researchers to develop an inexpensive, biocontrol treatment that substantially reduced the impact of the highly-destructive alfalfa snout beetle. 

The concept of using native nematodes that destroy the larvae of the beetle is now being applied in trials to reduce other types of pests in strawberry crops in Northern New York, in apple and grape crops elsewhere in the state, and at the Battle Island Golf Course outside Fulton, NY.

As time allows, the meeting may also make note of recent program projects focused on winter forage crops production for the dairy and livestock industries; enhancing agricultural environmental stewardship through tile drainage, nutrient recycling, and on-farm water quality; adapting to climate change; enhancing market opportunities for North Country beef producers; and season extension for fruit and vegetable growers.

Complete research reports are posted on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at
<> . For more details on the annual meetings, call 376-5270.

According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 4,365 farms in Northern New York manage more than 1.1 million acres of farmland with a hired labor payroll of more than $67.2 million. Those numbers represent a gain of 97 farms, 64,487 acres, and $15 million in payroll since the 2007 census.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Canton Native Opens Maple Syrup Equipment and Consulting Business

Good story about a maple company in the North Country.

Check it out at

Winners Announced for American Farm Bureau Contests

From the American Farm Bureau convention in San Diego:

The final winners have been announced for the Achievement Award, Discussion Meet & Excellence in Agriculture!

Achievement Award
Award Name State  
Runner Up Ben & Amy Gittins Idaho
Runner Up Matt & Jenna Kilgus Illinois
Runner Up Mark & Cindy Klepper Tennessee
Winner Chris & Rebekah Pierce Kentucky

Discussion Meet
Award Name State
Finalist Megan Hansen Iowa
Finalist Doug Giles Tennessee
Finalist Jeremy Barron Indiana
Winner Sean Arians Illinois

Excellence in Agriculture
Award Name State
Runner Up Jessica Jones Virginia
Runner Up Michael & Amy             Shirley Tennessee  
Runner Up Phillip & Allison Honea South Carolina  
Winner Paul & Ruth Lanoue Minnesota

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cow in Lewis County Tests Positive for Rabies

A cow in the town of Denmark in Lewis County has tested positive for rabies, according to officials with the Lewis County Public Health Department.

The department was notified Dec. 31. Four people had come in contact with the cow and they all have received rabies post-exposure treatment.

One additional cow that came into contact with the cow with rabies has been placed in a six-month quarantine.

In 2014, New York state reported five cattle, one sheep and one horse with rabies. Lewis County had one other cow with rabies in the last five years.

More Than Half of Nation's Dairy Farmers Sign Up for Margin Protection Program

From the USDA:

More than 23,000 of the nation's dairy operations – over half of all dairy farms in America – have enrolled in the new safety-net program created by the 2014 Farm Bill, known as the Margin Protection Program. 

Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack said the voluntary program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

"Enrollment far exceeded our expectations in the first year," said Vilsack. "We're pleased that so many dairy producers are taking advantage of the expanded protection. USDA conducted a lot of outreach to get the word out. When you compare the initial enrollment rate for the Margin Protection Program to the longstanding federal crop insurance program, where participation ranges from 30 percent to 80 percent depending on the crop, it's clear that these outreach efforts made a difference."

During the three months of the enrollment period, USDA conducted a robust education and outreach effort to the nation's dairy producers. The department held over 500 public meetings, sent out nearly 60,000 direct mailings, and conducted more than 400 demonstrations of the Web-based tool designed to help applicants to calculate their specific coverage needs.

Unlike earlier dairy programs, the Margin Protection Program offers dairy producers a range of choices of protection that are best suited for their operation. Starting with basic coverage for an administrative fee of $100, producers can select higher levels of coverage at affordable incremental premiums. More than half of applicants selected higher coverage beyond the basic level.

Dairy producers interested in enrolling in the Margin Protection Program for Fiscal Year 2016 can register between July 1, 2015 and Sept. 30, 2015.

To learn more about the Margin Protection Program, visit the Farm Service Agency (FSA) online at or contact a local FSA office at

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Magee Honored by Agricultural Society

Assemblyman William Magee, the long-time chair of the Assembly agriculture committee, was honored Thursday night by the New York State Agricultural Society at its annual meeting and forum in suburban Syracuse.

Magee, D-Nelson, Madison County, was presented the Distinguished Service Citation for his years of work to better New York agriculture.

Here are some comments about Magee from some ag dignitaries in the state:

New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball: 

Dean Norton, president, New York Farm Bureau: “ Bill Magee has long been a friend of New York agriculture. His accomplishments as Chairman of  the Assembly Agriculture Committee have benefited every farmer in the state because he understands our needs and concerns.  New York Farm Bureau congratulates Assemblyman Magee on this well-deserved honor.”   

State Sen. Patricia Ritchie, chair state Senate Agriculture Committee:“Throughout his long and distinguished career, Assemblyman Magee has been known not only for working to support New York’s agriculture industry, but also for putting the needs of our state’s hardworking farmers first. 

“Throughout my time as Senate Agriculture Committee Chair, Assemblyman Magee has been a fantastic partner when it comes to working to keep New York as a leading agricultural state. I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor and am looking forward for continuing to work with him to create an even brighter future for New York farmers and the agriculture industry as a whole.”

Dean Kathryn Boor, dean of Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: "Bill Magee is a true champion in leading the charge in research, application and new funding for the economic sustainability of agriculture in New York state. The state of New York agriculture wouldn't be the same without him."

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Training on Hiring Employees Set for January, February

Cornell Cooperative Extension is offering training later this month help farmers who will be hiring their first employees in 2015.

