Agriculture and Natural Resources Program Committee

Ed Merry

Chris Comstock

Allison Lavine

Emily Brennan

Cody Lafler

Kevin Peterson

Joe Castrechino








Legislative Representatives

Hilda Lando

Fred Potter



by Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist 

June is an exciting time as it marks the arrival of summer, but it is also Dairy Month! There's nothing better than finding a noble excuse to enjoy delicious food! This annual celebration started in 1937 and continues as a way to pay homage to the remarkable contributions of the dairy industry to our economy, culinary delights, and the community.

Although I was not raised on a dairy farm, I was born in the largest dairy-producing state in Brazil (Minas Gerais) and had grandparents from both sides of my family milking cows at some point in their lives. As a kid, I was always amazed at how much food was prepared and eaten every time I visited my relatives' farms. I did not understand then, but feeding and caring for people and animals are farmers' love languages. The warm feeling every time I had a traditional homemade meal prepared with ingredients from the farm is a big part of my childhood's fond memories - and why I decided to pursue a career in agriculture.

Moving to Southwest New York and working with farmers and the surrounding communities is a privilege I try not to take for granted. The picturesque landscapes, rolling hills, and vibrant farmlands reminds me of home. But more than that, nestled within this scenic beauty are over 680 dairy farms. These farms care for approximately 75,000 dairy cows and produce enough milk to feed 2 million people every day. In addition to making food, dairy farming provides other economic benefits for the area. Studies show that for every $1 a farmer receives, $2.29 is generated in the local community, creating a huge ripple of positive economic impact.

June is the perfect time to celebrate our dairy industry and its impact on our lives. There are plenty of ways to show our appreciation:

  • If you know a dairy farmer, ask them about what support looks like to them. They'll be more than happy to guide you.
  • During Dairy Month, watch for special events such as farmer's markets and farm tours. These opportunities allow you to connect and learn more about these dedicated individuals who work tirelessly to bring us the dairy products we love.
  • Whenever possible, buy local products such as artisanal cheeses, chocolate milk, butter, ice cream, and others. That is a great way to support local businesses and the dairy industry as a whole.

Finally, the best way to celebrate Dairy Month is by embracing the flavors, traditions, and stories that come with dairy products. If you have a favorite family recipe, find a good time to make and share it with family/friends. Enjoying the warm feeling of sharing a meal with your favorite people is the best support a farmer will always want.

Speaking of flavors, let me introduce you to my favorite snack from my home state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. It's called "Pao de queijo," or as it's known here in the United States, Brazilian Cheese Bread (It was a big hit after appearing on Shark Tank - Find the episode here). This gluten-free bread is made with tapioca flour, eggs, and cheese, creating a unique flavor.

If you're feeling adventurous this month, I encourage you to try this recipe (see below). It's sure to be a hit with your family and friends. And trust me, it pairs perfectly with a fresh cup of coffee for a fantastic breakfast. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Camila had the opportunity to share a little about dairy month with WVIN 98.3 Bath on May 25th.  Click here to check it out  

Cooperative Extension of Steuben County is working on a Permaculture Garden at the Haverling Street Community Park in Bath, NY. While the garden is still a work in progress you can already see the beauty coming to life. Many flowers and plants have been planted, an insect house is in place and waiting for its new insect families to move in. More plants, rocks and even a bird house are still in the works along with the completion of the sign.


We look forward to watching it bloom and maintaining a beautiful space for the community to enjoy. Keep an eye out for more updates on the Food Forest Garden! If you happen to be out and about in the area, stop over and take a look at all the happenings going on at the community park!


Steve Reiners, Professor in Horticulture

Cornell University, Cornell AgriTech

Canadian wildfires are impacting air quality here in the Northeast. Smoke has filled the sky and warnings are issued for outdoor activities. This is making many growers and gardeners worried about the potential impact the smoke will have on field grown vegetables. The good news is the impact will be minimal at worst.

Smoke filled skies decrease sunlight and reduce photosynthesis but to a small degree and temporarily. Despite the shade, there is still enough diffused light penetrating the smoke to maintain growth. Smoke typically does not block the pores in the leaf (stomata) where photosynthesis happens. The most important thing you can do is maintain good soil moisture by optimizing irrigation. This will keep the pores open and clean. The droughty conditions this spring are likely to cause more of a problem than the smoke.

