May 27, 2011

Madison County Agriculture Weekly E-Newsletter

May 27, 2011

Newsletter Includes:

Upcoming Events

  • Welcome to the 3rd Annual Fresh! Gala at Monanfran Farm, Canastota
  • Finger Lakes Cheese Trail Open House
  • NOFA-NY Workshop: Safe Produce Harvest and Handling for Organic Producers
  • Summer Workshop Series, NOFA-NY presents: Organic Management and Robotic Milking: Something Old Meets Something New!
  • Nosema Workshop
  • Say Cheese! New York State Cheese Making Then and Now: The Story of the Era When New York State Cheese was King
  • Advanced Cheese Making Class
  • Parasite Management for Goats and Sheep
  • Poultry Processing & Pastured Poultry, with Jim McLaughlin
  • Developing a Farmstead Cheese Operation

In The News


Opportunities & Classifieds

  • Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County is hiring an Agricultural Economic Development Specialist



Welcome to the 3rd Annual Fresh! Gala at Monanfran Farm, Canastota

(MADISON COUNTY, NY) – Madison County’s 4th Annual Buy Local Week begins with the Fresh! Gala on Sunday, July 17, at Monanfran Farm in Canastota, owned by Maurice and Amy Kelsey and family.  The event, a fundraiser that celebrates the diversity and vibrancy of Madison County agriculture, will be held from 2-6 p.m. with local foods and live bluegrass music provided by the Kellish Hill Players.

Monanfran Farm is the perfect venue to showcase not only the history of Madison County dairy farming, but also the recent explosion of farmers who have chosen to bring family farms into the 21st century to ensure the continued viability of local agriculture and offer new products to CNY residents.  The name of Maurice and Amy’s farm is telling:  “Mon” stands for Maurice’s grandfather Monford; “an” pays tribute to his grandmother Annabelle, and “Fran” is for Maurice’s father Francis, all of whom have been running this family farm for over 100 years.

There are only 18 farms in NYS that are certified for the ethical treatment of animals, and Monanfran Farm is the only CNY farm with this certification.  All the cows are pastured, weather permitting, and 95% of their food is grown on the farm.  Maurice said, “I expect anyone who works for me to follow a strict code of conduct in handling my cows.  Trust between farm workers and the cows begin when a calf is first born.  As a result, our cows are very happy, healthy, and productive.”  The Kelsey’s show their registered Holsteins at the World Dairy Expo every year in Madison, Wisconsin, and some of their cows are nominated each year as Reserve All American Holsteins.

This year, the Kelsey’s are also making sweet cream butter, churned the old-fashioned way (as opposed to cultured).  In partnership with four Madison County farm families – the others are: Will and Megan Soden of Journeys Joy Farm in Peterboro; Bruce and Nancy Rivington of Red Gate Farm in Earlville; and Doug and Kathe Evans of Sunny Acres Farm in Georgetown – the Kelsey’s are producing the butter under the label Kriemhild Dairy Farms.  Following three generations of family farmers, the butter is made and packaged at Queensboro in Canastota.  The Kelsey family is the oldest and longest running supplier to Queensboro, also more than 100 years old. 

Kriemhild Dairy Farms was started with 2008/9 grants from NE SARE and the USDA Value Added Producer Grant, which provided the funding for the preliminary planning phases for marketing and production.  The butter, which is a rich golden color because the cows are pastured on grass, will be sold at several locations in Central New York. For more information on where and how to purchase Kriemhild’s Meadow Butter visit

Maurice and Amy are very excited about opening their farm for this year’s 3rd Annual Fresh! Gala, part of the 4th Annual Buy Local Week.  Maurice said, “We’re very proud of our farm and want everyone to see what a modern dairy operation is all about.” 

Dinner at the Fresh! Gala will be prepared by Serendipity Catering with foods supplied by local farms.  Over 2 dozen farms supplied product to last year’s gala feast. Wine, beer, and hard cider will be provided by Owera Vineyards from Cazenovia, Empire Brewing Company of Syracuse, and Critz Farms from Cazenovia along with hops lemonade provided by Foothill Hops of Munnsville and coffee and tea from Shapna

Wagon rides to the dairy barn will offer a first-hand glimpse at the dairy operation and the Kelsey’s prizewinning Holsteins.  A silent auction and raffle will also be included in the festivities.  More than 200 people attended the Fresh! Gala last year.  Tickets for this year’s Gala ($25/person and $45/couple) can be purchased online at . All proceeds will support Buy Local Week and Madison County agriculture.

