Executive Director Highlight

The CCE Executive Leadership Conference

Comes to Long Island!

CCE Suffolk was honored to host the Cornell Cooperative Extension Executive Leadership Conference!

Over 55 CCE Executive Directors and leadership professionals from all over the state visited the Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center, the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center, CCE Nassau’s Dorothy P. Flint 4-H Camp, and the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center!

I would like to express my gratitude to the dedicated staff, esteemed board members, and valued stakeholders for their outstanding efforts in championing our work on Long Island. Your commitment and hard work have been instrumental in effectively representing our organization and achieving remarkable results. Thank you for an awesome ELC!

DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belongingness) Updates

Pride at the

Suffolk County Farm

The atmosphere was filled with a sense of celebration and camaraderie, as attendees gathered at the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center to honor and support the LGBTQ+ community!

The event featured a variety of engaging activities, including educational workshops, informative presentations, and inspiring performances, all aimed at fostering greater understanding and acceptance. Pride at the Farm serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of unity and advocacy in striving for a more united Suffolk County.

Recognizing Juneteenth

CCE Suffolk offices were closed on 6/19 in recognition of Juneteenth, a holiday to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US.

Among CCE Suffolk's many missions is to create a more inclusive Suffolk County, one that celebrates the diversity in our communities. We hope everyone had an empowering and reflective Juneteenth, and encourage readers to learn more about the history and importance of the holiday.

Program Updates


Nora Catlin named Interim Director of the Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center

We are very excited to announce that CCE Suffolk Agriculture Program Director Nora Catlin, PhD, will be co-director of the Cornell University Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center through summer 2023, eventually assuming the role of sole interim director in the fall. Our sincere thanks to outgoing director Mark Bridgen for his years of leadership. Mark will remain a valued member of our organization, continuing to conduct research and extension programs.

For the past seven years, Nora has led the Agriculture Program for CCE Suffolk, one of the largest county extension systems in the country. She has a Ph.D. in plant and soil science from UMass Amherst, and has worked for 18 years as a floriculture specialist with our organization. Nora will help to spearhead the permanent lab director search beginning in 2024.

LIHREC, located in Riverhead and spanning 68 acres, is dedicated to meeting the research and extension needs of Long Island's horticulture industries. It encompasses agricultural fields, research plots, cutting-edge greenhouses, a nursery, and a container production area. Additionally, a plant tissue culture facility is available to support a wide range of research projects, spanning from grape and vegetable production to ornamentals and floriculture. LIHREC is a partner of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University

You can check out LIHREC for yourself at the 2023 Open House!

Saturday, July 8, 10:00am - 3:00pm

3059 Sound Ave. Riverhead, NY 11901. 

Learn more about LIHREC here

Entomology Specialist Dan Gilrein Presents at Suffolk County Legislature

CCE Suffolk Entomology Specialist Dan Gilrein had the opportunity to present to the Environment, Parks & Agriculture Committee of the Suffolk County Legislature. His presentation focused on providing the committee with the most up-to-date information on invasive pests and the ongoing initiatives aimed at their prevention.

Spotted lanternfly nymphs are active now! The more recognizable adults will be present later in summer, but some are also now starting to recognize the nymphs like those shown in the last photo (Photo by Ilia Rochlin).

Thank you to the Committee for your time!

Learn more about the spotted lanternfly here

Congratulations Master Gardener

Class of 2023!

The CCE Suffolk Master Gardener Class of 2023 recently celebrated their graduation at Lenz Winery!

These graduates are now one of nearly 85,000 certified Extension Master Gardeners who volunteer across the nation. The program has been supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the past 50 years, with members volunteering at public community gardens as well as schools to increase food security and demonstrate environmentally sound gardening practices. 

To become a Master Gardener, one must successfully complete the training course, volunteer 125 hours within a 2-year period, and remain active by volunteering at least 30 hours each year after graduation.

Learn more about the Master Gardener Program here

Central Pine Barrens

Joint Planning & Policy Commission

Annual Cooperators Meeting

Thank you to the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning & Policy Commission for inviting us to their Annual Cooperators Meeting!

To celebrate 30 years of protecting the Central Pine Barrens and its vast natural, agricultural, historical, and recreational resources, the meeting reviewed the Commission’s accomplishments and recognized cooperative efforts with state, county and local agencies, volunteers and other key contributors and supporters.

CCE Suffolk extends our thanks and appreciation both to staff and the Commission’s many cooperators that support the preservation of one of Long Island’s most valuable natural resources. We are honored to be counted among the partners supporting their work!

