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December 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 
Interested in Selling to Produce Auctions? 
Currently, there are 6 produce auctions in New York State. These auctions are aggregation points that allow local farmers to sell their produce in wholesale lots to buyers from across the region. The Cornell Vegetable Program has supported the development and growth of these auctions and acts as the educational lead for the majority of the NYS produce auctions. A new video describes how these auctions work and the benefits they bring to the rural communities that host them. 
Veterans in NY: Travel Grant opportunity to NOFA-NY 
We are happy to announce that Military Veterans in New York State are eligible to receive up to $200 to offset costs associated with attending the 2016 NOFA-NY Conference, held in Saratoga Springs, NY from Friday 1/22 - Sunday 1/24. Interested veterans can apply here.
Applications will be accepted until 11:59PM on Wednesday, December 23rd. Applicants will be notified of whether or not they have been selected to receive the grant by 5pm on Wednesday January 6. Please note that participants will be expected to pay for their travel and conference registration up front and then will be reimbursed (up to $200) after receipts have been submitted. More information about the conference can be found here. Recipients of this travel grant will be expected to attend a meet-and-greet with other farmer veterans at the conference on the night of Friday, January 22nd. They will also be asked to participate in a survey (or surveys) after the conference to gauge the value of attending. Questions? Please contact Matt Weiss at mw84@cornell.edu or 607-255-9911.
Profit Team Candidates Selected
The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project in partnership with New York FarmNet is excited to announce the successful farms for the second round of our Beginning Farmer Profit Team Program. We had another competitive round of applications but these farms were selected as the best: Blue Spoon Farm(Groton), Cedar Hedge Farm (Lowville), Green Shepherd Farm (Bovina), Common Thread CSA (Madison), Greyrock Farm (Cazenovia), Polestar Farm (Mecklenburg, White Pine Community Farm (Wingdale), Dutch Barn Farm (Fort Plain), Mariaville Mushroom Men (Schenectady), Good Fight Herb Co. (Germantown), and Farmhand Flowers (Cobleskill). These farms vary widely in shape, size, and product mix. Everything from veggies and livestock to mushrooms, herbs, and flowers are represented in the group. A third and final round of applications will be accepted in February 2016 - stay tuned here for the announcement! For more information on the program, click here.  
Farmers Talk 'Wholesale Marketing': Recordings Now Available
This Fall, the Small Farms Program teamed up with Northeast SARE to continue the webinar series "Small Farms, New Markets".  The series featured farmers that had successfully transitioned from direct marketing to selling product to one or more wholesale buyers.  We heard from Stephen Winkler, of Lucky 7 Livestock Company, about how he scaled up to meet the needs of grocery stores and distributors such as Mosner Family Brands, a wholesale meat company based in the Bronx, NY.  We also heard from Dan Kent of Kent Family Growers about how he supplements sales of his CSA by selling to food stores such as the Park Slope Food Coop. You can watch the presentations anytime by visiting here. These presentations were part of the "Sparking a Wholesale Revolution" project, which seeks to prepare small and mid-sized growers to enter larger markets.  
Farm Business Planning Course
January 14 - March 17, 2016, every Thursday from 6pm-9pm. Locations in Ithaca, NY TBD.
Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming will once again be conducting a 10-week Farm Business Planning Course, beginning in January 2016, for those interested in developing an agriculturally-related business concept by working directly with farm business instructors and a team of farmer educators. Through the Course, students will learn about some of the core pieces of planning for a farm business: setting appropriate goals, matching production to market strategy, and assessing feasibility. The Course will also cover basic financial and accounting concepts, the legalities of farming, and sources of financing. Students consistently report that the greatest part of the Course is the opportunity work with farmer-reviewers and course instructors to outline goals, develop strategies for achieving their goals and get feedback on their business plans. For more information or to register, visit http://groundswellcenter.org/farmertraining/businessplanning/.
Farm & Family Business Succession Planning Seminar For Attorneys, Accountants, and Financial Planners
February 11, 2016, 8:30am-5pm. Embassy Suites Hotel, Syracuse, NY.
This seminar examines legal and tax implications of transferring farm and family businesses to the next generation. Designed to provide attendees with an in-depth understanding of tax, estate, and business planning issues affecting farms and family businesses, Farm Business and Estate Succession Planning Strategies for the Beginning Farmer and the Senior Farmer will be emphasized. Seminar speakers welcome your questions. This meeting provides a unique opportunity for attorneys, accountants, and financial planning professionals to enhance their knowledge of major issues related to farm and family business succession planning, including tax and legal considerations. Your registration fee includes seminar manuals, continental breakfast, luncheon, and afternoon snack. A block of rooms at a reduced rate have been reserved. Please make your reservations directly with the hotel at (315) 446-3200. Visit http://dyson.cornell.edu/outreach/farm-family-business-succession-planning-seminar for more information and to register.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
2016 Heroic Food Full-Year Immersion (FYI) Program
The Heroic Food Full-Year Immersion (FYI) Program is designed for military veterans with an interest in ecologically sustainable farming for small scale commercial or homestead operations. Trainees either come from local areas and commute from home, or live on the Heroic Food Farm located on 20 tranquil acres just 2 miles outside of Hudson, NY. They gain 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. The Heroic Food Project is currently accepting applications for the 2016 Full-Year Immersion cohort. The program includes housing, paid training positions on local farms, and an option for second year specialized training. Apply now, or visit http://heroicfood.org/programs/fyi/ for more information.
Food Hub Manager and Educator at Cultivating Community
Cultivating Community, based in Portland, ME, has an exciting opening with their New American Sustainable Agriculture Project (NASAP). The Fresh Start Farms Food Hub supports project participants and graduates to better access markets, and includes a 250+ member CSA and wholesale aggregation and distribution. 
