Diane DuMont presents Friend of 4-H Award to Mary Craig
Image by Connie Gerow

Diane DuMont presents Friend of 4-H Award to Mary Craig

Lori and Aaron Poupore accept 2015 Friend of Extension on behalf of PAPAS Dairy
Image by Connie Gerow

Lori and Aaron Poupore accept 2015 Friend of Extension on behalf of PAPAS Dairy

2015 Annual Dinner

At the recent annual meeting of Cornell Cooperative Extension, I reported on the past year’s growth and changes in the delivery of high impact programming by our tremendous staff. We, Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County, have a history as a part of America’s national system of informal adult education with over 100 years of success as an agency of change. This continues to be a vital role for us.

Whether it’s helping farmers adopt the latest agricultural techniques or working with families and schools to combat childhood obesity, CCE has been engaged in a wide variety of educational outreach efforts involving food systems, agricultural businesses, natural resources, sustainable energy, 4-H Youth Development, nutrition and economic development.

CCE Franklin continues to deliver high-end informal education fulfilling Cornell’s land grant mission by connecting academic research with community needs with programs like:

  • Healthy living thru nutrition, exercise, and family hands-on educational programs – with real life results in weight loss, improved physical abilities and dealing with family issues
  • Keeping kids in school and achieving better grades in Salmon River, Mohawk School, Tupper Lake School System (and others are in the works)
  • Conducting research to aid farm production and performing the outreach to get the research results from alfalfa pest management to milk quality to reestablishing growing hops in the North Country.
  • 4-H Camp Overlook in Mountain View is still a great summer camp for kids. And now, with it open year round with programs and rentals, it is so much more.
  • Community and Economic Development including such actions as working with businesses and agencies on projects including recycling ag plastic, a greenhouse heated by methane production from the county landfill and development of an agroponic system in a vacant warehouse. Work that is important, not only because the initiatives are agricultural but also because both projects are growing new jobs tied with environmental concerns.

Many of our successes are due to our remarkable partnerships and collaborations:

  • Including the YMCA and JCEO as we conduct our Malone Area Summer Day Camp reaching 40 to 60+ kids a week.
  • With 4-H & schools & parents & community leaders & businesses.
  • A partnership with Paul Smith’s College & the VIC resulting in The Adirondack Center for Working Landscapes. Conducting a Rural Skills and Homesteading Conference drawing over 1,000 people each fall.
  • Dedicated to safety through education to farmers and youth with programs on grain silo safety, farm animals, snowmobile safety and safe tractor operation with collaborators like our sister agencies USDA FSA and Franklin County Soil & Water, Farm Bureau and NYSDEC.
  • A regional alliance between St Lawrence, Clinton, Essex & Franklin, Jefferson and Lewis Counties’ CCE’s to support top-notch agricultural specialists in our region. Going from 3 specialists to 8.5 FTE’s!

We cannot rest on our laurels. We will continue the primary role of Cooperative Extension to educate; to provide innovative, adult educational programs focusing on changing attitudes as a means of changing behavior.

Changes in society, technology and people’s attitudes compel us to rethink how we do things. We live in a time of an explosion of information. Our challenge is to not be mere disseminators of information, but professional educators with a developed expertise to help interpret and synthesize the information in practical ways.

Reaching people and counting attendance numbers is not, in itself, enough. Information alone does not solve problems, informed people do. People want to know how to put information and knowledge to work for themselves. They want to know how to apply information to help them solve specific problems. And we, Extension staff, naturally and easily fill this role.

As I stated at the beginning, Cooperative Extension, has a history as America’s national system of informal adult education; as an agency of change. This continues to be a vital role for us. 


Rick LeVitre
Executive Director
(518) 483-7403

Last updated October 23, 2015