Stocker Short Course postponed until September

Once again we find ourselves listening to our customer base. This summer has been a tough one with few days available for hay making and other field activities. As such, devoting a Saturday has been a concern. Therefore, after much deliberation and consult with the various parties, we have decided to postpone the start of the Stocker Short Course until September. We apologize for the confusion that this may create, but in the best interest of everyone’s time we feel this is the best decision. If you are interested in this course, please contact Audia Denton,, so that we can send you details as they become available. Updates can also be found at

Stocker Course now offered in Cayuga County

Southern Tier Stocker Initiative Short Course – New Site Added

Another site for the Stocker Short Course has been located at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office in Auburn (Cayuga County). The only hitch is that we need a minimum of 10 registered for the Cayuga site to be a go.

Now set as a series, the first set begins July 29, 2017 and runs on the last Saturday of every month from 10 am-2 pm through October 28, 2017.  The syllabus can be found at PR-Revised_July 5. Another set will be scheduled starting in January 2018, again, the last Saturday. A live session will be held in the Belmont (Allegany County) NY, with current remote locations set for Chautauqua, Jefferson and Delaware Counties.  Other sites will be added as the local area shows interest. I know a few have already expressed interest in having a site in Ithaca, we are working on that, I just wanted to get the new schedule and cost out to you ASAP.   Cost is $100/person and $50/person from same family or farm. Fee includes lunch and all materials. To register contact Barb Jones,, 607-255-7712. For more information contact Audia Denton, Stocker Short Course Coordinator, or Mike Baker, Cornell Beef Specialist,, 607-255-5923

What Crop Traits are Genetically Engineered (or GMO)?

There continues to be a great deal of discussion on potential market opportunities for “GMO free” crops and products, such as milk, from animals fed these crops.
GMO is the commonly used term that stands for genetically modified organism and is really being misused in this context. In reality many things in agriculture are genetically modified compared to their ancestors. Humans have used selection criteria to propagate crops that better fit their needs for thousands of years. In the last century this has been accelerated by what are now commonly referred to as conventional plant breeding techniques.

To read the entire article Genetically_Engineered_Crops.

Codman Community Farms – Assistant Farm Manager Job Description

Codman Community Farms is seeking an Assistant Farm Manager to support all aspects of operating a community farm.  The farm focuses on pasture-raised livestock with a small fruit and vegetable component.  This is a full-time, year-round position with housing and benefits.  The ideal candidate will possess a commitment and passion for growing sustainable food, while engaging the public.  This position is more than a job, it is a lifestyle.   Living and working on the farm, in public view and positively engaging the community on a daily basis is an essential part of the position.  A naturally outgoing attitude is needed along with a focus for the daily work required to operate a diverse livestock-centered farm operation. Start date is immediate, July 2017. Full job description: CodmanFarms.

Feeder cattle following seasonal price pattern

Livestock Market Report:

Compared to the last sale, Feeder steers sold mostly 4.00-5.00 lower.
Holstein steers sold steady to 1.00 lower. Feeder heifers sold 3.00-
4.00 lower. Feeder bulls from 300-700 lbs sold 2.00-3.00 higher while
the 700-1100 lbs bulls sold 4.00-5.00 lower. Cattle supply moderate.
Demand moderate. Feeder cattle supply consisted of 30 percent steers,
11 percent Holstein steers, 43 percent heifers, 16 percent bulls,
with 73 percent weighing over 600 lbs. Cattle supply consisted of
191 steers, 193 heifers, and 90 bulls.

More Beef Program Updates

Dear Folks, we have a few things up.  Although the summer weather has been less than helpful, life goes on and we hope some of these opportunities will work for you!

  • Artificial Insemination class- Cost $150:  July 18-20; 6:30 – 8:30 pm Ivor Jones, Select Sire Power, Inc. is presenting:
    Tuesday the 18th…classroom at the Cobleskill Cooperative Extension Center, 173 Grand Street, Cobleskill
    Wednesday and Thursday… work with cows at Empire Livestock, 872 State Route 30A, Central Bridge, NY (Thurs. is optional, extra practice)
    Classes are limited in number so please let me know soon of your interest.


  • Beef Producer Meeting Thursday, July 20 at 6:30 pm… Ashley McFarland our new Central New York Dairy, Field Crop and Livestock Team, Livestock Specialist has put this together. Come meet Ashley, and enjoy an opportunity of getting together with other producers… a meal, and discussion of marketing, managing through low price cycles, and finishing animals.  It will be at the Porco’s Farm, 770 Snells Bush Rd. Little Falls NY.


  • Our “Special” Beef Quality Assurance session has been confirmed to be hosted at Oak Stone Farm’s cattle handling location at 108 Bedbug Hill Rd, Fly Creek NY. Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 6 pm. We’ll have pizza and cold drinks. The class room portion will come first with chute side experience after. There will be a $10 charge per farm for the session covering the course book for those who have not paid for it previously. We’ll ask $5 per person towards the food and drink. Dr. Bill Johnson of the Leatherstocking Veterinarian Services and Dr. Mike Baker will be the instructors. Please pre- register:   call 607-547-2536, or e-mail


  • Fall Feeder Calf Pool Sale… October 13, 2017.. Growing and Improving! Give me a call if curious or interested in including calves this fall!

Sincerely yours,
Bill Gibson
Cornell Cooperative Extension Otsego/Schoharie Counties
Cell phone: 518-588-6032

Southern Tier Stocker Initiative “Short Course” – REVISED

Interested in learning about stocker cattle? This course is designed for farmers of all experience levels to learn about managing stocker cattle (calves purchased in the spring, then sold to a finisher after adding weight using relatively inexpensive, excess pasture).

The course will help you discover your competitive advantage, markets, economic projections, pasture management, and business planning.

The course begins July 29, 2017 and runs on the last Saturday of every month from 10 am-2 pm through October 28, 2017. Depending on interest more sessions will be scheduled starting in January. Live sessions will be held in the Belmont (Allegany County) NY, with remote locations in Chautauqua, Jefferson and Delaware Counties. With interest other remote locations may be added. Cost is $100/person and $50/person from same family or farm. Fee includes lunch and all materials. To register contact Barb Jones,, 607-255-7712. For more information contact Audia Denton, Stocker Short Course Coordinator, or Mike Baker, Cornell Beef Specialist,, 607-255-5923.

To see syllabus go to Syllabus.