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 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.
Log-Grown Shiitake: Economics and Management for a Profitable Crop
Multiple dates and locations through out January and Feb- Please click this link to see dates and places. .. Learn more about cultivation at: Those who attend one of the workshops or the online livestream are eligible to participate in an advanced training group and receive one-on-one support for the 2018 growing season. Details of this opportunity will be provided at the workshop. Also, a LIVE WEBINAR TRAINING: Friday, March 2nd online (access anywhere with a high-speed connection)See a Map of the locations: Workshops run from 9am to 4pm, with a catered lunch included. To Register: visit Cost: $30/person includes lunch and handouts. (online livestream 3/2 is $20 (no person turned away for lack of funds- contact for info.)Funding for this project is provided by the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant and administered through the New York Farm Viability Institute.Steve Gabriel, Agroforestry Extension Specialist, Cornell Small Farms Program
Making Your Farm a Great Place to Work
January 24, from 6-8pm at CCE Ontario, 480 N Main St., Canandaigua, NY. Improve employee management and your employee manual. Do you have a lot of staff turnover? Do you want to improve your communication skills with your employees? This workshop is for you. Learn to create a work environment that attracts and retains quality employees. You will leave with an assessment of your current employee management strengths and weaknesses, and an outline of an employee handbook that will help you articulate your farm's values to your employees. Register online here, or call 585.394.3977 x427. Cost is $25 per person.
Internal Parasites in Sheep & Goats and FAMACHA Certification Workshop
January 27th 2018, 9 am - 2:30 pm at Chemung County Fairgrounds (171 Fairview Rd, Horseheads, NY 14845). Lead by Dr. tatiana Stanton, Cornell Sheep and Goat Programs Internal parasites are one of the biggest health problems affecting sheep and goats in the Northeast. As a result, producers need to know how to best combat it. In this workshop producers will be taught the basics of parasite control as well as how to develop integrated parasite management programs for their farms. As part of this workshop we will also have a hands-on training on how to use the FAMACHA Anemia Guide (good only for the barber pole worm) health exams to determine the need for de-worming, and fecal egg counts. You are encouraged to bring a refrigerated fecal sample of 8 to 10 fecal pellets in a baggie from one sheep or goat at your farm to the workshop. Please register with Shona Ort 607-734-4453 ext. 227
Winter Green Up Conference- 10th Annual
January 27th at the Century House, 997 New Loudon Road. For registration and information, please click the picture.
Farmer- Buyer Speed Networking
January 29th, 2018 at 6pm at the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls. SAVE THE DATE! Are you looking to meet local restaurant owners, bed and breakfast owners or other potential partners? Investigate growth and sale opportunities! Or are you looking for the opportunity to talk to farmers about what they currently or could grow? Source what you need! Please contact Meredith Williams by calling 607.535.4300 or emailing
Readying Our Farms and Foodshed for Climate Change
Saturday, February 3rd, 9:00AM - 2:00PM. Just BeCause Center, 1013 West State Street, Ithaca NY
Facilitated by Mike Biltonen (Know Your Roots) and Jay Smith (Ithaca EcoVillage) Cost: sliding scale $25 - $50. Climate change has been affecting our farms for several decades now, and the science and data show that there will continue to be dramatic impacts on every farmer’s ability to grow and distribute food. Agriculture is one of our greatest tools for reducing and even potentially reversing the effects of modern industrial society on our global climate, but it’s also one of the greatest contributors to climate change. Something has to give. Come learn about how we can work together as a community to increase stability and security in local food production! For More Information and to Register
Raise a Home Poultry Flock
Monday, February 5, 6:30 -8:00 pm @ CCE-Tompkins Education Center, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY. Raising a backyard flock for egg or meat production can be the perfect complement to a home
garden, providing manure and bug control. This class will focus on breeds for egg laying, raising chicks to layers, housing, sanitation, and general care and feeding of poultry. NOTE: This class is required for City of Ithaca residents who wish to obtain a permit to raise a flock (no more than 4 birds) in the City and recommended for others countywide who want to raise a few chickens in their backyards. Fee: $5/person or $8/household to attend, includes certificate required for City permit application. Preregistration is required. Save time, register and pay online at, or contact Maria Christian,, (607) 272-2292 ext. 130. NOTE: City residents must have a lot size of 3,000 SF in order to obtain a permit. For more information on the City ordinance number 2016-13, check the City website or call the City Clerk’s office at 607-274-6570. The City ordinance will be further explained at the workshop.
Seed-to-Supper Volunteer Information Session
Monday, February 5, 6:30-7:30pm @ Tompkins County Public Library, 101 East Green Street, Ithaca, NY. Are you passionate about growing vegetables? Are you interested in helping beginning gardeners in your community learn to grow their own food as well? Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County will train volunteers to become Seed-to-Supper volunteer educators to lead free gardening classes in their own communities. There will be an information session about Seed-to-Supper at the Tompkins Public Library on Monday, February 5 from 6:30-7:30 pm. Anyone who is interested in Seed-to-Supper, whether as a volunteer or as a class participant, is welcome to attend. Training sessions for volunteers will be held at Cornell Cooperative Extension on Thursday, February 22 from 5:30-8:30 pm, and on Saturday, March 17 from 10:00am – 4:00pm. Volunteers should be available to attend both training dates. The training program will prepare Seed-to-Supper volunteer educators to teach free vegetable gardening classes in their own communities in Tompkins County. Volunteers will gain familiarity with the Seed-to-Supper curriculum and learn hands-on activities that they can use when teaching the classes in their communities.Seed-to-Supper volunteers will work in small groups to lead the classes, and receive all the materials needed to run the classes. Topics include planning the garden, soil preparation, composting, planting, garden maintenance, pests and diseases, and harvesting. There is no cost for the training, and the gardening classes held in Tompkins County communities will be offered for free as well.For more information and to download a volunteer application, go to www.ccetompkins/S2Svolunteer. The application deadline is February 15. For more information contact Chrys Gardener at, or call 272-2292 extension 241.
Production of Medicinal Herbs
Feb 10th in Binghamton. Some crops take on value to buyers as a group, not singly — particularly Chinese medicinal herbs. The movement toward producing these herbs in the U.S. has slowly gained ground over the past two decades. An effective production and marketing model involves close cooperation between licensed herbal practitioners and groups of farmers. Using a blend of current concepts — cooperatives, food hubs, CSA — the model is being developed here in New York, thanks to startup funding from the New York Farm Viability Institute. Jean Giblette of High Falls Gardens will give a presentation on this emerging market for farmers and growers.Jean will also train participants in perennial propagation techniques. This is hands-on in the sense of showing equipment (types of flats and pots used), greenhouse conditions for over-wintering pots and flats, discussion of schedules, techniques such as hot-water scarification and soaking of seeds). This will be followed by a demonstration of planting seeds, using equipment and methods we have found to be useful for perennial plants. At the end of the training each family/farm will be able to take home a flat of planted seeds. Due to this popular hands-on component, registration will be limited to 30 farms, so please register early. To register, visit-
New York Certified Organic Sets 2018 Winter Program Series:
Crop Rotations, Quality Forage Harvest, Pastured Hogs, Farm Startup on Agenda

