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December 15th, 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
Come Meet the Small Farms Team at the 2017 NOFA NY conference!

Cornell Small Farms staff will be hosting a variety of workshops at the upcoming 2017 NOFA NY Conference in Saratoga Springs on January 20 - 22nd. Look for "Using Permanent Beds to Reduce Tillage" or "Disenchanted with Direct Marketing?  Start Selling Wholesale!" We're also offering a mushroom cultivation workshop and meet-up for farmers who have served in the military.  Browse the conference workshops and learn more 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 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

Newly Updated! Guide to Farming in New York 
You'll want to check out the newly renovated Guide to Farming in New York for 2017The Guide contains fact sheets on everything from finding land to financing an operation, regulations on marketing and processing, and tax benefits of farming. Much of the information in The Guide is applicable no matter where you live. The Guide can be accessed online or downloaded as a PDF here.
Webinar - The Food Safety Modernization Act: How to Comply
December 20, 11am-12pm. Online.

The Food Safety Modernization Act represents a significant overhaul of our nation's food safety laws. With thousands of pages of regulation, more than a dozen rulemakings, at least 10 guidance documents, and a number of reports, standards, and notices, the FSMA can seem pretty intimidating. But it doesn't have to be scary! Join Dr. Wesley Kline of Rutgers Extension, as he presents a practical discussion of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Dr. Kline will help navigate the complicated terrain of the FSMA regulations as they apply to growers of fresh produce, along with some tips on how to comply. For more information and to register, click here.
Winter Greens Production Three-Day Short Course at UVM
January 12-14, 8:30am-4:30pm. Bread and Butter Farm, 200 Leduc Farm Drive Shelburne, Vermont 05482
Did you know it is possible to maintain green, nutritious, delicious vegetable production throughout the cold, northern winters of Vermont? Come learn how to use Passive Solar Greenhouses to grow cold hearty greens 365 days per year. In our three-day, practical and hands-on short course, we will explore everything from site selection, brands of these high tunnels/hoophouses, the four key principles to grow/maintain crops 365 days per year, the economics behind winter greens production, soil fertility management, and much more.  We will use the 10,000 sq. ft. of winter growing space at Bread & Butter Farm as our hands on classroom as well as exploring several other local farms who are extending their seasons to include winter greens. The lead instructor, Corie Pierce, is a farmer and educator. She is co-owner and operator of Bread & Butter Farm in South Burlington, Vermont, a diversified farm where among many things, they specialize in growing greens all winter long in unheated, passive solar greenhouses. If you have any questions, please email sra.desantis@uvm.edu.
Beekeeping for Beginners
January 21, 9am-11:30am & 1pm-3:30pm. 840 Upper Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905

On Saturday January 21st, in partnership with the Southern Tier Beekeepers, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County is offering a Beginning Beekeeping workshop at 9am and 1pm. This class will prepare you for getting your own Honey Bees this spring with an overview of equipment, hive products, Honey Bee management and of course Honey Bees themselves. Bring a drink and snack. Registered participants will receive a CD of the presentations, informative beekeeping documents, and links. The Southern Tier Beekeepers will be hosting a "hands-on" session in early spring to give everyone a chance to work a beehive before their purchased bees arrive. Snow date of January 28thThe cost to attend this workshop is $25, which includes all presenter materials. Priority for spots will be given to veterans in the Southern Tier, but others are welcome to attend as space permits. This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2015-70017-22882.
To register for the workshop, click here.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.

Career, Etc. Opportunities
Farm Production Manager, Fishkill Farms
Fishkill Farms is seeking an experienced Production Manager to oversee 150 acres of eco-certified fruit, organic vegetables, berries and pastured poultry production. Starting with strawberries and culminating with apples and pumpkins in the Fall, the farm provides family-friendly entertainment and fresh produce for the local community, at peak hosting thousands of visitors a day. The Production Manager oversees crews of up to 35 seasonal, part or full-time employees; requiring excellent people-management skills, advanced knowledge of tractors and equipment, and substantial experience on medium to large-scale commercial fruit or vegetable operations. To Apply for our Production Manager or Vegetable Production Team positions, please send a resume and cover letter to jobs@fishkillfarms.com, with the job for which you're applying in the subject line. Learn more about the position at fishkillfarms.com/jobs.

Sun Sprout Farm - Workers Sought
Sun Sprout Farm is a 24 acre organic mixed vegetable farm located in Chester, NY about an hour north of NYC. We are looking for highly motivated workers who are interested in learning about organic agriculture and who love working outdoors in all seasons. Our apprentices take part in all aspects of crop production including greenhouse seeding, transplanting, cultivation, harvesting and marketing. Sun Sprout Farm offers three apprenticeship positions and requires a full season commitment. In addition we are always looking for seasonal help during the summer months. You can find more information about our farm on our homepage, Facebook and Instagram. If you would like to apply, please send your resume with previous work experience and letter of interest to info@sunsproutfarm.com.

Farm Apprentice Opportunity
Apply now to be a farm apprentice on the East End of Long Island. The Amagansett Food Institute connects individuals who are interested in working on an East End farm with farmers who want to share their expertise. We work with a range of small, sustainable farms, each with different business models and varying educational programs. Most farms provide housing, fresh produce, and a stipend, while apprentices receive intensive, hands-on training. AFI's apprentice service offers the opportunity to apply to multiple farms through one application. Click here to learn more and access our Apprentice Application. Please send your apprentice application, resume, and cover letter to info@amagansettfoodinstitute.org.

