Issue 4.22--------------------------------------------------------------------------- DONATE TO CCE-Suffolk

In This Issue

Earth Month

Annual Report

Program Highlights

Board Member Spotlight

Ask the Family Educator

Spring Garden Trio

Upcoming Events

In The Press

Local Fish Recipe

Out In Your District

Career Opportunities

Newsletter Produced by

CCE-Suffolk Communications Team

Message from our Executive Director

Time for warmer weather, our baby animals at the Farm and more time to enjoy the beautiful outdoors! CCE-Suffolk is all about Earth Month this month! We are celebrating Earth Day all month long with an emphasis on our environmental programs throughout Suffolk! Keep an eye on our social media for earth friendly tips and for a heads up on educational in your area. We were very proud to highlight the women of CCE – our staff and stakeholders - during Women’s History Month in March.


We are busy meeting with our Suffolk County Legislators, either on zoom or at the Suffolk County Farm for a hay wagon ride around the property. It was also my pleasure to welcome fellow gardeners to our virtual Spring Gardening School last weekend! I also enjoyed hearing the latest agriculture trends at the Leaders Forum with LI Horticultural Research & Extension Center’s Mark Bridgen. And, what a start to camp season - Peconic Dunes 4-H Camp sold out! Finally, a big thank you to our volunteer board members who joined us for our recent board meeting. Your support and guidance is invaluable!


Enjoy this update and take time to visit us at the Suffolk County Farm on a nice Spring Day!

~Vanessa Pino Lockel

It's Earth Month

CCE is celebrating Earth Month all throughout the month of April! 


One of our biggest missions here at CCE is to help protect our environment. Whether it be through working with local farmers or encouraging the community to get involved, we want to do everything we can to keep making Suffolk County one of the most abundant regions in the state. Our Agricultural Stewardship program is one of our biggest leaders in achieving this goal. They continuously work with commercial farmers through research and demonstrations to show them efficient ways to reduce pesticide usage and maintain water quality. Since 2004, they’ve educated farm businesses throughout Suffolk County on new technology and practices being used to create a more sustainable environment so we can all do our part in creating a healthier community. Follow our social media pages all month long to find out ways you can help our local agriculture and the environment around you. 

Click here to read more about our efforts

The 2021 Annual Report is out!

Board of Directors met to oversee the updates of our association and to see the finalized Annual Report.

This report is a culmination of our joint achievements of last year. We launched the year with an eye towards COLLABORATIONS! Knowing that our collaborative efforts are what make CCE-Suffolk stronger, more effective, and more diverse. Collaborations across the association increased our reach and enhanced our resources.

Click here to read the entire report


Program Highlights

The Community Education team has been educating us about healthy habits for Nutrition Month. We learned how to read nutrition labels, myths about salt, two bites club, the benefits of whole wheat, and much more. Under the theme of World of Flavor, the team shared cultural meals, and our staff shared their healthy plates. 


The Family Health and Wellness team continued with their free virtual parent talks. Educator Kerrie Reda shared a powerful insight for parents concerning Daylight savings. Linda Altenburger, our diabetes educator, presented at the American Heart Association’s #CheckIt virtual event about National Nutrition Month.


Our Agriculture program continues to share the latest news on Avian Flu and what we can do to stop the spread in our flocks. Members of the Agriculture program took part in the Long Island Leaders Forum at Bayard Cutting Arboretum with other horticultural leaders on Long Island.

The Marine program held a Marsh Madness Cleanup at Tiana Beach in Hampton Bays, where visitors learned about the marshes and helped take care of them. The Fisheries team participated in the annual Seafood Summit and finished the Winter Inshore Trawl Survey. They visited 32 trawls and found a rich culture of fauna living on our shores. They’re excited to share their findings to show how our waters thrive. 


Some of our Farm staff attended a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) training program called “All-Hazards Preparedness for Animals in Disasters.” Also with was with heavy hearts, the farm had to say goodbye to our sweet pig and friend Lucky. As one friend leaves, another arrives; a new farm friend joined us this month! Be on the lookout for our new baby lamb, Ford, with his mom Mirriam when you visit. 


