ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The Cornell Club of Rochester in collaboration with Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Monroe County and support from the CALS Alumni Association recently offered an inaugural “Farm-to-Table Adventure” to Cornell Alumni and their families October 11, 2017.
This Agritourism event provided a “boots on the ground” experience enabling participants to see, touch, taste, hear and smell the products being produced by area farmers and food producers. During the tour, they were able to directly interact with farmers, see new methods and technologies, learn about the economic impact of local agribusiness, and hear the challenges today’s farmers face. They also gained a better understanding of the roles Cornell University plays in Upstate Agriculture.
Thirty tour partakers arrived early morning for coffee & doughnuts and a meet & greet at the BXCR Factory in Rochester, NY. They were greeted on the bus by Jarmila Haseler, Agricultural Educator, CCE of Monroe County who served as a tour guide to enhance the learning experience as they journeyed from stop to stop.
This unique opportunity provided a behind-the-scenes peek at the various facets of local agriculture as the participants visited these farms, orchards, a seed company and brewery:
Zingler Farms, a 580-acre fruit farm growing high density trellised apple orchards, including the spring blossom thinning and precision pruning process for high-value apple varieties like Honeycrisp or SweetTango.
Camman Acres, a family-run, small-scale, free range poultry farm demonstrated a fresh pasture rotation system for their no-hormone, no-antibiotics chickens & turkeys. The visitors had a chance to hand-feed the four free-range pigs that were added to the farm recently.
Hurd Orchards, a daughter & mother run fruit and flower farm detailed the history and development of their orchards and garden in a charming setting on the Lake Ontario plains. Lunch of ‘A trio of Apple Desserts,’ accompanied by the owners’ commentary, was served there.
Harris Seed, a Rochester-based seed, plant and supply purveyor to growers nation-wide, showcased their seed testing labs, clean rooms for organic certified stock and sorting, packaging, and storage facility. Each tour participant received a gift ‘to-go’ before leaving the plant.
Rohrbach Brewing Company hosted a tour of their brew house combined with the beer tasting were the participants had also a chance to network and socialize at the end of the busy day.
The tour was met with overwhelmingly positive feedback and plans for the next ‘Adventure’ in 2018.
For more details contact Jarmila Haseler, (585) 753-2550, firstname.lastname@example.org.
—Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County
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