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December 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
Developing the Shiitake Mushroom Market
The Cornell Small Farms Program announces a new two-year project funded through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant to support the development of a new niche crop in New York state: log-grown shiitake mushrooms. The project will develop new online training modules, planning tools and offer farmers one-on-one support. For more information, view the press releaseInterested farmers and service providers should sign up for updates here.

Start Selling to New Markets: Course Offered January 23rd, 31st
Are you looking to diversify sales and sell to bigger markets? Doing successful business with wholesale buyers requires planning and preparation.  Ensure your success by joining us for 'Baskets to Pallets', a comprehensive two day introduction to selling wholesale.  The course will take place on 1/24th and 1/31st from 10:00am - 4:00pm at Templeton Hall in historic Cooperstown, NY.  The 'Baskets to Pallets' course is designed for farmers of all enterprises.  Learn more

New Video: "Determining the Market Readiness of Beef Cattle
Knowing when an animal is ready for 'finish' or 'slaughter' is extremely important for getting a premium price and satisfying the unique needs of your customers. The Cornell Small Farms Program and the Baskets to Pallets project are pleased to announce a new educational video for livestock producers titled "Determining the Market Readiness of Beef Cattle". Mike Baker, Cornell Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, takes the viewer on a  visual tour of features to assess of both finished and unfinished steers and heifers, including beef breeds and dairy crosses. The video will be an excellent resource for livestock farmers and educators alike.  Special thanks to Mike Baker and Lynn Bliven of Allegany County Cornell Cooperative Extension for collaborating.

Upcoming Online Farming Courses Starting January 16
Learn about Climate Smart Farming, Maple Syrup Production, Holistic Financial Planning, Vegetable Production, and more during our upcoming farming courses starting January 16The Cornell Small Farms Program offers over twenty courses to help farmers improve their technical and business skills. Students connect with other farmers, work on farm plans, and gain practical tips without leaving their home. Course content can be accessed anywhere with a high-speed internet connection. Most courses are six weeks long. Each week features an evening webinar and follow-up readings, videos, and activities. Students and their instructors connect through online forums and live chat. If you aren't able to attend the webinars in real-time, they are always recorded for later viewing. Each course is $250, which entitles two people from a farm to attend. Discounts for early sign up and multiple course sign ups are available. Each course is $250, which entitles two people from a farm to attend. Discounts for early sign up and multiple course sign ups are available. For more information, and to view classes starting the week of January 16, visit www.nebeginningfarmers.org.

Important Vegetable Disease Alert: "Late Blight of Spinach"

Downy mildew has been found recently in spinach at several farms in the northeastern U.S.  This devastating disease has not been confirmed in the region for several years, thankfully as it has been a major production constraint in California. Pathogens causing downy mildew are Oomycetes and thus are related to the late blight pathogen. They are similar in ability to produce an abundance of wind-dispersed spores capable of moving long distances and to not need leaves to be wet to infect (high humidity is sufficient), plus ability to devastate crops. All growers with spinach should inspect their plants for symptoms promptly NOW and also in spring plantings to catch if there is carry over or new outbreaks. If downy mildew is suspected, please contact your local extension specialist and send an e-mail to mtm3@cornell.edu. It will be CRITICAL that all high tunnel and overwintering spinach crops with downy mildew be destroyed couple weeks before the start of the spring spinach production season in the region to avoid carry over into 2017.
2-Day Farm Food Safety Workshop
December 6 and 7Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, 840 Upper Front St. #2, Binghamton, NY
Join Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, the Cornell Vegetable Team, Cornell National GAPs Program and New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets, as we hear from Cornell University's Gretchen Wall of the National Good Agricultural Practices Program and the Produce Safety Alliance for a 2-day intensive workshop that will help you understand food safety risks and implement food safety practices on the farm. The training covers the basic USDA GAPs and Harmonized GAPs programs, and will help farms implement solid food safety practices that mitigate risks and open new markets with institutions such as school districts, large retailers, and any other buyers that require GAPs Certification. Learn more and register here.

