Stay up to date with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County's Happenings! View the highlights of our recent events, success stories, news articles and press releases.

Come One, Come All to the First 4-H Fair & Family Festival!

Middletown – Mark your calendar and get the whole family ready to join in the fun at Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County’s 4-H Fair and Family Festival! This FREE Admission event full of activities for all ages will be taking place July 26th through July 28th at CCEOC’s Education Center and 4-H Park located at 300 Finchville Turnpike in Otisville, NY. The hours for this event are Friday, July 26th from 3-10 P.M., Saturday, July 27th from 9 A.M. -- 10 P.M. and Sunday, July 28th from 9 A.M. – 3 P.M.

Some of our activities will include Old Mac’s Petting Zoo, 4-H Sheep, Dairy Cow, Goat, Horse and Rabbit Shows, Dog Events, Tie Dying, a Craft Corner, 4-H Projects, Family Games and SO much more! Even Eggbert will be making an appearance each day and will be available to interact with our fair goers!

CCEOC’S own Master Gardeners and Master Food Preservers will be at our fair at both informational tables, at the Succulent Sale table and there will be two separate workshops on the Art of Fermentation! Both workshops will be offered at the low cost of $15 per each. For more details and to sign up, please visit our events page on our website at

Our sixth annual Duck Derby will also take place on Saturday, July 27th at the 4-H Fair and Family Festival! You can adopt a duck for $5 or 5 ducks for $20. The ducks will be released at 4:14 P.M. and there will be a $500 cash prize for 1st Place! What’s a Fair without food!? Not only will there be some great food vendors as well as our own Clover Café, but also Jeremy’s Shake Shack will be having its Ribbon Cutting event on Friday, July 26th at 3:00 P.M. A Chicken Barbecue is also being planned for Friday by RSVP only right before the outdoor movie in the park featuring “Zootopia.”

Our Educators and Volunteers at CCEOC are working hard and looking forward to bringing this FREE 4-H Fair and Family Festival to Orange County! If you would like additional information on this event, please call our office at 845-344-1234. We would also like to thank all of our current sponsors including Animal Health Center, Anthony Terracino Hardwood Flooring, E. Tetz & Sons Inc., Dairy Farmers of America, Inc., Dombrowski’s Lawn and Garden Center, SEEK Safely, Warwick Drive-In and Woodard’s Concrete Products, Inc. If you are interested in sponsoring CCEOC’S 4-H Fair & Family Festival, please contact Elizabeth at 845-344-1234 or by email at

Making Quality Baleage

On the evening of May 28th, Cornell Cooperative Extension held a workshop at Watswyck Farm in Pine Bush on how to make quality baleage. Mother Nature gave another rainy performance, so with improvising, the workshop took place in the farm’s shop and bales were brought near the doorway. Because of the rain, there was a great turnout, with 33 attendees from the tri-county area with both dairy and beef backgrounds, some buying baleage, but most making it. Presenting were Joe Lawrence, Dairy Forage Systems Specialist for ProDairy at Cornell University and Ron Kuck, Livestock Extension Educator from Cayuga County. There was good discussion, samples of good and bad quality bales and a demonstration on checking density. At the end of the workshop, there was even a bale-wrapping demonstration from the farmer. There was a lot of positive feedback and everyone seemed to get something out of the workshop.

A big shout out to Hudson River Tractor for sponsoring the meal for the event.

Ag Literacy Week Set to Bring Farming and Agriculture into Local Schools

This year New York Agriculture in the Classroom sponsored the 15th Annual New York Ag Literacy Week. During Ag Literacy Week volunteers around the state go into classrooms to read to students and help foster awareness, understanding and appreciation of agriculture.

Diana Lupinski of the Orange County Farm Bureau and Susan Ndiaye of Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County helped organized volunteers to go into elementary schools throughout Orange County to read and engage the students in activities that tied into this year’s book “On the Farm, at the Market” written and illustrated by Hudson Valley Resident G. Brian Karas. Principal Lauren Donohue and Assistant Principal Matthew Tramonte at Cornwall Elementary School praised the program as volunteers helped bring “awareness to our young students by communicating the important role agriculture contributes to our daily lives and to our health and well-being.”

This year 36 volunteers visited 36 schools in Orange County, reading to over 4,600 students in 251 classrooms. After reading to the students, volunteers engaged the students in activities that continued to build on their understanding of agriculture here in New York. Each school that participated received a free copy of this year’s book.

Cornell Cooperative Extension and its partnerships provide programs for Orange County residents on youth and family development; nutrition, health, and food safety; community and economic vitality; and agricultural sustainability through Cornell based research. Committed to Orange County, we design programs to meet local needs to enable people to improve their lives and communities. For more information call Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County at 845-344-1234 or visit our website at

Last updated July 26, 2019