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April 15, 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
This Friday, Roger Rainville will describe making on-farm biodiesel

Making On-Farm Biodiesel & Wind Powered Water Systems Topics of Upcoming Virtual Tours

Are you looking to stabilize rising fuel and energy costs on your farm or homestead? Are you seeking more sustainable sources of energy? Join us for the two remaining webinars in the Sustainable Farm Energy Webinar Series.  This Friday at 12pm, Roger Rainville of Alburgh, Vermont will lead a virtual tour of his on-farm biodesel production facility.  Next Friday (4/25) Jonathan Barter will show us his wind-powered livestock watering system for sheep and cattle in remote pastures.  The webinars are free and open to the public. Registration is required. Upon registering, you'll receive an email providing a link and instructions for you to access the series.  The webinar series is sponsored by NE SARE (Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education) and the Cornell Small Farms Program.  Read webinar descriptions and register here.  

Two Upcoming BF Service Provider Webinars
Are you looking to deepen your skills in support of beginning farmers? Don't miss these two free webinars for service providers offered this April! Pre-registration is required and you need to register for each webinar separately.

Valuing Time and Muscle - Working with Beginning Farmers in Labor Record Keeping

Thursday, April 17, 2014 from 12:00 to 1:00 PM EDT

Learn from farmer, consultant, and educator Chris Blanchard, and explore ways to track and calculate labor inputs that translate into meaningful records. This training will focus on what activities to monitor, if and how to extrapolate from a snapshot, when to lump activities together or get picky, and what forms and formats may work better or worse. Register for this webinar here. 


Diversifying Beyond Direct - Supporting Beginning Farmers in Exploring Wholesale Markets

Friday, April 25, 2014 from 12:00 to 1:00 PM EDT

Learn through the experience of Deep Root Cooperative and their work with organic vegetable farmers in the NE. Learn about the nature of wholesale relationships, terms of pricing and payment, and expectations for quality and packaging. Exploring the structure of wholesale markets will help you design outreach and education programs that prepare beginning farmers to consider these channels as their enterprises grow. Register for this webinar here.


More information on  these webinars, and an archived recording of a previous webinar in this series, can be found here

Are you a Veteran in Agriculture or Organization that Supports Veterans? 

Are you a veteran working in farming or an agriculture business? Are you an organization currently or potentially interested in serving farmer veterans? The Cornell Small Farms Program is seeking collaborators to build the capacity of programs and services to assist veteran farmers. If you'd like to be a prospective partner or beneficiary of this project, please provide your contact information on this form so that we can contact you with more information.


April 16, 2014. 9:00 AM- 4:30 PM. Pollinator Conservation Short Course. Stone Barns Center for Food & Agricultur,e Pocantico Hills, NY. Introductory topics of this course include the principles of pollinator biology, the economics of insect pollination, basic bee field identification, and evaluating pollinator habitat. Advanced modules will cover land management practices for pollinator protection, pollinator habitat restoration, incorporating pollinator conservation into federal conservation programs, selection of plants for pollinator enhancement sites, management of natural landscapes, and financial and technical resources to support these efforts. For more information, click here.


April 22, 2014. 7:00 PM. Managing Your Pastures Better: Management Intensive Grazing 101 Webinar. A sheep's rumen allows it to thrive on high-fiber forage and effectively convert sunlight and atmospheric nitrogen (nitrogen "fixed" into forage protein by legumes like clovers and alfalfa) into valuable human products like meat and wool and milk. This webinar will discuss how to use sheep to harvest this forage in a profitable and sustainable way. It will review how forages grow and how to use sheep to manage your forage in a sustainable and efficient way. It will cover the principles of Management Intensive Grazing (MIG). After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Register here. 


May 31- June 1, 2014. Two Day Aquaponic Training Course. Cornell Cooperative Extension facility in Oriskany, NY. Are you interested in owning and operating an Aquaponic farm or do you already have an AP system operating? Are you looking to invest in Controlled Environment Agriculture, Aquaponics or Hydroponics? Do you want to build a back yard Aquaponic system, or just curious to learn more about this exciting farming method? Then this is the perfect opportunity for you! For more information on the specifics of what will be offered at this training, please visit: http://aquavitafarms.com/. Questions? Looking for lodging? Email: mark@aquavitafarms.com  


Many More Events: Visit our Online Events Calendar

Career Opportunities

NOFA-NY Communications & Marketing Director- Rochester, NY

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC, a USDA-accredited organic certification agency, is seeking a Communications and Marketing Manager to work with the Executive Director, management team, and staff to create and manage the organization's communication and marketing initiatives, including writing and producing print publications, creating and managing a vibrant social media strategy, organizing and managing sponsorships, advertising, and trade shows in support of our educational programs, and coordinating and organizing annual fund raising events The successful candidate will have a background in marketing, advertising sales, and communications. This position is based in Rochester, NY. Some state-wide travel is required along with occasional work outside of standard business hours. For the full position announcement, click here.

