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February 4, 2014

The Small Farms 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
SAVE THE DATE for the 2014 Small Farms Summit on March 12th
We hope you'll be able to join us on March 12th, 2014 for the 4th biennial Small Farms Summit.  This year's theme is titled Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell.  The meeting will be a forum for farmers to explore emerging new avenues for marketing their products.  The program will also provide decision aids and resources to enable farmers to make new marketing choices with confidence and improve chances of success.  As in previous years, the forum will take place in Mann Library, Room 102 on the Cornell University Campus and video-link to 4 additional regional meeting locations (ENY, NNY, WNY and Downstate).  More details and registration info will be released soon. 

"Vegetable Farming - From Season-long Care to Market" Online Course Starts Feb. 26
This 6-week online course features both live webinars and readings and discussion forums on your own time. Content is aimed at new vegetable growers and those still in the planning stages of their farm. While it's designed to follow "BF 120: Vegetable Farming - From Planning to Planting", it's not essential to take that course first. Course runs Feb. 26 to Apr 2, with webinars on Wed. evenings from 7-8:30 Eastern time. Registration is $200. Visit the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project website to register or learn more about what will be covered in "BF 121: Vegetable Farming - From Season-long Care to Market". 

February 15, 2014. 9:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Regional Small Farms Conference- Farm Business Essentials. Schuyler County Human Services Complex, 323 Owego St, Montour Falls, NY. Organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension's SCNY Agricultural Team, this conference will include presentations on business opportunities, marketing, recordkeeping, and specialized sessions for livestock owners and fruit & vegetable growers. For a detailed agenda, please visit: http://scnyag.org/regional-small-farm-conference-farm-business-essentials/. Advance registration is requested by February 11. The program cost is $20 per person; $30 per couple and includes lunch and morning coffee. Please register on-line at: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/FarmingConference_244. For additional information or to register by phone or email, please contact Schuyler CCE at: 607-535-7161, or by email: bjc226@cornell.edu.


February 17, 2014. 1:00 PM. Sprouting Fodder Webinar. Sprouting barley and other grains for dairy cows (and other livestock) is not a novel practice, but has gained more popularity in the past few years as grain prices rise and farmers search for ways to maximize their return on grain purchases.  John Stoltzfus, a dairy farmer in Whitesville, NY who has produced fodder for his 50-cow dairy herd, will talk about his methods for sprouting barley, the problems he's encountered in his system over the past two years, and what he's learned since our previous webinar in 2012. Fay Benson, an educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension, will discuss the topic of nutrient availability in sprouted seeds, and how this process can benefit the animal, as well as minimizing nutrient losses to the environment. Please register ahead of time for the webinar at https://cornell.webex.com/cornell/j.php?ED=260234027&RG=1&UID=0&ORT=MiMxMQ%3D%3D. To learn more about the practice, follow the Sprouted Barley Fodder Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/groups/533261656709517/


February 22, 2014. 9:00 AM- 12:00 PM. NY Forest Owners Association Winter Seminar. Spencer-Van Etten High School; SR 34 Spencer, NY.  This event is free and open to the public - all rural landowners are encouraged to attend for expert presentations related to enhancing woodlots for greater enjoyment, productivity and wildlife values. A complete agenda will be available soon at: http://www.nyfoa.org/chapters/sfl.php. Pre-registration is not required, but questions can be referred to Brett Chedzoy at Schuyler CCE: bjc226@cornell.edu, or by phone: 607-535-7161.  In the case of cancellation due to extreme weather, notification will be posted by 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21st at CCE's forestry forum: http://www.cornellforestconnect.ning.com. 


March 7- 8, 2014. New York AgriWomen Conference. Sprout Creek Farm, 34 Lauer Road Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. The New York Agri-Women organization will host a Leadership and Marketing Retreat for members and non-members. Women involved in Agriculture and interested in expanding their network and developing the necessary skills to better market themselves and their business are encouraged to attend. Find out more about the AgriWomen Conference here.


