It was a cold, overcast September day in Deruyter, New York at Creekside Meadow Farm, but that didn’t keep over 50 people from attending HMI’s Open Gate On-Farm Day.
After introductions at the farm store by HMI’s Director of Community Services, Ann Adams, New York Beginning Farmer and Holistic Management Certified Educator, Erica Frenay talked about how Holistic Management had helped her family grow their farm. Tricia Park then told the story of Creekside Meadow Farm’s growth and how Holistic Management had helped the Park family when she was trained in HMI’s Beginning Women Farmer Training Program which was funded by the USDA/NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
After those case studies most of the crowd headed out on hay wagons to do a reading the land exercise with Holistic Management Certified Educator Phil Metzger and grazing specialist Troy Bishopp of Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District. Ann Adams led a value-based goal-setting exercise for other participants. In the afternoon she led an enterprise analysis exercise while some participants went back out into the field to do a forage assessment and crop problem-solving exercise. Everyone reconvened at the store for a Q&A about marketing and then broke into small groups to do some peer problem-solving for each participant.
Evaluations from the event showed that 100% of the participants who completed the evaluation expanded their network and 95% of them will change management practices as a result of the program. Also, 95% of the participants would recommend this program to others. 66% of the participants intend to modify or develop a grazing plan and 57% will modify or develop a whole farm goal. These participants manage 1,279 acres of land that will be influenced by this program.
|Topic Covered||Percent Change in Knowledge|
|The value of grazing planning||
|How to assess forage||
|How to complete an enterprise analysis||
|How to integrate livestock and cropping||
|How to improve grazing practices||
Thanks to our host farmers Tricia, Matt, and Cameron Park, and to our co-organizer NY NOFA, and to our grantor CHS Foundation, and all our supporters: NY GLCI, Madison Soil and Water Conservation District, DeRuyter Farm and Garden Co-operative, Fertrell, Cornell University Cooperative Extension Madison County, Central New York RC&D, Kelley Meats, Wholeshare.com, and Devine Gardens Vermicompost, for making this event possible.
“Excellent hosts and a detailed tour of their farm and marketing.”
“Very informative and well thought out program.”