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July 1st, 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

New Brown Root Rot Test

A new test to detect the soil-borne plant pathogen Phoma sclerotioides, commonly known as brown root rot or BRR, is now available to farmers from the Cornell University Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic. The BRR pathogen causes root and crown rotting in alfalfa, other perennial legumes, and overwintering grasses, causing yield loss and stand decline of alfalfa. 'This new test indicates a positive result if plant tissues are infected with any of the seven varieties/biotypes of the fungus found in North America, including the five biotypes documented in New York,' says Cornell plant pathologist Dr. Gary C. Bergstrom. The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted information on costs and how to prepare a test sample on its website at www.nnyagdev.org

PED vaccine coming to N.Y. in July 

A vaccine for the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PED), which kills nearly 100% of piglets less than 10 days old once the litter is infected, has been approved for New York and will come to market probably in the middle of July. According to NYS veterinarian David Smith, the vaccine is approved "under a conditional license from USDA's Center for Veterinary Biologics, which assures us of the product's safety and purity. USDA's conditional license also indicates that there is reasonable expectation that the vaccine does provide some degree of protection against PED." More information


July 13-15, 2014. 2014 New York State Maple Tour. Chautauqua Suites Hotel and Expo Center, 215 West Lake Road, Mayville NY. The tour will be visiting a variety of maple sugar houses and sugarbush locations. Come prepared to experience some maple demonstrations, some outstanding maple operations and another great New York State Maple Tour. For more information visit https://www.morningagclips.com/2014-new-york-state-maple-tour/. Further information will also be accessible at www.cornellmaple.com and www.nysmaple.com as it becomes available.  


July 21st, 2014. 1:00-3:30 pm. NOFA-NY Field Day: Organic Dairy High Quality Forage ProductionStine Farm, 45540 Stine Road, Redwood NY. Bill Stine of Stine Farm welcomes you to tour his farm and learn about his forage production system.  Hear how he maintains production with a baleage and hay based ration.  See his pasture system and learn what practices Bill has implemented to be a successful organic dairy farmer.  Stine Farm is a 5th generation farm established in 1874.  Bill currently milks 35 cows and has been certified organic since 2007. More information.


August 5-7, 2014. Cornell's RAPP Program Demonstrates Agricultural Plastics Recycling at Empire Farm Days. Rodman Lott & Son Farms on NY-414, south of Seneca FallsAgricultural plastics recycling is taking off, big time! Recyclers working with Cornell University's Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program (RAPP) are now able to process virtually all types of used farm plastics.  Much of this old plastic is turned into new products by manufacturers right here in New York State. Waste plastics previously used on NYS farms-primarily bale wrap, bunker covers, mulch and greenhouse film-are being transformed into sheets of plastic 'plywood', plastic sidewalk pavers, household and industrial-size garbage bags, and diesel fuel, as well as into new plastic containers, films and twine that will once again be used on farms. RAPP will showcase an array of these products, as well as supplies and equipment for storing and compacting used plastic, at Empire Farm Days, August 5-7, 2014. Find RAPP at Booth #500, just outside the main entrance to the Cornell Building.


August 8-10, 2014. NOFA Summer Conference. Amherst, Massachusetts. The 40th NOFA Summer Conference is less than two months away, with 150+ workshops, live entertainment, dinner meet-ups, conferences for children and teens, farm tours, and much more. Workshop topics include farming, gardening, land care, nutrition and food politics. NOFA is also offering full and half day pre-conferences and 100+ exhibitors. Scholarships, affordable registration, and budget conscious accommodations are available. To learn about the conference, see www.nofasummerconference.org 


August 12-15, 2014. Cornell Soil Health Train-the-Trainer Workshop. Cornell University, Ithaca NY. This intensive workshop focuses on measuring and improving soil health through holistic, adaptive, and data-driven soil management. The workshop includes a mix of classroom training, hands-on field and laboratory experience, and opportunities to network with colleagues over meals. The target audience is professionals working with agricultural soil management issues.

Workshop details are available here: http://bit.ly/2014SHW, and registration is now live.

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar. 

