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March 1st, 2016

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
Apply Now for Beginning Farmer Profit Teams
Are you a beginning farmer in New York state who has been farming for at least three years? Is the farm business you manage at a crossroads, needing to improve efficiency, scale up, or make other major changes to achieve long-term viability?  You may be eligible to receive support for a New Farmer Profit Team. This initiative seeks to improve the long-term success of advanced beginning farmers by providing selected farmers with customized, one-on-one guidance from farm professionals (financial, production, legal, marketing, etc.) over an 18-mo to 2-year period.  Read more about the program and apply by clicking here. The application deadline is March 15, and in this third and final round, 16 farms will be chosen. This project is a collaboration of the Cornell Small Farms ProgramNY Farm Viability Institute, and NY FarmNet, made possible with funding from NYFVI and the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). 
Wholesale Market Watch
Wholesale Market Watch is a new listserve that provides information and resources to facilitate connecting small and mid-sized farmers to larger markets such as food hubs, grocery stores, restaurants, online marketplaces and cooperatives. Are you a farmer, agricultural educator, or regional food-buyer in the Northeast?  You can sign up to receive email alerts from Wholesale Market Watch at this link. This listserve is part of a larger project called "Baskets to Pallets: Preparing Small and Mid-sized Farmers to Enter Food Hubs, Groceries, Restaurants and Cooperatives".  Learn more about the project goals and activities here.  If you have an opportunity to share, please send information to Project Coordinator Violet Stone at vws7@cornell.edu 
Beekeeping Workshop
March 5, 2016, 9am-5pm. SUNY Cobleskill Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Room 208
Learn about the lives of honey bees and the basic requirements and responsibilities of keeping bees. Understand the mechanics of the hive and the tools involved to keep a healthy hive. Also, instruction will cover the history of bees, bee anatomy, bee biology, hive congruency and natural hive design, apiary site selection, bee health, patterns of nectar and pollen flow, seasonal concerns and methods for recognizing the needs of your bees. Other topics will include installing bee packages, harvesting honey, recognizing healthy brood patterns as well as signs of problems, disease and pest identification and control, chemical treatments and watching and preparing for swarm season. We all need to understand the importance of bees in agriculture and in the pollination of our food. Do your part by educating yourself about these precious creatures or better yet, become a beekeeper! Call 518.255.5528 to register. Cost to attend is $38, and please bring your own lunch.
"Producing for the Hub" Workshop: Introduction to the Hub's Producer Manual and Agreement
March 7, 2016, 10am-2pm. The Hamden Inn, 357969 New York 10, Hamden, NY
During this workshop, the Hub will introduce its new Producer Manual and Agreement and farmers will learn how to become part of the Lucky Dog Local Food Hub's producer line-up for 2016. In addition, representatives from Blue Apron will meet with vegetable farmers interested in growing specialty crops for their home chef meal service. For full event details and to register, visit www.march7hubworkshop.eventbrite.com
Farm to City Expo 2016, The New Marketplace: Local Food in Emerging Markets
March 8, 2016, 12-2:30pm. Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 W 34th St., New York, NY

