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January 16th, 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! Carcass Evaluation
The Small Farms Program is pleased to announce a companion video to Determining the Market Readiness of Beef Cattle.  In this second video, Mike Baker, Cornell Beef Cattle Extension Specialist, looks at beef cattle as they hang on the rail at a packer.  Join Dr. Baker as he demonstrates how to evaluate key areas of four carcasses for eating quality and total yield. Both videos are available at the Small Farms Youtube Channel.

Bee Ready for Bee Keeping!
Registration for Winter/Spring Small Farms Online Courses is now open, including BF 160, Introduction to Beekeeping. Whether you currently are keeping honey bees, or are considering adding them to your farm, a basic understanding of bee biology, diseases, pests and setting up your colony for success are essential. Sign up a month in advance to get a $25 discount on each course, plus a $50 total discount off registration for 3 or more courses.  Learn more
Small Farms Quarterly Accepting Articles for Spring 2017 Edition

Do you like to write about farming in the Northeast region?  The Small Farms Quarterly Magazine is seeking submissions for it's Spring, 2017 issue.  Articles can cover anything from livestock and field crops to business management and marketing. The deadline to submit articles to the Spring issue of the Small Farms Quarterly, a Small Farms Program publication, is February 17, 2017. Before submitting an article, read over the writer's guidelines here.  Our submission template can be found online.  Questions?  Contact Managing Editor Steve Gabriel at [email protected]. Previous issues of the Quarterly can be found here.

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.
vegetable tomato Survey for NY Vegetable Producers on Viability of Wholesale

The CCE regional vegetable teams are conducting a study to examine the viability of current wholesale market channels for vegetable producers, and to determine what the primary barriers to entering the wholesale market are. Please take ten minutes to fill out this survey, which is designed for both growers who are wholesaling and those who are not. This information will help us to understand the current situation for growers, and will help us select a smaller group to participate in focus groups later in the winter. If you have any questions please contact Crystal Stewart at [email protected]
Join Rodale Institute's New Organic Farmers Association

Rodale Institute, the world's leading organic agriculture research organization, has launched a new membership organization for organic farmers. The new Organic Farmers Association will exist to provide a voice for organic farmers on policy issues, help organic farmers network and share information, and serve as a resource center for organic farmers to succeed. In addition to better representation for organic farmers on legislative issues, the Organic Farmers Association will provide resources for farmers such as webinars, online tools, discounts, and a subscription to Rodale Institute's New Farm magazine, providing the latest research and news for organic farmers. To sign up for a membership, visit  OrganicFarmersAssociation.org.
Dyson School Agricultural and Food Business Outlook Conference Dairy cow barn livestock

January 24, 2017, 9:15am-3:30pm - Warren Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Every year the Outlook Conference sends participants home with fresh information on prices, production and market trends, and government programs affecting the diverse fruit, vegetable, wine and grape, and dairy sectors that make up so much of New York State agriculture. New York agricultural leaders will learn about the short-and long-term outlook for agriculture and agricultural products. Breakout sessions concentrate on dairy, grains and feed, and horticultural products. For more information and to register, visit the Dyson School website.

Free Webinar Series: SNAP for Direct Marketing Farmers and Farmers Markets

Feb. 1, 7, & 16, 12-1pm; March 1 & 14, 6-7pm; March 23, 12-1pm

USDA has continued funding through May 2017 to assist direct marketing farmers and farmers markets join SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) by providing free equipment to qualified farmers and farmers markets. The Farmers Market Federation of NY will be holding webinars to help direct marketing farmers and market managers understand the program and will schedule phone appointments with attendees to complete the application process. The webinar is free to join and will help you understand the process and the value of adding SNAP to your farm or market. Click here for the registration information, then click on the link for your choice of dates and complete the registration information. For more information, contact the Farmers Market Federation of NY at 315-400-1447 or email  [email protected].

Vegetables onion radish potato Farmers market Marketing
HMI Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Training Program
February 4 - May 13, 2017, 9:30am-4:00pm every Saturday - Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY
This certificate program, organized by Holistic Management International, educates and empowers agricultural newcomers (with 10 or less years of farming/ranching experience) to build successful businesses by applying Holistic Management principles and practices. Learn and implement all the skills you need for a successful farm or ranch including soil fertility practices, livestock production, grazing planning, financial planning, marketing and business planning, whole farm/ranch planning skills, leadership and communications skills. For more information and to register, visit the HMI website.

