Executive Director Highlight

The 2022 Volunteer Numbers are in!

Our organization would not be what it is today if not for the unwavering support of our community volunteers.

Residents from all over Suffolk lend their time to work directly with our program areas, or for the greater association. They are tireless advocates for CCE Suffolk and will always continue to be a driving force behind our success. Thank you for all you do!

Click here to learn more about becoming a

CCE Suffolk Volunteer

Meeting with Senator Dean Murray

Last week, we met with NYS Senator Dean Murray of the 3rd District to discuss programs & services available to his constituents. 

Thank you Senator Murray, we look forward to seeing you at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center & Suffolk County Farm for a tour!

Governor Hochul's Press Conference on

Affordable Housing

CCE Suffolk attended a press conference held by Governor Kathy Hochul at the YMCA in Patchogue. It was a very thought-provoking conversation on affordable housing.

Meeting with the CCE

Urban Agriculture Program

Thank you Judson Reid, Yolanda Gonzalez, and the whole Harvest New York Urban Agriculture team for a wonderful meeting in Brooklyn!

Cornell Cooperative Extension's Urban Agriculture program provides support for urban agriculture in all five boroughs of New York City. With an emphasis on growing for market, they serve urban farmers through educational programming, technical assistance, and research.

Learn more

Visit to the Bayard Cutting Arboretum

Marine Program Director Chris Pickerell & myself took a site visit to Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park in Great River!

We met with the Arboretum’s Director Kevin Wiecks & Richard Remmer of the Long Island State Park Commission for a tour of the waterfront and grounds, and to discuss how our organizations might work together in the future to increase habitat value and enhance coastal resiliency.


I traveled to Albany for the 52nd Annual Legislative Conference of the New York State Association of Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislators.

The conference’s mission is to engage New York State residents from a minority descent into a dialogue about issues and policies that have an impact on their daily lives and communities, with workshops covering health care inequities, housing insecurities, criminal justice reform, closing disparities within the educational system, and more.

Learn more about the NYSABPRHAL

DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusivity, and Belongingness) Updates

Women's History

Month Spotlight

Margery Daughtrey

March is Women’s History Month, a time to recognize and highlight the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society. In recognition of this important month, we are recognizing a major force in the field of horticultural studies: Margery Daughtrey.

Margery is a Senior Extension Associate with the Department of Plant Pathology at the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Since 1978, she has conducted research on the management of diseases of ornamental plants at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead. 

Margery grew up in the little town of Crozet, Virginia, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and famous for its peaches. She comes from a family of gardeners, raising vegetables, flowers, trees and shrubs. 

Even as a child she was interested in what made things happen on plants, and when she was 18, her first diagnosis was discovering what caused galls on her aunt’s azaleas. After doing some research, she found it was a fungus called Exobasidium japonicum and realized that plants could get diseases, too. 

Daughtrey holds a B.S. in Biology from the College of William and Mary, where she received high honors for a biology project in which she placed that same Exobasidium japonicum fungus on azalea cells in tissue culture. Later, she earned her M.S. in Plant Pathology from the University of Massachusetts. As she says, “I’ve looked through a microscope many an hour since.” 

Margery is the author of The Cornell Guide for the Integrated Management of Greenhouse Crops and Herbaceous Ornamentals, as well as a coauthor of several books, including; 

  • The Compendium of Bedding Plant Diseases and Pests
  • Diseases of Annuals and Perennial: Identification and Control
  • Compendium of Flowering Potted Plant Diseases
  • Ball Field Guide to Diseases of Greenhouse Ornamentals

Most, if not all, of these are on bookshelves in greenhouses and nurseries across the country. 

In 2007, Margery was awarded the Gold Medal of Horticulture from the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association.

Of the many, many plant pathologists who work closely with nurserymen, landscapers, arborists, and greenhouse operators on woody ornamentals and floricultural crops, Margery is one of the best. Her understanding of plant diseases and the needs of her clientele are exceptional. She knows everything about ornamental diseases and how to control them, and can explain this to the public in a clear and concise manner. Anyone who has read her books or heard her lectures is very fortunate.

Program Updates


Promoting Agricultural Stewardship at Miller Place HS

The Ag program tabled at Miller Place High School's STEAM Night, an event that encourages students to explore the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics through a variety of workshops and interactive activities.