More information on this year’s 4th Annual Buy Local Week, including maps and directions to farms participating in Open Farm Day on Saturday, July 23, and a list of restaurants participating in Taste of the County from July 18-23 can be found at Don’t forget to follow Madison County Buy Local Week on Facebook and Twitter!

Madison County Agricultural Development is proud to announce this year’s sponsors of Buy Local Week:  Price Chopper Grocery Stores, Cazenovia Equipment, National Grid, Rosamond Gifford Foundation, Gorman Foundation, Central New York Community Foundation, Eastern Carolina-Vail, Farm Credit East, Madison County Farm Bureau, Empire Brewing Company, Owera Vineyards, Critz Farms, Shapna Tea & Coffee, Serendipity Catering, Off the Path Media, Madison County Tourism, Madison County Agricultural Economic Development Program, CNY Bounty, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County.


Finger Lakes Cheese Trail Open House

Saturday, May 28, 10:00am to 5:00pm
various locations in the central Finger Lakes

Join us for the first Finger Lakes Cheese Trail Open House of 2011!   A variety of great cheeses are being made in the Finger Lakes from English style raw milk cheddars, cheese curd, gouda and Swiss types from dairy cow’s milk, to blue cheeses, chevre and feta from goat’s and sheep’s milk.  Many cheese makers are open to the public only on the Open House dates so don’t miss this chance to visit the farms where your favorite local cheeses are made, talk with the farmers, try samples, and bring home some delicious local cheese to enjoy with your friends and family! 

For a list of participating farms, and a map to their locations, visit the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County web site at:

or look for Finger Lakes Cheese Trail on Facebook:


NOFA-NY Workshop: Safe Produce Harvest and Handling for Organic Producers 

Where: Pedersen Farms: 1798 County Road 4, Seneca Castle, NY 14547 (Ontario Co.)
When: Friday, June 3rd from 10am to 12pm

How do GAPs regulations translate onto a large scale diverse organic produce farm? Rick Pedersen will show farmers how he delivers the highest quality organic produce to large wholesalers who have stringent regulations. We’ll see Rick’s farm food safety plan in action as we observe the harvest and post-harvest handling procedures for organic asparagus. Harvest procedures (gloves, daily harvest container washing) and post-harvest handling (gloves/hairnets, trim line, blast washing, packaging, and sanitizing) will be discussed!  

Register for this event online here or call the NOFA-NY office at (585)271-1979 ext 512 (Membership & Registration Coordinator).

FREE for NOFA-NY Members / $15 All Others

Pedersen Farms produces over 400 acres of certified organic vegetables that are sold to wholesalers, processors, grocery stores, and at farmers markets. The farm is a member of Finger Lakes Organics, offers a line of value-added pickle products, and now produces 15 varieties of hops for regional breweries.

This event made possible in part by a grant from USDA Risk Management Agency.


Summer Workshop Series, NOFA-NY presents: Organic Management and Robotic Milking: Something Old Meets Something New!

Friday June 3rd, 10AM-1PM
Willow Creek Farm: 3161 State Route 244, Belmont, NY , Allegany County

Join NOFA-NY and Chuck Deichmann on Willow Creek Farm to see Robotic Milking first hand in an intensive grazing system.  Learn about the process of cow trafficking and what methods the Deichmanns have used in order to achieve optimum intake from grazing.  View robotic milker cow reports and hear how they are used to track individual animals.  Also tour Willow Creek Farms greenhouse barn and their newly renovated calf raising facility and learn about the management of a mob-feeding calf rearing system.

The Deichmann Family began farming at Willow Creek Farm in 1974 with 28 cows and bucket milkers.  In 1995 Chuck and Julia purchased the family farm, building a greenhouse freestall in 2002 and installing their first robotic milker in 2007.  Today they manage 90 cows, 90 replacements and farm close to 800 acres with 2 1/2 employees and the help of their 4 children.

