Covering events in Chemung, Cortland, Tioga, Tompkins & Schuyler Counties

Covering events in Chemung, Cortland, Tioga, Tompkins & Schuyler Counties

Ag News

Upcoming events in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Horticulture

Beginner Sheep and Goat Production
April 28th from 6:00-8:30pm, held at the Chemung County Fairground 4-H building (170 Fairview Drive, Horseheads, NY 14845) Are you interested in raising sheep and goats? If so, come join us at our beginner sheep and goat production class. Dr. tatiana Stanton of the Cornell sheep and goat program will be coming to speak on the basics you need to consider when getting started with small ruminant such as purpose, breeds, markets, health, nutrition, housing, fencing, predator control, kidding/lambing, etc. For more information please call Shona Ort at CCE Chemung 607-734-4453 ext. 227 or email
Introduction to Cultivated Mushroom Workshop
Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM. Would you like to learn more about growing your own mushrooms? Cornell Cooperative Extension of Seneca County is offering an Introduction to Cultivated Mushroom Workshop on Tuesday evening, May 2nd from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The workshop will be held at Vince's Park in Seneca Falls (at the intersection of Routes 5&20 and Route 318). Join Cornell Emeritus Professor of Horticulture and co-author of ‘Farming The Woods’, Ken Mudge, for an evening presentation on successful cultivation of shiitake, oyster, lions mane, and stropharia mushrooms for home or small-farm scale production. Learn the proper tree species and techniques for cultivation, along with the basic economics and mattering of gourmet specialty mushrooms. The cost is $30 per person, which includes handouts, materials and an inoculated log to take home. Register online at: For additional information, contact Derek Simmonds Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315-539-9251 or email:
Wild Foods Forage and Feast
Saturday May 6th, 2017 - 10:30-2:30. Starting at the TC3 Farm - 100 Cortland Rd, Dryden, NY
Ending at Coltivare Restaurant - 235 S. Cayuga St, Ithaca, NY. Public $35/Students $25. No one will be turned away due to lack of funds. Spaces are limited so RSVP to to reserve your spot. Join ethnobotanist and clinical herbalist Hayden Stebbins for a walk through forest and field to see the world in a way you’ve never seen before. During this walk, Hayden will teach you about common plants and mushrooms, how to identify them by family, and their edible, medicinal, or poisonous properties. You and the group will harvest edible plants as you go, and will bring them to the kitchen where you and the group will prepare a multicourse meal combining the harvest with regular food. This will include a wild plant pesto, hummus, salad, a couple teas and an extra dish depending on what plants and mushrooms are found. The class will run 3.5-4 hours. If you would like to take notes (there will be a lot of information shared), bring a notepad and pen. Wear appropriate clothing for a relaxed walk and weather, but most importantly, bring a big appetite and a curious mind! We will start at the TC3 Farm, taking a plant walk and harvesting plants (and maybe mushrooms). We will then drive down to Coltivare in Ithaca, aiming to arrive at 12:15. There, we will prepare wild pestos, hummus, salad, an extra dish, pasta, and tea to create a veritable feast from our harvest.
Dividing Perennials
May 8, 2017, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM. Learn how to divide perennials in this hands-on workshop. Perennials can form the backbone of your flower garden, and knowing how to care for them is an important part of good gardening. Take part in this hands-on, practical workshop and learn how to re-invigorate perennials by dividing them. When you divide your garden perennials, your plants will be healthier, and you will have plants to give to your friends and family. We will demonstrate the technique, and then you will practice on our demonstration garden plants. This workshop is appropriate for adults and older children. Contact Barb Neal 607-687-4020 ext 304 Held at CCE Tioga 56 Main Street, Owego.
Native Plants for Bird Habitat
May 10, 2017, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. CCE Tompkins Education Center 615 Willow Avenue.
Ithaca, NY 14850-3555 Native plants play an important role in supporting healthy ecosystems. Join Master Gardener volunteers Mary Squyres and Mary Kirkwyland for this class on how to choose native plants that will support birds best, and are appropriate for your garden. Also learn some online resources to help you choose native plants. An outdoor tour of the Native Plant Garden at Cornell Cooperative Extension is included. Pre-registration is recommended. Fee$5-$10/person self-determined sliding scale. Contact Patricia Curran Horticulture Program Manager (607) 272-2292 ext.146
Farm to Plate Conference, Ithaca, NY
May 11- 13. Ithaca, NY and surrounding areas. Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, the Food, Agroecology, Justice and Well-being Collective at Cornell, and Roots Rising Farm are pleased to announce the Finger Lakes "Farm to Plate Conference: Uniting to Create, Educate, and Celebrate a Sustainable and Equitable Local Food System." The vision of the conference is to bring together people from multiple sectors of the community to collectively develop strategies towards creating resilience in the local food system. The conference will include workshops, paper sessions, farm tours, cooking demonstrations, and keynote talks by Malik Yakini, Director of the Detroit Black Food Security Coalition, Karen Washington, Co-owner of Rise and Root Farm, Raj Patel, Award Winning Activist, Academic and Author, Hannah Wittman, Director of the Center for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of British Columbia and more!
Spring Garden Fair & Plant Sale
May 20, 2017, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Held at Ithaca High School, 1401 N. Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. Cooperative Extension Master Gardener volunteers, an estimated 40 area growers, and other garden groups offer perennials, specialty plants and gardening advice. You will find organically grown vegetable transplants and heirloom varieties, a huge variety of annuals, herbs and many specialty perennials, flowering shrubs, trees, hardy roses and fruit crops. Free soil pH testing is available and educational exhibits and information are offered. Kids can join the Ithaca Children's Garden for a fun hands-on activity. Bring baskets, wagons, and other containers for transporting plants.Fee. FREE! Monika Roth (607) 272-2292 ext. 126
Scything: Preparing to Mow – Sharpening & Peening