On-Farm & Small-Scale Commercial Compost Production Course Kicks-Off

This course is for folks interested in starting up a composting facility or getting into on-farm composting, offering four comprehensive sessions related to producing compost on your farm or a separate, dedicated site:

-Facility Design, Regulations, & Producer Case Studies

-Biology of Composting & Feedstocks

-Troubleshooting & Contamination Concerns

-Monitoring, Testing & Interpretation

Watch the First Session Here

Sign Up for the Next Sessions

LIHREC Hosts Jared Buono, New Director of Cornell University's Hudson Valley Laboratory

The Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center (LIHREC) welcomed Jared Buono for a visit, the new director of Cornell University's Hudson Valley Laboratory!

LIHREC is a 68-acre facility dedicated to serving the research and extension needs of the local horticulture industries. Its mission is very similar to that of the Cornell Hudson Valley Research Laboratory, which focuses on timely research and technological innovations to help Hudson Valley farmers thrive.

Both facilities are partners of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

More on LIHREC

More on the Cornell Hudson Valley Research Laboratory

Horticulture Diagnostic Lab Ramps Up Soil Testing

Our Horticulture Diagnostic Lab is chock-full of soil samples, as the mild winter has caused gardeners to get an early start on the upcoming planting season

The HDL is available to test soil for pH levels, as well as soluble salts.

For more information, including pricing and instructions on how to take a sample, click here

You can also call the Horticulture Information Line:

(631) 727-4126

M-F 9am-12pm

Avian Influenza Update

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is still being detected and remains a threat to local birds. In January, HPAI was detected in a backyard flock as well as wild birds in Suffolk County, and additional detections have occurred in other NYS counties and nearby states in the past couple of months.

Please review your biosecurity & do your part in protecting your and your neighbors' birds.

USDA’s Defend The Flock education program offers free tools and resources to help everyone who works with or handles poultry follow best practices in biosecurity. Biosecurity refers to everything people do to keep diseases – and the viruses, bacteria, funguses, parasites, and other microorganisms that cause disease – away from birds, property, and people.

Learn more here

Find all HPAI resources from CCE Suffolk here

Community Education

The Art & Health Series by

The Suffolk County Department of Health

Executive Director Vanessa Lockel and the Community Education program were honored to attend The Art & Health Series by the Suffolk County Health Office of Minority Health and Of Colors Creative Collective!

The event jointly commemorated Black History Month and Heart Health Month, featuring discussions with health experts and basic health screenings all centered around a wonderful art exhibit.

The Community Ed program tabled to encourage the reduction of sugar beverage consumption and to promote drinking more water.

Also in attendance was Suffolk County Legislator Jason A. Richberg of the 15th District, and Suffolk AME Chief of Staff Ryan McGarry.

Food Demo at Suffolk County Community College

Nutritionist Melek Baba and students in the SCCC Honors Club organized a food demonstration featuring a Tasty, Healthy Breakfast!

Students learned to prepare Applesauce Pancakes and Homemade Granola. All enjoyed preparing and tasting these healthy breakfast options, and will be happy to join us again next month for Healthy Lunch Ideas!

Nutritionists Prep for the Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program

CCE Nutritionists spoke with care providers & patient navigators from Sun River Health, partners in the Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program set to roll out in March!

The program, funded by a USDA Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program grant, will provide free Nutrition Workshops for low-income Long Islanders with diabetes to attend, led by a CCE Suffolk Nutrition Educator. After learning the importance of healthy eating, participants receive vouchers for free, locally grown vegetables and fruits.


Ask the Family Educator

by Maxine Cohen, Parent Educator

With spring’s mild weather on the way, how can I motivate myself

to exercise more?

Focusing on exercise to improve your health and well-being is a great way to begin the spring season. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than one-quarter of American adults get the recommended amount of exercise each week. It is important to prioritize time for exercise, even though we lead busy lives.

A 2021 study, published in Frontiers in Psychology, found that there are three factors which help individuals stay with an exercise regimen. First, whatever exercise chosen needs to be enjoyable, something that you look forward to doing. Some examples include walking, running, swimming, or aerobic dance to music. You are more likely to stay with the routine if you enjoy the activity and it’s not looked upon as hard work or too arduous. Exercise boot camp class might be effective for the short term, but an individual might not find it sustainable over the long term.

