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April 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 submit, please visit our new online form. 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 
Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines
If you've been looking for up-to-date crop and pest management information, the Cornell Crop and Pest Management Guidelines are for you! This series of publications provides useful crop and pest management information for small-scale growers. Each Cornell Guideline title is routinely updated to reflect current crop production practices and the latest pest management strategies (including pesticide options) for emerging and existing pests of economic concern. The Cornell Guidelines are designed as a practical guide for producers, consultants, educators, pesticide dealers, and others involved in producing agricultural crops. Cornell Guidelines can be purchased through any Cornell Cooperative Extension office or from the Cornell Store at Cornell University. To order from the Cornell Store, call (844) 688-7620 or order online.
Farmers Urged to Participate in Cover Crop Survey
A nationwide survey of farmers on cover crop use, administered by CTIC, SARE, and ASTA, is seeking insight from growers around the country - whether or not they plant cover crops. The survey can be taken online until May 1, 2016.  All answers to the survey are anonymous. Participants who complete the survey - an easy process that takes no more than 15 minutes, and even less depending on your crop rotations and diversity -  have the option of entering into a drawing for a $100 gift card.
Beef Quality Assurance Certification Training
April 6, 2016, 6:30pm. Oak Stone Farm, 108 Bedbug Hill Rd., Fly Creek, NY.
The Central NY Beef Producers, in collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie and Otsego Counties (CCE), will host a Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) training. Producers in all stages of BQA certification are welcome, including new participants who can obtain the BQA manual in preparation for the test; producers who have passed the test and are looking for the required hands-on practice; and others needing recertification credits. Pizza will be provided by the Maidens Family Farm following the training during informal discussions about other beef production related topics and issues. To register or for more information, please call the CCE Education Center at 607-547-2536.
NY Nut Growers Association Spring Meeting
April 16, 2016, 8:30am-3:00pm. 422 Chestnut Street, Ithaca, NY.
Open to all, the New York Nut Growers Association will hold its spring meeting at the former home of Professor L.H. McDaniels, an internationally known horticulturist, head of the Horticulture Department at Cornell University, and an authority on nut tree culture.  The meeting is open to anyone who wants to learn about growing and caring for nut trees!  A cost of $15/person covers a light breakfast, lunch, and two black walnut trees. There also will be nuts to crack and sample, and we hope to have black walnut and butternut seednuts to distribute at no extra charge. See www.nynga.org for the schedule for the day, speakers, and info on how to register.
Searching for Farmland: A Practical Land Assessment Workshop
April 23, 2016, 8:30am-3:00pm. SUNY New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz, NY 12561
Join Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) 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, market access, and infrastructure needs for your operation. The workshop begins at SUNY New Paltz with a brief introduction to land assessment skills.  We will then spend the rest of the day visiting farmland and local farms in the region that produce a variety of commodities including hops, livestock, fruits and vegetables to learn about infrastructure and land resource needs for different production systems. Register here by April 18, 2016.
National Workshop for Dairy Economists and Policy Analysts Dairy Grazing Livestock Cow
May 2 (12:00pm - 5:30pm) and May 3 (8:00am - 5:00pm), 2016. Buffalo, NY.
This is the 23nd Annual National Workshop for Dairy Economists and Policy Analysts, entitled Supply, Demand and Pathways to Progress-Regional and Global Perspectives for the Dairy Industry. Sessions will include demand opportunities and challenges; aligning regional supply and global demand in dairy markets; and global perspectives on milk production, dairy demand, prices and risk, among others. If you would like to join us on a bus tour the day after the meeting, Wednesday, May 4th, we will be visiting two farms and two dairy processing/marketing businesses. A boxed lunch will be available. Join us in the hotel lobby at 8:30am on May 3rd and the bus will return to the hotel about 4:30pm. An additional fee of $50 will be charged for this entertaining and informational outing. The registration fee for the entire workshop is $380 and is due by April 29, 2016.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Regional Farmers' Market Manager - CCE Broome County
Cornell Cooperative Extension-Broome County seeks a manager for the Broome County Regional Farmers' Market, highlighting and working with local NY farms and products. The primary role will be overall market coordination and education and outreach to ag producers, new food entrepreneurs, new/beginning famers, and the general public. Master's degree, business management, agricultural background and market experience are required. Excellent benefits. Online applications only. For the full job description and to apply, visit http://tinyurl.com/j5path4.
Groundswell Program Coordinator - Ithaca, NY
Groundswell is an agriculture education organization based in Ithaca, NY, which focuses on the cultivation of diverse new farmers through experiential, farm-based training and business incubation programs. The Program Coordinator will work closely to assist the Groundswell's Director, Marketing Manager and course coordinators to facilitate primarily the CRAFT program and Homesteading Network tours; however, will also assist with other public programs, courses and events. This is a part-time 20-hour/week, based in Ithaca, NY. The position is grant-funded through December 2016 with the possibility to renew based on performance and funding. Send resume and cover letter to info@groundswellcenter.org or drop-off hard copies to the Groundswell office by April 20, 2016.