May 20 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. $30 workshop fee. Instructor: Jeremy Biazzo. Materials Fee: $80. Each participant will be provided with a jig, whetstone, holder, and earplugs. (unless you already have these materials, then this fee is waived) This course will focus on getting your scythe ready for the season! Learn peening, sharpening, and basic maintenance. Students will learn how to prepare their blades for peening, use a peening jig and sharpen with a whetstone. Scythe Fitting issues will also be addressed. Students are asked to provide their own scythes, peening and sharpening equipment or purchase them from Groundswell. ($80 Materials Fee) Instructor Bio: Jeromy Biazzo is a skilled scythe make and mower, and owner of Wolftree Farm. Click the picture for more details.

Registration is now open for the National Farm Viability Conference in Albany, NY, May 22-24, featuring three days of workshops, discussions and tours for professionals in farm and food business planning, financial planning, agricultural financing, farmland conservation, agricultural market development, and food hub management. It offers attendees the opportunity to network and learn from peers and industry leaders, develop new knowledge and skills and tours will include visits to nearby farms and value-added processing facilities. See the updated list of workshops and register at
Aquaponics Workshop- Save the Date- June 12- 6-8pm with Main Street Farms. 323 Owego Street, Montour Falls NY 14860. Please call Roger Ort 607-535-7161 for details.
June 23 - 25- 3 day Short Course held in Mecklenburg, NY with Sean Dembrosky and Steve Gabriel. Discover the possibilities of growing a range of food and medicine in marginal woodlands, hedgerows, and wet places. Explore growing edible mushrooms, elderberry, perennial vegetables, berries, and nuts in temperate woodlands on both a homestead and farm scale. This course is facilitated by Steve Gabriel of Wellspring Forest Farm, along with Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres. Both have over a decade experience in managing productive small scale agroforestry systems and share their land projects with participants as a living classroom. Topics covered include, nursery techniques
, low-tech tree propagation
, mushroom cultivation
, biochar production
 and integrating animals in the woods
.This course is designed for woodland owners, farmers, extension professionals, permaculturists, and homesteaders who want to gain a better understanding of the intricacies of forest management and build their skills in the management of productive woodlands.
The Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute is happy to announce the date for this year's Permaculture Weekend! August 25th - 27th ****SAVE THE DATE***

