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September 16, 2013 

The Small Farms Update is intended as a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast, and is provided to you by Cornell Small Farms Program. Our mission is to foster the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment.  The Cornell Small Farm Program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
This update summarizes announcements, information resources, opportunities and upcoming events relevant to small farms.  Please feel free to share this information in newsletters, email lists, etc. If you have announcements or resources you would like to include, please send us an email SUBSCRIBE HERE 

Thank you again for your interest and support of small farms in New York.
Anu Rangarajan
Director, Cornell Small Farm Program

Calling All Energy Enthusiasts! 2013 Farm Energy Field Days Series 

This series of farmer-led tours will give you a first-hand look at what it takes to integrate renewable energy technologies into your farm or homestead. From a wind driven dairy to solar rooftops to tractors running on sunflower oil, find out how farmers are innovating to turn their farm into an energy producer! You'll learn how to assess your own energy use, explore your renewable energy options, seek financing and grants, and work with technical experts. This is your opportunity to get "how-to" information, view customized equipment on the farm, and network with other energy enthusiasts. All field days are free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by Northeast SARE and the Cornell Small Farms Program. For more information: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2013/09/09/the-power-of-on-farm-sustainable-energy/

NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge is On!

In recognition of National Organic Harvest Month, NOFA-NY has once again launched their month-long September Locavore Challenge to inspire awareness and action in eating locally and organically through events and activities held around the state and online. Register now and join hundreds of people who are participating in the Challenge. All month NOFA-NY will bring you tips, encouragement, event updates, and even introduce you to some great farmers. For more information on the details of the Locavore Challenge, Locavore Challenge events, and what you can do to get involved, visit http://www.nofany.org/events/locavore-challenge.

Deadline for Consigning a Bull to the NY All Forage Fed Bull Test is October 1

Consider consigning a bull to the test conducted at Cornell University's Teaching & Research Facility in Dryden! The project consists of 112-day test to develop and evaluate bulls on an all forage diet. An additional pasture portion has been added for next summer. The details may be found at:  http://ansci.cornell.edu/wp/beefcattle/eventsprograms/. For questions or more information contact Nancy Glazier, nig3@cornell.edu or585.315.7746.

Featured Events


September 20, 2013. 8:45 AM. Farm Aid's 2013 Farm Tours. Various locations. Learn from some of New York's agricultural trailblazers by joining one of three farm tours hosted by Farm Aid. All tours cost $25 per person, lunch included. Tours depart from & return to Saratoga SPA State Park (Roosevelt Dr, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866). Buses will leave promptly at 9 AM. To learn more and to register, click here.  


September 25, 2013. 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EDT. USDA Farm-to-School Webinar.  Emily Jackson of Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project will share outcomes from a tri-state project that examined the roles of Cooperative Extension in the USDA's Farm to School Program. She will be joined by Teresa Wiemerslage from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach who will share how she is supporting local food procurement, school wellness, and youth engagement in Northeast Iowa. No registration required. To view the webinars via LiveMeeting, click here. To hear the webinars, dial 1-800-988-0278 and use the passcode 91613#. For questions, please contact Matt Benson at matthew.benson@fns.usda.gov or 202-720-6740.


September 28, 2013. 12:00 PM- 4:00 PM. Say Cheese: Take Home Feta. 327 County Route 21C, Ghent, NY 12075. Feta is a very simple cheese with a very complex character. Come join Peter Kindel, Hawthorne Valley Farm cheesemaker, in the farm's Creamery to make your own feta to take home. You will make your own wheel of cheese from scratch and leave with a cheese you will brine, store and eat at home. Space is very limited for this special workshop; please register in advance. $20 deposit required. For more information or to register please email us or phone 518-672-7500 x232 or visit http://hawthornevalleyfarm.org/event/say-cheese-take-home-feta.


