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

The Cornell Small Farms Program
Learn about Climate Smart Farming, Maple Syrup Production, Holistic Financial Planning, Vegetable Production, and more during our upcoming farming courses starting January 16. Sign up by December 16 and save $50 on tuition! The Cornell Small Farms Program offers over twenty courses to help farmers improve their technical and business skills. Students connect with other farmers, work on farm plans, and gain practical tips without leaving their home. Course content can be accessed anywhere with a high-speed internet connection. Most courses are six weeks long. Each week features an evening webinar and follow-up readings, videos, and activities. Students and their instructors connect through online forums and live chat. If you aren't able to attend the webinars in real-time, they are always recorded for later viewing.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Broome County Presents: Exploring the Small Farm Dream: Is Starting an Agricultural Business Right for You? Wednesday evenings, February 1st through February 22nd 5-8pm 840 Upper Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905. During this four part series participants will begin to think through small scale farming as a business (rather than a hobby), learn what it takes to start and manage a farm business and decide whether that is something they want to pursue. Through in-classroom education, peer support and self-study participants will finish the series being to answer whether farming is for them, and move onto working through a business plan.The cost to attend this workshop is $75/farm or family. This includes a workbook to walk through the four-part decision making phase, as well as dinner and refreshments provided at each meeting. Pre-registration is required. To register for the workshop, visit
Fill Your Freezer: Purchasing Local Meat in Bulk
February 8th, Human Service Complex, 323 Owego St., Montour Falls, NY, 6:30-8:30 PM-March 15th, CCE-Tompkins County, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY, 6:30-8:30 PM. Ready to start buying locally-raised meat in bulk? It's easier and more affordable than you might think, and the benefits are great: know your farmer, know your food, cook and eat with confidence! We will guide you through everything you need to know about researching and contacting farms near you, why buying in bulk can save you money, and how to use the Ithaca and Corning community Meat Lockers. Hosted by the Finger Lakes Meat Project. This class is FREE and open to the public. Please visit for more information.

Farmer2Farmer Discussion Group: Accounting without Quickbooks

February 8 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm- The Farmer2Farmer Discussion series is a potluck dinner and farmer discussion group. Please bring a dish to share and one to eat off of, if you can. This is a great opportunity to meet and learn from other farmers in the community. Unless noted otherwise the Farmer2Farmer Discussion Group meets at the Cornell Cooperative Extension offices, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca. The topic is “So you think you want Quickbooks” with guest Gregg McConnell of Farm Credit East. Please visit: for more details

Growing Success for Direct Market Farmers
Friday February 10th at 9am 840 Upper Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905. Meeting the needs and values of your customers is fundamental to creating a healthy long-term relationship. How to actively seek buyers is just the start. Who is your customer and why do they buy? Maintaining the relationship requires attention to details from varieties, quality, pricing, communication, sequential planting, quality control, merchandising, trends, and more. Learn how to serve the direct market ­and make your farm a highly desired source of fresh produce.Participating farmers will receive a free copy of the Direct Market Success manual. The brand new Direct Market Success is a reference guide for farms selling in direct market venues such as farmers markets, CSAs and farm stands. Closely modeled after Family Farmed’s Wholesale Success manual and training program, Direct Market Success is intended to be the definitive farmer’s guide to selling, food safety, postharvest handling, and logistics for farmers who are seeking to enter and grow in this burgeoning consumer sector, mainly composed of farmers markets, CSAs, online retail sales, and farm stands.The cost to attend this workshop is $20/farm or family to cover the cost of materials and food. Pre-registration is requested. To register for the workshop, visit:

2017 Peter Levatich Memorial Seminar for Rural Landowners.
Saturday, February 11th, 9:30 am to noon at the Spencer-Van Etten High School main auditorium; State Route 34; Spencer. This year’s theme is: “Got Woods? Help Is Available!” Senior Forester Matt Swayze of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation will be joined by several Cornell Master Forest Owner volunteers to share their advice and experiences of working with fellow landowners to enhance the wooded and natural areas of their properties. If you’ve been thinking about doing something new or different with your woods, or have burning questions about your trees and land, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for! This popular annual seminar is sponsored by the Southern Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY Forest Owners Association (, and is free and open to the public. Light refreshments and door prizes. For more information, please contact Brett Chedzoy at:, or Schuyler CCE at: 607-535-7161