This beginners course topics cover payroll accounting, minimum wage, withholding, general work agreements, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, youth hiring rules and rates, termination, quarterly and annual report filing requirements. 

OSHA safety regulations, dangerous jobs, Right to Know and training will also be covered.

“There are several critical considerations to put in pace before you take on employees. Those attending this course will receive a To-Do list and a set of resources to prepare them for hiring,” says workshop co-organizer Anita Deming with CCE Essex County. “Learning how to properly manage workers can expand your earning potential exponentially.”

Deming notes that even if a farm owner hires a professional to help with employment forms and government reporting requirements it is wise for the farm owner to have a working knowledge of what is legally required for hiring and employee management.

The Hiring Your First Employee workshops are set for:

7 to 9 p.m., Wednesday Jan. 14, Plattsburgh, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 6064 Route 22 Suite 5; register with 518-561-7450

1 to 3 p.m., Thursday Jan. 15, Westport, Cornell Cooperative Extension, 3 Sisco St; register with 518-962-4810 x0

1 to 3 p.m., Friday Jan. 16, Malone, Soil and Water Conservation District Office, 151 Finney Blvd; register with 518-483-7403.

Workshops will be held in February in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. 

For more information, contact Anita Deming, 518-962-4810 x409, or Peggy Murray with Cornell Cooperative Extension Lewis County, 315-376-5270,

Monday, January 5, 2015

Snow is Falling in Central New York

Mimi, the prized sow at the Yerdon farm in Redfield, hangs out with a snow friend.

Carolyn Yerdon, a weather observer for many area newspapers and TV stations, said Redfield has seen 105 inches of snow so far this season as of Monday afternoon. "Nothing to brag about," she said. "Last year at this time, we had more than 200 inches."

Many areas of Central New York -- including Oneida, Oswego, Onondaga and Madison counties -- were caught in a lake-effect snow band on Monday, Jan. 5. Some areas were expecting up to a foot of snow. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Agriculture Community Loses A Giant in Henry van Lieshout

The farming community lost a giant in Oneida County.

Henry Joseph van Lieshout of Verona, 93, died Dec. 31. He was the patriarch of the van Lieshout family and the family farm. 

One line from his obituary says it all: "His lifelong love of God and working with Holstein dairy cattle is carried on by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren."
His lifelong love of God and of working with Holstein Dairy Cattle is carried on by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. - See more at:
His lifelong love of God and of working with Holstein Dairy Cattle is carried on by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. - See more at:
His lifelong love of God and of working with Holstein Dairy Cattle is carried on by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. - See more at:
His lifelong love of God and of working with Holstein Dairy Cattle is carried on by his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. - See more at:

Go to to see the full obituary and to leave your condolences.

New York Wineries Make Top Wineries List

MSN has listed 101 top wineries in the country and nine of them are in New York state.

Go to to check out the list.

Meeting on Soils Set for Jan. 13 in Geneva

New York Certified Organic (NYCO) has scheduled a meeting Jan. 13 in Geneva to talk about soil fertility.

The meeting, at the state Agricultural Experiment Station, begins at 10 a.m. in the Jordan Hall auditorium and features three presentations. They are:

1) Jean Bonhotal, director of the Cornell Waste Management Institute, will talk about how to gain soil vitality with compost.

2) Noted New York organic producer Klaas Martens of Penn Yan, will present information on the Soil Rennaissance Initiative, a grassroots movement that is drawing attention nationwide, including from high-ranking U.S. Department of Agriculture officials. The Foundation, Oak Brook, IL, and Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Ardmore, OK, started the initiative in 2013. 

Twenty-five soil health leaders working in production agriculture, industry, academia, research and government identified economics, measurement, research and education as key areas for advancing soil health as the decision-making cornerstone for land use management and sustainable natural resource systems and for meeting the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by the year 2050.

3) Carol MacNeil of the Cornell Vegetable Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension will discuss Cornell’s Soil Health Assessment practices.

The meeting includes a potluck lunch, and a discussion circle for questions and answers and brainstorming. 

New York Certified Organic received funding for the meeting from the New York Farm Viability Institute and the New York Agriculture and Markets Crop Insurance Team.

Organic grain and dairy farmers have met at NYCO meetings since 1994 to increase their practical knowledge and expertise. Registration is not required; participants bring a dish to pass for the potluck lunch. 

For more details, contact NYCO facilitator Fay Benson with Cornell Cooperative Extension at 607-753-5213,

Friday, January 2, 2015

Stewart's Shops Drops Price of Milk This Month

Here's some good news for consumers from Stewart's Shops:

Stewart's Shops is lowering the price of milk at its stores 30 cents a gallon and 16 cents a half gallon as of Monday, Jan. 5. 

Stewart's officials said a number of global and economic factors are leading to the price drop, but it is most significantly influenced by supply and demand. After a record year for milk supply to meet growing international demand, the tides have turned and global demand, including the need for U.S. exports, is lessening. 

"The result is that the cost of milk will be lowered for the consumer," said Stewart's officials in a news release.

Stewart’s Shops picks up fresh milk daily from more than 30 dairy farms in Saratoga, Rensselaer and Washington counties. That milk is processed at its dairy in Greenfield, and is also used to make other Stewart’s quality products such as ice cream, half and half and eggnog.

Stewart's Shops are located primarily in eastern and northern New York. There is one in Liverpool in Onondaga County, two in Oswego County (Oswego and Minetto), a few in the Mohawk Valley and some in the Catskills region.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year from Empire State Farming Blog

Just think how easy it will be to make health a priority if we all eat healthy, fresh, wonderful food grown and produced right here in New York by New York farmers?

Happy New Year, everyone!! Let's support our farmers!