July Events


July 7th – Open House Field Day – Cornell Cooperative Extension Willsboro Research Farm

The Cornell University Willsboro Research Farm will hold an open house field day on Thursday, July 7 from 2:00pm to 4:30pm. A tour of the facilities and research plots will leave the main office (48 Sayward Lane, Willsboro, NY) at 2:30pm. Light refreshments will be provided.

Research topics featured at this year’s open house include juneberry nursery development and variety trials, inter-seeded cover crops in field corn, high tunnel production of cherry tomatoes, demonstrations of summer cover crops, adaptive nitrogen management for field corn, and cold hardy wine grapes.

In 1982 E. Vreeland Baker, a Willsboro farmer and entrepreneur, donated his 352 acre farm to Cornell University for agricultural research and demonstration. The facility serves to connect Cornell faculty in Ithaca with the challenges and issues facing North Country farmers. Willsboro Research Farm is managed by the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station.

This event is cosponsored by the Essex Farm Institute (essexfarminstitute.org) and is free and open to the public. For more information call 518-963-7492.

July 10th, 2pm –  Farm Walk @ Foppert Farm in Saranac, NY

The Foppert Farm is a small family farm in Clayburg, New York run by Emily and John Foppert, with help from our two little boys.  We bought the farm in May 2015 from the family that had owned and worked it for the previous 100 years.  We have made livestock the focus of farm production: we raise chickens and turkeys, we breed pigs, and we’re working toward having cattle at the center of the farm.  We’re currently raising calves with the hope of finding a market for grass-fed veal; we have a cow (and we’ll soon have another) that we milk to feed the calves; and we have heifers that we’ll keep to build our own herd or sell for replacements.  In addition to keeping animals, we manage our woods closely and rely production from the woodlot to keep the whole enterprise viable and sustainable. 96 Durocher Rd, Saranac, NY 12981

July 24th – 2:30-6:30pm – Basic Rotational Grazing Field Event

This field event will take place on two farms in Essex County that rotationally graze beef cattle, dairy cattle, pigs and poultry. The farmers at both farms will discuss their rotational strategies, successes and challenges. Rich Redman, a retired conservationist from the USDA NRCS, will discuss the importance of rotational grazing to erosion control and pasture best management practices.

Rotational grazing, sometimes also called management intensive grazing refers to systems in which animals are allowed to graze only a small portion of the pasture (a paddock) while other paddocks are rested and allowed to recover. Animals are usually moved frequently anywhere from every few hours to once a day to once every few days. Any species can be rotationally grazed, but the benefits are most studied and best known for cattle. Benefits include increased pasture yield and distribution of forage, leading to rapid weight gain for grassfed animals.

We will meet at 2:30pm on July 24th at Full and By Farm (319 Leaning Road, Essex, NY), a diversified vegetable and livestock farm offering a full-diet CSA year round. Combining ancient, proven cultivation techniques with the latest innovations in sustainable growing methods and resource conservation, they are rejuvenating a local landmark while generating sustenance for the community. Full and By rotationally grazes beef cattle, dairy cows, pigs, broilers and layers. They will talk about the changes they’ve seen in their pastures and fields over the 6 years they’ve been rotationally grazing, permanent fencing versus temporary, watering systems and breeding.

At 4:30 we will continue on to the Harris Family Farm (143 Napper Rd, Westport, NY), a certified organic dairy. The Harris’ ship to Horizon Organic and sell a small amount of milk to North Country Creamery in Keeseville to make yogurt. They milk approximately 50 cows and raise our calves to be replacement heifers. They use management intensive grazing, providing the herd with a new paddock every 12 hours. They make their own hay, grow summer annuals as forage, and rotate crops for soil enrichment. They moved from Alaska in 2014 to start the farm. At the Harris Family Farm we will discuss grazing strategies for the best milk production, pasture management, and challenges such as fencing, water access, and lane way management.

Rich Redman worked with the Soil Conservation Service, now the Natural Resources Conservation Service for more than 27 years. He has worked in over 10 counties in New York setting up grazing systems for dairy cows, beef, sheep and Bison herds. He has set up grazing systems for herds as large as 250 head of dairy cattle. He has attended UVM and trained with Bill Murphy, Utah State and trained with Dr. Fred Provenza and attended Penn. State taking a grazing short course. Rich is a firm believer in grazing and was awarded the USDA SCS Conservationist of the year award for his work in Essex County.

This event is free and open to all beginner farmers in the Adirondacks and North Country NY. An intermediate level Intensive Grazing Workshop will follow on August 14th @ Essex Farm.

The program will be held rain or shine. Please dress appropriately.