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May 4th, 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 
guide Guide to Urban Farming
Farms and gardens are popping up everywhere - on windowsills and balconies, on rooftops and in vacant lots, in schoolyards and in public parks, and the list goes on. This Small Farms Program publication consists of a series of fact sheets to guide farmers producing food in urban centers and on the urban fringe. Topics include site contamination, soil renovation, rooftop farming, urban livestock, farming with neighbors, and much more! Click here to download the PDF, or here for the online version. 

New Video on Small Farms Youtube Channel 

"Hoop House Considerations" is part of the Vegetable Production series from Muddy Fingers Farm, a small vegetable CSA in Hector, NY. Visit our Youtube channel to view this video and others on Muddy Fingers Farm. Hoop House Considerations was filmed and edited by Peter Carroll of Ithaca, NY. 
Hands-on Poultry Processing Workshops Needed
Erica Frenay of the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project is compiling a list of upcoming on-farm poultry processing workshops. If you're planning to host such a workshop this summer, please email Erica at ejf5@cornell.edu with the event information and we will publicize the workshop! 
flowers truck
Sparrowbush Farm in Hudson NY is one of 12 to participate in the profit teams

Farmer Participants Selected for Profit Teams

The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project and New York FarmNet are happy to announce the first round of successful candidates to our Advanced Beginning Farmer Profit Teams. Selection for this program was competitive and we received a lot of great applications but our review team selected the twelve farms that we thought would have the best chance at success in the program. The twelve farms represent a wide variety of farm sizes, crop types, business models, and regions across the state. This initiative seeks to improve the long-term success of these farms by providing customized, one-on-one guidance from farm professionals (financial, production, legal, marketing, etc.). This project is funded by the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. To see the participating farms or learn more, visit http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/projects/profit-teams/ 

Small Farms, New Markets Webinar Series Recordings Available 

If you missed the webinars in the Small Farms, New Markets series this Spring, you can now watch the recordings anytime. The series featured smaller farmers that sell to larger markets such as food hubs, grocery stores and restaurants. Farmers reflected on their decision making process, benefits and challenges, costs, and infrastructure needed to get their products to bigger markets. Each webinar also featured one of the farmer's 'wholesale' buyers who described how they establish productive relationships with smaller farms, and outlined their business models and buying requirements. To read descriptions and watch the webinars, visit http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2015/03/30/small-farms-new-markets-webinar-series-opens-april-6th/ 

Farmland Protection Workshop
May 5, 2015. NYS Fairgrounds in the Wegman's Demonstration Kitchen, Arts and Home Building
"Farmland Protection: Let's Get Started!" invites farmland owners in Onondaga County to think about the importance of protecting their working farmland for future generations. The workshop will cover the basics of land conservation and easements, what the process of farmland protection entails, as well as a review of the Onondaga County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board's pre-application for the New York State Agriculture and Markets Farmland Protection Implementation Grant Program (FPIG). The cost is $15 per person and $25 per family, payable at the door. For more information or to register, contact Melanie Palmer at (315) 424-9485 ext. 228 or mjp232@cornell.edu. Click here to view to full event description

mushroom woman poc

Woodland Mushroom Cultivation 

May 9th, 10am to 1pm.  Hawk Meadow Farm, Trumansburg, NY

An introductory class exploring the cultivation of woodland mushrooms on natural hardwood logs. We will focus on hardwood "bolt" inoculation using the "drill and fill" method but will demonstrate other techniques such as hardwood totems.  Mushroom species covered will primarily include shiitake and oyster as well as a few others.  We will also cover long term management techniques.  The cost for the class is $30. Call (607) 387-3424 for more info or to pre-register, or visit http://www.hawkmeadowfarm.com/woodland-mushroom-cultivation.html

Basic Dairy Science and Sanitation Course
May 19-20, 2015. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.  

Cornell Dairy Foods Extension is pleased to offer a Basic Dairy Science and Sanitation Workshop, with a self-paced lecture section online followed by a hands-on on-campus portion May 19-20, 2015. This course is the integral/central component of the Dairy Foods Certificate Program being offered at Cornell University.  Individuals may register for the workshop and enroll in the Dairy Foods Certificate Program, or register for the course as a stand-alone program.  This workshop is designed to help participants understand the basic principles of dairy science and safety, as well as the needs of their dairy processing establishment with regard to dairy sanitation to help ensure that proper programs are conducted in their establishment.  Tuition is $500.00 for in-state registrants and $600.00 for out of state registrants. Register here by May 4th.

