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September 1st, 2016

The Small Farms update summarizes announcements, resources, opportunities and upcoming events relevant to small farms.  Please feel free to share this information in newsletters, email lists, etc. If you would like to submit an item for an upcoming issue, 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
Small Farms Program Highlights
New Video Explains Online Courses
Have you thought about taking an online course, but felt unsure of just what they are? This new video describes how the Cornell Small Farms Program's library of 21 online courses help farmers start their farms, develop new enterprises, and hone their business skills during 6-week courses. We have courses for all levels of business development! Watch the video and check out a full list of 2016-17 courses here
Serving Beginning Farmers?
The Cornell Small Farms Program invites ag service providers to attend the annual meeting of the Beginning Farmer Learning Network (BFLN) on Nov. 10 in Hartford, CT. This year's theme is "Raising the Bar on Beginning Farmer Trainingand is a pre-conference session at the Northeast Sustainable Ag Working Group's "It Takes a Region" conference. Early Bird Registration is open until Oct. 14

USDA Designates 15 Counties in New York as Primary Natural Disaster Areas with Assistance to Producers in Pennsylvania
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated 15 counties in New York as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by a recent drought. All counties listed here were designated natural disaster areas on Aug. 29, 2016, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. For more information and to see if you qualify for natural disaster assistance, click here

livestock pig
Agriculture Commissioner Urges Swine Owners to Adhere to Best Practices to Prevent Spread of Disease
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball has urged swine owners in New York to take proactive steps to prevent the spread of Swine Brucellosis (SB). A small number of pasture-raised swine herds in Washington, Schoharie, and Rensselaer Counties recently tested positive for SB. State and Federal officials are working closely with those producers to investigate the outbreak and prevent further spread of the disease. The commercial pork industry and other livestock are not known to be affected. Several swine herds that received animals from the positive herds have been blood-tested and found negative. The Division of Animal Industry is prepared to assist any New York producer who suspects his or her herd may have been exposed to SB. Swine herd owners who have received untested swine into their herds in 2015 or 2016, or who have observed symptoms of SB, or otherwise have reason to suspect that their herds may be infected, should contact the New York State Division of Animal Industry at 518-457-3502. Click here to read the full press release.
Alternative to Methyl Bromide for Tomatoes
Following the phase out of methyl bromide, scientists continue to explore effective, viable, and more sustainable options for vegetable crop production. Among nonchemical alternatives, anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) is considered to be one of the most promising methods. 
ASD has been determined to be effective with a range of crops and environments against several soilborne fungal and bacterial plant diseases, plant-parasitic nematodes, and weeds. Read the full study here or read the press release here.
Slow Money Vermont's 3rd Annual Slow Money New England Regional Gathering

September 9-10, 2016 

Shelburne Farms, 1611 Harbor Rd, Shelburne, VT 05482
Local food entrepreneurs, Main St. investors, and food systems leaders and supporters from across New England will convene at Shelburne Farms on September 9-10. Keynote Chris Bailey, CEO of Vermont Smoke & Cure, will talk about how they raised capital while maintaining brand integrity. Jolinda LaClair, Deputy Secretary-Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets will highlight success factors of the Vermont food system and Farm to Plate Network. The program will launch with keynotes at 11:00 a.m. on September 9 and close on September 10 at 3:00 p.m. A farm-to-table dinner, as well as two breakfasts and lunches featuring local products will be served; a cash bar will be available during receptions and dinner. Registration is required for the event. The Gathering has a pre-registration rate of $200. A limited number of walk-in registrations will be available for $250. Click here to register. For more information about the Gathering, visit Slow Money's website or email slowmoneyvt@gmail.com.

