Executive Director Highlight

Congratulations Andrew Turner,

Newly Appointed Director of CCE!

Andrew Turner has recently been appointed director of Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) and associate dean for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Human Ecology (CHE) at Cornell University.

The CCE Suffolk family is incredibly enthusiastic about the positive influence Dr. Turner's leadership will bring, and we're looking forward to commencing this new chapter of CCE!

The Annual Suffolk

County Marathon

Congratulations to all who competed in the Suffolk County Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K & 5K!

I was a proud participant of the event, placing 2nd in my age group for the 5K race and 20th in my division for the half marathon!

NYS Hispanic Heritage Month Reception in Albany

I had the honor of attending the NYS Hispanic Heritage Month Reception held in Albany!

It was a joy to get together with friends and collaborators from across the state to celebrate the invaluable contributions and profound influence of Hispanic Americans on the history, culture, and accomplishments of the United States.

CCE Suffolk takes immense pride in serving the vibrant communities of Long Island, with a special focus on the rapidly growing Hispanic communities. As we broaden our organization and programs, we are committed to providing an increasing wealth of resources in Spanish, and we are dedicated to pursuing this mission in the years ahead.

Photo (Left to Right): CCE Suffolk Spanish Language Consultant Liz Gutierrez, New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez, CCE Suffolk Executive Director Vanessa Lockel

Long Island Harvest's

"Taste of the Harvest" Event

Featuring delicious samplings from local eateries and beyond, proceeds from the Taste of the Harvest event support Island Harvest and their mission to end hunger and reduce food waste on Long Island!

Hosting Local Civil

Air Patrol Event

Our main offices in Riverhead had the pleasure of hosting the Cyber Patriots from the 9th Suffolk Cadet Squadron Civil Air Patrol!!

This National Youth Cyber Education Program, sponsored by the Air & Space Forces Association, aims to educate the next generation of patriotic cyber defenders on our nation's security and infrastructure. CCE Suffolk's IT Coordinator, Ernie Francis, is an Aerospace Education Member with the program.

Suffolk DPW Repairs & Updates the

Kermit W. Graf Building

The Suffolk Department of Public Works recently completed some updates to the exterior of the Kermit W. Graf building in Riverhead, home to the CCE Suffolk main offices. 

Along with the installation of a new sidewalk along the side of the building, the crew addressed a drainage issue in the front parking lot and made essential repairs to the front entryway. These improvements not only provide a safer entrance, but also rejuvenate the generously donated brickwork found at the building's front door.

Thank you Suffolk County Public Works for the great work, and come check out the new look next time you visit our offices!

Sign Up for the New CCE Suffolk Clean Energy Newsletter!

Coming soon! The CCE Suffolk Clean Energy Newsletter offers up-to-date information on home energy efficiency opportunities, municipal and communal clean energy opportunities, and help finding job training and employment in the clean energy sector.

Sign up here

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

Book Drive with the 100 Hispanic Women Long Island Program

CCE Suffolk joined forces with 15 nonprofit groups to collect books during a successful networking and book drive event hosted by 100 Hispanic Women Long Island!

Together, we collected Spanish books for bilingual children. This program highlights collaboration and the influence of professional Latinas dedicated to mentoring young Latina students, as well as raising scholarship funds.

Executive Director Vanessa Lockel is a proud VP for the 100 Hispanic Women Long Island Program

Stony Brook Medicine's Coming Out Day Event Held at Suffolk County Farm

Attendees enjoyed wagon rides, pumpkin picking, animal visits and feeding, dance parties, and more during the Stony Brook Medicine National Coming Out Day event!

Vanessa Lockel Honored by Town of Riverhead for Hispanic Heritage Month

During last week’s Town of Riverhead Work Session, Executive Director Vanessa Lockel was among a group of local Latina trailblazers honored for their work to support local Hispanic communities!

Thank you to the Town of Riverhead and Supervisor Yvette Aguiar for this amazing recognition, as well as NYS Senator Anthony Palumbo and NYS Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio for their additional honors presented during the event!

Check out this clip from News 12 covering the ceremony!

CCE Suffolk Sponsors 2023 World AIDS Marathon, Half, 10K & 5K

Join team CCE Suffolk at the 2023 World AIDS Marathon, Half, 10K & 5K!

We are incredibly proud to sponsor this event, held by the Richard M. Brodsky Foundation.

Proceeds will benefit the Foundation's work in Kenya and St. John's Episcopal Hospital, Harmony HealthCare Long Island and Northwell Health.