Concerns that leafy greens and other commodities will pick up a smokey flavor are unwarranted. Recent research done in California after wildfires there showed leafy greens had no issues with flavor or possible volatile chemicals on or within the leaves. The smoke we’re seeing does not contain dangerous chemicals. 

The smoke we are experiencing is nearly 100% from the burning forests, not plastics, buildings or chemicals as seen in recent train derailments. The rain that falls through this smoky layer is also not dangerous to plants, people or animals. Unlike acid rain that forms from the burning of high sulfur fuels, the rain will be near neutral pH or just slightly acid.

Pollinators will likely stay close to their hives when it’s smoky. It’s a little early in the season for pollination of squash and other fruiting crops, so this should not be a problem. Even if the crop has flowers, bees will become active again as soon as the smoke clears.

Mask up when you’re outside tending to your plants as the smoke is a danger to you and me. But the vegetables should be fine. Keep them well watered, and you should be enjoying a normal harvest later this summer.

Photo:Mike Lewelling National Park Service

Water Testing Drop off Sites

Testing for agricultural water quality for surface water sites such as ponds, streams, canals, springs, and lakes, along with wells is a very useful tool for understanding what might be affecting the quality of water for irrigation. Water testing the wells that will be used washing of fruit and vegetables (and drinking) as prescribed for farm food safety practices needs to be done to establish the quality of that water. Water tests need to be completed by a laboratory in under 8 hours of the samples being taken. To make this easier for farms to accomplish, drop off/pick up sites have been set up in a number of locations across the region. For quantitative generic E. coli water testing (farm food safety) use the Enumeration test option.

There are other water tests available for farm and home. Well water tests, chemical, and others. The list can be found with the forms and bottles at sites.

Water test sample bottles, forms and information are available at each site. Water samples must be dropped off the morning of pickup before the listed times for each site.

Site and Location:                                            Due Before:

Panama: Eastern States Metal Roofing,

7821 NY-474, Panama, NY 14767                               

(716) 355- 4374                                             Tuesday 9 am

Conewango Valley: Andy Raber’s Blacksmith

Shop, 12451 Eldredge Road, Conewango

Valley 14726           

No Phone number                                       Tuesday 9 am

Freedom: Pine Grove Country Store Bulk

Foods, 8473 Co Rd. 3, Freedom, NY 14065                                                         

(585) 567-2367  Tuesday 9 am

Albion: Albion Hardware. 146 South Main

Street, Albion, NY 14411                                                          

(585)589-1713                                Wednesday 9 am

Newfane: Flint Brothers Hardware, Inc.

2769 Main Street, Newfane, NY 14108

(716)778-9654      Wednesday 9 am

Andover: Country Crossroads Feed &

Seed 3186 County Route 61, Andover,

NY 14806         

(607) 478-8858    Thursday 9 am

Addison: Country Crossroads Feed & Seed,

94 Front Street, Addison, NY 14801

(607) 359-2424         Thursday 9 am

Sodus: The Country Hardware Store.

10 West Main Street, Sodus, NY 14551

(315) 483-6571    Friday 9 am

Fulton: Northern Ace Home Center.

2721 State Route 3, Fulton, NY 13069

(315) 592-2063      Friday 9 am

Romulus: Fishers Supply,

2139 Yerkes Road, Romulus, NY 14541                                                                                (607) 869-9317         Friday 9 am

Penn Yan: Martin’s Equipment and

Hardware, 900 NY-14A, Penn Yan, NY                

(315) 536-7056   Friday 9 am

Rochester: Lozier Environmental

Consulting, Inc. 2011

East Main Street, Rochester, NY 14609

(585) 654-9080  M-F 8 am-4 pm

** This is the company that has set up the sites across the region, teaming up with local businesses who are trying to make water testing more accessible for farms. For more information on the program, call Lozier at their Rochester location.

Wildfire Smoke - What Can we do for our Livestock?

Amy Barkley, Livestock Specialist

Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Wildfires are an annual occurrence in many areas of the world. New York typically doesn't experience wildfires, but with the wildfires raging in Canada, smoke has been drifting into the state for the past few days and may continue to do so until the fires are extinguished. The smoke has resulted in air quality concerns, which can affect livestock as well as people.

