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June 5th, 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 
Beginning Farmers Project BF Logo Northeast Beginning Farmer Project
The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project is a sister program of the Cornell Small Farms Program which focuses specifically on serving new and aspiring farmers in the Northeast. We offer a website, online courses taught by experienced Extension educators, a Plan Your Farm portal with tutorials and worksheets, and informational resources for new farmers like the Guide to Farming in NY and our new series of farming videos.
2015 Young Farmers Conference Call for Workshop Proposals

The Growing Farmers Initiative at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is now accepting workshop proposals for the 8th annual Young Farmers Conference, December 2-4, 2015. Every December, hundreds of beginning farmers from across the United States gather at Stone Barns Center to learn from experienced farmers, agricultural luminaries, peers, technical experts and advocacy organizations. Workshop Sessions, consisting of a single presenter or panel discussion, will be approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes in length, including Q&A with participants. Please allow ample time for participant questions and discussion. More information is available here

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Opportunity to Host a Weather Station on Your Farm

The New York State (NYS) Mesonet or Early Warning Weather Detection System is an advanced, statewide network of weather stations to detect weather phenomena across New York. This weather detection system will provide federal, state, and local communities with access to high-resolution, real-time data, and more robust predictive models. The NYS Mesonet is looking for sites for up to 125 weather stations across New York State. The University at Albany will pay for any costs associated with the installation and will handle all of the maintenance and repair associated. If you are interested in hosting a weather station at your farm, please contact Program Manager Jerry Brotzge via e-mail at jbrotzge@albany.edu or by phone at 518-442-6376. View the full press release here.


Ready to Roll? New Field Research on Organic No-Till Soybean with Rolled-Crimped Cover Crops

June 18, 6pm - 8pm. Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd., Aurora, NY 13026
Want to reduce your spring tillage?  This NOFA-NY field day will demonstrate equipment for successfully rolling down cover crops and planting soybeans into the resulting mulch; plus field plots will show results of several different rolling dates and cover crop species.  This is a viable way to save money and time, while improving your soil! Join Matt Ryan, Brian Caldwell, Jeff Liebert, Christopher Pelzer and other Cornell Researchers at this twilight meeting held at a Cornell University research farm. Register here.

Growing Grains for Flour
June 19, 9:30am-4:00pm. Cornell Cooperative Extension, 34570 State Highway 10, Hamden, NY. 
All types of farms and farmers are invited to learn the basics of flour grains - how to grow, what to consider, cropping systems, pest ID and management, working with millers, downstate markets, regional programs in grain production, local production and more. With multiple featured speakers covering a wide variety of topics, this is an exciting and unique program! The cost is $15 per person. Click here for more information. 
Barn Farm Scenery
Searching for Land in All the Right Places: Learn How to Evaluate Potential Farmland
June 21, 8:30am-3:00pm. SUNY New Paltz, Lecture Center, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY

Join Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County educators, local growers, and real estate professionals to learn what a potential renter or buyer of agricultural land should know when it comes to evaluating soils, water, zoning, and infrastructure for a farm business. 

The class will begin at SUNY New Paltz, followed by site visits to representative properties and active local farms producing a variety of commodities including hops, livestock, fruits and vegetablesRegister by June 17th by sending in this printable registration form. For more information, visit this website.

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities

Part-time Help Wanted for Artisan Cheesemaking Business

Keeley's Cheese Co. is searching for part-time production, aging, wrapping/shipping, and possibly market help amounting to approximately 10-15 hours per week, starting immediately. Basic knowledge of cheesemaking and Food Safety GMPs a big plus, but they are willing to train. Main responsibilities include pre-processing cleaning and sanitation, cheese production and brining (approximately 1 day per week through August), post-production clean-up, cheese aging (washing, flipping at scheduled times), finished product wrapping, order fulfillment, and potentially some farmers markets. Applicants must be enthusiastic, hard-working & dependable, able to adhere to strict sanitation procedures, physically capable of long periods of standing/lifting/bending, and enjoy working around cheese. Training will be provided for technical aspects of cheesemaking plus the other tasks listed. Please send letter of interest, including relevant experience, to saycheese@keeleyscheeseco.com

Position: Farm Labor with Farm Equipment Operating Experience - Acton, MA

Idylwilde Farm, Acton, MA seeks an individual to join their agricultural team to work a variety of field crops, operate farm equipment and process product in preparation for retail sale. Candidates should be able to handle all phases of vegetable production: plowing, harrowing, cultivating, mowing and with some instruction and training. Find the application here and email to cindy@idylwildefarm.com, or mail it to Idylwilde Farm, Inc. For more information contact Tom Napoli at (508) 380-2004, or Cindy McAuley at (978) 263-5943.

