Annual Dinner invitation

Annual Dinner Program

CCE Steuben celebrates their Annual Meeting with community awards and trivia

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County (CCE-Steuben) celebrated their Annual Meeting last week with awards and trivia at the Main Place in Hornell. Thanks go to Farm Credit East and Charles F Oliver and Son for their sponsorship of the event that helped keep costs down for attendees and for the support that they provide CCE Steuben and the agriculture community.

The TRIVIA competition called “Putting Knowledge to Work (and Play)” was led by Bob Smith of Bulldog Sounds DJ Services. The team named ”We Probably Won’t Win” took away the top prize.

CCE Steuben also presented their annual Friends of Extension awards:

  • Campus Connection: Autumn Lavine
    CCE Steuben’s 4-H Staff nominated Autumn Lavine for her critical work with coordinating 4-H at the New York State Fair for the first time since 2019. Autumn is an integral part of the New York State 4-H Staff. In her role as the New York State 4-H State Fair Coordinator, Autumn led county 4-H staff from across the state through a painful re-introduction to the New York State Fair. With significant personnel changeover since the last State Fair with in-person 4-H Participation, Autumn connected with local county 4-H staff regularly to share information and to answer questions. Since the close of State Fair, Autumn has hosted several listening sessions to learn more from county staff for improvements for next year.
  • Friend of Extension: Bath Rod and Gun ClubCCE Steuben recognizes the Bath Rod and Gun Club for the generous use of their amazing facility. By providing the 4-H Shooting Sports Program access to their “village”, local youth have had the opportunity to learn and experience new things while developing their sportsmanship and leadership skills. Not only have they provided support for the program to hold multiple classes for multiple disciplines annually over the last few years, they also agreed to host the 2022 NYS 4-H Spring State Shoot, a state-wide contest that brings youth from all across New York to compete and showcase their skills learned through their respective local 4-H Shooting Sports Program. The members of this organization have consistently gone above and beyond to help where they can - whether it’s showing 4-H volunteers how to run equipment or volunteering their time to make sure things run smoothly. With the help and support from this club, the 4-H shooting Sports has had the opportunity to grow and strengthen as a program.
  • Outstanding Volunteer: Christine Towner
    The purpose of this award is to recognize a volunteer who has selflessly donated their time and expertise to CCE Steuben. Christine’s connection to CCE traces back well over a decade when her daughter joined the Willing Workers 4-H Club in Cohocton. Throughout her daughter’s 4-H career, Christine helped in a myriad of ways to support youth who were learning life skills through hands-on experiences. She has chaperoned 4-H members at the NYS 4-H Teen Action Rep Retreat (STARR), has been a public presentations evaluator at the county and district level, has served on the STARR Planning Committee, and has chaperoned youth to the Citizen Washington Focus conference in Washington, D.C. – using her connections to help youth gain access to unique tours and experiences. More recently, Christine has successfully served for two terms on the 4-H Program Advisory Committee and has been an active 4-H representative on the Board of Directors. In these roles, she has supported CCE staff and programs through six years of challenges and successes, always adding a bit of comic relief while maintaining clear vision of the goals and objectives to better serve the community. Her help and guidance have been particularly impactful this year in the mobilization of the Veggie Van – which provided residents an opportunity to shop local and eat healthy at various locations across the county.
  • Outstanding Youth: Trinity Daley
    This year’s recipient has been a Steuben County 4-H member for 7 years. Throughout the years, Trinity has shown the true meaning of 4-H and in her own way is working to “make the best better”. Just this spring she and her family donated lambs to 4-Her’s interested in learning how to raise sheep. Additionally, she also hosted two sheep Showmanship and Shearing Clinics at her family’s farm. Not only did she lead the clinic, but she also allowed and encouraged others to practice with her animals and worked with each individual to help improve their skills. This year alone she exhibited in over ten different project areas which makes for long days at the county fair. In 2021 there was flooding in the southern part of the county and Trinity sold an extra turkey she had raised as part of the 4-H Market Turkey Project and all the proceeds raised were given to flood victims. Just days before the county fair this year, a fellow 4-Her lost their sheep to a predator attack. Trinity offered to help and stepped up by selling one of her own sheep to raise money so that the individual that had lost her sheep would have funding toward next year’s animal. Trinity’s positive attitude, willingness to help others, and caring heart is what 4-H is all about.
  • Outstanding Producer: Kyle Lowery of Lowery Family FarmsKyle is someone who took a chance on CCE Steuben. When CCE Steuben and Christine Towner wrote a small grant to see if a farmer could take their vehicle and sell produce in rural places in Steuben, Kyle became that farmer. With the help of funding from the Office for the Aging and the Corning Foundation, CCE Steuben implemented the Veggie Van – a nine week program where Lowery Family Farms went to various rural places in Steuben County to provide fresh produce to people with limited transportation in food deserts. He made it a family venture, had amazing customer service for everyone that came in, and communicated to CCE Steuben as needed. This pilot was a huge success due to us working with such a great farmer. Kyle was also one of the farmers that helped with our pilot of Farm Trail Day. He was so willing to help, that he promoted the event himself as well in the newspaper and radio. Kyle, along with four other farms, were wonderful about working with CCE Steuben and being patient in navigating this new event. We are grateful for farmers like Kyle and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Kyle Lowery of Lowery Family Farms!