The particles that we're most worried about are known as PM2.5. These particulates can cause eye and respiratory tract irritation. Animals with weakened immune systems, such as the very young, old, and sick, may develop symptoms that include the following, shared by Oregon State University:

  • Coughing or gagging
  • Difficulty breathing, including open mouth breathing and increased noise when breathing
  • Eye irritation and excessive watering
  • Inflammation of throat or mouth
  • Nasal discharge
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Fatigue or weakness
  • Disorientation or stumbling
  • Reduced appetite and/or thirst


If you see any of the above conditions in your animals, please consult a veterinarian for assistance and treatment.


Research for livestock wildfire smoke inhalation is ongoing in wildfire prone states, and most of the data is from studies where animals were exposed to high levels of smoke near the perimeter of a wildfire. Because of the distance we are from the Canadian wildfires, it can be extrapolated that there will be some effects on NYS livestock, but they won't be nearly as severe or long-lasting as what we see in other areas of the country. Poultry will be more affected than mammals because of their unique respiratory system design.

Given what's currently going on, livestock owners wonder if there is anything they can do now to keep their livestock safe and healthy. The following are best management practices to reduce the effects of being in a smoky environment or environment where the air quality index is poor:

  • Move the animals into an area with filtered air, if possible.
  • Modify the environment to reduce dust in the air, which can help offset some of the challenges caused by smoke exposure. Dampening bedding or feeding pellets instead of mash feeds are two ways to reduce dust.
  • Reduce stress in the animals' environment.
  • Limit working animals' work, including running, pulling, or herding, especially when smoke is visible. This will help reduce the amount of small particulate matter that makes its way into the respiratory system.
  • Provide feed and water in abundance in accordance with the animals' nutritional needs. Full and hydrated animals are healthier and more prepared to experience these types of environmental health challenges.

Following exposure to a smoky environment, allow time for the animals to heal. This can mean limiting handling or transporting animals, especially those which are showing symptoms or distress from smoke inhalation. Research indicates that in heavy exposure scenarios, it may take 4-6 weeks for the animals' respiratory system to fully heal, especially for those that are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above. 



How to Protect Pets and Livestock from Wildfire Smoke:

Wildfires, Smoke, and Livestock:


 Photo: Smoke hangs heavy in the air at a poultry farm in Southern Erie County on June 7, 2023. Photo by Amy Barkley.

Have you read the Field Crops Newsletter from Southwest Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops?

Learn more about what the Field Crops specialist, Katelyn Miller, has been working on with seedcorn maggots and pheromone traps for cutworms and armyworms, click HERE. And don't forget to subscribe if you want to receive field crops news and updates!

Too hot to handle: Episodic heat stress can be tough on cows

Camila Lage, Dairy Management Specialist

Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

It is still spring, but you are probably already observing some signs of discomfort in your cows since we see days in the high 80s. I always believed the Northeast weather wouldn't be so bad on cows, but that's not true. Since it takes weeks for cows to acclimate to the heat, episodic heat stress is tough for cows to handle. Investing in heat abatement is a cost-benefit, even in our "moderate climate" area.

Like us, cows have a temperature and humidity in which they are comfortable, called the thermal neutral zone. The combination of temperature and humidity better shows the environmental effects than each factor individually. For example, we can have a hot day (90 F) that's not humid (0% humidity), and it will feel the same as a moderate day (75 F) with 65% humidity.   Read the full article HERE.

Regional Agriculture Opportunities for


Hogs, Hops, and Honey - Oh My!: A FREE Live Seminar for Veterans.

*Contact for a recording*

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

6 pm - 7:30 pm ET

Virtual zoom webinar

Have you ever tried Hipcamp? What about pick-your-own veggies? On-farm dairy processing? Goat yoga? What about all of those at the same time?! Farm production diversification can be an important way to manage risk, increase revenues, and increase profitability. However, it can also be an easy trap to spread limited resources even further! Join Katelyn to learn more about enterprise analysis and determine how diversification can help you. Presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Specialists.

Register Here

Processing Poultry for Meat Production: A FREE Live Seminar for Veterans.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

6 pm - 7:30pm

Virtual zoom webinar

Respectfully, safely, and efficiently process broilers for meat production.