The Path to Your Farm Dream - Beginning Farmer Workshop

February 11, 2017, 9:00am-4:00pm - CCE Albany County, 24 Martin Road, Voorheesville, NY

Are you thinking or have a desire to grow and sell some agricultural products?  Did you start in 2016 growing and selling agricultural products and like some more help?  This day long workshop will help you to better understand various aspects of starting a farm.  From attending the one-day workshop, you will:

    -Gain ideas on where to get financing to start a farm

    -What to look for when looking for land, buildings, etc. to start a farm business

    -Gain ideas on how to market and sell the products I would like to grow

    -Better understand what regulations you need to be aware of

The cost for attending this workshop is $40 for the first person or $60 for two.  To register online, visit the event page. Alternatively, you can register by phone or request more information by contacting Tove Ford at (518) 765-3518.

MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.

Career, Etc. Opportunities
CCE Livestock Specialist (Extension Associate) - Central NY

Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) provides the educational outreach functions for Cornell University's role as New York State's Land Grant University, and is looking for an energetic and motivated individual to fill the position of Livestock Specialist. The Livestock Specialist will provide commercial producers and the associated industry with the knowledge and educational resources in livestock production with business management and economics. The goal is to enhance profitability and sustain the growth of the livestock industries in central New York. More information, job duties, and application requirements can be found in the job posting. To apply, click here.

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC Is Hiring - Binghamton, NY

NOFA-NY is looking for qualified individuals to fill two full-time job openings. The first, Crop & Livestock Certification Coordinator, is primarily responsible for the intake and flow of certification applications for completeness and the monitoring of progress through each stage of certification. The second position, Certification Coordinator Assistant, provides administrative support to the Certification Coordinators. Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to [email protected]. For more information, visit www.nofany.org.
CCE St. Lawrence Is Seeking a Local Foods Program Leader

Based in St. Lawrence Country, the Local Foods Program Leader will coordinate and lead the Association's local food initiatives including the strategic implementation of the Extension Kitchen and innovative instruction in farm food safety, value-added production, business development and marketing strategies. The position will also facilitate relationships with producers and assist in determining and implementing best practice recommendations that allow locally produced products to reach multiple markets and institutions. Applications are due online by February 1, 2017.
Funding Opportunities
NYFVI 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The NY Farm Viability Institute is partnering with New York State's Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) to manage the competitive grant program for New York State's 2017 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program application. The Department and NYFVI are seeking proposals for research and grower education projects that aim to enhance the competitiveness of New York's specialty crop producers and increase the long-term success of the State's agricultural industry. New York State's specialty crops include fruits, vegetables, dried fruits, hops, maple syrup, honey, horticulture and nursery crops. Find more information here, or take a look at the Request for Proposals. Applications must be submitted online by February 14. 2016.
NIFA Announces $5 Million in Funding for Food, Energy, and Water Systems Research

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announces the availability of up to $5 million in funding for research to better understand how food, energy, and water systems interact, and how they can be sustained. The grants fund scientific investigation into these complex systems and how society can better prepare for the future. The National Science Foundation and NIFA encourage international collaborative research involving scientists and engineers from a range of disciplines and organizations to solve the significant global challenges at the nexus of these complex and interdependent systems. The deadline for applications is March 6, 2017; click here for more information and the request for applications.
$27 Million in Grants Available to Support the Local Food Sector

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) has made available $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. Among these are Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) grants, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP).  These programs and other resources across USDA are helping to revitalize rural America by supporting local and regional food stakeholders. For more information, click here, or submit the grant application here by March 27, 2017.
Latest Resources
New Soil Health Research Landscape Tool Available

The Soil Health Institute (SHI) has announced the release of a new Soil Health Research Landscape Tool with more than 1,000 references. "The online library and search engine will be a resource for agricultural and environmental scientists, industry leaders, agricultural producers, conservation policy makers, agricultural journalists, and others interested in soil health," explains the SHI's press release. Access the tool here to help identify the keys to healthier soil.
Hay Production Resources for New York and Similar Climates

CCE has released a new Hay Production Resources for New York and Similar Climates, a collection of over 165 publications organized into 14 sections.  Most of the information is from University sources, and focuses on pest management, hay machinery, storage, forage quality, and balage, among a number of other topics. This information will help beginning and experienced farmers alike. The manual can be found on the CCE website; if you have questions contact Aaron Gabriel, [email protected], Cornell Cooperative Extension.
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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