Apple Macintosh Fruit

Organic Apple Production: Managing Productivity, Insects, Disease and Weeds
June 10th, 1:00-4:30pm. Loomis Farm, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Geneva, NY

Join Entomologist Arthur Agnello, Horticulturists Terence Robinson and Susan Brown, and Plant Pathologist Kerik Cox to discuss organic orchard practices informed by their ongoing research. Growth and productivity will be discussed, including new and upcoming disease-resistant varieties, rootstocks, training systems, pruning, weed control options, and nitrogen fertilization.  Basic and advanced seasonal management approaches to insect control will be shared such as the use of entomopathogenic nematodes for biological control of plum curculio, and predatory mite seeding for the control of European red mite. The group will also go over organic fire blight management techniques and share results from last year's summer disease trials. This event costs $15/person or $25/group.  To pre-register and pay by 6/8, go online or contact Stephanie at (585) 271-1979 ext. 509.

1st International Birch Sap & Syrup Conference

June 12-14. Paul Smiths College in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.
The main purpose of the conference is to bring together many people who are currently producing birch sap and syrup products to network with each other, share ideas, and learn about the latest research and developments in this growing industry. It is also intended for sugar makers who have birch trees and are considering adding birch syrup production to their existing operations. If you currently produce birch syrup or are considering doing so in the future, this is the conference for you. To learn more about the conference and for a link to the registration form, please visit www.paulsmiths.edu/birch 

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Barn Farm Scenery
Homestead Intern/Apprentice needed
Live and work on an established organic homestead 30 miles southwest of Ithaca. An opportunity to learn all the skills of self-sufficiency on an 111 acre homestead, which includes a quarter acre garden providing vegetables year round, berries, grapes and an orchard. Activities at the homestead include starting plants from seed, food preservation, raising dairy goats and poultry, making cheese, wildcrafting herbs and making herbal oils, tinctures, creams and soaps.  There is ample space to expand into your personal interests. The apprentice is needed to start asap as the help available now will determine crops and livestock grown for this season. Please contact: freydablack@gmail.com.
Funding Opportunities
  • Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant Program - Due May 6th

    The Aetna Foundation's Local Roots grant program seeks to fund the creation and expansion of community gardens, urban farms, and farmers markets in underserved, low-income, and minority communities. Non-profits may apply for grants of up to $25,000 per year for up to two years. Click here to view the Request for Proposals.
  • Grape Fruit Wine
  • Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program - Due May 14th

    The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program helps states understand new market opportunities. It entails performing research aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the food marketing system. Only state agencies and institutions (e.g., land grant universities) are eligible to apply, other types of entities can partner with them to conduct research projects. These grants are meant to help solve practical marketing problems, including those faced by producers who want to enter institutional markets in their region. Applications are due on May 14, 2015. The FSMIP request for applications is available here.
  • Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program - Due May 27th

    USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for the Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year 2015. The funding is meant to improve the farm-management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers and maintain the national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management. More information is available here
  • List of Funding Sources Compiled by the USDA 

    The National Agricultural Library's Alternative Farming Systems Information Center has compiled a list of agricultural related funding opportunities and programs. View the list at http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/where-can-i-find-agricultural-funding-resources
  • Latest Resources
  • Pollinator Habitat Publications Released by Kerr Center 

  • The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture has released two new publications on pollinator habitat. Native Plants for Native Pollinators in Oklahoma is a full-color guidebook that provides information on 38 native plants and the pollinators that visit them. Establishing Native Pollinator Habitat Organically: Tips from Our Experience at Kerr Center is a four-page PDF. The Kerr Center has also released an eight-page publication, Cover Crops as Beneficial Insect Habitats: Observations from a Demonstration Organic Market Farm, that outlines experiences in using cover crops as beneficial insect habitat in rotational organic market farming.

    Vegetables onion radish potato Farmers market Marketing
  • Online Farmers Market Food Safety Training Offered 

  • Four new online food safety training modules are being offered for farmers' market managers and vendors through Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The four modules cover pre-harvest, post-harvest, marketing and best practices at the market, and value-added products. The training is free and a completion certificate is offered. 

  • New Planning Tool to Help Transitioning Organic Farmers Save on Paperwork

  • The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) and NRCS have collaborated to provide producers working with NRCS on a Conservation Activity Plan 138 (CAP 138) with a new tool, NOP 2616: Resource Inventory Supplements. Instead of completing a full separate organic system plan, organic producers who complete a CAP 138 to apply for NRCS financial assistance may submit the CAP 138 Resource Inventory section and supplements to their certifiers. Click here for more information

    Cow Dairy cows livestock
  • Rhode Island Farm to Institution Survey Report 

  • Farm Fresh RI shares their findings from a recent Farm to Institution research project. 17 growers, 21 purchasers and 16 processor/distributors took the time to help us better understand the demand for RI\grown, lightly processed produce as well as the marketplace barriers to institutional purchasing. The information learned will shape work to promote the institutional purchasing of Rhode Island Grown foods. You can read the Farm to Institution Survey Report by following this link.

    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.
    SFP Small Farms Program Logo
    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.