During the meeting, Executive Director Tess McKinley welcomed Gabriel Smalt to the Board of Directors, Robin Robarge and Gabriel Smalt to the 4-H Program Advisory Committee, Emily Brennan to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, and Steve Olix, Meghan Smith, and Stacey Wing to the Community Health and Financial Wellness Committee.

McKinley went on to highlight a few of the impacts CCE Steuben made on the community during 2022 including:

  • Veggie Van – served approximately 400 people with fresh produce in food deserts in Steuben County
  • Farm Trail Day – Over 250 families ventured out to learn about farming and significantly increased sales revenues for five locals farms in our county
  • 600 Container Garden Kits distributed in our area with our agency leading that grant that brought in $38,000 to our agency.
  • Shared Business Network – We applied for and received the bid to be in charge of the SBN for the Finger Lakes Region of CCE. That means we have three new employees in Steuben that are serving our seven county region with finance, IT and human resources services.
  • Pavilion at Haverling Street Park – worked with the Village of Bath, the Langendorfer family and Rotary to put in a pavilion and started work on a permaculture garden.
  • Brought in additional funding for providing interim Executive Director coverage to Livingston County CCE
  • Many Steuben County 4-Hers went to the NYS Fair as well as one who is going to Nationals for horse judging
  • $84,000 brought in by 4-Hers that sold their animals at the Livestock sale at the fair
  • $47,000 sold by 4-Hers for their fundraiser this year. Steuben County 4-H is the biggest fundraiser for Cuba Cheese and Wilson Beef Farms. We also introduced Golden Age Cheese to the mix this year.
  • Approximately 300 4-Hers benefited from programming from approximately 50 leaders and key volunteers.
  • Over 400 individuals have benefited from our financial education programs in 2022, including approximately 50 women who attended our Women’s Financial Conference and many individuals that received budget counseling.
  • Our two nutrition programs (SNAP Ed and EFNEP) that have 14 staff, with 6 of them in Steuben County provided education to over 6,800 people in the 2022 year. Our SNAP Ed program brings in over $800,000 into our county to provide education to at risk populations.
  • Our agriculture teams – FLGP, CVP and SWNY DLFC are highly trained specialists supporting local farms right here in Steuben County. Just in the last year FLGP worked one on one with 150 growers, CVP worked with 2343 growers and the SWNY team worked with 1480 growers, with many of those farmers being right here in Steuben. The teams also had approximately 6,000 people in 2022 attend their educational classes. I also encourage that you grab them for your trivia team as they do very well every year!

McKinley recognized the support CCE Steuben has had from so many people as the reason for its strong mission of putting knowledge to work in Steuben County. CCE Steuben puts knowledge to work in pursuit of economic vitality, ecological sustainability, and social well-being. This is accomplished through the following programs: 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Extended Food and Nutrition Education Program, Financial and Consumer Wellness, and the SNAP Education Southern Finger Lakes Program. CCE Steuben is a nonprofit that brings local experience and research-based solutions from Cornell University together, helping New York State families and communities thrive in our rapidly changing world.

Last updated November 8, 2022