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March 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 
The Finger Lakes Meat Project
Locally Raised Meat Made Easy! The Finger Lakes Meat Project is the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins and Steuben Counties initiative to grow the freezer trade (sales of meat in bulk quantities such as whole, half and quarter animals) to the benefit of both regional livestock farmers and consumers. The project consists of educational efforts, an online directory of farms called www.meatsuite.com and 2 community freezer storage locations, called Meat Lockers. Find out more at http://www.fingerlakesmeatproject.com/!

Reminder to Complete NASS Organic Producer Survey

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service has an Organic Survey underway to gather detailed data on U.S. organic agriculture production. The survey is a complete inventory of all known organic producers that are certified, exempt from certification, and transitioning to certified organic production. Farmers and ranchers can fill out the survey online at www.agcensus.usda.gov until April 3, 2015.  

Is Your Farm Ready for the Public? Agritourism 101
March 16, 2015. 9am. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County
Are you thinking about starting to welcome the public onto your farm? Or have you already started but want to ensure you are on the right path? We will be discussing everything from what you need to get started in agri-tourism to be successful, how to evaluate your farm for agri-tourism success, how to work with local media to get attention for your event/farm, resources to take home and much more! The cost to attend is $15/farm, please register at: https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/agritourism101_203 or with Carol at clf62@cornell.edu to ensure we have enough materials. 

The Farmers' MBA Program
March 9th through April 22nd, 2015. Farm and Home Center 2715 Route 44 Millbrook, NY 12545
The idea behind this series of programs is to provide Hudson Valley farmers with the business tools they need in order to foster and expand their wholesale and retail markets. Whether you are raising livestock, vegetables, hops, poultry or something different, we can help you define goals, set marketing and business strategies, and assist you with the necessary skills to expand your enterprise with a business-like approach. The five programs are GAPs Training, Business Plan Development, Labelling Your Products, Marketing Strategic Planning, and Value Added Product Development. You can find details about the programs here

Adding Value To Livestock Through Better Communication With The Butcher

Thursday, March 19th from 6:00 - 8:30 pm. American Legion. 1 Carter Street; Arkport, NY. 
Join the Tri-County Graziers for some cabin fever relief and expert advice on processing and adding value to locally-grown meat animals.  Featuring retired USDA meat scientist and grazier Steve Olson, and Becky Painter of Painter's Custom Meats.  Steve will discuss how to maximize value from each animal through better finishing, processing and utilization of higher-value cuts of meat.  Becky will offer tips on working with processors when direct marketing.  The public is welcome, and everyone interested in raising or buying local meats are especially encouraged to attend.  There is a requested donation of $10/person or $15/farm at the door to cover the costs of the program.  Sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension, with support from the USDA NRCS Grazing Lands Coalition and the Upper Susquehanna Coalition.  No RSVPs are needed, but for more information please contact Kerri Bartlett of Steuben CCE: ksb29@cornell.edu or by phone: 607-583-3170

Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop
March 21st. 8:30am-12pm. Reisinger's Apple Country: 2750 Apple Lane Watkins Glen, NY
Your host is owner/operator Rick Reisinger and guest speakers are John Reynolds of Daring Drake Farm and Hugh Ink of Cornell Orchards. Topics covered will be why proper fruit tree thinning is essential, bud grafting, pruning stone fruits, pears and apples, pruning young to mature trees and general fruit tree care/wildlife control. Pre-registration (https://reg.cce.cornell.edu/fruittreepruning2015_244) is required (along with payment) by March 18, 2015. The fee is $20. 

Finger Lakes Craft Beverage Conference
March 27th and 28th, 2015. Waterloo Holiday Inn in Waterloo, NY
Do you manage or are you planning to open a Brewery, Cidery or Distillery? The first day of this conference will inlcude sessions geared towards starting up a brewery, cidery or distillery and advanced sessions for people managing existing breweries, cideries or distilleries, as well as a trade show and networking session. Register for Day 1 here.  The second day will feature production-oriented sessions for beer, cider and distilling and a visit to the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station. Register for Day 2 here.

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Heroic Food Farm School Seeks Veteran Applicants -Hudson, NY
Heroic Food offers a tuition-free training program open to all military veterans. Trainees live on the Heroic Food Farm located on 20 tranquil acres just 2 miles outside of Hudson, NY, while gaining hands-on experience through apprenticeships with local mentor farmers, craftspeople and food entrepreneurs. In addition, the program offers workshops, short-courses and individualized support for life and career transitions. Visit http://heroicfood.org/program-overview/ for more information. 
  • Barnraiser Volunteer Internship 

    Barnraiser, the new social and crowdfunding platform for the good food movement, is looking for a few talented interns to grow the movement, support the innovators and help good food innovators fund and support their enterprises. Interns will bring influencers, farmers, butchers, restaurants, schools, media projects and nonprofits to the Barnraiser platform to engage with the quickly growing community, start new projects and back existing projects, research good food projects and build a pipeline of people who should know about Barnraiser, and more. Currently, Barnraiser internships are located in New York, San Francisco and other regions on an "as needed" basis. If you live outside of NY or SF, but have a vibrant food or farm community - or you are a fantastic online communicator and this is your thing, reach out. We can probably work something out. Contact margaret@barnraiser.us and note "Internship" in the subject line. 

