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August 6th, 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
Featured Resource 
Video Series: Growing Vegetables
This Youtube playlist shows 2 very successful Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations in the Finger Lakes region of NY. Muddy Fingers is a small, run by a husband-and-wife team, while Sweetland Farm utilizes hired labor and more mechanization to produce 400 CSA shares each year. Watch these short videos here
  • Program for Women Beginning Farmers in the Northeast Accepting Applications 

  • Holistic Management International offers its program "Beginning Farmers and Ranchers: Women in the Northeast" for women farmers and ranchers with less than 10 years of experience. The course includes 60 hours of training across 10 sessions. Applications are currently being accepted for the program in New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine. Application deadlines vary by state. More info at http://holisticmanagement.org/bwf-2014-15-season/.


    August 7 and August 14, 2014. Hops Learning Series. Muddy River Hops, 15546 County Highway 23, Unadilla, NY 13849, and Roots Brewery, 175 Main Street, Oneonta, NY 13820. The Center for Agricultural Development & Entrepreneurship (CADE) today announced the launch of the Hop Aboard! Learning Series. Over the course of three sessions, farmers will gain real-world knowledge for growing hops or expanding existing yards to commercial production levels, while learning from and with the hops farmers that are currently leading the way in a regional hops renaissance. The fun and informative on-farm and panel formats provide access to networks for on-going technical support. Sessions will be held on Thursdays, July 31, August 7 and August 14, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and are FREE to registrants. Space is limited. Register today at www.cadefarms.org 


    August 13-16, 2014. 2014 Cornell Maple Camp. Cornell's Arnot Forest, 611 County Road 13, Van Etten, NY. This four day workshop is designed for anyone who wishes to become a maple producer, and for maple producers who have some experience but want to expand their production, products, marketing and profitability. This focused and hands-on intensive training will helps you produce maple products more efficiently and more profitably. See http://maple.dnr.cornell.edu/2014%20Maple%20Camp.pdf for more information.

    August 15, 2014. 1:00-4:30pm. Unlocking the Secrets of Soil Health: A Soil Health Workshop. Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center, 3059 Sound Ave. Riverhead, NY 11901. Maintaining on-farm soil health is integral to ensuring productive, profitable, and sustainable agricultural operations while improving water, wildlife, and air quality. Soil health is vital for Long Island as its prime agricultural soils lend to high levels of agricultural production and valuation of this region.  Unfortunately, the agronomic practices commonly applied to our sandy loams readily degrade soil health and its functional abilities to support production while buffering against erosion, leaching, disease, pests and weeds. This science-based workshop will introduce soil principles and properties including the concepts and benefits of best management practices that improve soil health, with a focus on the assets and liabilities of Long Island soils.   Hands on soil health demonstrations will reveal how varying management practices can improve soil health and productivity.  An array of soil health management systems including cover crop and reduced tillage demonstrations will also be highlighted for the specific commodities grown on Long Island.


    August 19, 2014. 3:00 - 8:30 pm. Soil Health Workshop. Donn Branton's Farm, 6536 E. Main Rd/Rte. 5, Stafford. The workshop will focus on improving crop production, soil health & the environment.  Five innovative grower speakers, a nationally recognized soil health expert, and local staff will show and describe the benefits of improving the soil health on your farm.  There will be equipment and displays to see.  DEC and CCA credits will be available. Featured speakers are Eric Kaiser, Kaiser Lake Farms, Napanee, Ontario, Canada, and Frank Gibbs, Wetland and Soil Consulting Services, Rawson, Ohio.  Eric will describe how he's modified no-till and adopted cover crops on his heavy soil, in a tough, Northern climate, to build up soil health.  Frank Gibbs will unlock the secrets in the soil, telling how you can improve your bottom line by improving soil health. He'll show how smoke will rise from the tile lines through earthworm channels, all the way to the soil surface. Frank will also speak from a soil pit on what's happening below. For the complete agenda go to:http://tinyurl.com/n7w2cnf 


    MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar. 