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

Farming Incubator for Recent Disabled Veterans- Central NY

A unique concept for starting a career in farming for combat-disabled vets is emerging, and its founder needs feedback on its viability from its target audience, disabled veterans. Referred to as a "farming incubator", the disabled vet & family would relocate to a 69 acre, lakeside farm Central NY State with funding from a non-profit entity. They would be housed and provided all utilities and farm equipment to begin their own farming enterprise for 1 to 3 years while in incubation.  Subsequently, the non-profit would find housing and farmland for the vet & family to expand their for-profit farming business. Two major VA Medical Centers are within 35 miles from the farm, and a VA Clinic 13 miles away with free transportation.  Continuing education, training and counseling would be provided by two major universities (Ivy and ACC) within 35 miles, and with mentoring from the local Farm Bureau. Mail Timothy M Taylor at 3863 State Route 90, Union Springs, NY 13160, or call him at (908) 210-6563, for more information.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Seeks Area Tree Fruit Specialist- Highland, NY

The Area Tree Fruit Specialist will work closely with Cornell University and other Land Grant Researchers to provide commercial fruit growers, producers, consultants and industry representatives with the specialized subject matter knowledge and educational resources necessary to assess production and management practices that will enhance their profitability, promote environmental stewardship and sustain the growth of the fruit industry in Eastern New York.  Master's Degree in Horticulture, Agri-business, or closely related field with four years relevant work experience is required. Application Deadline 3/1/14. For questions, contact Leah Cadwallader at lc267@cornell.edu or (845)340-3990. To apply, click here. For a complete position description, visit http://www.cceulster.org and click on Employment Opportunities at the bottom of the home page.

NOFA-NY is Seeking Certification Director- Binghamton, NY

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC, a USDA-accredited organic certification agency, is seeking a dynamic Certification Director to lead the grassroots organization into the next decade. The successful candidate will have a strong commitment to local organic agriculture as well as experience in organic certification and management.  NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC is a subsidiary of NOFA-NY, Inc-the premier statewide organization growing a strong organic and sustainable agriculture movement in New York State. NOFA-NY has been certifying local organic farms for the past 30 years and NOFA-NY, LLC has been accredited by the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) since April 29, 2002.  The Certification Director oversees a high integrity certification agency that provides organic certification services to more than 650 organic farmers and handlers throughout New York State and surrounding areas. This position is based in NOFA-NY, LLC's Binghamton, NY office, in the beautiful Southern Tier of NY. For the full position announcement, click here.

University of Vermont's Farmer Training Program Accepting Applications

The UVM Farmer Training Program is accepting applications on a rolling basis until all spots for the 2014 cohort are filled. 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. This program will provide an intense, supportive experience where participants 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. To learn more, visit the Farmer Training Website or contact them at farmer@uvm.edu or (802) 656-8657.

Farm Manager Position Opening at Holcomb Farm- West Granby, CT
Holcomb Farm is a non-profit mixed-vegetable production farm with 26 acres of town-owned property. They run a 450 member Summer CSA, 75 member Winter CSA, an on-farm farm stand, and participate in a food donation program called Fresh Access. The Farm Manager will be expected to manage production and distribution of produce for CSAs, wholesale accounts, and Fresh Access food donations; manage a farm crew, CSA distribution staff, workshares, and youth weeding program in the summer; and maintain the farm infrastructure, among other responsibilities. Qualified candidates have at least 4 years experience on a mixed-vegetable CSA production farm, marketing experience, great interpersonal skills and experience in hiring and leading crews. Please send resume and letter of interest to karen@holcombfarm.org.

Funding Opportunities

Value-Added Producer Grants- Due Feb 24

The primary objective of the VAPG program is to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of bio-based value-added products. Generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income are the end goals of this program. You may receive priority if you are a beginning farmer or rancher, a socially-disadvantaged farmer or rancher, a small or medium-sized farm or ranch structured as a family farm, a farmer or rancher cooperative, or are proposing a mid-tier value chain, as defined in the Program Regulation. Maximum Grant Amount: $75,000 for planning grants; $200,000 for working capital grants. For more information: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/bcp_vapg.html.