Small scale broiler production is a great way to diversify your farm. Raising broilers for meat production has a relatively short turn around time, low investment, and can help grow your farm’s production. Join Livestock Specialist, Amy Barkley, to learn the basics of meat bird processing. Topics include food safety, required materials, finishing broilers, and marketing regulations.

Register Here

Image: Freepik

Protecting Against Murphy's Law: A FREE Live Seminar for Veterans.

Wednesday, October 4th, 2023

6 pm – 7:30 pm ET

Virtual zoom webinar

What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong! Good ole’ Murphy’s Law is probably the best description of what it’s like to be a farmer that there is! Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Farm Business Management Specialist, Katelyn Walley-Stoll, to learn more about the 5 areas of risk on farms and how to develop strategies to manage those risks. Participants will have the opportunity to identify areas of risk on their own farms and brainstorm ways to (try to) prevent the inevitable!

Register Here.

Make a Farm Business Plan that Works for You: A FREE Live Seminar for Veterans.

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

6 pm – 7:30 pm ET

Virtual zoom webinar

Without a plan, how will you know where you’re going?

Business plans for farms are often viewed as yet another chore to do and usually result in dusty binders taking up space on the office shelf. This discussion based workshop will walk you through the mental exercise of planning your future agricultural adventures. Participants will leave with a better understanding of the use of a business plan, the essential components, and a “to-do” list of things to think about to inform future planning efforts. Additional opportunities for one-on-one follow up will also be offered. FSA Borrower credits may be made available for your attendance.

Register Here.

Goats 101 Webinar Archive

Amy Barkley, Livestock Specialist

Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program

Compact, hardy, and endlessly entertaining, goats can be a great addition to any farm or homestead. Their unique nature positions them well to fit niche roles and markets. This series of 4 recorded webinars reviews goat production and management for beginners. Key management concepts are reviewed using pre-recorded, interactive videos. 

Evaluating a Goat for Purchase

Learn how to select a healthy, sound animal that will fit your production and enterprise goals.

Health and Hoof Trimming

Discover the unique health challenges of goats and ways to manage them to improve their well-being and productivity. We will also review how to evaluate and trim goat hooves.


Pasture Management

Explore how pasture management is key to help maintain and improve the health and productivity of your herd.


Kidding and Reproduction

Are you ready for your goat to give birth? Learn about reproductive cycles, creating an ideal kidding environment, signs of labor, safe delivery, and what to keep in your kidding kit.

Regulations for Processing Poultry for Sale

Processing regulations surrounding poultry for sale can be confusing. There’s much to know regarding what birds you can process, where you can process them, and who you can sell them to. This article outlines the two available options for getting poultry processed in NYS.

Read the full article by Amy Barkley, Livestock and Beginning Farms Specialist here.

Ask Extension: Can I Raise Pigs on Pasture?

Nancy Glazier, Livestock Specialist with the CCE NWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Team

The answer is yes, with good management. I've had a few calls recently regarding outdoor production. I can't cover all the details in a phone call but can attempt to provide an overview in an article.

Breeds: Choose breeds that are not from commercial production lines. They won't perform well outdoors. Look for these breeds or crosses: Yorkshire (not from a production system), Large Black, Gloucestershire Old Spot, Berkshire, Tamworth, or Hampshire. There are a few other breeds that are touted as pasture breeds; some farmers have tried them and gone back to the ones listed. There are some hybrids which have been developed for pasture production. Beware of the sun with the light skinned breeds as they will sunburn.

Fence: Electric fence is most commonly used, but farmers have also used woven or welded fences. Training needs to begin early, sometimes as early as 3-5 days of age. You'll need a secure perimeter with 2 strands of polywire or tape with step in posts. One strand 6", second strand at their chin height with both electrified. You'll need a back fence to keep them off where they have grazed. They need to be kept secure so there are no escapes; pigs and cats are the top two animals that can quickly go feral!

Rotation: Pigs cannot get their full nutrition from pasture as they are simple stomached mammals, like humans. They cannot be left in the woods for the summer and be expected to survive. Anyone looking to get into outdoor production needs to be environmentally conscientious and prevent runoff and erosion. Bare ground can lead to concentrated manure/ponding areas that can lead to increased parasitism and slower growth. Pigs need to be rotated to a new paddock when 70% of the vegetation remains. Some farms will do mob grazing, moving a group to a new paddock a few times a day. As an example, the Rodale Institute in PA raises 80 pigs a year on about 7 acres of pasture. A conservative estimate is 1 lb of pig/sq ft on perennial pastures, ¼ lb. of pig/sq ft on annuals.

