August 18, 2009
Contacts: See list at end of release

Local Dairy Skills Training to Start;
Northern NY Dairy Institute Debuts in October

Northern New York – In October 2009, the Cornell Cooperative Extension associations of Northern New York and W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute will start-up the new Northern NY Dairy Institute.

The Institute will offer a series of dairy skills training short courses to help farmers, farm workers, youth and those seeking agricultural employment refresh, improve or learn new skills, and earn a certificate of proficiency or be eligible for college credit.

Classes will be held locally in the Northern New York region’s six counties: Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence.

The NY Center for Dairy Excellence and Cornell University’s PRO-DAIRY Program are providing funding for the Northern NY Dairy Institute. Morrisville State College and Alfred State College are offering college credits for the courses. Local agribusiness professionals, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program will be providing support.

The Northern NY Dairy Institute is modeled after the Wyoming County (NY) Dairy Institute.

“The NY Center for Dairy Excellence and NY Farm Viability Institute provided funds, starting in 2007, to develop these courses, in Wyoming County. Our intention was that course outlines and manuals developed back then could be replicated in other parts of the state, and we are very excited to see that the Dairy Skills Training program is now being offered in Northern New York, Northwestern New York, and in Chautauqua County. These training modules will continue to offer practical farm skills to New York’s dairy farms,’’ says John Lincoln, a dairy farmer and chair of the NY Farm Viability Institute board of directors.

“Dairy farmers who have pursued this type of continuing education and skill development have reported improved employee performance and communication, cost savings and the ultimate goal of every dairy farmer - enhanced cow and calf care,” says Dairy and Livestock Educator Ron Kuck with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County.

Dairy Cow Reproduction Management will be the focus of the Fall 2009 course of the Northern NY Dairy Institute. The course will combine classroom sessions and on-farm instruction.

“The Northern NY Dairy Institute represents the opportunity to learn new ways to be profitable and, in some cases, to return to the basic practicalities of dairy farming that can improve your farm’s bottom line economics,” says Wanda Emerich of W.H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute in Chazy, NY. “Having a strong breeding program is a keystone for internal herd growth and good milk production.”

Northern New York Dairy Institute instructors will include veterinarians, dairy industry technicians and academics, and agribusiness leaders.

Northern NY Dairy Institute participants may take the course to earn a certificate of proficiency for $75/module or may qualify for college credit in collaboration with Morrisville and Alfred State colleges for $150/module.

Future Northern NY Dairy Institute courses will offer dairy skills training modules on The Biology and Management of Producing Quality Milk; Calf Management Practices; Dairy Financial Management; Feeds & Feeding Management; Herdsmanship, Herd Health and Lameness; Management for the Transition Cow, Manure and Manure Management; and Utilizing Dairy Comp 305 to Efficiently Manage Cows and Maximize Profits.

For more information and registration for the Northern NY Dairy Institute, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension office or WH Miner Institute.
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Northern NY Dairy Institute Co-coordinators:

• Ron Kuck, CCE Jefferson County, 315-788-8450
• Wanda Emerich, WH Miner Institute, 518-846-7121 x117

Cornell Cooperative Extension Contacts for Northern NY Dairy Institute:
• Clinton County: Amy Ivy, 518-561-7450
• Essex County: Anita Deming, 518-962-4810 x409
• Franklin County: Carl Tillinghast, 518-483-7403
• Jefferson County: Ron Kuck, 315-788-8450
• Lewis County: Frans Vokey, 315-376-5270
• St. Lawrence County: Brent Buchanan, 315-379-9192

NY Center for Dairy Excellence: www.nycde.org 

Cornell University PRO-Dairy:

Northern New York Agricultural Development Program: www.nnyagdev.org