The second factor that helps you stay with an exercise routine is feeling you can be successful in performing the exercise. Feeling in control and positive about your routine helps to keep you “in the loop”. It’s important to believe that you can achieve your goals.

Thirdly, having support from family members and/or friends is also important in helping you stay with an exercise routine. Their emotional support can motivate you to begin and maintain that routine. They will be there for you when you don’t feel like exercising or will listen to you when you have complaints. They can accompany you so that it becomes a social experience. The importance of social-emotional support was described and published by Canadian researchers in 2016 in the International Journal of Sports and Exercise Physiology. Interestingly, that emotional support and encouragement can sometimes backfire when an individual feels too pressured by others to exercise, resulting in a withdrawal from physical activity. The perception of being coerced might lead to rebellion and retreat from exercise. Therefore, family and friends need to encourage and support, but not overly pressure or coerce.

With these factors in mind, look forward to beginning a daily exercise routine. You might want to fit it in before work so that you feel a sense of accomplishment early on which can affect your success during the remainder of the day. Your increased energy level might influence family, co-workers, and friends, leading to healthier and happier lifestyles for everyone!

Suffolk County Farm & 4-H

Animal Science Educator

Kate Perz Talks Eggs on

KJOY's Jamie & You in the Morning

Kate, our Animal Science Educator, made an appearance on the KJOY 98.3 radio show Jamie & You in the Morning to talk about what is happening in the chicken world, and what it means for us humans.

Listen here


Farm-to-School in the News

Check out this article from Morning Ag Clips on our Farm to School event at North Shore High School!

The CCE Suffolk Marine Program, Choose Local FISH, and Harvest New York served local tilefish tacos for lunch, caught by Fishing Vessel Kimberly out of Montauk.

Read here

Meeting with Legislator Sarah Anker

Marine Program Director Chris Pickerell, along with Fisheries Director Scott Curatolo-Wagemann, met with Legislator Sarah Anker of Suffolk County's 6th District to discuss marine debris in the Long Island Sound.

Valentine's Day at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center

We were feeling the love at the Suffolk County Marine Environmental Learning Center (SCMELC), where spawning season began for our shellfish just in time for Valentine's Day!

Clams, oysters, and scallops are spawned here under controlled conditions for restoration projects and citizen science programs.

SCMELC is the headquarters of the Marine Program's Aquaculture Program, housing several shellfish hatcheries and nursery areas. It is also home to the Suffolk Project of Aquaculture Training (SPAT) program, where members learn to grow their own oysters and other shellfish, either in their backyard or at SCMELC!

Learn more here


Employee of the Month

Melissa Elkins

Melissa is a driving force in our organization, working everyday to keep CCE going like a well-oiled machine. Their dedication is bar none.

As the Assistant to the Executive Director, she is able to seamlessly coordinate across diverse locations, needs, and current challenges of hybrid work schedules. She works tirelessly to ensure the educational programs, services, and opportunities get shared with all our stakeholders. Whether on the phone, texting, or answering emails, they are essential in communicating our resources with the community. Their ability to quickly absorb and use new technology on the spur of the moment, keep multiple program needs organized like a juggler with multiple balls, and their availability and communication skills make them an outstanding employee.

Melissa will always go above and beyond the call of duty. She is never afraid of a challenge, is a problem solver, always seeks ways (large or small) to improve our efforts, is always willing to help however needed, and is truly a pleasure to work with.

Congratulations Melissa!

Donate Here

Your support enables us to continue to be a vital and necessary part of our county’s future. Your gift today helps ensure our programs of tomorrow.

Board Member Spotlight

Welcome to the Board of Directors,

Thomas J. Kehoe, Sr!

Tom Kehoe brings a lifetime of work in the seafood industry from many avenues. A partner in numerous wholesale and retail companies, some dating back to the Old Fulton Fish Market. He has also owned aquaculture operations, holding one of the first aquaculture permits in 1986 in Peconic Bay.

Tom has lectured about American Seafood in Russia, and has actively exported, shipped, traveled to and traded US seafood to numerous countries. He currently is the CEO of Kingsbridge Strategies, Inc. a consulting and government relations firm specializing in seafood and alternative proteins.