Free to NOFA-NY Members

Non Members $15 per farm/family registration cost includes an individual membership (valued at $40)

Refreshments to be provided

To register visit or call Bethany at 585-271-1979 ext 513

This program is made possible by generous support from Horizon Organic


Say Cheese! New York State Cheese Making Then and Now
The Story of the Era When New York State Cheese was King

An illustrated talk by Milton C. Sernett PhD.

Sunday, June 5, 2011       

2 – 5 p.m.

Smithfield Community Center
5255 Pleasant Valley Road
Peterboro NY 13134-0169

Exhibits, displays, demonstrations, and samples of cheese

Hosted by
Holstein Heritage Squad
Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark
4543 Peterboro Road
Peterboro NY 13134-0006


Nosema Workshop

A workshop on the disease Nosema ceranae will be held at Bicknell Hall, Morrisville State College in Central New York on Thursday, June 9 starting at 9 AM. 


Morning, Room 203


Paul Cappy – Chief Bee Inspector, New York State Apiary Inspection Program – Spread of Nosema ceranae in NYS

Peter Borst – Micro-organisms in honey bees: early discoveries and future prospects

Janet Tam – Ontario Beekeepers Association Technology-Transfer Program – Nosema Monitoring, Integrated Pest Management, and Treatment

Mike Johnston – Cooperating beekeepers cost-share program under Specialty Crop Grant, Can this be used to develop a breeding program for Nosema resistance?


Bee yard visit and sampling protocol

Lab Session – Use of microscopes to detect Nosema spores, Room 102

Cost of this program is $45 per attendee.   For general information, call 315-750-6963.           
For registration information call 315-684-3001 ext 125.

To register, send payment to:           Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County

                                                            Attn: Agricultural Economic Development Program

                                                            P.O. Box 1209

                                                            Morrisville, NY 13408

                                                            Note “Bee Workshop” with payment.

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


Advanced Cheese Making Class

Advanced Cheese Making Class- June 11th from 9 – Noon. Schuyler County Human Services Complex, Montour Falls. This class will teach you how to make a Monterey Jack Style cheese. With a little effort and a lot of fun, you can make your very own preservative free cheeses! Start now and make this a family tradition. Each participant will get a basic cheese making kit that will contain ingredients and recipes to make 8 different types of cheese. The kit makes eight delicious, homemade cheeses: Farmhouse Cheddar, Gouda, Monterey Jack, Feta, Cottage Cheese, Colby, Parmesan and Ricotta. The kit comes with detailed recipes, demystifying all the steps in the cheese making process. CONTENTS: Basket Mold, Vegetable Rennet Tablets, Mesophilic DS Starter, Thermophilic DS Starter, Mini Budget Thermometer, 1/2oz. Calcium Chloride, 1 yd Re-usable Cheesecloth, Recipe Booklet.  

The class will be held from 9am – noon. There is a $50 fee for the class; the fee covers the cheese kit, handouts, and recipes. The fee will cover two people from the same farm/household. To sign up for the class contact Cornell Cooperative Extension at 607-664-2300. Class size is limited, early registration is encouraged.



On Saturday and Sunday, June 11th and 12th, a new family festival will be coming to Bouckville in Madison County!   The event has something for everyone in a peaceful rural setting at Butternut Hill Campground, along scenic Route 20.   Whether you enjoy admiring fine artwork, like to learn new things, enjoy getting up close and personal with all sorts of animals, want to help your children understand where their clothing comes from, enjoy shopping for unique gifts or raw materials for a project, or just relish the thought of a picnic under the trees, the CNY Fiber Artists & Producers’ Showcase will have what you seek.

For dog lovers, there will be a chance to visit an exhibit on dog breeds and talk to young dog owners about their animals.  On Sunday afternoon, the Oneida County 4-H club will put on a dog show.   Anyone raising sheep or goats understands the importance of herding dogs, and the young 4-H competitors will be demonstrating the obedience skills they and their dogs have learned – one of the first steps in training a herding dog.   Herding dogs and guardian dogs will be for sale in one of the vendor tents as well – just two of the special items related to fiber animals and fleece that will be available.