October 1, 2013. 5:00 PM-:00 PM. Sugarbush Tour and Maple Research Workshop. CCE of St. Lawrence County Extension Learning Farm, Canton, NY. This workshop at the Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County Extension Learning Farm includes a tour of the sugarbush where research trials were performed followed by an inside presentation of research results. A pizza dinner will be provided; pre-registration is required by September 27 with Brett Buchanan, bab22@cornell.edu, 315-379-9192 and $10 payment at the door.    


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

Career Opportunities

Dairy Herd Manager Opening in Massachusetts

The Grey Barn and Farm, a small organic dairy farm in Massachusetts with 30 cows and 100 certified organic acres, is seeking a Dairy Herd Manager with at least 3 years of experience. The Dairy Herd Manager will supervise, coordinate, and run the day-to-day operations of the dairy. This includes all aspects of grazing, herd health and breeding. This also includes all aspects of parlor and milk room management. The Dairy Herd Manager must be a self-motivated, methodical and meticulous individual who is willing to work hard, is flexible and has loads of enthusiasm. Position includes housing/benefits and competitive salary. Questions? Contact Eric Glasgow at eric@thegreybarnandfarm.com.

Funding Opportunities

Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement Grant Program - Due Dec. 1

Interested in hosting a field day or other educational program on your farm? The AgEnhancement Grant Program is an educational grant program that supports projects, events, and activities that promote awareness of agriculture and the food and fiber industries in the Northeast. AgEnhancement also supports programs designed to assist young farmers and youth considering a career in agriculture. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000. Next application deadline is December 1. For more information and access to the application form, visit https://www.farmcreditmaine.com/.

Northeast SARE Now Accepting Applications for Farmer Grants - Due Dec. 2

NE SARE Farmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique. A technical advisor--often an extension agent, crop consultant, or other service professional--must also be involved. Projects should seek results other farmers can use, and all projects must have the potential to add to our knowledge about effective sustainable practices. The proposal deadline for the next round of NE SARE farmer grants is December 2, 2013 with awards announced in March. More information is available here.

Small and Mid-Size Farm USDA Grants- Due Sept. 26

The Small and Mid-Size Farms grants aim to promote and improve the sustainability and profitability of small and mid-size farms and ranches (where annual sales of agricultural products are less than $250,000 for small farms and $500,000 for mid-size farms). Range of Awards:  $70,000 to $100,000. Deadline: September 26, 2013. Contact: Charles Cleland at 202-401-6852; email: Cleland@nifa.usda.gov. For more information:


Latest Resources

Ready, Set, Learn: USDA Lessons for Our Nation's Next Generation

Back to school season is upon us and agencies across the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working to ensure a stronger and healthier future for our nation's next generation of leaders. That means providing a happy and healthy learning environment for our kids, and helping them grow up with the tools they need to succeed. The USDA has assembled a few youth-focused curriculum and learning resources to help teachers, administrators and parents give kids fun tools for the classroom and beyond. Check it out at http://www.usda.gov/wps/usda/usdahomeFOR_KIDS.

Food Chain Radio- Your New Source of Agricultural Developments

Every week- as he has for over 900 Saturdays - Michael Olson brings the most important issues concerning agriculture and the food chain to the table for an hour of Food Chain Radio and "What's Eating What" radio that will feed your curiosity and make you hunger for more. Listen Live on Saturdays 9:00am-10:00am Pacific or Delayed on Demand. Food Chain Radio is syndicated on commercial radio stations throughout the U.S. (radio station affiliates) and streamed live and on demand everywhere via the internet. Find out more: http://metrofarm.com/michael-olson-news/gmo/

Get Connected!
Need personal help?
Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Check out our county-by-county listing of small farm agents here. You can also get to know our Cornell Small Farms Program staff, or contact us.   Just starting to farm?  We have an extensive directory of beginning farmer service providers across the Northeast in the "Who Can Help?" section of our Northeast Beginning Farmers Project website.
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