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October 17th, 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 
Farming the Woods
We are pleased to announce a recently published book co-authored by new Cornell Small Farms Program staff Steve Gabriel and Cornell professor Ken Mudge. The book describes how to grow fruits, nuts, mushrooms, and medicine in a productive and sustainably managed woodlot. Watch a video about forest farming and learn more about the book at http://farmingthewoods.com/  
Featured Speaker Jamie Critelli

Veterans in Ag Summit Registration Open

Are you a veteran farming in New York State, or an organization serving farmer veterans? The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce an interactive meeting just for you -- the NY Veterans in Agriculture Summit will take place on Thursday, November 6th, 2014 from 9:00am - 3:30pm at the NYS State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY.  The summit will offer an opportunity to meet others interested in supporting veterans getting into agriculture; better understand the support services available to veterans and those interested in agriculture; and design programs and pathways to help veterans enter agriculture.  More information can be found here.   Click here to register. 

New York State New Farmers Grant Fund - Due January 28th
This Grant Fund was created to provide assistance to new and early stage farmers and encourage farming as a career path to sustain and grow agribusiness across New York State.  Empire State Development, in consultation with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, will administer the $614,000 fund, which will provide grants from $15,000 to up to $50,000 for eligible early stage farmers who substantially and materially participate in the production of an agricultural product on a commercial farm operation within New York. Funds can be used for up to 50 percent of project costs including, but not limited to: lease or purchase of farm machinery and equipment; construction or expansion of farm buildings or systems; and, purchase of supplies such as root stock, seed, and fertilizer. Beginning farmers must not have produced an agricultural product for more than ten consecutive years prior to application. Application available here
New Video Clip Gives Beginning Farmers Inside Look at Orchard Management 
If you dream of growing apples, pears, or other fruit, Black Diamond Farm in Trumansburg, NY might look like heaven to you. Run by Cornell Professor Emeritus Ian Merwin and his wife Jackie, Black Diamond markets well over 100 varieties of apple, asian pears, and stone fruit direct to customers at the Ithaca Farmers' Market. Check out our second video in our series of 3 orchard management videos, just published to our YouTube site. It covers the timely topics of harvest, storage, and marketing fruit. View the video here. 

Add Berries to Your Farm! Learn How with an Online Course

Berries are the crown jewels of Summer and Fall farm bounty, and can be a profitable enterprise on their own, or a good complement to an existing operation. Learn to produce and market strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and other less common small fruits in our 6-week online course, BF 122: Berry Production - Getting Started with Production and Marketing. The course runs Thurs Nov 6 - Dec. 18, 2014 (skipping Thurs. Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving) with webinars Thursday evenings from 6:30-8pm EST. The cost is $200 per farm. 


October 21, 2014. 10am to 3pm. Organic Disease Management in (Another!) Wet YearJordan Hall Auditorium, 614 W. North St., Geneva, NY 14456. Did you have a rough disease year in your fields?  Did bacteria, fungi, and assorted plant pathogens have you (and your veggies) down?  Come join NOFA-NY, Cornell researchers and educators, and your fellow farmers to discuss what worked, what didn't, and what plans we can make for better control and crops in the future!  This intensive workshop will discuss some of the worst disease challenges facing NYS organic growers in 2014 as well as the strategies that had the most impact controlling them.  Discussion will cover bacterial issues, fungal diseases, and soil borne pathogens in the morning, before moving on to discuss late blight monitoring, forecasting, and managing in the afternoon.  To pre-register and pay the $25 fee, shop online at http://www.nofany.org/events/register or call Stephanie at 585-271-1979 ext. 509 to make payment. Pre-registration is encouraged and closes at 4pm on October 17th. After this, registration will be taken at the event-please arrive 15 minutes early to walk-in register. 


October 28-29, 2014. Long Island On-Farm Compost Workshop and Tour. Cornell Cooperative Extension, 423 Griffing Ave. Riverhead, NY 11901. The workshop will consist of compost basics, feedstock and processing, regulations, producing compost for various markets, and troubleshooting common compost problems, as well as a field trip to Schmitt and Sons Farm to see their vegetable waste composting. The compost tour on Oct. 29 will visit six facilities to explore the composting of deer, leaves, nursery and landscape debris, poultry butcher waste, pumice, and lawn debris. Visit http://blogs.cornell.edu/smallfarms/files/2014/10/compost-flyer-27h4oho.pdf for more information. 


November 11-12, 2014. Cornell Agribusiness Strategic Marketing Conference. The Inn on the Lake, 770 South Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424. The Strategic Marketing Conference will be held once again in November, 2014. This premier conference provides in-depth discussion on topics and issues that are critical for sellers of agricultural products. Topics this year will cover changing/adding market channels, market/product diversification from both a wholesale and direct-consumer vantage point, highlighting such practices as season extension, extending into ethnic and export markets, CSA to wholesale markets, group purchasing organizations, farm-to-institution, and CSA rebate programs. For more information and to register, click here


November 14, 2014. 9:00am to 3:30pm. Love Your Land? Make a Plan! Workshop. First Presbyterian Church, 97 E. Genesee Street, Skaneateles. This workshop is designed to get families talking and planning about the future of their land - sometimes a difficult conversation. While the focus of this workshop will be on woodlands, the tools presented on are also applicable to farmland succession planning.  All landowners are encouraged to attend. Topics will include land conservation options, estate planning, and general tools to help families decide the future of their land. Cost is $25.00 per family, which includes workshop materials, lunch and snack.  Pre-registration is required and available on the CCE Onondaga web site: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/LoveYourLand_231. Questions about the workshop may be directed to Kristina Ferrare, CCE Onondaga, email kaf226@cornell.edu or phone (315) 424-9485 ext. 231.