Feb 13 and March 13. New York Certified Organic (NYCO) has announced its 2018 series of Winter Meetings with a January 9 session on crop rotations with a presentation on, February 13 focus on harvesting quality forage, and a March 13 spotlight on adding pastured hogs to a diversified dairy or crop business and general farm start-up opportunities.The free-to-attend NYCO meetings begin at 10 AM in Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 West North Street, in Geneva, NY, and provide organic crop growers and dairy farmers together with the opportunity to learn from speakers and network. There is no need to register for meetings. Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch. For more information, contact Fay Benson at 607-391-2669 or Information on previous NYCO meetings is posted at
2018 Peter Levatich Memorial Seminar for Rural Landowners
February 17th 9:30 am to Noon. Spencer-Van Etten High School State Route 34, Spencer. Enjoying Your Woods for More Than the Trees. The Southern Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY Forest Owners Association ( invite you to their popular annual seminar. Cornell’s State Maple Specialist, Steve Childs, will discuss how to assess the potential for maple production in your woods, as well as tips for getting started in sugarmaking. Wildlife expert and author, Linda Spielman, will talk about identifying wildlife signs in the winter woods based on her new book: A Field Guide to Tracking Mammals in the Northeast. Attendance is free and open to the public! Light refreshments and door prizes!Pre-registration is NOT required, but questions can be referred to Brett Chedzoy at Schuyler CCE:, or by phone: 607-535-7161. In the case of cancellation due to extreme weather, notification will be posted by 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 10st at CCE’s forestry forum:
Beginning Teamster Workshop: Working With Draft Horses
With the Cornell Small Farms Program, Equicenter of Rochester, and Draft Animal Power Network
February 17th 9:00AM - 4:00PM. Oxley Equestrian Center, Cornell University, Ithaca NY
Cost: $40 for Veterans, Immigrants and Refugees, $80 for the general public *Please bring a bag lunch!* In this workshop we aim to give participants a full day of experiencing what is like to work with draft animals. We will focus on what keeps us safe, what we gain from work with drafts, and how we can make them fit into profitable farms and businesses. We want folks to get their hands on the animals, the harnesses, and the lines and see what it is like. Depending on interest and demand we are considering future programs on using draft in Agriculture and logging.Schedule, Scholarship Info and Registration Here
Schuyler Equine Conference
Feb 18th 9am- 5:30pm. An event jam packed with information to educate equestrians on a variety of important horse ownership topics that are essential knowledge. No matter how experienced you are, everyone can learn. The Schuyler Equine Conference provides a jam packed day with information for equestrians of all levels in the community.Speakers are still formulating their presentations but we have a great line up already on the docket including a mix of trainers, veterinarians, farriers and farm development experts and more! All tickets include entrance to the conference, breakfast, lunch, conference booklet and printouts of presentation materials. Register early and get the good price; price increases at the door the day of the event. Ticket prices at the door are $75 per adult, $35 per youth and an increase of $35 per group. Click the picture for registration.
Making & Using Biochar in Your Garden
Wednesday, February 21, 6:30 -8:30pm @ CCE-Tompkins Education Center, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, NY. What is biochar and how does it improve garden soil? Sean Dembrosky from Edible Acres will lead this workshop on the benefits of biochar and show how to make it yourself. We'll discuss easy ways to make biochar in the wood stove, in simple outdoor pits, in mobile containers, and more. We'll also explore how biochar can provide amazing boosts to your soil and discuss appropriate ways of incorporating it. Pre-registration is required. Register and pay online at or call CCE-Tompkins at 272-2292 and we will register you online with your input. Cost is $7-$10/person sliding scale, pay what you can afford. Questions? Contact Chrys Gardener, or at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County (607) 272-2292 (Voicemail #241)
NYFOA offers "Learn More, Earn More" Seminars for Private Landowners
February 22, 2018, 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM, February 23, 2018, 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM, February 24, 2018, 10:30 AM - 4:00 PM. FREE programs at the NY FARM SHOW February 22-23-24, 2018 State Fairgrounds. Free Programs to help landowners get more benefits from their woodlots will be presented each day during the 2018 Farm Show in Syracuse by the New York Forest Owners Association. Please visit for more information and registration.