Bouckville has long been a haven for antique lovers, and history buffs will have a chance to see historical crafts in action as members of spinning and weaving guilds from surrounding counties demonstrate crafts that were once practiced in every home.  Come to watch and ask questions, or sign up for one of the workshops available in beginning spinning, rug braiding, basket weaving, or wet felting.  Students will leave the classes with a new drop spindle or an article they’ve made themselves: a historical fruit basket made from locally grown willow, a coaster braided from wool roving, or a beautiful scarf made from wool felted through silk.    Even if you have never tried to make anything, the instructors are sure to bring out the artist hidden within you!

Children will have opportunities to learn and experiment in a tent all their own, filled with materials and equipment for weaving and felting projects, science experiments, art supplies, and activities just for fun.  Parents will want to look over their shoulders as the children examine fibers under a microscope or discover what the down of a baby camel feels like.     There won’t be any camels on hand, but friendly sheep, goats, llamas, rabbits, and alpacas will be ready to greet visitors.   4-H members will provide guided tours of the animal pens, where visitors can learn how to tell an alpaca from a llama and what sort of fibers come only from goats.   Four times each day, professional sheep shearers will show us how it’s done. 

No fiber festival would be complete without vendors, and the new CNY showcase will bring together vendors from all across New York State.   Shoppers will experience a spinner’s or knitter’s paradise, with raw fleece, roving, and hand spun and hand dyed yarns.  Handcrafted knitted, woven, crocheted, or felted articles will be on display.  Handmade jewelry will be offered in several booths, and spindles, spinning wheels, and used looms will also be for sale.   It can’t be too early to consider Christmas gifts for family members – or a gift for yourself!

The festival will run from 10:00 to 5:00 each day.  Admission is $4 for adults; children under 12 are free.  More information is available at and anyone with questions may call 315-899-7792.   Come and celebrate a new family event in Central New York!


Parasite Management for Goats and Sheep

June  18th 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Sweetland Hill Farm, Chenango Forks, N

Cornell Cooperative Extension proudly presents a workshop for Parasite Management for Goats and Sheep on Saturday, June 18th from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.   The workshop will be presented by tatiana Stanton from Cornell University. During the workshop, tatiana Stanton will talk about pasture management practices that help to discourage worms in sheep and goats. She will also discuss how to effectively use fecal sampling and FAMACHA scoring to monitor internal parasite populations during the grazing season.  Participants will get a lot of hands on practice identifying parasite eggs in fecal samples and come up with grazing strategies for their own farms.

The cost of the workshop is $10 per farm! Pre-registration is requested by contacting Carol at 607-584-9966.


Poultry Processing & Pastured Poultry, with Jim McLaughlin

Saturday, June 25, 9:30 – 4:00
$60, meet in the office 

If you want to raise chickens for meat and process them yourself, this workshop is essential.  You will learn:    

  • proper techniques for processing poultry
  • information on health, sanitation and safety issues, and HACCP
  • correct methods for handling, packaging, and storing the poultry
  • equipment necessary for processing poultry  

The price of the workshop includes morning coffee and lunch beverages.   For more information  

Advance registration and payment are required.  Please register by calling 845-265-3338.   Learn more about our workshops   


Developing a Farmstead Cheese Operation

June 29, 2011 from 1:00 – 4:00pm
Yates County Auditorium, Penn Yan, NY.

Interested in selling cheese from your farm? Are you milking a few goats, or a full-fledged dairy farmer wanting to learn how to take the next step? Cornell Cooperative Extension will help with that by hosting an informational workshop for farmers interested in making and selling cheese from the farm. This afternoon workshop will be packed full of experienced and knowledgeable professionals who can help you navigate through the various options and red tape involved in startup farmstead cheese productions. In addition to hearing first hand from local cheese makers and dairy product specialists with NYS Dept. of Ag & Markets, participants will also learn about grants and loans geared for agribusinesses, and what’s needed to apply. This workshop is for anyone interested in starting up a farmstead cheese business (dairy, sheep, or goats). It is geared for novice farmers just starting to gather information. Reservations are required by June 24th and can be made by calling Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County at 315-536-5123.  The cost to attend is $15 per farm. For more information contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates or Steuben Counties (607-664-2300).





