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September 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
Featured Resource 
Guide to Farming in New York
Our most popular resource, this newly updated Guide contains fact sheets on everything from finding land to financing an operation, regulations on marketing and processing, and tax benefits of farming. Questions raised by
farm entrepreneurs motivated us to compile information on topics that agricultural business owners need to know into one handy reference. View the free guide online at http://nebeginningfarmers.org/publications/farming-guide/.  

Online Course on Poultry Production Offered

Many small farms integrate a poultry enterprise--and many new farmers get started with poultry--because chickens, eggs, turkeys, and ducks are popular with customers, low-investment, quick-turnaround enterprises. But there's a lot to know, from getting breed selection right, to maintaining flock health, understanding marketing regulations, and optimizing feed rations. BF 130: Poultry Production - Profiting from Layers, Broilers, Turkeys, and Ducks is a 6-week online course by the NE Beginning Farmers Project that will help you improve your existing poultry operation or set up a new poultry enterprise. The course runs Wed. Oct 15 - Nov. 19, 2014, with webinars Wed. evenings from 6:30-8pm EST. The cost is $200, but multiple people from the same farm may participate without paying extra.

Applications for Farm School NYC Now Accepted- Due Sept. 15 

Farm School NYC is accepting applications for their 2015 Certificate in Urban Agriculture program now through September 15, 2014. Farm School's courses are taught by experts in the field and focus on a wide range of topics from social justice issues, to urban planting techniques, to grassroots community organizing. Through engaging, place-based education, Farm School classes cultivate future leaders in NYC's food justice movement. Click here to apply.

Incubator Farm 2015 Applications Open -Due Nov. 21 

Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming is now accepting applications for the 2015 season at the Groundswell Incubator Farm, located in the Town of Ithaca, at EcoVillage. At the Farm, you can rent a quarter-acre plot that comes equipped with drip irrigation, tools and equipment including a walk-behind tractor, storage shed, 8-foot deer fence, and a hoophouse. Incubator Farmers also receive one-on-one mentoring from experienced farmers, and participate in a variety of training workshops, Groundswell's Farm Business Planning Course, and the Finger Lakes CRAFT network. To be considered for early-decisions, applications are due by November 21st. However applications will continue to be accepted until February 1st, 2015. Please contact us now to get the conversation started. Our Incubator Coordinator, Devon Van Noble, can be reached at devon@groundswellcenter.org or (607)319-5095. For more information, visit http://groundswell-ithaca.blogspot.com/2014/08/2015-applications-now-open-for.html


October 3, 2014. 1pm-4:30pm. Cornell Small Fruit Open House. Cornell Orchards, Ithaca, NY. Part one of the program will be held at Cornell Orchards; topics will include a chance to examine and discuss a new strawberry low tunnel production system being introduced to the Northeast region, a look at a new cranberry demonstration planting, techniques for minimizing bird damage in berry crops, an inside look at biopesticides as a newly emerging disease management tool, and an update on applied berry research efforts in eastern New York. Part two of the program will be held at the East Ithaca Farm located just around the corner from Cornell Orchard on Maple Ave. Topics for this portion of the program will include techniques for monitoring and managing Spotted Wing Drosophila, a new invasive fruit fly, using wild flower plantings to enhance strawberry pollination, a berry variety question and answer session with Dr. Courtney Weber, Cornell small fruits breeder, introduction of a new research project on soil amendments and their effects on strawberry soil health and finally, a discussion of trellising systems for high tunnel blackberries. Find more information at http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/files/2014/08/nybn1307-pp8sdj.pdf


October 14-16, 2014. HTST Pasteurizer Workshop. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Cornell University's Department of Food Science in association with NY State Agriculture & Markets is pleased to offer a workshop on High Temperature Short Time Pasteurization.  This workshop is designed for pasteurizer operators, but should be beneficial to all involved with milk pasteurization, including production, QA/QC & maintenance personnel. The course is instructed by industry experts and representatives from NYS Agriculture & Markets and provides an overview of the design, operation, cleaning and maintenance of HTST systems. All required regulatory tests for HTST pasteurizers will be discussed and/or presented in a hands-on format to meet the initial training requirements for performing HTST system testing under the NY State Broken Seal Policy. Register online here and find more information here.