    Career Opportunities
    Vegetable Crops Educator- Middletown, NY

    The Association Vegetable Crops Resource Educator will work under the direct supervision of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County (CCEOC) Agriculture Issue Leader to provide leadership in developing, planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs in Vegetable and Small Fruit production and crop management.  This position will represent the association to the public, community leaders, government officials, agricultural industry and Cornell University.  This person will work as a team member in addressing local, regional and statewide programming priorities including Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture (ENYCH) regional team.  The staff member will operate as a multi-association team member in the above areas of specialization, and will work in Orange County and in partnership with Cornell faculty on applied research in appropriate areas. Click here to apply.

    Assistant Farm Manager at New Pond Farm- Redding, CT

    New Pond Farm Education Center in Redding, CT, has an opening for a full time Assistant Farm Manager beginning October 1, 2014. Responsibilities will include: care of farm animals, buildings and property; milking and processing milk for our state licensed dairy; haying, wood splitting, trail and equipment maintenance; helping with educational programs. Qualifications: strong communication skills, a degree in agriculture or a related field, prior dairy farm experience is strongly preferred, knowledge of machine maintenance, and "light carpentry and plumbing" capabilities. The assistant manager must physically able to handle tasks mentioned above.  Experience with vegetable gardening is desirable. Benefits include a competitive salary, a two-bedroom apartment on site, health insurance, and a retirement plan after one year of employment. Contact Anna Taylor at ann@newpondfarm.org for more information or to apply.

  • Extension Field Specialist, Economic Development- Grafton County, New Hampshire 

    The University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension is seeking an individual with demonstrated knowledge of, and experience with, local and regional economic development to fulfill the role of Economic Development Field Specialist in Grafton County, New Hampshire. The primary role of the Field Specialist will be to build the knowledge and skills of community and regional leaders to implement effective economic development strategies. The Field Specialist will develop and deliver of training and technical assistance to community leaders, planning and economic development practitioners, and business and industry sector leaders on basic economic development principles, economic development tools and strategies, and other related areas. Click here for more information about the position or to apply. 

  • Funding Opportunities
  • American Pastured Poultry Producers Association Scholarship- Due Oct. 15     
  • The American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) is now accepting applications for its annual $500 scholarship/gift. The scholarship may be used for any educational activity related to pastured poultry, such as attending conferences and workshops, trainings, youth education, or on-farm trials. APPPA membership is not required to apply. Find more information at http://www.apppa.org/blog/24228

    Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program- Due Oct. 15

    The Illinois Department of Agriculture is seeking proposals through its Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program to carry out research, education, and on-farm demonstration projects. Competitive grants may be awarded to individuals for up to $10,000 and units of government, nonprofit groups, institutions, or organizations for up to $20,000. http://www.agr.state.il.us/C2000/

    Latest Resources

    Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels

    Having trouble with pests in your greenhouses and high tunnels? Interested in learning more about using biological control to manage them? Read SARE's new fact sheet, Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels, to learn how beneficial insects can protect crops in season-extending structures and enhance the sustainability of your operation. The fact sheet can be found here.

    Microbial Soil Test Can Help Reduce Fertilizer Overuse 

    USDA Agricultural Research Service soil scientist Richard Haney has developed a soil test that replicates some of the natural processes that occur in a field and accounts for that microbial activity, along with measuring nitrate, ammonium (NH4), and organic nitrogen. The new test is known as the Soil Health Tool. The tool measures organic carbon and other nutrients, accounts for the effects of using cover crops and no-till practices, and will work for any crop produced with nitrogen or other types of nutrient fertilizer. Using the tool can reduce fertilizer costs and protect water quality. 

    Landowner Guide to Pollinator-Friendly Practices Released 

    The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has released Farmer and Landowner Guide to Pollinators and Neonicotinoids in collaboration with Pesticide Action Network. This guide provides current research on causes of pollinator declines and gives landowners and farmers information on ways they can directly help pollinators survive and thrive on their land and beyond. The full guide is available online
  • New Manual Helps Fruit and Vegetable Growers with Machinery Sharing   
    A new manual from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Machinery Sharing Manual for Fruit and Vegetable Growers, discusses operational and organizational issues related to sharing specialized farm machinery. The 50-page publication is available online for download here
  • Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit Available 

    Colorado Farm to School Task Force and Spark Policy Institute have created the Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit, a resource to help farm to school programs of all sizes, in all states, undertake evaluation. The online toolkit will walk users through each step of an evaluation, providing specific guidance and data-collection tools. Find the toolkit at http://coloradofarmtoschool.org/evaluation-toolkit/.
  • 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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