New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine today alerted home gardeners and commercial growers of the potential introduction of late blight this growing season.  Late blight is a plant disease that spreads rapidly from plant to plant in wet, cool weather that causes tomato and potato plants, primarily, to wilt and die.

“The exceptionally cool, damp spring we are experiencing throughout New York State this year heightens our concern for late blight,” the Commissioner said.  “We saw the devastation it can do to a tomato crop in 2009, and we have already received reports of early late blight detection in neighboring states.   Therefore, we want to remind our growers of this possible plant disease and alert them of the precautions they can take and how we, as a regulatory agency, are working to protect our plants.”

Last year, the Department initiated a concerted strategy to enhance the State’s detection and eradication efforts that involved training its horticultural inspectors, surveying plants at the retail level and in commercial greenhouses, and working with Cornell Cooperative Extension to conduct outreach and follow up in the field with growers and gardeners.  This year, inspection of tomato plants has been a priority, and to date, more than 150,000 tomato plants have been inspected with no signs of late blight detected.

The Department has also been in regular communication with neighboring states and county Cooperative Extension offices regarding late blight.  Just recently, we learned of two localized outbreaks – one on volunteer tomatoes in a greenhouse in Maine where they had problems with the disease in previous years; and one in a Connecticut greenhouse on potatoes and tomatoes that were likely introduced on the cut seed potatoes.

If late blight is detected in New York, the suspect lot of plants will be subject to quarantine upon initial visible diagnosis by a state horticultural inspector and the product sample will be sent to the Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic at Cornell University for confirmation.  If confirmed with late blight, the plants will be properly disposed of under state supervision and an investigation will be initiated in order to try and locate other possibly infected plants. 

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No New York Horses Known to be Exposed to the Virus; State Vet Offers Guidance

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine today alerted horse owners of an outbreak of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) that is traced to horses that attended the National Cutting Horse Association’s (NCHA) Western National Championships in Ogden, Utah April 30 through May 8, 2011.  At this time, there are no New York horses known to have been exposed to the virus at the Utah show. 

The Department is closely monitoring the situation in the western part of the U.S. and has been in close contact with federal animal health authorities and other states.  Approximately 29 states are believed to have horses that were exposed to EHV-1 at the show.

Equine Herpes virus is commonly found in equine populations worldwide, and can cause respiratory disease, abortion and sometimes neurologic disease.  While EHV-1 is highly contagious among horses, it does not pose a threat to human health.

New York State Veterinarian Dr. David Smith advises horse owners concerned about EHV-1 to contact their veterinarian.  In general, exposed horses should be isolated and have their temperatures monitored twice daily for at least 21 days.  If an exposed horse develops a fever or other signs consistent with EHV-1 infection, diagnostic testing should be performed.  Testing healthy horses is generally not recommended.

As a basic biosecurity measure, all newly purchased horses or horses that return from events should be immediately isolated from other horses for at least three weeks. These horses should be monitored for signs of illness, which could include fever, cough, lack of appetite, nasal or ocular discharge, swelling around the throat or incoordination. It is recommended to take the temperature on these animals twice a day during the isolation period, and have separate equipment. If a fever is recorded, a veterinarian should be called immediately. 

Direct horse-to-horse contact is a common route of transmission of EHV-1, but it can be indirectly transmitted as well. This occurs when infectious materials, such as nasal secretions, are carried between infected and non-infected horses by people or objects such as buckets, grooming tools, tack, etc.

Fever is one of the most common clinical signs, as well as coughing and nasal discharge.  Abortions caused by EHV-1 generally occur after five months of gestation.  Neurologic signs of the virus are highly variable, but affected horses may appear weak and uncoordinated.  Severely affected horses may become unable to rise.  The neurologic form of the disease is sometimes referred to as Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM).  Any horse in New York that exhibits signs consistent with neurologic disease should always be considered as a potential rabies case and therefore, handled with caution. 

