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December 29, 2010

Dairy, Livestock and Grazing Conference to be in Delhi

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County and the Watershed Agricultural Council will host the 2011 Catskill Regional Dairy, Livestock and Grazing Conference.

It will be held from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 13 at Sanford Hall on the State University College of Technology at Delhi campus. The fee is $25 and includes handouts and a local-foods lunch. Registration will begin at 9:45 a.m.

At 10 a.m., Richard Peterson of Northeast Agriculture Technology Corp. will present a pre-conference session on Saving Energy on the farm. Richard will also bring information on new NYSERDA cost-share programs.

The conference will have three tracks: Dairy, Livestock and Grazing. Attendees can choose to attend the topics of their choice.

"Growing and Using Grain on the Farm" will feature a panel discussion with local farmers who have been producing and using grain on their farms in an effort to control feed costs.

Dr. Robert Scrafford will discuss "Animal Health and Well-Being" and time will be spent discussing vaccinations for dairy cattle. This topic will be offered in the Dairy and Livestock tracks.

"Dairy Cow Comfort" will be a panel discussion with slides featuring three producers who have implemented the Canadian system. Rob Howland from Candor, the first farm in New York state to implement this system, has seen dramatic results in production and longevity.

Dr. Michael Baker, Beef Cattle Extension Specialist at Cornell University, will discuss winter feeding research trials with grass-fed beef conducted on"'farm and at the Cornell Beef Research Center.

Jason R. Evans, assistant professor of Agricultural Business Management at SUNY Cobleskill, will discuss current research on the market for grass-fed beef and will focus on a recently completed in-store experimental auction analysis.

Dan Flaherty, Small Farms coordinator with WAC; Dan Vredenburgh, Whole Farm planner with the WAC, and Dale Dewing, Watershed Extension team leader, will present information for those new to grazing or who want a refresher on the foundational concepts of Prescribed Grazing.

Karen Hoffman of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will discuss how heifers and other young animals have different physical needs and nutritional requirements than mature animals. She will address management techniques to assure these young animals reach their full potential in the flock or herd.

Rob DeClue of the Chenango County Soil and Water Conservation District will show how effective fencing systems are at the heart of an effective grazing system and will discuss selecting an energizer for a fence and troubleshooting fence problems.

The lunchtime guest speaker will be Jim Mullen, well-known author and humorist, who moved to Delaware County after being a weekender on West Platner Brook Road in Delhi. His experiences living in a dairy community are told in "It Takes a Village Idiot." Mullen was a columnist for Entertainment Weekly and now writes for The Evening Sun.

Those wishing to attend need to register by Jan. 3 by calling Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County at 865-6531 and sending the $25 conference fee to Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County, P.O. Box 184, Hamden, NY 13782. More information and a registration form may be found at or

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