Learn more about the Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning & Policy Commission

Community Education

Mobile Diabetes Screening at

Middle Country Library

The Community Education team joined Sun River Health for the Mobile Diabetes Screening Clinic at Middle Country Public Library!

Diabetes remains at epidemic proportions across the US. In our own backyard of Suffolk County, 9% of adults are diagnosed with diabetes and many more are undiagnosed. Diabetes resources and support such as those offered by the Mobile Diabetic Screening Clinic are vital to improving the lives of those impacted by diabetes.

Family Dinner Project with Greenport Schools

The Community Education Program partnered with Greenport Schools to host a wonderful session of The Family Dinner Project! 

Families learned to prepare a healthy dinner consisting of crunchy vegetable wraps, corn salad, yogurt and fruit parfaits with homemade granola, as well as trail mix. 

Research has confirmed that sharing a family meal is good for the physical, mental, and nutritional health of all family members. Family dinners have been linked with lower rates of substance abuse, teen pregnancy, and depression, as well as higher grade-point averages and self-esteem. Additionally, stories told around the dinner table build our children’s vocabulary and help build resilience.

The Parent Cafe:

Free Parenting Classes

In today's parenting landscape, establishing a supportive community is paramount for families, providing an avenue to express concerns and acquire invaluable insights.

Find your community at the Parent Cafe!

Through this program, families can access free, research-based educational sessions conducted by expert Parent Educators, Nutrition Educators, Lactation Consultants, and more. As an added treat, gifts and light refreshments accompany these informative gatherings!

Different topics will be covered each week, and certificates of completion will be given to those who attend all programs. Childcare is available!

The next in-person Parent Cafe series, beginning July 7th, will be held at the Middle Country Public Library, Fridays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Learn more and register here

Can’t make the in person session? No worries, virtual sessions of the Parent Cafe are available!

The next virtual Parent Cafe series will be held via Zoom Thursdays from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm.

Learn more and register here

Thank you to the Cabrini Health Foundation for funding this program to improve the health of mothers and their babies through parenting & nutrition education. Through this partnership, we’re working to support vulnerable parents & children throughout Suffolk County!

SNAP-Ed Summer Newsletter

Catch up on the latest happenings with CCE Suffolk Community Nutrition!

Featuring upcoming programs and a great recipe for Herbed Potato Salad.

Read here

Ask the Family Educator

by Maxine Cohen, Parent Educator

Now that summer has arrived, is it a good idea to adopt walking as my

go-to exercise each day?

Adding exercise to your daily routine can improve your mental and physical health. Walking is perhaps the easiest way to exercise as no special equipment is needed, only supportive footwear. Walking outdoors allows you to observe and enjoy nature, which may improve your mood, can lower blood pressure, and help to reduce stress and anger you might be feeling. I find that walking solo helps me to think with greater clarity and creativity. This may be due to the fact that walking increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the brain, enhancing the generation of ideas and problem-solving ability. If hot weather is uncomfortable for you, try to walk either very early or much later in the day when the heat is not as intense.

Scientific research shows that the simple act of walking daily provides many health benefits. Walking is considered an aerobic form of exercise. When you keep up a moderate pace, a brain protein is released which helps to maintain brain cells and promote the growth of new ones. As you walk, the increased blood flow to the brain releases feel-good hormones as well, benefiting mood and memory. Findings show that if you walk at least 4,000 steps per day, brain tissue remains healthy, increasing learning and cognitive functioning. As we age, the hippocampus region of the brain (where memory, learning, and cognitive function occur) typically shrinks, which can lead to impaired memory and dementia. By continuing to walk each day as a life-long habit, research shows that this aerobic activity can actually increase the size of the hippocampus.

We all deal with stress. Walking outdoors might quiet stress levels due to moving through the outdoor environment. The brain is able to relax which may not be possible when we remain stationary. The cortisol hormone (which surges during stressful situations) seems to be short-circuited in as little as twenty minutes. Perhaps summertime is the perfect time for you to make walking a priority each day. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.” If you add walking to his suggestions, I believe that your life will be enhanced. Step lively!

Suffolk County Farm & 4-H

Suffolk County District Attorney's Office visits the Farm

We welcomed the team from the Suffolk District Attorney's Office to the farm for a tour and discussion on future collaboration!

We look forward to our upcoming meeting with the DA's office regarding the The Biological, Environmental, and Animal Safety Team (BEAST). This team works with law enforcement counterparts to ensure accountability and consistency regarding laws protecting animals and the environment.

Little Farmer's Graduation

Congratulations to this year's graduation class of the Little Farmer's Preschool!

