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March 13, 2012

Schoharie and Otsego CCE, SUNY Cobleskill to host Ag Day 2012


Daily Star

---- — Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties and the State University College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill's School of Agriculture & Natural Resources will host Ag Day 2012 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 24.

The event will be held at Curtis Mott Hall on the SUNY Cobleskill campus. Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and SUNY Cobleskill faculty will present informational workshops with a focus on livestock and field crops for aspiring, new and experienced farm producers and land owners.

Admission is $5 per person for the morning sessions, which includes refreshments, workshop materials and youth activity center. A three-hour afternoon session is free. Lunch will not be provided. Preregistration is required. To register or for more information, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at (518) 234-4303 or (518) 296-8310, or visit www.cce.schoharie.cornell.edu or www.cobleskill.edu for details.

This year, topics will focus on soil fertility, hops production, multi-species grazing, cross breeding of cattle, and a comprehensive look at CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, as a healthy fatty acid in meats.

New this year is the Youth Activity Center, providing hands-on poultry education from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., led by Eileen McGuire, 4H Youth Development Program Leader, and Leslie Rigley, 4-H community educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie County.

Kevin Ganoe, field crop specialist from the Central NY Dairy & Field Crops Team, will present "Soil Fertility Basics _ A Beginner's Guide," providing help for field crop producers to better understand the basics of soil fertility, soil testing, pH, developing a nutrient plan for crop production and utilizing fertilizers and manure.

Steve Miller, senior resource educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension Madison County and NY Hop Alliance Program educator, will present an "Introduction to Hops Production" for those considering growing hops for the micro-brewery industry.

Meghan Filbert, WAP Dairy/Livestock educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension Delaware County, will discuss "Multi-Species Grazing," which will show the benefits to pasture and animals by grazing sheep, goats and cattle together, including pasture control and parasite management.

Tyler Galloway, instructor of livestock and animal science at SUNY Cobleskill, will present the "Benefits of Cross Breeding Cattle," highlighting the advantages of heterosis (or cross breeding) and how it can add value to producers' bottom line.

An special afternoon session, CLA Education, is part of a series of SUNY Cobleskill educational workshops for small scale livestock producers and is made possible with a grant from the New York Farm Viability Institute.

Running from 1 to 4 p.m., this comprehensive session is presented by Erik Shelley, SUNY Cobleskill Meat Processing Laboratory Manager/Instructor; Clint Layne, program coordinator with SUNY Cobleskill Meat Processing Laboratory; and Dr. Cindi Shelley, professor of Animal Science at SUNY Cobleskill; and will feature guest speaker Dr. John Comerford, associate professor of dairy and animal science at Penn State University. They will address what is conjugated linoleic acid and how animal feeding impacts the levels found in meats. CLA testing will be conducted on a limited number of animals processed through the SUNY Cobleskill meat lab from producers who are involved with this program and will share results. Comerford will speak about his findings on CLA's and other livestock topics.