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Chautauqua County Agriculture Forum
November 30 @ 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County’s Agriculture Program is excited to announce a partnership with the Small Business Development Center and Chautauqua County Department of Planning and Development that will bring the 2022 Chautauqua County Ag Forum to the agriculture community. The Forum will be held on Wednesday, November 30th at the JCC Carnahan Center from 10am – 3pm. There will be a light lunch provided, and pre-registration is required by filling out the registration form here or calling Cornell Cooperative Extension at 716-664-9502 ext. 202.
The 2022 Chautauqua County Ag Forum is a group effort between, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County, JCC’s Small Business Devolvement Center, and the Chautauqua County Department of Panning and Development. This event will draw agricultural leaders from all across the county for an opportunity to network, learn more about climate change, industry success stories, and what agribusinesses are doing to grow through innovation. Participants will also have the opportunity to help shape the future of agriculture in Chautauqua County as the lead organizations gather feedback for future programming to better serve the agricultural community.
The Ag Forum will feature a Keynote Address from Jenna Walczak, Ag Climate Resiliency Specialist from Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Harvest NY team. Jenna will discuss practices that Chautauqua County farmers can use to meet the challenges of a changing climate and increase business sustainability. She will outline projects producers can implement using various climate-related funding opportunities and considerations for deciding what grant program may be the best fit for an agricultural operation. Jenna works with extension staff to assist New York State farmers in implementing practices to mitigate and adapt to climate change–while building agroecological resilience. Prior to joining Cornell Cooperative Extension, Jenna worked in agriculture and on environmental research projects across the United States. She has farmed and managed grant programs on a handful of vegetable and small-scale livestock farms. Jenna has a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Studies from Colgate University. She was born and raised in Western New York.
Following a light lunch, participants will choose what break out sessions to attend. We have six sessions planned, most presenting twice for maximum opportunity for participants to get into the discussion they feel most benefits them. Our sessions will cover stress on the farm, advocacy for farms, grants, legal resiliency, labor discussions, and farm diversification.
Sarah McCumiskey and Teresa McMahon, FarmNet Family Consultants, will be joining us to discuss stress management on the farm. Farmers and the farming community frequently experience unique situations and circumstances that can contribute to stress and stressful experiences. When stress builds, it may lead to feeling trapped by difficult thoughts and feelings. Stress management offers a range of strategies to help us better cope when these thoughts and feelings become overwhelming.
Timothy Bigham, Manager and Training Specialist, County Farm Bureau Relations and Development, will be joining us to talk about advocacy being the biggest part of your farm’s business plan today. Consumers used to be able to recall experiences of helping with harvest or handling livestock on an ancestor’s farm but for many today those experiences no longer exist. If the public is to be educated about agriculture, farmers will probably need to at least be involved in the education process even if organizations take the lead. This is especially important when the consumer becomes lawmaker. What steps can farmers take to educate? How can this responsibility be added to an already full plate? Let’s discuss ways we can move the needle in this area.
Kevin Martin, Associate Extension Educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension Lake Erie Regional Grape Program/Penn State University, will be joining us to discuss businesses being legal entities, whether you organize your thoughts or let the state do it for you. He will help you organize your operating agreements and legal entities to reflect the goals and values of your organization. This gives your farm the resiliency to meet goals and create expectations for success by reminding and holding partners, heirs and even yourself accountable to a plan and an agreement.
Richard Stup, Agriculture Workforce Specialist from Cornell’s Agricultural Workforce Development will explore New York’s overtime rules for farm labor and the changing overtime threshold planned for the next 10 years. We will also consider possible exemptions from overtime and how the new state tax credit to cover overtime costs will likely apply. Finally, we’ll discuss strategies that farms can use to successfully adapt to a new overtime environment.
Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management Specialist and Team Leader from Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Program will be discussing ways for farm diversification. Have you ever tried Hipcamp? What about pick-your-own veggies? On-Farm dairy processing? Goat Yoga? What about all of those at the same time?! Farm production diversification can be an important way to manage risk, increase revenues, and increase profitability. However, it can also be an easy trap to spread limited resources even further! Join Katelyn Walley-Stoll, Farm Business Management Specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, to learn more about enterprise analysis and determine how diversification can help you. This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2021-70027-34693.
There will be plenty of time between before events to visit with the agri-partners that will be set up to talk with participants. Agri-partners that will be present include: Chautauqua County Department of Planning & Development, Small Business Development Center at JCC, Farm Credit East, ACA, Chautauqua County Rural Ministry, Inc, Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District, Cornell Cooperative Extension Cornell Vegetable Program, Chautauqua County Food Policy Council, USDA- Farm Service Agency, Lake Erie Regional Grape Program/ Penn State University, Chautauqua County Visitors Bureau, FarmNet, Center of Excellence, New York Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, and the Chamber of Commerce.