For Your Information

Agriculture: Enroll in the Residential Ag. Electric Bill Discount (by Mary Wrege)
It is time to enroll or re-enroll in the Residential Agricultural Discount program offered through National Grid, NYSEG and RG&E. This monthly discount on the electric bill is possible thanks to funding from the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) ReCharge NY program. You’re eligible to receive the discount if you meet the two conditions. The first is that you have an active residential electric service account with National Grid, NYSEG or RG&E billed under the following service classifications: National Grid: Rates beginning with Electric SC1 or Electric SC1C; refer to page 2 of your bill. NYSEG: 12001, 12008, or 12012 noted after Electricity Rate on page 3 of your bill. RG&E: PSC 19 SC1 or SC 4 noted after Electricity Service on page 3 of your bill.
The second condition is if you have submitted one of the following forms (supporting documentation) with your most recent federal tax return: IRS Schedule F (associated with Form 1040) - Profit or Loss From Farming or IRS Form 1120, 1120S or 1065 with an eligible Business Activity code.
The discount amount will vary each month and will be based on how many people participate, the amount of electricity used by each participant and available funds from NYPA. The discount amount is multiplied by your monthly billed kilowatt-hours and your discount will appear as a credit in a separate line item, “Res agricultural discount,” on your utility bill.
To apply or re-enroll, just complete a Residential Agricultural Discount application and submit it to your utility company along with your supporting documentation. For more information and the application, contact your utility company. Links are provided below:
National Grid:

2017 Census of Agriculture
Calling all farmers and ranchers: take part in the 2017 Census of Agriculture to strongly represent agriculture in your communities and industry. The census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. Census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves. Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting and clicking on the 'Make Sure You Are Counted' button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017). For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit or call (800) 727-9540.

Master Bee Keeper Program

Mid-Atlantic Women in Agriculture Webinars- Are every Wednesday and FREE! Courses like "What You Need to Know About the Farm Safety Act", Into to Instragram. Click the link to see the full list of courses.

SNAP for Direct Marketing Farmers and Farmers Markets- Learn more through free webinars. USDA has continued funding through May 2017 to assist direct marketing farmers and farmers markets join the SNAP program by providing free equipment to qualified farmers and farmers markets. The National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) has created MarketLink, an online solution to an expedited application process, nationally negotiated rates for SNAP, debit and credit; as well as state-of-the-art equipment, an iPHone 6, EMV card reader and blue-tooth connected printer. For more information and registration:

New Video: "Determining the Market Readiness of Beef Cattle- Knowing when an animal is ready for 'finish' or 'slaughter' is extremely important for getting a premium price and satisfying the unique needs of your customers. The Cornell Small Farms Program and the Baskets to Pallets project are pleased to announce a new educational video for livestock producers titled " Determining the Market Readiness of Beef Cattle". Mike Baker, Cornell Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, takes the viewer on a visual tour of features to assess of both finished and unfinished steers and heifers, including beef breeds and dairy crosses. The video will be an excellent resource for livestock farmers and educators alike. Special thanks to Mike Baker and Lynn Bliven of Allegany County Cornell Cooperative Extension.
The 2017 Cornell Guide for Integrated Field Crop Management is now available for distribution from The Cornell Store.There are three product options: print only, online access only, and bundle (a combination of print and online access).Ordering Information: Print Copy List Price: $30.00 (shipping NOT Included) Online List Price: $30.00 Bundle (print + online): $42.00 (shipping for print copy not included)County Extension Office Price: $4 off list price for each item (Print, Online, or Bundle) with coupon code (shipping NOT Included) (Please contact me if you have forgotten the coupon code) County Extension offices and other customers may submit orders directly via:*Phone at (844) 688-7620 *FAX at (607) 254-8044*Online at

