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March 3, 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
Spots Still Open 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 7 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.

March 7, 2014. NOFA-NY Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference. Holiday Inn, Auburn, NY. 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 13, 2014. 9:00 AM- 3:30 PM. Southern Tier Berry School. Ellicottville Town Center/Cooperative Extension Center, 28 Parkside Drive, Ellicottville, NY 14731.

The Berry School is appropriate for beginning and seasoned commercial berry growers and marketers, u-pick operators, and those looking to diversify into berry production. This event will cover the latest updates on Integrated Pest Management resources for berry growers, berry soil and nutrient management, berry weed management, and much more! For more information please contact Mark Holt, Community Educator- Agriculture/Horticulture with CCE Cattaraugus County, at (716) 699-2377  x115 or mwh95@cornell.edu.


March 30, 2014. 9:30 AM- 4:30 PM. Farm to Market Connection: Local Food Business-to-Business Conference. Big Barn Center at the Center for Discovery in Hurleyville, NY. The conference offers a day of networking and education with the most current topics in farm and food marketing. Participants gather with local food advocates from across the region including farmers, retailers, restaurateurs, specialty food producers, distributors, farmers' market staff, and economic development practitioners. To access the full agenda with speakers and session descriptions and to register, visit www.farm-to-market-connection-2014.eventbrite.com.


April 2, 2014. 6:00 PM- 8:00 PM. Farming 101 SeriesEver dreamt of raising your own meat?  Have land that you'd like to see put to good use?  Whether you want to farm just yourself or as a small business, join Onondaga County CCE in their Farming 101 Series.  We'll kick off the series with "Beef 101" on April 2nd from 6-8 pm at the Tully Free Library located at 12 State Street Tully, NY 13159. This is a great way to gain information on the basics and beyond.  We'll cover breed selection, housing requirements, fencing and much more.  From there we'll set a date for "Pastured Chicken 101" as well as "Pork 101" for those that are interested in continuing their education to other meats.  We look forward to "meating" you on the 2nd! 

Registration is required and space is limited.  


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

Farm Manager Position- North Salem, NY

Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard is a u-pick apple orchard, vegetable and CSA farm, raise beef and chickens for egg production, and recently received their Farm Winery license. The Farm Manager position would involve overseeing farm store produce, managing the existing CSA, and helping with other farm activities. Applicants should be good with customers, knowledgeable about food/produce, and capable of working with others. Applicants should also be ambitious and self-reliant because this job entails managing some aspect of the business with little oversight. This job will have an hourly wage and typically runs from April through December. Job starts this spring/summer. For more information, contact Kevin Covino at 845 629 1832 or Covinofarms@gmail.com.

Fishkill Farms Vegetable Production Field Crew Opening- East Fishkill, NY

Fishkill Farms is a 150-acre fruit and vegetable farm located in East Fishkill, NY. The vegetable production team grows 20 acres of vegetables using organic methods for a 200-member CSA, an on-site farm store, wholesale outlets, and three farmers markets in NYC. Crew members will participate in every aspect of vegetable growing, including greenhouse work, planting, hand and tractor cultivation, disease and pest management, harvesting, and washing and packing. In addition they will attend and run one market in the city each week. This is a seasonal, full-time position beginning in the spring (April or May) and ending in late fall (November or December). For more information: http://www.fishkillfarms.com/jobs.html.

Produce Resource Educator- Middletown, NY

The Association Produce Resource Educator will work under the direct supervision of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County (CCEOC) Agriculture Issue Leader to provide leadership in developing, planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs in Vegetable and Small Fruit production and crop management. This position will represent the association to the public, community leaders, government officials, agricultural industry and Cornell University. This person will work as a team member in addressing local, regional and statewide programming priorities and operate as a multi-association team member in the above areas of specialization. Application deadline is March 7, 2014. To apply, visit:


360-Acre Dairy Farm for Lease/Partnership

Functional dairy barn with milking parlor can house approximately 150 head of cattle.  Another smaller barn is suitable for beef cattle or other livestock. Approximately 45 acres of cropland, 130 acres pasture, balance is wooded. Farm is in NYC watershed and is enrolled in the Watershed Agricultural Council's Large Farm Program. Fencing in good condition, riparian areas around streams are fenced to keep livestock out. Housing can be available, the original farmhouse is in decent shape. The farm is not currently organically certified or ready for organic certification but the owner would like to move in that direction. Please contact Ken Christensen at kenchris06@hotmail.com or (307)413-3624 for more information.

