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  • TheOnondagaCountySoil&WaterConservationDistrictprohibitsdiscriminationinallitsprogramsandactivitiesonthebasisofrace,color,nationalorigin,gender,religion,age,disability,politicalbeliefs,sexualorientation,andmaritalorfamilystatus.

    Onondaga County Soi l & Water Conservation Distr ict

    Spring 2014

    Summer 2014

    TRE-G FARMS WINS NEW YORK STATE AWARD Tre-G Farms in Manlius Shows that Good Stewardship through AEM Can Lower Costs While Enhancing Farm Operations State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball presented Tre-G Farms, LLC the 2014 New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Award at a special lunch-eon, August 6th, during the Empire Farm Days. Jim and Sue Smith, and their son Ryker were there to receive the award. Sound soil and water conservation prac-tices are important facets of any farm opera-tion, including my own, said Commissioner Ball. My sincere congratulations go to the Smith Family and the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District for being hon-ored in 2014. Every year, more and more farmers are tapping into the knowledge and expertise of their local district, with winning results from both an economic and environ-mental standpoint. The Onondaga County Soil & Water Con-servation District utilizes the states AEM framework to help farmers meet environ-mental challenges head on. Administered through the District, AEM helps farms make common sense, cost-effective and science-based decisions to help meet business objectives while protecting and conserving the States natural resources. Currently, more than 13,000 farms participate in AEM throughout New York State. Tre-G Farms is a fourth generation family farm with the fifth generation showing interest in taking over. The original homestead was purchased by Jim Smiths great grandfather in 1919. This 160 cow dairy farm produces milk, hay, and corn on more than 650 acres of land. The farm has diversified to also grow asparagus as well as pick-your-own

    (l-r) Gary Mahany, President of Empire State Potato Growers Association and co-sponsor of the AEM award; Jim, Ryker, and Sue Smith, Tre-G Farms, LLC; and Richard A. Ball, State Agriculture Commissioner.

    District Board of Directors members, and staff join in to con-gratulate the Smith family on winning the State award.

    Continued inside page

  • strawberries, raspberries and peas utilizing a direct market-

    ing approach that invites the public to the farm. Jim and Susan Smith hosted the local Soil and Water Districts 1st Day on the Farm in 2011and again this year on August 2nd. The Smiths have a long term commitment to conservation and the pro-tection of water quality. They developed and follow an AEM comprehensive nutrient management plan which helps the farm make wise use of livestock ma-nure as a main nutrient source for growing forages and crops, and along with conservation tillage that lessens soil disturbance and promotes soil health, they have been working to reduce and prevent soil erosion and runoff since the 1970s. These practices also require less fuel and capture organic carbon in the soil. After developing the AEM plan, the farm in-stalled a milkhouse wastewater treatment system, a barnyard runoff management system and a rotational grazing system that fully excludes livestock from wa-tercourses, and in the process, it helps protect valu-able water resources. The farm installed a water and sediment control basin and cover crops are planted to prevent soil erosion and protect the West Branch of Limestone Creek, a tributary for Oneida Lake. The farm is also planning to install solar panels to reduce electricity needs by 30%. In nominating Tre-G Farms for the award, Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation Dis-trict Executive Director Mark Burger said, When we started the AEM plan for this farm, we could not have predicted the level of involvement that Jim and Sue would have with implementing all the conservation Best Management Practices or the support they have given back to the District. Jim has made himself available to promote the District and AEM, which is a testament to the value he sees in the Districts ser-vices, and in the appreciation and investment he shows for the Districts recommendations. We are proud to call this family farm a friend of the District.

    160 milking herd showed well at Day on the Farm.

    View of Tre-G Farms, LLC from above.

    Tre-G Farms, LLC

    Thank you to our partners this year, Onondaga County Cornell Cooperative Extension and Farm Bu-reau, who added much to the day. Sincere thanks to the following sponsors who contributed in making Day on the Farm a big success: Byrne Dairy, Cabot Creamery, Cayuga Tree Service, Inc.; Cazenovia Equipment, Dairy Marketing Ser-vices, Dairy One Cooperative; Empire Tractor, Hudson Egg Farm, Lancaster Poured Walls; Michael Grimm Services, Inc., Onondaga County Ag Council, Onondaga County Dairy Cooperative; Onondaga County Sherriffs Dept., Pompey Hill Volunteer Fire Dept, Carole Marsh, Supervisor Town of Pompey; Queensboro Farm Products, Riccelli Enterprises, Inc., Terrells Potato Chips; T.H. Kinsella, Inc. And a special thank you to our gracious hosts, Jim and Sue Smith, their family and staff.

