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April 3, 2013 

The Small Farms Update is intended for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast. If you have an announcement, event, job or funding opportunity, or resource to be included in the update, please send us an email SUBSCRIBE HERE
Microloan Webinar: Up to $35,000 Now Available for Farmers!

Free Webinar April 10, 7-8pm EST

Join the Cornell Small Farms Program and FSA Senior Loan Specialist Carrie Novak for this One-Time Opportunity.  Small farmers spoke up and the Farm Services Agency (FSA) listened! In January 2013 the FSA launched a new Microloan Program that offers very low-interest loans of up to $35,000, with an abbreviated application process. On Wed. April 10 from 7-8pm EST, come learn about the details of the program, including loan terms and application process, and have the opportunity to type questions to the FSA's Senior Loan Specialist, Carrie Novak via chat pod. Carrie will also present basic FSA loan eligibility criteria and review the application form.  Register here | More Info


Groundswell Announces New Sustainable Farming Programs

The Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming based in Ithaca, NY, is now taking applications for its 2013 Sustainable Farming Certificate Program, as well as several shorter courses.  These programs provide hands-on training in small-scale, commercial organic farming systems and are geared for beginning and aspiring farmers.  Program details and an online application form can be found at www.groundswellcenter.org.  For more information, email info@groundswellcenter.org or call 607-319-5095.


NOFA-NY Seeking Workshop Proposals for Annual Winter Conference

The conference will take place January 24th-26th, 2014 in Saratoga Springs, NY. They are interested in proposals for a wide-range of conference workshop tracks including: Dairy and Grazing, Livestock, Fruits and Herbs, Vegetables, Beginning Farming, Urban Farming, Value-Added Processing and Marketing, Grains and Field Crops, Gardening and Homesteading, and People and Policy.  General conference workshops are 75 minutes long.  A limited number of longer (intensive) workshops that are day (3 hours) to full-day (6 hours) will be offered on the first full day of the conference. Submit a workshop. Send questions to conference@nofany.org


4th National Women in Sustainable Ag Conference Seeking Presenters 

The conference will be held November 6-8, 2013 in Des Moines, IA, hosted by the Women, Food & Agriculture Network.  Presentations are invited in the following tracks: production-related topics; management, human relations and farm transfer topics; and leadership, network development and policy topics. Women engaged developing healthy, locally based food systems are the target audience. Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2013. Submit a proposal  | More info .

Featured Events

April 4th, 2013.  CSAs in the Workplace. 10:00am. Saratoga County CCE in Ballston Spa. An introduction to CSAs, the benefits to farmer and consumer, the shared risks, and the history of success will be presented.  Educational materials developed as part of the Cornell Small Farms Grant Program will be available, ideas exchanged, concerns voiced and connections made.  Farmers, worksite representatives and interested individuals are welcome.  More Info Contact Teresa Whalen, Adirondack Harvest Southern Chapter Representative, at 466-5497 or taawhalen@yahoo.com for registration.

April 8, 22, & May 6, 2013. Starting a Livestock Farm on a Shoestring Workshop Series.  6:30 PM - 8:30 PM. Multi-purpose Room, Riga Town Hall, 6460 Buffalo Road, Churchville, NY 14428. Cornell University Cooperative Extension's Small Farms Specialist, Nancy Glazier is offering a beginning farmer educational series intended for beginning farmers. Topics covered will be the bare necessities to get started: Ag lingo, business planning, bare bones bookkeeping, budgeting, soils basics, feeding and shelter for livestock. Fee: $35.00 per person/farm for the series. Pre-registration is required by April 5, 2013 by calling Team Administrative Assistant, Cathy Wallace in CCE of Genesee County office at (585) 343-3040 x138 or e-mail with your full contact information to cfw6@cornell.edu<mailto:cfw6@cornell.edu>. For workshop questions please call Nancy Glazier at(585) 315-7746.
April 18, 2013. A Dollar and A Dream: Hands On Funding Workshop For Farmers.  2-5 PM

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County, 100 Eaton Street, Morrisville, NY. Free! Please register here by Monday, April 12 or by calling Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County at (315) 684-3001  x 100.  More Info 


April 25, 2013. Farming Transplants: The Basics of Greenhouse Production for Sales and Farm Use. 4:30 PM-7:00 PM. Blue Heron Farm, 1641 Shaw Rd, Lodi, NY. Robin Ostfeld of Blue Heron Farm will teach participants how to anticipate one's market and plan accordingly.  Learn how to determine how much to plant, how to time plantings, how to market transplants and the best strategies for finding a balance between risk and reliability with the plant varieties you choose. Pre-Registration Deadline: by noon on April 22. To register, click here or call 585-271-1979 x511. Registration Fee: $5/person, $10/two or more people.


