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July 16th, 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
  • Steve Gabriel Joins Cornell Small Farms Program

  • We are pleased to welcome Steve Gabriel as the newest member of staff at the Cornell Small Farms Program. Steve specializes in agroforestry and permaculture and has co-authored the book Farming the Woods with Cornell professor Ken Mudge, as well as a number of other publications and fact sheets related to forest farming. We are excited to work with Steve to integrate mushroom production and agroforestry into our programs and resources. 


    July 22, 2014. 1 to 3 pm. Small Grains: Harvesting, Handling, Drying, and Storing. Gibson Farms, 3861 County Route 21, Schodack Landing. Managing barley, wheat, and other small grains from harvest through storage is a new challenge as growers learn to meet quality standards for the new local markets of brewers and bakers.  Gibson Farms have been growing grains on over 1000 acres for many years, marketing to grain companies and local livestock producers. They will share their expertise and explain the various machines and components to their grain business at this on-farm workshop.  Aaron Gabriel, agronomist for Cornell Cooperative Extension, will discuss the principles involved in managing grain from harvest through storage, including pest management and safety.  Machinery and handling will be discussed for both large-scale and small-scale growers, and quality requirements for small grains to meet the local markets will also be explained.  Please RSVP to Aaron Gabriel at 518-380-1496 or adg12@cornell.edu. This workshop is sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Carey Institute for Global Good. 


    July 24th, 2014. 2pm to 4pm. Tour of Finger Lakes Fresh Food Hub. Finger Lakes Fresh Food Hub, 210 Gerald L. Moses Dr., Groton, NY. What are food hubs and why do they matter for our regional food system? Join the Food and Health Network at the Finger Lakes Fresh Food Hub in Groton, NY to find out! During the meeting we will tour the 18,000 square foot facility and learn about their work as a processing center connecting regional farms with distributors and consumers. Please RSVP to rhsc-rf@rhnscny.org or 607-692-7669 by Tuesday, July 22th.


    August 17th, 2014. 8am - 4pm. Third Annual Organic Seed School. Cornell University Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm at 133 Fall Creek Road, Freeville, NY. Come learn from growers, breeders, and seed companies to better understand organic seed quality topics and how it affects your farm.  Up to eight regional seed companies will present their new developments related to the needs of organic producers.  These will include new varieties, breeding projects, seed treatments, company-specific innovations, and trialing under organic conditions.  There will also be an hour exhibition time and coffee break in which participants can visit table displays for each company and a tour of breeding plots on the farm.  In the afternoon, we will have a series of moderated group discussion sessions focusing on the issues surrounding organic seed quality and availability - bring your questions on organic seed and talk directly to the experts! Lunch and refreshments will be provided.  Please preregister here.  The $10 registration fee can be paid by cash or check at the door. Contact Michael Glos at mag22@cornell.edu or 607-227-7793 with any questions.


    August 21st, 2014. 4:30-8:30PM. Soil Health Field Day. Kinderhook Creek Farm, Inc., 5168 South Stephentown Road, Stephentown, NY. Soil is the backbone of every farm and needs to be managed for maximum production.  Are you using the most current techniques for the best results? Join us at our Soil Health Field Day where you will enjoy: Dinner on the farm, demonstration cover crop plots, a farmer panel, soil health demonstrations, equipment demonstrations. 1.5 DEC Credits and 4 CCA Credits are available. The meeting is FREE, but please RSVP by August 18th, 2014.  For more information or to RSVP please contact Marcie Vohnoutka at (518) 272-4210 or mmp74@cornell.edu.     



    MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar. 

    Career Opportunities
  • Groundswell Fall 2014 Internships- Ithaca, NY 

    The Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming is currently taking applications for the following Volunteer Internship Positions for fall 2014: Community Event Coordinator, Groundswell Videographer, Trainee Profile Writer, and Database Assistant. For more information contact info@groundswellcenter.org.

