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January 15th, 2015

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 
Plan Your Farm: Essential Resources to Get You Started
This suite of online resources, offered by the Northeast Beginning Farmers Project, offers tutorials, videos, and links to people who can help you develop your farm plans. Work through the topics in order and you'll have a solid foundation for the start of your farm business. Complete the online worksheets in each tutorial to apply the concepts to your situation and create a written farm plan. You can access Plan Your Farm here.
Small Farms Program Seeks Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator
The Cornell Small Farms Program and Northeast Beginning Farmers Project are hiring a full-time Project Coordinator for our new beginning farmer initiatives. This is a 3-year grant-funded full-time position based in Ithaca, NY. The Project Coordinator will oversee all aspects of a USDA project designed to 1) facilitate military veterans entering into farming as a career, and 2) improve long-term viability of"advanced" beginning farmers (defined as farmers operating 3-10 years). For requirements and application details, visit the job description page on the Cornell Human Resources siteApplications are due Jan. 26, so don't delay!
The Small Farms Program Goes Mobile!
According to a recent study, 17% of US cellphone adult users prefer going online using their phones instead of desktops, laptops, or tablets.  To accommodate this audience, we are pleased to announce that our Cornell Small Farms Program website is now mobile-friendly.  You'll find nested drop-down menus and scroll bars make for easier navigation and viewing on your mobile phone or tablet. If you encounter any issues navigating the site on your mobile device, please send us an email at smallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu.  

Opportunity to Market Produce to Schools

New York State has been chosen to participate in a USDA Pilot Project for Unprocessed Fruits and Vegetables.  The goal of the Pilot Project is to develop additional opportunities for schools to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables with entitlement funding, while using pre-existing commercial distribution channels and school relationships with growers, produce wholesalers, and distributors.  The pilot supports the use of locally-grown foods in school meal programs using entitlement funds. New York farmers are encouraged to complete USDA's Vendor Application and send it in for approval, as school food authorities will only be able to procure from the approved list. Look under Vendor Eligibility on the AMS's pilot project website for eligibility requirements and application forms. 


2015 Pesticide Training and Recertification Class 
Mondays, February 2, 9, 16, and 23. 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Exam offered on March 2, 2015 from 6:30 pm - 11:00 pm. CCE Ontario County. 

This series of pesticide training and recertification classes is being offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Current applicators seeking pesticide recertification credits or anyone interested in obtaining a pesticide certification and meets the D.E.C. experience/education requirements should attend. This training is NOT a 30-hour certification course. The registration form and more information is available on-line at www.cceontario.org

Hudson Valley Value Added Grains School 
Feb. 6th, 2015. Anthony's Banquet Hall, 746 Rt. 23B, Leeds, NY, 12451. 

Featured speakers will be grain drying and storage specialist Dr. Kenneth Hellevang of North Dakota State University, and farmer Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms, a 1200-acre certified organic grain operation in Newfield, NY. See the flier for full agenda and event details and register online here

An Introduction to High Tunnels 
February 9, from 1-4 PM at Good Life Farm in Interlaken.

Topics to be covered include types of tunnels & construction, bed preparation, crops to grow, managing crops in high tunnels, and pest management. Instructors include Judson Reid, CCE Vegetable Crop Specialist and high tunnel expert; farmers Melissa Madden and Garrett Miller with Good Life Farm; and Evangeline Sarat with Sweetland Farm. Information on NRCS High Tunnel Grants will be presented by a NRCS representative. Register via Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County by calling 607-272-2292 or emailing mr55@cornell.edu. Pre-registration is required to ensure we have enough space. There is a $5 fee for this class. Pay at the door. 

Basic Dairy Science and Sanitation Workshop 
February 18-20, 2015. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

This workshop is designed to help participants understand the basic principles of dairy science and safety, as well as understanding the needs of their dairy processing establishment with regard to dairy sanitation to help ensure that proper sanitation programs are conducted in their establishment. This workshop is tailored to dairy processing personnel and the tuition is $500 for in-state registrants -- $600 for out of state registrants. Enrollment is limited to the first 30 participants, so register early and return with your payment to: Louise Felker, Cornell University, Dept. of Food Science, Stocking Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Berry Pest Workshop
March 4, 2015. Clarion Hotel, 8250 Park Rd., Batavia, NY

Growers of fall raspberries, mid-late season blueberries, and day-neutral strawberries can learn how to manage Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) at this upcoming workshop offered by the NYS Berry Growers Association. Registration is $25/person for NYSBGA members and $50/person for non-members. Register by February 25th at http://www.hort.cornell.edu/grower/nybga/

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
  • Environment & Energy Program Leader - Millbrook, NY 

    Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County (CCEDC) is looking for a dynamic leader for the Environment and Energy Program.  One of four CCEDC program areas (Agriculture & Horticulture, Family & Consumer Education and 4-H Youth Development), the Environment and Energy Program Leader provides leadership for broad, innovative environmental and energy programs in Dutchess County. The Program Leader is responsible for program development, implementation and administration, including grants development, execution and tracking, marketing, evaluation, and applied research to address local and system initiatives. Visit http://ccedutchess.org/about-ccedc/employment.php for a full position description.