Career Opportunities
  • Bittersweet Farm Seeks Inters and WWOOFers- Heulvelton, NY Bittersweet Farm in Heuvelton, NY is looking to host interns or WWOOFers. The farm will provide full room and board for two weeks or two months depending on what you want to experience. Contact Ann and Brian Bennett at 315-344-0443, annmb@localnet.com, or bittersweetfarm.bennet@gmail.com if you are interested. 
  • Camphill Communities of North America Seek People to Work, Live at Farms- Columbia County, NY

     Camphill is dedicated to creating communities where the values of service, sharing, spiritual nourishment, and recognition of each individual's gifts and contributions offer a model of renewal for the wider society. There are 12 Camphill Communities here in North America and we are actively seeking individuals who would like to live and work in one of our thriving therapeutic communities in Columbia County, NY. Biodynamic farming and gardening is at the core of our work; coworkers in our communities enjoy a healthy relationship with the land all the while supporting those who have developmental disabilities. Yearlong commitments are preferred, room/board and a monthly stipend are also included. Interested people should contact Nathan McLaughlin at nathan@camphill.org 
  • Funding Opportunities

    Farm Bill Funding for Bioenergy Research, Converting to Biomass Fuel Systems- Due July 7 

    The USDA has announced up to $14.5 million in funding for two bioenergy programs made available through the 2014 Farm Bill. USDA's Rural Development is accepting applications from companies seeking to offset the costs associated with converting fossil fuel systems to renewable biomass fuel systems, while USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the availability of $2.5 million in grants to enhance national energy security through the development of bio-based transportation fuels, biopower, and new bio-based products. Find more information on the USDA's news release.

  • Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Request for Pre-proposals- Due July 8      
  • The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture's annual competitive grants program awards funding for research and for projects designed to carry out demonstration, educational, planning, capacity-building, or outreach efforts. Focus areas for 2014 are soil health, biotic integrity, identifying and managing vulnerabilities to agriculture, and food hubs. Investigators representing any Iowa nonprofit organization/agency and/or educational institution may apply. http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/grants/rfp  

  • Local Foods, Local Places Program- Due July 15 
  • Communities in the United States are invited to apply for assistance from Local Foods, Local Places, a new program to help create more livable places by promoting local foods. Together, USDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), and the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) are investing $650,000 in the program. Particular consideration will be given to communities in areas served by ARC or DRA, federally designated Promise Zones, and USDA-designated Strike Force Zones. Find more information here 

    Renewable Energy for America Program- Due July 31

    Get up to $500,000 to purchase, install, and construct renewable energy systems, make energy efficiency improvements to non-residential buildings, use renewable technologies that reduce energy consumption, and participate in energy audits. Find more information at http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=255076.

    Latest Resources

    USDA Launches New Website for New Farmers

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has unveiled the New Farmers website, including in-depth information for new farmers and ranchers on how to increase access to land and capital, build new market opportunities, participate in conservation opportunities, select and use risk management tools, and access USDA education and technical-support programs. The website also features case studies about beginning farmers who have successfully utilized USDA resources to start or expand their business operations. Visit the website here.

    Online Workshop on Direct Sales of Beef Available 

    Northeast SARE is now making available Direct Sales of Beef--A Digital Workshop, developed by Pennsylvania State University. The extensive online beef-production and direct-marketing guide covers quality grading, labeling, working with processors, pricing, consumer preferences, and six case studies. The workshop is available in 13 individual downloadable segments, and can be found here.

    High Tunnel Construction Guide Available Online

    The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation has published High Tunnel Hoop House Construction Guide. According to author Steve Upson, the publication is the product of 17 years of experience in hoop house (high tunnel) design, construction, and utilization. The guide introduces the novice grower/ hoop house builder to the various tools and techniques used in constructing a wide range of commercial and homemade hoop house models. Upson comments that careful study of this publication prior to purchasing a hoop house kit or materials to custom-build a structure will save the builder time and money as well as reduce the level of frustration encountered during the construction process. The 102-page publication is online in PDF and can be found here. 
  • Cornell Launches Spotted Wing Drosophila Website   Spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) was first detected in New York in 2011 and, in 2012, was reported from across the state causing significant damage to berry crops. In response, Cornell has launched an SWD website at www.fruit.cornell.edu/spottedwing/. The site contains webpages on SWD hosts, monitoring, identification, management, distribution, impact, and biology.    
  • 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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