April 21, 2013

Farm briefs: April 21, 2013


---- — Workshop to focus on chickens for beginners

PLATTSBURGH — At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Cornell Cooperative Extension Clinton County is hosting a workshop for anyone interested in raising chickens for pleasure or profit, eggs or meat, from one to 1,000.

Presenters will cover the basics of chicken husbandry, housing, nutrition and related topics. The workshop has a $5 registration fee. It is located at the Extension office, 6064 Route 22, in Plattsburgh.

Attendees are asked to pre-register by calling 561-7450 or email


Seminars titled Farming in the Basin to be offered

PERU — Cornell Cooperative Extension along with the Lake Champlain Basin Program will be holding a series of free, on-farm meetings this summer to focus on cover crops, double cropping, precision agriculture and other lake-friendly farming practices.

The first meeting will be held Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Dimock Farm in Peru. Dimock Farms has been a long-time participant in conservation programs and have implemented many best-management practices to reduce nutrient, toxin and pathogen runoff into Lake Champlain. They currently use winter rye as both a cover crop and spring forage crop on about 50 acres of crop land.

The main topic will be Winter Rye as Spring Forage. Anyone who’s running short of feed can learn how cereal rye can supplement a spring forage shortage.

Registration is appreciated, but not required. To register or get directions, contact Peter Hagar at 561-7450.


Farmers eligible for special rate at festival

MALONE — The Malone Chamber of Commerce is offering farmers a special table rate of $10 to participate in the Independence Day Festival celebration.

The parade will end up at the Arsenal Green park in downtown Malone. The chamber would like to invite everyone to the Family Fun Festival Saturday, July 6. The parade will be at 10 a.m., the festival in Arsenal Green is from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The festival will feature craft vendors, info tables, games, food, entertainment and fun. The cost is $10 for chamber members and $20 for non-members. This will secure a 10-by-10-ft. space; bring your own tables and pop-up tents. There is no charge to participate in the parade.

Anyone who would like to participate in the parade or the festival may call Debbie at 521-3133 or Tima at 529-6157. Callers may leave a message. Responses must be received by Saturday, June 22.

The first Concert in the Park will follow festival at 7 p.m.



Local Food Guide being updated by Extension

MALONE — Last year, Cornell Cooperative Extension produced the fourth Local Food Guide for Franklin County, which listed farmers’ markets, roadside stands, CSAs and u-pick operations. They are now getting ready to update the Food Guide for 2013.

This reason this publication has been created is to help increase sales, customer bases and the ability of consumers to find local foods throughout the area. Local food has become a popular concept and Extension wants to help growers take advantage of the fact that it is in the news and the public consciousness.

Anyone who would like to be listed in the 2013 guide should complete a form and return it to Karen Armstrong (by email, regular mail or in person) before May 1. The form can be found on CCE Franklin’s Facebook page, CCE Franklin’s website, at the office or by contacting Armstrong at 483-7403.



Owens applauds ag worker inclusion in immigration bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This past week, members of the U.S. Senate introduced the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, a bipartisan immigration bill closely watched by agricultural interests across New York.

Rep. Bill Owens, who called for the inclusion of a farm-labor provision in the run up to the bill, applauded the effort and said he was pleased to see that farm labor was given full consideration.

“This legislation acknowledges the needs of dairy farmers, apple growers and others across the state that depend on immigrant labor to succeed and grow their operations,” he said. “I look forward to further reviewing this comprehensive legislation and will continue to advocate for a strong farm labor component as part of the final bill.”

According to a summary of the legislation released this week, a new agricultural guest worker visa program would be established as part of the bill. A portable, at-will employment based “W-3” visa and a contract-based “W-2” visa would replace the current H-2A program. It will provide growers with a streamlined process to petition for help and sunset the current H-2A program as the new guest-worker program comes online.