Managing Your Small Poultry Flock
December 7, 6:30-9pm. CCE, 480 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 
This workshop is open to all poultry producers, from the backyarder to commercial scale production. With increasing interest in self-sufficiency, sustainability, and eating local, we are seeing more small farm and backyard poultry producers here in the Finger Lakes Region as elsewhere within New York State. One area of concern is the increase incidence of disease and E. coli contamination in these small flocks. Many of these producers are interested in free-range or pastured poultry to meet a marketing niche or a life style. Some are in need of information on regulations on the sale of eggs or slaughtered birds. While those just getting started often have questions about feeding and housing requirements or which breed of bird would be best for their situation. To address these concerns and questions, a panel will present at the workshop. Dr. Jarra Jagne, Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine will discuss poultry diseases, how to prevent them, and steps to take should an outbreak occur in your flock. Nancy Glazier, Small Farm Specialist with the NWNY Team will provide insight on raising pastured poultry, different breeds of birds, and regulations regarding the sale of eggs and meat birds. Russell Welser, Agricultural Resource Educator will speak on raising poultry in the backyard with consideration to purchasing, housing, feeding, and more. Preregistration requested by Friday, December 2, 2016. Fee: $10.00 per person. Register by contacting 585-394-3977 x 427 or email nea8@cornell.edu with your name, address, and phone number.

Profitable Meat Marketing Workshop
December 15, 6-9pm. Frank W. Bratt Agricultural Center, 3542 Turner Road, Jamestown, NY

Join Ag. Marketing Specialist Matt LeRoux at a Profitable Meat Marketing Workshop to find out if you are covering all your meat marketing costs - including your TIME - and bringing in a profit. In the workshop, you will learn how to develop your farm's marketing strategy and how to set specific marketing objectives to make your job easier. In addition to marketing tips, you'll learn about Cornell Cooperative Extension's NEW Meat Price Calculator. The calculator uses your farm's data to develop pricing for meat sold by the hanging weight or by the cut. It accounts for processing and marketing costs, allows you to build in a profit, then lets you adjust the pricing of each cut until you reach your goal. Finally, you will learn more about navigating the MeatSuite, a free website to help your farm reach consumers seeking local meat in bulk. The cost to attend is $10, to cover handouts and refreshments. Contact  Zach Amey at zta3@cornell.edu or (585) 786-2251 to register for free by December 12.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.

Career, Etc. Opportunities
Glynwood Apprenticeships

Glynwood now offers six livestock and vegetable apprentices to live and work on their farm for a year. Through a combination of classroom and in-field instruction, farmers-in-training gain experience with the broad array of skills needed for success in managing a small-scale sustainable farm. Glynwood seeks three eight-month vegetable apprentices to assist in all aspects of production for our six acres of vegetables that are distributed mostly through CSA, and three ten-month livestock apprenticesApprenticeships include a private room in housing at the farm, weekly paid stipend and workers compensation insurance. Applicants must be able to lift 50 pounds and work in all weather, with some weekend work required. All apprentices will receive formal training in safe tractor operation with a variety of farm implements. To apply, please email jobs@glynwood.org your resume, cover letter, and three references, indicating in the subject line which type of apprenticeship.

Assistant Farm Manager - Codman Community Farm, Lincoln, MA
Codman Community Farms is seeking an Assistant Farm Manager to support all aspects of operating a community farm in Lincoln, MA. The farm focuses on pasture-raised livestock with a small fruit and vegetable component. This is a full-time, year-round position with housing and benefits. The ideal candidate will possess a commitment and passion for growing sustainable food, while engaging the public. This position is more than a job, it is a lifestyle. Living and working on the farm, in public view and positively engaging the community on a daily basis is an essential part of the position. A naturally outgoing attitude is needed along with a focus for the daily work required to operate a diverse livestock-centered farm operation. Start date is January 2017. To apply, submit a cover letter and a resume to Pete Lowy: pete@codmanfarm.org.

Small ruminant dairy/cheese maker farm manager in Long Valley, NJ
Valley Shepherd Creamery, located in Long Valley, NJ, is searching for a qualified farm manager. The farm manager reports directly to the farm owner and is responsible for all aspects of supporting farm enterprises. The farm manager is responsible for the entire operation including onsite employees. Hours can be irregular to accommodate agricultural needs. A qualified candidate will have experience raising and caring for livestock, at least 2 years of supervisory experience and/or experience managing, and experience using outdoor power equipment, among other skills necessary to run a dairy farm. To apply, submit a cover letter and a resume to Eran: ew@quil.com.

