February 1, 2008
Contact: Rosalind Cook, CCE Jefferson County, 315-788-8450

Organic Poultry Producer to Speak at February 27 Workshop

After one year as a NOFA-certified poultry and egg producer, Holly Sakowich is increasing from two breeds to five, and from 50 to 150 chickens at her Theresa, NY, farm. Sakowich will share her experiences as a start-up farm enterprise owner at the February 27, 1-4 pm �Going Organic in the North Country� workshop at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County in Watertown, NY.

Sakowich will talk about start-up costs; the feeding, housing and healthcare of her chickens; and the unique challenges and opportunities of organic production. Sakowich says, �We have reclaimed land that had not been used for thirty years and began our small family farming enterprise in 2007. Our markets have quickly expanded so we are increasing our size to meet the demand for organic poultry, hay, and produce.�

Workshop co-organizer Rosalind Cook of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, says, �This workshop allows interested farmers to get the information directly from farmers who have transitioned to organic agriculture and can talk about the successes and challenges they have faced. They will share their experience with the financial rewards or expectations they started with for offering an organic product in Northern New York at a time when we hear nationally that consumer demand is increasing.�

Certified organic growers Dani Baker and David Belding of Cross Island Farms, Wellesley Island; Dick DeGraff of Grindstone Organics, Pulaski; and New York State Organic Agriculture Specialist and past Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) of New York director Sarah Johnston are also on the agenda for the February 27 workshop in Watertown. Call Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County: 315-788-8450 for more information.

Similar free workshops organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension with support from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program are set for 6-9 pm February 25 in Westport at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County (518-962-4810), and 6-9 pm February 26 at North Country Community College in Malone (CCE Franklin County: 518-483-7403). # # #