Interested in how small dairy farms are improving profitability, sustainability and quality of life? Then you may want to catch an upcoming idea-generating on-farm field days set for this summer across New York State.
Hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program, educators and dairy producers are teaming up to share ideas on everything from incorporating new value-added products to improving nutrition to producing on-farm biodiesel. These dairies vary in location, but share a common size. Each milks 35 to 75 head.
The first one, for example, was held last week at John and Tammy Stoltzfus' Be-A-Blessing Organic Dairy, Whitesville, N.Y., explored how the Stoltzfus family uses sprouted barley fodder to increase feed nutritional benefits. For more details on the concept, contact Fay Benson at 607-745-3807 or email him at [email protected].
The field day series listed below is free and open to all. Pre-registering is requested by contacting the educator listed.
- On June 20, Aaron and Calib Snow of Snofarm Dairy, Brooktondale, N.Y., will share their cheese-making experience. This third-generation Tompkins County farm at 644 Buffalo Road is producing cheese from a small percentage of their 35-cow milking herd to sell locally. The afternoon program, from 1 to 3 p.m., will consist of field, barn, and cheese making facility tours and discussion. To register, contact Monika Roth, 607-272-2292, [email protected].
- On June 30, Lowell "Jim" Davenport of Tollgate Holsteins, 136 Fox Hill Road, Ancramdale, N.Y., in the Hudson Valley will share how the farm produces high-quality milk from 60 cows with average somatic cell count less than 100,000. The program runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tollgate milk is marketed under the Hudson Valley Fresh label
- Davenport has developed a system to consistently produce high-forage dairy diets. To register, contact Stephen Hadcock, 518-380-1497, [email protected].
- On July 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Cortland County's Scheffler's Farm will host an on-farm energy production session at 643 Cobb Street, Groton N.Y. Ed and Eileen Scheffler purchased an oilseed press via an Organic Valley project. They'll talk about how their plans have evolved. John Stoker, an organic dairy farmer from Cazenovia, N.Y., will talk about pressing oilseeds for human consumption. And, Matt Dedrick, a crop farmer form Lansing, N.Y., will bring his homemade grass pellet maker for demonstration. To register, contact Benson, 607-745-3807, [email protected]