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October 1, 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

Don't Miss the Upcoming Farm Energy Field Days!

The last two field days in 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. 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. Field days are free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided. Sponsored by Northeast SARE and the Cornell Small Farms Program.


October 4, 2013. 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM. Using Residual Biomass to Fuel the Farm. Dedrick Farms, 389 Buck Rd off of Rt. 34, Lansing, NY 14882. Matt Dedrick will give a demonstration of converting non-saleable farm residues from his 400 acre field crop and vegetable farm into fuel for heating and transportation. This farm tour will interest anyone thinking about how farm biomass can become an energy supply! Map.


October 11, 2013. 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM. Sourcing Solar: On-Farm Production to Retail. Schoharie Valley Farms, 5605 State Route 30, Schoharie, NY 1215. Join proprietor/producer Richard Ball for a tour of one of the premier diversified vegetable farms and retail outlets in the region. Learn how the energy derived from a large solar array installation benefits farm production, processing, cold storage, food service, and retail. Map.


For more information: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2013/09/09/the-power-of-on-farm-sustainable-energy/ 

UVM Extension New Farmer Project Needs Your Input: Survey due Oct 8!

The UVM Extension New Farmer Project is working to develop education and training to help managers of Northeast small-scale and diversified farms develop skills and strategies for matching farm labor decisions to production, profit, & quality of life goals. This survey is designed to gauge your interest in participating in educational programs related to farm labor and also to gather some baseline data on the challenges and needs related to farm labor management. The survey should take 5-8 minutes to complete. Access the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FarmLaborEducationQuestions about this or other initiatives of the UVM Extension New Farmer Project, please call or email Jessie Schmidt, newfarmer@uvm.edu, 802-223-2389x203.

Coming Soon: OSHA Training for Small Dairy Producers

OSHA's Syracuse Area Office is planning a Local Emphasis Program focusing on Dairy Farm Operations in New York beginning as early as February 2014. Farms have not typically been an area of OSHA inspection unless prompted by an accident, so it is important that farmers understand what operations are subject to OSHA and what OSHA expectations are. While most small dairy operations will not be affected by OSHA inspections, they want to emphasize that farm safety education and training is useful to all operators and their employees. Learn more about this local emphasis program within OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/dep/leps/leps.html.

Featured Events

October 5, 2013. 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Berlin-Berkshire Fall Foliage Grazing Tour. First stop on the tour will be with Morgan Hartman of Black Queen Angus Farm in Berlin, NY.  Black Queen Angus Farm is a grass-fed operation owned by Morgan Hartman and his family. The next stop on the tour is the Berlin Fire Hall at 12 PM to enjoy a delicious local foods lunch catered by Wild Oats Market of Williamstown, MA. The last stop will be at 1:30 PM at Cricket Creek Farm, a small grass-based enterprise located in Williamstown, MA. Nestled on the slopes of the Taconic hills, the farm consists of over 500 acres of rolling fields and woodlots, old apple orchards and sugarbush. The grazing tour is a drive yourself tour. The cost for tour and lunch is $20/person.  Please contact Donna Murray at 518-270-2668 or visit http://ccecapitalregion.org/news/13-09-24/Berlin-Berkshire_Fall_Foliage_Grazing_Tour.aspx for more information.


October 12, 2013. 9:00 AM- 3:00 PM. Maple Workshop.  Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County, Binghamton, NY. Steve Childs, from the Cornell Maple Program, will cover maple suckers & hard candy, maple coating nuts, maple soft drinks, maple straws, maple cotton, and much more at this maple workshop. The cost is $65 per farm and includes either a NY Maple Confections Notebook or digital thermometer, lunch, snacks and all materials. Each farm will need to bring one quart of syrup (any color or grade) for testing for invert sugar and to be used in the program. To register and pay online visit: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/mapleconfections_203 or contact Carol at (607) 584-9966.


October 17, 2013. 9:30 AM- 4:00 PM. Organic Cover Crop Workshop and Tour. USDA-NRCS Big Flats Plant Materials Center, 3266 RT 352, Big Flats, NY 14814 . Presentations during this workshop will focus on nitrogen cycling and soil ecology, small scale reduced tillage implementation, crop rotation practices, and cover crop utilization, among other topics. For registration information, click here.


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

Career Opportunities

UVM Farmer Training Program Applications- Due Oct. 31

The UVM Farmer Training Program is a 6-month intensive program (May 5 -October 31, 2014) for aspiring farmers and food systems advocates that provides a hands-on, skills-based education in sustainable agriculture. This full-time program offers participants the unique opportunity to manage their own growing site, take classes from professors and expert farmers, and rotate as workers and learners on successful, diverse farms in the Burlington area. Participants will leave with a Certificate in Sustainable Farming, a deeper understanding of agricultural management and small-scale farming, and the entrepreneurial skills to start their own operation. The UVM Farmer Training Program is now accepting applications until October 31 for early admission to the 2014 cohort! To learn more, visit their Farmer Training Website or contact them at farmer@uvm.edu or (802) 656-8657. 

Stonewall Farm School Applications- Due Nov. 15

Stonewall Farm in Keene, New Hampshire offers future farmers the opportunity to spend a full year learning by working shoulder to shoulder with our experienced staff and administration. Hard work, critical thinking, problem solving, and the use of appropriate technologies for small farms will be emphasized. Two tracks are offered: garden and dairy. Both include the study of farm operations and management. The farm operates a certified organic dairy, a three acre garden, three greenhouses, a yearlong CSA, a micro-pasteurizing plant, a farm store, sugar house, hydroponic barely fodder system and an educational learning center. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis through November 15th for the 2013-2014 year-long session.  For more information or to request an application contact Josh Cline - Executive Director at (603) 357-7278 ext. 107 or email: jcline@stonewallfarm.org.

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 a 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.

Latest Resources

Online Tool Can Help You Build a Farm Budget

The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri has developed The Farm Cost and Return Tool, which allows farmers to determine the long-term financial feasibility of their farm operations. The tool can provide budgets based on a selected location but can also be customized to a specific operation. You can access this tool at www.fapri.missouri.edu/projects. For more information, contact any of MU Extension's agriculture business specialists located in southwest Missouri: Wesley Tucker in Polk County, 417-326-4916; Dr. Gordon Carriker in Christian County, 417-581-3558; or Stacy Hambelton in Ozark County, 417-679-3525.

New Online Magazine for Graziers

On Pasture translates the latest research and experience into grazing practices readers can use now. Since their first issue on March 21, they've published 5 articles per week on grazing management, pasture health, livestock, money matters and more. This online resource is available at http://onpasture.com.

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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