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New York Grazing News - March 2014

New York Grazing News - March 2014


Change is difficult for most people, so it’s no surprise that it has been a struggle to get accustomed to the new names for the former GLCI and Grazette. As you may recall, the name was changed in January to the New York Grazing Coalition, and this newsletter was changed to the Grazing News. Do you think the name “Grazette” should still be used for the newsletter? Please let us know.
On another note, the one change we are all looking forward to is a change to spring! We hope you and your livestock are surviving the latest cold snap and getting ready for warmth and green grass.

Please continue to send in notices of pasture walks and workshops by three days prior to the end of
each month - the Grazette is distributed monthly

For information on facilities or services, or to request sign language interpretation or other auxiliary aids at meetings, please contact the individual listed for the event at least 10 days prior to the meeting date.

Upcoming Pasture Workshops and Related Events

Please note events listed are primarily held in New York State, unless indicated otherwise.

Northern New York (NNY) Grazing SchoolCornell Cooperative Extension

When: Saturday, March 1st – 9:30 am to 3:15 pm
Where: Bangor Fire Hall, 2367 State Route 11, North Bangor (Franklin County)

An increasing number of farmers in Northern New York are taking advantage of the abundant grass resources in the region and employing good management strategies to get the most quality and quantity out of their pastures. The program will focus on weed control, rejuvenating old pastures, feeding minerals to pastured animals, fencing strategies, overseeding, using a rising plate meter to determine grazing wedge areas, and 2013 livestock parasite control study results. Speakers include Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) Agricultural Programs Coordinator Josh Bakelaar, Nick Carbone of Carbone Resource Management, and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators Kitty O’Neil, a NNY crops and soils specialist; Dr. Terri Taraska, DVM; Ron Kuck, a dairy and livestock specialist; ag program educator Pete Hagar; and Betsy Hodge, a livestock specialist.

The $25 pre-registration by February 24th includes lunch and materials with $10 per additional individual from the same farm. Late registration/walk-in fee is $30. To register for the program in Bangor, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension in Franklin County, 518-483-7403; Clinton County: 518-561-7450; Essex County: 518-962-4810; Jefferson County, 315-788-8450; Lewis County, 315-376-5270; or St. Lawrence County: 315-379-9192. This program is co-sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension and Feed Commodities International, Inc.

2014 Vermont Organic Dairy Producers ConferenceNortheast Organic Farming Association of Vermont_NOFA-VT

When: Wednesday, March 5th – 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Where: Judd Gymnasium, Vermont Technical College, Randolph Center, Vermont

Northwest Crops and Soils ProgramThis year, we will be looking at "resiliency" as a strategy to optimize and maintain soils and high quality forages on your organic dairy. View our Conference Brochure for details. Keynote speakers include Drs. Silvia Abel-Caines of Organic Valley/CROPP; Fred Magdoff, UVM emeritus professor; and Tom Kilcer of Advanced Ag Systems. We will also include our popular research updates - with a focus on soil and forage quality projects - and our farmer panel. Sponsored by University of Vermont (UVM) Extension’s Northwest Crops and Soils Program and NOFA-Vermont Organic Dairy and Technical Assistance program. You can register online at or by completing the registration form on the brochure and mailing it in.

NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop ConferenceWeb graphic: Northeast Organic Farmers Association of New York

When: Friday, March 7th
Where: Holiday Inn, Auburn

The keynote speaker will be Gary Zimmer, farmer, author, agri-businessman and educator dedicated to biological agriculture. Recognized around the world for his commitment to improving farming through building healthy soils, Gary has spoken to farmers and agribusiness professionals all across the United States and in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Korea, and South Africa.

The day-long conference will offer three different workshop tracks in the areas of dairy, field crops and business management. Workshop topics include:

  • Effectively Managing Cover Crops with Norm Conrad of National Center for Aprropriate Technology (NCAT);
  • Herd Health and Replacement Health with CROOP Cooperative Veterinarian Dr. Guy Jodarski;
  • Wheat Systems for Success with Dave Smith, owner of Lake Distilling;
  • High Quality Milk with dairyman Steve Galens;
  • Hay in a Day with Dave Johnson of Provident Farm;
  • Profitable Feeding of Dairy Cows with Karen Hoffman of NRCS, and more!

For more program details visit the NOFA-NY web site, e-mail Bethany Wallis or call at 585-271-1979 extension 513.

Cornell Small Farms Summit – “Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell”

Cornell Small Farms Project

When: Wednesday, March 12th – 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Where: Six locations around New York – Ithaca, Voorheesville, Kingston, Canton, Ellicottville, and Riverhead

Are you currently selling through a farmers' market, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), U-pick, or road-side stand? How well is it working? Direct-marketing can offer the satisfaction of a personal relationship with the customer, but wearing the 'marketing hat' has the disadvantage of consuming lots of time and energy.