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

Career Opportunities

Looking for a farm job, internship or apprenticeship?

Are you looking for a farm internship, apprenticeship or job? Looking for venues to post an opportunity? The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project has compiled an extensive national list for you! Visit here to start your search!

Good Food Collective Distribution Crew Members, Rochester, NY - Due May 1st

The Good Food Collective is a multi-farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project offering membership programs that connect people to local, sustainable foods and some of the best farmers in the Rochester area.  The Collective seeks two distribution crew members to assist in the receiving, sorting, and storage of daily deliveries from partner farms.  For a full job description and qualifications, email 

chris@thegoodfoodcollective.com.  For more info on the Collective, visit http://thegoodfoodcollective.com

Funding Opportunities

Schoharie County Agriculture Assistance Grant Program 

With the assistance of the N.Y.S. Department of Agriculture & Markets, matching grants will be offered to aid Schoharie County farms in purchasing up-to-date technology, equipment and inventory as well as provide working capital. The Agriculture Assistance Grant program will fund up to 50% of the total costs associated with the purchase of eligible items, and will have a cap of $50,000 per farm. To be eligible for these grants, a representative from the farm must attend a Farm Disaster Preparation Certificate Training, have an up-to-date business plan which includes the purchase of the items included in the grant, and show how the remainder of the project will be funded. For more information regarding this grant opportunity, please contact Sarah Blood at Schoharie County Planning and Development at 518-295-8770.

Organic Farming Research Foundation Research Grants - Due May 15th 

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) offers funding for organic seed quality or crops breeding projects. Proposals must involve farmers or ranchers in project design and implementation and must take place on certified organic land, ideally on working farms or ranches. Applicants should articulate how the proposed research project will foster the improvement or adoption of organic farming systems.  OFRF requests proposals which have objectives that are realistically achievable with a modest level of funding. OFRF will not fund a project for more than $15,000 per year. Matching funds from other sources and in-kind contributions from applicants and cooperators are encouraged but not required.  More Info

Sustainable Ag Grad Students Grants - Due May 21st
The goal of this grant program is to support graduate students who are doing research on topics specific to sustainable agriculture under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Graduate Student proposals should address issues of current or potential importance to Northeast farmers and farm service professionals such as NRCS staff, Cooperative Extension, and researchers. Because universities typically do not allow students to manage institutional grants, the applicant's faculty advisor will be named the principal investigator if a grant is awarded. Grants are capped at $15,000.Learn more at http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants - Due May 22

The purpose of AFRI is to support research, education, and extension work by awarding grants that address key problems of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including farm efficiency and profitability, ranching, renewable energy, forestry (both urban and agroforestry), aquaculture, rural communities and entrepreneurship, human nutrition, food safety, physical and social sciences, home economics and rural human ecology, biotechnology, and conventional breeding. More Info

Latest Resources

Help Available for Small Dairy Processors

Cornell's Dairy Foods Extension Team has begun to work substantially with smaller farms who have value-added processing capabilities.  This team currently offers a short-course certificate program in fermented products, fluid milk, and cheese products.  The program covers food safety and processing of dairy products and is valuable for small farmers who want to develop a "value-added" processing line. Additionally, the Cornell Dairy Foods Extension Team offers consultation services for small dairy processors.  More Info

The New Horse-Powered Farm is Now Available from Chelsea Green Publishing

The New Horse-Powered Farm: Tools and Systems for the Small-Scale, Sustainable Market Grower, written by Stephen Leslie, is a comprehensive guide for anyone interested in horse-powered farming, and clearly shows how to get started, from the selection and care of the different horse breeds, training the horse and the teamster, soil fertility, plowing, tillage, seeding, and harvesting, to managing pastures and making hay. [More info]

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