CCE Yates Launches Annual “Friends of Extension” Fundraiser



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 across Yates County.

CCE-Yates County COVID-19 Response

An unforeseen pandemic requires a rapid response to changing needs:

• Youth programming – staff have developed and distributed over 200 Youth Boredom Buster kits, for some indoor and outdoor activities without a screen. Our local 4-H found a way to host the Yates County Spectacular [Fair], balancing social distancing with animal shows and shows: 4-H provided dairy, poultry, rabbit, goat and dog shows at the county fairgrounds. Teenage leaders came together to implement a community service project: making fleece pet bedding blankets and collecting bottles as a fundraiser for the Hope Walk. Online workshops, cooking classes and demonstrations have been created on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

• Agriculture – local staff and region team members worked with NYS Agriculture and Markets to develop and share the latest information on ways to increase farm business security [farm stands, vegetable producers, dairy producers] and their migrant workers. New York Clean hand sanitizer has been supplied to local farmers, farm stalls and farm workers in Yates County. On Farm Readiness Reviews has been provided to local farmers, and the new Yates County Farm Update is in its second year as a bimonthly publication, distributed by mail and electronically during the growing season. The Finger Lakes Farm Country agritourism website continues to attract new tourism audiences as we promote local farm businesses.

• Gardening – CCE staff continue to respond to local food insecurity issues, providing four times the usual amount of seed kits. Gardening tips have gone from in-person lessons to online videos [pruning trees, planting potatoes, border flowers] and the 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 in the markets, container garden kits have also been distributed to over three hundred seniors, youth and families in Yates County.

• Preservation of the lake – staff continued to recruit volunteers and train on detecting and analyzing harmful algal blooms with the shoreline monitoring program. Coalition projects [starry stonewort] continued to develop scalable strategies on how to keep 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 by phone and social distancing to help Yates County residents use the stimulus funds wisely and link them to resources in the area.

• Terrestrial invasive species and forestry – resources and education on the spotted lantern fly, the month of the gypsies and the swallow continued. Telephone call volumes continue to be high for the identification of invasive species and maintenance strategies for trees, shrubs and other plants. Videos were created and several ZOOM online workshops were held to address the concerns of visitors and residents of the area regarding trees.

Become a friend of Cornell Cooperative Extension

Your support is needed to ensure that the CCE can continue to respond to the emerging needs of this difficult time. Make a difference by becoming a friend of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Online donations can be made at:

CCE-Yates County will also be attending FLXGives 2021. FLXGives is a day of giving fueled by social media and collaboration. This is an initiative of the Elmira-Corning Community Foundation and Finger Lakes Inc. The Giving Day will start at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 11 and end at 6 p.m. on November 12. For more information visit

Our programs help build a stronger community and contribute to the success of individuals and families. CCE Yates County is a 501 © 3 non-profit educational institution and your donation is essential to our continued success.

Cornell Cooperative Extension is a recognized employer and educator for valuing AA / EEO, Protected Veterans, and people with disabilities and providing equal program and employment opportunities.


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