Finger Lakes Farm Country Conference
February 23, 2018 in Corning, NY at the Corning Community College Campus. The focus will be on the development and sustainability of agritourism in the southern Finger Lakes region which covers Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Yates counties. The day will begin with a breakfast and networking hour which will be followed by an introduction to the new regional agritourism planning team and a presentation of a new regional agritourism plan. Keynote speaker (Fill in name and title here) will present on (fill in topic here) followed by a Q&A session. After the keynote presentation, conference attendees will enjoy a farm to table buffet style lunch featuring local ingredients, plus a beverage pairing presentation featuring local farmers and beverage producers! In the afternoon the conference will break into two separate workshops. Attendees may choose one to attend. The first workshop will discuss what it means to be visitor ready and addresses the processes involved, and the second workshop will discuss farm to restaurant (add details to expand upon). Both workshops will be presented by a panel of experts. The conference will conclude with a closing “Where Do We Go From Here” presentation that will discuss next steps and strategies in the development of new markets and opportunities in agritourism. Following the conference join us for the TasteFLXpo from 5pm – 8pm.

Growing Oyster Mushrooms
March 16th- Would you like to learn how to grow your own oyster mushrooms? If so, join us on March 16, 2018 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Chemung County Fairgrounds in the 4-H Building. In this hands-on class Ken Mudge, Agroforestry Expert from Cornell University, will be walking us through the basics of growing oyster mushrooms in straw. He will also be doing demonstrations on how to cultivate them through log inoculation and totems. Each participant will take home their own mushroom spawn inoculated bag of straw. Cost to attend is $20 per person. Class size is limited. Pre-registration with payment is required by 3/9/18. For more information and to register, please contact Shona Ort of CCE Chemung at 607-734-4453 ext. 227 or

For Your Information

Tax Tips for the Forest Landowner sfor the 2017 Tax Year

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:

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.

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

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

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

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

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 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:

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.

“Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities”


Heather Birdsall
SCNY Ag Team - Livestock Specialist
607-391-2660 x405

Last updated January 26, 2018