Through free play, guided exploration and exposure to all corners of the farm, children at Little Farmer's Preschool are given the chance to learn, grow and become independent learners. Children spend most days entirely outside, weather permitting.

Learn more

New Multi-Purpose Facility at

Peconic Dunes

This year's campers at Peconic Dunes were fortunate to be the first to enjoy a meal in the new multi-purpose facility! Complete with state-of-the-art kitchen, this magnificent addition to our camp provides a welcoming space for our community to gather, share meals, and create lasting memories together.

4-H Career Exploration at

Cornell University

CCE Suffolk 4-H staff had the pleasure of chaperoning 7 Suffolk County youth, 2 Nassau County youth, and 1 youth from Westchester County for 4-H Career Exploration!

4-H Career Explorations aims to expand possibilities for youth by connecting them to Cornell University; sparking interests in careers and career pathways; developing academic, leadership, and life skills; and providing an opportunity to experience college life. 

For teens entering 8th grade and up, the program introduces youth to Cornell through campus tours and exploration of a variety of topics in six different departmental workshops.

Registration for the 2024 event will begin sometime April 2024. 

Learn more


South Shore Estuary Reserve 30th Anniversary Celebration Conference

Thank you to Citizens Campaign for the Environment for inviting us to the South Shore Estuary Reserve Conference, celebrating 30 years of progress for this important ecosystem! CCE Marine Program Director Chris Pickerell presented on seagrass restoration efforts.

Special thanks to Citizens Campaign for the Environment Executive Director Adrienne Esposito!


Staff Participate in Boater Safety Course

15+ CCE Suffolk staff members recently completed the Boater Safety Course offered by Safe Boating America.

This comprehensive training equipped them with essential knowledge and skills to ensure their safety while carrying out their crucial work on the waters of Long Island!

Sea Stars Marine Campers

On The Water

Check out some of the campers from Sea Stars Marine Camp aboard the Yankee III Out of Captree! The day's catch included spider crab, dogfish, fluke, and sea robin.

More info on Sea Stars Marine Camp

Fisheries Quarterly Newsletter

Catch up on the latest with the Marine Program's Fisheries team!

Featuring upcoming programs, an update on our striped bass sampling efforts, and more!

Read here

Happy Retirement

Mark Cappellino!

Congratulations to Marine Youth Educator Mark Cappellino on his retirement!

Mark has been a CCE staff member for 31 years, and his dedication and commitment to educating and inspiring young minds has made a significant impact. The knowledge and values he has imparted will continue to benefit future generations.

Wishing you the best in your next chapter, Mark!

Recognizing 50 Years of Service

Rod Zeltmann!

The Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center recognized Rob Zeltmann for his 50 years of service on the lab's field staff!

Since 1973, Rob has been a vital part of LIHREC's daily operations. We are incredibly grateful to have such a dedicated and talented individual on the team!

Donate Here

Your support enables us to continue to be a vital and necessary part of our county’s future. Your gift today helps ensure our programs of tomorrow.

Board Member Spotlight

Christine Kempner

Christine Kempner is a member of the Program Advisory Committee for the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center. Serving as a dedicated member for several years, Christine has played a vital role in shaping our programs and initiatives. Her expertise, passion, and unwavering support have been instrumental in driving our success. Recently, Christine's daughter was able to travel to Cornell University as part of the 4-H Career Exploration Program!

CCE Suffolk extends its heartfelt appreciation to Christine for her invaluable contributions and look forward to many more years of collaboration and growth!

Upcoming Events

Long Island Horticulture

Research and Extension Center

Open House

Saturday, July 8, 2023, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Join us at the Long Island Horticulture Research and Extension Center Open House!


  • Guided tours of display gardens on the hour
  • Demonstrations and discussions about medicinal herbs and growing vegetables
  • Wagon ride tours of the 68-acre research farm 
  • Plant sale focusing on herbs, dahlias, unusual plants and hanging baskets 

Everyone is welcome and admission is free!

Saturday, July 8, 10:00am - 3:00pm

3059 Sound Ave. Riverhead, NY 11901. 

For questions, call 631-727-3595 or email mpb27@cornell.edu

Local Garden Tour

Sunday, July 9, 2023, 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

With gardens of various sizes and stages of maturity, these tours provide very good examples of incorporating natives and pollinators in your home garden and public Master Gardener sites. Although self-guided, gardeners will be at each destination to answer questions.

