Skip to main content

Leading Experts on Climate Change and Agriculture Offer New Resource to New York Farmers through Climate Smart Farming Extension Team

ITHACA, N.Y. – New York farmers coping with extreme weather and climate variability now have a new resource at their disposal: Cornell University’s Climate Smart Farming Extension Team. Organized by Cornell University’s Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture (CICCA), in cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE), the cross-state team will provide growers with assistance and access to the latest in management practices that improve farm resiliency.

“The Climate Smart Farming Team pulls together top farm specialists from Cornell and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) to provide new research and decision-making tools that can help farmers reduce the risks climate change presents to their operations,” says Dr. Allison Chatrchyan, CICCA director.

“We will offer solid research-based information on climate change that farmers can use to manage risks to their farms and to take advantage of new opportunities. Our ultimate goal is to strengthen New York agriculture’s capacity to face a changing climate.”

Quicker access to new research findings will come through new extension materials, increased outreach efforts, guidance and training programs, Chatrchyan said.

“The pilot team is the first in the nation devoted to climate change resiliency, and can serve as a model for extension across the United States,” said Chris Watkins, Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension. “The specialists on the team cover many key sectors in New York agriculture, and many regions of the state, from western and northern New York, to the Hudson Valley, helping it reach a broad audience of farmers.”

The line-up of extension team members includes a diverse group of agriculture specialists from around the state. Expertise on the Cornell campus will come from Dr. Toby Ault, assistant professor and expert on climate change modeling and seasonal forecasts; Dr. Art DeGaetano, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, and expert on climate data and decision tools; Deb Grantham, senior extension associate in the soil and crop sciences section, and CCE administration; Dr. Mike Hoffmann, professor of entomology and Cornell College of Agriculture and Life Science associate dean; Dr. Dave Wolfe, professor of horticulture and climate change expert; Chatrchyan, and other faculty.

Experts located throughout New York’s counties include: Luke Haggerty, viticulture extension specialist; Laura McDermott, extension small fruits specialist; Dr. Kim Morrill, regional dairy specialist; Dr. Kitty O’Neil, regional field crops and soil specialist; Dr. Darcy Telenko, extension vegetable specialist; and Bob Weybright, a specialist in agricultural marketing and development.

Initial support for the team is being provided by CICCA through a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Smith Lever extension project, a NIFA Hatch project for the research components, and through funding from the New World Foundation.

CICCA was established in 2013 through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences to address the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture in the Northeast as aresult of extreme weather and long-term climate change. Cornell Cooperative Extension puts knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability and social well-being.