The Southern Tier Outdoor Show (formerly the Southern Tier Outdoor Recreation Exposition) was first envisioned in 2006 as a vehicle for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County’s outdoor and environmental education programming. The wealth and diversity of Steuben County’s natural resources position it as a premiere location in New York State for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, winter sports, and more.
By fostering interest in the outdoors and engaging adults and youth in outdoor activities, the exposition would reinforce the cultural and economic importance of our natural resources while increasing environmental stewardship and conservation. Engagement in outdoor activities contributes to healthier lifestyles (combats obesity, for example) and benefits the environment by increasing awareness and action around environmental issues. The show also aimed to promote local business, agriculture and to encourage energy and food system sustainability.
Seeking a suitable venue for the event, Cooperative Extension approached Wilkins RV in Bath in hopes of using their vast and accessible facility and grounds to hold the show. They not only agreed, but have wholeheartedly involved their staff and management in all aspects of running the show. Cornell Cooperative Extension’s partnership with three local media outlets help promote the show throughout the region—WETM-TV, Gatehouse Media and Equinox Broadcast Corp. These three partners offer TV and radio spots and print advertising across a wide area of the Southern Tier.
The show has involved numerous exhibitors since the first show in October 2007. Some, like Lamb & Webster, MJ Ward, Iron Skillet Seasonings, and the Rope Guys, have returned each and every year, which is a testament to the value and fun of the show. Some of our featured presentations, such as Talons: A Bird of Prey Experience, have also returned each year. We offered a tour of North Country Whitetails, a quality deer management (QDM) property in Steuben County, NY owned by nationally acclaimed whitetail expert Neil Dougherty in 2008. We brought the electronic Bowhunter Challenge activity for archers to test their skill in 2009 and 2010, and we offered tethered hot air balloon rides in 2010. Each year, we offer new and interesting outdoor experiences.
Attendance at the show has grown to 4,000 visitors. Cornell Cooperative Extension coordinates a series of hourly seminars on a variety of outdoor topics to educate the visitors on everything from food plots to forest management, trophy buck scoring, from archery & trapping tips to New York Black Bear facts and invasive species updates.
We thank our many sponsors for helping Cornell Cooperative Extension make this a fun and educational family event where everyone can learn more about their environment and how to get involved. Without the financial support of these sponsors, we would be unable to put together such a comprehensive show.
Profit from this show benefits Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County and the many year-round programs we offer to the county in agriculture, natural resources, local food and renewable energy systems, 4-H youth development, nutrition and food safety, energy efficiency and financial education. Many of our federal, state and county funding sources have been decreasing over the years, and we seek grants and public support in order to continue reaching a wide audience with research based knowledge.