May 5, 2011
Contact: Betsy Hodge, 315-379-9192

Northern NY Beef Week Programs Set for May 31-June 3

Northern New York – Producing local beef is becoming an increasingly popular farm enterprise in Northern New York, and, more importantly, buying Northern NY-raised beef is also gaining interest. Pineland Farms Natural Meats Procurement Specialist Kevin Woltemath will join Cornell University Extension Beef Specialist Dr. Mike Baker as speakers for the May 31-June 31 Northern NY Beef Week programs in Plattsburgh, Malone, Watertown, and Canton.

Woltemath is looking to buy approximately 150-200 beef animals per month to feed at Pineland Farms Natural Meats newly-purchased feeding facility in Hopkinton, NY. The animals, however, must meet the requirements of the New Gloucester, Maine-based company that sells both fresh beef and packaged beef products.

“Our animals never-ever receive antibiotics, growth hormones or animal by-products, and I will be talking with the Northern New York producers about how to qualify their animals under the Global Animal Partnership Certification Program that our largest buyer requires to meet consumer demand,” Woltemath says.

Dr. Baker will be talking about preparing feeder calves for market.

“To ensure a beef product that is acceptable to the consumer while being profitable to the seller and the buyer, cow/calf producers need to understand weaning strategies, nutrient requirements and disease prevention practices,” Baker says.

He will present data from research documenting which practices farmers can use to increase their competitiveness and profitability, while increasing the demand for their calves.”

The 7pm-start Northern New York Beef Week programs, offered by the Cornell Cooperative Extension associations of Northern New York, will be held:
• Tuesday, May 31 at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Plattsburgh, 518-561-7450
• Wednesday, June 1 at North Country Community College, Malone, 518-483-7403
• Thursday, June 2 at Cornell Cooperative Extension, Watertown, 315-788-8450
• Friday, June 3 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Extension Learning Farm, Canton, 315-379-9192.

Pre-registration is appreciated for materials preparation. There is a $5 evening program fee.

Producers who have calves on the ground already this spring and are interested in farm visits in the local area the day of each program may call Betsy Hodge at 315-379-9192 to arrange a time. #