  • Three Positions Available with Greener Partners - Collegetown, PA 

  • Greener Partners in Collegetown, PA seeks to create healthy communities through food, farms and education. They currently have three positions available. The full-time Guild House Farm Manager will manage and lead education and community programs at Guild House Farm, a partnership with Friends Rehabilitation Program's Guild House West. The part-time Guild House Farm/SOL Food Educator will assist with growing and programming at Guild House Farm and at SOL Food Project, their Philadelphia-based teen program. The part-time Longview Farm Community Engagement Coordinator will lead on-farm education programming and expand Greener Partners' food access outreach in the region. 
  • 100 Acre Farm for Rent  in Preston Hollow, NY 

  • Buildings include a 2 bedroom farmhouse and 2 barns plus an outbuilding, all located on a creek.  The land includes a small vintage apple grove in need of pruning, 50 acres in fields, and 50 acres in woods. Rent is $1500 monthly. The Preston Hollow farm is located 30 miles southwest of Albany and 18 miles north of Catskill. Call 201-906-2135 if you are interested. 

  • Funding Opportunities
    The Non-Land-Grant Colleges of Agriculture (NLGCA) Program - Due June 26
    The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced the availability of $4 million in grants to support research, education and outreach activities at non-land-grant colleges and universities. The goals of the NLGCA program are to 1) strengthen the capacity of NLGCA institutions to develop infrastructure to carry out agricultural research, teaching and outreach activities; 2) enhance the ability of NLGCA faculty to engage in agricultural professional development opportunities; and 3) increase the number, quality, and diversity of qualified graduates entering the food and agriculture workforce. Request certification here and see the request for applications here.
    Gourds Pumpkins Winter Squash Autumn Fall
  • National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Grant Program - Due June 29

  • The USDA recently announced the availability of $2.3 million for the establishment of regional centers to support comprehensive food safety training and education. The regional centers funded by the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Grant Program will facilitate work across their regions to increase the understanding and adoption of established food safety standards, guidance, and protocols. Specifically, this work will address the needs of small and medium-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, and small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. View the request for applications here, and apply for the grant here
  • Northeast SARE Research and Education or Professional Development Grants -Preproposals due June 30 

  • Northeast SARE offers large, multiyear projects ranging from $30,000 to $200,000, and smaller, shorter-term projects of $15,000 or less. Research and Education grants are for researchers and educators offering outcome-based projects that benefit farmers and explore new sustainable farm practices. Professional Development grants are for educators delivering outcome-based training in sustainable techniques to Cooperative Extension staff and other service providers. Visit http://www.nesare.org/ to learn more. 
  • Regional Conservation Partnership Program - Due July 8

  • Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), USDA NRCS seeks to co-invest with partners in innovative, workable, and cost-effective approaches to benefit farming, ranching, and forest operations, local economies, and the communities and resources in a watershed or other geographic area. This will be the second round of projects funded through RCPP with $225 million in funding anticipated.
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  • New Version of Farmers' Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding Available 

  • The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has released an updated version of its Farmers' Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding. The guide includes changes to the program from the 2014 Farm Bill. The guide also provides clear information on the program's application requirements, including a step-by-step description of the application and ranking processes. 
    Latest Resources
    Resilient Agriculture: Cultivating Food Systems for a Changing Climate, by Laura Lengnick
    Drawing on the personal experience of award-winning farmers from across North America, Resilient Agriculture explores the challenges of managing crops and livestock in a changing climate. Blending climate adaptation science with on-farm reality, this innovative work makes a convincing case for climate-ready food systems, arguing that we must act now in order to sustain agriculture into the 21st century. For more information, visit this website.
    Southern SAWG Offering Food Hub Starter Kit Online 

    Southern SAWG is making available a new Food Hub Starter Kit for agricultural or business professionals, farmers, or community members who are exploring the development of a food hub. The kit contains a short, annotated list of resources gathered from food hub projects around the country. Presentations and webinars from Southern SAWG's food hub learning network project are also available online. 

    Vegetables onion radish potato Farmers market Marketing
    Instructor's Manual for Teaching Small-Farm Marketing Updated 
    The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems has released Teaching Direct Marketing and Small Farm Viability: Resources for Instructors, 2nd Edition. The 400-page manual, available free online or at cost in print, draws on nearly 50 years of experience teaching skills to beginning organic farmers and gardeners at the UC Santa Cruz Farm & Garden Apprenticeship. The new edition includes lectures, student exercises, and resources. View the manual here
    Tilth Producers of Washington Introduces Wiki for Farmers 
    Tilth Producers of Washington has introduced Wiki for Farmers, an online resource dedicated to organic and sustainable agriculture. Farmers, agricultural experts, researchers, and farm advocates are invited to author articles, which may be edited and discussed by other users. Instructions for joining and for submitting articles are online. 
    plum fruit Guide and Videos Support Marketing Healthy Food to Schools 

    The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems has released Marketing Healthy Foods in Wisconsin K-12 Schools. This comprehensive resource includes suggestions for creating promotions, using the menu as a marketing tool, and capitalizing on social media. The guide also includes the Healthy Food and Farm to School Marketing Self Assessment. The 51-page guide is available online, as are three video training sessions. 

    Soil Scientists Summarize Precarious State of Soil Resources in New Paper 
    Leading soil scientists have released a review of scientific literature that summarizes the precarious state of the world's soil resources and the possible ramifications for human security. The paper published in the journal Science outlines threats to soil productivity and food production due to soil erosion, nutrient exhaustion, urbanization, and climate change. Click here to read the report
    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.