CCE AgBusiness Management Specialist & Vegetable Crops Specialist - ENY
The Cornell Cooperative Extension is seeking both an Agricultural Business Management Specialist and a Vegetables Crops Specialist. The Agricultural Business Management Specialist will provide commercial fruit and vegetable growers and industry representatives with the knowledge and educational resources in business management and economics of production and marketing resources necessary to assess production and management practices that will enhance their profitability and sustain the growth of the fruit and vegetable industries in Eastern New York. The Vegetable Crops Specialist will provide leadership for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs that address producer identified needs and opportunities, with an emphasis on the area of commercial fresh market vegetable production and adoption of principles and practices leading to economical and environmentally sound use of crop inputs to maximize quality, profitability, and sustainability. To apply for either position, send a letter of application and résumé to cce-academic-appts@cornell.edu with the exact position title in the subject line by April 17, 2016.
Fox Creek Farm: Part-Time Field Worker - Capital District
Fox Creek Farm is one of the bigger CSA operations in the Capital District. We have an opening for a part-time field worker. Tasks will be the planting, thinning, cultivating, harvesting, and packing of produce. Commercial vegetable production experience and references required. This is a seasonal job from the end of May to the third week of August, for 25 hours per week. During our harvest season, workdays will be Sunday, Monday (1/2), Wednesday, Thursday (1/2). Pay rate is $ 11.76/hour. We may be able to provide housing near the farm if needed. To apply, please submit a cover letter, resume and three references to foxcreekfarmcsa@earthlink.net.
Root Down Farm Apprentice - Buffalo, NY
Root Down Farm is a 300+ member mixed vegetable CSA serving Greater Buffalo. We grow around 200 varieties of vegetables, melons, herbs and cut flowers in rotation on 25 acres. Apprentices will be able to learn about greenhouse maintenance, transplanting, cultivating, harvesting, produce storage, and running a share on a weekly basis as well as the nuances involved in operating a small business. Apprentices will also learn about tractors, tractor maintenance and be assigned a tractor for the duration of the year. To apply, send us your resume: csa@therootdownfarm.com.
Funding Opportunities
USDA Funding to Support Agricultural Education
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced awards totaling more than $4.5 million to support college and university faculty who develop innovative projects that advance agriculture and science education. An additional $4.5 million will also be available for new projects that will prepare the future agri-science workforce. These awards are made through the 
Higher Education Challenge (HEC) grants program, administered by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Projects and research that receive HEC funding address a state, regional, national, or international educational need; involve a creative or non-traditional approach that may serve as a model; encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the university science and education community and the private sector; and result in benefits that last beyond the project duration and USDA support. Apply here by April 22, 2016.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program
NRCS has announced that up to $260 million is available through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) for partner proposals to improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability. The program leverages local leadership to establish partnerships that can include private companies, local and tribal governments, universities, non-profits and other non-government partners to work with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners on landscape- and watershed-scale conservation solutions that work best for their region. This will be the third round of funding through RCPP. Pre-proposals are due May 10, 2016.
NESARE Graduate Student Grants
This grant, provided by Northeast SARE, is for graduate students who are researching topics in sustainable agriculture that will serve the interests of farmers and agricultural service providers--extension staff, NRCD personnel, and others in the agricultural community. Projects should explore the sustainable the themes of good stewardship, profitability, and quality of life for farmers and the farm community. Grants are capped at $15,000 and projects can run up to two years. More information can be found here; applications are due by May 10, 2016.
USDA Local Food Systems Grant
Administered by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program provides a combined total of over $26 million in competitive grants, divided equally between the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP).  FMPP grants support direct producer-to-consumer marketing projects such as farmers markets, community-supported agriculture programs, roadside stands, and agritourism.  LFPP funding supports projects that develop, improve, and expand local and regional food business intermediary supply chain activities, including processing, distribution, aggregation, and storage of locally- or regionally-produced food products. More information can be found here, and application materials are due by May 12, 2016.
Latest Resources
Change Food Video Library
Change Food is pleased to announce the official launch of The Change Food Video Library. The Library consists of a growing database of the best short-length videos on various topics in food and farming, including talks from Change Food, The Real Food Media Project, TED, TEDxManhattan and other TEDx events.  Videos from other organizations are currently being evaluated.  Topics include antibiotics, food waste, food justice, local food, food policy, farmers and much, much more. Select videos are supplemented with online educational information such as links to other sites, discussion materials, actions and campaigns, and reading suggestions. The Library has also developed an online event guide to help anyone around the world organize and host their own video event, whether it be a lunch time video club or an all day extravaganza.
ATTRA Online Managed Grazing Tutorial
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. This tutorial features sessions taught by NCAT specialists who are also livestock producers. They share years of experience managing their own pastures to inspire you to start wherever you are and build or refine your own managed grazing systems. Detailed presentations and real-world examples will get you on the road to managed grazing.
USDA Toolkit to Assess Economic Impact of Local Foods
This new USDA toolkit will help communities and businesses evaluate the economic benefits of investing in local food systems. It was developed by the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) to help communities reliably evaluate the economic impact of investing in local and regional food systems. The Local Food System Toolkit provides detailed guidance in seven modules to measure and assess the expected economic impacts of local food investments. The toolkit can be downloaded as a PDF here.
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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