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

Volunteer Recognition Night

Thank You Volunteers!

We had a great turn out for our Sweets and Greet Volunteer Appreciation Night on April 21st. Many yummy desserts were donated by local bakeries along with door prizes from local businesses as well.

So, You Want to Start a Farm?

Thursday, May 18th, 2023 from 6pm – 8pm at the Civil Defense Center in Bath, NY.

FREE, in-person workshop for aspiring farmers offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension!

Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Specialist, Katelyn Walley-Stoll, to learn more about the nuts and bolts of making your farming dreams a reality! The workshop is free, but registration is required to accurately plan for handouts.

Register by clicking the flyer below ( or by calling/emailing the administrative assistant, Kelly Bourne at 585-268-7644 ext. 10,

Topics that will be covered include the basics of starting a farm business, an outline of who's who, an introduction to available resources, and a discussion on "is farming right for you?". Additional topics and future events will be decided based on participant interests.

Participants will receive several resources and connections for further exploration and will leave knowing the steps they need to take to start a farm! For more information, contact Katelyn Walley-Stoll (716-640-0522 & or Susan Walker (607-664-2574 &

County Enrollment, Subscription, and Support

The Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program with Cornell Cooperative Extension offers educational programming and research based information to agricultural producers, growers, and agribusinesses in the five county region of Southwestern New York. 

Our specialists work with Cornell Faculty and Extension Educators statewide to address the issues that impact the agricultural industry and provide services to farms of all sizes and production techniques. The educational programming and support that we offer ranges from workshops to on-farm events, and includes one-on-one consultations. Our program is designed to meet the rapidly changing needs of our region's diverse agricultural community. 

For more information, contact any of the specialists.

Please support CCE Steuben by signing up for their enrollment programs.

Reach out to CCE-Steuben at 607-664-2300 and ask about enrollment. The enrollment form can be found online, here.

The Cornell Vegetable Program works with Cornell faculty and Extension educators to address the issues that impact the New York vegetable industry. The team offers educational programs and information to growers, processors, and agribusiness professionals in pest management, variety evaluation, cultural practices, market development, and farm food safety.

Cornell Vegetable Program Specialists expertise includes processing vegetables, fresh market vegetables, weed science, soil health, food safety, organic, marketing, greenhouses and high tunnels.

To read the Vegetable Programs 2022 Year in Review, click HERE. Learn more about the specialists HERE.

To enroll click here.

The Finger Lakes Grape Program (FLGP) is a regional extension program of Cornell Cooperative Extension serving the grape and wine industry of the Finger Lakes.

The staff of the Finger Lakes Grape Program is committed to providing grape growers in the Finger Lakes and beyond with cutting edge, research-based information to help them improve the productivity and sustainability of their vineyards and the quality of the fruit that they produce. We work with researchers and extension staff from Cornell and other institutions to create informative extension materials and programs that help to keep grape growing a viable and profitable industry that enhances the communities of the Finger Lakes and upstate New York.

Learn more about the specialist HERE.

To enroll click here.

Preparing Your Livestock Farm for the Loss of OTC Antimicrobials

May 3, 2023 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

By June 11, 2023, the Food and Drug Administration will require farmers to have a prescription from their veterinarian to purchase all over the counter, medically important, antimicrobial products. Dr. Melanie Hemenway, Veterinarian with NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets will provide an overview of what this means for your farm.

Virtual Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Grower Training

May 2, 2023

8:45 am - 4:30 pm via Zoom

Cost: $25 per farm


Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) is a voluntary food safety audit program requiring minimum standards for the production, handling, packing, and storing of fresh fruits and vegetables. Many wholesale buyers, including grocery stores, schools, and other institutions, require GAPs certification from farms in order to purchase their produce. Farms considering expanding their wholesale markets should attend this training, which will cover:


·    An introduction to the GAPs certification program and audit requirements

·    Record-keeping and worker training, health and hygiene            

·    Manure, compost, and wildlife management

·    Pre-harvest, harvest, and post-harvest food safety assessments

·    Production water management

·    Postharvest water use & packinghouse sanitation

·    Traceability & transportation

·    Writing a farm food safety plan


Register Here:


For more information contact Elisabeth Hodgdon at (518) 650-5323. 

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.

