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February, 18 2013 
In This Issue

We hope you enjoy our remodeled newsletter! If you have any feedback on our new design and format, please drop us a line. The Small Farms Update is intended for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast. If you have an item to be included in the update, please send an email to smallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu  
New!  Guide to URBAN Farming in NYS
Are you interested in or currently farming in a city?  Do you wonder how to access land, how to reclaim a contaminated site, how to maximize use of a small growing space, or how to most successfully target your urban market?  This new 105 pg guide published by the Cornell Small Farms Program answers these and many other common questions about farming in urban environments.  Visit Online

Online Courses: Sharpen Your Farm Business Skills 

The season for online farming courses is winding down, but two opportunities remain to sharpen your farm business skills.  Starting March 4th: BF 103: Taking Care of Business - Understanding the Business, Regulatory, and Tax Implications of Your Farm. Starting February 21st: BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business: Writing Your Business Plan. Course descriptions, instructor bios and registration info are all posted online.  [More Info]

LEAD New York Program Accepting Applications  - Due March 1st

The Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute, also known as "LEAD New York", is now accepting applications for its newest cohort, class 15. Anyone interested in the program is invited to apply. To maximize the networking opportunity and learning experience, we look for candidates from a wide range of interests and background areas. Learn more about LEAD or apply online www.leadny.org

Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims - Due March 25th

The USDA urges Hispanic and women farmers who believe they have faced discriminatory practices in the past from the USDA to contact the Claims Administrator for information and mail their claim packages on or before March 25, 2013. For more information, visit www.farmerclaims.gov or call 1-888-508-4429.

Northeast Farmer Intern/Apprentice Survey

Researchers from Penn State's Rural Sociology program are conducting a study on interns and apprentices' experiences on sustainable farms in the Northeast. The study focuses on people who have sought on-farm training in exchange for pay, education and alternative forms of compensation. If you are a current OR former farm intern/apprentice, please contribute a few minutes of your time to participate complete this online survey.

Organic Farmer Survey 

Please help NOFA and MOFGA improve their policy work on behalf of organic farmers and the workers on their farms by filling out this survey if you haven't already! This survey is for all organic farms - certified organic, farmers' pledge, self-declared organic, rural or urban - regardless of size or crops.  It will take 20-30 minutes to fill out the questions on your farm's labor practices and markets. The 2012 Census of Agriculture does not cover all of this information! The results will help guide the policy and technical assistance work of NOFA and MOFGA.  
Featured Events
March 6th. Funding Sources for Agricultural Producers and Beginning Farmers.  12:45-5:00 pm. Auditorium, second floor CCE of Erie Co. Farm & Home Center 21 South Grove Street; East Aurora, NY.  Workshop will cover programs available through: USDA Farm Service Agency;  USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; Erie County Soil & Water Conservation District; NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets - Crop Insurance Program; Northeast SARE; Cornell Small Farms and Beginning Farmer Programs; Regional Economic Development Council Funds. Contact Sharon Bachman at sin2@cornell.edu


March 8-March 9th.  Ohio Small Farms Conference. Wilmington College campus. This intensive conference will give you the opportunity to choose from different seminars taught by Extension professionals and industry leaders on a wide variety of agricultural enterprises. For more info, visit www.Clinton.osu.edu and click on 'county events'.  


[MANY MORE EVENTS!] Visit our comprehensive statewide events calendar online.

Career Opportunities

Assistant Manager Position for Berry Patch - Stephentown, NY

The Berry Patch, a small scale family farm in Stephentown, NY, is recruiting for an assistant manager whose primary responsibilities will be to manage the on-farm store, coordinate restaurant orders, and coordinate farmer's market needs.  Ability to drive, or learn to drive, manual transmission vehicles is desired.  Initial employment is seasonal, up to full time.  For the right person, this position could become a year round salaried position, with housing allowance, paid vacation, and contributions towards Healthy NY or other health insurance plan.  For more info email Dale-Ila Riggs at rberriesrgreat@fairpoint.net

SARE/NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Fellows Program Accepting applications

This program is designed to provide hands-on experience and materials for selected NACAA members to study and become familiar with the basics of sustainable agriculture and alternative farm systems as currently practiced within the four regions of the USDA. Applications are due March 15. The Fellows program is open to NACAA members in good standing with their state associations and with responsibility in agricultural production systems. Find complete eligibility and entry details online.

Agricultural Field Enumerator Position Opening - NE New York

Northeastern NY area. Part-time, intermittent employment interviewing farm operators in Clinton and Essex counties.  Must have: agricultural background, be comfortable with computers, good people skills, good phone skills, a reliable car. Work is part-time and intermittent; position is suitable as a supplemental income.  Looking for a candidate with good attention to detail, outgoing personality, willing to be flexible, and interested in being involved in the collection of agricultural data. Please direct inquiries to anne.ross@nass.usda.gov

Funding Opportunities
USDA Microloans Available
Microloans are direct farm operating loans with a shortened application process and reduced paperwork, designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional, and niche-type operations. Microloans can be used for all approved operating expenses as authorized by the FSA Operating Loan Program. The maximum loan amount for a microloan is $35,000. Additional information on the USDA Farm Service Agency Microloan program may be obtained at local FSA offices [More Info]

Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program-Organic Transitions - Due April 5th
The overall goal of the Organic Transitions Program is to support the development and implementation of research, extension, and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices. Colleges and universities are eligible to submit applications. Prospective applicants are asked to email a notice of intent to submit an application by March 1, 2013. Applications are available

USDA Farm to School Grants - Due April 24th
Three different USDA Farm to School grant types are available. Planning grants are intended for schools just getting started on farm to school activities, while implementation grants are available for schools seeking to augment or expand existing efforts. Additionally, eligible non-profit entities, Indian tribal organizations, state and local agencies, and agriculture producers or groups of producers may apply for support service grants in order to conduct trainings, create complementary curriculum, or further develop supply chains, among other activities. $5 million in grants will be awarded [More Info].

Organic Farming Research Foundation Research Grants - Due May 15th
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) offers funding of up to $15,000 per year for organic seed-quality or crops-breeding projects in certified organic settings. [More Info]  

Latest Resources

New Handbook Helps Livestock Farmers Be Good Mentors
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has released Passing Along Farm Knowledge: A Mentor-Intern Handbook for Dairy and Livestock Farmers. This handbook will help mentors develop their teaching skills as they progress through an internship. The 36-page publication is available free

ATTRA's New Sustainable Agriculture Catalog Released

ATTRA's 2012 "catalog" includes more than 50 new and updated sustainable agriculture publications, including eight Spanish-language publications.  Visit https://attra.ncat.org/publications_2012/ to find a list of ATTRA's 2012 publications, webinars, and videos as well as direct links to each.

The Organic Seed Grower Just Published!

The Organic Seed Grower, a new book that is the result of a three-way partnership among author John Navazio, Chelsea Green Publishing, and Northeast SARE,  is the most up-to-date and useful guide to best practices in this exciting and important field.  You can order The Organic Seed Grower online or by calling 800-638-4099.

New App Helps Farmers Budget for Fuel

Farmers can use a new Farm Fuel Budget cell phone app to plan their farm fuel budgets and use. A North Dakota State University Extension Service specialist developed the Android app for crop producers to compare projected fuel costs and use for their farming operations based on alternate crop acreages, tillage systems, and crop rotations. The app can be downloaded here 

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