15 NYS counties were declared a primary disaster due to drought and heat using the streamlined Secretarial Disaster Designation process . Under this designation, producers with operations in any primary or contiguous county are eligible to apply for low interest emergency loans. Learn more here:

Please visit this site for information on training and registration for invasive species-

The updated “CCE Hay Manual” is now available at :

Funding is available for agricultural producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), USDA’s largest conservation program that helps producers voluntarily improve the health and productivity of private and Tribal working lands. The USDA NRCS accepts applications for CSP throughout the year, but producers should submit applications by March 31 to USDA service centers to ensure they are considered for enrollment in 2016.

Here is a link to malting barley resources at the Cornell Field Crop website:

For the latest information on saving Hemlock from the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid pest in NY, visit:
IPM Insights: As Climate Shifts, So Do Pests January 2016 download. The January 2016 issue of IPM Insights—on the theme of climate and pests—is available for download. The NEIPMCommunication-L list is owned by the Northeastern IPM Center, which fosters the development and adoption of integrated pest management, a science-based approach to managing pests in ways that generate economic, environmental, and human health benefits. We use the list periodically to distribute news about IPM funding opportunities, research and extension projects, and great IPM information sources. To join or unsubscribe from the list, please send a request via e-mail to

Pilot Project Looking for Fruits and Vegetables
The New York State Office of General Services is looking for vendors to participate in the USDA's Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables. The goal of the Pilot Project is to develop opportunities for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with USDA funding, and develop new relationships with farmers, growers, produce wholesalers and distributors. This is a great opportunity for farmers, growers and food hubs to grow and expand their local customer base. Vendors of all sizes are encouraged to apply. For more information, contact Diane Green at the NYS Office of General Services at (518) 473-9386 or

Cornell Small Farm Program- Check here for workshops and events all around New York State-

Finger Lakes Meat Locker is OPEN- read this article to learn more-

RAPP website – The Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program, funded by NYSDEC, is charged in developing sustainable means for New York State farmers to manage their used agricultural plastics by recycling, reusing, and otherwise minimizing waste from plastics in agriculture.

Visit Cornell’s new Field Crops website at: for the latest information on varieties, integrated pest management and other resources for a successful harvest.

Pasture Management Resources: from K. Hoffman, NYGC Grazette
What’s growing in your pasture? If you have ever wondered what some of the plants are that can be found in your pastures, there are some great resource books that can help you identify them.For most of the cool season grasses, a good pocket guide is “Identifying pasture grasses” from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. It has good photos of most of the seed heads you’ll see, as well as some simple descriptions of other plant characteristics to look for. The guide can be ordered through or downloaded for free

The Renewable Heat New York Program promotes the implementation of high efficiency, clean wood burning technology. Included are incentives for retiring old wood and pellet stoves, and outdoor wood boilers. Here is a link to the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority's web page:

The Tax Tips For Forest Landowners
Well managed forests produce timber and other forest products, provide wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, aquifer and watershed protection, and other amenities. Non-industrial private woodlands comprise approximately 60% of the nation’s total forests. Providing tailored tax information is one way in which the Forest Service is working to increase forest productivity on non-industrial forest lands. For the latest tax information and tips regarding private woodlands, visit:

Finger Lakes Permaculture Weekend
August 25th - 27th- Save the date. The Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute is happy to announce the date for this year's Permaculture Weekend.
If you no longer wish to receive our bi-weekly update on Ag and Natural Resources programs in the region, please respond to this email with “Remove” in the subject line .

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Cathy Barnes
Association Administrative Assistant
(607) 535-7161

Last updated April 25, 2017