December 2-3, 2014. Food Safety Systems for Artisan Food Processors Short Course. NYS Ag & Markets offices in Albany. Cornell University's Department of Food Science in association with NY State Agriculture & Markets is pleased to offer this short course, instructed by Dairy Extension staff  and representatives from NYS Agriculture & Markets and Wegmans. The course is designed to provide a hands-on, practical approach to developing food safety systems for your operation. You will be provided pre- reading materials to help prepare for the class. Basic HACCP principles and pre-requisite programs will be covered.  Full course details may be found in the course announcement and program.


MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar. 

Career, Etc. Opportunities
  • Nook and Cranny Farm Seeks Workers for 2015 Season -Brooktondale, NY

    Nook & Cranny farm is a small scale, intensive and highly diversified organic vegetable farm located 12 miles from Ithaca. The farm supports a 55-member CSA as well as farmer's market and retail sales. They raise small livestock (chickens and heritage American guinea hogs) and grow over 50 types of vegetables with the help of hoop houses. The farm is currently looking for farmers for the 2015 season. The two options are a full-time, full-season apprenticeship for 2 or 3 people, and a more informal, part-time, paid farm employment. If interested, please email a letter of interest and a resume to btuori@gmail.com. Find more information about the farm at their website and facebook page.

  • Beanery Manager at Cayuga Pure Organics - Brooktondale, NY

    Cayuga Pure Organics is an organic farm which grows a wide variety of dry beans and grains, and is currently looking for a full time Beanery Manager. This person cleans organic beans and grains and bags them into 25# bags or totes. A qualified candidate will have the following skills: able to drive manual, able to drive a tractor, self-motivated, willing to work until the job is done (occasional late nights), pays great attention to detail and quality of work, cares about a food grade product, has general mechanical skills to maintain processing equipment, willing to keep a clean work space consistently, and will work as a team player on our small farm. If you are interested, please email your resume to Amy at farmsales@cporganics.com

  • Funding Opportunities
  • Western New York Regional Economic Development Council Agriculture Development Fund -Due Nov. 21   This grant is designed to help Western New York agricultural producers fund capital expenditures for value-added projects, including the acquisition, construction, and/or renovation of agricultural structures and the acquisition of machinery and equipment. Up to $50,000 may be awarded per project, which is expected to leverage matching loan funding through Farm Credit East or other financing sources. Learn more here.
  • New York State Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Program -Due Dec. 15 


    Are you a young farmer or know a young farmer with outstanding student loans? The Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program may be able to help. Through the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation, the Young Farmers Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program is offered to encourage recent college graduates to pursue careers in farming in New York State. This program provides up to $10,000 annually in loan forgiveness awards to individuals who obtain an undergraduate degree from an approved New York State college or university and agree to operate or manage a farm in New York State, on a full-time basis, for five years. Apply at https://webapps.hesc.ny.gov/questionnaire/page.hesc?questionnaireId=86&versionNumber=1

  • Herb Society of America Research Grant -Due Jan. 31 

    The Herb Society of America, Inc. offers annual research grants of up to $5,000 to students, professionals, and individuals engaged in research on the horticultural, scientific, and/or social applications or use of herbs throughout history. Find out more.

  • USDA Improves Loans for Beginning Farmers

    The USDA has announced it will improve farm loans by expanding eligibility and increasing lending limits to help more beginning and family farmers. As part of this effort, USDA is raising the borrowing limit for the microloan program from $35,000 to $50,000; simplify the lending processes; updating required "farming experience" to include other valuable experiences; and expanding eligible business entities to reflect changes in the way family farms are owned and operated. The changes become effective Nov. 7. Click here for more information.
  • Latest Resources
  • Outdoor Pig Listserve 
    Raise Pigs Outdoors? Join the Outdoorpig listserve! Northeast producers of pigs raised outside or on pasture can ask questions of other producers, learn about relevant events, and buy and sell pigs on the outdoorpig listserve. To join, simply send an email to: outdoorpig-cce-L-request@cornell.edu and type the word "join" in the body of the message. Once subscribed, simply send a message to "outdoorpig-cce-L@cornell.edu" to connect with other pastured pig producers in the Northeast. 
  • USDA Introduces New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk 


    The USDA has announced new programs, Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), which offer farmers protection when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices and revenues. Producers will have through early spring of 2015 to select which program works best for them, using new online tools. Find more information at http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2014/09/0209.xml

  • SARE Translates Popular Resources into Spanish
    Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has announced the release of Spanish translations, both in print and online, of ¿Qué es la Agricultura Sustentable? (What is Sustainable Agriculture?), Avicultura Rentable (Profitable Poultry), 25 Años de SARE (25 Years of SARE), and Estrategias Económico-Am bientales en la Crianza de Cerdos (Profitable Pork). Find the translated resources here.
  • Videos of Cover Cropping Farm Tours
  • NCAT has archived videos of a series of farm tours across Montana this summer focused on cover cropping. The tours ranged from a diversified organic grains operation and a small vegetable, flower, and seed farm, to a crop and livestock operation just beginning to use cover crops. The tours also included a cover-crop research plot being operated by Montana State University researchers. This link will take you to a play list that includes the farm-videos as well as videos on insurance issues surrounding cover crops and earlier presentations by Michel Cavigelli of the USDA Agricultural Research Service of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland and other researchers.

    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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