October 21-23, 2014. Advanced Cheese Making Workshop. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Learn about food safety in cheese making, the chemistry and microbiology of cheese making, the 6 cheese styles, cheese problems and defects, and more in this three day workshop. Find more information here and register here.

November 11-12, 2014. NESAWG's It Takes a Region Conference. Saratoga Hilton, Saratoga Springs, NY. What does it take to make our food system strong, resilient and region-sized? What does real collaboration and cooperation look like? How can we be more effective? Explore the channels, mechanisms and structures for making region-sizing work at the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's (NESAWG's) It Takes A Region Conference, regarded as the conference for everyone doing food system change work. The keynote speaker will be radio commentator and NY Times bestselling author Jim Hightower. More information


MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar. 

Career Opportunities
  • Cornell University Dairy Plant General Manager- Ithaca, NY

    The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University is currently conducting a search for a General Manager of the Cornell Dairy Plant located in Stocking Hall, Ithaca, New York. As a key member of the Food Science Dairy Management Team, you will work in a collaborative environment while driving the overall management of the Departments Dairy Processing Operations.  Specific tasks may include: oversight of personnel, finances, procurement, production activities and quality of products, product development & formulation, marketing, maintenance and external customer/vendor relations; establishing and implementing better business practices as needed; and developing innovative ways of utilizing the dairy operation on issues related to, research, teaching, processing, and extension.  You can view the full job posting at https://cornellu.taleo.net/careersection/10164/jobdetail.ftl?job=25176

  • CCE Ag Business Specialist- Onondaga County

    This resource educator will provide agriculture producers and industry representatives with the knowledge and educational resources in business management, marketing and economics of production necessary to assess production and management practices that will enhance their profitability and sustain the growth of the agricultural industry in Onondaga County. He/She will also provide leadership in 4H/Youth Development. Visit https://cornellu.taleo.net/careersection/10163/jobdetail.ftl?job=25117 for the job description and required qualifications. 
  • Environmental Nutritionist - Kingston, NY 

    The Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Ulster County Environmental Nutritionist position primarily provides strategic and innovative planning, coordination and implementation of public education to improve healthy food and lifestyle choices among low-income families and individuals encompassing all age groups throughout Ulster County. As part of the Federal SNAP-Ed Regional Program, and as the only SNAP-Ed nutrition educator for the county, this position will work closely with program leads in CCE Orange County, and is an integral player in program design and development, assessment, evaluation, management. This position also leads the county development and implementation of social marketing and environmental change initiatives in collaboration with other nutritionists of the SNAP-Ed program in the Hudson Valley region. For a full position description including responsibilities/essential functions and required qualifications, visit www.cceulster.org.

  • Funding Opportunities
  • Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund for High School Students- Due Sept. 19 
  • This program is offering 10 grants of $1,000 each through a partnership with Future Farmers of America (FFA), for individuals to complete organic Supervised Agriculture Experience projects nationally. Applicants must currently be in grades 7-12 and be members of FFA with demonstrated financial need. Learn more at http://www.ccof.org/ccof/structure/ccof-foundation/future-organic-farmer-grant-fund

  • Northeast SARE Partnership Grant- Due November 4th
  • NESARE Partnership Grants are reserved for agricultural service providers--extension staff, nonprofits, consultants, state departments of agriculture, and others working in the agricultural community--who want to conduct on-farm demonstrations, research, marketing, and other projects with farmers as active cooperators. The Partnership guidelines have also been expanded to incorporate proposals that used to be submitted under the Sustainable Community Grant. Click here for more information.

    Latest Resources
  • FairRent Program Helps Farmers Evaluate Land-Rental Payments 
    The Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota has released FairRent, a software tool that helps farmers evaluate land-rental decisions by estimating the income remaining for cash rent after all other expenses. The program can be used to evaluate cash, share, and flexible rental arrangements. Learn more at https://fairrent.umn.edu/Default.aspx
  • Soil Renaissance Website Now Available 

    The Soil Renaissance, a project which brings attention to the critical role of healthy soils in vibrant natural resources systems, has a new website featuring the Soil Renaissance Strategic Plan. Updated information will be posted on the website as focus groups work on the plan, or as events are scheduled. The site also lists organizations working in the soil health arena. View the website at http://soilrenaissance.org/

    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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