Event Details


October 3 - October 4, 2014


Fri 1 pm -5:30 pm, Sat 7:45 am - 6 pm


Cornell Sheep Farm, Harford, NY and Cornell University, Morrison Hall, Ithaca, NY
Harford and Ithaca, NY


South Central New York Dairy and Field Crops

2014 Cornell Sheep & Goat Symposium

October 3 - October 4, 2014

The hands-on activities Friday will start with a tour of the Cornell Sheep Farm and explanation of ongoing research and management. Dr. Mary Smith, DVM, will conduct a necropsy demonstration covering goat and sheep anatomy and what to look for to determine an animal's cause of death. She'll demonstrate proper tubing techniques on newborns and the results of improper tubing.

Afterward, there will be two hands-on sessions to give goat and sheep owners an opportunity to brush up on their herd management skills. We'll primarily work with sheep but will have a few goats available to practice on as well. Experienced farmers can opt to spend the first session participating in a hands-on field necropsy workshop with Dr. Mary Smith. Participation in the field necropsy workshop is limited to one member per farm. Advance sign up is required and space is limited.

The Saturday sessions will be in Morrison Hall on the Cornell Campus, Ithaca, NY. Dr. Dave Thomas from the University of Wisconsin, Madison will give the opening talk on sheep dairying in North America. He will also give a later talk on dairy sheep research at the Univ. of Wisconsin. Much of their research on the effects of day length, different types of supplementation, and increasing percentages of legumes versus grasses on milk production in pastured ewes also has implications for dairy goat and meat goat/sheep production.

Representatives from the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services will discuss livestock husbandry practices to reduce coyote predation as well as integrated direct control programs adopted in other states experiencing severe coyote predation problems. Other activities at the Symposium include a FAMACHA certification workshop with lecturers from throughout the U.S. including Dr. Dwight Bowman, Cornell, Dr. Katherine Petersson, Univ. Rhode Island and Dr. Anne Zajac, DVM, Virginia Tech. A panel of farmers and grazing specialists will relate their experiences using brassicas, small grains and pasture renovation to expand the grazing capacity of their sheep and goat farms. Dr. James Kotcon from West Virginia University will lead a workshop on pasture management for organic goat and sheep production. He will discuss evasive grazing techniques used to successfully control parasites in the sheep flock at the WVU Organic Research Farm and also cover organic weed control and research at WVU on immune system response to parasites in small ruminants. We are honored to have Rene DeLeeuw, manager of Vermont Creamery?s Demonstration Goat Dairy and one of the most experienced managers of commercial dairy goat herds in the U.S., talk on best practices for successful goat dairy management. Our speakers also include several Cornell students discussing their work with Fibersheds, out of season breeding, and the biology of maternal behavior in small ruminants.

For those of you needing lodging, we have blocked rooms at the Ramada Inn (607-257-3100, $99.95/night plus tax, reservations by Sept 12th) for Friday and/or Saturday nights. Please specify that you are reserving rooms as part of the "Sheep Goat Symposium" in order to get this reduced group rate. The Ramada Inn is located at 2310 N. Triphammer Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850. Additional options for lodging in Ithaca can be found at: http://www.visitithaca.com/lodging/search.cfm . Keep in mind that weekend rental cabins and tent camping are still available in the Ithaca area in early October. Phone numbers for these campgrounds are available at http://www.visitithaca.com/camping/browse, however, the availability function is not working on that web site so you will need to contact the private and town owned campgrounds directly to make reservations. Reservations for cabins and tent sites at the State Park Campgrounds (Treman, Buttermilk and Taughannack) need to be made through Reserve America at 1-800-456-2267 or http://www.reserveamerica.com/ . You can also check out hotels in Cortland, NY.

Go to http://www.sheep.cornell.edu (click on 2014 Symposium) to obtain the complete program and registration information. Online registration for credit cards is available. Please contact Barbara Jones, 607-255-7712 or bjj6@cornell.edu with any questions.

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Upcoming Events

Cornell Seed Growers Field Day

July 2, 2024 : Cornell Seed Growers Field Day
Ithaca, NY

Save the Date!

North American Manure Expo

July 17 - July 18, 2024 : North American Manure Expo
Auburn, NY

Save the Date for the North American Manure Expo

Professionalism in Nutrient Management - www.manureexpo.com

Sundaes on the Farm

July 21, 2024
Spencer, NY

Learn about Tioga County Agriculture! IFree Admission! Enjoy Ice Cream, Animals and Farm Tours, Kid's Activities, Food, Live Music, and Farm Vendors. 


Farm Participants Needed for Bale Grazing Grant!

Information on the Project:  
  • Approximately 10 acres total needed to bale graze two different bale densities
  • "Core" farms will graze two winters, "Demo" farms will graze one winter.
  • Payments for both "Core" farms and "Demo" farms
  • Baseline soil sampling by bale grazing team
  • Forage measurements in early season by bale grazing team
  • Late season clipping if residual not trampled down by farm
Interested farms can enroll for this winter or next.

