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December 15th, 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 Direct Marketing Livestock and Poultry
The Resource Guide to Direct Market Livestock and Poultry helps to clarify and explain the complex laws in layman terms, discussing slaughtering and processing at the custom, state, and federal levels and guiding farmers through the logistics of the various market channels. You can view the guide online or download it for free as a PDF . 

Online Mushroom Production Course Offered Feb. 2015 

Forest mushroom cultivation is an emerging niche crop with potential to improve farmer stewardship of forests while offering a unique and highly desired product. Learn the background, techniques and economics of small outdoor (forest grown) commercial mushroom production in an online course starting February 24th.  BF 150: Woodland Mushroom Cultivation is a 6-week online course that consists of weekly real-time webinars followed by homework, readings, and discussions on your own time in an online setting. This class is part of the line-up of 12 online courses offered this Fall, Winter and Spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program. Click here to learn which courses would be best for you, read about our team of experienced instructors, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and view the calendar of course offerings for 2014-2015. 

Disaster Declaration for WNY Counties 
According to an announcement by Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, Higgins, and Collins, the USDA has issued a Secretarial Disaster Area for 7 Counties in Western New York that were devastated by the November snow storm: Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming. The programs available with a USDA disaster declaration include Farm Service Agency emergency loans, the Disaster Set Aside Program, Tree Assistance Program, Livestock Indemnity Program, and more. View the press release here.  

Food/Beverage Industry Survey

New York State's agricultural, food, and beverage industries are world-class, and are increasingly recognized by consumers around the world for safety, quality, and innovation. In support of those industries, under a program funded by New York's Empire State Development Corporation, Cornell Cooperative Extension is conducting a survey of these businesses' export market experience and potential.Please spend just a few minutes of your time completing this questionnaire. Your participation will help set priorities for export development for New York State agencies, industry associations, and Cornell Cooperative Extension in the years to come.If you have questions or comments about this survey or about CCE's Export Development Project, please contact Jim Manning, Export Development Project Manager at [email protected] or (315) 272-9529.


2015 Oneida County Crop Congress
January 7th, 2015, 9:45am -3:40pm. VFW on Franklin Street.

This workshop for local agricultural producers, sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County and Clinton Tractor, addresses a number of topics focusing on farm profitability and new agricultural technologies. There will be 2.25 NYSDEC pesticide re-certification credits available. To preregister call Danielle at 315-404-8423 or Greg at 853-6151 by January 2nd. Space is limited.

Danny Klinefelter

Who Will Manage Your Farm Tomorrow
January 13-14, 2015. DoubleTree Hotel in East Syracuse.

This conference provides farm families and their advisors critical information for helping the next generation find success on the farm and identifies effective management transfer strategies to implement. Danny Klinefelter, Ph.D is the conference key note speaker. Registration, including all meals and materials is $85. To register, go to http://www.nyfarmnet.org/For more information, contact 1-800-547-3276 or email [email protected].

Intensive Farm Business Planning Course
January 15, 2015, 6-9 pm, continuing weekly for 10 weeks. Ithaca, NY.

This Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming class covers all major aspects of the farm business start-up process, including assessing your resources; legal and regulatory issues; production planning; marketing; financial feasibility; and budgets and record keeping. It is also appropriate for established farmers who want to improve their business planning and management skills. For additional information and registration details click here

Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP) /Food Safety Systems Workshop
January 27-28, 2015. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

This workshop is designed to provide comprehensive instruction on the development of HACCP based food safety programs for dairy operations that should apply to juice and other foods as well. Preregister here. Enrollment is limited to 30 participants. The early registration fee is $500 per person for NY companies and $600 for those out-of-state.

The 7th Annual Winter Green-Up Grazing Conference
January 30 & 31, 2015. Century House, 997 New Loudon Rd. (Route 9), Latham, NY

Featured speakers will include: Neil Dennis of Sunnybrae Farms, Allan Nation, editor of Stockman Grass Farmer, Thomas Kilcer of Advanced Ag Systems, and Jim and Deborah Taylor of Sunny Acres Farm. There will be a Friday evening banquet with local grass-fed beef, pork and lamb. Two scholarships will be available through the David Huse Education Scholarship Fund. Contact Gale Kohler at 518-765-3500 or [email protected] or visit www.ccealbany.com for details. 

