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Open house to give public a closer look at Miner Institute

CHAZY - If you've ever wondered what the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute is all about, wonder no more.

The institute, located at 1034 Miner Farm Road, will host an open house next Saturday, June 27, offering the public free guided tours of the facilities and demonstrations.

"We've had open houses in the past," said Katie Ballard, the institute's director of research, "but the focus of this open house is to really look back historically at what William H. Miner tried to do on the Heart's Delight Farm 100 years ago when he built it and how we carry on the vision he had as the institute it's known as today."

The main focus of the farm today is on dairy cattle and horses, said Ballard, where in Miner's day it was common to see poultry, swine and other farm animals.

"As agriculture has changed and become more specialized to be more efficient, the focus in Northern New York has really been in the dairy area," said Ballard. "So, that's really what a lot of our work centers on today - education and research and operating a 300-cow dairy farm."

Many may be surprised to learn how world-renowned the institute is for its research, said Ballard.

"We're really looked at as being a leader in practical dairy research, and nutrition especially," she said. "Many companies come to us for research when they're looking to sell a product that might boost milk production, for example. They've told us they come to us because they're told if Miner Institute says it works, [other companies] will buy it."

In addition to tours and demonstrations, the open house - which will run from 12-4 p.m. - will be an opportunity for the public to learn about the latest research projects being performed at the institute and to meet with staff and students.

The open house will also feature the premiere of the institute's new video,"Miner Institute: 100 Years and Growing," produced by Paul Frederick Productions. The video was a product several months in the making, said Ballard, and "chronicles the evolution of agricultural practice in Northern New York during the last century."

For more information about the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute or the upcoming open house, contact Amy Bedard at 846-7121, ext. 149, or visit the institute's Web site, www.whminer.org.

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