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October 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
Featured Resource 
Voices of Experience- Starting a Farm
This playlist is from the 2009 video series featuring twelve New York farms. Organized around important farming considerations like business planning, setting goals, profitability, and marketing, the featured farmers provide their advice to those just getting started.

Training for Beginning Farmer Service Providers in the Northeast, Oct 27-29

This year's conference, Re-strategizing with advanced BF's: Supporting scale-up and farm investment decision making, will be at the CenturyHouse in Albany, NY from October 27-29th, 2014. This train-the-trainer conference will help you deepen your skills in supporting advanced beginning farmers and connect you with a BF service provider network that reaches across the Northeast. We will offer intensive workshops on Credit Readiness, Farm Financial Analysis, Labor and Equipment Decision-Making, Marketing through Wholesale Channels, and Whole Farm Planning. Attendees will also participate in Reaching Out to Underserved BF Audiences, a cultural competency training that will discuss strategies for extending the reach of BF services and programs. A summary of workshop topics and speakers can be viewed here. For more information and to register, visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/trainers/. 

Carol Delaney
Webinar Provides Information on SARE Grants 
Are you a farmer with a new idea you would like to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, or other technique?  Are you an agricultural service provider or food system community organizer looking to conduct research or trainings with farmers as active cooperators? If so, you may be eligible for a SARE grant up to $15,000. Join Northeast SARE grants coordinator Carol Delaney for a lunchtime webinar on Friday, October 10th at noon to learn about the application process, designing a budget, choosing a technical advisor (for farmer grants) and the review process.  Register for the webinar here. You can learn more about the Northeast SARE grants in general at http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant.

0% Interest Loans for Farmers

The Cornell Small Farms Program is excited to be a Trustee for Kiva Zip, which offers farmers 0% interest loans up to $10,000 that are crowdfunded by a community of over 1 million lenders. Farmers currently have a 100% repayment rate on Kiva Zip! Loans from a bank require credit scores, collateral, and financial records. Kiva Zip skips all that and relies on endorsement from a Trustee who will vouch for your character and farm plans. The Cornell Small Farms Program is willing to consider endorsing students who successfully complete one or more of our online courses and demonstrate their competency, planning ability, and how the loan funds would benefit their operation. Visit our Online Course page to learn more about upcoming courses. Kiva Zip loans can be used for any business purpose: hiring farm help, upgrading equipment or fencing, renovating farm space, certifications, farmers market booths, a website and marketing presence, etc. We hope you check out Kiva Zip! It could be the boost you need and a great resource to complement what you learn in one of our online courses. 


Beef Quality Assurance Certification Trainings. There will be 9 Beef Quality Assurance certification trainings available throughout New York in October. The goal is to certify or re-certify 100 producers. There will be a drawing for a $250 gift certificate to use at your veterinary clinic and 2 bags of minerals. In addition Merial will provide a certificate for animal health products for everyone that attends. If you are not certified or need to be re-certified, please plan to attend and bring a neighbor with you. A complete listing and additional information can be found here. Note that per-registration is required.


October 10, 2014. 1:00 - 3:00 pm. Swine Health Management and the PEDV Epidemic. Fox Care Center, 1 Foxcare Drive Oneonta, NY. Regional swine producers, as well as beginning pig farmers, are encouraged to attend this free informational meeting to discuss swine health management, including the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (PEDV).  The disease has caused large losses in swine breeding facilities across the United States since its introduction in May of 2013. The featured speaker, Dr. Michael Pierdon of Four Star Veterinary Services, will cover swine health management and the speakers will also address producers, swine breeders' and veterinarians' questions and concerns about PEDV. This will also interest feed dealers, machinery dealers, and others who regularly go to facilities housing breeding swine. New York State Education Department continuing education credits will be given to veterinarians and veterinarian technicians who sign-in and attend all of the session.  There is no fee for this program but pre-registration is required by October 3rd. For more information or to pre-register, call 607-865-6531 - or e-mail Janet Aldrich: JLA14@cornell.edu


October 11, from 9:00 to 3:00. New York Nut Growers Association Meeting. Woodward's Walnut World, 10465 Mill Road, Medina, NY 14103. This is the largest commercial black walnut operation in New York State.  You are welcome to bring black walnuts and butternuts for machine dehulling.   Presentations include "Growing Black Walnuts for Timber and Veneer", "Black Walnut Tree Tapping for Sap and Syrup", and "Establishing and Caring for a Black Walnut Grove in the Hudson Valley".  We will enjoy and Amish lunch and then take a tour of the Schlabach Plant Nursery.  Registration is $15 including a light breakfast and lunch.  Please send your check to Mr. Francis Woodward at the above address. 


