CCE Yates launches annual “Friends of Extension” fundraiser

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County
CCE Yates County

PENN YAN – Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) continues to be vital to the cultural and economic well-being of our region. From what we eat and drink to how we use our natural, financial, and personal resources, Cornell Cooperative Extension touches the lives of adults and children throughout Yates County.

CCE-Yates County’s COVID-19 Response

An unforeseen pandemic requires quick, response to evolving needs:

• Youth Programming – staff developed and disseminated over 200 Youth Boredom Buster Kits, for some non-screen-time indoor and outdoor activity. Our local 4-H found a way to hold the Yates County Spectacular [Fair], balancing social distancing with animal shows and exhibits: 4-H provided dairy, fowl, rabbit, goat, and dog shows at the County Fairgrounds. Teen leadership gathered to implement a community service projects: making fleece animal bedding blankets and collecting bottles as a fundraiser for the Hope Walk. Online workshops, cooking classes and demonstrations were created on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

• Agriculture – local staff and area team members worked with NYS Agriculture and Markets to develop and share the latest education on ways to increase safety for agricultural businesses [farm stands, vegetable producers, dairy producers] and their migrant workers. New York Clean hand sanitizer was provided to local farmers, farm stands and farm workers in Yates County. On Farm Readiness Reviews were provided to local farmers, and the new publication Yates County Farm Update is in its second year as a bimonthly publication, distributed by mail and electronically during the growing season. Finger Lakes Farm Country agritourism website continues to attract new tourist audiences as we promoted local agriculture businesses.

• Gardening – CCE staff continue to respond to local food insecurity concerns, providing four times the usual amount of seed kits. Gardening tips transitioned from in-person classes to online videos [pruning trees, planting potatoes, border flowers] and Facebook gardening video series reached an average of 200 viewers per episode. The Gardening Matters newsletter continued its third year, focusing on providing information on best practices for growing plants. In partnership with the Penn Yan Elks Club and NYS Ag. And Markets, container garden kits were also distributed to over three hundred Yates County seniors, youth, and families.

• Lake Preservation – staff continued volunteer recruitment and training in Harmful Algal Bloom detection/testing with the Shoreline Monitoring Program. Coalition projects [starry stonewort] continued to develop evolving strategies on ways to keep the lakes clean. The Watercraft Steward Program provided community education using PPE protocols and social distancing to conduct inspections and provide education to prevent invasive species from impacting Keuka Lake (and surrounding waterways).

• Quality of Life – case management was provided via phone and social distancing to help Yates County residents use stimulus funds wisely and link them to area resources.

• Terrestrial Invasive Species & Forestry – resources and education on spotted lantern fly, gypsy month, and swallowwort continued. Phone call volumes continue to be high for identification of invasive species and strategies for maintaining trees, shrubs, and other plants. Videos were created, and several online ZOOM workshops were held, to address tree concerns for area visitors and residents.

Become a Friend of Cornell Cooperative Extension

Your support is needed to ensure that CCE can continue to meet the emerging needs of this challenging time. Please make a difference by becoming a Friend of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Online donations can be made at: http://yates.cce.cornell.edu/donate.

CCE-Yates County will also participate in FLXGives 2021. FLXGives is a day of giving fueled by social media and collaboration. It is an initiative of Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes Inc. The day of giving will start at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 11, and will end at 6 p.m. on Nov. 12t. For more information, visit www.FLXGives.org.

Our programs help to build a stronger community as well as contributing to the success of individuals and families. CCE Yates County is a 501©3 not-for-profit, educational institution, and your gift is essential to our ongoing success.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities.