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October 3rd, 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
Effective Marketing and More...
Need help with soil health?  Grazing? Mushroom cultivation? The Cornell Small Farms Program offers over twenty online courses to help farmers improve their technical and business skills. Course content can be accessed anywhere with a high-speed internet connection. Classes starting the Week of November 7 include: Berry Production, Effective Marketing for the Busy Farmer, Improved Grazing Management, Soil Health, and Woodland Mushroom Cultivation. Access the classes and course schedule online here.

Upcoming Baskets to Pallets Trainings
The Baskets to Pallets Project is pleased to announce a preliminary calendar of 2016-17  training opportunities.  The project seeks to prepare small and mid-scale farmers - who have been primarily direct marketing - to successfully enter new wholesale markets such as groceries, food hubs, restaurants and cooperatives.  Farmers that complete a wholesale readiness training this Fall or Winter will be invited to attend one of two regional Farmer-Buyer Mixers in March 2017 to to start building new sales relationships.  Visit the calendar here.
Online Course Scholarships for Veterans in NYS
The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to offer partial scholarships for military veterans to take our online courses as part of the Farm Ops initiative. The courses, normally $250, will be offered to veterans for $125. In order to be eligible a person must be active or retired military, a resident of New York State, and have plans to begin selling farm products (filing a Schedule F) in 2016 or 2017. View the course offerings and schedules here. If you are eligible and would like to apply for a scholarship, complete a short form hereRegistration is limited and will be offered first come, first served. Participants will be asked to complete a targeted survey at the end of the course as well as 6 months from completion, to determine the effect on their operation.
Serving Beginning Farmers?  Attend the BFLN Annual Meeting
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. Hotel accommodations at the Hartford Hilton are separate. If you'd like to reserve a room, NESAWG has negotiated a special rate on a block of rooms, including Wed. evening Nov. 9. To get this special rate, click here.

Two-Day Tractor Training Intensive with Shane LaBrake in the Hudson Valley
The Cornell Small Farms Program will be hosting a two-day workshop for farmers in New York State with less than 10 years' experience on the basics of tractor operation, safety, and daily maintenance protocols. This intensive workshop will be led by Shane J. LaBrake, who provides an unusual and holistic approach to tractor operation, safety and routine maintenance. The class is designed to demystify tractors and equipment, empower and inspire, and inform smart "scale-appropriate" equipment choices and purchase decisions.
The workshop will be held on Sunday October 9th and Monday October 10th at Blue Star Farm in Stuyvesant, NY. Through funding from the USDA and the Local Economies Project, we are able to offer this training at the discounted rate of $75, which also includes coffee, snacks, and lunch both days. Scholarships are available for military veterans and on a need basis. To register, click hereFor questions contact Matt Weiss at 607-255-9911 or mw84@cornell.edu
Farmer-Driven Research Program Posts Precision Apple Project Results
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the results of recent precision apple orchard management research evaluating the impact of applying precise orchard management practices to improve the yield, fruit size and quality of the regional apple crop for a more consistent higher economic return per acre. Three specific strategies are under evaluation by a research team of NNY apple growers, Cornell University faculty, and Cornell Cooperative Extension personnel. The orchard management practices, designed to enhance the efficiency of apple production, include precision orchard thinning, irrigation, and harvest timing. The complete results of the project are posted on the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program website. The report also includes data from orchards in Ontario, Orleans, Ulster and Wayne counties.

Aspiring Farmers Academy
October 7, 5:30-9pm, October 8, 8:30am-3:30pm. 100 Eaton Street, Morrisville, NY
This two day seminar, the Aspiring Farmers Academy, will serve as an introduction to farming for those considering starting an agricultural enterprise of their own. Join us for this weekend workshop as we navigate through the first steps and decisions necessary to get your dream farm off the ground. This academy is designed specifically for those who are interested or have just recently started a farm enterprise, but are looking for more information on the tools and guidance available. We will discuss the steps necessary for having a strong basis for your business including the direction in which you wish to go and the playbook to get you there. Cornell Cooperative Extension educators will cover topics important to the future of your business including business planning, marketing, financial planning and the local resources available to you. A $50.00 registration fee will be charged for this comprehensive weekend workshop, which includes all materials and meals. Click here for more information and to register online.
New York Nut Growers Association's Fall Meeting

October 15, 8:30am-3pm. The Otto & Grace Farnham Homestead, 148 Farnham Rd., Conklin, NY
Come to the New York Nut Growers Association's fall meeting at the Otto & Grace Farnham Homestead. We will have talks from experts on butternuts, English walnuts, and hazelnuts.  There will be hands-on learning of nut processing; bring heavy gloves and work clothes. See the full program at www.nynga.org. The registration fee of $10 includes a morning snack, lunch, a walnut dessert, and materials. Send a check for $10 payable to "NYNGA" to John Wertis, NYNGA President, 8144 Searsburg Rd., Trumansburg, NY  14886. Call John for more information or to answer questions: 607-387 4331, or email bwwfarmtoday@aol.com.

Grow and Sell Your Own Ferments
October 23, 7-9pm. Schuyler County Human Services Complex, 323 Owego Street, 
Unit #5, Montour Falls, New York 14865
Commercial lacto-fermentation can add year-round income for farmers and local food processors here in the Northeast! For the past 6 years, Crooked Carrot has "boot-strapped" its local food processing business and flagship product line of ferments to statewide distribution from Buffalo to Brooklyn, sourcing 100% of its fresh ingredients from over 20 local farms (Certified OG, CNG, or NOFA-NY Farmers' Pledge). Founder Silas Conroy and production manager Anna McCown of the Crooked Carrot will present on all aspects of commercial fermentation from start to finish: sourcing, basic techniques and equipment, product design, marketing, and financial management of a fermentation business--taking a deep look at "the numbers" from Crooked Carrot's record-keeping. The fee to attend is $30/person. For additional details please click here.

Hoof Health Workshop
October 25, 10am-3pm. Miner Institute, 
586 Ridge Rd, Chazy, NY 12921
As part of the Northern NY Dairy Institute, the Northern NY Regional Ag Team is hosting hoof health workshops in three counties across the North Country this fall. Lameness is a potentially large and costly issue on dairies, and can spike in the fall coming off the heat of the summer. However, on-farm lameness rates are usually underestimated, especially when farm staff has not been specifically trained on how to identify both mild and severe lameness. Additionally, understanding the latest recommendations in footbath design and how to implement them on farm is critical for producers to control lameness caused by infectious diseases. Every producer will be able to apply the information to their home dairy, regardless of size or barn type. For more information, dates, and locations, click hereRegistration is $30 before Oct 14, 2016, or $40 at the door, and the price includes lunch and classroom handouts. Registration can be done online, or by contacting Tatum Langworthy (315-788-8450, tlm92@cornell.edu).
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.

Career, Etc. Opportunities
Program/Market Manager, Ostego 2000 - Due October 5th

Otsego 2000, an environmental and preservation advocacy non-profit, seeks qualified candidates for the position of program/market manager, effective November 15, 2016.

The program/market manager will be responsible for overall management of the year-round Cooperstown Farmers' Market as well as working closely with the executive director on Otsego 2000's ongoing programs, including planning and logistics, communications and outreach, and fundraising. The successful candidate will have strong organizational and communications/writing skills, a keen interest in local, sustainable agriculture and economic development, and the ability to work creatively in a team and individually, with people from all backgrounds. Otsego 2000 offers competitive salary commensurate with experience, vacation and benefits. Interested candidates should send a cover letter and résumé to info@otsego2000.org no later than 5 pm on October 5th.

