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June 2nd, 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

Homegrown by Heroes Labeling Program

The Farmer Veteran Coalition recently announced their new Homegrown by Heroes initiative.  This new product labeling appears on agricultural products raised by veterans and those still serving in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, so that consumers can choose to purchase products that support farmer veterans. For more information or to apply for a Homegrown by Heroes label, check out their website.

  • Adirondack Grazers Beef Cooperative Looking for New Members

    Are you a grass-fed beef producer looking for dependable markets and fair prices? The Adirondack Grazers Cooperative collaborates on sales and marketing and is currently searching for new members- though they're also discussing working with non-members who meet the protocols and might be interested in trying out this group marketing opportunity. The cooperative offers financial benefits (the pay rate for the farm works out to be close to $1.70-1.75/pound on the hoof) as well as the ability to focus on production rather than marketing, billing and distribution. Contact Sarah at 917-941-0481 or Elizabeth at 518-409-5599.


    June 4, 2014. 6:00 PM- Dusk. Grow Grazing Productivity with Healthy Soils. Black Queen Angus Farm, LLC. 630 Green Hollow Rd, Berlin NY 12022. How does animal impact affect soil fertility, structure, and its overall health?  Do mechanical inputs of organic matter differ from animal impact? Visit Black Queen Angus Farm, LLC. to see the effects of successful winter management on a summer pasture. At this meeting you will:turn old bales into added organic matter using a Roto-Grind 760 Bale Grinder, discuss the importance of organic matter, learn about soil testing, look at the animal impact on soil health, check for compaction, and dig for earthworms. Please RSVP to Marcie Vohnoutka at (518) 272-4210 or mmp74@cornell.edu.  


    June 5th, 2014. 1:00 PM- 3:00 PM. Early Season Corn Pest Management Field Day. Delanson, NY. Make sure you get your corn off to a good start by managing insects, diseases, weeds and birds. This Cooperative Extension Field Day takes place at Fidler Brothers Farm, Fidler Rd., Delanson. RSVP by contacting Aaron at 518-380-1496 or adg12@cornell.edu 


    June 10 - July 1. GAPs Online Produce Safety Course 

    Implementing Good Agricultural Practices is a 3-week web-based course offered through the National GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) program. This course is intended to improve your understanding of GAPs to guide assessment of risks, and implementation of practices to reduce risks, on fresh produce farms. More information


    June 18, 2014. 1:30pm- 04:00pm. Growing Milling-Quality Grains in the Hudson Valley. Sparrowbush Farm at 2409 US route 9, Hudson NY 12534.      

    Learn about growing milling-quality grains and about considerations when milling and baking with local grains. This educational farm tour at Sparrowbush Farm will focus on overcoming equipment challenges and incorporating grain production onto the diversified farm operation. For beginning through intermediate grain growers and millers and bakers, let's build a grain growers network in the Hudson Valley! Visit the event website for more information or to register. 

    Career Opportunities
  • NYFVI Outreach and Program Coordinator- Syracuse, NY- Due June 15  
    The New York Farm Viability Institute 
    is seeking a full-time Outreach and Program Coordinator in its Syracuse office to provide media outreach and communication support, coordinate its Dairy Profit Team Program, and assist with other duties on a small office team.  A full job description can be found here
  • Distributor Seeking Regional Fruits

    The Argentinian company Interrupcion exports Fair Trade and Organic fruit to the USA, and is looking to work similarly with farmers in the United States. The company is interested in certified organic strawberries, apples and pears, and organic or conventional blueberries, grapes and cherries. They will handle all transportation, branding and promotion. Contact Johanna Kolodny at johanna.kolodny@gmail.com or 609-933-8217 cell if you are interested in discussing further. 

