SUNY Cobleskill Ag & Energy Day Set for March 5

March 5, 2011

SUNY Cobleskill’s School of Agriculture and Natural Resources is partnering with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie County to host the annual Agriculture and Energy Day on Saturday, March 5. The event will be held in the College’s new Center for Environmental Science and Technology, adjacent to the Dairy Complex, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, SUNY Cobleskill faculty, farm and industry experts will present informational workshops for aspiring, new and experienced farm producers and land owners. Admission is $10 per person, $15 per couple and includes refreshments and workshop materials. SUNY Cobleskill students with student ID may attend for free. Pizza will be available for purchase by the slice, with the proceeds to benefit students of the SUNY Cobleskill Pre-Vet Club.

Space is limited; pre-registration is required. To register, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie County at 518-234-4303, 518-296-8310, or visit www.cce.schoharie.cornell.edu for details.

This year’s agricultural topics will focus on field restoration, forage quality, testing, analysis, and feeding, followed by an afternoon of poultry programming. Kevin Ganoe, Field Crop Specialist, of Cornell University’s Central New York Dairy & Field Crops team will present a popular spring season topic “Field Restoration: Return Your Idle and/or Weedy Fields to Production.” Ganoe then will team up with Dr. Cindi Shelley, associate professor of Animal Science at SUNY Cobleskill, to discuss forage quality, forage analysis, sampling procedures, data interpretation and feeding.

For backyard and small enterprising poultry producers, Judy Pangman from Sweet Tree Farm in Carlisle, N.Y. and author of Chicken Coops: 45 Building Plans for Housing Your Stock, will present “Poultry 101: From Brooding Until the Chicks are Ready to Leave the Brood-house; The Basics of Poultry Production.” Later, Poultry 201 covers what to do with the birds once they are ready to leave the brooding facilities, (e.g. raising egg layers and pastured meat birds), with an emphasis on raising chickens naturally and free-range. Energy topics include a renewed look at farm energy audits and remedial incentives, solar and geothermal energy opportunities for greenhouses and high tunnels. Mark De Chiro, Capital Saratoga Energy $mart Coordinator, New York State Energy Research & Development Association, will discuss in both a morning and an afternoon session the new logistics for farm energy audits and enhanced implementation cost-share incentives.

Scott Rakowski of Adirondack Solar in Albany, N.Y., will present “Farm Grants Pay for Solar Electricity,” explaining that it is a rewarding time for farmers to get in the solar industry with green incentives and grants for purchasing solar that are providing a chance for the farming community to realize true electricity savings.

At noon, Dr. John Kowal, director of the Center of Environmental Science and Technology (CEST), will lead a special presentation and tour of the new CEST facility, home to the Biowaste-to-Bioenergy research project that utilizes a rotary kiln gasification process.

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