Skip to main content

Getting Started! Scouting and CCE Tours in Western New York.

What a fun and hectic few weeks I have had and I am only getting started! I have been busy learning the lay of the land here in Western New York and getting  just a taste of what will be in store for me during these next few summer months.  My terrain will include Ontario, Wayne, Yates, Livingston, Wyoming, Erie, Niagara, Orleans, Genesee, and Monroe counties.  I will be, and have been working with  the  North Western New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops teams in a variety of scouting expeditions and programs throughout the summer season.

One of my first days on the job I helped to set up the Soybean TAg Team portfolios  for participating farmers in Ontario and Genesee counties. The soybean TAg team project is a tactile agriculture soybean management and education program for producers in New York. The goal of this program is to increase the producer knowledge of agronomic and economic aspects of soybean production with an emphasis on the identification, biology, and management of critical pests, including diseases, weeds and insects. The program also teaches the producers the value of scouting their fields for pest to determine if pesticide applications are warranted and economically justified.  By the end of the program we are hoping that the growers will have an increased knowledge of Integrated Pest Management and Integrated Crop Management as well as improved growing practices.

I also spent a day with the Nancy Glazier touring farms and establishments for the Beef Quality Assurance program for beef producers in the Wyoming County area.  The BQA in a day Workshop was held the 16th of June with twenty or so participants. The training took place on a small family farm in Hermitage New York where participants had the opportunity to revive  basic certification for beef handling and production from the Beef Quality Assurance program. Also that day in Wyoming County I had the opportunity to tour the new possible location for the Wyoming County Cornell Cooperative Extension Office. The building is an old ware house in need of renovation, but if the plans go through will  house the state offices for the county along with the Cooperative Extension offices and the counties 4-H program, very exciting news for the Wyoming County team.

My next adventure was with Jackson Wright the Dairy Management Specialist from the NWNY livestock team. That day I tagged along with a group of dairy farmers from Ontario County and toured an organic dairy operation as well as a conventional dairy operation who converted to a group calf housing system. The purpose of adopting the group calving system is to improve calf herd health. The group claving system is being put into use along with an automated feeding system.  Contrary to conventional thinking, the group calving system has not led to an increase in disease. Rather, the automated feeding system has freed up the herdsmen to spend more quality time with the calves, catching and preventing disease from occurring in the first place. And perhaps best of all, when reared in groups and allowed to express their natural behavior, the calves are thriving at a significantly higher rate than in the previously used system of individual calf hutch housing.

Until next time, off for more adventures!

Two happy calves at the organic group housing system.

Automated Feeding System

Speak Your Mind


Skip to toolbar