The races will take place at the Rockaway Beach Playground on Friday, December 1st. Be sure to register under the team “Cornell Coop Ext of Suffolk” captained by our Executive Director Vanessa Lockel!

Learn more/Register

Explore the CCE Suffolk Spanish

Facebook Page!

Discover information about upcoming events and workshops conducted in Spanish, receive valuable health tips and tricks, and more!

Learn more

Program Updates


Living Landscapes Conference Held at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

On October 18th, landscape professionals attended the Living Landscapes Conference at the beautiful Planting Fields Arboretum. Attendees learned the ecological benefits of ornamental horticulture and lighting practices suitable for Dark Sky Initiatives!

Long Island Farm Bureau Annual Meeting

Attending the Long Island Farm Bureau's annual meeting was truly a delightful experience, filled with the warmth of community and the spirit of supporting local agriculture. Members heard updates on the organization and voted on proposed policy and board leadership. 

The event was a privilege to be a part of, bringing together like-minded individuals who share a deep appreciation for the vital role that agriculture plays in the Long Island region.

Join the Suffolk County Master Gardeners!

Want to learn about native and pollinator plants, how to prune and propagate, and other good practices for your garden?  

 Join the Master Gardeners of Suffolk County!


Becoming a Master Gardener starts with a comprehensive 16-week training course that encompasses a blend of in-person sessions, online study, field trips and course projects. Key to the Master Gardener program is a commitment to volunteer efforts. Graduates have an obligation to contribute 125 volunteer hours in their community within two years after training.   


If you possess a love for gardening and a commitment to volunteerism, we encourage you to apply! Suffolk school districts have sponsored teachers, and scholarships are available. Those living in and likely to volunteer in under-represented communities may be eligible for a scholarship. 


Applications are open for the next Master Gardener training beginning on February 28, 2024. 


You’ll find the Master Gardener course description here, with the application in the left column of the webpage 


Those with questions can contact Roxanne Zimmer at [email protected] 


Suffolk County Master Gardeners were recently featured in an article from Northforker! Read here.

Those with a Newsday subscription can also check out this article.

Community Education

Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program Holiday Series

The next iteration of the Fruit & Vegetable Prescription Program begins on November 14th!

A partnership among healthcare providers, local produce suppliers, nutritionists, and educators, the Fruit & Veggie Prescription Program helps bridge the gap between low-income diabetes patients in Suffolk County and the wholesome food needed for successful treatment.

Register here

Educators Participate in the 4th Annual Senior Health Expo, Hosted by NYS Senator

Kevin Thomas

Educators from the Community Education Program attended NYS Senator Kevin Thomas’ 4th Annual Senior Health Expo in Garden City!

Over 150 seniors benefited from our educators' insights on the importance of healthy eating and maintaining physical activity throughout all stages of life. The event, attended by 60 organizations, also provided attendees with access to complimentary flu shots and COVID-19 boosters, along with various other giveaways!

Supporting Youth Mental Health Series

Supporting Youth Mental Health workshops are aimed at parents, caregivers, and professionals who are looking to learn more about current mental health issues facing youth and what they can do to begin conversations and support young people in their lives.

These workshops provide the latest research-based information and allow for discussion, questions, and answers.

Stay tuned for more dates and topics!

For questions, please contact Cara Sultan | [email protected]

Learn more/Register here

Topics include:

Talking to Kids about Difficult (and Scary) Things

Monday, November 6, 2023, 12pm-1pm

Teens and Screens 

Thursday, November 9, 12pm-1pm 

Helping Kids Through Trauma 

Monday, November 13, 12pm-1pm 

Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth 

Thursday, November 16, 10am-11am 

Recognizing and Managing Anxiety in Youth  

Monday, November 20, 12pm-1pm 

Cultivating Resilient Teens 

Monday, November 27, 12pm-1pm 

Teaching Kids about Drug and Alcohol Use 

Thursday, November 30, 12pm-1pm

Canning Workshop with Maryann Birmingham, Master Food Preserver

Participants of this workshop series learned water bath canning, freezing and drying following safe procedures!

In the final session of this series, participants will learn to jar Apple Sauce/Mom's Apple. Register by email to Juana Huertas at [email protected].

Learn more

The Parent Cafe:

Free Parenting Classes

In today's parenting landscape, establishing a supportive community is paramount for families, providing an avenue to express concerns and acquire invaluable insights.

Find your community at the Parent Cafe!

Through this program, families can access free, research-based educational sessions conducted by expert Parent Educators, Nutrition Educators, Lactation Consultants, and more. As an added treat, gifts and light refreshments accompany these informative gatherings!

