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April 18th, 2016
Greetings!

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 
Spring 2016 Small Farm Quarterly
Are you looking for ways to farm profitably without getting bigger? Do you like to read about families who are living a good life on a small farm? Are you looking for new ideas, tips and resources to help you reach your farm and family goals? If so, you'll enjoy Small Farm Quarterly. It's for full-time and part-time farmers, experienced and beginning farmers, and even folks who are just thinking about getting into farming. Check out the Spring 2016 edition of the Small Farm Quarterly here, which includes articles about forest succession and management, the safe and efficient use of tractor three point hitches, and more!
Announcements
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.
Veteran Events Calendar
A new handy calendar of veteran events is available on the Farmer Veterans project webpageYou can view the calendar by month or see highlighted upcoming events in the sidebar. Hover over the event to get more information or click on it to link to the event website (where applicable). If you have any questions about particular events, please contact the host organization directly. If you are hosting an agricultural event for veterans and would like to have it added to the calendar, please contact Matt at mw84@cornell.eduInclude the title of the event, a brief description, date, time, location and a link for more information.
New GroupGAP Program for the Produce Industry
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has announced the official launch of GroupGAP, a new certification program that helps small and mid-sized growers and cooperatives meet retailers' on-farm food safety requirements. AMS is now accepting applications for enrollment in GroupGAP, which certifies that grower groups are following industry-recognized food safety practices. By leveraging economies of scale and increasing efficiencies, GroupGAP improves market access for small and midsized farmers and benefits the entire produce industry. Learn more by reading the News Release, or by visiting the GroupGap website.
Events
Emerald Ash Borer/Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Workshop
April 20, 9:30am-12:30pm. Branchport Fire Department at 3686 Route 54A, Branchport, NY 14418
What's Eating Your Trees? Join Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County for an Emerald Ash Borer/Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Workshop. The invasive forest pests emerald ash borer (EAB) and hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) have been spreading throughout the Finger Lakes region and are known to be present in Yates and surrounding counties. Both pests attack and kill their respective host trees (ash and hemlock). Options for controlling these pests are available but infestations must be identified before they can be managed. This three-hour workshop will include a discussion with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation staff and other experts, then cross the road to observe EAB at the DEC kayak launch. The group will then travel via personal vehicles to beautiful Keuka Lake State Park (located 2.5 miles from the Branchport Fire Department) for a short hike to learn how to identify HWA. Please contact Emily Staychock with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County to register for this free event: ecs268@cornell.edu315-536-5123 x4127.
April 21, 2016, 1:30pm. 3266 State Route 352, Big Flats, NY 14814 (off I86, exit 48)
Join the Natural Resources Conservation Service for an informal tour as they look at their 2015 fall seeded cover crop plots. They will open the afternoon with a brief introduction of their cover crop and soil health studies at the Big Flats Plant Materials Center and leave the rest of the afternoon for open discussions and a self-guided tour of their plots. Maps of each seeding date will be provided. Also on display for viewing will be the seeds of many of these species. Curious about root nodule formation in legumes? They will dig up some roots and observe below-ground plant characteristics. If you have any questions or are in need of special accomodations, please call 607-562-8404 or email shawnna.clark@ny.usda.gov or paul.salon@ny.usda.gov. For more details visit the event page.
Managing Soils for Better Crops: Soil Science 201 for Farmers
April 27, 5-8pm. Cornell Soil Science Lab, Ithaca, NY
Explore practical soil management techniques through lectures, farm visits and guided discussions with fellow farmers on measuring soil health, cover cropping, composting, soil amendments and more. Assess the soil health on your own land, or another farmer's field if you don't own land yet. This first of four evening sessions is Soil Science 201 for Farmers. What makes healthy soil? Participants will learn basic soil health characteristics and conduct physical property tests on various soil samples. We will review basic soil types and the issues you have with your current or future soils. Presentation by Bob Schindelbeck (Soil Health Lab). Field tour TBD. To see the full course schedule or to register, visit Groundswell's Programs Listing page.
