April 2, 2009

Contact: Brent Buchanan, CCE St. Lawrence County, 315-379-9192
Carl Tillinghast, CCE Franklin County, 518-483-7403

Ideas & Resources for NNY Dairy & Other Farm Managers at April 14-15 Meetings

Canton, NY and Malone, NY - Farmers seeking strategies to meet the current economic challenges will hear dozens of ideas for adding to their income, transitioning to new agricultural ventures, and finding off-farm employment at meetings organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin and St. Lawrence counties, the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, and New York Farm Bureau. The free 7-9:30pm “Transitioning to Financial Sustainability” meetings will be round-robin style with several 10-15 minute presentations by USDA representatives, agricultural educators, lenders, and farmers on Tuesday, April 14 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Learning Classroom in Canton and Wednesday, April 15th at the 911 Building in Malone.

“While these meetings are most timely for dairy farmers dealing with low milk prices, those managing other types of agricultural businesses will also find these meetings useful,” says Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County Executive Director Carl Tillinghast. “We are not promising that farmers will take away “magic bullets” for an immediate turn around on their negative cash flow situation, but they will leave with a valuable list of resources to investigate for creating additional sources of income.”

The ideas to be presented may be ones that farm owners have considered or not.

“The goal is to quickly introduce farmers to lots of options and resources from which they can select the ideas they think might be the best fit for their farm to follow-up with the resource contacts provided,” says Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Agricultural Team Leader Brent Buchanan.

Topics that will be presented at both meetings include:
• maple syrup production and opportunities to leasing trees to a maple producer with Uihlein Forest Director Michael L. Farrell
• harvest and management decisions for your wooded acres with NYS DEC Forester Steve Sherwood at the Canton meeting and Cornell Cooperative Extension Natural Resources Educator Richard Gast at the Franklin County meeting
• ways to add value to a farm business with Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County Rural & Ag Economic Development Specialist Bernadette Logozar
• USDA programs you might implement for your farm
• how to find and secure off-farm employment, and
• tips from local lenders on evaluating your financial snapshot.

The April 15th Franklin County meeting will also feature a panel of former dairy farm managers sharing their views on leaving the dairy business, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Field Crops Educator Stephen Canner will present crop options for better farm cash flow.

Organizers request pre-registration by April 13th for the free meetings to assure enough resource packets for all those attending. Register for the Canton program with Cornell Cooperative Extension at 315-379-9192. Register for the Malone program by calling Cornell Cooperative Extension at 518-483-7403 or emailing bel7@cornell.edu.

Additional resources specific to Northern New York agriculture are available from Cornell Cooperative Extension associations of Northern New York and on the website of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program at www.nnyagdev.org. # # #