Available both online and in-person, the workshops cover different topics each week. Certificates of completion will be given to those who attend all programs.

Childcare is available!

Click the links below to learn more/register!

Parent Cafe - Virtual Classes

via Zoom

Learn more/Register

Parent Cafe - Riverhead

423 Griffing Avenue, Riverhead

Learn more/Register

Parent Cafe - Connetquot Public Library

760 Ocean Avenue, Bohemia

Learn more/Register

Check out some press coverage of this amazing initiative!

Long Island Media Group


Ask the Family Educator

by Maxine Cohen, Parent Educator

I am not looking forward to the end of daylight saving time. What can I do to adjust better to the hour change?

With fall in full swing, evidenced by the lovely leaf color change, cooler weather, football games, and pumpkin spice everywhere, comes the end of daylight saving time on Sunday, November 5th. We “fall back” to standard time, setting our clocks back one hour. Why does this happen? It’s a myth that farmers needed the extra hour of light to work in the fields. It was Benjamin Franklin, in 1784, who first proposed the change in order to conserve candles. The U.S Congress formally implemented this practice in 1918 to save energy at the start of World War 1. 

Research shows that we experience sleep loss due to this one-hour change, leading to negative health consequences. It seems ironic since we technically gain an extra hour of sleep. However, most people simply wake up one hour earlier. This sleep disruption generally lasts for a week or more, affecting our ability at work since we are sleep deprived. Additionally, research indicates an increase in emotional and behavioral disorders as well as in accidents and injuries. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has tried to get rid of daylight savings time for the past few years, but has been unsuccessful to date. 

In order to feel better during this time change, adjust your clocks at bedtime on Saturday night and try to go to sleep at your usual time. Then, try to arise on Sunday at your normal time, thereby giving you that extra hour of sleep. Also, go outdoors Sunday morning for some exercise and morning light. This will boost your cortisol levels, giving you energy and stopping melatonin production which makes you sleepy. This will help to minimize any health challenges and get you off to a great start of the holiday season. 

Suffolk County Farm & 4-H

Dog Days at the Farm Returns!

The Suffolk County Farm & Education broke from the usual "no dogs allowed" rule for the annual Dog Days at the Farm event!

Attendees met dog rescues, tried out a variety of dog sports (agility, rally, scentwork, etc), learned about therapy dogs, received trick and farm dog certifications, played games, and so much more!

The event also collected donations of dog food or toys for local animal shelters.


Rodney Anderson

Friends, family, members of the Long Island Farm Bureau, and local officials gathered at the Suffolk County Farm & Education Center to honor and celebrate the life of Rodney Anderson. Rodney was a beloved figure in the Riverhead community and a significant contributor to the agricultural heritage of our region.

Rodney will be remembered with a beautiful new bench on the farm grounds dedicated to his memory. An important educational hub in our county providing residents with a new understanding of agriculture, the Suffolk County Farm is a fitting place to reflect on Rodney’s legacy as not just a farmer, but as a true community builder.

Try the Farm's 1 Mile Walk!

Planning to visit the farm soon? Enjoy a refreshing workout amongst the fields and animals!

Look for helpful signs to lead you on the one-mile stroll, provided by the Community Education team!

How to Keep Horses Safe from West Nile Virus

As some horse enthusiasts may already know, an unvaccinated horse has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) here in Suffolk County.

West Nile Virus is transmitted when a mosquito feeds from an infected host (typically a bird) and becomes infected. The mosquito then passes the virus along to the horse by biting them. There is no evidence that horses can pass the virus to other horses, humans or birds.

In horses, West Nile symptoms are numerous and include weakness and incoordination, muscle twitches or tremors, altered mental state, hypersensitivity, fever, seizures and more. One of the best ways to protect your horses from West Nile is to have them vaccinated. This should be done in the spring a few weeks before mosquitos are active. If you live in an area that is heavily populated by mosquitos, your horse may need more than one annual vaccination. Your vet can advise you on this.

Other prevention methods include using topical bug repellants, turning in horses at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent, and even use a decoy light 50 yards from where your horses sleep to attract mosquitos away. At the Suffolk County Farm, we employ many of these practices, as well as fly masks and fly leg wraps (pictured here) to help keep our horses comfortable.


Monkfish Marketing Initiative Featured in Northforker

The Marine Program's Monkfish Marketing Initiative was recently featured in an article by Northforker!

