Extension on demand for new livestock producers in Sullivan County

2010 Annual Report for LNE09-290

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2009: $51,164.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
Daniel Shockey
Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County
Patricia Westenbroek
Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County

Extension on demand for new livestock producers in Sullivan County


Three online courses have been offered, one Improving Meat Quality and Production Methods for Specific Markets and two Marketing Your Livestock sessions. Hands-on workshops included certifying producers in Beef Quality Assurance, FAMACHA, and offered a Meat Fabrication introduction for improving quality and marketability of their products. A tour of a Mobile Harvesting System Slaughterhouse was conducted introducing farmers to alternative markets of USDA Kosher & Halal requirements in addition to a new market being developed for New York City. The slaughterhouse tour also indicated quality standards and outcomes of product for each market and infrastructure alternatives while the host is building a permanent facility.

Challenges have been incurred to increase participation in online education. Initially, 12 farmers enrolled in the first and second offering. When the webinar of Kosher and Halal was offered outside the project area, 24 additional individuals from across the US joined to listen to Dr. Regenstein, Cornell University. On the second offering of Marketing Your Livestock, 8 producers with 5 more “a-la-carte” have engaged in a more dynamic learning experience. The hands-on sessions are well attended with participants of the online courses and additional producers.

The project focus group has developed a survey for participants and non-participants to be conducted in January and February to determine the causes of low-level participation online. Data collection is occurring for impact of attendees on sales and market channels. An additional marketing/slaughter facility tour is being arranged for poultry and custom slaughter. Podcasting of veterinary skill basics is underway.

Objectives/Performance Targets

As a result of Extension on Demand, 30 livestock producers and meat industry professionals will use podcasting as an educational tool to assess their meat operations and prepare production for the new slaughterhouse facility. 15 of these producers will be new and beginning farmers. This program will increase networking among farmers where farmers will meet at least two farmers new to them.

As a result of the networking and educational tools in this project; 20 livestock producers will increase their sales by 5%, for a $92,020 increase, an average of $4,601 per farm. Also, as a result of implementing best management practices for animal husbandry, an estimated 1125 acres will improve environmentally through water quality& soil improvement benefits.


4 Producers will assist in creation of online course format and test online technology developed by project staff. Date achieved: 4/1/10

40 producers will enroll in either Marketing Your Livestock and Improving Meat Quality and Production Methods for Specific Markets courses. 15 producers will create their own marketing plans to use for their farms.

Progress: 24 farmers have enrolled in the courses with 11 farmers enrolling in more than one course. Eleven producers have engaged in themselves for creating Marketing plans expected to be completed by January 3, 2010 for educator and producer input.

30 producers will participate in at least one of the eight hands-on farm workshops conducted. At least 15 livestock producers will learn two new skills in the areas of product development, marketing, animal handling or pasture management. 6 producers will be certified for Northeast Beef Quality Assurance for the first time. 10 producers will adopt a new best management practice (BMP) in animal health or nutrition.5 new livestock producers will adopt at least one BMP for raising their livestock. 5 dairy producers will participate in Beef Quality Programs and adopt at least one new handling or herd health practice. 25 producers will attend a tour of facilities and marketing meeting at the new slaughterhouse.

Progress: 69 producers participated in 4 hands-on workshops where 56 producers reported learning at least one new skill and 32 producers indicating at least two new skills. 10 beef farms were certified for the Northeast Beef Quality Assurance for the first time adopting new BMPs for injection sites and handling, 12 farms were certified in FAMACHA and indicated new best management practices in pasture and parasite control. Of these producers reporting, seven of these producers indicated they were new to the livestock industry. Only one dairy farm participated in the Beef Quality Program and did adopt new handling practices. 12 producers attended the tour of the mobile processing unit.

Impacts and Contributions/Outcomes

Impacts from exit surveys are limited with producers indicating the adoption of new management practices or market strategies. The survey developed by the focus group for participants and non participants is being prepared for IRB review to determine low participation levels perceived by the project group. The focus group has volunteered for data collection and data recording. This survey will also confirm data collected from workshops.

In discussions with the New Beginning Farmer training program conducted by the Small Farms Program at Cornell, it was considered a high level of participation from one region at 12 for an online course. With their assistance and producer e-mail groups the project expanded to include producers from outside the project area. Also, we are reviewing with the help of the Small Farms Program, our modes of online education using a combination of methods with Adobe Connect, podcasting and the online classroom, Moodle.

The technology lends itself to more freedom with instructors/speakers as in the case of our Kosher & Halal Presentation and the second offering of the Marketing Your Meat Course where the County would not have been able to acquire the speakers in person without great expense and more difficult scheduling.

The project is moving forward to acheive the goals and milestones set forth and also to understand limitation to county-based online livestock education.


David Slater

Beef Producer/ Teacher
191 Old Taylor Road
Jeffersonville, NY 12748
Office Phone: 8454823667
Amy Erlwein

Farm & Catskill Harvest Market
70 Earl Meyers Road
Jeffersonville, NY 12748
Office Phone: 8454823774
Tanya Hahn

Sr. Vice President
First National Bank of Jeffersonville
4866 State Route 52
P.O. Box 398
Jeffersonville, NY 12748
Office Phone: 8454824000
Lori Rober

P. O. Box 685
Phillipsport, NY 12769
Office Phone: 8456472204