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Testimonials

Dairy Food Processing

"I commend CCE's effort to aid and assist the rapidly growing dairy products production in our area. The continued rapid growth in our business, along with continued growth of established dairy businesses, and the opening of new yogurt operations has severely drained the pool of prospective, qualified plant workers. Without CCE's efforts, in conjunction with Genesee Community College, we would have little hope of filling the void. The jobs created by growth in this area require specialized training which previously was not available locally. Through the efforts of the Harvest New York staff, we have begun building a skilled pool of prospective employees from which many local companies can draw, fueling continued growth. The HNY Dairy Processing Specialist also helped us connect with the right resources to solve some of the more difficult problems involved in making our cheeses."
--Brian Bailey, Vice President of Operations, Yancey's Fancy, Inc., Corfu, NY



Local Foods Distribution

"Quite frankly, we wouldn't be where we are today without the help of the Harvest New York Local Foods Distribution Specialist. She was invaluable in helping us to identify funding sources and write grant proposals, resulting in a $175,000 award to conduct a feasibility study and full business plan for a food hub in Western New York. Food hubs are designed to serve a community's greatest needs and can take many forms. This is a planning project that will be based on deep analysis of what growers and buyers need. We would not have gotten the amount of funding we did in such a short time without the help of the HNY specialist, who is a fantastic partner and gave us the "oomph" to get things moving. We have long needed a resource and sounding board like this in our area. Also, the regional nature of the position provides growers in the area with a broader perspective on supply and demand."
--Lisa Tucker, Executive Director, Field and Fork Network, Williamsville, NY



Farm Strategic Management

"Nice work [on farmstead planning information provided to a Dairy Farm Advisory Committee in the Southern Tier]. Glad you're on the [farm advisory] team. I think your work has prevented us from making a big mistake on facility placement."
--Bruce Dehm, Dehm Associates, LLC, Geneseo, NY





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Announcements

New Ag Climate Factsheet Released

The intersection of agricultural production and greenhouse gases is gathering increasing attention. This is an opportune time to consider how vegetable production interacts with carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions, and how using cover crops may alter this picture.

The factsheet, Greenhouse Gases and Soil Organic Carbon in Vegetable Production and the Role of Cover Crops, written by Zach Spangler, Ag Climate Resiliency Specialist with CCE Harvest NY, and Elizabeth Buck, Fresh Market Vegetable Specialist, CCE Cornell Vegetable Program, discusses:
  • Sequestration of atmospheric carbon in agricultural soils as soil organic carbon (SOC). Is vegetable production impacting SOC?
  • Net greenhouse gas emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4) from the soil.
  • Impact of cover crops on soil organic carbon, nitrous oxide emissions, and other GHG emissions.


The NY Food Hub Collaborative Takes Root!

Cornell Cooperative Extension has received a USDA Regional Food Systems Partnership Planning and Development grant for the NY Food Hub Collaborative. This is a 2-year project.

The NY Food Hub Collaborative brings together 29 local food system stakeholders representing 21 organizations to realize the long-term goal of improving the economic viability of mid-tier value chain partners targeting local markets by improving efficiencies, maximizing profits, and increasing demand for NY food products. Three objectives guide the project tea toward that goal:

1. Establish a Collaborative of interdependent food hubs designed to work collaboratively to efficiently, affordably, and effectively market NY food products to institutional markets.

2. Identify the potential for small, mid-size, and socially disadvantaged producers to be competitive in state agency and institutional contracts.

3. Develop strategic business relationships between mid-tier value chain partners including food hubs, producers, processors, distributors, and markets that emphasize organizational interdependence, trust, and transparency and equitably distribute responsibilities and rewards.

Objectives will be met through strategic planning amongst Collaborative partners, virtual field trips to learn best practices from national partners, business-to-business development opportunities, producer and market partner training, and a series of outputs. Outputs include an interactive local food system asset map, a procurement guide on selling NY food products to various institutional markets, an analysis of existing procurement policies across institutions and recommendations for improvement, market analyses of key institutional market partners, a NY Collaborative product guide, and an implementation plan that provides a framework to operationalize the NY Food Hub Collaborative.

Project Partners:

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Harvest NY
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome, Oneida, Essex, and Saratoga Counties
  • Farm Fare
  • Syracuse University
  • Upstate Growers & Packers
  • Eden Valley Growers
  • Capital Roots
  • Farm Fresh First
  • 607CSA
  • Hub on the Hill
  • Headwater Food Hub
  • Syracuse Onondaga Food Systems Alliance
  • Hudson Valley Agribusiness Development Corp.
  • Center for Agriculture Development and Entrepreneurship
  • NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets
  • Buffalo City School District
  • Syracuse City School District
  • NYC Citywide Administrative Services
Additional project partners will be identified as the project takes root. If you're interested in learning more or getting involved, please reach out to Project Director, Cheryl Bilinski, cbt32@cornell.edu.