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March 14, 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
Choose from 7 meeting locations around NY state.

Small Farms Summit RESCHEDULED for March 24

Due to storm 'Vulcan', the 2014 NY Small Farms Summit, Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, has been rescheduled to Monday, March 24thThe program features small farmers' perspectives on the pros and cons of selling wholesale. The meeting, which takes place from 9:30am - 3:30pm, 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.eduIf you were previously registered for this event and still plan to attend, please complete a new registration form.

Important OSHA Inspection Update for Dairy Producers

On Friday, February 28, important clarification was received from OSHA officials regarding the coming round of random comprehensive dairy farm inspections that are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2014: only large dairies will be inspected between July and September 2014. For the purposes of this process, "large" dairies are those that have had 11 or more non-family employees at any one time in the last 12 months. This means smaller farms that house workers will not be inspected, at least through the end of September 2014, even though OSHA may consider those workers to be temporary.

Produce Safety Focus Groups

Researchers are looking for two groups of 10 fruit and/or vegetable growers to participate in two focus groups. The purpose is to ask for farmers' opinions about new decision trees that are being developed to help growers assess food safety risks on the farm and decide which risks should be addressed first. These trees are designed primarily for small to medium sized farms, but should be useful to all fresh produce growers. These focus groups will be held in two different locations. One will be on Thursday, March 20, 2014 from 2-4 pm at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. The other focus group will be Thursday April 3, 2014 from 1-3 pm at the Best Western Albany Airport, Albany, NY. Participants will receive $40 to compensate for their time and travel expenses. Please call or email Betsy Bihn at 315.787.2625 or eab38@cornell.edu if you are interested in participating or if you have any questions.


March 19, 2014. 5:30 PM- 7:00 PM. Recipes for Success: Introduction & Overview. Gerald J. Skoda Extension Education Center, 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty, NY. Food entrepreneurs need quality ingredients in order to establish "recipes for success" in small business. This workshop will include an overview of the "Recipes for Success" course program and an outline of the components needed to convert an idea into a viable and fundable business proposition. Participants will receive a binder with a course outline and business plan template. Maria Grimaldi from CCE and Heinrich Strauch from CDC will guide this session. For more information, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County, Nicole Slevin (Director of Communications), 845-292-6180 ext. 114, nas96@cornell.edu.


March 20, 2014. 2:00 PM- 3:00 PM. How to Sell Domestic Foods to the USDA Webinar. Each year, USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) buys nearly $2 billion and 2 billion pounds of frozen, processed, and fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and eggs, otherwise known as "USDA Foods". AMS proudly buys "USDA Foods" from a diverse pool of companies, both large and small. This webinar will place special emphasis on contracting information for small, socially disadvantaged, women-owned, and service disabled veteran-owned businesses, as well as those in Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUB Zones). To register for this webinar, please visit http://bit.ly/1jfHT4w.


March 25-26, 2014. 9:00 AM- 4:30 PM. Organic Pesticide Applicator Training for Fruit and Vegetable Growers. NYS Ag Experiment Station Geneva, Jordan Hall Auditorium, 614 W North St, Geneva, NY 14456. Join NOFA-NY for this two-day training to learn how organic farmers can boost their safety and apply products more efficiently. Classroom topics include: pesticide rules, regulations and the organic grower, navigating the national organic program's pesticide rules, and an organic product overview and efficacy comparison. The hands-on Sprayer Equipment Workshop covers how to calibrate backpack and tractor sprayers, choose the best nozzle, assess and improve spray coverage, properly maintain equipment, and much more! For additional information contact Emily Cook, CCE Ulster County, at 845-943-9810 or ekc68@cornell.edu. 


April 26, 2014. 9:30 AM- 3:00 PM. New York Nut Growers Association Spring Meeting. Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, 423 Griffing Avenue, Riverhead, NY. The morning session will consist of a series of presentations by experts. The afternoon session will consist of a tour of a nearby nut tree farm in Aqueboque.  To register, contact Jerry Henkin, NYNGA V. P. at sproutnut@aol.com, tel. (914) 282 - 1371. For more information, please visit http://www.nynga.org/


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

Herdsman Position Opening- Sharon Springs, NY

Bison Island Natural Meats has an opening for a part-time herdsman that will eventually grow into a full-time position. They are a 360 acre farm focusing on raising grass-fed Bison from mate to plate. Duties include but are not limited to rotational grazing, fencing and fence maintenance, winter feeding, equipment maintenance, property maintenance, animal handling, hay harvesting and direct retail at farmer's markets. Compensation to start is housing and $400/month plus space and equipment to raise your own small livestock such as swine or poultry. Send resume to bisonisland@rocketmail.com

Field Crew Opening at West Haven Farm- Ithaca, NY

Since 1992, West Haven Farm in Ithaca, NY has grown 10 acres of certified organic fruits and vegetables. They distribute through CSA, Farmers' Market and local restaurants. They are seeking full-time, enthusiastic crewmembers who demonstrate a strong work ethic and the ability to work as part of a team. They strive to create a fun yet challenging work environment while encouraging crewmembers to develop their skills and interests. This position involves full-time employment from April-Thanksgiving; additional winter hours possible. For more information, visit www.westhavenfarm.net or contact John at (607) 279-9483 or csa@westhavenfarm.net.

