Empire Sheep Producers Association (ESPA) Annual Meeting
February 26, 2022
2pm - 4pm
Online via Zoom
HostSouthwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program
Mary Jeanne Packer
email Mary Jeanne Packer
The Empire Sheep Producers Association 2022 Annual Meeting will be held via Zoom on Saturday February 26, beginning at 2 pm. All ESPA members, other sheep producers, and people affiliated with NYS's sheep industry are invited to attend.
The Zoom link is:
Or dial in: 646 876 9923
Meeting ID: 869 6533 8798
Lewis Fox, co-founder and partner in ESPA-member Agrivoltaic Solutions and a founding board member of the Ithaca-based American Solar Grazing Association is the invited guest speaker. He is expected to cover what sheep farmers need to know and do as far as working with a solar operation including setting up a contract, what your responsibilities are, how to manage fencing and water, and other topics. Agrivoltaic Solutions currently grazes solar assets for multiple firms in New York State, Vermont and Pennsylvania. Lewis Fox has a BS in Animal Science from Cornell University and has extensive experience within the dairy industry. Lewis managed large scale cow, sheep and goat dairies in New York, and grew up on an organic grazing dairy in Vermont.
Other invited presenters include NYS Assembly member Carrie Woerner (D-Round Lake) who will speak about the state's new textile supply chain expansion initiative that she is championing. Confirmed speaker Gail Parrinello, President of the non-profit Hudson Valley Textile Project will update the group on the work that is now underway by her organization to develop a commercial scouring facility slated to open in fall 2022 that will address the wool marketing needs of sheep farmers and fiber processing facilities across NYS and the northeast; and Jessica Brooks (invited) from NYS Dept. of Ag & Markets who will provide information about how sheep farmers can get involved with the NYS Grown and Certified Program for marketing wool and wool products and the benefits of certification.
Dana Havas, Agriculture Team Leader, Cornell Cooperative Extension Cortland County will speak about the accomplishments of the animal fiber subcommittee of the Cornell Livestock PWT. The sub-PWT develops and provides programming and educational opportunities and identifies areas of research that improve the welfare of the NYS animal fiber community and its stakeholders. Niko Kochendoerfer and tatiana Stanton from Cornell University sheep program will provide updates, as well.
The annual ESPA business meeting will follow the program. All ESPA members in good standing may vote and non-members are welcome to attend. The meeting agenda will include 2022 budget approval, revised bylaws adoption, a legislative report, reports from 2021 Empire Classic Youth Show in Batavia and the Canandaigua Ewe Show, updates on 2021 wool pools and plans for 2022, planning for the 2022 State Fair, election of 2022 officers, and other business.
Is Grazing Sheep Beneath Solar Arrays and Opportunity for Your Future?
September 25, 2023
Mt. Morris, NY
Grazing sheep beneath utility-scale solar arrays can build wealth of present and future sheep farmers as vegetation management service providers and access to additional pasture. The Cornell Cooperative Enterprise Program (CEP) conducted a survey earlier this year completed by over 600 farmers. Farmers identified barriers to grazing sheep under solar arrays and weighed in on need for a producer-led organization to negotiate contracts on their behalf, coordinate logistics of multiple flocks, provide transport of sheep to and from the site, care for sheep while on-site, and provide supplemental mowing. Additional questions focused on processing and marketing needs.
Technology for Grazing Dairies Webinar
September 27, 2023
Join us for this free webinar! Brought to you by the dairy specialists of CCE NWNY and SWNY Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Programs.
Protecting Against Murphy's Law: A FREE Live Seminar for Veterans.
October 4, 2023
What Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong!
Good ole' Murphy's Law is probably the best description of what it's like to be a farmer that there is! Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Farm Business Management Specialist, Katelyn Walley-Stoll, to learn more about the 5 areas of risk on farms and how to develop strategies to manage those risks. Participants will have the opportunity to identify areas of risk on their own farms and brainstorm ways to (try to) prevent the inevitable!
Registration is REQUIRED by visiting https://tinyurl.com/CCERisk or call Kelly at 585-268-7644.
No announcements at this time.