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September 15th, 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 
Low Input Lambing & Kidding
In this 70 page handbook from the Cornell Sheep & Goat Extension Program, authors Michael Thonney and tatiana Stanton discuss how to manage lambing and kidding efficiently without sacrificing animal well-being. Topics include operational strategies and costs, pasture lambing, animal well-being, and other considerations. Visit the Cornell Goat Management Program's website to access the guide. 
Need help with Poultry Production?  Growing Mushrooms?  Quickbooks? 
Online Classes Hosted by the Northeast Beginning Farmers Project Now Open
Late Fall through Winter and early Spring is a great time for farmers to rest, slow down the frenetic pace (at least somewhat), and build new skills for the coming growing season. If you sign up for an online course through the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project, you don't even need to leave your home to connect with other farmers, work on your farm plans, and gain practical tips. Courses fill up quickly, so visit the Online Courses page on the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project website to register today!
cheese dairy
Cornell Dairy Foods Extension brings Courses Online
Cornell Dairy Foods Extension is currently offering partial-online classes as part of their Cornell Dairy Foods Certificate Program including the Basic Dairy Science & Sanitation, the Science of Yogurt & Fermented Products, The Science of Cheese Making and Food Safety Plans based on HACCP Principles. Though these programs are partially available online, there will still be hands-on components and participants can carry their learning back to their employer. For more information, visit the Cornell Dairy Foods Extension blog.
Feedback Needed: Dairy Sheep Management System
The Cornell Sheep & Goat Program is considering doing a project to design an elegant, innovative dairy sheep management system never before tested, that could potentially decrease the impact of two restrictions on sheep dairy production in the US: 1) the limited North American dairy breed gene pool, and 2) low supply of milk during fall and winter due to the seasonal breeding of dairy sheep breeds. While large sheep dairies often take advantage of CIDR (controlled internal drug release) devices for out of season breeding and/or accelerated breeding intervals, CIDRs cannot be used under organic systems. The proposed project does not rely on CIDRs and would be applicable to organic systems and to small, medium and large flocks. If you have any interest in dairy sheep, please complete a short, 5-question survey available at www.surveymonkey.com.
2015 Cornell Sheep & Goat Symposium
October 2nd - 4th, Cornell University, Morrison Hall
The symposium schedule, registration forms and online registration are available on the web at http://www.sheep.cornell.edu/calendar/sheep_goat_symposium.html or by calling Barbara Jones at 607-255-7712.  Registration deadline is midnight Sept 24th . A block of rooms have been placed on hold at the Ramada Ithaca, 2310 N. Triphammer Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850 under the group name Sheep and Goat Symposium. Reservations will be accepted at a group rate of $99.95 plus tax until the cutoff date of 9/18/2015. 
Marketing Basics Workshop
September 23, 2pm-5pm. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY
Making it to the market with a great product is only half the battle in farming - now that you're there, how do you sell the most product possible? This presentation will help the small farmer leverage valuable research by the multi-million dollar supermarket industry and apply it to their farmers' market selling experience. Expect to learn valuable tips on how to appeal to a customer's behavioral habits, how to break down your market segmentation, and how your business might appeal to a wider range of shoppers. Presenters are staff members from Greenmarket which runs 54 farmers' markets in New York City. They will offer case studies of marketing projects developed in collaboration with direct market farmers in New York State. To register, contact Laurie at laurief@stonebarnscenter.org.
Niche Marketing Matters: Your Vegetable Farm's Profitable Specialty Products
September 26, 10:30am-2:30pm. Kent Family Growers, 1301 County Rt 31, Lisbon, NY
Learn alternative strategies for vegetable production that could lead you to a more stable cash flow for the farm, and learn to think through the costs and benefits of different crops and enterprises that you're interested in growing. Dan and Megan Kent have built up their winter income with a winter CSA, through implementing a few key production and storage strategies, and investing in a commercial processing kitchen. Talk with these growers and others about your goals, figure out what makes for a practical risk to diversify your farm income stream, and how to shift those ideas into a real plan. Light Lunch provided; pre- registration is required for lunch. Online pre-registration closes at 4pm on 9/24. Visit the event webpage for more information or to pre-register.
This event is produced by NOFA-NY with support from the USDA-Risk Management Agency.