New York did have two confirmed cases of EHV-1 in March that was linked to an incident at Cornell’s Equine Hospital in which an infected foal died and a gelding that was exposed and confirmed with the virus is now recovering.

For more information on EHV-1, visit the American Association of Equine Practitioners website or check USDA APHIS’   brochure on the virus. 



Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Farmers Regulatory Relief Act Would Reduce Taxes, Fees and Regulations

ALBANY — Boost agriculture and you boost the economy.

That’s the message New York farmers are trying to convey to Albany as they lobby this spring for passage of the Farmers Regulatory Relief Act, which would help strengthen agriculture by reducing Albany’s excessive taxes, fees and regulations.

“New York’s business climate needs to improve to help our farmers thrive,” said Dean Norton, president of New York Farm Bureau and a dairy farmer in Elba, N.Y.

“Our family farmers are the main economic engine of the rural economy, providing jobs, environmental stewardship and the open vistas that make our state beautiful.”

“At the same time, our farmers are subject to unreasonable regulations, fees, taxes and utilities costs—perhaps more than any other farmer on the globe,” Norton said.

The Farmers Regulatory Relief Act, sponsored by Sen. Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Bill Magee, packages together a series of changes that would help ease the regulatory and fee burden that is unique to farmers in New York.

Farmers will be converging on Albany during the remainder of the legislative session, urging lawmakers to support the bill and get it passed by this summer.

If passed, the Farmers Regulatory Relief Act would help clear the way for New York’s farmers to better compete with farmers in other states and exporting nations.

Highlights of the bill include:

Refundable Investment Tax Credit
A refundable investment tax credit for any on-farm investment after January 1, 2011. This will give young farmers additional capital for investment in businesses.

MTA Exemptions
The MTA tax assesses farms on Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley with millions in costs without any benefit to the farm. The legislation would recognize that farmers receive no benefit from New York City subways running on time. In fact, you will never see a cow on the subway.

Partnership Fee Changes
Filing fees for LLCs or partnerships are currently computed based upon a company’s federal gross income without any allowance for cost of producing products. The proposed bill would reduce the filing fees by including the cost of production.

Winery Reporting Requirement Exemption
The bill would eliminate the massive paperwork requirements that have plagued small farm wineries.

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Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County is hiring an Agricultural Economic Development Specialist

Madison County, New York has an active and progressive Agricultural Economic Development (AED) program, with a mission to maintain, develop, and promote a viable agricultural economy that benefits Madison County. Through the AED program, we aim to enhance the profitability of Madison County farmers by assisting in the identification and development of markets that will diversify and add value to our County’s agricultural product line. Current projects include a dairy processing venture, a local-farm-to-consumer distribution network, the development of a “beverage trail”, the fourth annual “Buy Local Week” and County-wide Open Farm Day, and an Agricultural Revolving Loan Fund for value-added projects.

Position requirements: Master’s degree in agricultural economics, marketing, business management or finance, public policy or related field.  Prefer several years of business experience or professional experience dealing with the public or private sectors of the agriculture industry.

Necessary Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Ability to plan, manage, and implement projects and/or educational programs.
  • Demonstrated ability to: provide leadership, supervision and guidance to a variety of groups and individuals including staff and volunteers; and to lead and participate effectively in professional team efforts.
  • Experience with and knowledge of the challenges facing agriculture locally and in New York State.
  • Demonstrated initiative, reliability, dependability and flexibility.
  • Ability and willingness to work effectively with a variety of groups, agencies and individuals and to establish and maintain networks.
  • Excellent verbal, written and technology communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to secure and administer grants and contracts, and agribusiness loans.
  • Willingness to work a flexible schedule, including evenings and weekends.
  • Must have regular access to transportation and the ability to travel to the extent necessary to fulfill the requirements of the position.

Applications will be reviewed beginning immediately and until an acceptable pool of applicants has been identified. Closing date for resumes is May 13, 2011.

Send letter of intent, resume, and transcripts to PA# 547, Box 26, Kennedy Hall, Cornell U, Ithaca, NY 14853.

**Individuals who bring a diverse perspective and are supportive of diversity are strongly encouraged to apply. EOE.


Cornell Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity employer.