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July 16th, 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 
On-Farm Production Techniques
The Northeast Beginning Farmers Project website has a video resource library of on-farm production techniques. These videos provide some great examples of high-quality production practices used on successful farms for raising vegetables, berries, pigs, sheep, poultry, and more. Check out the Vegetable Production Video Playlist and more on the Cornell Small Farms YouTube channel.
0% Interest Farm Loans of up to $10,000 Available Through Kiva Zip
Kiva Zip is a crowdfunding platform providing 0% interest loans to entrepreneurs. Note that these are loans, not grants, so they do need to be repaid, but there is no other source of loan money with zero hidden fees and zero percent interest. Lenders on Kiva Zip particularly love to support farmers! So if you've been needing a small amount of capital to purchase equipment, build a small facility, smooth out cash flow, or support your farm in any way, check out Kiva Zip. Kiva operates on social capital, so you don't need to share your credit history or financial statements, or even a business plan, to get funding. Just about anyone can apply. If you want your loan to fundraise more quickly on Kiva Zip, and you have taken one of the Cornell Small Farms Program's  online courses, you can request our endorsement after you've applied for the loan. The Cornell Small Farms Program is a Kiva Zip Trustee, and lenders tend to preferentially support loans with the backing of a Trustee. To learn more, visit the Kiva Zip website
Study shows crop rotation has positive impact on soil microbes and long-term land sustainability
A study authored by Michigan State University (MSU) Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences assistant professor Lisa Tiemann is the first of its kind to show that crop rotations, in isolation from other management factors, can increase the functions performed by soil microbial communities that benefit plant growth. Read on here.

Beyond the Basics: Become a Master Food Preserver

with a Comprehensive Workshop at SUNY Cobleskill

July 21, 22, and 23, 8:30am-4:30 pm. SUNY Cobleskill Culinary Arts Lab, Cobleskill, NY
SUNY Cobleskill is offering a comprehensive three-day hands-on training workshop preparing participants to become master food preservationists. As a student of this Master Food Preserver (MFP) course, you will receive an extensive education in food preservation with ample opportunities for hands-on learning when you
 learn how to best preserve your own harvest or your purchased fruits, vegetables and meats from locally owned farms.

Access to Capital: Food, Beverage, and Agricultural Enterprises

July 22, 10am-2pm. Finger Lakes Community College, Student Center- Stage 14, 2nd Floor 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua, New York 14424

Are you in the food, beverage, or agricultural industry in Upstate New York? On Wednesday, July 22nd, attend a free workshop sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Empire State Development, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, Cornell University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and NY Wine and Grape Foundation. 

Get the inside perspective from experts and lenders about which type of financing is most appropriate for you, what lenders look for in potential borrowers, alternatives to traditional bank loans, and international market opportunities and financing tools. 

The Piggery and Bluebird Dream Farm: an Adventure in Cooperative Farming
July 25, 10am-3pm. The Piggery, 5948 Sycamore Creek Drive, Trumansburg, New York 14886
Join NOFA-NY, Nicholas Martielli of Bluebird Dream Farm and Brad Marshall of The Piggery for an educational on farm field day. Learn how these two farmers are working together to produce exceptional livestock products. Registration fees are $25/person or $40 two or more people/farm. For more information or to pre-register, visit the event website or call Stephanie at 585-271-1979 ext. 509. Pre-registration is encouraged and closes at 4pm on 7/20/15. 
Intro to Food Processing: Licensing and Sales
July 30, 6pm-8pm. Brooklyn Navy Yard Farm, Flushing Avenue & Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm are working together to help food businesses looking to sell in the wholesale marketplace locally and nationally learn more about licensing and labeling compliance. The workshop will include a panel discussion featuring food inspectors from the FDA and the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, and a consultant who helps food businesses scale. A few small-batch food processors will present on how they process, which will set the stage for this information-packed session! Please register here. There are only 40 spots available! Any questions can be directed to Ehle Shachter andehle.shachter@agriculture.ny.gov
High Tunnel & Greenhouse Tour of Neversink Farm with Cornell Cooperative Extension
August 3, 3pm-5pm. Neversink Farm, 635 Claryville Road, Claryville, NY

An educational tour of high tunnel and greenhouse agricultural production practices is being offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension Sullivan County (CCESC) at Neversink Farm. Topics on this tour will include on-farm production methods using season extension structures through observation of existing systems at Neversink Farm, accompanied by informative commentary. Educators will discuss the ways in which season extension makes it possible for some vegetables to be grown beyond their intended season and at more affordable rates. Participants will learn varying management techniques for different plants in each structure and how they are used in production circumstances. For more information or to preregister, visit the event website.

