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August 19th, 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: Pastured Pigs From Farrow to Finish
Mike and Karma Glos of Kingbird Farm in Berkshire, NY have been raising organic heritage-breed Tamworth pigs on pasture for nearly 15 years. In this multi-part video series you will learn how they manage the pigs year-round. Watch the videos at https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLeB3pvIz7iiGWks578PtTIOXMeetQ9ffm
Write Your Business Plan with Help this Fall

Many new farmers are intimidated by the process of writing a business plan. The online course BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business, which runs from September 25 - October 30, demystifies the process and provides students with feedback on their plans each week. The course is taught by an experienced farmer and a Cornell Cooperative Extension educator and consists of weekly webinars followed by homework, readings, and discussions in an online setting. BF 202 is part of the line-up of 12 online courses offered this fall, winter and spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program. Find more information at http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/

New Orchard Management Video

The Small Farms Program's videographer, Peter Carroll, just completed editing of our first orchard management video, featuring Cornell emeritus professor Ian Merwin demonstrating apple tree pruning and training at his farm, Black Diamond. You can view the video here. This video was funded partially with contributions to our Indiegogo campaign at the end of 2013.

  • Help Pass Loan Forgiveness for Farmers by Sharing Your Student Loan Story

    The National Young Farmers Coalition wants loan forgiveness for career farmers, and they need your help to do it. Here's what they have to say: "Right now, we're building a campaign to tackle the issue of student debt and we need your help. We are working with Congressional offices to put together legislation that would authorize loan forgiveness for career farmers in the next Higher Education Act and we need stories to illustrate the problem. We have already heard from farmers that have had to defer starting a farm, buying land, or having a family to make student loan payments. But there are still many more stories to tell! If you are struggling with student loan payments while farming, please take this survey and share it widely with your networks. Putting together a bill in Congress is tough and we need your voices." 


    August 27, 2014. 2014 Northeast Buckwheat Field Day. Edgewood Farm in Groveland, NY. Learn about how to get the most value out of buckwheat in your rotation, double cropping buckwheat after green peas, and how buckwheat helps with unusual rainfall. The farmer-to-farmer exchange of knowledge on production issues is always popular as well. Learn more at http://www.hort.cornell.edu/bjorkman/lab/buck/fieldday14.php.


    September 6, 2014. 1pm - 4pm. Family Fun Day at Cornell University Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm. 133 Fall Creek Road, Freeville, NY. See how cotton and peanuts grow, learn about native pollinators, taste the best roasted peppers, make your own tortillas with local corn, learn about food preservation and get tips from researchers about gardening and growing practices. Go on a wagon ride, get your face painted and enjoy farm-fresh snacks. Free admission and all are welcome! Contact Betsy Leonard at bai1@cornell.edu or 607-423-8366 with any questions.

    September 10th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Twilight Pasture Walk at Sweet Grass Meats Farm.  290 Basset Road; Naples, NY. Join us at Sweet Grass Meats for a tour of their sheep grazing operation and to learn more about how they market grass-fed lamb, beef and pastured pork through an on-farm store and regional buyers club. Network with other graziers, and join in the discussions on multi-species grass-fed production. Light refreshments will be served. The walk will take place rain or shine and expect moderate walking in pasture conditions. Sponsored by the NY NRCS Grazing Lands Coalition, and organized by Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition. Questions can be referred to Brett Chedzoy: bjc226@cornell.edu or by phone: 607-742-3657


    September 17, 2014. 9:30am - 3:30pm. Riparian Forest Buffer Establishment Workshop. USDA-NRCS Big Flats Plant Materials Center, Corning, NY. Learn about the rationale for the use of trees and shrubs along streams for water quality purposes. Learn about site preparation prior to planting and how to plant and manage trees and shrubs to obtain the best survival and growth. Information on government conservation programs to assist landowners will be provided. Learn more here.


    October 3-4, 2014. 2014 Cornell Sheep & Goat Symposium. The hands-on activities Friday will start with a tour of the Cornell Sheep Farm in Harford, NY, and explanation of ongoing research and management. The Saturday sessions will be in Morrison Hall on the Cornell Campus, Ithaca, NY. Dr. Dave Thomas from the University of Wisconsin, Madison will give the opening talk on sheep dairying in North America. He will also give a later talk on dairy sheep research at the University of Wisconsin. More information at http://sheep.cornell.edu/calendar/sgsymposium/announcement.html


    MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar. 

    Career Opportunities
  • 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

    Farm Credit East Ag Enhancement Grants - Due December 1st

    Each year, Northeast agricultural credit associations and CoBank award grants to help organizations promote awareness of agriculture in the six New England states, New York, and New Jersey. Awards range from $500 to $8,000. Find more information at https://www.farmcrediteast.com/Industry-Support/AgEnhancement-Grants.aspx

  • Funding Still Available to Form a Dairy Profit Team 
  • NYFVI is now accepting applications from farmers for the Dairy Profit Team program. Profit Teams are groups of professionals (feed consultants, extension agents, veterinarians, accountants etc.), selected by the farmer, that meet regularly and work together to improve the business.  Of course, the farmer is the decision maker about  the team's recommendations. Farms with Dairy Profit Teams have achieved significant gains in productivity, profitability, and efficiency. Participation in the program requires a willingness to provide the team with detailed information on the farm's operations, and an open mind toward making changes based on the team's recommendations. The program requires farmer participants to hold a minimum of seven (7) team meetings over a maximum 15 month period and cover 20 percent of the fees charged by the team, with the balance being paid by the New York Farm Viability Institute, up to $2,500. The simple one page application for a Dairy Profit Team grant can be found at http://www.nyfvi.org/default.aspx?PageID=2399.

  • Farm Service Agency Still Has Loans Available 
  • Are you looking to obtain financing to purchase a farm or make improvements to the farm you currently own?  Do you need to purchase livestock or a piece of equipment?  Do you know someone else who needs financing?  The Farm Service Agency makes and guarantees loans to family farmers to start, purchase and expand their farm operations.  You can find out more about all of the types of loans we have available (all on one sheet believe it or not!) by clicking here. Call your local FSA office today to get additional information - we look forward to discussing your financing needs.  You can find contact information for your local FSA office here.

    Latest Resources

    Tick Management Tips 

    Many people have tick management on their minds these days, given the risk of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme and babesiosis. If a tick bites a deer, a mouse, or a person, it can share the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Once active, the bacteria can cause chills, fever, even palsy. Find tick management ticks and a guide to preventing Lyme disease at http://www.northeastipm.org/about-us/publications/ipm-insights/tick-management-tips/

  • New England Food Policy Webinar Series   
    The American Farmland Trust invites you to join them this fall for their continuing Wednesday webinar series at 12pm EDT, focused on state and federal policies that could improve our region's food system.  The webinars explore in greater detail the policies and policy options described in their report, New England Food Policy: Building a Sustainable Food System. For a list and descriptions of the upcoming webinars, visit http://action.clf.org/site/PageNavigator/events.html
  • USDA Greenhouse Gas Report Quantifies Impact of Land Management and Conservation 

    A new USDA report provides uniform scientific methods for quantifying the changes in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and carbon storage from various land-management and conservation activities. The report will help the USDA evaluate greenhouse gas conservation programs, as well as develop new tools and update existing ones to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners participate in emerging carbon markets. Check it out at http://www.usda.gov/oce/climate_change/estimation.htm
    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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