Pasture Plant Selection: Do you have perennial or annual plants in the pasture? A mix of legumes and grasses works well for a robust pasture and diverse nutritional profile. Annual planting mixes could consist of a small grain and a type of peas or soybeans. Some farmers will allow the pigs to root and develop wallows in an annual crop prior to reseeding. Make sure you have tillage equipment to handle ruts and rough ground.

Feed: I've read pasture can reduce concentrate feed by 15-50%. That said, it's important to reiterate that pasture is a supplement feed, not vice versa. Feed is the largest cost with feeding any livestock, and they will consume more feed when raised outdoors, and heritage breeds may be less efficient with feed conversion. Feed according to the stage of growth. Waste products, such as distillers or brewery spent grains, bakery waste, apple seconds, and vegetable scraps can be fed, but no meat! This can lead to disease transmission. NYS Ag & Markets law (Article 5 Sec. 72a) states, "…certain discarded foods are NOT considered garbage: dairy and cheese waste, including outdated foodstuffs removed from supermarkets (except meat products); outdated eggs, stale baked goods; discarded vegetables and fruit". If food waste is fed on pasture, pigs will still need some purchased feed to fill in the nutritional gaps.

Shelter: This is a key piece to outdoor production; it reduces the risk of sunburn in the summer and provides a place to keep them warm in the winter. In cold months they will need deep bedding. Hay works well since they will eat some of it, but they need lots to snuggle down in.

Water: Pigs always need a clean, constant supply of water. Use of nipple waterers works well for warmer months. Water will need to be warm in colder months.

Marketing: Remember, you are raising a premium meat product, so charge accordingly. Track your costs to have a handle on pricing. Your marketing should begin early in the process.

Finding the right employees to work on your farm can pose many challenges but hiring the wrong person can be costly! In Staffing and Organizing Your Team you will learn the benefits of professionalizing your human resource systems and becoming a preferred employer. Learn how to recruit a candidate pool to find the right employees, and how to avoid bias and discrimination in hiring. You will also learn how to improve your interview and selection process, and how to implement a strong onboarding program. 

Course topics:

  • Becoming a preferred employer
  • Personnel planning
  • Job descriptions
  • Avoiding bias and discrimination
  • Recruiting and interviewing
  • The selection process
  • Hiring and onboarding

Register HERE.

Are you thinking of starting an agritourism business or are you currently operating one? Join our monthly lunch-hour, workshop virtual series and learn how to grow your agritourism business!

The first session covered the basics of running an agritourism operation. There is still time to join the remaining sessions which will focus on specific topics to help aspiring agritourism entrepreneurs grow their knowledge and profit through this exciting on-farm business.

June 19: Agritourism Pricing Workshop: How to figure out what your customers will bear

July 17: Marketing Your Agritourism Operation

Pre-registration Required: Register Here.

Price: Free

All workshops will be recorded, and links shared. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Sponsor: Cornell Cooperative Extension Agritourism Program Work Team 

Are you thinking about starting a small farm? Do you already have a farm that you're looking to expand? Invest in your professional development and you'll see the returns in your business. Cornell Small Farms Program offers in-person trainings, workshops, and online courses for aspiring, new and experienced farmers.

Check out some of the upcoming opportunities for June HERE.

The Importance of Hay Moisture

Paul Vining, OSU Department of Animal and Food Sciences Graduate Research Assistant


Cutting and bailing hay sometimes becomes a "hurry up and wait" process, while waiting on passing rain showers. Hay should be baled when it has dried to the point of containing approximately 14-18% moisture. Bailing hay that contains elevated moisture may lead to an excessive amount of heat and possibly combustion then fire. Excessive moisture content allows for increased growth of bacteria and fungi. The presence of oxygen causes these microorganisms to go through chemical reactions which release heat. This continuous heat release increases hay bale temperature, which causes a risk of combustion and the possibility of fire. Even when fire is avoided excessive moisture content will cause a substantial loss of dry matter and decrease hay quality.