Heroic Food Two-in-One Weekend Workshops
April 30, 2016, 8am-5pm, and May 1, 2016, 9am-3pm. Heroic Food Farm, 28 Fish and Game Rd. Hudson, NY 12534
Two workshops at Heroic Food Farms in one weekend, taught by Airforce and Navy Reserve Veteran, small farmer, and licensed welding instructor Tom Bryant:
  • Seeding and Irrigation in the Greenhouse - April 30, 2016: Learn to build a low-cost DIY mobile irrigation system adaptable for field crops, orchard or greenhouse.
  • Learn to Weld (Part 2) - May 1, 2016: Electric arc welding for beginners and intermediates. Welding skills allow you to repair and customize tools and equipment for your farm and for your neighbors and community.
Open to all veterans, veteran spouses and farm partners. Register for one day or for the whole weekend. For more information and to register: http://heroicfood.org/programs/workshops_events/.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Agricultural Business Management Specialist - Cornell Cooperative Extension
The Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture is one of the premier regional agricultural Cornell Cooperative Extension programs in New York, serving a large multi-county area in the Champlain Valley, Capital Region and Hudson Valley of the state. The Specialists work together with Cornell faculty and extension educators statewide to address the issues that impact the vegetable, tree fruit, small fruit and grape industries. 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. Click here for the full job description.
groundswell
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, starting May 15th. The position is grant-funded through December 2016 with the possibility to renew based on performance and funding. To apply, send a resume and cover letter to info@groundswellcenter.org or drop-off hard copies to the Groundswell office by April 20, 2016. Learn more about the position at http://groundswellcenter.org/employment/.
Cropping Operation Director - Western NY
Established and strong multigenerational family farm in western NY is looking for an innovative leader to direct a 5,000+ acre cropping operation, a majority of which is organic. Key determinants of success would be (1) Good credibility-based rapport with the staff in the fields; (2) Ability to "take a seat at the table" with the partners and provide strategic guidance that will help in the running of the farm; (3) Good relationship-building skills, and ability to "teach" end customers about the quality and value of their products. Please direct inquiries to 955137@gmail.com
NOFA-NY Certified Organic Certification Coordinator Assistant - 
Binghamton, NY

Be a part of a fast growing non-profit company, USDA-accredited organic certification agency, whose primary purpose is to provide high integrity organic certification to over 800 organic farmers and processors throughout New York State and surrounding areas. Primary responsibilities include providing administrative support to the Certification Coordinators to ensure the timely intake and flow of certification applications through the entire certification process. We require excellent communication skills, verbal and written; strong computer skills; and the ability to do detail-oriented work in a fast paced environment. Training will be provided. This is a full-time (40 hours/week) position with benefits. For information regarding our organization, please visit www.nofany.org. Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to lori@nofany.org.
Vegetable Crops Specialist - Cornell Cooperative Extension
The Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture is one of the premier regional agricultural Cornell Cooperative Extension programs in New York, serving a large multi-county area in the Champlain Valley, Capital Region and Hudson Valley of the state. The Specialists work together with Cornell faculty and extension educators statewide to address the issues that impact the vegetable, tree fruit, small fruit and grape industries. The Vegetable Crops Specialist will provide commercial vegetable growers and industry representatives with the knowledge and educational resources necessary to assess production and management practices that will enhance their profitability and sustain the growth of the vegetable industry in Eastern New York. Click here for the full job description.
NOFA-NY Certified Organic Certification Specialist - 
Binghamton, NY

Be a part of a fast growing non-profit company, USDA-accredited organic certification agency, whose primary purpose is to provide high integrity organic certification to over 800 organic farmers and processors throughout New York State and surrounding areas.