May 15: Tax Considerations for Agritourism

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 May HERE.

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. 

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.

Making Cover Crops Work in the Northeast: Termination Strategies For Success

By Kirsten Workman, Heather Darby, Matthew Ryan, and Aaron Ristow (Adapted by Southwest New York Dairy Livestock Field Crops Program)

Northeast farms are planting over one million acres of cover crops, and momentum for this conservation practice continues to grow because of its crop, soil, and environmental benefit. Increasing financial incentives coupled with environmental regulations have pushed even more farmers to adopt cover crops. However, like any other crop grown on the farm, the benefits will only be realized with proper planning and timely management.

To make cover crops a successful part of crop rotation, especially in the Northeast, it is important to be creative and adaptable. Cover cropping works the best when it is an integral part of the farm's cropping system, not just an afterthought. With spring knocking on our door, our focus is on the best strategies to terminate winter cereal cover crops. Emphasis is on being flexible based on weather, field conditions, and management goals. The best plan is to always have a backup plan!

Read the whole article 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

Who’s in the driver seat? Reducing stressors not invaders may advance restoration

Collings, J., Endriss, S.B. and Dávalos, A., 2023. Multiple stressors prevent gains in native plant diversity following invasive species removal. Ecosphere14(3), p.e4458.

Summary written by Justin Dalaba, edited by Carrie Brown-Lima


Invasive species management decisions are often based on the assumption that reducing an invader’s abundance will decrease negative impacts. New research by Collings et al. challenges this rhetoric. This study contributes to a growing body of literature that questions our assumptions about invasive plants as the primary drivers of ecological degradation. Taking into consideration the reality of local management priorities and site limitations, they prioritized quantifying the impact of invasive swallow-wort (Vincetoxicum rossicum) and its removal, and whether these impacts are mediated by earthworms or exclusion of white-tailed deer. Over three years of removal, they monitored fenced and open plots across three New York State Park forested sites similar in canopy, slope, and land use history, with nearby unmanaged plots for comparison. Of the vascular plant species identified, 55 were native to New York State with 8 classified as invasive. Earthworms identified included megascolecid earthworms (Amynthas and Metaphire spp.) and 3 species native to Europe. While V. rossicum declined significantly with experimental removals, most plant species showed site-specific trends in response to invasion and fencing. Native plant diversity and cover increased in unmanaged plots, but decreased with earthworm presence. Management significantly reduced invasive plant species in both open and fenced plots, however V. rossicum cover was lower for unmanaged, fenced plots that excluded deer.

These findings emphasize the need for more comprehensive and adaptive management plans that investigate multiple stressors as potential drivers of change in invaded habitats. Overall, restoration success (e.g. increasing native plant diversity) may be limited by complex interactions among different stressors (e.g. deer, earthworms, land use history), and future management strategies should be coupled with monitoring of individual and combined stressor effects to ensure successful outcomes. Monitoring at these study sites is ongoing with maintenance for sentinel plantings and earthworm surveys.

Key take-aways:

  • Decreasing abundance of a target invasive (e.g. V. rossicum) does not always lead to recovery of native plant communities, and in some cases may impede native plant diversity
  • Native plant diversity fared better where V. rossicum was left unmanaged
  • When deer were excluded, invasive swallow-wort declined in abundance
  • The relationship between an invader’s abundance and its impacts is highly context dependent and difficult to predict

Management Implications:

  • Invasive plant management that aims to decrease abundance of a target species may actually impede restoration goals, such as native plant diversity
  • Managing deer and reducing earthworm impacts may be more productive actions than invasive plant removal when restoring native ecosystems.
  • Practitioners should consider using a sentinel approach or other easily comparable method across sites

Learn How Invasive Species Impact Natural Ecosystems

Watch and listen to Dr. Julie Lockwood, an ecologist and professor at Rutgers who investigates how invasive species impact natural ecosystems through interdisciplinary research. In addition to her role in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources at Rutgers, Julie also serves as Interim Director of the Institute of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science.

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:

  • May 5: Spotted lanternfly update | Stinging insect ID
  • June 2: Common Garden Insects | Poison ivy management
  • 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!

April’s Dairy Market Watch shows dropping cheese prices and continued concerns about milk prices in 2023.

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.