Pasture Walk for Livestock Producers

September 14, 2016, 5:30pm-7:30pm
4812 Barnard Road in Hemlock, NY

Managing pasture is important for any livestock producer, especially in extreme weather conditions. Join us for an educational pasture walk to learn pasture management and soil health strategies to help get the most out of your land. Dr. Michael Baker, Cornell University Beef Specialist, and Nancy Glazier, Small Farms and Livestock Specialist for the Northwest New York Dairy, Livestock & Field Crop Team, will lead participants in a tour of pasture in-use for beef production. The pasture walk will take place rain or shine. Please meet at the barns on the property with appropriate footwear; plastic boot covers will be provided for biosecurity. Light refreshments will be served. Cost is $15 per person or $25 per couple, please pay in cash or check at the event. Participants may register online here, or contact Nancy at 585.394.3977 x 427.

Adirondack Harvest Festival
Evening of September 16, all day September 17
Essex County Fairgrounds, 3 Sisco St, Westport, NY 12993
All are invited to experience a showcase of the region's hiking trails, breweries, wineries, cideries, creameries and farms that dot the Adirondack landscape at the inaugural Adirondack Harvest Festival at the Essex County Fairgrounds in Westport, N.Y. The Festival will feature two Champlain Area Trails (CATS) hosted hikes along with live music, sausage, cheese, wine making demonstrations, local food, cider and beer tastings and a county-wide farmers and producers market at the fairgrounds, in a day and a half of activities and local food to celebrate the harvest season. Visit www.adkharvestfest.com for more details and a complete schedule of events!

"Maple Production for Beginners" Workshop
September 20, 2016, 5:30pm-7:30pm
CCE-Broome, 840 Upper Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County will offer a "Beginner Maple Production" workshop presented by Stephen Childs, the New York State Maple Specialist at Cornell University. The workshop will cover a variety of aspects of maple syrup production including: why make maple syrup, tree identification, tree health, tapping, sap collection and handling, boiling, energy efficiency, finishing and grading syrup, canning, marketing and regulations. This workshop is aimed at the small or beginning maple producer and would be useful to the homeowner looking to tap a few trees in the backyard or someone wanting to start small-scale commercial maple production. The fee is $15.00 per family.  For more information, please call 607-584-9966. You may register online here.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.

Career, Etc. Opportunities
Head Cheese Maker - Cricket Creek Farm
We are looking for a head cheese maker at Cricket Creek Farm to work with the creamery manager and apprentices to make our several award winning cheeses. Cricket Creek Farm is a small grass-based dairy in Western Massachusetts. We make several award-winning cheeses from the milk of our herd of Brown Swiss and Jersey cows (currently milking about 25 cows). In addition to the cheese, we sell raw milk from our farm store. We also raise pigs and beef, and have an on-farm bakery. We make all our own hay for our cows that we feed out during the winter. The head cheese maker must have experience making a variety of hard and soft cheeses, and experience in sanitation and maintenance of a creamery. Work includes involvement in all aspects of running our farmstead creamery. Please see our website for further details and to apply.

Agriculture Program Leader - Kingston, NY

The Agriculture Program Leader position is available with Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster County in Kingston, NY. The Agriculture Program Leader is responsible for providing in-depth leadership for the planning, implementation, management and evaluation of the Agricultural Programs of Cornell Cooperative Extension Ulster County. The Ag Program Leader is responsible for providing expertise within agriculture, targeting local priorities and providing leadership for all aspects of program development. This position will lead the application of research to local issues and involvement in research projects responsive to local concerns. This position is responsible for supporting agriculture program funding with grants, researched, written, submitted and awarded. Click here for a full position description.

MOFGA Seeking Journeyperson and Farmer-In-Residence Applicants
The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) is accepting applications for their Journeyperson Program, with an application deadline of September 19. MOFGA's Journeyperson Program provides hands-on support, training, and mentorship for people who are serious about pursuing careers in organic farming in Maine. The program is designed to fill the continuing education gap between apprentice and independent farmer, and to provide the resources and opportunities for prospective new farmers who have completed an apprenticeship or have farmed for at least 2 years to further develop the skills they need to farm independently and successfully. MOFGA is also accepting applications for their Farmer-In-Residence Program, with the application period closing on September 21. More information about the programs and access to applications for the upcoming deadlines are available online here.

