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February 2nd, 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 
Video Series: Organic Dairy Field Day
This video series covers a field day held at Schefflers' Organic Dairy in 2009 and sponsored by the Organic Dairy Initiative. Topics include Raw Milk Marketing, Feeding Organic Dairy Cattle, Organic Dairy Profitability, and much more. Visit https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL777F5319D0D35F9E to view the videos. 
Vegetable Production and Taking Care of Business Online Courses Start Soon!
Vegetable Production (BF 121): Season-long Care to Market is a 5-week online course designed to prepare you for the rigors of farming vegetables, including the finer points of fertility, pest ID and management, weed management, and harvest. Feb. 18 - Mar 18, 2015

Taking Care of Business (BF 103): Understanding the Business, Tax, and Regulatory Implications of Your Farm is a 6-week course that will guide you through insurance coverages, types of business structures and tax information - all that essential information that makes up the invisible backbone of your farm business. Mar 9 - Apr 13, 2015  
Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) survey
As spotted wing drosophila (SWD) has become established throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, it has become increasingly important to understand the impacts this pest has had in different crops and regions. North Carolina State University has conducted grower-focused impact assessments for the last two years, and this information has been used to develop research, extension, and education activities. They are now seeking to update their information for the 2014 growing season. If you are a fruit grower, marketer, gardener, extension agent/specialist, crop consultant, or have other interests in SWD, please complete this survey.

Farm Tax Workshop with Farm Credit East
February 4th, 2015. 3-5:30 pm. CCESC Gerald J. Skoda Extension Education Center on 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road in Liberty, NY.  

Jennifer Adduci from  Farm Credit East and Gerald Skoda of Skoda Enterprises, Inc. will discuss farm taxation updates and credits, including business structures, such as Sole Proprietorship, partnerships, LLCs, Corporations, Schedule F, Farmer Tax Exemption Certificate, and Form 4797. An informative outline of how one can get started and qualify for an agricultural assessment will be covered. Cost is $15.00 per person or $10.00 for CCESC enrollees. Register or get more information by calling CCESC at 845-292-6180 or emailing SueAnn Boyd at srb46@cornell.edu

Vegetable Growers Meeting and High Tunnel School
Feb. 4th and 5th, 2015. 9:30am-2:30pm Feb. 4th, 9:00am-3:00pm Feb. 5th. Erie County CCE Auditorium 21 South Grove Street, East Aurora, NY 14052. 

You will have the opportunity to learn from industry experts from Cornell's Regional Vegetable Program and meet your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Staff. Topics include site selection and structural considerations, crop and variety selection, disease biology and management, and more. Location is subject to change, please check the website at http://erie.cce.cornell.edu/ or call 716/652-5400 x177 a day or two prior to attending the meeting to confirm.

The Peter Levatich Winter Seminar for Rural Landowners
February 21st from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Spencer Van-Etten High School, Spencer, NY.   

This year's theme is: "Our Constantly Changing Woods: What We Can Do to Make a Bad Situation Better." Mark Whitmore and David Weinstein from Cornell's Department of Natural Resources will share their insights on some major challenges and solutions to the health and sustainable productivity of private woodlands.  Attendance is free and the public is welcome - no rsvp's are required.  Questions can be directed to Brett Chedzoy by email: bjc226@cornell.edu, or by phone: 607-742-3657 (cell). 

Workshop: Introduction to QuickBooks for Farmers
March 16th, 17th, 19th 2015. Columbia Greene Community College in Hudson, NY. 

This workshop series is designed and targeted to those that have little or no knowledge of using QuickBooks. During this three session workshop, you will learn how to successfully prepare a chart of accounts, better keep track of customers and vendors, automate the entry of routine income and expenses and generate reports meaningful for you. The cost is $50 per farm for up to two people. Register online here or contact Sara LaFountain at 518-765-3500 or spl67@cornell.edu.

Northeast Contract Grazing Summit
March 28th, 2015. 9am to 5pm. The Weaver Family Farm  4933 Peterboro Road  Morrisville, NY  13408.  

This day-long learning led by current contract graziers, grazing clients, local grass-fed meat and dairy companies, land aggregators and Ag business professionals will help you explore the decisions and considerations to running a contract grazing business. Topics include: what does a client want, pricing strategies, leasing land, grazing management, land/animal people logistics, liability, and simple contracts to name a few. For information and to register, please call Troy Bishopp at the Madison Co SWCD at (315) 824-9849 Ext. 110, email him at Troy-Bishopp@verizon.net, or send in your registration to Madison Co. Soil and Water Conservation District  6503 Wes Rd.  Hamilton, N.Y.  13346. Admission is $70 per person. 

