When you really want to check out new technologies, you want to kick the tires (if it has tires), take an under-the-hood look, then get a price quote. This is the time of year when you get serious about it – and have time to do so.
That's why the New York Farm Show is the Northeast's top-drawing indoor farmer's event of the winter, pulling in farmers from more than 10 states and Canada. The 28th annual show opens at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 21, 22 and 23.
All five heated buildings will be jammed with crops, dairy, beef and building products from close to 425 exhibitors, says New York Farm Show Manager Scott Grigor. And, he adds, you won't want to miss a host of opportunities to learn something new in the mini-seminars and workshops.
What's to see and do}
Here's a short list of what'll be waiting for you:
All major brand equipment manufacturers, including AGCO, John Deere, Case IH, CLAAS, Kubota, Kuhns, New Holland, Mahindra and more.
Dairy industry leaders, including Dairy Farmers of America, Dairylea, Organic Valley and others.
Dairy equipment companies, including Alfa-Laval, Boumatic, GEA Westfalia-Surge, Lely and more.
Energy-savers and shavers, including ventilation, heating, lighting, solar and wind technology products.
Seed companies, including DeKalb-Asgrow, Doebler's, Growmark FS, Mycogen, Pioneer, T.A. Seed and many more.
Come and catch up
This year's line-up of seminars and workshops has grown to five tracts:
Dairy Robotonomics 2013: Learn about the latest robotic milking innovations on Friday, Feb. 22, from Delaval and Lely experts, John Baker and Alfred Kamps, respectively. The session begins at 10 a.m. in the Bistro Room of the Arts and Home Center. Two dairy farmers, George Haier of Eden, N.Y., and John Wolf of Lyons, N.Y., will share their experiences and be available during the Q&A session.
Affordable Methane Digesters: At 1 p.m., that day, also in the Bistro Room, the UEM Group, an environmental services firm specializing in turnkey digesters, will cover costs, benefits, financing and payback of digesters. Nina Kshetry, UEM's lead on modular digester systems, will show how the technology can be designed and made affordable for even small- and mid-sized dairies.
Farm Microloans and Value-added Grants: At 2:15 p.m., Friday, in the Bistro Room, USDA Farm Service Agency personnel from New York will debut FSA's new farm operating microloan program designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional and niche type operations. Loans of up to $35,000 can be made with no required downpayment for livestock and feed, equipment, building repairs, operating costs, even refinancing of certain farm-related debts.
Also learn how USDA's Value-added Producer Grant program can aid your business development. The VAPG program offers up to $100,000 for planning grants and $300,000 for working capital grants. It's goal is to help ag producers enter into value-added niche activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based products.
Beef up beef Know-how: Daily workshops on need-to-know beef cattle topics will be hosted by the New York Beef Producers and Cornell University in the Dairy Building's Beef Center. Check out the live cattle representing the major breeds. Learn about the latest beef industry developments. And, pick up practical pointers on the following discussion topics:
- 10:00 a.m. Halter Breaking Techniques: Learn to halter break calves with ease. Different techniques discussed by Jeanne White and Robert Groom.
- 10:30 a.m. Fitting Cattle for Exhibition or Show: The proper clipping procedures to prepare an animal for the show ring. Grooming products and show day preparation also will be discussed by Jeanne White and Robert Groom.
- 11:00 a.m. Ultrasounding Cattle for Carcass Quality: An ultrasounding demonstration will be performed. Learn why this is an important factor in cattle selection and profitability from Heather Birdsall.
- 12:00 p.m. Reproductive Technology and Practical AI: Learn how to put reproductive technologies such as estrus synchronization and artificial insemination to work in your cow/calf operation to enhance the performance and profitability of your herd. Presenters are Ivor Jones and Jerry Emerich of Select Sires.
- 1:00 p.m. Cattle Handling Systems and Management: Safety and ease will be discussed on how to set up a cattle handling system for both the producer and animal by Todd Dyer of Skyview Fencing.
- 2:00 p.m. Proper and Effective Castration Techniques for Feeder Calves: Castration doesn't have to be a large stress factor on calves. Chris McBurney will cover different types of castration and proper methods.
- 2:30 p.m. "Preconditioning" Feeder Calves: Proper vaccines, wormers, and essential programs to get feeder calves preconditioned for profitability will be covered by Mark McCullouch, Merck Animal Health
- 3:00 p.m. Let's Play "Jeopardy" Name That Cut: Join the N.Y. Beef Council staff in interactive games of beef knowledge. Test your knowledge against pros or sit back, and watch. Either way you will learn more about beef from Carol Gillis! Prizes for the winners!
Don't forget to feed your growling stomach with a delicious hot beef sundae. The Beef Industry Council begins serving bowls of buttery mashed potatoes on slow-roasted beef, topped with gravy plus Cheddar cheese and a cherry tomato at 11 a.m. daily – until the daily supply runs out.
Woodlots And Wildlife: The New York Forest Owners Association is back with an expanded program for each day with a total of 15 mini-workshop sessions in the Arts and Home Center's Somerset Room. The schedule is:
Thursday, Feb. 21
10 a.m. Legislators need to know your needs forum
11 a.m. Protecting timber from fraud and theft
1 p.m. Smart management creates good bird habitat
2 p.m. Fostering open field bird habitat
3 p.m. Financial help for improving woodlots
Friday, Feb. 22
10 a.m. Conservation easements protect woodlot legacies
11 a.m. Coping with insects destroying valuable trees
1 p.m. Bringing woodlots back for valuable timber
2 p.m. Managing for timber and deer
3 p.m. Woodlot investment: Experience and lessons
Saturday, Feb. 23
10 a.m. Property taxes and your woodlot
11 a.m. Successful and profitable tree planting
1 p.m. How consulting foresters can help
2 p.m. Portable sawmills for woodlot owners
3 p.m. Legislators need to know your needs forum
New York Farm Show admission is $5 at the door; children under 18 are free. But free tickets are available to you from your Northeast Equipment Dealers. Parking is also free, with shuttle buses run all day to all five farm show buildings.
New York Farm Show is co-sponsored by the Northeast Equipment Dealers Association and American Agriculturist