LERGP & Chautauqua County Farm Bureau Present DOT Road Safety Program

PORTLAND, NEW YORK (September 14, 2023) -- Cornell’s Lake Erie Regional Grape Program collaborated with the Chautauqua County Farm Bureau to present a successful Department of Transportation (DOT) informational meeting for agricultural communities in efforts to prepare those to travel our roads safely during the harvest season. The program took place on Wednesday, August 2, 2023, at the Cornell Lake Erie Research and Extension Laboratory in Portland, NY. It was orchestrated by Jim Joy and Jennifer Phillips Russo for growers to learn from New York State Trooper, Matt Luft, on Commercial and Farm Vehicle Awareness prior to the harvest season. The program was well attended with approximately 45 registrants and walk-ins.

The successful program was full of information to help clarify the law for Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, violations, New York State licensing, and the DOT inspection process. Trooper Luft discussed commercial vehicle awareness, how to get a DOT number, marking your commercial motor vehicle, the different Commercial Driver License classes, endorsements, and restrictions, but most importantly he simulated a roadside inspection of an agricultural vehicle in the parking lot that hauls agricultural commodities. He also reviewed the DOT inspection process as well as what happens when there are violations against a DOT number. In addition, he went over New York State licensing – this included how big of a vehicle can be driven on the standard Class D license, air brakes, CDL requirements – both class A and B, and appropriate licensing for farm vehicles.

The attendees found this program extremely beneficial and have requested it occur every other year. This was the first one that has taken place in our region in many years and laws have changed in the interim. This two-hour classroom session and one hour truck inspection was packed full of useful information for our local ag community. If you are interested in learning more you can access Trooper Luft’s slide deck at this link or go to https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ which is the US Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website. Trooper Luft provided the following phone number for anyone to call and leave a message requesting information regarding DOT regulations: (585) 344-6247.

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is a cooperative effort between Cornell and Penn State Universities; the participating Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara and Cattaraugus Counties in New York and Erie County in Pennsylvania. The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program extension team provides research-based educational programming for commercial grape growers throughout the year at venues across the Lake Erie grape belt. For more information on LERGP, call 716-792-2800 or visit our website at http://lergp.cce.cornell.edu/

The Lake Erie Regional Grape Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County Government, the NYS SUNY system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 716-664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.


Jennifer Russo
Team Leader, Viticulturalist
716-792-2800 ext 204

Last updated September 14, 2023