New York State Commissioner of Labor Roberta Reardon has not yet rendered her decision on whether to accept the state’s Farm Laborers Wage Board decision to lower the farmworker overtime threshold from 60 hours per week to 40 hours per week, but that hasn’t stopped likely 2022 19th congressional district race foes Antonio Delgado and Marc Molinaro from lobbing a few press release barbs at each other over the issue.
Incumbent Congressman Delgado (D) released a March 29, 2022 letter he sent to Governor Kathy Hochul urging her to reject the Board’s January decision.
Cooperstown resident Liz Callahan will bring her more than 25 years of experience in leading non-profit organizations in the region when she steps in as Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schoharie and Otsego Counties (CCE SO) on April 12.
“Cornell Cooperative Extension is all about community resilience,” Ms. Callahan said in a conversation with The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta. “The entire staff has a deep commitment to help families, farms, and individuals find answers that will work for them. The healthier our smaller units – our families, for instance – the healthier the communities will be.”
CCE SO, affiliated with Cornell University as part of the national land grant university system, is a non-profit community education agency. CCE helps preserve the region’s agricultural heritage, protect ecological infrastructure, support families, and provide youth opportunities for community service and research-based education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). Ms. Callahan grew up in Western New York, where she participated in 4-H, served as a VISTA volunteer, and moved to Cooperstown in 1991 to pursue her Master’s in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown Graduate Program.
“Cooperative Extension is so much bigger than its visible role in 4-H,” she said. “The resources we have aren’t solidly defined with sharp corners. We’re focused on figuring out what communities need; that’s something that will be different in the rural and less rural parts of our counties.”
“Using the talents of the professional staff we have on hand and the resources of the Extension system, I know we can provide practical and constructive responses,” she said.
CCE SO’s remit spans a spectrum addressing the needs of long-established family farms to start-up agricultural endeavors, from professional gardeners to home hobbyists, from families needing
The New York State Department of Labor announced that a virtual hearing to discuss the overtime threshold for farm workers will take place on Tuesday, January 4, at 3:30 p.m.
The main topic of discussion will be whether the required hours of overtime for farm workers should be lowered from 60 to 40.
Members of the Farm Laborers Wage Board which include New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon, New York Farm Bureau President David Fisher, and former president of the New York State AFL-CIO Denis Hughes, will be present at the meeting.
Assemblyman Chris Tague joined Gov. Kathy Hochul, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Richard Ball, and a bipartisan group of legislators Saturday in Corona, Queens as the governor signed the Nourish New York bill into law. Nourish New York connects rural farmers with excess product to food banks in need throughout the state through a state-operated purchasing program, providing fresh foods from New York farms to families.
Labor, dairy and trade are his biggest concerns, Richard Ball, state Ag & Markets commissioner, told The Farmers’ Museum sixth annual Celebration of Our Agricultural Community this morning in the Louis C. Jones Center. “In the old days, farmers only had to think about their cows and their towns,” said Ball. “Now, they have to consider the value of our currency, what is China doing, what is happening in Washington, or if New Zealand had a good year. Trade effects our local farmers now more than ever.” He urged farmers to make themselves and their concerns known to their legislators, because representation of farmers has been on the decline. “They need to know who you are and that you are involved in agriculture.” Keynote speaker Dr. Jason Evans, inset right, SUNY Cobleskill, described farmers’ adoption of new technologies: “When industry is worried about not having enough labor, they mechanize. Agriculture adapts faster than any other area to advancing technology. We need to get properly scaled technological advancements to our small and medium farms.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com
SOUTH AFRICAN BANQUET – 6-9 p.m. The Mali Education project presents a South African benefit bazaar, dinner and documentary fill titled “Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai,” about the founder of the Green belt Movement in Kenya and winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Tickets, $15 adults, $10 children over 5. Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 12 Ford Ave, Oneonta. Reservation, call (607)434-3303 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Info, uuso.org
We still have 6 families in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program in need of a benefactor this holiday season. CLICK HERE to learn how you can help them.
WILD BIRD SEMINAR – 2-3:30 p.m. Learn what to feed the wild birds who stay with us in the winter. Brandow’s Feed and Seed, 4119 NY-7, Oneonta. Info, www.brandowsfeedandpet.com
JAZZ MUSIC – 7 p.m. Doreen Comerford & SMRT Jazz group perform a variety of hit, lesser known, and a few R&B songs. B-Side Ballroom, 1 Clinton Plaza Drive Oneonta. Info, bsideballroom.com/agenda-calendar/
FARMERS GRANTS WORKSHOP – 10 a.m.-Noon Learn how you can find and apply for the right grants, cost share programs, and low interest loan programs for your farm with Elizabeth Higgins, ag business management extension specialist. Registration required. Cooperative Extension Center-Schoharie, 173 South Grand Street, Suite 1, Cobleskill. Info, cceschoharie-otsego.org/events/2016/12/14/farmer-grants-workshop
THEATER – 7 p.m. High School musical, “Into the Woods.” Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown. Info, cooperstowncs.org
SYMPHONY – 7:30 p.m. Catskill Symphony presents Concert II: Featuring Tenor Jon Frederic West performing Wagner and Vaughan Williams. Symphony also performs Brahms Symphony No. 2. Tickets $30, free admission for veterans, children and the adults who bring them. Hunt Union Ballroom, SUNY Oneonta. Info, tickets, (607) 436-2670, www.catskillsymphony.net
CHINESE AUCTION – 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Milford Central School District 42 W. Main St., Milford. Info, web.milfordcentral.org
HOLIDAY BAZAAR – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Includes lunch and new Children’s Ornament Build $5..The Major’s Inn, 12 Marion Ave, Gilbertsville, Info, (607)783-2393 or (607)783-2967 or visit www.themajorsinn.com
HOLIDAY MARKET AND CRAFT SHOW – 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunnycrest Orchards Cidermill Gift Shop, 7869 NY-10, Sharon Springs. For more info visit www.sunnycrestorchards.com
Aaron MacLeod, the new director of Hartwick College’s Center for Craft Food & Beverage, speaks today on Barley and Malt Analysis in the Shineman Chapel House. The talk was one of many making up the sold-out Farmer Brewer Winter Weekend, an immersive experience where farmers and brewers could meet and listen to industry experts. Talks continue through Sunday evening.