Profitable Meat Marketing- .
Thursday, February 16, 2017, 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM-Find out if you’re covering costs—including your TIME! Develop a farm marketing strategy. Learn to reach customers using Use our NEW Price Calculator to price for PROFIT! It will be very helpful if you complete this Carcass Data Collection FORM prior to attending this workshop. Profitable Meat Marketing!You are selling local meat—but are you making money? Click on the picture to learn more.
Health & Nutrient Management Workshop
February 16 from 9 am- 3pm, King's Party House, 4031 Routes 5&20, Canandaigua, NY. 6 DEC Pesticide Credits and 4 CCA Credits offered. Keynote speaker Steve Groff, Cover Crop Coaching, will present Growing Healthy Soils and 10 Strategies to Take Cover Crops to the Next Level. Steve and his family farm 225 acres of cash grain crops and pumpkins, and 2 acres of high tunnel heirloom tomatoes in Lancaster County, PA. For the past 21 years his Cedar Meadow Farm has conducted thousands of cover crop research trials, out of which he has developed the well-known Tillage Radish. Other speakers from Cornell PRODAIRY, Yates County SWCD, the American Dairy Association North East, and USDA-NRCS Soil Health Division will speak on a number of topics. DEC Pesticide Credits and CCA Credits pending. Raffle and giveaway for participants. Cost is $10 per participant with pre-registration or $15 at the door (cash only); fee includes lunch. Download more information, including pre-registration form here. You may also register by calling 585.394.5030 or email
A Winter Movie Series- The Fruit Hunters

Friday, February 17, 2017, 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM- Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Schuyler for THREE fun and educational movie nights. Bring yourself, bring friends, bring family and bring neighbors to the Silver Spoon Café at 323 Montour Falls NY 14865, from 6:00pm-9:00pm. All are welcome!! Before the movie starts there will be refreshments for sale and time to chat. Following the movie there will be a Q and A session with a panel discussion. This is a Fundraiser for the CCE Teaching Garden, we would appreciate a donation of $5 for your admission. There will also be refreshments for sale during the event. Please visit: for details. To lean more about the movie, please visit:

Bee MD: A Prescription for Better Bee Health
Feb 21st 6pm-8pm- Held in room 120 of the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls, NY 14865. Join Cathy Helm: who is the current owner and operator of Leo’s Honey House. Cathy is a retired veterinary technician and has more than 16 years of beekeeping experience. She manages 40 colonies in Campbell, NY. Attend the workshop and learn all about IPM techniques, over-wintering difficulties, antibiotic use in bees, swarming, queen related problems. The fee is $20 and registration is required.
Workshop: Introduction to Biochar
February 22, 2017; 6:30 – 7:30 PM. Biochar, or agricultural charcoal, produced from low oxygen conditions (pyrolysis), is reported to have many benefits including improvement of soil structure, water and nutrient retention and increase in soil microbial activities. Join Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chemung County to learn various aspects related to biochar production and its applications. Speaker: Jingjing Yin, Horticulture Educator at CCE of Chemung County. Place: Steele Memorial Library (IT Room), 101 E Church Street, Elmira, NY. Workshop fee: Free. Please register with Chemung CCE at 607-734-4453, or
Locally Grown Food Festival
Friday, February 24, 2017, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM- Last year 400 people attended this great local foods event! If you have any questions please contact Stephanie Mehlenbacher at 607-664-2300 or Held at Union Hall 100 Civic Center Plaza, Corning, New York 14830. Please visit with any questions.
Chemung-Tioga Women in Ag Discussion Group
Feb. 28: Developing your farm business plan & goals
March 14: Understanding financial documents
March 28: Conflict management on the farm
The "business" aspects of farming can be challenging. Spend some time this winter improving your farm business skills! Come meet other farming women in a supportive environment and hear from three great speakers! We will have light refreshments at 6:30 pm, followed by program from 7:00-9:00. Plenty of time for your individual questions and discussion. Reserve your spot now by calling 607-687-4020 (Tioga) or 607-734-4453 (Chemung). NOTE: Class held at Waverly Village Hall, 32 Ithaca St, Waverly, NY 14892. Fee $5 per session, at the door.
Improved Grazing Management (BF 231)
March 1 – April 5, 2017- webinars on Wednesday evenings. 7:00 – 8:30pm EST- Grazing is more than simply turning livestock out onto pasture and hoping for the best. With sound grazing management, you can reduce your workload, keep your animals happier and healthier, and improve the overall productivity and profitability of your farm. In this six-week online course, you’ll learn the key concepts of successful grazing operations that can be adapted and successfully implemented on your own farm. The course focus will be on grazing ruminant livestock, but most of the information will be relevant to non-ruminant animals as well. LEARN MORE AND REGISTER:
Perennial, Beautiful AND Edible!
Thursday March 2nd from 7-8:30PM- Held in the Human Services Complex, room 120 in Montour Falls, NY. An introduction to wonderful plants and food forest concepts you can use this season with guest speaker Sean Dembrosky. We'll cover a foundational introduction to Edible Forest Gardens, a style of gardening that follows patterns and relationships found in nature. You'll learn how to create more diverse and self-sufficient gardens with perennial, edible, and beautiful plants that can support one another. We'll also look at examples of some great plants you may not have heard of that you can include in your gardens this spring! Sean Dembrosky runs Edible Acres, a permaculture nursery in Trumansburg NY. He has been developing edible forest gardens for 10 years and working with a broad range of hardy, perennial plants to create diverse, interconnected and resilient gardens on the six acre site. The workshop fee is $10. To learn more about the event and to register please visit If you have additional questions please contact Roger Ort or 607-535-7161.
Beginner Gardener Series- Spring 2017-Schuyler County

March 8th- What is pH? *Basic soil testing options, Sending a sample, Reading your soil test, Results, How to you raise or lower your pH.
March 15th- Manure, Compost, Leaf Mulch Wood chips what do I use? Learn about all your soil amendments like feather meal, blood meal, greensand, triple phosphate, what do they all do?
March 22nd Do Your Own Soil- Testing, What is crop rotations and why do cover crops matter? Harvesting, yield per row foot, companion planting and much more!
All are held at Stillmans Greenhouse in Montour Falls, please visit for more details.

2017 Youth Tractor Safety Course
Thursday, March 16, 2017, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Youth who are 14 years of age are required to have their safety certificate before being employed to work on farms. The Cortland County 4-H program is offering youth ages 14 and older an opportunity to be certified for farm employment, which would include the operation of farm tractors and machinery. The course will begin on March 16th at the Cazenovia Equipment, 3892 US Route 11 S, Cortland, NY 13045. The class will be held from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. This course is only held ONCE A YEAR! A nominal fee of $30 for enrolled 4-H members and $35 for non-enrolled 4-H members. This fee will cost cost of materials used in the course. Participants are required to attend all 9 of the training sessions. Please visit
Farming 101
Saturday, March 18, 2017, 9:00 AM - 3:00 PMHave you been wondering how to get into farming? You are invited to sign up for Farming 101, offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming. The workshop will provide an overview of what is involved in getting started including business logistics, land and soil assessment, and marketing. During the afternoon program participants will have the option to attend a session on raising livestock or on horticultural crops.
The SAME workshop is being offered in two Southern Tier locations:
Saturday, March 11, 9 AM – 3 PM – Chemung County Fairgrounds, 4-H building, 170 Fairview Rd. Horseheads, NY. With questions, contact Shona Ort,, 607-734-4453 ext. 227.
Saturday, March 18, 9 AM – 3 PM – Cooperative Extension Tioga County, 56 Main St. Owego, NY. With questions, contact Margaret Ball,, 607-687-4020 ext. 319.
Fee:$15 per person, $25 per couple (same address), payable at the door. Fee covers the cost of handouts and lunch.
Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop
March 18th, 2017 from 8:30AM-12:30PM. Held at Reisinger Apple Country at 2750 Apple Lane in Watkins Glen NY. Workshop will be on Saturday. Topics to include General Fruit tree care, Pruning young to mature trees, Why proper thinning, Bud Grafting and top working Hedgerow Apple trees. Fee is $25 per person with per-registration required. Please visit or call Roger Ort 607-535-7161
Medicinal Herb Farming- Save the Date
Workshop to be held on Friday March 24th from 6:30-8:30PM. Workshop location will be at the Human Services Complex, 323 Owego Street, Montour Falls NY in room 120. Fee is $20 per person pre-registration required. Andrea and Matthias Reisen of Healing Spirits Herb Farm will share their experiences over the last 25 years of all aspects of medicinal herb farming. Propagating, growing, drying, field preparation, processing and how they are now working with aquaponics and mushrooms. There are many avenues to making a living, working that small piece of land and tickling the belly of the earth. Please visit or call Roger Ort 607-535-7161 for more information.
Grafting Workshop
Tuesday, March 28, 2017, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. Learn the history of grafting. See a hands-on grafting demonstration. Learn how to make your own grafts. Take home two grafted trees (many varieties to choose from or bring your own scion wood) Guest Speaker:John Reynolds of Daring Drake Farm. Fee $30. Learn More

For Your Information

Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming in Ithaca, NY is HIRING!!- Please visit to view all of the available positions.

Coming SOON! 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:


Cathy Barnes
Association Administrative Assistant
(607) 535-7161

Last updated February 1, 2017