    NOFA-NY Summer Mentorship Program

    Want to partner with an experienced farmer for guidance in your farming career? OR, are you an experienced farmer who can help beginning farmers find solid footing in the sustainable agriculture world? If you answered "yes" to one of these questions, NOFA-NY's Mentorship Program could be right for you. The NOFA-NY Mentorship Program is geared toward supporting beginning farmers in a role of farm start-up, ownership, leadership, management or transition-to-Organic as well as the farmers who train and educate them. Applications due by June 17th. Mentorship Program Information

    Assistant Manager at Book and Plow Farm- Amherst, Massachusetts 

    Does growing over 100,000 pounds of food for a dining hall that feeds 4000 meals a day on 10 acres with a crew of 8 sound crazy to you? Does doing all this and changing the food culture at Amherst College by working with incredibly bright college students appeal to you? Apply to join Book and Plow Farm as their Assistant Manager. Click here for more details. 
  • Organic Feed Mill Facilities Manager- Penn Yan, NY 

    Lakeview Organic Grain is looking for a Facilities Manager for their Organic Feed Mill. Duties include supervising and managing daily animal feed mill operations; coordinating feed orders, rations, manufacturing, and deliveries; monitoring and managing quality of stored grains and manufactured feed, training and supervising employees; maintaining accurate inventory records; and trouble-shooting and ensuring repair for all mill facilities, vehicles and operations. Apply by mail or by email to mh@lakevieworganicgrain.com 

    Funding Opportunities

    Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program- Due June 16th

    The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program provides matching funds to State agencies to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system. Awards from $25,000 to $150,000 are available. More information

  • Crop Protection and Pest Management Grant- Due June 19th
  • The purpose of the Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) program is to address high priority issues related to pests and their management using IPM approaches. In Fiscal Year 2014, the CPPM program will provide support for projects to conduct applied research and development, extension implementation, and regional coordination. View the Synopsis Page more information.

  • Northeast SARE Pre-proposals Due June 19th
  • SARE, or Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, offers competitive grants to projects that explore and address key issues affecting the sustainability and future economic viability of agriculture. Funding is available to farmers, educators, communities and more; you can visit their website for more information.  

    USDA Announces $78 Million Available for Local Food Enterprises- Due June 20th

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making a $78 million investment in local and regional food systems, including food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation and processing facilities, distribution services, and other local food business enterprises. Specifically, $48 million in loan guarantees for local food projects is now available through USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, and $30 million is available through competitive grants via the Agricultural Marketing Service's Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program. Under this program, $15 million is available for marketing and promotional support specifically for local food businesses, including food hubs, delivery and aggregation businesses, and processing and storage facilities along the local food supply chain, while $15 million is for marketing support for farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer outlets. Click here for more information. 

  • Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP)- Due June 20th
  • The USDA-funded FMPP is designed to increase consumption of and access to locally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. $15,000 to $100,000 is available to eligible groups including agricultural business and cooperatives, regional farmers market authorities, CSA networks and associations, and more. Click here for more information. 

    Latest Resources

    Manual Focuses on Co-operatives' Role in Food Systems

    The New England Farmers Union (NEFU) has released Growing a Food System for the Future: A Manual for Co-operative Enterprise Development . NEFU developed this manual for those who want to understand more about the role co-ops play in the food system, for those looking to form a co-operative, and for co-operatives looking to expand. Check out the manual here.

    Best Management Practices for Log-Based Shiitake Cultivation

    The Northeast Forest Mushroom Growers Association presents the most up-to-date research and recommendations from growers, in order to provide new and established farmers and gardeners alike with all the information for successful shiitake cultivation. The guide is available for download here. You can also find a series of videos on mushroom cultivation here.

    New Resource Designed to Help Beginning Farmers Succeed

  • American Farmland Trust has released Cultivating the Next Generation: Resources and Policies to Help Beginning Farmers Succeed in Agriculture. The publication reports on state programs and federally funded programs for beginning farmers and profiles 12 beginning farmers. Finding, affording, and negotiating appropriate farmland to lease or own was the greatest overall challenge beginners reported, and the publication suggests ways to address this challenge. You can download the guide here.

  • 'Toolbox' a Cornucopia for Small Ruminant Producers

  • Raising sheep and goats can be a fruitful way for small and limited-resource producers to diversify their operations. They just need the tools to make the enterprise successful, and a new Small Ruminant Toolbox developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) fits that bill nicely. The free toolbox, which was funded by SARE, is a well-organized collection of some of the best information available on small ruminants. The toolbox is available for free on the ATTRA website

    National Climate Assessment Explores Climate Impacts on Agriculture

    The U.S. Global Change Research Program has released the Third National Climate Assessment. According to the online report, climate disruptions to agriculture have increased. Many regions will experience declines in crop and livestock production from increased stress due to weeds, diseases, insect pests, and other climate-change-induced stresses. 

    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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