The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

September 22, 2012

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MARK BOSHNACK
The Daily Star

---- — A variety of problems have caused a shortage in the fall apple crop. In looking at the issues, I discovered some interesting facts about the fruit from the New York Apple Association. The state is the second largest producer of apples in the country. It averages 29.5 million bushels annually.

The apple industry provides tens of thousands of jobs. This includes 10,000 direct jobs on 694 family farms. There are 7,500 indirect jobs involving handling, distribution, marketing and shipping apple exports. There are thousands of other jobs involving such areas as agricultural supplies, financial services and apple processing. On average, 13,250,000 bushels, or 53 percent of the harvest, are used as fresh fruit. The balance is processed, with 38 percent of that total going to juice and cider and 47 percent going into canned products.

A newsletter from the Watershed Agricultural Council had a lot of information about efforts to promote agriculture in the area.

Those who want to be personally involved in the effort to get people to buy locally will have several opportunities. This includes the Sept. 29 Margaretville Cauliflower Festival, where the Pure Catskills Cauliflower Lady will appear. She will also be at the Oct. 6-7 Taste of the Catskills Festival in Delhi.  

Those who stop by will have a chance to have their photos taken and posted to the Pure Catskills Flickr page. They can write reasons to buy from area farmers on the organization’s graffiti board or post on its Facebook  page. Pure Catskills’ goal is it to educate the community about Catskills farms and foods.

The Watershed Agricultural Council’s tagline, “Working Farms + Healthy Forests = Clean Drinking Water” was nominated in the 2012 Getting Attention Nonprofit Tagline Awards out of more than 1,400 taglines worldwide. Residents can help the effort by by Oct. 5 at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/Tagline-Award?utm_source=WAC+eNews+September+2012&utm_campaign=WAC+eNews&utm_medium=email.

Anyone thinking of raising poultry can get some good information at session being held  Oct. 4-6. The Pastured Poultry Workshop is hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Delaware County and Watershed Agricultural Council’s programs. It draws on the expertise of a feed specialist, veterinarian and poultry farmer. Cost is $15 per day or $30 for all three sessions. Register Friday with Cooperative Extension educator Janet Aldrich at (607) 865-6531.

A number of local schools were among the 107 that have submitted teacher and principal Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) evaluation plans, state Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. recently said. This includes the following central schools: Delhi, Gilbertsville-Mount Upton, Hancock, Milford, Morris, Unadilla Valley and Unatego.  

In addition, the state Education Department staff has provided feedback to nearly 200 school districts statewide. The plans were submitted as required under the revised teacher and principal evaluation law passed earlier this year.   

“This is all about improving teaching and learning, and the plans we’ve approved reflect that shared commitment,” King said. “The goal is to ensure every student graduates ready for college and career, and solid APPR plans will help educators help their students reach that goal.”

King noted that the APPR plans are part of the overall Board of Regents Reform Agenda.  The evaluation plans will help target professional development on areas that need the most improvement. Districts must have an approved APPR plan in place by Jan. 17 or they will lose their share of this fiscal year’s education aid increase.  More information can be found at usny.nysed.gov/rttt/teachers-leaders/plans/home.html. 

MARK BOSHNACK can be reached at mboshnack@thedailystar.com or 432-1000, ext. 218