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Pate Visit a Success!

Nancy Glazier, Small Farms & Livestock
Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crops

September 30, 2014
Pate Visit a Success!

The National Beef Quality Assurance program offered to assist with expenses to bring stockmanship expert Curt Pate to NY. I am a member of the state committee and quickly volunteered for the task of driving him around the Finger Lakes for 2 days. As time wore on, I became a bit more hesitant. To spend 2 days with a stranger was a little bit unnerving. I think there was a bit of apprehension on his part, too. 
It wasn't long after I picked him up at the hotel near the Rochester airport my concerns were laid to rest. I soon discovered his passions ? family, small farms, grazing, and animal welfare. I could easily relate. He said the gently rolling hills Finger Lakes reminded him of Sweden. The green grass (and everything else!) reminded him of Ireland. I explained things aren't always this green here in August. 
Curt has a wide background working with animals. His grandfather had an auction barn and slaughterhouse. He grew nostalgic at a stop at one of the sale barns. His values came from that time since he grandfather demanded horses and cattle be treated humanely. That stuck with him when he started working horses and then cattle. At all of the clinic stops, Curt took his time getting started with the training. He 'read' the audience and tailored each presentation to the group. He worked dairy or beef cattle at each clinic, which is the format he prefers. He does not use PowerPoint presentations. The toughest crowd was at one of the sale barns working with the employees. He skipped the presentation and we went out to the holding facilities. The employees were in their environment and more willing to talk. Ideas were developed to make the facilities better for both employees and animals. A hot topic was touched upon and will need some further work to remediate. 
Curt is very concerned with consumers perception of animal agriculture. We always need to keep the industry moving forward towards transparency. A quality of life is important for the farmer and livestock. He says it is our duty to care for them and they in turn provide for us. We need to protect them from fear and being alone. Animals have a high tolerance for pain, but we need to protect them from any unnecessary pain. Livestock need to be read before they are worked. Curt took the time to watch them before entering the pens or barns. He moved towards them with confidence and firm pressure. Livestock can sense hesitancy and timidity. All animals have a flight zone, or he liked to call it pressure point. That zone or point was the basis for movement. He 'hooked on' the cattle; he worked to get them to pay attention only to him, gauging the pressure needed for more sensitive ones. 
Curt referenced the Five Freedoms for confined animals at one of our clinics. It sums up a lot of what he believes. It was originally reported in the Brambell Report (1965) and further developed by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) in 1979: 1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour. 2. Freedom from Discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area. 3. Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment. 4. Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind. 5. Freedom from Fear and Distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering. 
At our last clinic at Rita Partee's Fleur de lis Farm, he said we need to step back and take a look at the day. Did we do things right or could we have done things better. That's a great way to end every day!











calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Dairy Cattle Summer Research Update

July 18, 2019
Batavia, NY

After the day's work is done, come hear about two new research trials conducted by Julio Giordano's lab:
  • Strategies for improving dairy cattle reproductive performance and economics
  • Using automated sensors for improving dairy cattle health monitoring and management

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Weed Resistance Management Demonstration and Plot Tour

Event Offers DEC Credits

July 23, 2019
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Waterloo, NY

Come join us on July 23 in Seneca County at Quinten Good's farm for a demonstration and walking tour of 16 different pre- and post-emergence treatments in soybean and 12 different treatments and combinations in corn.
  • Tall waterhemp and marestail are two weeds that are resistant to glyphosate and ALS herbicide modes of action in the WNY and Finger Lakes regions.
  • Each year the number of acres with resistant weed populations expands.
  • For herbicides to be an effective tool in weed management, we have to know what chemistries & application timings are most effective against these resistant weeds.

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Pasture Walk with the Finger Lakes Graziers

July 29, 2019
12:45 - 4 pm
Waterloo, NY

Join the Finger Lakes Graziers on a pasture walk and learn about soil health. 
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USDA Announces New Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2019 ? Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today the availability of a new web-based tool - developed in partnership with the University of Wisconsin - to help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program.

The 2018 Farm Bill authorized
DMC, a voluntary risk management program that offers financial protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. It replaces the program previously known as the Margin Protection Program for Dairy. Sign up for this USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) program opens on June 17.

"With sign-up for the
DMC program just weeks away, we encourage producers to use this new support tool to help make decisions on participation in the program," Secretary Perdue said. "Dairy producers have faced tough challenges over the years, but the DMC program should help producers better weather the ups and downs in the industry."

The University of Wisconsin launched the decision support tool in cooperation with FSA and funded through a cooperative agreement with the USDA Office of the Chief Economist. The tool was designed to help producers determine the level of coverage under a variety of conditions that will provide them with the strongest financial safety net. It allows farmers to simplify their coverage level selection by combining operation data and other key variables to calculate coverage needs based on price projections.

The decision tool assists producers with calculating total premiums costs and administrative fees associated with participation in
DMC. It also forecasts payments that will be made during the coverage year.

The new Dairy Margin Coverage program offers very appealing options for all dairy farmers to reduce their net income risk due to volatility in milk or feed prices," said Dr. Mark Stephenson, Director of Dairy Policy Analysis, University of Wisconsin, Madison. "Higher coverage levels, monthly payments, and more flexible production coverage options are especially helpful for the sizable majority of farms who can cover much of their milk production with the new five million pound maximum for Tier 1 premiums. This program deserves the careful consideration of all dairy farmers."

For more information, access the tool at For
DMC sign up, eligibility and related program information, visit or contact your local USDA Service Center. To locate your local FSA office, visit

New Guidance for Mortality Disposal Issued

NYS Department of Ag and Markets has posted guidelines on disposal of livestock carcasses, in response to reports that some rendering companies have halted pickups from farms.|1