Agricultural Business A.A.S.
Nelson Farms is Morrisville State College's small-scale food processing center located 8 miles from the college in Nelson, N.Y. It serves New York farmers, small business owners and entrepreneurs in producing, packaging and marketing products. Currently, more than 250 clients produce 500+ products at the facility, with an average of 18,300 units produced per month. Clients' products are carried in more than 1,000 retail outlets.
The Nelson Farms Country store (located at Nelson Farms) is a gourmet market which features products produced at the facility as well as other New York products. In addition, several special events, such as product tastings, are offered to the public. Its hours of operation are: Tues.-Fri., 10 am - 5:30 pm and Sat. 10 am - 4 pm.
Morrisville State College students in several programs of study use Nelson Farms as an experiential laboratory, gaining real-world experience in agritourism, marketing, entrepreneurship, and value-added agriculture and development.
The Morrisville State College Dairy Complex
Many state-of-the-art facilities exist on the campus of Morrisville State College. A freestall dairy complex was constructed in 2001. This dairy facility houses 200 milking cows and is being used for teaching, demonstration, and student projects. It is equipped with an electronically-enhanced milking parlor and student-managed computer system. In addition, two heifer barns were recently constructed along with a new calf barn. In addition, the construction on a new show barn has just been completed. These facilities along with a plug-flow anaerobic digester for handling animal waste and producing electrical power provide a tremendous learning environment for our students.
Students in the Animal Science - Dairy A.A.S., Dairy Management B.Tech., Agricultural Business A.A.S., and Agricultural Science programs utilize these facilities. Many of these students also visit, analyze, and evaluate progressive dairy farms and agri-service operations and attend a variety of university/extension and industry-sponsored conferences. These enable the students to apply concepts learned in their classes and provide them with valuable work experiences. Morrisville State College also owns more than 500 acres of cropland to grow their own forages.
Teaching and Research Farm
The Teaching and Research (T/R) Farm at Morrisville State College is located in close proximity to campus. The students who take soil and crop science classes use this farm as an outdoor laboratory. At the farm, they have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they gain in their classes. In addition, the students pursue research projects at the farm, interpret their data, and present their results at the annual meeting of the College's Agronomy Club.
The T/R Farm includes a gamagrass project where students are evaluating the effect of various crop covers on protecting gamagrass against freeze and thaw that damages this grass. It is a cooperative project between the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service and Morrisville State College. The principal investigator of this project is Dr. Paul Salon from the USDA's Big Flat Plant Material Center in Corning New York. Two additional projects are being conducted by researchers from Cornell University. The first project entails trials on corn hybrids, conducted by Dr. William Purdy, while the second is on alfalfa by Dr. Julie Hanson.
Anaerobic Methane Digester
Anaerobic digestion can minimize odor, generate biogas, and allow more effective nutrient use by crops. To realize the potential energy, environmental, and cost saving benefits of anaerobic digestion, farmers need information to evaluate the energy, labor, land, and equipment costs.
The anaerobic digester project at Morrisville State College involves the design and construction of a hardtop plug-flow digester. The digester biologically treats dairy manure and other organic waste generated on campus to produce a stable effluent with improved physical, chemical, and biological characteristics. In the system, biogas (about 60% methane) is produced, captured, and combusted to generate heat and power using a 50 kW engine/generator set. A boiler that runs on either biogas or propane is also used to heat water during the startup phase of the system and anytime the engine generator set is not running.