Friday, February 19, 2016

New York Certified Organic Winter Meeting March 8 in Geneva

The New York Certified Organic Winter Meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. March 8 in Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva.

A number of speakers will discuss new and changing global markets for organic grain and dairy producers, flax grain production and uses and "What Do You Want to Make Per Acre on Your Farm?"

One of the featured presenters is Bob Quinn of Big Sandy, Montana, talking about developing new markets for organic grain. Quinn considered several options before settling on the ancient grain of kamut as a good fit for his 2,400-acre organic farm, which is in an area that can receive 13 inches of rain in one season. 

He will talk about the importance of research, dedication to establishing a strong market and what farmers can do to develop their own niche.

Mary-Howell Martens of Lakeview Organic Grain
Mary-Howell Martens, who operates Lakeview Organic Grain and co-owns an organic grain farm with her husband Klaas Martens in Penn Yan, Yates County, will cover changes in the world grain market. The Martenses are highly respected agricultural innovators who willingly share their knowledge to encourage other farmers to be successful. 

Luke Gianforte of Gianforte Farm, Cazenovia, Madison County, will help audience members answer the question of what each wants to make per acre with their farming enterprise. He will share how he tracks costs and returns for 500 acres of up to 10 different organic grains and row crops he and his dad grow in any given year. 

The Gianfortes also operate their own small mill and package whole and milled grains in bulk and for restaurant, retail and farmers’ market sale, largely serving the Central New York and Mohawk Valley regions.

Ed Schefler of Groton, Tompkins County will be among the growers on the after-lunch panel discussing alternative grains production. Schefler will show slides about growing flax and pressing the seed for oil and cake, which he feeds to his cows.

There also will be a brief description of how crop insurance can benefit organic farmers at the March 8 program.

There is no cost or need to register to attend the program. Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch.

For more information, contact Fay Benson at (607) 745-3807 or email

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