Alfred State College (ASC) has joined forces with Genesee Community College, Batavia, (GCC); Cornell Cooperative Extension of Wyoming County, Warsaw, (CCE); and Quality Milk Production Services, Geneseo, (QMPS) to establish the Wyoming County Dairy Institute.
Under the direction of William Maddison, Executive Director of CCE, the Wyoming County Dairy Institute will assess and address the regional agriculture workforce development needs of Wyoming and surrounding counties and provide extension education for dairy producers. The collaborative effort intends to provide workforce development and specialized training for producers and agribusiness employees; raise the awareness and interest of high school students in careers in agricultural science and business; and investigate post-secondary academic programs in the field of agriculture.
The institute plans to offer both credit and non-credit bearing course work in school districts, GCC campus centers, and vocational/technical centers (such as BOCES) of Western New York State. Training modules for adults employed by regional dairy producers and agribusinesses will be a primary focus.
The joint development of CEU non-credit professional development "short courses" by ASC, QMPS, and CCE of Wyoming County will initially target employees of regional agribusinesses. The extent and content of these courses will be based on an assessment conducted by CCE and will be administered by a team of dairy experts, including Dr. Dorothea Fitzsimmons (ASC), Dr. Hal Schulte (Cornell University), Dr. Scott Carrick (Attica Vet Clinic), Dr. Michael Capel (Perry Vet Clinic), Donna Walker (Dairylea Coop., Inc.), Gus Beck (Don Beck, Inc.) and Jack van Almelo (Dairy One).
Where there is a demonstrated demand, the institute will develop and deliver college-level credit-bearing courses to individuals interested in pursuing the field of agriculture. The development of a sequence of courses that would lead to an AAS degree in agriculture will be explored. Any such program would employ the instructional expertise of both ASC and GCC faculty and make use of both on-site and distance learning methodologies.Additionally, applications and requests for support funding have been made to Pro Dairy, the Wyoming County Industrial Development Association, and the New York Farm Viability Institute. The first module on Biology and Management of Producing Quality Milk is now under way in Warsaw, NY. The second module scheduled will be Utilizing DairyComp 305 to Efficiently Manage Cows and Maximize Profits.