Hay Temperature and Fire Risk

If hay must be baled during unfavorable conditions a hay thermometer (36-inch compost thermometer) is a useful tool for measuring hay bale temperature. If hay reaches an internal temperature of approximately 135ᵒF, it is recommended to remove it from the barn. For these suspect bales, check the temperature twice per day and do not place the bales back inside the barn until the temperature has fallen to at least 120ᵒF.


Increased Hay Moisture Content Leads to Decreased Hay Quality

Elevated hay moisture levels (>18%) will decrease hay quality. Hay bales go through a "sweat" following cutting and baling. During this period heat is generated by the increased activity of microorganisms that consume forage sugar and starch. Increased hay moisture content allows for an increase in microbial activity, leading to greater consumption of forage nutrients and a reduction in forage quality. A study conducted at the University of Kentucky evaluated the daily hay temperature and ambient temperatures of two cuttings of alfalfa. The fall cutting was baled at 20% moisture and the spring cutting was baled at 16% moisture. The spring cutting, baled at 16% moisture slowly increased in temperature for 20 days after baling but never reached 120ᵒF. The fall cutting (20% moisture) spiked to 140ᵒF 3 days after baling and returned to a baseline temperature around day 8. The initial spike in temperature for the fall cutting due to increased moisture content would have caused a reduction in forage quality.

Hay does not have to be bone dry to make quality hay without risk of hay fire or heat damage to nutritive quality. Baling excessively dry hay makes bales with low density and contributes to loss of leaves and quality losses. But when moisture is too high, spontaneous heating is problematic for hay quality and risk of hay fires.



Hancock, D.W. 2012. HAY MOISTURE: HOW DRY IS DRY ENOUGH? Hay & Forage Grower. The University of Georgia. HFG1306 

Image. Hay Thermometer Indicating Elevated Bale Temperature

NY FarmNet Services: Always Free, Always Confidential
NY FarmNet is here to support farmers, farm families, agricultural service providers, veterinarians,
milk truck drivers, and others involved in the agricultural industry in New York State.
Call today 1-800-547-3276.

Reach out to them for business or personal consulting. 



As a result of the ill-timed cold snap, scientists at Cornell are saying that the state as a whole lost up to 15 percent of its apple crop, while the Hudson Valley saw losses of between 30-35 percent and grapes were also hit hard with vineyards across New York reporting losses ranging from 5 to 100 percent.

The senators said that this widespread agricultural devastation, so close to harvest, requires prompt attention from the feds, especially since more frost is forecast in the coming days, and are urging the USDA to make any and all assistance available to impacted eligible growers.

Read the full article here.

Photo: Franco Nadalin

USDA Issues WASDE Report for May – All Milk Price Estimate for 2023 Lowered to $20.50

The All Milk Price has been lowered to $20.50 for 2023 and $19.90 for 2024 based on increases in milk per cow and other global factors. Read more from Joel Hastings, Dairy Business News HERE.

Beginning March 1, 2023, frontline farm workers and meatpacking workers who incurred expenses preparing for, preventing exposure to, and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for a one-time $600 relief payment through this website, which is administered by Pasa Sustainable Agriculture. Read more here.


From NY Farm Bureau – Reminder, Weekly Pay Requirement

New York Labor Law §191 requires manual workers to be paid weekly and not later than seven calendar days after the end of the week in which the wages are earned.  

Read more here.

Finger Lakes Farm Country has a new app! 

Visit Finger Lakes Farm Country to download it today!

Dear Readers,

FLFC is a collaborative effort between the regional CCE offices and their respective counties' visitor centers. You may have seen the logo or heard of the Agritourism Trail project in the last year or so. We are continually building and adding visitor information to the website at no cost to you. If you are interested in having your farm listed on the site, please complete the survey or reach out to Kevin Peterson, contact information below.

Did You Know?

Finger Lakes Farm Country is a regional agritourism program that combines agriculture and tourism to promote the abundance of agricultural resources in the southern Finger Lakes. Through a collaborative approach to marketing and promotion, the program creates a memorable brand for agritourism attractions and businesses in the area, while showcasing educational and recreational activities for visitors to the region.

In an effort to sustain local farms and create an environment for entrepreneurism, Finger Lakes Farm Country will promote the region’s abundant agritourism resources through a variety of marketing strategies. The Finger Lakes Farm Country region includes the counties of Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Tioga, and Yates.

Interested in Joining?