Executive Director position at Michael Fields Agricultural Institute

For over 30 years, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) in southeast Wisconsin has been a leading innovator in the movement for profitable, environmentally sound, and socially responsible agriculture. 
The Board of Directors of MFAI is seeking a dynamic Executive Director to shepherd this $1.2M nonprofit institute into the future. This position reports directly to the Board of Directors, and is responsible for the organization's consistent progress in meeting its mission driven goals and fiscal objectives. For the full job description, visit MFAI's website.
Funding Opportunities
Southern Tier Agricultural Industry Enhancement Program (STAIEP) Grants are available through all Southern Tier Soil and Water Conservation District Offices for financial assistance to implement part(s) of a farm business plan or environmental plan that will increase farm production, enhance profitability and/or increase environmental sustainability of the farm operation. Under this initiative, $25 million will help farmers increase agricultural production on farms and improve profitability. For general information about the program and to see if your county is eligible, check out the fact sheet. Applications must be received by 4:00 pm local time on September 19, 2016 in order to be considered for funding during Application Period 2. 

NESARE Farmer Grants
Farmer Grants are for commercial producers who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique. The goal of the Farmer Grant program is to develop, refine, and demonstrate new sustainable techniques and to explore innovative ideas developed by farmers across the region.Farmer Grant projects should seek new knowledge other farmers can use and address questions that are directly linked to improved profits, better stewardship, and stronger rural communities. For more information, visit the Farmer Grants webpageThe online submission system will open by October 15, 2016, and the deadline for 2017 Farmer Grants is November 29, 2016 11:59 PM EST.
NESARE Partnership Grants
The purpose of the Partnership Grant program is to support agricultural service providers who work directly with farmers to do on-farm demonstrations, research, marketing, and other projects that will add to our understanding of sustainable agriculture. The overriding goal of the Partnership program is to uncover knowledge that farmers can use, to encourage the understanding and widespread use of sustainable techniques, and to strengthen partnerships between farmers and service providers. The deadline for 2017 Partnership Grants is October 25, 2016 for awards in the spring. Visit the Partnership Grants webpage for more information.
Free Farm Energy Audits from NYSERDA
NYSERDA launched the Agriculture Energy Audit Program in March 2016. The Program offers farms and on-farm producers no-cost energy audits that provide recommendations for energy efficiency measures. Energy audits are important tools to help farmers make the best decisions for their operations and to help them become economically and environmentally sustainable. In addition to providing energy audits, the Program also provides assistance identifying and obtaining funding for implementation of the measures identified through the energy audit. NYSERDA's program implementer, EnSave, will offer guidance to determine the appropriate measures to install and programs available to assist with the implementation of those measures. Funding for audits is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 800-732-1399 or email aeep@nyserda.ny.gov for more information or to request an application. You can also apply online.  
Latest Resources
First Micro-Nutrient Database for NNY Soybean Growers
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has funded the first systemat ic assessment of the micro-nutrient status of soybeans in northern New York State.
To support optimal production of soybeans, an increasingly popular crop in northern New York, the two-year project has begun establishing a database of critical crop nutrients for the six-county region that includes Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Click here for more information or click here to read the 2015 Soybean Database Project Report.
By leveraging customer research performed by grocery stores and large scale food retailers, and building on 40 years of institutional knowledge internally, FARMroots has created a tool for measuring customer behavior at farmers markets and developed strategies to increase sales and customer satisfaction. Check out the guide here to understand what you can do to attract more shoppers to your stand, how you can actively market your products in and out of the farmers markets, and more!

Chautauqua Grown Initiative
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County's Agriculture Program is excited to announce the establishment of their new farm-to-table initiative, Chautauqua Grown. Chautauqua Grown is the source for all things related to local foods in Chautauqua County, including a directory of farms, restaurants, farmers markets, wineries, and much more. The directory and more information are available online hereFor more information about Chautauqua Grown, visit www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua, call 716-664-9502 ext. 202, or email kaw249@cornell.edu.

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. We envision a future where diverse and vibrant urban and rural farms build human capacity, revitalize communities, supply regional food systems, and foster ecological resilience in a changing world. 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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