November 6, 2014. 6:30-8:30pm. Pawpaw Production Workshop. Vince's Park, Seneca Falls NY, Intersection of Rt 318 and Rts 5+20. Have you ever thought of growing pawpaws? Pawpaw is a native fruit with a tropical-like flavor that has been described as a cross between a banana, mango and pineapple. They are rarely found in markets because the fruit is damaged easily when ripe. Steve Gabriel from the Cornell Small Farms Program and owner of Wellspring Forest Farm will be presenting a pawpaw production workshop, covering such topics as pawpaw management, site selection, and sourcing pawpaw trees. You can register online at www.senecacountycce.org or contact Derek Simmonds at 315-539-9251 or dcs285@cornell.edu. Cost is $15 per family. 


November 12th, 2014. 10:00am-3:00pm. Tile Drainage School. The Factory: 20 Prospect Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020. Speakers at this one day workshop on farm tile drainage include: Allenwaite Farm Inc., George and Travis Allen; Steve Mahoney, owner of River Bend Farm Agricultural and Environmental Services; Larry Geohring , Cornell University's Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering; Scott Fitscher, NRCS Conservation Program Manager; and David Holck, Farm Service Agency County Executive Director. Register by November 7th at http://cnydfc.cce.cornell.edu/event.php?id=157. If you have any questions please contact Aaron Gabriel at (518) 380-1496 or adg12@cornell.edu, Kevin Ganoe at (315)-219-7786 or khg2@cornell.edu, or Ashley Pierce at (518) 272-4210 or arp253@cornell.edu.  


MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar. 

Career, Etc. Opportunities
  • CCE Horticulture Community Educator- Putnam County, NY 


    The person who fills this Community Educator position will help educate Putnam County residents in home gardening (including vegetables, fruits, perennials, trees and shrubs); environmentally sound landscaping and pest management; the wise use of natural resources and protecting water quality. The Community Educator will also help to plan new educational programs in the Environmental Horticulture and Natural Resources area; coordinate Master Gardener volunteer program and events; and will assist in submitting proposals to secure new funding. More information.

  • CCE Vegetable Resource Educator- Orange County, NY 

    The Resource Educator will be responsible for providing leadership in developing, planning, implementing, and evaluating educational programs in Vegetable and Small Fruit production and crop management. In conjunction with the Agriculture Issue Leader, he/she will develop program objectives and plans within assigned areas of responsibilities. They will represent the associations to the public, community leaders, government officials, agricultural industry and Cornell University and work as a team member in addressing local, regional and statewide programming priorities including Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture (ENYCH) regional team. The educator will operate as a multi-association team member in the above areas of specialization in Orange County, work with staff and faculty on applied research in appropriate areas, and may have involvement in organizational responsibilities and leadership development. For the full position description and application link, click here

  • Sustainability Dining Coordinator at Colgate University -Hamilton, NY 

    The coordinator will work to advance local and sustainable food purchasing and overall sustainability in dining services at Colgate. This is an exciting opportunity for a qualified candidate to contribute to the growing sustainable food movement in higher education. The successful candidate will establish a new system for benchmarking and tracking current purchasing practices with the ultimate goal of increasing local, community­based, and 3rd party certified food purchases. The coordinator will also help to establish short­ and long­term goals, complete annual reporting, and work closely with local food producers and campus community members (especially students) to raise awareness of the importance of local and sustainable food choices. The coordinator will also support Sodexo accounts at other Central New York college campuses within a 50­mile radius of Colgate including Le Moyne College, Utica College, Mohawk Valley Community College, SUNY Institute of Technology in Utica, and SUNY Oneonta. Consequently, this position will require limited travel within Central New York.

    More information

  • Farm Loan Officer Trainee- Schoharie, NY 

    Are you looking for an exciting job opportunity to work with farmers and finances or know someone who might be interested?  FSA has a job announcement posted for a Farm Loan Officer Trainee in their Schoharie, NY office (there are 2 announcements at different pay grades for the 1 position).  The open period to apply ends 10/2/14 - to obtain additional information on qualifications/duties, etc. click on the vacancy announcements here.