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
  • Start Farming Program Coordinator, Penn State Extension  

    Major responsibilities will include planning, implementing, conducting and evaluating a broad range of educational program for adults who are starting a farm. This includes maintaining and expanding existing "Start Farming" programs, coordination of programs and projects, and building community collaborations and partnerships. The two projects this position will focus on include coordinating an on farm demonstration and outreach initiative for tree fruit, vegetables and berries and a new farmer project for Latino farmers. Click here for more information.

  • Change Food Seeks Program Director- NYC

    Change Food words toward a U.S. food system where healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all. Their main projects include being lead sponsor for TEDxManhattan, a popular one-day conference on sustainable food and farming now entering its fifth year; Change Food Salons, smaller events around a single key issue; Educational Kits that will allow the TEDxManhattan talks to be used in educational settings; a comprehensive Video Library on sustainable food and farming, and more. Change Food is seeking a 30-hour per week, contract-based individual with a passion for sustainable food to help manage and launch Change Food into its next phase. Please send bio/backgrounder or resume and a letter of interest as a pdf to Diane Hatz at [email protected] with "Program Director" in the subject line. More information is available here

  • Funding Opportunities
  • Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships -Due Jan. 5th

    Annie's Homegrown awards scholarships through the Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship program are open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school in the United States for the 2015/2016 school year. Students must be focusing studies on sustainable agriculture. Find more information at http://www.annies.com/giving-back/agricultural-scholarships

  • New York State New Farmers Grant Fund- must be postmarked by Jan. 28th

    The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund provides assistance to new and early-stage farmers and encourages farming as a career path. The fund will provide grants from $15,000 to $50,000 for up to 50% 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. Find more information here.

  • The FruitGuys Community Fund -Due Feb. 16th

    The FruitGuys Community Fund offers funding to support sustainability projects for small to mid-size farms. A primary goal of the fund is to help farms and orchards operate more sustainably and to promote advocacy that, over the long term, creates a more sustainable food system and healthier planet. Apply at http://fruitguyscommunityfund.org/apply/
  • Latest Resources
  • Farmigo: Farm Management Software 

    Farmigo CSA Management Software lets you to manage your CSA, from member sign-ups to delivery. Never miss an opportunity to gain a new member with online sign-up and payment. The mobile-friendly software allows you to manage member accounts, track payments, send emails, and much more on the go! Working with over 300 CSA's throughout the country, Farmigo has developed streamlined reports to help with harvesting, packing, distribution and accounting. Their team will work with you to bring your CSA business online, streamlining administrative tasks and saving you hours of work. To sign up for a private demo, click here.
  • Veteran Careers in Agriculture Resource Guide Available 


    Farmer Veteran Coalition has released Veteran Careers in Agriculture: A Resource Guide. The 40-page PDF publication introduces the Farmer Veteran Coalition and its work, profiles veteran farmers, discusses opportunities for veterans to find employment in agriculture, and offers resources for business planning. It also serves as a directory of agricultural organizations and educational opportunities for farmer veterans.

  • Grassfed Beef Financial Calculators Available Online 


    The Pasture Project of the Wallace Center has posted two financial calculators. The Grassfed Beef Decision Calculator is a comprehensive, interactive Excel spreadsheet that allows users to examine the costs of various beef cattle enterprises. Another spreadsheet, Comparison of Rental Rates for Landowners, lets landowners compare rents from leasing to grass-fed beef operations versus corn producers. Find the calculators here.  

  • ATTRA Publication Details Federal Conservation Programs


    During the past decade, major federal conservation programs that help farmers and ranchers maintain and enhance sustainable practices have increased dramatically. Access to these resources can open new opportunities to preserve agricultural lands, develop sustainable practices, and open new markets. A new ATTRA publication, "Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching," is an overview of those programs and acts as a guide for navigating the often complex and difficult application process. View the guide here

  • One Website, Dozens of Seed Catalogs 


    PickACarrot.com offers a free innovative and efficient way to locate, compare and purchase seeds from dozens of seed catalogs.  It's easy to filter for certified organic or conventional seed, treated or untreated, hybrid or open-pollinated, or by price, quantity, days-to-maturity, and a number of other categories. For 2015, we have improved our search, added many more seed catalogs and filters, all from requests made by farmers throughout the country. If you can't find exactly what you are looking for, just lettuce know and we will find it!

  • 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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