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Skaneateles Lake Watershed Agricultural Program to hold annual meeting

— The Skaneateles Lake Watershed Agricultural Program will hold its annual meeting from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, in Dobson Hall community room at the Skaneateles Presbyterian Church, 97 East Genesee St.

The meeting will begin with a “year in review” presentation by SLWAP Program Manager Mark Burger, to be followed by a panel discussion on “Green practices that help your bottom line.” The panel will consist of area farmers who will discuss the successes and challenges of ‘green’ best management practices in agriculture, such as soil sampling, nutrient management and manure management plans; cover crops and pest scouting.

A hot buffet lunch will be prepared and catered by Vernak Farm, of Borodino, consisting of locally-grown and raised products.

After lunch, there will be a discussion on “What you need to know about crop insurance” by Charlie Coynes, crop insurance specialist with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Anyone interested in attending the 2012 SLWAP annual meeting must RSVP by Friday, Dec. 5, by calling 457-0325.

The Skaneateles Lake Watershed Agricultural Program was established in 1994 by the City of Syracuse as an alternative to a costly filtration system required by the 1986 Amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act. SLWAP is a voluntary program spearheaded by the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District, and serves portions of Onondaga, Cortland and Cayuga Counties within the watershed.

The program’s mission is to “carry out a cost-effective, innovative program for the farming community that upholds the high drinking water quality standards of Skaneateles Lake,” according to the website.

For more information on the SLWAP, visit the Onondaga County Soil and Water Conservation District website at ocswcd.org, then click on the “SLWAP” link in the left column.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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