NCAA SARE Seminar Fellows Program

This program is designed to provide hands-on experience and materials for selected NACAA members to study and become familiar with the basics of sustainable agriculture and alternative farm systems as currently practiced within the four regions of the US Department of Agriculture. Specific sustainable farming systems will be studied as selected fellows visit two of the USDA regions each year as part of the two year program. The fellows will hear discussions on sustainable agriculture as pertaining to each region and visit selected farms and ranches to view firsthand the application of sustainable agriculture principles studied in the classroom. Members of NACAA in good standing with their state associations with responsibility in agricultural production systems are eligible to apply for the Fellows Program. For more information, click here.

Funding Opportunities

Food Hub Development Grant Program- Due March 30

The Wallace Center at Winrock International is requesting applications for a new Food Hub Development Grant Program. The grant program will build on the significant work of Wallace's National Good Food Network (NGFN) initiative to support food hub development and build capacity among small and mid-size farms throughout the U.S. to access regional markets, with an additional intention on building capacity among minority and female farmers. This grant program is available to both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. To learn more about the grant program and review the complete RFA and timeline, visit: www.wallacecenter.org/strengtheninglocalfoodsystems.

Small is Beautiful Mini-Grants- Due March 15

As part of an on-going Cornell Garden-based Learning effort to foster ecological practices, to encourage county collaborations and to meaningfully engage youth, Small is Beautiful mini-'grants' offer counties the opportunity for proposal writing and program development on a manageable scale. Grants are awarded to Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) county-based programs that foster ecological practices, encourage county collaborations and meaningfully engage youth. Funding of $250- $400 is available per grantee. For more information and RFP Instructions please click here

Organic Farming Research Foundation Request for Proposals- Due March 15

OFRF offers funding for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities. Proposals must involve farmers or ranchers in project design and implementation and must take place on certified organic land, ideally on working organic farms or ranches. Applicants should articulate how the proposed research project will foster the improvement or adoption of organic farming systems, as well as ways in which organic farmers or ranchers can utilize proposed results in their operations. Research projects must include strong education and outreach components and contain measurable objectives. For more information, please visit http://www.ofrf.org/research/grants/request-research-and-education-and-outreach-proposals

Latest Resources

Company Focuses on Tools for Small Farmers

Oregonian Michael McGowen's company, Carts & Tools, is addressing the lack of equipment for small-scale farmers with a line of electric farm implements, reports Capital Press. The company is offering a line of battery powered tillers, weeders, and other tools that can be charged with a solar panel and easily maneuvered on small plots. Though the tools are not inexpensive, they offer a growing number of small farmers an alternative to searching for appropriately sized used equipment. In the future, the company hopes to make an electric grain harvester, as well. For more information: http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20140212/ARTICLE/140219955/1178.

Grassroots Seed Network Launches

Grassroots Seed Network is a newly formed nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization funded by its membership and by grants and charitable donations from individuals and organizations. The mission of the Grassroots Seed Network is to provide a participatory, member-governed, democratic network through which those who preserve and maintain open-pollinated vegetable seeds can share those seeds and encourage and educate the next generation of seed savers. Several categories of membership are available. The organization is based in Maine but is nationwide in scope. For more information: http://grassrootsseednetwork.org.

Farmland Forever Website Launched

American Farmland Trust announced that the organization has unveiled a new website focused on farmland protection in the Puget Sound region of western Washington. The site explains some of the most effective tools for protecting farmland through easements and zoning and includes links to briefing materials, studies, and ordinances developed by agencies and organizations in the Northwest. The website is part of American Farmland Trust's ongoing Farmland Forever campaign that seeks to protect an additional 100,000 acres of farmland in the Puget Sound region by 2018.for more information: http://www.farmland-forever.org/

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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