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Empire State Development are proudly co-hosting the Farm to City Expo 2016 at the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York.  The New Marketplace: Local Food in Emerging Markets is a two panel forum to connect producers with growing sectors, such as fast casual restaurants and online meal kits. Register here for the panel complimentary access to the Restaurant Show!
Backyard Fruit Production Workshop
March 19, 2016, 8:30am-12:30pm. Reisinger's Apple Country 2750 Apple Lane Watkins Glen, NY. 
This workshop will cover stone fruits, pears, apples, blueberries, raspberries, currants, and strawberries. Rick Reisinger will host, and John Reynolds will be guest speaking. For more information about this workshop please contact Roger Ort at 607-535-7161 or email rlo28@cornell.edu. Pre-registration is required with payment by March 15, 2016. Workshop fee is $20. To register, visit https://pub.cce.cornell.edu/event_registration/main/events_landing.cfm?event=CCESCFruitProduction_244 
2016 Dairy & Field Crop Conference
March 16, 2016, 8am-5pm. Holiday Inn, 441 Electronics Parkway, Liverpool, NY
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York welcomes veteran farmers, beginning farmers, and farmers interested in transitioning to organic management to the 2016 Dairy and Field Crop Conference. NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC staff will be available throughout the day-long conference to answer questions. Enjoy a day of learning, networking, and information exchange. Keynote speaker John Kempf is the founder and CEO of Advancing Eco Agriculture (AEA), a leading crop nutrition consulting company. A top expert in the field of biological and regenerative farming, John founded AEA in 2006 to help fellow farmers by providing the education, tools and strategies to help them grow disease- and insect-resistent crops with complete plant nutrition. John is an internationally recognized lecturer on the topic of biological agriculture and plant immunity. For more information and to register, visit http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-dairy-field-crop-conference.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Heroic Food Sustainable Farmer Training: Full Year Immersion Program
Apply now for Heroic Food's 2016 Full Year Immersion (FYI) program, a comprehensive sustainable beginning farmer training program located in Columbia County, New York. This training is suitable for post-9/11 veterans; other Heroic Food trainings are suitable for all veterans. Extensive hands-on training and supplemental instruction. Peer housing on the Heroic Food Farm. Spouses are welcome. The program starts March 15th - apply now! For more information and to apply, visit http://heroicfood.org/programs/fyi/fyi_apply/.
Broome & Cortland County Schools seeking local producers for school meals!
The Food & Health Network (FaHN) is working to connect regional farms and schools for an exciting initiative that will help farmers expand their businesses and encourage students to eat healthy, local food. Are you a NYS farmer interested in gaining access to larger markets? Cortland, Marathon, and Broome County School Districts are looking for fresh and value-added products for school meals. Contact Erin Summerlee, FaHN Coordinator, if you are interested: fahncoordinator@rhnscny.org or call (607) 692-7669. Visit the FaHN website for more information. 
Funding Opportunities
Opportunity for Chautauqua County Farms: Apply for Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program Funds
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County's Agriculture Program is offering assistance to any farmer landowners interested in applying for the Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program that is facilitated locally by the Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County Staff are available to assist farms with the required business plan portion of their applications. Chautauqua County's agricultural industry is encouraged to contact their local Soil and Water Conservation District office at 716-664-2351 ext. 5 or chaut-co@soilwater.org for application materials. The local Soil and Water Offices are facilitating this grant process, and are the point of contact for any questions concerning the application process or eligibility requirements. For more information about this program, please read the press release here.
Environmental Education Grants
EPA seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental awareness and stewardship and help provide people with the skills to take responsible actions to protect the environment. This grant program provides financial support for projects that design, demonstrate, and/or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. Applications are due by April 8, 2016, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. For more information or to apply, visit http://www.epa.gov/education/environmental-education-ee-grants.
Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Grants Program
The goal of the Farm Business Management and Benchmarking (FBMB) Competitive Grant Program is to strongly support the intellectual talent and collaborative efforts to maintain the national, publicly available farm financial management database needed to meet the challenges facing the nation's agriculture and food systems. Meeting these challenges will require innovative approaches that foster multi-disciplinary projects. This means that farm management producers must be educated and prepared to work effectively across disciplines in order to work to solve agricultural and educational challenges. The goal of this program is to engage producers in improving the United States farm management knowledge and skills by encompassing the USDA/NIFA's food, agriculture, natural resources, and human sciences. The deadline to apply is April 11, 2016. Learn more about the program and how to apply by downloading the Request for Proposal document.
Latest Resources
Purdue Extension: Online budgeting tools for small-scale livestock producers
Purdue Extension has developed a pair of Web-based, interactive resources to help new producers and anyone thinking about starting a small-scale livestock operation to make critical budgeting decisions. The Purdue Comparative Decision Support matrix (PCDS) includes a spreadsheet tool that allows users to create an operating budget based on their own fixed and variable costs, cash flow and expected revenue. The PCDS2 profit/loss analysis function uses cost and price information to calculate potential earnings. Both tools are available online.
Online Managed Grazing Tutorial
Strategic livestock management can improve soil health, pastures, and profits. A new online tutorial, "Managed Grazing Tutorial," by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) goes in-depth into how changing the way grazing animals are managed can improve both the condition of your land and your bottom line. The interactive tutorial is divided into a series of stand-alone lessons, so participants can progress at their own pace. The lessons include these subjects:
  • Grazing Management: Inventory
  • Managed Grazing Infrastructure: Fencing and Water
  • Managing the Mature Stand
  • Intensifying Managed Grazing
  • Stockpiling Grass
The lessons are taught by NCAT specialists who also are livestock producers with years of experience managing their own pastures. Their detailed presentations along with real-world examples and links to other resources will help producers both refine and build managed grazing systems regardless of their experience. For more information about the tutorial, contact NCAT Livestock Specialist Dave Scott at 800-346-9140 or daves@ncat.org.
New Tipsheets Outline Organic Regulations
A new series of tip sheets summarizes the rules and regulations along with basic steps, key processes, and additional resources newly certified operations need to know. Topics include the organic approach to animal health for poultry (meat and eggs), pork, and ruminant (meat and dairy) producers; treatment of sick and injured livestock; organic pest management; soil resources; manure; compost; crop rotation; and transitioning orchards. The tipsheets are available in both English and Spanish and are available to download for free from the ATTRA website, www.attra.ncat.org.
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.

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