Skip to main content

Climate Smart Farming Extension Team

Cornell’s Climate Smart Farming Extension Team gives New York farmers access to top extension specialists with the particular expertise to help manage the risks posed by increasing extreme weather, climate variability and long-term change.  Working in partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension and climate change and agriculture specialists at Cornell, the team draws on the latest science to answer growers’ questions about changes they can make to their management practices that will help increase resiliency and farm sustainability.

To reach the Climate Smart Farming (CSF) extension team, contact the specific team members below by email or phone, or visit us at

Dairy Management

  • Dr. Kimberley Morrill

    Dr. Kimberley Morrill, regional dairy specialist, focuses on calf management, record management, on-farm outreach programs and helping New York dairies improve their capacity to manage the risks associated with climate change. Dr. Morrill conducted research on transition cow management, calf management, and colostrum absorption while earning a B.A. in dairy management and an M.A. in animal nutrition, both from the University of New Hampshire. Her work on neonatal development, colostrogenesis, colostrum management on dairy farms, gut development in newborn calves and dairy nutrition earned her a Ph.D. in animal physiology from Iowa State University. In addition to the CSF Team, she is active in Annie’s Project and the Women in Ag Learning Network. Email: | Phone: (315) 379-9192.

Field Crops & Soil Health

  • Dr. Kitty O’Neil

    Dr. Kitty O’Neil works to improve the yield and production efficiency of field crops and forages – a goal that requires smart crop management and a keen understanding of climate-related risks and long-term soil health.  A field crops and soils specialist, she leads the North New York field crops team, which designs crop and soil management programs to serve the region’s farms. Dr. O’Neil’s research has included cropping systems and the effects of soil amendments and cover crops on soil health on potato farms.  She earned a B.S. in animal science from Cornell University, an M.S. in animal nutrition and plant biochemistry, and a Ph.D. in sustainable plant and soil cropping systems, both from Michigan State University. Email: | Phone: 315-379-9192.


Small Fruit

  • Laura McDermott

    Laura McDermott, a regional extension specialist in small fruit production for the Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program, currently serves 17 counties in the Route 87 corridor, where she concentrates on small fruit production and fresh market vegetable production. Her current research projects include low-tunnel strawberry production, resistance management education, and invasive species management. In her 25 years with the Extension system, she has also amassed experience with all types of horticulture, including maple, forestry, and consumer horticulture, and with commercial fruit and vegetable farmer education. A native of Stillwater, New York, she holds a B.S. in plant protection from Cornell University and an M.S. in fruit crops from the University of Florida. Email: | Phone: (518) 746-2562.

Vegetables and Integrated Pest Management

  • Dr. Darcy Telenko

    Dr. Darcy E.P. Telenko, a regional vegetable extension specialist for the Cornell Vegetable Program, currently serves twelve western New York counties, where she focuses on fresh market vegetable production, weed management, and climate change resiliency. She brings a broad experience base to CICCA, beginning with a B.S. from Cornell University, an M.S. in plant and soil science from Southern Illinois University, and a Ph.D. in plant pathology and crop sciences from North Carolina State University. Her post-doctoral work includes studies in weed management of turf grass and agronomic crops at the University of Florida and disease management of agronomic crops at Virginia Tech. Email: | Phone: (716) 652-5400 x 178.

Download the Climate Smart Farming Extension Team Fact sheet.

The Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions (CICSS) delivers trusted, research-based climate information and decision-making tools to farmers, resource managers, and public policy makers. For more information, visit us at