November 24th, 2014. 10:30am to 2:00pm. Taking Stock for New York Agriculture. Meeting Room Six, Empire State Plaza, Convention Center, Albany, New York. Join the New York Farm Viability Institute and others in NY’s agricultural leadership to learn how NYFVI and agriculture are measuring up for New York State. Presentation topics include Challenges and Opportunities in New York Agriculture, Biological Control, Cooperatively Building a Route to Market, Improving Communications to Stabilize the Labor Force, and many more. Register here.

December 2, 2014. Best Management Practices for New High Tunnel Growers.  Civil Defense Center, 7220 State Route 54, Bath, NY. This program is targeted for commercial growers new to high tunnels but all who are interested in improving their crop yield, quality, and profitability by using high tunnels are welcome. Topics include site selection & structural considerations, crop & variety selection, cultural management, disease management, and an experienced grower panel. NRCS cooperating farms are particularly encouraged to attend. Speakers will include Judson Reid, specialist with Cornell Vegetable Program; Amy Ivy, Specialist with Eastern New York Horticulture Program; and Elizabeth Buck of the Cornell Vegetable Program. Registration is due by November 25, 2014. Cost is $25/person and includes lunch, refreshments and resource materials. To register online with a credit card visit, or call Stephanie Mehlenbacher at 607-583-3240.

December 2-3, 2014. Food Safety Systems for Artisan Food Processors Short Course. NYS Ag & Markets offices in Albany. Cornell University’s Department of Food Science in association with NY State Agriculture & Markets is pleased to offer this short course, instructed by Dairy Extension staff  and representatives from NYS Agriculture & Markets and Wegmans. The course is designed to provide a hands-on, practical approach to developing food safety systems for your operation. You will be provided pre- reading materials to help prepare for the class. Basic HACCP principles and pre-requisite programs will be covered.  Full course details may be found in the course announcement and program.

December 6, 2014. 8:00am to 5:00pm. Cornell Hops Conference. Morrisville State College in Morrisville, NY. This is a great educational & networking opportunity to meet with brewers, educators, growers, and prospective growers. The conference will contain one full day session of hop-related topics and there will be two additional separate tracks: A) Growing hops for beginners and B) Brewing. During the conference there will be a hops evaluation and sale. Find more information here and register at

December 9, 2014. 2014 Agribusiness Economic Outlook Conference. Warren Hall, Cornell University. New York agricultural leaders— including industry leaders, agribusiness professionals, policymakers, educators, and farm managers— will learn about the short-and long-term outlook for agriculture and agricultural products. Breakout sessions concentrate on dairy, grains and feed, and horticultural products. By attending you will better understand critical issues facing agriculture in New York and the Northeast, learn about the near-term outlook for major New York commodities, and interact with fellow leaders of the vibrant New York agricultural industry. More information and registration.

December 10-11, 2014. Calf & Heifer Congress 2014 – Birth to Breeding. RIT Inn and Conference Center outside of Rochester, NY located off Exit 46 of the New York State Thruway.  Presented by Cornell University Extension and the Cornell PRO-DAIRY Program, the conference will go beyond the management of the young calf this year. The timeline will extend from the calving event to breeding age. We have worked to incorporate expanded knowledge on common practices as well as venture into what research might tell us where replacement rearing and associated economics are going down the road. The format will be similar to previous years.  A pre-conference evening dinner/presentation/panel discussion dedicated to automated or robotic calf feeder systems on December 10th will be followed by a full day of presentations and discussions on the 11th. To register on-line go to

December 20, 2014. Maple Confection Workshop. Arkport American Legion. The Cornell Maple Program is featuring maple confections trainings conducted by Stephen Childs. The workshop will feature training and hands-on experience in making maple confections, in particular maple sugar, maple cream, molded maple sugar and crystal coating.  The participants will be trained in using the diabetic glucose meter to measure invert sugar in maple syrup, how to properly blend syrups to a desired level of invert sugar and the factors that control crystal size in maple confections.  The program will also focus on the machinery and techniques that can improve a producer’s time efficiency when making these value added products. These workshops will be suitable for very experienced as well as novice confection-makers.  Each participating maple farm will receive a New York State Maple Confections Notebook.  Each participant will need to bring one quart of syrup to be used in the program. Cost is $10 per person. Contact: Stephanie Mehlenbacher, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County, 3 East Pulteney Square, Bath, NY 14810, 607-583-3240 or

January 23 to 25, 2015. NOFA-NY’s 33rd Annual Organic Farming & Gardening Conference. Saratoga Springs Hilton: 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866. The theme for the conference is “Soil: The Root of the Movement,” and to highlight the importance of soil we are excited that Wes Jackson, founder and President of the Land Institute will be the keynote speaker. The work of the Land Institute is to address the issues of soil loss and degradation, ecosystem destruction, and high energy use associated with agriculture. Our 2015 NOFA-NY Farmers of the Year are Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens. Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens farm 1400 acres of organic corn, soybeans, small grains (wheat, spelt, barley, oats, triticale, heritage grains), dark red kidney beans, and edamame soybeans. They have been farming organically since 1993. Additionally, they own and operate Lakeview Organic Grain, an organic feed and seed business serving the needs of Northeast organic farmers. Find more information and register here.

February 19-21, 2014. Farmers Market Manager Training Conference. Ramada Inn in Liverpool. The conference will focus on farmers markets and building programs and services that maintain connections with the market farmers, consumers, and host communities. Our keynote speakers, Gretchen Wall of the Produce Safety Alliance and John Luker, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, will discuss food safety, specifically the Food Safety Modernization Act and current food safety regulations. An evening banquet features Chris Fowler of Syracuse First, talking about building and supporting a local food scene. Each session of the conference builds on the overall theme of maintaining community connections and is designed to help market managers improve their ability to manage their market, advance their market’s potential for long-term sustainability, and promote a marketplace that achieves a mission of supporting local farmers. Get more information at

Various dates this winter. Winter Webinars on Agricultural Law. Online. This winter, Farm Commons is hosting an incredible lineup of 14 webinars on farm law. Farmers new to legal education should check the 8 webinars in their “Farm Law Basics” series. Those who are already familiar with how the law affects their farm operation can dig into the details through the “Advanced Farm Law” series. Each webinar will provide lots of time for questions, input from farmers themselves, and true stories about folks who have been there. Go to to view the lineup and to register.

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