Read here

In collaboration with industry organizations, the Monkfish Marketing Initiative seeks to increase consumption of and demand for monkfish (aka goosefish) through product development and audience expansion. Inhabiting the waters of the Greater Atlantic region and caught by fishing fleets from Maine to North Carolina, Monkfish has firm, white, sweet-tasting meat akin to that of lobster. A historically weak foreign market and a lack of domestic demand has resulted in a boom in Monkfish population, making this delicious fish a more economical and sustainable choice than ever before!

Learn more about the Monkfish Marketing Initiative

Shellabration 2023

Wristbands are on sale now for Shellabration 2023!

The culinary event of the season will return to Greenport Village on December 2-3, 2023, from 12:00pm - 4:00pm each day. Participating restaurants will offer those wearing official Shellabration wristbands access to small plate menu items featuring local shellfish, paired with tasting pours of Long Island wine, craft beer and spirits.

Additionally, local shops will be offering special promotions for Shellabration participants, making for a wonderful weekend of eating, drinking and shopping local, all in support of our marine environment!

All proceeds generated from wristband sales will support the Marine Program’s shellfish restoration and community stewardship projects, specifically the SPAT Program (Suffolk Project in Aquaculture Training) and Back to the Bays Initiative.

It is highly recommended that Shellabrants reserve wristbands in advance, as this event sells out every year. Upon checking in, you will be treated to a complimentary first pairing of clams and oysters on the half shell and a local craft beverage tasting!

Purchase wristbands here

Justin Bopp, Stony Brook Ph.D. Student & Marine Program Field Assistant, Published in Estuaries and Coasts Journal

Take a look at this paper authored by Justin Bopp, a Ph.D. student at Stony Brook University and field assistant with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program!

Collaborating with colleagues from Stony Brook University, the program played a pivotal role in conducting this important research, including locating the late-stage juvenile horseshoe crabs which have very little known about them.

The study, published in the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation CERF journal Estuaries and Coasts, examines the movement patterns of horseshoe crabs during their growth stages and in different geographical locations. The research team focused on two distinct populations, investigating factors such as resource utilization by young and adult crabs, distinctions between male and female crabs, and variations in diet across seasons and among different crab groups.

The research corroborates the idea that horseshoe crabs exhibit dietary versatility, offering fresh perspectives on the interplay between their mobility and feeding habits.

Access the complete paper here.

Click here to get involved in CCE’s horseshoe crab monitoring and research program.

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

Michael Russo

Michael Russo is a long-time resident of Suffolk County, graduate of Hofstra University, and a Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Russo has diverse experience as an operating executive for branded products, manufacturing and distribution companies. He held senior management positions, including President/Chief Operating Officer/ VP General Manager for various companies including his own consulting firm, Premier Store Fixture, D’Addario, Terk Technologies and Harman International.

Mr. Russo holds a position on the board of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, where he currently holds the role of Treasurer. He possesses a high level of expertise in orchestrating intricate organizational endeavors, adeptly adapting strategic initiatives, and crafting robust business strategies, as exemplified by a recent audit. In the course of this audit, Mr. Russo, alongside the entire financial team of CCE Suffolk, exhibited remarkable readiness, garnering high praise from the accounting and advisory firm Nawrocki Smith.

This will be Mr. Russo's final year as Treasurer, and the entire organization deeply appreciates the exceptional leadership and expertise he has demonstrated throughout his tenure.

Lunch with Chris Kempner

Executive Director Vanessa Lockel enjoyed lunch with Chris Kempner, CCE Suffolk board member and CEO of Peconic Solutions.

Our organization stands ready and eager to engage with all of our dedicated board members, recognizing their vital role in making a positive impact within the community and ensuring that its mission continues to flourish!

Upcoming Events

Private Sunset Wagon Rides at the Suffolk County Farm

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM

Sunday, November 5, 2023, 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Monday, November 6, 2023, 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Tuesday, November 7, 2023, 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Friday, November 10, 2023, 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Saturday, November 11, 2023, 2:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Sunday, November 12, 2023, 2:30 PM - 4:30 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! Close toed shoes are required to enter goat pens so please dress accordingly. You are more than welcome to bring your own s’mores supplies and non-alcoholic beverages.

$350 per group-Up to 20 participants Children under 3 are free and do not count towards head count. Additional wagon can be purchased for $150.

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

Learn more

Goat Yoga

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Enjoy yoga on the farm with our friendly goats. Goat yoga is a fun twist to the more traditional flow. End your day in downward dog while having some laughs. All levels are welcome to goat yoga, but best for ages 8 and up. Taught by certified instructors.

Please bring your own:

  • Yoga mat
  • Water bottle

Learn More/Register

Home Canning Workshops

Saturday, November 4, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Learn how to preserve your harvest!

