Fridays with Farm Viability: Identifying Common Elements of Change

This year, in lieu of our Taking Stock for New York Agriculture meeting in Albany, we are partnering with Farm Credit East to host a series of four webinars focused on better understanding why and how change occurs in agriculture. Our goal for these sessions is to highlight examples where change has occurred so others—whether researchers, educators or policy makers—can consider how to apply these lessons to their own work.

Farm Viability and its projects have a long track record of advancing change through new practices in agriculture. The organization was built around the idea that farmers need to be actively engaged with the research and education programs that are designed to help them. That’s why applications to our competitive program, FVI, are evaluated by our farmer review panels on both producer involvement and outreach.

As an organization, we remain focused on bringing producer’s perspectives to everything we do.  We strongly believe that without producer input we risk supporting work that may simply never gain traction on the ground. Farmer advisory committees, on-farm research, demonstration projects, proven economics and dedicated outreach are all tactics that can help a new approach become a norm. 

We hope you’ll be able to join us as we explore the topic of practice adoption with our project leaders and experts. It is sure to be interesting discussions. Descriptions of each session and registration links are below. All webinars will be sixty minutes long and be held at 1:00 pm EST.  Note: it is necessary to register for each individual session.

December 11th at 1 pm
Part One: Incorporating Behavioral Science Insights into Agricultural Programs
The first session will feature behavioral sciences expert John Pickering with Evidn and will explore the factors that influence a farmer’s decision to adopt a new practice. He will also discuss how behavioral insights can be applied to enhance your work. Julie Sorensen with the Basset Healthcare’s New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health will share her experience with using “behavioral nudging” to influence safety practice adoption. More detailed information about this session can be found here. Watch the recorded session here.

January 15th at 1 pm
Part Two: Why Did It Work? New York’s Transition to Tall Spindle Apple Orchards
This session includes a presentation by Cornell’s Dr. Terence Robinson about the transformation of New York’s apple orchards over the last several decades as well as highlights from a recent apple grower survey. Watch the recorded session here.

February 5th at 1 pm
Part Three: Will Farmers Do it? Helping New York Farms Evolve Their Production Practices
This session features a panel of researchers and educators who have been working to develop and help farmers adopt “win-win” solutions for nutrient management and soil health practices.  Watch the recorded session here.

March 5th at 1 pm
Part Four: How New Research is Helping New York Dairy Farms Use Less Antimicrobials
This session highlights the researchers, veterinarians and educators that are working to help farmers adopt Selective Dry Cow Therapy (SDCT) in their operation. Learn what they think is working well, and where the “watch outs” for implementing practice changes may be. Watch the recorded session here.

If you have any questions, please contact Aileen Randolph at