Tom currently serves as a Trade Advisor to the USDA & USTR on Live Animals and Live Animal Products. He has been an elected official here on Long Island serving as Northport Village Trustee for 12 years. He was also Deputy Mayor, Police Commissioner and Waste Water Commissioner, also having served on County Executive Steve Levy’s Waste Water Task Force and on the Suffolk County Legislature’s MIRAC- Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Committee.

Tom has served as a Director on numerous Boards, more specifically as a Director with NFI- National Fisheries Institute. He is also the former Director & President of the ECSGA (East Coast Shellfish Growers Association) which is the largest aquaculture trade association on the East Coast, representing over 1100 shellfish farmers from Maine to Florida.

Tom is a graduate of the University of Dayton, a father of 6, an active martial artist, Biblical researcher and teacher. He is also a frequent guest on several major television networks to discuss global trade.

This month, Tom visited CCE Suffolk locations in Riverhead (Cornell Cooperative Extension Community Horticulture), Yaphank (Suffolk County Farm & Education Center) and Babylon (Sea Explorers Marine Camp and Outreach Programs).

Thank you Tom for your dedication to our work, and welcome to the Board of Directors!

Upcoming Events

Discipline vs Punishment

Tuesday, March 7, 2023, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

During this program, the difference between discipline and punishment will be discussed. We will define and give examples of each as well as talk about the goals and outcomes of each. In this interactive program, participants will learn about their parenting style and how it pertains to discipline and have an opportunity to learn new discipline techniques.

Register Here

Preschooler Talk

Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 8:00 PM - 8:45 PM

Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 1:00 PM - 1:45 PM

Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 8:00 PM - 8:45 PM

Join us for open conversations about living with preschoolers! These 45-minute question and answer sessions are for parents and other caregivers of preschoolers (children between 3-5 years of age.) There is no fee to participate in these conversations, however advanced registration is required.

Register Here

Recipes in a SNAP

Thursday, March 9, 2023, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Thursday, March 23, 2023, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Free! Follow along with our very own Nutritionists to learn how to make healthy and delicious meals in a SNAP!

Zoom Link

Password: MARCH

LI Horticulture Conference

Thursday, March 9, 2023, 7:30 AM - 4:30 PM

We invite you to join us for the 33rd Annual Long Island Horticulture Conference, back in-person after 2 years.

Landscapers, nursery growers, arborists, landscape architects and designers, turf managers, and others in the horticulture industry throughout Long Island and beyond are invited to attend.

More Info/Register

New York Seafood Summit

Friday, March 10, 2023 - 1PM - 4PM

Join us for the 7th Annual “NY Seafood Summit” where a group of seafood professionals with vested interest in New York’s seafood industry will meet to foster active communications and build productive relationships and collaboration throughout the state. This year’s summit will focus on innovations in seafood.

Learn More/Register

St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt

@ The Farm

Saturday, March 11, 2023, 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Join us for a St. Patrick's Day Scavenger Hunt at the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center!

The Leprechaun's are back, and they've hidden their gold all across the farm! We'll need your help collecting it all. Join us Saturday, March 11th for our annual hunt for the Leprechaun's pot of gold!

Scavenger hunt, wagon rides, photo-ops with farm animals, and new this year: food trucks & adult beverages presented by The Bubbly Bar LI!

Registration is required for both children and adults.

Register Here

Blueberry Production and Hands-On Pruning Workshop

Tuesday, March 14, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:15 PM

Join us for a blueberry production and hands-on demonstration of blueberry pruning at Patty’s Berries and Bunches!

We will provide an overview of blueberry establishment and care, review common insect pests, and focus on pruning techniques to get the most abundant blueberry harvests year after year. We will demonstrate how to prune, and then give you the opportunity to practice. 

Wear farm appropriate clothes. The hands-on pruning will be outside so closed-toed shoes and weather-appropriate clothing are important. Bring pruning shears and hand pruners if you have them!

Registration is required. Please register by March 12.

Register Here

Positive Discipline Strategies

Tuesday, March 14, 2023, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

With families experiencing more stress than usual, you may feel as though your children are misbehaving more. Learn more about Positive Discipline and put into practice strategies to help your child learn self-discipline in a way that is respectful and kind.

