Event Details


August 19, 2014


10:30am - 3:00pm


This event is free.


Central New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

Open House / Drive Yourself Tour

August 19, 2014

While most people would love to see the countryside dotted with lots of small dairy farms that we were accustomed to seeing years ago, the trend towards fewer but larger dairy farms that has been ongoing continues today. Many factors have contributed to this trend. 

Smaller herds have historically been housed in tie-stall barns, while farms with larger herds have invested in free stall housing along with a milking parlor for the increased labor efficiency. (Full Time Equivalent = 55 hrs/week) Making the transition from tie-stall to a free stall/parlor can be difficult. It's not a change for everyone. However, for many smaller dairy farms to continue operation by the next generation, additional income is frequently needed. Often times the value of the farm makes up a substantial portion of the older generation's retirement. To buy the farm and to have their own income, this most often means that the farm needs to grow in size. 

To highlight how others have made this change work for them, we have organized an open house/drive-it-yourself tour of several farms in our region. It is a day that is open to farmers, their advisors, and their families (not for the general public) to talk to others who have made this change. We have provided the address for each participating farm. Use your GPS, MapQuest, Google Maps, or an old fashioned road map and feel free to visit whichever and as many of these farms as you wish during the time they have their doors open to visitors. Pick their brains, ask them questions, and determine if this may be a strategy you wish to follow. Some have done it in stages. Others have made the change via a low cost approach by using welding shop parlors, used equipment, and by placing the parlor in the old tie-stall barn building. Some have built totally new complexes. 

There are certainly many other farms in our region that have made this change. This day is simply designed to provide an opportunity to visit with a few who have done so. This open house/tour is not high tech like Robotic Milkers, but it's a change that many more people can afford to implement. There is no charge and no registration. Hope to see you along the way on August 19th.

See the pdf below for the list of participating farms.

To see the farms on a Google Map, go to: http://bit.ly/OpenHouseTour81914
(copy/paste link into browser if link doesn't work)

Open House/Drive Yourself Tour (PDF; 515KB)

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Cash Rent and Custom Harvest Survey

To date, there is limited information available about rental rates and fees for crop harvesting.  Farms can use this valuable information for their farm business planning to help improve decision making and profitability. 

The data that is collected, and the subsequent reports/findings/resources will be helpful for all of us to answer that call of "What's the average rental rate in my area?" and "How much do people charge to combine oats?"

Farmers Can Join MeatSuite For Free!

MeatSuite.com is a free resource provided by Cornell University where NY meat farmers can create a farm profile and list their bulk (wholes, halves, quarters) and bundled (i.e. Grilling Bundle) meat products.

Why should farmers join?

1. It's free and easy!
2. Connect with more local customers. In the past year the MeatSuite.com farm directory had 8,300 visits from New York consumers. Farm profiles get as many as 25 views per month from potential local customers. We also spotlight MeatSuite farms on social media and bring attention and purchases to farms through highlights and giveaways.

How do I join?

Farmers can visit https://www.meatsuite.com/farmers/ to create a free farm profile. You must list at least one product for your farm's profile to go live. You'll also have access to Cornell's free Meat Price Calculator, a helpful tool for pricing your meat to make a profit.

While you're on MeatSuite, check out the "Creating Consumer-Friendly Bulk Meats" publication on the log-in page. It has tips on how to create bulk meat products that are easier for first-time buyers to say "yes" to.

If you have any questions as you create your farm profile or products, we're here to help! Please email Matt LeRoux at mnl28@cornell.edu.

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CCE Livestock Program Work Team

See the Livestock Program Work Team website for news, upcoming programs, and NYS Slaughterhouse Map.