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April 16th, 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

"Ask an Installer" Sustainable Farm Energy Webinar this Friday, April 19 

 The final webinar in the "New Generation Energy: Sustainable Power for your Farm or Homestead" lunchtime learning series will take place this Friday, April 19th at Noon.   Conor Kays from Alternative Power Solutions of NY will talk about how to choose between solar, wind, geothermal, how to size a system, current financial incentives and offsets, and services that installers will provide.  This webinar will have plenty of time for questions!  Register here.  To watch previous webinars or download powerpoint presentations, visit http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/resources/farm-energy/

Microloans from the Farm Service Agency: What's the deal?

In Jan. 2013 the Farm Service Agency announced a new program to provide low-interest loans of up to $35,000 to farmers. In response to the tremendous interest in this new offering, the Cornell Small Farms Program held a webinar on April 10 with Carrie Novak of the FSA to explain the details and answer questions. Stream the recording.  So many great questions were asked during the webinar that Carrie summarized these into a Q&A document available for download as a PDF here.

To apply for the loan, visit the FSA website to download an application and instructions.

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.

Featured Events

April 17. Inclusive Community Development & Sustainable Livelihoods: The Wealth Creation ApproachThe Wealth Creation in Rural Communities framework is a place-based systems approach to rural development that aims to restore, create and maintain wealth in low wealth areas by simultaneously improving economic, environmental and social conditions. Cornell alum Shanna Ratner, a leading practitioner, will share its principles and the transformative opportunities it offers for community driven food systems development, and collaborative learning and research. There will be two events, an interactive seminar, followed by a community presentation and workshop. Details, including a downloadable PDF flyer and Facebook event links, are available here


April 17. Forest Grown Mushrooms for Forest Health WebinarNoon and 7 p.m.  Several mushrooms can be grown in the forest and provide woodlot owners an incentive to conduct timber stand improvement thinnings. Mushrooms are an easy crop to grow for a hobby or for commercial use. This webinar will cover the basics of shiitake, oyster, and lions mane production on logs, totems, and stumps. In addition, discussion of current production research at Cornell and online resources will be offered by Northeast Forest Mushroom Grower Network coordinator Steve Gabriel.  You must pre-register for the webinar: register here. For more monthly webinars on forestry topics, please visit CCE's forestry extension website: www.forestconnect.info.


May 6. Building Traction for Small Farms while Reducing Traction on Vegetable farms: Current and Future Efforts12:20 - 1:10 p.m. Cornell Plant Sciences Building, room 404, Ithaca. Anu Rangarajan, Senior Extension Associate, Department of Horticulture. Also available via Polycom in A134 Barton Hall, NYSAES, Geneva, N.Y. Learn more or contact Neil Mattson at nsm47@cornell.edu.


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

Career Opportunities
Madava Farms Seeks Farm Manager, Dover Plains, NY

Madava Farms, Home of Crown Maple, is a small farm in Dutchess County, NY that supports a farm stand café and provides produce to both local and NYC restaurants.  In addition to a 5 acre garden, the farm is in the process of planting a 5 acre orchard.  Seeking a farm manager interested in being part of Madava Farms and Crown Maple, to start as soon as possible.  You can find more information about Madava Farms at http://www.crownmaple.com/

Farm Manager Position Opening on Kennebec Valley Community College Farm

The position is responsible for managing the farm and farm related operations on the

Alfond Campus in Hinckley, Maine for the instruction of students in agricultural programs. Farm operation includes but not limited to: planning production to maintain farm progress within budget parameters; operatingmachinery; ordering supplies; tending crops; maintaining and monitoring land use and crop yield; marketing the farm's products and programs; monitoring farm animal health and welfare; developing an

integrated pest management plan; protecting the environment and maintaining biodiversity; and managing maintenance and repair of facilities and improvements and when appropriate, making recommendations for major alterations or new construction to the College's executive leadership team. APPLICATION PROCEDURE: Initial review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Please send cover letter, resume, transcript and three (3) letters of recommendation to: Rochaline Gertloff, 92 Western Avenue Fairfield, ME 04937-1367.

10-acre Farm Available in Allamuchy, NJ

Dreaming of a small farm without sacrificing city life? Build on this 10-acre parcel in Allamuchy NJ, surrounded by preserved farmland and estate homes. Only 3 miles off Route 80 Exit 19 and commutable to NYC. Land is level and open, perfect for your urban farmette. Priced at $325K. Contact owner at 201-572-1375.

Funding Opportunities

Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program Request for Applications

USDA-NIFA has released the FY13 Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program Request for Applications. Proposals are due by May 16, 2013, and no letter of intent is required. Applications must be submitted through Grants.gov. For eligibility, the RFA, and other information, see our summary of the RIPM Grants Program with links to the USDA-NIFA page here

NOFA-NY Announces Neighborhood Farm Share Program 

This program helps consumers with limited means by lowering the up-front cost of signing up for a CSA share at the beginning of the season. They provide subsidies of up to $100 to qualifying individuals and families to participate in a local CSA or similar-model farm business. To find out if you qualify and to download an application, go to Neighborhood Farm Share. This year, they're providing subsidies to individuals and families in the Rochester and Buffalo areas. Subsidies will be administered on a first come/first serve basis. To read more about our Neighborhood Farm Share program, about the CSA farmers involved, and Community Supported Agriculture in general, check out the spring issue of our New York Organic New.

Latest Resources

A New Online Publication, On Pasture, Now Available

The focus of On Pasture is translating research and experience into grazing practices you can use now. The inaugural issue, available free online at http://onpasture.com, will teach readers how a $4 grazing chart gets farmers and ranchers through drought successfully, and can choose from several free, downloadable grazing charts designed for a variety of different grazing operations.  Articles will also cover what makes a forage palatable, what weeds we can use as forage, and how to take the drudgery out of soil testing.

AgSquared Application Recently Re-launched

AgSquared (link "AgSquared" to www.agsquared.com) is an online record-keeping platform that is designed for small-scale mixed vegetable growers.  A few of the features launched this year include: smart scheduling (if you need to reschedule one task all your other tasks automatically get rescheduled) and record keeping. If you have questions about how to use AgSquared you can consult the help center at http://help.agsquared.com to watch videos, find how-to articles, and email their user support staff.

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