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Cow Beef Livestock Grazing
Candidates for Livestock Extension Position Sought, CCE Albany
CCE of Albany County is seeking full time qualified and experienced Senior Resource Educator to serve as a member on the Capital Area Agricultural and Horticultural Program team. The Educator designs, implements and evaluates educational and applied research programs for livestock producers including beef, sheep and swine production. The Educator also identifies emerging areas in the livestock industry and addresses those that are high priority, conducts extension education programs utilizing a variety of informal education methodologies, makes connections between Cornell and other land grant/research institutions and livestock producers in the five-county region, and utilizes a commodity program development committee comprised of diverse individuals from the region to set the direction of educational and applied research programs and to focus the impact of the educator. For the full job description and to apply, visit CCE's website. Apply by 8/3/15.
Pioneer Valley Organic Farm seeks Field Manager - Chester, MA

Pioneer Valley Organic Farm seeks a field manager for their organic berry farm in Western Massachusetts during their active season (usually April to November). The ideal candidate would be able to maintain and supervise 10 acres of cultivated blueberries, raspberries, and table grapes. The manager would need to work within the guidelines of Baystate Organic Certifiers. The ideal candidate would receive free lodging/utilities, a food allowance, use of the farm truck, and an option to live in the house during the winter months.The field manager needs to be organized, proactive, and willing to collaborate with managing partners on the direction of the field. Application for September-October 2015 is due by August 15. Email info@pioneervalleyfarm.com for more information or to apply.

Funding Opportunities
  • Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership - Due July 31 

  • Funding will be provided through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP), a special enrollment option under the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program's Wetland Reserve Easement component. Under WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations and American Indian tribes collaborate with USDA through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with willing tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land into easements to protect, restore and enhance wetlands on their properties.
    Crop Insurance Education in Targeted States - Due August 14
    The purpose of this cooperative agreement program is to deliver crop insurance education and information to U.S. agricultural producers in certain, designated States that have been historically underserved with respect to crop insurance. The States, collectively referred to as Targeted States, are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Maximum award is $700,000. For more information, visit www.cfda.gov.
    chicken poultry livestock
    Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program - Due August 19
    This grant program supports: (1) training students for Master's and doctoral degrees in food, agricultural and natural resource sciences, and; (2) Special International Study or Thesis/Dissertation Research Travel Allowances (IRTA) for eligible USDA NNF beneficiaries. Awards are specifically intended to support traineeship programs that engage outstanding students to pursue and complete their degrees in USDA mission areas. Awards range from $4,500 to $262,000. For more information, visit USDA's website
    Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program - Due August 19
    This grant program supports: (1) training students for Master's and doctoral degrees in food, agricultural and natural resource sciences, and; (2) Special International Study or Thesis/Dissertation Research Travel Allowances (IRTA) for eligible USDA NNF beneficiaries. Awards are specifically intended to support traineeship programs that engage outstanding students to pursue and complete their degrees in USDA mission areas. Awards range from $4,500 to $262,000. For more information, visit USDA's website
    Latest Resources
    Healthy soil is underground insurance in extreme weather events, according to report
    Healthy soil can protect us from drought and flood impacts, saving farms, rural communities and even the American agriculture industry, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation. Can Soil Save Us? Making the Case for Cover Crops as Extreme Weather Risk Management details the many benefits of investing in healthy soil as protection from natural disasters. Read the press release or the full report here.
    Identifying Pasture Grasses
    "Identifying pasture grasses" from the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension can help you identify some of the plants that can be found in your pastures. The publication has photos of seed heads as well as simple descriptions of other plant characteristics to look for. Order the guide online or view the PDF here.
    Tree Fruit Pest and Beneficial Search
    The Michigan State University tree fruit pest and beneficial search helps users identify diseases, insect and mite pests and beneficials found in crops and landscapes, a critical step in any integrated pest management (IPM) plan. Check out the search here:www.ipm.msu.edu/search
    Food Hub Benchmarking Study
    The NGFN Food Hub Collaboration has released a new study titled, "Counting Values: Food Hub Financial Benchmarking". This study draws on financial and operational data from 48 of the more than 300 regional food hubs in the nation, and provides a wealth of data that can be used as a starting point to guide the flow of capital into the new local food sector. Find the press release and the full report here.
    Dairy cow barn livestock
    The Cornell Dairy Certificate Program
    Cornell's Dairy Foods Extension provides certificates in four areas, including:
    1. The Science of Yogurt and Fermented Dairy Products (Basic and Advanced)
    2. Fluid Milk Processing for Quality and Safety
    3. Membrane, Evaporation and Drying Technology 
    4. The Science of Cheese Making (Basic and Advanced)
    The Dairy Foods Certificate program is designed to provide trained personnel for the dairy industry and is open to all interested parties. Visit the Cornell Dairy Extension website for more information or to enroll in a course.
    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.