The primary purpose of the Finger Lakes Grazing Advocacy Program was to initiate a pilot grazing
advocacy project by contracting with consultants knowledgeable in the principles of prescribed
grazing and conservation planning.
During the past few years local, state and federal conservation/environmental agencies
or organizations have experienced decreases in their respective budgets. Therefore, these
agencies/organizations have had limited ability to provide technical assistance to the livestock
industry and more specifically grazing farms. Even when budgets have improved the demand on staff to service other programs has restricted the availability to asssit livestock producers with grazing issues and/or questions.
Under the direction of the Finger Lakes RC&D Council, a regional non-profit 501C.3
organization, the Finger Lakes Grazing Advocacy Program has allowed for a more efficient use of
local, state, federal, and private services resulting in the development of grazing plans and the installation of Best Management Practices associated with prescribed grazing.
Regional representatives of Cornell Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with the private consultants and other agency personnel, have been able to conduct seminars, pasture walks, and field days that have emphasized prescribed grazing.
- a) make 125 contacts with new graziers
b) coordinate a minimum of 30 pasture walks with an average of 15 attendees for a total of
c) conduct 9 grazing seminars/workshops with an average of 35 people for an attendance of
d) make 200 farm follow up visits
e) prepare 45 grazing plans with an average of 65 acres of pasture/plan totaling 2925 acres
f) install BMPs on a minimum of 10 farms with grazing plans
g) take 50-60 forage samples over two growing seasons
h) prepare 24 articles on grazing, dairy nutrition and management for submission to the
local media and Country Folks
i) establish one in the field demonstration plot with side by side comparisons of management techniques per year
j) establish and maintain a database of landowners in the Finger Lakes Region that are
interested in grazing.