At the Food Preservation Home Canning Workshop, you'll learn essential techniques for water bath canning, freezing, and drying, while ensuring the safety of your preserved goods.

In the final session of this series, participants will learn to jar Apple Sauce/Mom's Apple

Pie in a Jar

The workshop will be held at the CCE Suffolk office located at 423 Griffing Avenue in Riverhead. Register by email to Juana Huertas at [email protected].

Learn more

Healthy Corner Store Kickoffs

Monday, November 6, 2023, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Thursday, November 16, 2023, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Community Education Program is extremely proud to welcome multiple new additions to the Healthy Corner Store Project!

This project is designed to improve Long Island residents’ access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food by helping corner stores and bodegas increase healthy food and beverage options.

The following shops will be welcomed to the project with a Kickoff Event, featuring free reusable grocery bags, nutrition workshops, food tastings, and $10 store coupons for fruits, vegetables, water, or low-fat milk (while supplies last).

November 6, 11:00am - 12:00pm

Central Food Market | 351 N Central Ave, Valley Stream, NY

Learn more

November 16, 11:00am - 12:00pm

One Stop Flanders Deli | 730 Flanders Road, Flanders, NY

Learn more

Virtual Programs for Professionals

Thursday, November 9, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Thursday, November 16, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Topics for this series include Supporting Children’s Healthy Development, Sleep: A Critical Component of Health and Well-Being, Caring for Yourself: Managing Grief and Loss, and Unpacking Gender.

Learn more about each program and register here

Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, November 15, 2023, 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Join us for the 2023 Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony!

Program to include: 

  • Election of 2024 Board of Directors
  • Recognition of Staff, Volunteers, and Community Partners
  • Dessert reception/cash bar

Please RSVP to Melissa at [email protected] or 631-727-7850

Learn more

Suffolk County Agricultural

Irrigation Webinar

Thursday, November 16, 2023, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Suffolk County Agricultural Irrigation Seminar will feature presentations on the geology of Long Island's aquifer, Long Island well and registered agricultural water withdrawal programs, Riverhead Water District agricultural irrigation recommendations, and best management practices for agricultural land.

The seminar will be held over Zoom, as well as at the CCE Suffolk offices located at 423 Griffing Ave, Riverhead, in the second room conference room.

Learn more about the presenters & topics here

For in-person registration, please call or email Administrative Assistant Sarah Osborn at [email protected] or (631) 727-7850 x 207

For Zoom registration, click here

Brewery Lecture Series

Wednesday, October 25, 2023, 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Meet the CCE Marine team for casual and fun presentations about our work and learn how you can give Back to the Bays!

Marine Botany / Habitat Restoration Specialist Steve Schott will be at North Fork Brewing Co. for a presentation on Kelp + Seaweeds

North Fork Brewing Co. | 24 East Second Street, Riverhead

Learn more/Register

Coastal Plant Stewardship

@ Tiana Bayside

Saturday, November 18, 2023, 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Help CCE Marine’s Coastal Habitat Team’s restoration efforts by participating in splitting up & transplanting native plant species growing in our coastal nursery and helping to remove invasive plants from the seascape at Tiana Bayside Facility.!

Please dress for the weather, wear sturdy shoes & gloves and bring your shovels and trowels (if you have)!

Tasks may involve shoveling, lifting, and bending over. Children over 9 welcome if they are able and willing to help.

Registration in advance helps us prepare for appropriate number of people.

Learn More/Register

Parenting Style - Your Style Makes a Difference

Tuesday, November 28, 2023, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Research shows that how a parent interacts with their child sets the stage for the child’s future development. The style in which a parent parents is a large part of that interaction. Research also tells us that there is one style of parenting that provides the best outcomes for children.

Come to this program to learn about the different parenting styles and what style you have!

Learn More/Register

Human Resources Specialist

CCE Suffolk Administration

This position provides a wide variety of complex and diversified HR skills. Included are technical, clerical, and administrative support, including word processing, database manipulation, spreadsheet development, maintains personnel records, data, and files.

The Association HR Coordinator will provide administrative support, management, and coordination for assigned local human resources responsibilities. This position will perform a moderate amount of highly complex tasks to support the Association within the Human Resources area, working closely with the Human Resource Director to ensure functional area best practice recommendations under established time frames. This position will perform job duties with a high level of initiative and discretion while maintaining a high confidentiality level.

Learn More/Apply

View All Employment & Volunteer Opportunities Here

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

Jacob Ocon, Communications Coordinator

[email protected]