Agriculture and Food Research Grants- Due March 14

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide funds to support projects that help ensure the availability and accessibility of safe and nutritious food by increasing the supply and reducing losses. Project types supported within the Food Security Challenge Area are multi-function integrated research, education, and/or extension projects, food and agricultural science enhancement grants and conferences. State Agricultural Experiment Stations, colleges and universities, other research institutions and organizations, and many other groups are eligible to apply. $6,000,000 total program funds are available. Letter of Intent due March 14, 2014, application due June 12, 2014. For more information: http://www.csrees.usda.gov/funding/rfas/pdfs/14_afri_food_security.pdf

NY Farm Viability Institute Announces 2014 Grant Program- Due April 27

NYFVI is a farmer-led nonprofit organization that works with farmers throughout NY to identify and prioritize immediate needs, and then invests in research and outreach projects to meet those needs. NYFVI will be funding projects in two distinct but complementary grant programs. Applications to the Agriculture Innovation Center grant program should focus on agricultural economic development, including business development, financial analysis, product marketing, and value-added agricultural products, among others. Applications to the Outreach and Applied Research grant program should focus on applied agricultural research, as well as outreach and education to promote new ideas and techniques. More information about both grant programs can be found at http://www.nyfvi.org/default.aspx?PageID=2259. For questions or help with proposal development, project leaders are encouraged to contact NYFVI Grant Manager Kevin Jablonski atKJablonski@NYFVI.org.

Latest Resources

2014 Cornell Pest Management Guide for Berry Crops Now Available

This annual publication provides up-to-date pest management and crop production information for blueberry, bramble (raspberry and blackberry), strawberry, ribes (currant and gooseberry), cranberry, elderberry, and Juneberry (Saskatoon) production in New York State. Information on wildlife management and harvesting, handling, and transporting berry crops is also included. This publication has been designed as a practical guide for berry crop producers, crop consultants, ag chemical dealers, and others who advise berry crop producers. The 2014 Cornell Pest Management Guidelines for Berry Crops can be obtained through local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices or directly from the Cornell Store at Cornell University. To order from the Cornell Store, call (800) 624-4080 or order online at http://store.cornell.edu/c-874-pmep-manualsand-guidelines.aspx.

Best Management Practices for Log-Based Shiitake Cultivation Guide Released

To date, most forest cultivation of shiitake mushrooms has been conducted in regions of the U.S. with different climates and environmental characteristics than the Northeast. This guide outlines best management practices for shiitake mushroom cultivation and sales in the northeastern U.S. This manual also includes tips and anecdotes from experienced growers form the region, data gathered from farms starting their operation, and the latest academic research. You can access the free guide here: http://www.uvm.edu/sustainableagriculture/resources/ShiitakeGuide.pdf.

Low Input Lambing and Kidding Guide Updated
Cornell University has released the second edition of its online guide, Low Input Lambing & Kidding: A Resource Guide for Managing Lambing and Kidding Efficiently Without Sacrificing Animal Well Being. This guide is a compilation of anecdotal recommendations gleaned from 40 participating farmers and the authors' experiences. To access the free guide, please visit http://www.ansci.cornell.edu/goats/lowinput_birthing.html

The Gourmet Butcher's Guide to Meat is Available from Chelsea Green Publishing

The Gourmet Butcher's Guide to Meat demystifies the process of getting meat to the table. Its wide scope will be welcome to those who not only wish to learn the basics of butchery, but also want to understand how meat animals are raised, slaughtered, and marketed as part of a holistic system that honors animals and consumers. Vermont-based master butcher Cole Ward delivers a comprehensive guide to whole-animal butchery that goes well beyond conventional "do-it-yourself" books and takes readers inside the world of truly sustainable meat production. For more information about this book and the rest of Chelsea Green's 2014 Spring Catalog: http://www.chelseagreen.com/downloads/CGP%20FronList%20Spring%202014%20Catalog_REP.pdf

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.
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.

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