International Women’s Day was celebrated with a special spotlight on women stakeholders. Carol Isles, Bonnie Brady, Dr. Kasie Raymann, and Dr. Dee Hensen were spotlighted for their extraordinary impact in their fields. 

Board Member Spotlight- David Diamond

David Diamond has been a board member since January 2021 and is excited to be helping advance all aspects of CCE-Suffolk’s mission. He is especially interested in the marine environment and child education programs.

As a board member of Governors of the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, his responsibilities include the child and adult education programs. This work combines his interest in childhood development, his experience of being on the water as a sailboat owner and as a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, and his management skills.

Mr. Diamond is recently retired with emeritus status from Brookhaven National Laboratory and is currently a consultant at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. During the past decades he has also worked as a consultant to research and energy regulatory organizations in Europe, Asia, and South America. 

Mr. Diamond is a proud Cornellian with his two sons and granddaughter carrying on the tradition! He is also an alumnus of M.I.T. where he earned a PhD degree. 

Ask the Family Educator

Today’s question: How can I speak with my child about global conflicts and other scary events?

There are many scary and violent events happening in our world which can affect our children. The answer depends on the age and stage of development the child is in

It’s important to accept your child’s concern and not be dismissive. Affirm your child’s feelings (such as being sad) and ask your child what they think your family can do to help displaced people who are struggling. There are many ways to volunteer in the community for the greater cause.

Taking positive action helps the older child regulate their feelings instead of feeling helpless and/or hopeless. Acting for the positive good builds strong family bonds and increases a family’s sense of well-being.

To read the entire article click here




The Gardening program held their virtual Spring Gardening School event as a part of Spring Garden Trio. Led by keynote speaker Margaret Roach and nine gardening experts throughout our region, we were able to learn about a variety of gardening techniques and topics that can be used in our gardens all year long. 

This year's Spring Trio continues with in person workshops at the Suffolk County Farm. Come and get your hands busy with classes taught by Master Gardeners.

There are 18 choices of classes such as: making a bonsai garden, May baskets, drip irrigation, composting, planting pollinators, pruning roses and hydrangeas, herbals planters, figs and others.

  • $35 for the day of workshops, bring your picnic lunch.
  • $50 for the day of workshops with a Panera lunch provided.

To register: call Sarah Osborn at 631 727-7280, ext. 207

Looking for flowering annuals, herbs, perennials, shrubs and native plants? Our plant sale is open to the public. Hundreds of blooming annuals, perennials, native plants and shrubs will be available.

Door prizes of plants in bloom

Visit us all day, 8:30-2:30

Saturday, April 30th

Suffolk County Farm, Yaphank



  • Garden Makeover on a Budget
  • Parks for All: Frederick Law Olmsted
  • A Walk in Olmsted Parks
  • Organic Vegetable Gardening
  • Pollinator Garden
  • Food Waste & Local Solutions
  • Flavors of Tomatoes
  • Magic of Compost
  • Master Gardener Plant Sale
  • Garden Workshops
  • The High Line: Lessons for Gardeners

Click for more events

Suffolk County Farm/ 4-H

  • Raising Backyard Chickens Seminar
  • High School Animal Experience
  • Goat Yoga
  • Take & Make Spring Flowers
  • B.O.S.S.
  • Sunset Wagon Rides
  • Egg Hunts

Click for more events

Community Education

  • Parent Talks
  • Charlas de Nutricion
  • Nutrition Chats
  • De La Granja a Su Mesa
  • Farm to Table
  • Talking to your Kids about the War in Ukraine*****
  • Financial Fitness for Families
  • Play Time, Learn Time

Click for more events


  • ArtSea ~ Earth Awareness ~ Habitat Exploration & Diorama
  • Spring Break Program: Sensational Sharks
  • Spring Beach Walks
  • Deep Sea Adventure Drive-Thru
  • Reptiles Drive-Thru

Click for more events


AP: Abandoned Lobster Traps

Appropriations have been approved for the collaborative effort of the Marine Program to clean up lobster taps in the Sound. This is a win for the collaborative efforts of neighboring agencies and states.

