Press-Republican

Columns

March 3, 2013

Advances made in ag education

(Continued)

Another distance learning method we sometimes use in our office is video conferencing. With groups of local producers attending in multiple locations, experts from Cornell or beyond can communicate to several groups face to face over a video link. While still requiring some travel, it offers a chance for personal interaction locally in addition to the long-distance connection. Speakers that would likely never visit our region can answer questions and have discussions on topics of specific interest to local farmers.

While videoconferencing offers a little of the personal touch that face-to-face interactions have to offer, in-person meetings are still our primary tool for connecting farmers with campus research. Once a personal connection is made, participants often find it easier to continue communication by email or telephone for future inquiries. We often find meeting attendees still talking in the parking lot as we are closing up the office.

As winter slowly starts to wind down, several upcoming meetings across the North Country have a lot to offer before the farmers start getting ready for spring planting. For dairy farmers, Cornell’s Pro-Dairy team is bringing the Winter Dairy Management program to Malone on March 7 to present a wide-ranging program that will offer practical ideas from reproduction to lighting to cow comfort. This regional meeting offers an opportunity for local farmers to learn about the latest research and developments in dairy production.

For beef producers, Cornell Beef Specialist Dr. Mike Baker and Carol Gillis of the New York Beef Industry Council will be in Westport on March 12 for our Spring Beef Week meeting. Baker will talk about selection of a bull to improve carcass quality and Gillis will focus on innovative beef marketing to help producers connect with consumers. Attendees will also learn more about the new USDA slaughterhouse planned for Ticonderoga.

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