Specialists

Nicole Tommell
Nicole Tommell is the farm business management specialist and team leader. She received her Bachelor of Technology degree from SUNY Cobleskill in Agricultural Business. She also holds a Masters in Agricultural Education from North Carolina State University. 

David Balbian

Dave Balbian is the dairy management specialist on the team.  He received his Bachelors Degree in Agriculture Education from Cornell University and his Masters from the College of Saint Rose.  Prior to his appointment, Balbian was a Territory Manager for Nutrena Feeds out of the Port of Albany Mill covering six counties. He has had previous extension experience working for Cooperative Extension in Saratoga and Rensselaer counties as the dairy agent.

Ashley McFarland
Ashley McFarland is the livestock specialist.  She received her Animal Science BT degree at SUNY Cobleskill and BS at The Ohio State University. Previously, she was a herd health manager for a beef operation and worked for Agri-King Nutrition as a dairy nutrition consultant.  


Erik Smith
Erik is the field crop specialist. Erik earned his BA from SUNY Oswego in Biology and his MS and PhD from Cornell University in Entomology.



Nicole Tommell

Nicole Tommell

Area Ag Business Management Specialist/Team Leader

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David Balbian

David Balbian

Area Dairy Specialist

Areas of Interest: Dairy Management

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Ashley McFarland

Ashley McFarland

Area Livestock Specialist

Areas of Interest: Livestock

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Erik Smith

Erik Smith

Area Field Crop Specialist

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Dairy

Dairy

Livestock

Livestock

Forages

Forages

Grains

Grains

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Upcoming Events

Hemp Grain and Fiber: Production, Pests, Processing, and Policy in NY State

July 6 - July 7, 2021

Free evening webinars with presentations by Cornell University and NYS Ag and Markets.

Pigweeds and Soybean Cyst Nematodes ID & Management Workshop

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 27, 2021
Ballston Spa, NY

Join CCE Capital District and the CNYDLFC Team for a free workshop focused on the identification and management of Pigweeds and Soybean Cyst Nematodes. 

Announcements

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We Want to Collect Your Cereal Leaf Beetle Larvae!

Many of you have had issues with cereal leaf beetle in small grains. In the late 1960s and 1970s, USDA released a parasitoid the controlled cereal leaf beetle at very high levels. It was established and did a good job on control for many decades. In some parts of NYS there are very low levels of these parasitoids. We are looking to reestablish them in those areas. In 2020 NYS IPM (Jaime Cummings) conducted a survey on the percent parasitism of cereal leaf beetle larvae in several areas of the state.

Most areas of the state are very low. We are looking to conduct the same survey in 2021 as well as continuing to develop a parasitoid insectary refuge on the Cornell Farm in Aurora. This can help us reestablish the parasitoid in areas of the state that might need them. If you have cereal leaf beetle in your fields please let Erik Smith (eas56@cornell.edu) or Ken Wise (klw24@cornell.edu) know and we can come and collect them. We will also let you know the rates of parasitism of the beetles in your fields.


Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program

$52.5 MILLION AVAILABLE TO PROTECT NEW YORK FARMLAND
 
State Dedicates Highest Level of Funding Ever to Protect Valuable and At-Risk Farmland 

Each of New York's 10 Regions Will Be Allocated $5 Million for Conservation Easement Projects 


Eligibility Opportunities Expanded to Agroforestry, Equine, and Wine Sectors
Round 18 FPIG continues New York State's commitment to provide financial assistance to locally led farmland protection efforts. The Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program provides financial assistance to counties, municipalities, soil and water conservation districts, and land trusts to enable them to implement farmland protection activities consistent with local agricultural and farmland protection plans. The most frequently funded activity is the purchase of agricultural conservation easements on individual farms. However, the program may also award funding to enable other implementation activities, such as amendments to local laws affecting agriculture, option agreements, and covering the transaction costs of donated agricultural conservation easements.

All farmland protection project applications must be submitted electronically through the New York State Grants Gateway. More information regarding the Grants Gateway can be found here.

Municipalities, counties, Soil and Water Conservation Districts, and land trusts are eligible to apply for grants of up to $2 million each to help offset the costs of individual conservation easement projects that protect viable agricultural land from being converted to non-agricultural use.
 
Eligibility criteria for the program have been adjusted to include the agroforestry, equine, and wine sectors, reflecting New York's diverse agricultural industry.  In addition, other closely aligned State goals have been integrated into the eligibility criteria to allow multiple objectives for certain projects, including food security, climate resiliency, and source water protection.  Another first for the program, an incentive payment is now available to participating landowners whose project specifically incorporates climate resiliency or source water protection. Soil health assessments are also now an eligible project cost.
 
There is no application deadline and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until available funds have been awarded to eligible projects. 
 
This funding opportunity continues the state's commitment to provide financial and technical assistance for farmland protection on a predictable two-year cycle and builds on the recent additions of the successful FPIG Dairy Transitions Farmland Protection Initiative and the FPIG Farm Operations in Transition Farmland Protection Initiative.