  • Michigan State University Organic Farmer Training Program 

    The nine-month intensive Organic Farmer Training Program prepares graduates to run diversified, year-round farming operations through intensive instruction and hands-on management experience, and they are looking for their next cohort of future farmers. Students engage in the management of the farm's production for the farm's primary markets, including a 48-week CSA, a seven month on-campus farm stand, and sales to campus dining services. Lectures, workshops, and training focus on soil and fertility management, compost production and use, vegetable and fruit production, livestock management, harvest and postharvest handling, passive solar greenhouse management, transplant production, direct marketing, and farm and business planning. Learn more at http://www.msuorganicfarm.org/

  • Funding Opportunities
    USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grant Available 
    U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden has announced the availability of more than $18 million in funding to help educate, mentor and enhance the sustainability of the next generation of farmers.  This support is available through the 
    Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP), administered by USDA's National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  
    The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program awards grants to organizations implementing programs to train beginning farmers and ranchers, including workshops, educational teams, training, and technical assistance throughout the United States.  Fiscal Year 2015 applications for BFRDP are due March 13, 2015. For more info, click here
  • REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant- Due Feb. 12th

    USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service is accepting applications under the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants. The grants fund programs to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations. Click here for more information. 
  • Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program- Due Feb. 17th

    The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is accepting applications for the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act grants program, aimed at increasing the economic competitiveness of Rhode Island-grown products. Any Rhode Island-based non-profit organization, farmer, fisherman/woman, or producer group is eligible to apply for up to $20,000. Find more information here
  • Environmental Education Local Grants Program- Due March 6th

    The EPA seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. EPA expects to award three grants of up to $91,000 each from each of its 10 Regional Offices. Find out more at http://www2.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants
  • USDA Announces Fellowships for Future Agricultural Scientists

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of more than $15 million for fellowships to train and develop the next generation of scientists who will lead agriculture into the future by solving current and future challenges facing society. NIFA will support pre- and post-doctoral fellowships, and for the first time, undergraduate fellowships. Applications for the pre- and post-doctoral fellows are due on February 11, 2015. Letters of intent for the undergraduate fellowships are due on February 18, 2015, with full applications due May 6, 2015.

  • Credit Union Focusing on Small Farms Planned in Maine

    Two finance professionals in Maine are planning to launch a credit union that will focus on helping small farms, reports Mainebiz.com. The Maine Harvest Credit Union plans to serve members of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and Maine Farmland Trust by offering mortgages, equipment loans, and season loans. Click here for more information.

  • Latest Resources
  • New Publication: Apple IPM for Beginners  

    Apple IPM for Beginners is a new series of simplified factsheets and scouting guides that make integrated pest management easier for beginners. The guides include such topics as apple scab, aphids and leafhoppers, trunk borers, choosing sprays and more. You can download the free online version or contact Deborah Breth at dib1@cornell.edu for hard-copy purchase information.
  • Organic Regulations and Handbook Now Available in Spanish  

    The National Organic Program is now providing Spanish versions of the USDA organic regulations and program handbook, to make it easier for Spanish-speaking farmers, handlers, and certifiers to understand and comply with the USDA organic regulations. The 80-page Reglamentos Organicos Estadounidenses and the 310-page Manual del Programa Nacional Orgánico are both available online. 
  • Beef Farm Account Book Available 

    The Cornell Beef Farm Account Book is once again available. The accounting record book is designed specifically for beef producers. A complete and accurate set of financial records helps producers develop accurate tax returns but as important gives them the data to analyze their business. Using this accounting record book the farm manager will have the data needed to complete the Beef Farm Business Summary. The Farm Business Summary is a confidential analysis of business records to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the beef enterprise. This allows for better decision making to increase farm profitability. To purchase a copy of the Cornell Beef Farm Account Book, contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Livestock Educator at http://beefcattle.ansci.cornell.edu/field-staff/ or Tom Gallagher, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Albany County, tig3@cornell.edu, 518- 765-3500. 

  • Study Explores How Climate Change Will Affect Agriculture 


    Climate change will require major transformations in agricultural systems, including increased irrigation and moving production from one region to another, according to a new study by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. The study provides a global scenario analysis that covers nine different climates, 18 crops, and four crop-management systems, as well as the interactions between crop production, consumption, prices, and trade. View the study here.

  • Michigan Food Hub Network Case Study Published 

    The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems has released The Michigan Food Hub Network: A Case Study in Building Effective Networks for Food System Change. The 24-page publication relates some of the key lessons the Michigan Food Hub Network has learned, detailing considerations for food hubs and partners in starting a food hub network. View the report here.

  • 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.