Farming Conversation in Upstate New York

Farming Conversation in Upstate New York

Conservation agriculture refers to a type farming that uses property in a manner that can safely maintain food supply while still conserving the environment. At this time of human existence, conservation agriculture has become a necessity since the global population upsurge has threatened the environment and its capacity to serve the future generations.

With such realization, different countries and local governments are dedicated towards promoting conservation farming. This is done by maintaining a win-win state for both the environment and farmers when farming.

In Upstate New York, counties such as Onondaga County are dedicated towards farming conservation through different activities such as mixed farming, reduction of soil erosion and conservation easement among other activities.

Reduction of Erosion

In Onondaga county minimizing erosion and preventing soil water loss is controlled by different practices like introduction of new crops and proper tilling. The county understands that the top soil and how it is taken care of is important it is to preventing soil erosion. Therefore, the county’s management provides farmers with machinery such as tractors at lower costs in order to help them maintain their farms.  Here is a video showing how to reduce erosion on the farm.

Mixed Farming

Onondaga county conservation management also provides teaching sessions to educate farmers about the importance of mixed farming. For example, crop rotation is encouraged as the best disease and pest control method against other conventional methods that do not conserve the environment. This is because establishing crops in a rotation gives room for a general buildup of rooting zone, which encourages better water penetration. The organization also encourages animal rearing together with crop growing since both benefit both farmers and the environment. Growing of trees is also encouraged in mixed farming. The state also puts aside some money for any agricultural related disaster to avoid adverse effect on the environment.

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County

The Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County


In 1862 the University of Wisconsin was endowed by the Morrill Act to support instruction mainly in agriculture and mechanical arts and also to establish an agricultural research and experiment station. Prof. S. M. Babcock (1890) demonstrated a quick but accurate method of testing ilk for butterfat but didn’t accept to patent his invention due personal reasons which he later shares it freely with the dairy farmers.

The first agriculture research station was established in 1909 at Spooner, Washburn County, on an approximate 403 acres piece of sandy loam soil. Important agricultural issues such as eradication of bovine TB, transportation, farm management, storage and marketing, nutrition, cooperatives , welfare and health was given much attention.

In 1960s, the federal War on Poverty went ahead and enlisted Extension with programs to assist women, the elderly, minorities and disadvantaged and in 1968, expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program started. However, in 1970s Cooperative Extension programs diverted their full attention to human health and nutrition, farm and agribusiness management, community economic and small business development as well as education for community leaders and for families and also government. This became the birth of the Cornell cooperative extension of Onondaga County

Partners and Community

It is Supported by the federal, local government partnership, and state. Others include; CCE’s professional staff-New Yorkers in research, The Cornell University plus other outreach and educational programs that are aimed at transforming communities.

Cornell cooperative extension of Onondaga County’s community and other economic vitality programs are ones building the capacity of New York State communities and engage in and direct their futures. Associations also partner with campus staff and faculty. Others are; local officials, colleges, not-for-profits, planners, community leaders and policymakers.

The Board & Governance

Basically, people support decisions they make, and Cornell cooperative extension of Onondaga County believes strongly in a shared leadership by locally elected Boards of Directors together with active program development committees. It is wholly governed by a 17- member Board of Directors consisting of 15 elected community volunteers (a representative from Cornell University and at least 2 voting members that are appointed by Onondaga County Legislature). It includes; individuals from towns throughout Onondaga County and who bring their awareness of community requirements and concerns to the supremacy of this organization. The board sets policies, hires staff, works with Extension’s educational staff and prioritizes educational programs to ensure program effectiveness.

Program Committees on the other hand guide the direction of the classes, workshops and other services that are offered to the residents of Onondaga County, it also review the effectiveness of their efforts. Cornell cooperative extension of Onondaga County programs have evolved over the years and reflect changes in values, community norms, ethics , mobility , family structures and the economy in direct reactions to grassroots community involvement.

CCE-Onondaga (Cornell cooperative extension) is delighted to have the most active and diverse Board of Directors plus Program Committees, the keys to achieving strong, resourceful and meaningful community impacts.

The Energy

In terms of making choices that save energy in business, home, or community Cornell cooperative extension, has compiled resources that can assist in learning about ways of reducing energy consumption and the use of other energy resources more efficiently.


Cornell cooperative extension of Onondaga County is a resource for information on soils, plant selection, site improvement, proper plant care, integrated pest management, eco-friendly practices, composting and many more. It offers free or low-cost gardening tours and classes all year long, and prospectus to share one’s love of gardening as a volunteer.

Nutrition & Health

Cornell Cooperative Extension presents free or low-cost applied research projects, educational workshops, and lots of other useful information on food-related matters from nutrition and food safety to healthy eating on a narrow budget.

Environment and Climate Change

Environment and natural resources programs on the other hand are designed to assist individuals and communities in engaging in long term plans that sustain the quality and diversity of the natural assets in and around New York State. The availability of research-based education is a major focus on conserving and boosting sustainable energy, protecting the environment and mitigating climate change.