Retiring CCE-MC team member Debbie SeGuin was honored for her more than 30 years of service to the organization and given a vintage New York farmers market sign as a gift during the CCE-MC annual meeting on Dec. 4. “Debbie is the rock that really holds these sort of organizations together,” CCE-MC President Cory Mosher said. Pictured: SeGuin and Mosher pose with the vintage sign. (photo by Jason Emerson)
It’s been a good year for Cornell Cooperative Extension – Madison County (CCE-MC), with multiple new programs and outreach efforts having occurred, more people than ever before reached by the organization and the biggest Open Farm Day to date.
“What we do here is something that goes somewhat unnoticed, but we are really out there doing a lot of work in a lot of ways,” said CCE-MC Executive Director Karin Bump during the group’s Dec. 4 annual meeting. “This meeting is a key opportunity for us to report to the community — who we are and what we have done.”
More than 60 people attended the meeting, which was held at the CCE-MC building in Morrisville, including State Senator-elect Rachel May, State Assemblyman-elect John Salka and Assemblyman Bill Magee, among a host of regional farmers, educators and political officials.
CCE-MC President Cory Mosher said the agriculture and dairy industries are “really struggling right now,” and he thanked the many Madison County town supervisors and state-level politicians for supporting and engaging with the organization.
“We really depend on you to use us a conduit to the ag community,” Mosher said. “That’s the importance of CCE today – we need to be that conduit.”
Mosher said 2018 was a “really collaborative” year for CCE-MC, with the organization working closing with farmers, schools, and local and regional politicians. He said this past year’s Open Farm Day was the biggest ever, with the highest levels of farm participation and public attendance — 6,432 people — in its nine-year history.
The 2019 Open Farm Day will be the event’s 10th anniversary, he said. “We are really excited about this event, really proud; we can’t believe it’s been 10 years,” he said.
Bump said the CCE-MC has had an expansive impact on the communities it serves over the past year. She said the organization has offered more than 531 programs at open houses, county fairs and state fairs, totaling 1,145 hours of outreach and reaching 187,000 people — with over 11,000 of those people being directly impacted by CCE-MC programs and initiatives.
In 2018, CCE-MC offered multiple new programs as well, she said, including expanded livestock, dairy and field crop programs, a new “ag in the classroom” program, expanded outreach for 4-H development opportunities, expansion of the CCE intern program this past summer, a new law officer training program to educate officers on animal welfare calls, the launch of the website MadisonCountyFarms.org and the launch of the “Cornell in Our Community” newspaper column in the Cazenovia Republican and Oneida Dispatch.
During the meeting, new and returning members were nominated and approved to the CCE-MC board. New members approved were Alexandra Erath, Mike St. Leger and Kyle Hirt. Second-term board members approved were Cory Mosher and Laura Shoemaker.
Outgoing board members Nate Durfee and Jessica Burch were honored for their service with gifts and plaques.
Retiring CCE-MC team member Debbie SeGuin was honored for her more than 30 years of service to the organization, while Dakota Kelsey and Jenny Mills were both honored with the Madison County 4-H Leader of the Year Award.
For more information about CCE-MC, visit their website at madisoncountycce.org or find them on Facebook.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.