If you have questions about Finger Lakes Farm Country please contact Kevin Peterson: or call 607-936-6544

UPDATE From Fruition Seeds:

The lot number for the recalled Brandywise lot # should be NS 10-ll-br not NS 10-11-br. Letter I's not number 1.

ALERT! Tomato Seed and Plants Potentially Contaminated with Virus of Concern


  • Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) has been found this spring on seed of two tomato varieties, Sweet Prince and Brandywise, being sold to growers and gardeners. This emerging virus (first detected in the US in 2018) is considered more serious than others because of the ease of spread when handling infected plants, the virus’s long-term survival ability and damage to fruiting plants. 



  • If you are notified by a seed company regarding infected ToBRFV seed or see announcements about seed you purchased, the seed and any plants grown from them, must be destroyed NOT composed, surface buried or thrown in a cull pile.
  • The infected lots reported were plants from Sweet Prince Lot #s NN21-SL-SP and NN22-SLSP2 and Brandywise Lot #s NS 10-11-br.
  • There are no treatments/sprays that will cure plants of ToBRFV or any other plant virus.
  • This virus can survive in soil for years, thus there is potential for re-occurrence in future years in addition to potential for spread to other tomato and pepper plants with handling.
  • Follow strict sanitation practices if you have infected plants, to include disposal or sterilization of all clothing, tools, trays, pots, hoses, benches, etc. Clean surfaces where plants have been with diluted bleach (an example of an appropriate solution is 8.2 fluid ounces of an 8.25% bleach made up to 1 gallon of solution—check whether the concentration listed on the label of the bleach you have is 8.25% and adjust if necessary).
  • Handling infected seed is not known to allow seed-to-seed transmission of ToBRFV because the virus resides inside the seed not on the seed surface.
  • Handling infected plants followed by handling healthy host plants is a transmission method. 
  • Minimize touching plants with hands, clothing and tools. Brushing plants to obtain sturdier stems is a dangerous practice because it may move viruses like ToBRFV, as well as bacterial pathogens. Watering seedlings is not considered to have enough force to transfer ToBRFV.
  • When plants are handled, such as during transplanting, use hand sanitizer on gloved hands between plants when there is concern ToBRFV might be present.
  • Check plants for symptoms at least once a week. Symptoms include mosaic and mottle, yellowing, bubbling in the leaf blade, and a ‘fern leaf’ look. If suspicious symptoms are seen, photograph and submit a sample to your local plant clinic. Symptoms will likely start to appear by about 4-6 weeks after seeding, but some varieties remain free from symptoms even though infected. See below for a symptom image guide.


Symptom guide:

For more information:

In New York, the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic is available for testing:  


Created by Meg McGrath, with input from Margery Daughtrey, Margaret Kelly, Marc Fuchs, Karen Snover-Clift and Elizabeth Lamb.

Photos: Fruition Seeds, Organic Brandywise Tomato

We know that the green industry plays a critical role in pollinator health. After all, horticulture provides the very thing pollinators need to thrive: diverse and abundant sources of forage. In recognition of that role, and in celebration of National Pollinator Week (June 19-25), Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) is delighted to team up with AmericanHort to present a series of free tHRIve webinars focused on all things pollinator health. Join us for one, two, three or all four webinars by registering using the links provided and remember to Grow Wise - Bee Smart!

Register Here




1 pm Eastern

Building a Better Monarch Butterfly Garden


Migratory Monarchs have been listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in July 2022. Better understand why Monarch butterflies are in peril, why their conservation matters, and how partnership between the Horticulture Industry and gardening public can help to restore this beloved native butterfly to sustainable status.


This webinar with Dr. Dan Potter, University of Kentucky, covers the fascinating natural history of the monarch, including its spectacular long-distance migrations and special relationship with milkweed, as well as best milkweed species for attracting and sustaining monarchs and native bees in gardens. Recent research showing that garden design and placement matters, and that cultivars of native milkweeds (“nativars”) have conservation value for gardens, will be discussed, as well as how to prevent a garden from becoming an “ecological trap” for monarchs due to predation by invasive wasps or planting the wrong type of milkweed.


Consumer demand for milkweed seedlings and nectar plants is burgeoning. Information from this webinar will help garden center personnel, Master Gardeners, and others to better advise customers and other stakeholders about butterfly gardening.