In recent years, a variety of new wholesale markets such as food hubs, online marketplaces, restaurants, and grocery stores have begun recruiting regional products from small to mid-sized farms. Could these emerging wholesale markets be right for you?

The program features small farmers' perspectives on the pros and cons of selling wholesale. Farmers that have made a successful switch to a new wholesale market will reflect on their decision making process, benefits and challenges, costs, and infrastructure needed. Farmer speakers will also address how well the new market meets their goals, values or other lifestyle preferences.

After sharing lunch, you'll have the opportunity to join fellow farmers from your region to swap ideas about specific wholesale marketing opportunities in your area. This interactive 'wholesale market mapping' activity will result in generating regional needs for projects that the Cornell Small Farms Program may fund over the next few years.

Register online and locate your nearest host location. If you prefer, you may also register via phone. The meeting is free to attend and lunch will be provided. You can send an e-mail if you have general questions about the Summit.

“Grassfed Rising” – Promoting Health from the Soil Up

When: Thursday, March 13th and Thursday, March 20th – 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Where: Chemung County Fairgrounds, 170 Fairview Road, Horseheads

The Dairy and Livestock Educators from Cornell Cooperative Extension of South Central New York Area Ag Teams are teaming up to put on a series of meetings to promote Grassfed Livestock Production in Central New York. The meetings will start with producers enjoying a light meal of grassfed meat while they watch a video of selected speakers from this year’s Grassfed Exchange Conference in Bismark, North Dakota.

Speakers include Dr. Allen Williams on “State of the Grass Fed Industry”, Neil Dennis on “Utilizing High Stock Density to Improve Soil Health”, and many others. After the video we will have a discussion on participant’s plans and experience to promote Grassfed production in New York. There will also be a short presentation on Risk Management for Hay and Pastures.

To RSVP e-mail Sharon VanDeuson or call 607-753-5078. Sponsoring this event is the New York Grazing Coalition and New York Ag and Markets Crop Insurance Education.

Advance Notice

Grasstravaganza 2014

Grasstravaganza 2014: Pasture Soil Health Creates Wealth

When: Thursday to Saturday, July 17th to 19th
Where: Morrisville State College, Morrisville

Speakers include Ray Archuleta, the NRCS “soil guy” from North Carolina, Jerry Brunetti of Agri-Dynamics, and Jim Gerrish, former University of Missouri researcher, writer, and now cattle rancher and consultant from Idaho. A Thursday evening dinner will kick-off the conference, and tours will be held on both Friday and Saturday afternoons. Sponsored by USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, NY Grazing Coalition, and Morrisville State College. Visit the Grasstravaganza web site for updates on the conference agenda and registration.

Pasture News

New York Farm Viability Institute

Funding Available to Start a Dairy Profit Team

Grazing dairies have participated in the past and benefitted greatly – please consider applying!

The New York Farm Viability Institute is accepting applications from Dairy Producers for grant money to start a Dairy Profit Team. A Profit Team is a group of professionals, selected by the farmer, which meets regularly to discuss the farm, with the goal of making the business more successful. New York Farm Viability Institute can reimburse farmers for 80 percent of team expenses, up to $2,500, if a farmer holds a minimum of seven meetings over a maximum 15-month period.

Dairy farmers who have created Profit Teams in previous funding cycles have reported significant gains in productivity, efficiency, and profitability. Farmer Jake Conway explains, “The team has opened our eyes to opportunities we don’t see because we are so close to the farm every day.” Bruce Dehm, of Dehm Associates, says “Properly run advisory teams are the single best investment a farmer can make to improve profitability.”

Applications and information about selecting team members and a team facilitator, setting goals, and other team tools are all available on the New York Farm Viability Institute web site. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis until all funding is distributed. For additional information, e-mail Kristin Cleveland, New York Farm Viability Institute Profit Team Program Coordinator, or call 315-453-3823, extension 103.


Want to submit an event? Interested in subscribing? Simply send an e-mail to Karen Hoffman with your event information, or with the subject line of "subscribe" to be added to the distribution list! If submitting an event listing, please submit it three days before the end of the month prior to the date scheduled, as this newsletter will only be generated at the beginning of the month. Not interested? If we've sent this to you, and you're not interested in receiving it again, also send an e-mail to the above address with "unsubscribe" in the subject line.

Brought to you by the New York Grazing Coalition (NYGC). The New York Grazing Coalition is a grass-roots coalition of producers, agricultural industry, and conservation groups with an interest in the sound conservation of private grazing lands, with funding from USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New York. The goal of this newsletter is to increase awareness of grazing events around New York and in neighboring states, as well as to provide information that is useful on the farm.

More information is available on the National Grazing Lands Coalition web site. Information on the NYGC can be obtained from Coordinator Karen Hoffman at the e-mail address above.