  • Vegetable Farmer/CSA Manager at Maitri Farm, Amenia, NY - Due August 24th
    Maitri Farm seeks a Veg. Farmer/Grower to launch a CSA for 2015.
    The new farm is building infrastructure and hiring a Livestock Farmer and Grower to create a diverse, organic farm that includes a produce CSA, eggs, honey, and meats. The Maitri Farm Grower will be responsible for all aspects of produce production and work with farm owner and livestock farmer in planning and managing the 106 acre farm. Full-time year-round position begins between December 2014 and January 2015. Employer contributed health insurance available after six months. Salary commensurate with experience and bonus based on profitability of CSA production and sales. NOFA-NY winter conference and similar professional development opportunities will be funded by Maitri Farm. Shared housing on the farm is available. 
    Email cover letter and resume by August 24, 2014 to: maitrifarm.csa@gmail.com
    More information here.
    Funding Opportunities
  • Funding Available to Support Agriculture and Food Research at Tribal Land-Grant Colleges- Due July 25th.     
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of $1.7 million in funding to improve the capacity of tribal land-grant colleges to undertake food and agriculture research. The funding is made available through the 2014 Farm Bill. "These grants will help tribal land-grant colleges develop infrastructure and faculty expertise so they can carry out research projects that identify and solve problems within tribal and American Indian communities," said Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director. "Projects will also offer students the research experience they need to carry on their educational pursuits or enhance career opportunities in the food and agricultural sciences."

    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.

    Ceres Trust Organic Research Initiative- Due September 2 

  • Ceres Trust focuses on supporting and promoting organic and sustainable agriculture. The competitive Organic Research Initiative program awards grants of up to $60,000 per year for up to three years. Ceres Trust anticipates that up to 10 grants will be made to universities and other nonprofit applicants in the 12-state North Central Region. http://cerestrust.org/

  • Latest Resources

    Market Your Products on Listharvest.com 

    Listyourharvest.com was started this spring to assist local farmers and producers with marketing their products online to their own local community. The website is a central posting board where farmers and producers are able to post, update and control their own advertisements, giving even the smallest producer a presence on the internet and allowing them to reach the largest number of customers possible right in their own community. Customers are able to find what is available in their area, when it is available, and where to find the local products they are seeking.

    Report Provides Guidance on Food Value Chains 

    USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and Wallace Center at Winrock International have released Food Value Chains: Creating Shared Value to Enhance Marketing Success. This new resource explains the benefits of food value chains-- business arrangements which are distinguished by their commitment to transparency, collaborative business planning and exchange of market intelligence and business knowhow among chain partners, and their interest in developing business strategies and solutions that yield tangible benefits to each participant in the system. Find the report at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5107776

    FSA Expands Online Hay Net to Include Grazing Acres Locator Tool 

    USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has expanded its "go-to" online resource Hay Net to include the option to list a need for grazing acres or to list acres available for grazing. If, due to extenuating circumstances, producers are in need of hay and/or grazing acres, they can use Hay Net to post an advertisement. Likewise, landowners who have hay and/or grazing acres available should post a Hay Net advertisement. You can get the tool here.

  • Senator Gillibrand's Office Releases Food Hub Funding Guide   
    The office of U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York has released a 43-page publication titled A Guide to Funding Opportunities and Incentives for Food Hubs and Food Systems. The guidebook details information on grants, loans, and tax credits from numerous federal agencies. Download the guide here
  • Online Directory of Livestock Farmers lets Customers Find Local Meat in Bulk

    The Meat Suite is the Finger Lakes Meat Project's online directory of regional livestock farmers selling meat in bulk. Created by Cornell Cooperative Extension Agriculture Educators, the website is designed to increase "freezer trade" (the sale of whole, halves, quarters of animals and bulk bundles of meat). Their goal is to give consumers a platform to find a farm that fits their needs and preferences when sourcing locally raised meats. Customers can search for farms in their region and learn how each farm raises their livestock, allowing customers to choose the meats that meet their family's wants and needs. Visit the Meat Suite at 
  • 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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