Register in advance for this meeting.

Free for parents of children 10 years and younger

Register Here

CCE Suffolk

Board of Directors Meeting

Wednesday, March 15, 2023, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

The BOD Meeting will be held at the CCE Suffok offices located at 423 Griffing Avenue in Riverhead

Learn More

Fuel Your Family

Friday, March 17, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Thursday, March 30, 2023, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This free class will show you how to keep you and your family healthy! Learn all about how to make well balanced meals, while on a budget.

Zoom Link

Password: MARCH

Unpacking Gender

Friday, March 17, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

As our culture becomes more accepting of transgender and gender diverse individuals, we are having more discussions about gender than ever before. However, many of us may still not understand what it means to live in a gender-expansive society and to care for gender-diverse youth. In this program we will reframe traditional understandings of gender, build a deeper understanding of gender-diverse individuals and the LGBTQ+ community, and offer everyday skills to navigate a gender-expansive world.

Please register in advance for this free workshop.

Register Here

Private Sunset Wagon Rides

@ The Farm

Thursday, March 16, 2023, 5:00 PM - Monday, March 20 @ 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 23, 2023, 5:00 PM - Monday, March 27 @ 7:00 PM

Thursday, March 30, 2023, 5:00 PM - Friday, March 31 @ 7:00 PM

Saturday, April 1, 2023, 5:30 PM - Monday, April 3 @ 7:30 PM

Thursday, April 6, 2023, 5:30 PM - Saturday, April 8 @ 7:30 PM

Experience the farm all to yourself with a private group sunset tour!

The experience includes personal farm tour guides, wagon ride, animal visit, and campfire! You are more than welcome to bring your own s’mores supplies and non-alcoholic beverages.

$300 per group-Up to 20 participants

Children under 3 are free and do not count towards head count.

Additional wagon can be purchased for $175.

Please register at least two weeks prior to schedule your group. Don’t wait, dates fill fast!

Register Here

Agritourism Workshop Series

Monday, March 20, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Monday, April 17, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Monday, May 15, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Monday, June 19, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Monday, July 17, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Are you thinking of starting an agritourism business or are you currently operating one?

Join our monthly lunch-hour, workshop virtual series and learn how to grow your agritourism business!

Sessions will focus on specific topics to help aspiring agritourism entrepreneurs grow their knowledge and profit through this exciting on-farm business.

Register Here

Recetas en un SNAP

martes, 21 de marzo de 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

¡Siga a nuestros propios nutricionistas para aprender a preparar comidas saludables y deliciosas en un SNAP!




Mini-Marine Biologist Program

Sunday, March 26, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Sunday, March 26, 2023, 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Sunday, April 16, 2023, 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

March 26: Sensational Sharks!

Explore the biology and ecology of these fascinating creatures, and learn about conservation efforts to save these misunderstood predators. Touch shark jaws, eggs, teeth, and other artifacts, & make an awesome shark craft to take home!

April 16: Fishy Facts

Come explore the world of fish in this interactive program and make a fun, fishy craft with your child to take home!

Register Here

Spring Beach Walks (Babylon)

Tuesday, April 4, 2023, 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Tuesday, April 11, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Come and explore the beautiful sandy beaches of Long Island’s South Shore with us! We’ll look for marine creatures that call the salt marsh and barrier beaches home and learn some fun facts about them. Make sure to dress for the weather and wear shoes that can get muddy/wet as we’ll be walking outdoors for 1.5 hours.

Register Here

There are a number of opportunities available at our summer camps!

Peconic Dunes (Southold, NY):

Camp Health Director

Camp Health Assistant

Unit Coordinator

Head Lifeguard

Senior Camp Counselor

Junior Camp Counselor

Office Assistant

Suffolk County Farm (Yaphank, NY):

Diabetes Camp Nurse

Diabetes Camp Counselor

Suffolk County Farm Camp Counselor

Suffolk County Farm Camp Program Specialist

Click on any of the above to learn more!

View All Employment & Volunteer Opportunities Here

Facebook            Instagram            LinkedIn            Twitter

Have something you'd like included in our monthly newsletter? Send submissions to

Jacob Ocon, Communications Coordinator