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1 pm Eastern

Bees, Pesticides and Politics: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Urban Landscapes


This talk with the esteemed Dr. Dan Potter (University of Kentucky) will help attendees better understand why bees and other pollinators are in peril, the role of insecticides and other factors in pollinator decline, and how land care professionals and gardeners can safeguard pollinators when managing pests of lawns and landscapes. Pollinator conservation initiatives that can benefit growers, garden centers, and land care professionals will be discussed, as well as best woody plants supporting bees and other pollinators.

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1 pm Eastern

Pollinators, Plant Trials, and People: Discovering and Sharing the Best Pollinator Plants


What happens when you mix a desire to support pollinator health with a passion for growing beautiful, high-performing plants? What if you then added in a commitment to sharing information with and assisting a community of gardeners?


For more than two decades, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has trialed plants with the goal of determining what plants work best in the Mid-West region. Over the last three years, they've paid particular attention to which plants bring in and support the most pollinators. Their renowned plant trials and expertise, combined with their impressive position within the surrounding gardening community, has created a unique program where gardeners and pollinators work hand-in-hand helping the horticultural industry thrive.


Join us for an exciting look into this unique program, the best pollinator plants, and the people behind it all with the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden's own director of horticulture, Steve Foltz.


Inspiring every visitor, every day with plants!

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APHIS Establishes a Quarantine for Box Tree Moth (Cydalima perspectalis) in Michigan

BTM is a destructive pest of boxwood (Buxus species). APHIS is taking this action in response to confirmed detections of BTM larvae in Lenawee County, Michigan. BTM was first detected in Michigan on November 2, 2022. Since the detection in late fall 2022, APHIS has worked with MDARD to restrict host movement, delimit the infestation, engage stakeholders, and conduct outreach. APHIS, MDARD, industry, and research partners are working closely to develop useful pest control tools.

APHIS is prohibiting the interstate movement of regulated articles of Buxus spp. from the entire Counties of Lenawee and Washtenaw, the County of Monroe west of US-23 and north of River Raisin, and the County of Jackson south of I-94 and east of US-127.

Regulated articles include the whole plant, all plant parts, pieces, cuttings, clippings, debris, and any portion of the plant, alive or dead. APHIS is taking this action to prevent the spread of BTM to the rest of the United States. These measures parallel the intrastate quarantine that MDARD established on April 10, 2023.

The attached Federal Order outlines the safeguarding measures required for protecting the industry from this pest. The Federal Order and additional information about BTM may be found at: 

For additional information, please contact the National Policy Manager, Allen Proxmire, at 480-392-8754 or

What's Bugging You?

Join Live, on the first Friday of every month from Noon to 12:30 EST on Zoom.

Each month, experts will share practical information and answer questions on using integrated pest management (IPM) to avoid pest problems and promote a healthy environment where you live, work, learn and play. We’ll end with an IPM Minute and cover a specific action you can take in the next few days to help you avoid pest problems.

2023 Schedule:

  • June 2: Common Garden Insects | Poison ivy management (Recording already available)
  • July 7: Pest of home berry plants | Spiders in the home
  • August 4: Groundhog management | Bat exclusion
  • September 1: Right plant, right place | Transplanting trees/shrubs
  • October 6: Jumping worms | Roof gutter pests
  • November 3: Winter Garden prep | Tick check reminder
  • December 1: Houseplant IPM | Firewood pests

Register for 2023 Events Here. Watch the past Event presentations Here.

Participate in the 2023 NY Invasive Species Expo

Save the date:

September 24-26th, 2023

The Expo will be a unique invasive species conference combining classic presentations and creative use of outdoor space hosted within the historic architecture of Saratoga Spa State Park and will be open to the public with no cost for general attendance. Sessions will be centered around the overall theme: Reflect, Adapt, Evolve. Participants will have the opportunity to reflect on what’s been accomplished so far in the field of invasive species management, learn about the innovative ways we can adapt in unprecedented times, and discuss how we can evolve to confront challenges moving into the future.

Dairy Market Watch

Please access the latest Dairy Market Watch here!

Dairy Market Watch is an educational newsletter to keep producers informed of changing market factors affecting the dairy industry. Dairy Market Watch is published at the end of every month, funded in part by Cornell Pro-Dairy, and is compiled by Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Business Management Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops Program.

For those that get printed newsletters, it is included as an insert with each edition.