Director of Educational Programs for PASA- Millheim, PA

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is seeking a Director of Educational Programs to join their Millheim, PA office. PASA works to improve the economic viability, environmental soundness and social responsibility of food and farming systems across Pennsylvania and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. The successful candidate will be an important team player in advancing this overall mission, but will focus primarily on leading efforts to redefine and deploy educational programs for farmers that are both relevant to sustainability and effective in transforming food and farming systems in the 21st Century. This position is responsible for working with PASA's Board of Director's Education Committee in determining the organization's educational and research agenda, based on the demonstrated needs of our farmer members in particular, and implementing programs consistent with that agenda. For the full position announcement, click here.

Plant Foreman- Meat/Slaughter Facility, Hardwick, MA 01037

Specialty meat farm seeks an experienced individual to join our meat processing/slaughter facility in a supervisor/foreman role to coordinate facility operations. This is a full time position and may require working weekend days. Responsibilities include day to day operations of the facility; Coordination of farm livestock to slaughter process, staffing, employee supervision, record keeping duties and general plant maintenance; Carry out and maintain farm HACCP and Food Safety Plan; General knowledge of all duties; Any other responsibilities assigned by the farm manager. To view full job description, including required knowledge and experience, physical requirements, and job specific details, visit here. Applications may be submitted online, or emailed to: kate@stillmansattheturkeyfarm.com. Please include your resume. 
Funding Opportunities

Mortgage Lifter for Small Farms- Due Apr 22

Beekman 1802 is offering four mortgage 'lifts' for small farms with big ideas sponsored by money they've raised in the last year selling their pasta sauces. Up to $10,000 will be available in these "lifts". Applications are due April 22nd, 2014 and winners will be announced April 29th. Learn more here.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Water for Agriculture Grants- Due Apr 17

These grants are intended to address critical water resource issues such as drought, excess soil moisture and flooding in an agricultural context. State Agricultural Experiment Stations; institutions of higher education; research institutions and organizations; Federal agencies; national laboratories; private organizations or corporations; individuals; and consortium are all eligible to apply. For more information, click here

Methyl Bromide Transitions Competitive Grant Program- Due May 6

USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications from colleges and universities for the Methyl Bromide Transition Competitive Grants Program. The program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Grants up to $500,000 are available. More information

Latest Resources

Drip Irrigation for Small Vegetable Farms Publication Now Available

A drip-irrigation system - when properly designed, maintained and operated - can be a production asset for a small farm. Using drip irrigation for profitable vegetable production requires an understanding of several basic engineering and horticultural concepts and their application. The University of Florida IFAS Extension recently published this resource in order to present the principles behind drip irrigation and some practical guidelines for successful and profitable use of drip irrigation. You can access the resource here.


SARE Conference on Cover Crops Archived Videos Available

Videos of all presentations delivered at the Omaha conference on Cover Crops are now available on the SARE website. These presentations cover everything from general soil health topics to EPA's perspective on cover crops, water quality, and nutrient management. PDF's of  the presentations are also available.

Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network Website

NMPAN is a peer learning community, a national information hub, and a source of targeted applied research and direct technical assistance. Their mission is long-term stability and profitability for both processors and the producers who depend on them to market sustainably raised meats. Their website has a wealth of information on starting and operating meat processing facilities, working effectively with your processor, food safety, mobile slaughter units, marketing local meats, and much more. To access the many resources that NMPAN has to offer: http://www.nichemeatprocessing.org/.

New Info Sheets Explore Silvopasture on CRP and Windbreaks on Organic Farms

The USDA National Agroforestry Center has released two new info sheets that are available online in PDF. Can Windbreaks Help with Organic Farming? examines how agroforestry buffers can be used to help organic farmers maintain the integrity of their products. The second two-page info sheet, Is Converting CRP to Silvopasture Right for You?, explains an option that landowners with expiring CRP land may want to consider. Both info sheets can be found here.

Immigrant Worker Help for Small Farms

The Cornell Farmworker Program (CFP) conducts on-farm workshops on immigrant rights and emergency planning. Topics for workshops include discussions of state and federal regulations as they relate to farmworkers, information on health, education, legal and other services. A full list of the available resources and information on how to schedule a workshop for your farm, can be found here

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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