The Farmer's Edge: Online Business Course & Consulting Collective
The Farmer's Edge is a year-long, online course designed to give farmers the skills and tools needed to cultivate financially sustainable businesses. Whether you struggle to understand the economics of your business or just want to increase your farm's profitability, this course is for you! Group sessions begin in January (second Wednesday of the month) and meet on-line for 2 hours each month. The first hour is devoted to a specific business topic, such as QuickBooks or Cash Flow Budgeting. The second hour is an open discussion for participants to ask specific questions about their businesses. This "consulting collective" combines the benefits of a business workshop and one-on-one technical assistance, with the added value of peer-learning. Space is limited; reserve your spot now! To learn more or register, visit The Farmer's Edge website.
Farm School Program Covered by GI Bill
The Farm School's Learn to Farm Program, located in Athol, Massachusetts, has recently been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide training for eligible veterans under the GI Bill. Now in its 14th year, the Learn to Farm Program is a state licensed, full time, 5 day/week, live-in, tuition-based training program that packs a tremendous amount of training and experience into a year and turns out graduates who go on to farm successfully. Forestry, animal husbandry, carpentry, mechanics, business planning, marketing and organic vegetable production are among the practical skills that are introduced and then practiced over all four seasons in the context of a commercial operation that includes a working forest, a 200 member veggie CSA and a 50 member meat CSA. If you are interested in this program or have questions, please contact the Farm School directly at patrick@farmschool.org.

Seeking Landscape Architecture Intern for Edible Forest Garden
Cross Island Farms, a highly diversified organic farm on Wellesley Island in the Thousand Islands Region of the St. Lawrence River, is seeking one or more full time interns for fall/winter 2016 and winter/spring/summer/fall 2017. The major responsibility of the intern(s) will be to continue developing and expanding our"Edible Forest Garden" initially planted in 2013. The garden is a permaculture planting including a variety of fruit and nut trees, berries and other edibles, wheelchair accessible walkways, ponds, a large "gathering area,"and a variety of micro-climates.  To apply send email and  resume to danibaker@crossislandfarms.com. For further information, visit crossislandfarms.com, our Facebook page, or call 315-482-3663
Funding Opportunities
Annie's scholarship program assists undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in sustainable and organic agriculture. This year, 15 winners will each be eligible to receive $10,000. The program is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school in the United States for the 2017/2018 school year. Students must be focusing studies on sustainable agriculture.

Applications must be postmarked by January 6, 2017. Visit Annie's.com for more information.
USDA is seeking new proposals for cutting-edge projects that will provide new conservation opportunities through its competitive Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Through USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the department will invest up to $25 million for projects that spark the development and adoption of innovative conservation technologies and approaches in areas like conservation finance, data analytics, and precision conservation to benefit producers on private agricultural and forest lands. In 2017, program focus areas will include innovative approaches that benefit historically underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers, and those with limited resources. There is also a focus on demonstration, evaluation, and quantification of the effects of water management and soil health practices to minimize off-site impacts of natural resource challenges, such as excess sediment and nutrient runoff, and an emphasis on pay-for-success models that stimulate conservation adoption and achievement of measurable outcomes. Proposals are due by January 9, 2017.

The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund has $1 million available to assist new and early-stage farmers. The fund will provide grants of up to $50,000 to assist with up to 50 percent of eligible project costs, with the remaining 50 percent being matched by the recipient. All owners of eligible farms must be within the first ten years of ownership and the farm must have a minimum of $10,000 in income from sales of products grown or raised on the farm. Eligible project costs include the purchase of farm machinery, supplies and equipment, and construction or improvement of farm structures. This year, the program has eliminated the 150 acres or less requirement and is now accepting farm applicants of all sizes. Applications are due by January 27, 2017.

Latest Resources
Guide to Economic Benefits from Utilizing Cover Crops as Forage

Practical Farmers of Iowa has released a four-page report that discusses how planting cover crops, then grazing or harvesting them, is a practical way to effectively reduce nutrient pollution, plus provide economic benefits to cattle owners. The four farmers that took part in this study saved $1,306 to $22,801 in hay or other stored feed expenses by grazing cover.

Systems Research for Agriculture
Systems Research for Agriculture outlines both the theory and practice of agricultural systems research, helping agricultural professionals to study, understand and develop economically, socially and environmentally sustainable production systems. This handbook begins with a brief introduction to the theoretical basis for agricultural systems research. It then delivers guidance on how to form effective interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder teams, which include farmers and ranchers, and how to plan, implement and analyze systems experiments. Access this handbook from the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) website here.
Guidance on Materials for Organic Crop Production 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) published final guidance on the Classification of Materials, and a list of Materials for Organic Crop ProductionThe guidance on Classification of Materials implements recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board, and clarifies existing practices used to classify materials as synthetic or nonsynthetic and as agricultural or nonagricultural. The guidance includes decision trees to help classify substances substances used in organic production and handling. The guidance on Materials for Organic Crop Production includes tools for organic producers to understand which input materials are allowed in organic crop production, and a list of materials that are specifically prohibited in organic crop production. Both guidance documents will be used by accredited certifying agents, certified operations, material evaluation programs, and other organic industry stakeholders. They can be found in the NOP Handbook.
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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