Vegetable Research Technician Position- Western NY

The Cornell Vegetable Program seeks an individual to assist with our vegetable research and outreach programs throughout Western NY. This is a year-round Cornell University position with benefits. The position will be housed at one of the local Cornell Cooperative Extension offices, preferably in Batavia, NY. Minimum 6 months training beyond a HS diploma. Associate's or Bachelor's degree preferred. Research and/or vegetable production experience a plus. Candidates must apply on-line no later than March 22, 2014. For more information and application instructions, see our website http://cvp.cce.cornell.edu

NOFA-NY Certification Director Position- 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.

Deadline Extended for Grow a Farmer Apprenticeship Program

The Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN) has developed the 6-month Grow A Farmer Apprenticeship Program to draw on the expertise of long-established Maritime organic farmers in providing a new and multi-faceted learning opportunity for those keen to farm. Guided by a dynamic curriculum and supported with learning tools and free resources, participants commit to either a full or summer-season apprenticeship, to lay the foundation for their future careers in organic agriculture. Applications are due March 28th. For full details, please visit www.growafarmer.ca/apprenticeship/.

Funding Opportunities
Seeking funding to further develop or expand a food hub? - Due March 30th
Food hubs are an emerging wholesale model allowing small farmers to pool their resources in order to reach new markets and achieve efficient distribution. Current barriers to entry are the lack of technical know-how to start a food hub and the initial capital investment required. The Wallace Center is working to reduce these barriers by offering Food Hub Development Grants through their Strengthening Small Scale Sustainable Farming and Local Food Systems by Accelerating Food Hub Development Program. The grant application deadline is March 30, 2014. To learn more about the grant program and access the Request for Applications, please visit http://www.wallacecenter.org/strengtheninglocalfoodsystems

Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program- Due March 31

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2014 to support the development of Community Food Projects (CFP) and Planning Projects (PP) to assess food-security needs and plan long-term solutions to help ensure food security in communities. CFP awards will not exceed $125,000 in any single year or more than $300,000 over three years, and PP awards will not exceed $25,000. Matching funds are required. For more information: http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/community_food.html

NYS FreshConnect Farmers' Markets- Due Apr 2

The FreshConnect program was the first step in Governor Cuomo's "Farm New York" initiative to invest in the state's agriculture industry, a vital component of the state's economy. This year, the $130,000 RFP will focus on supporting at least 13 traditional farmers' market and youth market grant projects across the state. Under this initiative, new and existing farmers' markets, municipalities, and not-for-profits may apply for up to $10,000, and those with the best ideas on how to improve access to farmers' markets participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assitance Program (SNAP) will be awarded funding. In addition, $200,000 in "FreshConnect Checks" will be released this year to serve low-income families across the state, including, for the first time, $50,000 directed to veterans of all ages. Checks will be begin being distributed through veterans facilities this summer, based on proximity to eligible farmers' market. For more information, please visit http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/RFPS.html.

USDA Organic Transitions Competitive Grants Program- Due Apr 4

The overall goal of the Organic Transitions Program (ORG) is to support the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices. ORG will continue to prioritize environmental services provided by organic farming systems in the area of soil conservation and climate change mitigation, including greenhouse gases (GHG). Two new priorities have been added to support (1) the development of educational tools for Cooperative Extension personnel and other agricultural professionals who advise producers on organic practices and (2) the development of cultural practices and other allowable alternatives to substances recommended for removal from the National Organic Programs National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. For more information, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/organictransitionsprogram.cfm.

USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Grants

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is offering a series of grants in various ag-related areas. Funding will be used to develop management practices, technologies, and tools for farmers, ranchers, forest owners and managers, public decision makers, public and private managers, and citizens to improve water resource quantity and quality. These grants will link social, economic, and behavioral sciences with traditional biophysical sciences and engineering to address regional-scale issues with shared hydrological processes and meteorological and basin characteristics. For more information on the series of grants, please visit http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/afri.html.

Latest Resources

Finger Lakes LandLink Website Launched

Finger Lakes LandLink is a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension Tompkins County and Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming. The purpose is to facilitate connections between land owners and farmers seeking land in the Finger Lakes region, and to grow the local food economy. To access this website, please visit: http://www.fingerlakeslandlink.org/.

New Tool Offers Growers Easy Option to Measure Soil Organic Matter

Researchers with Ohio State University's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences have developed a new tool that allows farmers to easily predict soil organic matter content and can help them make decisions about whether or not to sell crop residue. This tool can be accessed here

NEIPM Spring 2014 Resources Now Available

The Northeast Integrated Pest Management Center (NEIPM) recently profiled a series of IPM resources in their Spring 2014 issue of IPM Insights. These resources cover topics varying from preventing rodent problems to relevant research on cockroaches and can be accessed here.


Vegetable Grower's Guide to Organic Certification Released

The National Young Farmers Coalition has released the Vegetable Grower's Guide to Organic Certification, for any vegetable farmer who embraces the philosophy of organic agriculture but isn't yet certified. The guide addresses some of the challenges to certification and helps farmers explore the decision for themselves. The guide is free to download here.

The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower's Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming
Jean-Martin Fortier's new book the Market Gardener is proof that there is a lot more to be said on the subject. Fortier and his wife together run Les Jardins de la Grelinette ("Broadfork Gardens") in Quebec, Canada, a profitable 1.5-acre vegetable farm. In his book, Fortier lays out how a carefully-managed farm of this size can be affordable for new farmers to launch, be managed without mechanization, and provide a sustainable livelihood. To access this book, please visit http://www.newsociety.com/Books/M/The-Market-Gardener. 
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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