New York farmers are completing business plans for their woodlots, with the assistance of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County and a grant from the New York Farm Viability Institute. Woodlot owners can use forest enterprises and products to supplement their income, and thanks to this grant CCE Chenango has been able to reach more woodlot owners about these possibilities. Part of this reach has been accomplished through a video series constructed by Ashley Russell and Rich Taber called, “Profit from Your Forest.”
Over the last year, Taber and Russell have videoed nine different woodlot businesses. The videos in this series have featured the forest owners and their enterprises, including a sawmill, local maple syrup businesses, and a forest lease contract. These business owners share with their viewers the advantages of their forest enterprises, their successes, and their struggles. Two of the videos feature Steve Childs, of the Cornell Maple Program, speaking about the important characteristics of a woodlot that create a successful maple syrup operation. In these videos, Childs walks through a woodlot pointing out the positives and negatives that he recognizes, demonstrating how a viewer could do the same in their own woodlot.
Right now the series features aspects of maple and sawmill businesses, and can be viewed on Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County’s Facebook page or YouTube Channel. Over the final year of this grant, CCE Chenango plans to continue to help woodlot owners complete forest business plans. They also plan to add to this video series with mushroom and firewood business opportunities.
To find out more about this project, or to complete a forest business plan contact CCE Chenango at (607) 334-5841, or visit their Facebook page.