The next and final tour will be the North Fork Pollinator Pathway Inaugural Garden Tour. Starting at Custer Preserve, both private and public gardens will be showcased. To preregister email: northforkpollinatorpathway@gmail.com

Learn more

Why Teens Do

What They Do

Tuesday, July 11, 2023, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

As a parent of a pre-teen or teen, are you bewildered by adolescent behavior? Does their moodiness drive you crazy? Does their attitude push your buttons? Would you like to have a more respectful relationship with them? Unlock the mystery of adolescence with the key of understanding that can improve your relationship with your teen.

Learn More/Register

SPAT (Suffolk Project in Aquaculture Training): Shuck n' Jive at the Rams Head Inn

Wednesday, July 12, 2023, 4:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Wednesday, July 19, 2023, 4:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Wednesday, July 26, 2023, 4:30 PM - 9:00 PM

The Rams Head Inn Presents: A Summer Lawn Seafood Boil!

RHI is excited to host a weekly outdoor seafood boil in collaboration with the CCE Marine Program! Kim Tetrault from the SPAT Program will teach how to support sustainable aquaculture in more ways than one! Come early and get comfy on a lawn chair, outdoor table or picnic blanket and enjoy your guest speaker! Live music from Shuck n' Jive to follow!

• Bar will open at 4:30pm

• SPAT Chat with Kim Tetrault at 5pm

• Seafood Boil will begin at 5:30 and will go til sunset while supplies last!

• Donations can be made to CCE's Shellfish Program

*There are no set times or reservations. The 5:30 booking means you can also come at 6 or 6:30, but don't wait too long!

Register Here

Goat Yoga

Saturday, July 15, 2023, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Saturday, July 29, 2023, 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Enjoy yoga on the farm with our friendly goats. Goat yoga is a fun twist to the more traditional flow. End your day in downward dog while having some laughs. All levels are welcome to goat yoga, but best for ages 8 and up. Taught by certified instructors.

Please bring your own:

  • Yoga mat
  • Water bottle

Learn More/Register

Agritourism Workshop Series

Monday, July 17, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

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!

Sessions will focus on specific topics to help aspiring agritourism entrepreneurs grow their knowledge and profit through this exciting on-farm business.

Register Here

PASTA: An Overview for Professionals

Wednesday, July 19, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Parenting the Second Time Around (PASTA) was designed for grandparents raising their grandchildren and has come to include all kinds of kinship relationships. Join us for an overview of what the program provides and how you can guide the clients in your agencies should they need resources. Information on how clients can attend the eight-week program will also be provided.

Learn More/Register

Taps, Trucks, and Trivia at the Suffolk County Farm

Saturday, July 22, 2023, 4:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Join us at the Suffolk County Farm and Education Center for our first after hours with local spirits, food trucks and trivia!

Take a wagon ride and visit with the animals after hours!

We have a limited amount of spots for trivia!

Participants can have up to 6 on a team, with prizes for the top 3 teams!

Trivia session times - 4:30pm and 6:30pm

Email kr427@cornell.edu to register your team. Please email her the session you are attending (4:30 or 6:30), team name, and amount of participants.

Enjoy all the farm has to offer for the night including Vincent's NYWF Pizza Truck, All American Wontons truck, The Bubbly Bar LI serving up local spirits and mocktails, as well as Ubergeek Brewing Company!

Learn More/Register

Brewery Lecture Series

Wednesday, July 26, 2023, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Meet the CCE Marine team for casual and fun presentations about our work and learn how you can give Back to the Bays!

Marine Team Expert Harrison Tobi will be at Greenport Harbor Brewery for a presentation on Bay Scallop Research.

Greenport Harbor Brewery | 42155 Main Road, Peconic NY

Learn more/Register here

Bilingual Nutrition Educator

CCE Suffolk Community Education Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (SNAP-Ed) Nutrition Educator will primarily be responsible for delivering established SNAP-Ed public education programming to improve healthy food and lifestyle choices among families and individuals of all age groups throughout the Long Island SNAP-Ed Region. This position will also include assisting with marketing efforts for SNAP-Ed programming in collaboration with other nutrition educators in the SNAP-Ed region.

The Nutrition Educator can also be available to support activities under the Fruit and Veggie Rx team. This team provides nutrition education and vouchers to purchase fruit and vegetables. Our focus is on diabetes and related conditions, giving tools to help make healthier choices. Tasks include helping with surveys, class set up and break down, distribution of surveys and evaluation of purchases. Possible experience with grant writing as well. Dietetic/nutrition students are welcome to apply!

Fluent in Spanish and/or Hattian Creole a plus. The position is a part-time, temporary employment.

Learn More/Apply Here

View All Employment & Volunteer Opportunities Here

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