Ontario Agriculture

The network for agriculture in Ontario, Canada

Day 4: From melons to margaritas

AALP Class 16 started Day 4 of our North American Study Tour in the New York State capital of Albany with a breakfast speaker. Jackie Lendrum from the New York Department of Environmental Conservation shared her experiences with water quality regulations and issues primarily with dairy farms in the state. Dairy is the largest agriculture sector in New York State and the largest dairy farm in the state, Willet Farms, has over 9,000 dairy cows.

With our minds (and bellies) full, we loaded back onto the bus for a full day of farm tours around the Saratoga, NY area. 

Our first stop was the Tiashoke Farm where they milk 1,100 cows and crop 2,200 acres. The name of the farm comes from the Iroquois native that means "meeting of the waters." Brian, Stuart and Eric are brothers that work on the farm together and they toured us through the barns.

As with Canadian farmers, public perception is very important to them so they host farm tours, like Sundays on the Farm, to promote ag education. Stuart's wife, Jessica, also plays an important role in Ag education on and off the farm as the Executive Director of the New York Animal Agriculture Coalition and is a past LEAD NY grad, which is a sister organization to AALP.

Our next stop was at Saratoga Sod Farms where they have 600 acres of turf and 500 acres cash crop. Their season is driven by customers and weather – they can operate almost year round as long as there is no frost or snow on the ground. They seed once per year in Aug/Sept then harvest 18-24 months later. They may rotate with corn and beans, or continuous crop sod. All harvesting and transportation is done by their own staff and equipment.

We continued down the road to Hand Melons where John Hand told us the story of how his grandpa started the business and gained brand recognition with the "rich and famous" at the Saratoga horse races. John has since diversified and also grows 6 acres of pick your own strawberries and 2 acres of blueberries, a variety of vegetables, a mail-order melon business, as well as operating a farm market.

Our final stop of the day was at Tim Biello's farm. Tim is also the NY Project Manager & Hudson Valley Farmlink Network Coordinator for the American Farmland Trust. Tim's goal is to make a living off of his farm, on which he has a lease-to-own contract. He wants to start with 6 acres of vegetables and, as he is passionate about horses, uses heavy horses for much of the field work.

We finished off the day in Saratoga Springs with the local Farmers Market and then we all enjoyed the local restaurants Cantina and Max London and we highly recommend the food and drinks (see margaritas, left!) if you're ever in the area. The area is famous for battlefields from the Revolutionary war, so there are many sites to see, farms to tour and food to enjoy! 

-Class 16

Views: 426

Comment

You need to be a member of Ontario Agriculture to add comments!

Join Ontario Agriculture

Agriculture Headlines from Farms.com Canada East News - click on title for full story

Charges laid in cattle theft investigation

With the assistance of Livestock Services of Saskatchewan (LSS), RCMP have laid several charges against a Whitewood, Sask. man for cattle rustling. On June 28, a Saskatchewan RCMP Livestock Investigator received a report from LSS about a suspicious livestock transaction. Moosomin RCMP determined 14 calves had been stolen from a farm in the RM of Silverwood in three different incidents. Further investigation determined a man stole the calves and attempted to sell them. 34-year-old Ryan Bennett from the Whitewood, Sask. area is charged with three counts of theft of cattle over $5,000, three counts of possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, and three counts of trafficking property obtained by crime over $5,000. Bennett is scheduled to appear in court in Moosomin on Aug. 20. Seven calves have since been recovered and returned to the farm.

Manitoba Ag Hall of Fame adds four individuals

Four names have been added to the Manitoba Agricultural Hall of Fame. Hugh Drake, Dr. Don Flaten, Dr. Allan Preston, and Fred Tait were recognized for their contributions to Manitoba’s agriculture industry at a ceremony this week at Winnipeg’s Red River Exhibition Park. The nominees for 2024 are: Hugh Drake of Elkhorn, Man. dedicated most of his life to service on various boards within the agriculture industry in Manitoba. For 14 years Drake served as a director with three different grain companies. During this time, he also sat on the Heartland Livestock board, an amalgamation of Manitoba Pool Elevators and Saskatchewan Wheat Pool livestock markets. While Drake was on the board of Heartland Livestock, they built a new auction barn at Virden, Man. which is still in operation. In the late 80’s Drake participated in the provincial debt review board and played an active role assisting farmers in financial crisis. Drake dedicated his life and time away from his own businesses and fam

Québec names 2024 Outstanding Young Farmers

Due to an important transition for Québec Outstanding Young Farmers, the winners for 2024 were revealed during summer activities held at La Grange de l'île, Île d'Orléans, on July 3.

Ontario is investing in innovative agri-food research

The Ontario government is investing $7.2 million in The Ontario government is investing $7.2 million in 44 Ontario-led research and innovation projects. This investment is being made through the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance, a collaboration between the province, the University of Guelph and Agricultural Research and Innovation Ontario (ARIO).

Ontario Hazelnut Association organizes three farm tours

The Ontario Hazelnut Association has announced three farm tours at different locations around the province to showcase the broad growing range of the tree nuts.

© 2024   Created by Darren Marsland.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service