  • Slaughterhouse for Sale -St. Lawrence County, NY

    John Willard has been cutting meat for years and would like to pass his slaughterhouse business on to a new generation. Operating under the name of Ward Willard and Son and located outside Heuvelton, New York just 8 miles from the Canadian border and in agriculturally rich St. Lawrence County, this USDA-federally inspected, large animal slaughterhouse is currently for sale. For over two generations, this business has been a staple in the industry serving local farmers and the general public with its meat processing and retail sales store. It is one of two currently operating USDA-certified plants in the area. Interested, pre-approved buyers can find out more information by going to slcmls.com and searching for #31695 or by calling Dale Coats Licensed Real Estate Salesperson at 315-323-1556. 

  • Funding Opportunities
  • New York Farm Viability Institute Grants Programs -Due November 16

    The New York Farm Viability Institute is accepting applications for its 2015 competitive grants programs. Applications to the Agriculture Innovation Center grant program should focus on agricultural economic development, including business development, financial analysis, product marketing, and value-added agricultural products. Applications to the Outreach and Applied Research grant program should focus on applied agricultural research, as well as outreach and education to promote new ideas and techniques. Find more information at http://www.nyfvi.org/default.aspx?PageID=2257&NewsID=284.
  • Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program -Due Nov. 17  The Western Extension Risk Management Education Center (Western Center) announced a funding opportunity for projects that help farm and ranch families succeed through targeted risk management strategies. The maximum amount of requested funding shall not exceed $50,000. This announcement seeks applications from eligible organizations with a demonstrated capacity to develop and deliver results/outcome-based risk management education and training programs for agricultural producers and their families. All organizations serving agricultural producers, especially those serving the special emphasis audiences identified on page 3 of the RFA, are strongly encouraged to apply. The Western Center serves Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and the U.S. affiliated Pacific Islands. Find application information at http://westrme.wsu.edu/grants-program/
  • Partnership Grants Program - Due November 20th

    The Northeastern IPM Center has released its RFA for the 2015 Partnership Grants Program! Up to $400,000 is available, with a maximum of $50,000 per award. Projects should foster the development and adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) methods under three types of grants: IPM Working Groups, IPM Issues, and Regional IPM Communications. Areas of focus for this year include: Wicked Biological Problems, Synergizing IPM and Organic, Rural and Urban IPM, Climate Change and Pests, and Advanced Production Systems. Please see http://www.northeastipm.org/rfa/partnership for details and a link to the complete RFA.

  • Environmental Solutions for Communities Grant- Due December 10th

    Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation seek to promote sustainable communities by supporting highly visible projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Approximately $2.5 million is available nationwide, in grants from $25,000 to $100,000. One program priority is supporting sustainable agricultural practices and private lands stewardship. Strong preference will be given to applications from specified regions and states. 
  • More information
    Latest Resources
  • Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success Online Course 
    The Farmers Market Federation of NY and the NY Farm Viability Institute are cosponsoring an online course in Marketing aimed at farmers called Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success.  There is no charge for the course which can be taken by farmers at their convenience and is accessible any time, day or night.  The curriculum includes the following five modules: Self-Assessment, Market Assessment, Customer Assessment, Communications Assessment, and Business Assessment.  Within each module there are three sessions which include a video of each live presentation, Q & A documents, glossary of terms, links to additional resources, an online discussion forum, homework assignments, and a quiz.  By completing all five modules, farmers will be able to learn essential marketing skills to analyze their personal and business capacity, determine optimal marketing channels, build their customer base, and increase their sales and profits.  After completing the course, participants will have all the knowledge needed to create their complete farm business and marketing plan. To register for this free online curriculum, click here.
  • Resources Available for Farm to School Month in October

    The National Farm to School Network has developed resources and activities to promote October as Farm to School Month in schools, communities, and media outlets. These online materials include logos, posters, and a communications toolkit. In addition, the National Farm to School Network is holding a drawing at its website for $1,000 to spend on a farm to school/preschool project. Find the resources here.
  • New Toolkit Helps Plan Shared-Use Kitchens
  • It's not easy to start a food business. Shared-use kitchens offer a safer venue for food entrepreneurs to launch new enterprises and participate in the economic development of a community by creating jobs and markets for local products, and retaining money within the community. A new resource from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is designed to help community and organization leaders make informed decisions about starting shared-used kitchens. The Shared-use Kitchen Planning Toolkit is a 44-page guide that discusses what should be included in a feasibility study, business planning and other key considerations, licensing and insurance regulations in Iowa, and sample rental agreements. http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/news/09-22-2014/shared-use-kitchen-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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