Click Here to Read More

Newsday: Beeline for Spring

The Spring Garden school and workshop have something for all gardeners. Join the workshops from our Gardening Spring Trio to find out how to create a garden that is a home for pollinators.

Click to Read More

EM4Fish: Projects in the Field

With the help of CCE-Suffolk educators, the Northeast USA Fishermen are going paperless in their transition to Electronic Vessel Trip Reporting.

Click To Read More

Greenhouse Grower: 100 Years Serving Horticulture

Look out for the April copy of the Greenhouse Grower. Our staff from the LIHREC (Long Island Horticulture Research Extension Center) is featured cover celebrating the 100 years of the center.

The Anniversary will be celebrated throughout the year at events such as the Annual Plant Science Day later in the year.


CCE-Suffolk met with many close and prospective partners for the association.

The MTA LIRR visited us at our Suffolk County Farm to discuss how travel to the farm can be accessible and environmentally friendly.

Executive Director Vanessa Lockel gave the Riverhead Rotary Club a presentation of the value that CCE-Suffolk creates in Suffolk. Thank you to Bill Sanok for the invite.

Congratulations to the graduates of The Energeia Partnership. Our Executive Director, Vanessa Pino Lockel (class of 2012) sponsored new graduate, Joseph Brown (DPW) into the program and was happy to be there in celebration.

It was nice to see our “Farmer for a Day” collaboration at the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center represented at their celebration. It is a highlight of our work at CCE-Suffolk to create lasting memories and connections that impact the future.

Finally, Executive Director Vanessa Lockel was present at the 100 Hispanic Women event for NY Times Best Selling author of "Olga Dies Dreaming," Xochtl Gonzalez.

Choose Local Fish Monthly Recipe

SALT Sandwich (Skate, Avocado, Lettuce + Tomato)


Recipe by: Stefanie Sacks, MS, CNS, CDN 

Serves 4 


  • 1 1/2 lbs. skate wings, cut into 3-4" pieces 
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to clean fish 
  • 1 lemon, to clean fish 
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil, for pan frying 
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs 
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 lemon, juiced, for finish 
  • salt, to taste 
  • 1 avocado 
  • 1 tomato 
  • 4 leaves romaine lettuce 
  • 1 small red onion, optional 
  • bread, of choice 


1. To clean fish, place in large bowl and cover with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and juice of one lemon. Mix with your hands (or a wooden spoon) and let sit for one minute. Then rinse each fillet under cold water and place on a clean, dry side towel or layered paper towel.  


2. In a large pan, heat vegetable oil on medium. Cut the skate wings in half, place in a bowl and gently toss with extra virgin olive oil.  


3. Pour the bread crumbs onto a large plate and generously coat each piece of fish on both sides; place the breaded cutlet in hot oil and cook a good 5 minutes per side until dark golden brown (it may seem overcooked but skate needs time). Repeat with remaining fillets.  


4. Prepare a plate with layered paper towel and once fish is finished, place on plate so the excess oil gets soaked up. Finish with lemon and salt.  


5. To make the sandwiches, layer each fillet on a roll or bread with avocado, lettuce and tomato (red onion optional). You can also use mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard or a combination to add more moisture to your sandwich if desired.

Click to see more Local F.I.S.H Recipes


We enjoyed visits with a number of our legislators last month to give updates on how CCE-Suffolk is helping our residents. Here's a recap of all our meetings with our local officials. 


We visited Legislator Stephanie Bontempi of Huntington to discuss how our programs can help support the town’s residents and protect the local environment. 

Our executive director Vanessa Lockel joined Legislator Sam Gonzalez at his Women's History Month event celebrating the work of women of Suffolk County.

Legislator Mazzerella visited the Farm with the Community Education PAC member Jason Neal.

At the most recent Suffolk County Legislature EPA meeting, our Marine program provided the legislature with an update of the program's work.

Legislator Manuel Esteban

Legislator Tom Donnelly

Legislator Sarah Anker

Gay Vogel-Campisi from Legislator Leslie Kennedy's office

Legislature Anthony Piccirillo 

Vegetable & Potato Program Assistant

Working on applied research and educational activities emphasizing sustainable agricultural practices in Suffolk County.

See all open positions here
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