International Farm Transition Network: Farm Succession Facilitation Training and Annual Meeting

October 5-8. Ramada Inn, 2310 N Triphammer Rd, Ithaca, NY
The International Farm Transition Network will hold its annual meeting on October 5th in Ithaca, NY. The goal of the network is to support programs that foster the next generation of farmers and ranchers. The annual conference provides opportunities for programs and individuals to share information, strengthen existing programs, and help to establish new programs that assist people to begin a career in agriculture, particularly by addressing farm access. Following the annual meeting, the IFTN will be offering its Certified Farm Succession Coordinator Training October 6-8. During the training participants will learn about Farm Business Succession Planning: Process, Parts and Problems, Family Communication, and the Role and Duties of the Coordinator and the Responsibilities of the Parties. Case studies and role play activities will allow participants to practice techniques learned during the training. For more information or to register, visit www.pafarmlink.org. The registration deadline is September 18, 2015.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Job Opening: The Seed Farm Field Manager
The Seed Farm, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating the next generation of farmers, is looking to hire a field manager. The Field Manager will be responsible for following the plans and direction of the Program Director in managing a 2.5-acre diversified vegetable farm, surrounding fields, incubator sites, and other infrastructure. For the full job summary and information on how to apply, visit www.theseedfarm.org/employment.
Annie's Project: Empowering Women in Agriculture
Annie's Project is a six-week course designed especially for farm women to help them develop their management and decision-making skills for their farms. Sessions include brief presentations, discussions focused on the participant's questions, and hands on training. This course is designed for farm women who have been in farming, part of farming for at lest the last five years, and want to develop their understanding, interpretation, and opportunities in sustainable agriculture. In this course, farm women have the opportunity to learn from female agricultural professionals and network with other women in similar situations. 
Pre-registration is required by October 5, 2015. Enrollment is limited to 15 participants to facilitate discussion, so register today! Contact Laura Biasillo at (607) 584-5007 or lw257@cornell.edu for more information or to register.
IDFA NextGen Dairy Network Symposium, October 6-8, 2015
The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) has developed a new initiative to engage the next generation of dairy leaders. The NextGEN Dairy Network helps professionals with less than 15 years of experience in the dairy industry connect with industry peers, enhance their careers and prepare for leadership opportunities within their companies and the industry. Join the network and register today! Click here to learn more.
Funding Opportunities
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Foundational Program - National Institute of Food and Agriculture
The AFRI Foundational Program is offered to support research grants in the six AFRI priority areas to continue building a foundation of knowledge critical for solving current and future societal challenges. The six priority areas are: Plant Health and Production and Plant Products; Animal Health and Production and Animal Products; Food Safety, Nutrition, and Health; Renewable Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment; Agriculture Systems and Technology; and Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities. Single-function Research Projects, multi-function Integrated Projects and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants are expected to address one of the Program Area Priorities. Click here for more information or to apply. Applications are due by September 30, 2015.
IPM Partnership Grants Program
The Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center announces the availability of funding through its IPM Partnership Grants Program, supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Up to $300,000 in total will be available for 2016, with a maximum of $50,000 per award, to fund projects that foster the development and adoption of integrated pest management (IPM) methods. The program supports three project types: IPM Issues, IPM Working Groups, and IPM Communications. For more information on the application process and guidelines, and to download the application, visit the IPM Partnership Grants Program page at www.northeastipm.org/rfa/partnershipApplications must be submitted online and are due by Tuesday, December 1, 2015.
Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources - National Science Foundation
A well-prepared, innovative science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce is crucial to the Nation's health and economy. Indeed, recent policy actions and reports have drawn attention to the opportunities and challenges inherent in increasing the number of highly qualified STEM graduates, including STEM teachers. The goals of these investments include: increasing the number and diversity of STEM students, preparing students well to participate in science for tomorrow, and improving students' STEM learning outcomes. Estimated total funding is $110,000,000, with a maximum award of $3,000,000. Click here for more information or to apply. Applications are due by November 3, 1015.
Latest Resources
The Profit Potential of Certified Organic Field Crop Production
This new study from USDA Economic Research Service
uses data from targeted surveys of organic corn, wheat, and soybean production in an observational analysis of cost-of-production differences between conventional and organic crop production systems. Findings of this research suggest that significant economic returns are possible from organic crop production, mainly due to organic price premiums. View the report here.

Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities
This guide is written for anyone seeking help from federal programs to foster innovative enterprises in agriculture and forestry in the United States. Specifically, the guide addresses program resources in community development; sustainable land management; and value-added and diversified agriculture and forestry. Thus, it can help farmers, entrepreneurs, community developers, conservationists, and many other individuals, as well as private and public organizations, both for-profit and not-for-profit. 
Lean principles grew out of the Japanese automotive industry, but they are now being followed on progressive farms around the world. Using examples from his own family's one-acre community-supported farm in Indiana, Ben Hartman clearly instructs other small farmers in how to incorporate lean practices in each step of their production chain, from starting a farm and harvesting crops to training employees and selling goods. While the intended audience for this book is small-scale farmers who are part of the growing local food movement, Hartman's prescriptions for high-value, low-cost production apply to farms and businesses of almost any size or scale that hope to harness the power of lean in their production processes. Learn more or purchase the book at media.chelseagreen.com.
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.