Southside Community Land Trust - Farm Plan Consultant
For 35 years SCLT has operated City Farm, a acre production farm in South Providence. In 2015 SCLT acquired an additional two parcels of land to be used, in part, for production growing. SCLT expects to run all three farms as both production and demonstration/teaching farms and seeks an experienced individual to help create a comprehensive plan to shape production, space planning, and product marketing at the new farms so that they best support our existing operations and programs. The Farm Plan Consultant (FPC) will work with the relevant SCLT staff to craft a vision for how the three farms are operated in such a way as to complement each other and support the mission and principles of SCLT. Ultimately, the FPC will present SCLT with a plan for how to best develop the farms into an integrated business model including: infrastructure needs, construction schedules and projected budgets, production plans, marketing plans and financial projections for the first three years of multisite operations, and staff capacity requirements for production at each site. The farm plan should be completed by March 31, 2017.  The full cost to SCLT should not exceed $4,800. Please provide a brief proposal by December 21, 2016. The proposal should outline a process and timeline for completing the activities and deliverables described above.  It should also include a not to exceed price for completion of all deliverables.  In addition to providing a proposal, please submit a resume or other statement of qualifications as well as professional references to Margaret DeVos, SCLT Executive Director, at jobs@southsideclt.org.
Farm Business Incubator
Glynwood's Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator (HVFBI) is an ideal stepping stone for farmers ready to build their own farm enterprises. The incubator offers access to low-cost land, equipment, infrastructure and housing. By working one-on-one with farmers on business and financial planning, technical skills and eventual land tenure transition, Glynwood's HVFBI is taking a longer view on supporting a new generation of farmers in the region, equipping its participants with the tools and guidance to get there. The program at the HVFBI is also open to farmers not in need of land but looking for training opportunities to develop their farm enterprise. Landed participants will take part in on-site workshops and will have access to any needed TA along with the other members of their incubator cohort. To apply, visit our website for more information. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis, with the program beginning in early May 2017.

Funding Opportunities
The Cornell Small Farms Program is offering partial scholarships for military veterans to take its 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 a veteran or active duty military, a resident of New York State, and have plans to begin selling farm products (filing a Schedule F) in 2016 or 2017. Registration is limited and will be offered first-come, first-served. Visit nebeginningfarmers.org for more information or to apply.

Farm to School Grant Program

The purpose of this U.S. Department of Agriculture program is to assist in implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods in schools. Applicants may apply for a planning grant, implementation grant, support service grant or training grant. Awards may be used for expenses such as: personnel, contractors, equipment and supplies, meeting expenses, travel, and trainings. Available funding is $15,000 to $100,000. To apply, visit the RFP. The deadline is December 8, 2016. 
OFRF offers funding for research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to organic farmers and the greater agricultural and research communities. Proposals must involve farmers or ranchers in project design and implementation and must take place on certified organic land, ideally on working organic farms or ranches. Applicants should articulate how the proposed research project will foster the improvement or adoption of organic farming systems, as well as ways in which organic farmers or ranchers can utilize proposed results in their operations. OFRF encourages grants that address the resiliency of organic systems to challenges like climate change and/or have economic and social considerations to complement on-farm research. Research projects must include strong education and outreach components and contain measurable outcomes, yet projects that are purely outreach will not be considered. Projects should include expected impacts due to the results or outcomes of the projects. View the RFP or apply here. Applications are due by 11:59 PM PST on December 10, 2016.

Latest Resources
Upcoming Webinar on Grants and Incentives for Northeast Farmers
Grants are often appealing to beginning and established farmers alike. It's tempting to go after "free money," but grants aren't always "free"- navigating the process can be challenging and many come with significant strings attached. Join Nathan Rudgers, Director of Business Development at Farm Credit East, on December 7 at 11am as he talks about grants; why they exist, opportunities that are out there, how to apply for them and some of the issues to consider. Registration is free and open to the public. Click here to register.

Young Farmers Conference Livestreamed Workshops
This year, portions of the Stone Barns Center 2016 Young Farmers Conference will be livestreamed. Click here to watch workshops online on December 7 and 8, or watch last year's livestreamed workshops.

Capping years of research, outreach, conversations, workshops and on-farm observing and learning, the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture has published Growing Elderberries: A Production Manual and Enterprise Viability Guide for Vermont and the Northeast. The guide offers detailed information on how to select, cultivate, harvest and process elderberries, as well as economic models to help growers determine the potential for profitability in their particular situation. Access the guide online for free here.

Resources for 2017 Conservation Steward Program Sign-Up 
Each year the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) provides free online resources and analysis so that farmers and ranchers can be as informed as possible prior to submitting their initial applications, recognizing that they will need to work closely with NRCS on the details of their contract in the months that follow. This year, the USDA released a complete "reinvention" of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), the nation's largest working lands conservation program. In order to support farmers as they consider applications to this year's redesigned version of CSP, the NSAC has released a  CSP 2017 Information Alert and an updated version of our Farmers' Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program. These resources provide the step-by-step sign-up and enrollment information producers need to easily access and benefit from CSP.

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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