Northern New York Agricultural Development Program Press Releases

February 15, 2006
Contact: Steve Richards, NY FarmNet/NY FarmLink, 607-255-9854; Julie Viveiros, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County, 518-561-7450

Clinton County Farms Featured Online for Successful Dairy Strategies
Two Clinton County farm families and their strategies for successfully operating dairy farms in Northern New York are featured online at www.nnyagdev.org, the website of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. The Tetreault family�s Hidden View Dairy in Champlain and B&R Dairy in West Chazy are the featured farms.

�B&R Dairy and Tetreault�s Hidden View Dairy are two examples of how farmers in Clinton County and across Northern New York are carefully studying and selecting the opportunities that will make their individual farms successful,� says Julie Viveiros, dairy and livestock educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Clinton County.

Brothers Daniel, Don and Dale Tetreault operate a three-way partnership on the farms that previously belonged to their dad and uncle. Among the changes the boys made were improvements to farm structures, use of a custom harvester to chop forages, and use of a custom operator to spread manure. The brothers completed a business plan before the transition and are now working on estate planning.

�The transition and changes were made with two goals in mind: to support our three families and our retired parents and to grow for future generations,� says Don Tetreault.

Since 1980, Steve Bechard and Bob Roy have transitioned from a 150-cow milking operation to a custom heifer-raising business. The brothers-in-law now raise about 1,500 heifers a year for farmers in Northern New York and Vermont.

Steve says cost control has been their biggest advantage. �From the start, we strived to keep capital expenses low and improve our existing structures rather than buy land. By gradually expanding over time, we have been able to keep our customers happy and maintain a cash flow that supports our two families and provides for our senior generation,� he says.

The two Clinton County farm profiles are found with other NNY dairy farm success strategy profiles from Essex, Franklin, St. Lawrence, Lewis and Jefferson counties.  Click here to view the profiles. Other strategies profiled include partnering and sharing resources: equipment, manpower; making a niche product such as farmstead cheese, and using computerized production technology.

The profiles were written in cooperation with local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices as part of a Northern New York Agricultural Development Program project. Project coordinator and NY FarmNet/NY FarmLink Director Steve Richards says, �These case studies will be most useful for farm owners who are considering making changes to their operations and are searching for ideas, information and inspiration from their fellow farmers working in Northern New York.�

The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a farmer-driven research and education program specific to New York state�s six northernmost counties. For more information, visit www.nnyagdev.org or contact Board Chairs Jon Greenwood, Canton, 315-386-3231, or Joe Giroux, Plattsburgh, 518-563-7523, or call Dave Smith at Cornell University at 607-255-7286.