USDA Farm Service Agency Outreach Coordinator, Urban Areas, NYC. Due Oct. 14th
This position is located in the Farm Service Agency (FSA) Regional Field Office in the New York State Office in Brooklyn, Kings County, New York. The purpose of the position is to promote and facilitate access to FSA programs and loans to new and beginning farmers, urban farmers, and underserved participants of farmers markets which involves planning, developing, and implementing the outreach and public affairs programs for urban farmers, beginning farmers, and farmers who attend farmers markets in the boroughs of New York along with the counties of Westchester, Rockland, Nassau, and Suffolk.   Apply here:  https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/452036400 The position announcement closes at midnight Friday, October 14, 2016.
Beef Quality Assurance Trainings
Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) is a voluntary program focused on training cattle producers in feeding, management and breeding practices that assures the consumer that they are producing safe, wholesome beef of the highest quality. It is based on national guidelines and scientific research with the purpose of enhancing carcass quality and safety, thereby protecting the consumer confidence in our beef supply.
Trainings are held from 6-9 pm and a light supper will be served. There is no charge for the trainings but there is a $10 charge for the BQA manual (one per farm or family). A complete list of trainings can be found on the BQA page in the Cattlemen's Corner on the www.nybeef.org website or contact the NY Beef Council at 315.339.6922 or email cgillis@nybeef.org.
Come Farm With Us Bus Tour
Join the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) for a one-day bus tour on October 23 featuring stops at 6 properties which are available for sale or lease. The tour will run from 10am-6pm, and will take you through beautiful and productive farming communities in northern Rensselaer and Washington counties in the upper-Hudson River valley. If you are looking for land to start or grow your farming business this is a great opportunity to view several properties in one day as well as learning more about our area. Full details on the properties including aerial and soil maps, description of infrastructure, sale price and owner contact information will be supplied to registrants during the tour. For more information and to register, visit the event webpage.

Funding Opportunities
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.
New York Farm Viability Institute (NYFVI) is accepting proposals for grants up to $150,000, for projects that help New York farms become more economically viable. Eligible grant applicants include farmer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies and businesses. Applicants may represent nonprofit or for-profit sectors. Projects must work with New York State resident farmers and outcomes must benefit agriculture in New York State. Priorities are projects that improve operational practices, foster industry-wide innovation, incubate new ideas, increase routes to market and improve marketing practices, and develop human capital. Applications are due by November 10, 2016. Visit the NYFVI's website to access the RFP and to open your online application.
Specialty Crop Research Initiative
The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced up to $48.1 million in available funding to support systems-based research and extension activities to accelerate science-based solutions and new technology for the specialty crop industry. Eligible crops are defined in the  Specialty Crops Competitiveness Act. SCRI invests in research into long-term solutions that address challenges in the overlapping systems of production, distribution and processing, and consumer demand and markets. This research initiative encourages collaboration, open communication, the exchange of information, and the development of resources that accelerate application of scientific discovery and technology. SCRI gives priority to projects that are multi-state, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary, for example bringing biological and physical scientists together with economists and social scientists to address challenges in a holistic manner. SCRI pre-applications are due by 5:00 pm Eastern Time on November 15, 2016. For more information about the initiative or to apply, visit the Specialty Crop Research Initiative webpage on NIFA's website.

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 webpage. The online submission system will open by October 15, 2016, and the deadline for 2017 Farmer Grants is November 29, 2016 11:59 PM EST.
Latest Resources
Malting Barley
The Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences operates a webpage dedicated to resources relating to malting barley. Several aspects of malting barley need to be understood to manage the crop's potential to produce and meet market quality specifications for craft markets in our climate and context. To learn about seed availability, ten keys to successful malting barley production in New York, grain drying and storage, and more, visit the Malting Barley page of the Small Grains section of the Field Crops website.

Hay Production Resources for New York and Similar Climates
Hay Production Resources for New York and Similar Climates is a collection of over 165 publications organized into 14 sections. Most of the information is from University sources, and includes topics from forage quality to hay for bioenergy. This information will help beginning and experienced farmers alike. If you have questions contact Aaron Gabriel, adg12@cornell.edu, Cornell Cooperative Extension. Access the Hay Manual here.
Livestock Forage Disaster Program Fact Sheet
The Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill) authorized the Livestock Forage Disaster Program to provide compensation to eligible livestock producers who have suffered grazing losses for covered livestock on pasture land. Eligible counties include Cayuga, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wyoming, Yates, along with contiguous counties: Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Cortland, Onondaga, Orleans, Oswego, Wayne.
A fact sheet on the program can be found 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. 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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