    Thank You Day on the Farm - almost 500 visitors boarded a wagon to view the many conservation practices that the farm and District installed at Tre-G.

  • Thank you and goodbye to Tom Baker and Nick Bobbett, our seasonal aides who spent the summer with us. Tom was hired to inspect municipal separate storm sewer system discharges throughout the County. The program is designed to pro-tect our local waterbodies by identifying and eliminating any existing sources of illicit discharges conveyed through MS4s within Onondaga County. Nick spent the summer assisting the District with its hy-droseeding program. Projects included mu-nicipal roadsides and ditches, and at farms, establishing a quick vegetative growth on denuded acres.

    Marking flags or fer-tilizer tabs

    Pack of 10 Pack of 50 Pack of 100

    $ 1.75 $ 7.00 $11.35

    Bluebird house Each $14.00 Bat house Each $15.00

    Animal guards 8 size $ 8.00 Soil Test bags Send to Dairy One

    Lab Make payment to Dairy One

    Soil Group Work-sheet

    For Agricultural assessment for tax reduction

    $25.00 per parcel

    Soil Survey Book for Onondaga County

    FREE

    Item Description Price

    Goodbye From All of Us!

    Products & Services

    Heres a short list of products and services the District offers:

    ONONDAGA COUNTY SOIL & WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT

    Board of Directors: F. Spencer Givens III, Chair, At-Large Rep. Craig Dennis, Vice-Chair, Practical Farm Rep. Annette Raus - Farm Bureau Representative Wayne Norris, Treasurer, Grange Rep. Brendan Whelan, At-Large Representative David Knapp, County Legislative Rep. Derek Shepard, Jr., County Legislative Rep. Staff:

    Mark Burger, Executive Director Maggie Connelly, Secretary Gwyn Olenych, Account Clerk II Doug Fisher, Program Manager Alan Masters, Resource Conservation Specialist Jeremiah Eaton, Resource Conservation Specialist Aaron Buchta, Resource Conservation Specialist Eric Renfer, Resource Conservation Specialist Eva Sztechmiler, District Conservation Technician Tom Baker, District Seasonal Aide Nick Bobbett, Summer Aide Roland Ivers, Volunteer Phone: 315-457-0325 Fax: 315-457-0410 E-mail: info@ocswcd.org Website: www.ocswcd.org

    SKANEATELES LAKE WATERSHED

    AGRICULTURAL PROGRAM Watershed Agricultural Program Review Committee (WAPRC) Mike McMahon, Chair, Cortland Co. Steve Nemec, Vice Chair, Cayuga Co. Jim Greenfield, Onondaga Co. Ed Tidd, Onondaga Co. Eric Brayman, Onondaga Co. David Perry, Cortland Co. Dale Kehoe, Cayuga Co. Rich Abbott, City of Syracuse

    Staff:

    Mark Burger, Program Manager Ryan Cunningham, Design & Implementation Eric Jensen, Farm & Nutrient Mgmt Planner Phone: 315-457-0325 Fax: 315-457-0410 E-mail: slwap@ocswcd.org Website: www.ocswcd.org

  • An enhanced, alternative water supply was implemented this spring at the Birdsall Beef Farm

    in the Town of Spafford. Dennis and Heather Bird-sall raise 272 cows on an intensive ro-tational grazing system, and have previously relied on l a b o r - i n t e n s i v e wagons to supply water to the vari-ous herds. While this system has worked well for the last decade, repeti-t i v e h a u l i n g through rough roads and pastures has caused signifi-cant wear on the equipment. The new water

    system relies on 2,700 feet of buried pipeline that supplies fresh water to key locations in pastures. The water wagons can be filled on a rotating basis in the pasture, then supply the cattle herds while not requiring extensive travel to the farmstead and back. This system enhances an existing water sup-ply that will provide longevity to a well run pasture management system. The Birdsalls have also enrolled several acres of pasture into the USDA Grassland Reserve Pro-gram, which encourages the implementation of grass buffer areas in riparian zones and excludes cattle from waterways. This commitment to water quality exemplifies the environmental stewardship found on many Skaneateles Lake watershed farm-ers.

    By Eric Jensen, Resource Conservation Specialist

    BIRDSALL BEEF FARM

    By Ryan Cunningham, Resource Conservation Specialist

    Water wagon at Birdsall Farm.

    New waterline under construction.

    PROMOTING Crop & Soil Health

    Our vision - The Skaneateles Lake watershed will be an environmentally sound region, where a viable agricultural industry and others benefiting from the lake work together harmoni-ously to improve and maintain a high standard of water quality.

    Soil health is becoming