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February 17, 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
Announcements
Register Now for the 2014 NY Small Farms Summit: Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell 
In recent years, a variety of new wholesale markets such as food hubs, online marketplaces, restaurants, and grocery stores have begun recruiting regional products from small to mid-sized farms.  Could these emerging wholesale markets be right for you?  You can find out at the upcoming NY Small Farms Summit on March 12th, 2014 from 9:30am - 3:30pm. The program features small farmers' perspectives on the pros and cons of selling wholesale.  The meeting will be video-linked to 6 host locations around NY.  It is free to attend and lunch will be provided.  For meeting details, registration info and a list of host site locations, click hereGeneral questions about the Summit should be directed to smallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu.

Are you a Small Farmer? Where do YOU sell?  Take this Survey to ID Small Farm Marketing Trends

Are you satisfied with your current marketing strategy(s)?  Looking for new or better ways to sell your products?  The Cornell Small Farms Program is seeking farmer input to better understand small farm marketing trends via an online survey.  This survey will take 8 - 14 minutes and is primarily for small and mid-sized farmers.  As a thank you, after completing the survey, you will have the opportunity to register for one of three $100 gift card drawings to an agricultural supplier of your choice! Gift card registration takes place at a separate website to ensure that your responses to this survey remain anonymous.  The survey will close Friday, February 21st, 2014.  Take the Survey!

 

The Language and Landscape of Working with Farmer Veterans Webinar 

Thursday, February 27th, 2014. 12:00 PM- 1:00 PM EST. How can beginning farmer service organizations better support military veterans returning to or starting up farming? What special knowledge and skills will help organizations serve this audience more effectively? Join us for an upcoming free webinar to improve your understanding of today's veteran experience and culture. Learn how to navigate the existing Veteran's Administration programs and see examples of successful veteran farmer training efforts, as exemplified by the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Hear how this national effort is building momentum for support of military veterans in agriculture.  Understanding some of the challenges faced by veterans will help you in designing outreach, education and networking efforts to extend the reach of your beginning farmer services! Register here. This webinar will be presented by Michele Pfannenstiel DVM, President of Farmer Veteran Coalition (Maine) and Director of Food Safety for the Farmer Veteran Coalition.  The webinar is hosted by the NE Beginning Farmers Project with support from NESARE.

 

Cornell Startup Company is Seeking Farmer Input

Suntomics Inc, a Cornell University-based startup company, is focused on using Concentrated Sunlight to provide cost-effective solutions to many of the problems farmers encounter. Their research is funded by the National Science Foundation to help farmers increase crop yields and lower costs. Their technology has the potential to benefit farmers working in open fields, nurseries, and greenhouses. They would like to assess if they can help farmers in the region with their technology and tailor their product research and development based on farmers' needs. If you are willing to share some of your time during a short phone or in-person interview, please email info@suntomics.com.

Events

February 25, 2014.  9:00 AM- 3:00 PM. Step It Up in 2014 Grazing ConferenceCCE Orleans County, Trolley Building, 12690 NYS Route 31, Albion. Keynote Speaker June Grabemeyer will present "Economic Benefits of Correcting Soil Health in Pastures". There will be a farmer panel with beef and dairy farmers that will focus on pasture management practices. Other topics to be addressed at the conference are:  Extending the Grazing Season; The Latest in Fodder Research; Crop Insurance Options For Your Farm; Tools for Pasture Recordkeeping. Please contact Cathy Wallace at 585-343-3040 x138 or e-mailcfw6@cornell.edu to register. A flyer and registration form is available at www.nwnyteam.org.  For questions contact Nancy Glazier at 585-315-7746 ornig3@cornell.edu.

 

March 4 & 11, 5 & 12, and 6 & 13, 2014. 6:30 PM- 8:30 PM. Hay, Balage, and Forage Quality Workshop Series. Various locations. Learn to better manage your hay crop for quality and value with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or a new farmer, this class is for you! A two-session in-depth school on producing and marketing hay and balage; and feeding forage to beef, sheep, goats, horses, and alpaca to maximize livestock performance. Specific locations and dates can be found here.

 

March 7, 2014.  NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference. Holiday Inn, 75 North Street, Auburn. The keynote speaker will be Gary Zimmer, farmer, author, agri-businessman and educator dedicated to biological agriculture. Recognized around the world for his commitment to improving farming through building healthy soils, Gary has spoken to farmers and agribusiness professionals all across the United States and in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Korea, and South Africa.  More information about Gary's work and other conference details are available at http://www.nofany.org/dairyconference.

 

March 10-11, 12-13 & 25-26, 2014. 9:00 AM- 4:30 PM. Organic Pesticide Applicator Training for Fruit and Vegetable Growers. Various locations. Many pesticide application topics will be covered, including how to choose the right sprayer equipment, the pesticide decision making process, navigating pesticide rules and regulations, and much more! There is a $65 registration fee. For more information and registration contact Emily Cook at ekc68@cornell.edu or click here.