The Food Hub Manager and Educator is responsible for the overall development of Food Hub sales and distribution, while also providing core services to the training program to complement and support marketing initiatives. In addition to overall oversight of the Fresh Start Farms Food Hub, s/he will partner with the Farm Manager and the rest of the project team to provide ongoing marketing, production, and farm management trainings, technical assistance in the field, and assistance with business plan development and general marketing support. Experience working with diverse populations, participatory adult education, substantial experience with diversified agricultural systems, and experience with CSA/wholesale management are necessary prerequisites for these positions. For a full job description, please visit cultivatingcommunity.org/seek-employment.
4-H Earn-an-Animal Program Expands
The 4-H Earn-an-Animal Program gives youth the opportunity to raise and show an animal. The daily responsibility of caring for an animal allows youth to learn important life and science skills used to complete the 4-H livestock project. Animal species in the 4-H Earn-an-Animal Program include: beef and dairy calves, dairy and meat goats, poultry, swine, sheep, and rabbits. New in 2016 is an "other" category that will allow any kind of unique agriculture such as: beekeeping, alpacas, fish farming. All Otsego County youth, ages 8-19 are encouraged to apply for a 4-H Earn-an-Animal. Unaffiliated youth awarded funds to purchase animals will be enrolled as 4-H members. A 4-Her can only be awarded two animals in two different species. Youth must complete an application, be interviewed, and formally agree to the project requirements. Applications are due January 1 and can be obtained from the 4-H office or on the web. For more information contact the 4-H office at 607-547-2536.
Ironwood Farm Looking for Two Crew Members for 2016
Ironwood farm is a 7 acre, certified organic vegetable farm located in Ghent, NY. The farm is run by the three women owners; they are a tight knit crew of managers, working side by side with their employees. They are all in their early thirties, and entering their 3rd year of operation. They have a 125 member CSA, sell at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market year round, and partner with several large wholesalers in the region. They focus on season extension, and specialize in growing shoots and greens through the winter. Their employees gain knowledge of agriculture through work experience at Ironwood.
Because they are still a young farm, there are opportunities to help in several infrastructure building projects this year. They will be constructing a 3 acre deer fence, a new cooler/coolbot, and a 96' greenhouse for ginger and mushroom production. For more information, visit http://ironwood.farm/. To apply, contact Ironwood at farmers@ironwood.farm with resume and cover letter.

Production Manager at Main Street Farms in Cortland for 2016
Main Street Farms is a diversified organic vegetable farm that markets through CSA, farmers markets, and wholesale. They are looking to hire a Production Manager for the 2016 season. They are seeking someone with previous farm production management or assistant management experience on an organic diversified vegetable farm. Applicants must have excellent communication and leadership skills. A minimum two years of tractor work, and experience with organic growing practices are required.
The Production Manager holds one of the most essential roles on the farm. This position reports directly to the farm owners and is part of the core leadership of the farm. Overseeing production plans & implementation, this position requires high levels of organization, communication and leadership skills. A great sense of humor and experience training other staff are highly desirable.
Funding Opportunities
This Kresge Foundation funding opportunity is designed to support food-oriented initiatives that contribute to economic revitalization, cultural expression and health in low-income communities. Kresge will award up to 20 planning grants of up to $75,000 each in the first quarter of 2016 as part of the initiative "Fresh, Local & Equitable: Food as a Creative Platform for Neighborhood Revitalization." Organizations and collaborations that lead food-oriented development initiatives in economically distressed urban neighborhoods are eligible. View program details hereApplications are due by 5pm EST on January 15, 2016.
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)
NIFA is requesting applications for the The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which provides grants to organizations for education, mentoring, and technical assistance initiatives for beginning farmers or ranchers. The anticipated amount of funding available is approximately $18 million. The recipient must be a collaborative, State, tribal, local, or regionally based network or partnership of public or private entities. Visit http://nifa.usda.gov/funding-opportunity/beginning-farmer-and-rancher-development-program-bfrdp for more information or to apply. Applications are due January 21, 2016.
Latest Resources
The National Agroforestry Center has developed a number of publications that describe the role agroforestry can play in supporting pollinators. One publication, "Working Trees for Pollinators", is a six-page color brochure that illustrates important pollinators for food production and how agroforestry practices can be adapted to meet the needs of both pollinators and producers. 
New Markets Growth Opportunities with GroupGAP
The AMS' Specialty Crops Inspection Division, in partnership with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, presented a webinar on GroupGAP, a new certification option for the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) audit program. This program makes GAP certification more accessible to small and medium size producers by allowing multiple growers to work together to obtain a single certification as a group. GroupGAP certification offers growers a cost-effective means to show adherence to GAP requirements. View a recording of the webinar here.
On-Farm Cold Storage of Fall-Harvested Fruit and Vegetable Crops: Planning, Design and Operation
"On-Farm Cold Storage of Fall-Harvested Fruit and Vegetable Crops" will aid fresh market fruit and vegetable growers with keeping produce in excellent condition until it can be marketed. This new publication covers the planning, design and operation of a cold storage facility. Information on determining space requirements, types of storage facilities, number of cold storage rooms needed, environmental conditions required for different crops, construction materials and techniques, refrigeration systems, humidification equipment and material handling for stored crops is included. The publication can be purchased here.
National Organic Farming Handbook
The USDA has just released the new Organic Farming Handbook, which describes organic systems and identifies key resources to guide conservation planning and implementation on organic farms. The handbook describes conservation practices and key resources for use on organic operations - some the same as those used in conventional operations, such as nutrient management, crop rotations, livestock grazing and pest management. Also included are additional practices and resources that address producers' needs that are identified in the recent Organic Census.
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.