Looking for 2-3 dairy farms to enroll! If interested, please reach out to Betsy Hicks, 607.391.2673 or bjh246@cornell.edu 

Cornell Cow Convos - New Podcast

On-going podcast, New episodes released on the last Thursday of the month.
Guest speakers, CCE Dairy Specialists.

Housed on Soundcloud Channel is CCE Dairy Educators

  • Preventative healthcare for cows
  • The trend of beef on dairy
  • What to look forward to in the new year for dairy
  • Socially grouping or pair-housing calves

Dairy Acceleration Program Funds Available

Funds available for the
  • organization of financial records/benchmarking up to $1,000
  • continued business planning (for farms awarded in a previous year) up to $2,500
  • business planning up to $5,000
Guidelines remain the same DAP covers 80% of the cost up to the value of the award and the farm is responsible for 20%.  Visit https://prodairy.cals.cornell.edu/dairy-acceleration/

2018 Drug Residue Prevention Manual

For more than 30 years, the U.S. dairy industry has focused educational efforts on the judicious use of antibiotics through the annual publication of a Best Practices Manual. The 2018 edition of the National Dairy FARM Program: Farmers Assuring Responsible Management? Milk and Dairy Beef Drug Residue Prevention Manual is the primary educational tool for dairy farm managers throughout the country on the judicious and responsible use of antibiotics, including avoidance of drug residues in milk and meat.

The manual is a quick resource to review those antibiotics approved for dairy animals and can also be used as an educational tool and resource for farm managers as they develop on-farm best management practices necessary to avoid milk and meat residues. Visit the Manual and Form Library to download copies of this important tool!

Follow us on Facebook

The team updates our facebook page frequently - follow us to be updated on our events, see some fun videos and get local area updates!


ProDairy Forage Management

Are you prepared to change your routine this spring?

By: Joe Lawrence, Cornell CALS PRO-DAIRY and Ron Kuck, Cornell Cooperative Extension North Country Regional Ag Team

While spring tasks vary by farm, there are many "rites of spring," and they are often completed in a fairly rigid sequence. Depending on the farm, these often include fixing fence, spreading manure, planting new seedings, planting corn and harvesting first cutting, and are often performed in this order.

We are optimistic that the upcoming turn in weather will allow these task to be accomplished in a timely manner, but at this point it is time to ask yourself: Are you willing to change your spring routine?

In addition to adverse weather it is no secret that everyone is facing extremely tight economic times, and dealing with forage inventories of poor digestibility forages from 2017. This combination of factors makes it more critical than ever to be ready to tackle the task that will have the most impact on your business at the proper time.

Recent reference articles on dealing with tough times:
• Key Opportunities to Optimize 2018 Crop Production Efficiency
• Resources for Dealing with Spring Weather Delays
First Cutting
The number one focus should be on timely harvest of first cutting.
• Park the corn planter when a field of first cutting is ready for harvest.
o Monitoring 1st cut harvest timing
• Approach harvest by the acre, not by the field. Be ready to skip over a field that has passed its optimum harvest stage.
o Dynamic Harvest Schedules
• Strategically plan feed storage to best utilize forage inventories for the right group of animals.
o Strategic Forage Storage Planning
o When More is Better
Corn Planting
The window for planting for silage is generally wider than for grain, which is why first cutting can and should take priority over corn planting. However, in the event of extreme delays in planting corn, performance will diminish with late plantings. If corn planting progresses into late May or early June, begin to consider alternative options for those acres. Previous research from Cornell and Penn State suggest a 0.5 to 1 ton/acre per week decline in silage yield for planting after mid to late May.

First and foremost during a time of year that can be very busy and stressful, taking every precaution to keep your team safe is critical.

The idea of fitting all of this work into a condensed time period, and still getting key tasks completed before critical deadlines can seem impossible, but year after year many find unique ways to get it all done. Consider working with neighbors, custom operators or renting equipment to accomplish these key tasks on time.

If you currently utilize custom operators, now is a good time to set up a time to meet with them and make sure you are on the same page to get tasks accomplished in the time-frame needed. Make sure that your expectations and goals are clearly defined. They will also be under stress to fit their work into a condensed period and meet their customers' expectations, so defining expectations and pre-planning how to most efficiently get the work accomplished when the custom operator arrives can go a long way to increase the chances for success.

NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program

NYSERDA offers energy audits to help eligible farms and on-farm producers identify ways to save energy and money on utility bills. Reports include recommendations for energy efficiency measures.

Eligible farms include but are not limited to dairies, orchards, greenhouses, vegetables, vineyards, grain dryers, and poultry/egg. The farms must also be customers of New York State investor-owned utilities and contribute to the System Benefits Charge (SBC). Please check your farmís current utility bills to see if your farm pays the SBC.

Energy Audit Options
You can request the level of energy audit that best fits your farmís needs. NYSERDA will assign a Flexible Technical Assistance Program Consultant to visit your farm and perform an energy audit at no cost to you.

For more information and the NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program Application click here