 

[MANY MORE EVENTS!] Visit our comprehensive statewide events calendar online.
Career Opportunities
CCE Resource Educator GAPS - Orange County NY - Apply by 2/21
The GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) Resource Educator will work with Cornell staff under the direct supervision of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County (CCEOC) Agriculture Issue Leader to deliver programming in two components.  The first programming component will offer GAPs and FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) workshops, certification, and one-on-one technical assistance to farms.  The second programming component will offer training sessions and one-on-one technical assistance to farms on harvest and post-harvest handling and packaging standards needed to serve the wholesale market.   The position is located in Orange County delivering direct services to the Hudson Valley, including Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.  This is a 2-year grant-funded, exempt position. For a complete position description, visit  www.cceorange.org and click on Employment Opportunities on the left side of the page.

USA Agriculture Eisenhower Fellowship

Eisenhower Fellowships is seeking active farmers or ranchers to take part in a unique international opportunity. Since 1993, Eisenhower Fellowships has welcomed 23 farmers and ranchers into its international network of more than 2,000 leaders from all sectors across the globe. The successful applicants receive a custom-designed program overseas for five weeks in one or two countries where he or she will explore agricultural issues in order to enhance their own leadership capabilities in the field of agriculture. Applicants must be an active farmer or rancher, at least 32 years old; have demonstrated leadership experience; be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident; and be committed to 15-20 years of further active leadership in agriculture. To learn more about Eisenhower Fellowships, please visit: www.efworld.org.

Farming Internship- Cortland, NY

Main St. Farms is looking for a new intern/employee for the 2014 growing season. They grow veggies and specialty greens at three urban/suburban locations in Cortland County, and market their produce locally in Homer/Cortland and Syracuse. They also have an aquaponics system in Homer that produces tilapia and lettuce year-round. The new intern/employee would spend 2-3 days/week assisting with seeding, weeding, planting, harvesting, washing, packaging, and working at farmers markets in exchange for: a private room in a shared apartment (with other interns) adjacent to the South Ave farm in Cortland and abundant produce.  Additional part-time employment may be available at other local vegetable farms. Start and end dates can be flexible, but ideally the intern would start in April or May and continue until the fall.  If interested, please forward a resume and cover letter to elizabeth.burrichter@gmail.com.

Organic Farm Manager- Washington, VA

The Farm Manager oversees a small acre non-certified, but organically managed and diverse, market garden. Additionally, there is one greenhouse, one hoop house and 18 raised covered beds. The garden provides vegetables and fruit to the restaurant and is located on the property. The garden is toured by guests daily and must be maintained in pristine condition. Must be able to work independently, as shoulder seasons are spent alone. One full-time assistant is hired May through September. At least 5 years' experience managing a farm is preferred; preferably at least 3 years' experience working with a restaurant. For more information, visit here.

Funding Opportunities

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

USDA Agriculture Education Grants- Due April 3

The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide grants to promote and strengthen secondary and 2-year postsecondary agriscience and agribusiness education and agriculture in the K-12 classroom in order to help ensure a qualified workforce and encourage more young Americans to pursue and complete a baccalaureate or higher degree in the food, agricultural and human sciences. Public secondary schools, public or private nonprofit junior and community colleges, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations are eligible for this grant. Application deadline: April 3, 2014. For more information:  http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/pdfs/14_secondary.pdf.

NY Farm Viability Institute 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 Planned Grazing Charts Released

The Planned Grazing Charts were developed for a SARE-funded project entitled "Utilizing Holistic Planned Grazing as a Regenerative Engine for Sustainable Agriculture." To access this charts, visit http://cnyrcd.squarespace.com/planned-grazing-participants/

New Guide Helps Farmers Protect Organic Seed from GE Contamination
Protecting Organic Seed Integrity, a new resource designed to help organic seed growers maintain seed free of genetically engineered (GE) contaminants, is now available from the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA). The book serves as a one-stop tool for organic farmers, seed handlers, and seed companies to determine individual, scale-appropriate, and crop-specific strategies to maintain genetic purity in organic seed, as well as organic food crops. Access the guide here: http://www.osgata.org/2014/ge-contamination-avoidance/

Publication Highlights Grazing as Conservation Tool 
The Pasture Project and the National Audubon Society have released Conservation Grazing: An Opportunity for Land Trusts and Conservation Organizations. The 13-page PDF discusses various ways for land trusts and conservation organizations to approach grazing as a conservation practice and management tool. Access the guide here: http://www.wallacecenter.org/resourcelibrary/conservation-grazing

FarmsReach Plans Online Sustainable Seed Marketplace

FarmsReach, a Berkeley-based social enterprise for farmers and ranchers, has announced a pilot e-commerce platform for non-GMO, sustainable seeds. FarmsReach's Sustainable Seed Marketplace will be an e-marketplace for non-GMO seeds from a mix of seed distributors, enhanced with anecdotal seed-performance data from North American farmers. To find out more, visit http://www.farmsreach.com/welcome/seeds/

Transplant Production Decision Tool Available

The Transplant Production Decision Tool seeks to provide information and options to organic and conventional market farms in the Upper Midwest about the options available as they scale up to meet the increasing demand for local and organic produce. It profiles the transplant production methods of several small- and large-scale growers and also looks at the options available in several phases of the transplant production process - seeding, germination, benches, irrigation, and putting plants out in the field. To find out more and access the tool: http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/cool_tools/transplant-production-decision-tool

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.
About
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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