October 25, 2008

Contacts: see last paragraph below plus Frans Vokey, 315-376-5270

Developing Custom Farm Services Industry in NNY Topic of December Meetings

Opportunities to make custom farming services such as hired plowing, planting, fertilizing, harvesting and heifer raising, profitable for both farmers and service providers will be the topic of three meetings organized by the Cornell Cooperative Extension associations of the North Country for December 2 at Miner Institute, Chazy, December 3 at the Madrid Community Center, and December 4 at the Carthage Elks Club.

Co-organizer Frans J. Vokey of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County says, “Our goal is to facilitate relationships between farmers and custom service providers. These meetings will present the use of custom services as a business strategy for consideration by farmers. For example, using custom services can maintain or improve the forage quality on dairy farms and free farmers to spend more time on such tasks as herd health, breeding and productivity.”

Speakers include Jon Orr, owner-manager of Orsson Custom Farming, a father-son limited liability corporation in Apple Creek, Ohio, and Cornell University’s PRO-DAIRY Program Dairy Farm Management Specialist Jason Karszes. Local custom operators and the farmers using their services will also share their experiences.

Field Crops Educator Michael E. Hunter of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County says, “Hiring a custom operator can be a way for a dairy to increase its profitability in spite of the added cost of paying for someone else to raise your heifers, harvest your crops, put up fencing or spread manure. These meetings will help farmers considering hiring custom help for the first time or those looking to add efficiencies to their existing custom work relationships.”

For more information on the workshop at Chazy, contact Anita Deming, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Essex County, 518-962-4810, or Carl Tillinghast, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County, 518-483-7403; at Madrid: Brent Buchanan, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, 315-379-9192; and at Carthage: Mike Hunter, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County, 315-788-8450. Learn more about agriculture in Northern New York on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website at www.nnyagdev.org.  # # #