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
  • Farmer Seeks Management, Lease, or Partnership -Conneaut Lake, PA

    Beth Etter is looking for a farmer or couple with experience and ambitions for organic vegetable/flower production and/or rotational grazing for beef/poultry/sheep.  She is open to a partnership, lease, or management position.  Beth has 153 acres in Conneaut Lake, PA (75 tillable), with less than an acre under organic vegetable production currently, a yet unused 30' x 96' high tunnel and a goal to convert her acreage to sustainable practices one field at a time. A cabin complete with full kitchen, bathroom and loft will be provided for the interested farmer. Interested parties call 814-547-1397, or email bethetter7@gmail.com

  • Diversified Farm Seeks Interns, Dairy Manager and Teamster -Cazenovia, NY 

    Greyrock Farm is a diversified farm located in Cazenovia, NY which raises beef, pork and chicken, grows 12 acres of vegetables, and markets to a CSA, farm stand and several restaurants. They are seeking farm interns, a dairy manager and a farm Teamster. The three full time interns will help with a variety of farm tasks from April to November 2015 in return for a $1,000/month stipend and farm food. The full-time dairy manager should have 2-3 years' experience managing a dairy and will manage all operations in the farm's 19-cow grass-fed Brown Swiss dairy.  The salary will be $22,000-$28,000 based on experience. The Teamster will be responsible for a variety of jobs around the farm, including vegetable field work and performing animal chores with horses. The ideal candidate will have at least 2 years of experience working with draft horses, including proficiency trimming, and the salary will be $20-$26,000 based on experience. For all positions please send resume, cover letter, and professional references to Gillian at gdgoldbe@gmail.com

  • Funding Opportunities
  • Grants to Enhance Food Safety- Letter of Intent to Apply Due Feb. 16th

    The FDA requests applications to address the needs of small and medium-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers, especially as they relate to the implementation of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. Projects must not exceed $600,000 over three years. The program anticipates making one new award.  Apply for the grant here.
  • Conservation Innovation Grants from USDA -Due Feb. 24th

    Applications are being accepted for grants to facilitate the creation of new, innovative markets for carbon credits. For 2015, about half of the $20 million is available for environmental markets and conservation finance projects that engage agricultural producers. View the press release for more information.
  • Conservation Stewardship Program -Due Feb. 27th

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture will make available $100 million this year through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Through the CSP, participants take additional conservation steps to improve the resource conditions on their land, including soil, air and habitat quality, water quality and quantity, and energy conservation. Chief Jason Weller of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service said CSP producers are conservation leaders, showing how science-based conservation and technological advancements can improve the environment and farming operations at the same time. Click here for the whole press release.
  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program -Due March 13th
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for 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. Click here to apply
    Grant Workshops Offered for Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program
    USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and National Institute for Food and Agriculture have announced a partnership through the Agricultural Marketing Service Technical Assistance Project to conduct workshops that will help potential grant applicants understand, develop, and submit their applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. A list of upcoming grant workshop dates and locations in all regions of the country can be found 
    online. Find more information here. 

    Latest Resources
  • Urban Agriculture Webpage on New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Site 

     NYSDAM has recently revamped their Urban Agriculture webpage! Look here for what's current in urban agriculture across the State of New York. See events around urban agriculture and learn of the latest funding and learning opportunities on the News & Events pageLook to the map of community gardens listing all in the state (more is coming too, so stay tuned). Listed on the Resources and Funding pages are some of the most critical resources for soil testing, data collection, and fundraising. 
  • New Search Engine for Published USDA Research   


    The National Agricultural Library has unveiled PubAg, a free, user-friendly search engine that gives the public enhanced access to research published by USDA scientists. PubAg.nal.usda.gov is a new portal for literature searches and full-text access of more than 40,000 scientific journal articles by USDA researchers, mostly from 1997 to 2014.

  • Vegetable Taste Test Results Available to Help Growers Choose Varieties

    The University of Missouri's Bradford Research Center is making available the results of vegetable variety taste tests conducted during 2014. Participants scored samples of different varieties of tomatoes, tomatillos, and peppers, and the results of this scoring are now available online. Tests results for sweet corn and melon varieties are also available.

  • New App Helps Strawberry and Peach Growers Deal with Diseases  


    A Clemson fruit specialist and a computer software designer have teamed up to develop a smartphone tool to help strawberry and peach growers. "MyIPM" is the first smartphone app that provides critical disease information for growers to use in making management decisions. "Growers will be able to pick effective and safe fungicides for conventional and organic production of strawberry," said fruit specialist Guido Schnabel. Click here for more information.

  • Video Series: Is Organic Certification Right for my Business?

    Join Vermont Organic Farming certified producers Rachel Schattman of Bella Farm, Geo Honigford of Hurricane Flats, and Kristan Doolan of Does' Leap as they discuss why they choose to be certified organic. View this excerpt from the 32nd annual NOFA-VT Winter Conference here. You can also check out the NE Beginning Farmers online course BF 106: The What, How and Why of Organic Certification

  • 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.