  • Seasonal Field Manager for the Seed Farm -Emmaus, PA

    The Seed Farm is a nonprofit organization dedicated to training new farmers and assisting them in establishing sustainable farm businesses. The Field Manager will report to the Program Director. Responsibilities include: following the plans and direction of the Program Director in the management of 2.5-acre diversified vegetable farm and 20 acres of surrounding fields, tractor field work, harvest, packing and delivery for weekly market, CSA and wholesale accounts, overseeing apprentices while they are in the field, and occasionally assisting Program Director with on-farm demonstrations and lessons. To apply, please send a cover letter, resume and three professional references to Lindsey Parks, Executive Director at Lindsey_Parks@theseedfarm.org. View the full job description here

  • Heirloom Vegetable Production, Heritage Livestock Internship in Champlain Valley, NY 

    1-2 livestock interns will be involved with the care and maintenance of heritage sheep, layers, broilers and pigs as well as non-heritage cattle. Tasks include: creating new grazing paddocks on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, rotating the animals and fencing; caring for, monitoring, feeding, and watering all animals; egg production, and making hay. Vegetable interns will be involved in all facets of mostly-heirloom vegetable production in greenhouse and field from seed to storage: soil sampling & testing; starting and transplanting seeds, cultivating, weeding, irrigating, etc. Interest in organic/sustainable practices a must for vegetable interns. Experience with farming tools and equipment preferred for both internships but not required. Group housing is available for all interns and hourly compensation is commensurate with experience. Hours may be long and vary depending on weather and seasonality. Please email your resume and cover letter to tristan@rhfgroup.com.

  • SARE/NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Fellows 

    The Fellows program enhances participants' understanding of sustainable management principles and provides broad-based, national exposure to a unique range of successful sustainable farms and ranches. Members of NACAA in good standing with their state associations with responsibility in agricultural production systems are eligible to apply for the Fellows Program. Applications are due by March 15th. Find complete eligibility and entry details online

  • Funding Opportunities
  • 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. View the full press release
  • More Than $160 Million Available through Agriculture and Food Research Initiative 

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of more than $160 million in funding for research, education, and extension projects that address key challenges affecting U.S. agriculture production. NIFA will fund the awards through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). NIFA released six separate requests for applications, focused on water, food security, childhood obesity prevention, food safety, climate, and the six Farm Bill priority areas. Application deadlines vary by program area. See http://www.nifa.usda.gov/funding/rfas/afri.html for details. 
  • Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program -Due March 17th

    USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture will award Community Food Projects (CFP) and Planning Projects (PP) grants. CFP grants provide a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make projects self-sustaining. PP grants are designed to assess food security needs and plan long-term solutions to help ensure food security in communities. Approximately $9 million is available. Public food program service providers, tribal organizations, and private nonprofit entities are eligible to apply. Click here for more information. 
  • USDA-NIFA-Organic Transitions -Letter of Intent Due April 16th 

    The overall goal of the Organic Transitions Program (ORG) is to support the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices. In FY 2015, ORG will continue to prioritize environmental services provided by organic farming systems in the area of soil conservation and climate change mitigation, as well as prioritizing the development of educational tools for agricultural service providers and the development of alternatives to substances recommended for removal by the NOP National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. Notice of Intent to Submit an Application is due by 5:00 p.m. EST on March 26, 2015. Final applications are due April 16, 2015. More information
  • Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program -Due March 13th 

    This U.S. Department of Agriculture program will provide grants to promote and strengthen secondary and 2-year postsecondary agriscience and agribusiness education and agriculture in the K-12 classroom in order to help ensure a qualified workforce and encourage more young Americans to pursue and complete a baccalaureate or higher degree in the food, agricultural and human sciences. Public secondary schools, public or private nonprofit junior and community colleges, institutions of higher education, and nonprofit organizations are eligible for funding. View the request for applications.
  • Latest Resources
  • FARMDATA Records Management System for Produce Farmers Free for Download

    FARMDATA, an open-source, smartphone-compatible records management system for produce farmers, is available for free download. FARMDATA is a Web-based database system for entering and reporting crop-production records, including seeding, transplanting, harvest, cover crop, compost, fertilization, irrigation, pest scouting, spray activities, packing and distribution records, and customer invoicing. More information

  • Case Studies Identify Best Practices for Using Regionally Grown Pulses and Grains in School Meals

    The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has released Using Regionally Grown Grains and Pulses in School Meals, featuring six case studies. IATP and collaborators identified best practices for using regionally grown grains and legumes in school meals. The publication offers advice on developing partnerships, sourcing, and addressing the labor and food costs involved with local products. Find more information 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.