Primary responsibilities include evaluating organic plan information and inputs to determine compliance with the National Organic Standards, and communication with clients about certification requirements. We require excellent communication skills, verbal and written; strong computer skills; and the ability to do detail-oriented work in a fast paced environment. This is a full-time (40 hours/week) position with benefits. This position will take approximately one year to master - serious applicants only. For information regarding our organization, please visit www.nofany.org. Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to lori@nofany.org.
Funding Opportunities
The National Farmworker Jobs Program Employment and Training Grants and Housing Assistance Grants
The purpose of this U.S. Department of Labor program is to provide career services, training services, housing assistance services, youth services, and other related assistance services. The primary intent of the program is to assist eligible Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers and their dependents, to obtain and retain jobs that provide stable, year-round employment, both within and outside agriculture. There are approximately $75,885,000 total program funds in Employment and Training Grants, and $100,000 to $1,000,000 in Housing Assistance Grants. The deadline to apply is May 3, 2016. For more information, view the RFP here.
Aquaculture Research Program
USDA has announced more than $1.2 million in available funding to support the development of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture in the United States. The purpose of the Aquaculture Research Program is to support the development of an environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture industry in the U.S. and generate new science-based information and innovation to address industry constraints. The Aquaculture Research program will fund projects that directly address major constraints to the U.S. aquaculture industry and focus on one or more of the following program priorities: (1) Genetics of commercial aquaculture species. (2) Critical disease issues impacting aquaculture species. (3) Design of environmentally and economically sustainable aquaculture production systems. (4) Economic research for increasing aquaculture profitability. Applications are due May 17. Please see the RFA for more information.
Conservation Innovation Grants
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), is announcing availability of Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative approaches and technologies for conservation on agricultural lands. Proposals will be accepted from any of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), or the Pacific Islands Area (Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands). NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2016 will be up to $20 million. Proposals are requested from eligible governmental or nongovernmental organizations or individuals for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between 1 and 3 years in duration. Proposals must be received by NRCS before 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) on May 10, 2016. For more information, download the Request for Proposals here.
Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), requests applications for the fiscal year (FY) 2016 Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP) to competitively award matching grants to eligible applicants for projects that explore new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products, and encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the U.S. marketing system. Approximately $1 million is available to fund applications under this solicitation. FSMIP funding will be available for use beginning September 30, 2016. A $1 for $1 match consisting of cash and/or in-kind non-Federal resources is required. Applications must be validated by Grants.gov on or before 11:59 pm Eastern Time on May 12, 2016. For more information view the the Request for Applications here.
Latest Resources
On-Farm Skills Development Guide
This On-Farm Skills Development Guide is a tool for farmers and mentors to use with employees, beginning farmers or anyone they are teaching to develop a hands-on farm-based learning plan. Beginning farmers also can use it as a self-assessment tool to determine current strengths and weaknesses, and to identify critical learning needs. Click here to view an online version of the guide or here to download an Excel version of the guide. 
Hay Manual
"Hay Production Resources for New York and Similar Climates" is a collection of over 165 publications organized into 14 sections. Most information is from University sources. This information will help beginning and experienced farmers alike. If you have questions contact Aaron Gabriel, adg12@cornell.edu, Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Preparing for an Organic Inspection: Steps and Checklists
This publication provides checklists of the documentation needed for organic certification. These will help organic producers or handlers organize their paperwork for an organic inspection. It includes steps for preparing for the organic inspection and checklists of audit-trail documents and required records for certification of organic crop andlivestock production and organic handling facilities. Click here for an online version of the full guide.
Cabbige
Make this the best growing season yet! Cabbige is an online tool that provides vegetable and fruit growers with pricing, digital record-keeping, and revenue reporting to help them make the most profitable, data-driven decisions for their business. Your first 30 days of Cabbige are FREE, and you'll get an additional 3 months FREE with the coupon code CSFP2016. Have questions? Want to learn more? E-mail hello@cabbige.com or tweet @thecabbige.
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.
About
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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