Skip to main content

menu

March Small Farms Update

Announcements

  • Website Restoration Update
  • Small Farms Program to Host Dairy Field Days
  • Small Farms Summit Generates Ideas

Upcoming Events

  • Small Farms Program Sponsored Events
  • Beginning Farmer Events
  • Other Featured Events

Career Opportunities

  • Agronomy Educator (CCE Rensselaer County) – Due March 20, 2012
  • Farm Incubator Program (Peconic Land Trust) – Due March 31, 2012
  • Farm for Sale – Triangle Region
  • Organic Food Coordinator (NOFA-NY)
  • Community Food Security Associates (Rural Health Service Corps)
  • Assistant Manager: Orchard & Fruit Production (Fishkill Farms)
  • Coordinator of Ag in the Classroom Education Program (CALS)

Funding Opportunities

  • Forestry Initiative Funding for Forest Stewardship – Due March 23, 2012
  • Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – Due March 30, 2012
  • FreshConnect Program Funding – Due April 6, 2012
  • Funding for Protection and Improvement of Grazing Lands – Due April 6, 2012
  • Farmland Protection Resources – Due April 13, 2012

Resources

  • Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and Conservationists
  • Smartphone App: Access to Soil Survey Information
  • Farm To People: Website Resource in the Works

Program Highlight

  • Announcing 2012 Small Farm Grant Awards

 

Small Farms Update is intended as a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York, and is provided to you by Cornell’s Small Farms Program. Our mission is to foster the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment. Our work is made possible by a network of close partnerships among Cornell faculty and staff, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and staff, NYS agriculture support agencies, non profit agriculture organizations and farmers.

 

*Please note: No endorsement is implied for products, businesses, jobs or resources listed in the Small Farms Update. Such resources are listed for informational purposes only.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Small Farms and Beginning Farmer Websites: Restoration Update

We are pleased to announce our restored websites have gone live! We still have much work ahead of us to repopulate the sites with all the great resources you rely on. We will be working hard over the next two weeks to phase back in the content areas. Thanks so much for your patience during this very frustrating period!

Small Farms Program to Host Dairy Field Days

In an effort to bring visibility to the innovations of New York’s small dairy producers, the Cornell Small Farms Program is providing financial support to Cooperative Extension Educators wishing to host small dairy field days during summer, 2012. We plan to fund a total of six field days in regions across the state on dairy farms milking under 100 head. Field days will take place between June 1st and September 20th and will highlight innovative production or marketing strategies that represent new opportunities to enhance small dairy viability in NY. If you are a dairy farmer or cooperative extension educator in NY and would like to participate, please contact us! We’ll be announcing the field day schedule on our website in late spring, www.smallfarms.cornell.edu

Small Farms Summit Generates Ideas

On February 29th, we hosted our 3rd Small Farms Summit, an interactive meeting with an opportunity for all participants to take part in lively discussion, both locally, and across the state. 150 farmers and supporters gathered at 5 locations around New York to evaluate emerging opportunities and prioritize investments to enhance the viability of small farms. Some of the new emerging issues from the audience included: research and extension around agroforestry, including silvopasturing, forest products and alley cropping; enhancing online communities for farmers to exchange ideas, equipment, land; consumer education around small-scale locally produced food; Liasons/educators to convey NYS Agriculture and Markets regulations to farmers. The Small Farms Program will spend the next two months synthesizing results from the multi-site conference and be publishing a report in early June. It is our hope that the report will inform educators, researchers, policy makers and community organizations the major areas in which to invest support for small farms over the next 5 years.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

Small Farms Sponsored Events:

April 14, 2012. Long Island Small Farm Summit. Hempstead, NY. Join the North Shore Land Alliance for the 2nd Small Farm Summit. Speakers include Will Allen of Growing Power and Renegade Lunch Lady Chef Ann Cooper for a day of interactive panels, educational presentations, workshops, and more. For more information and to register visit www.smallfarmsummit.com.

Beginning Farmer Events:

March – April, 2012. Raising Livestock in Tioga County: Workshop Series. Owego, NY. Looking to raise animals and sell pasture-raised meats? Learn from successful farmers and extension educators in this workshop series. To register, call 687-4020, or email meh39@cornell.edu.

March 17, 2012. Fruit Tree Pruning Workshop. Watkins Glen, NY. Looking to learn about bud grafting, pruning stone fruits, nuts and berries, and more? Attend this workshop! For more information and to register visit http://ccepruningworkshop.eventbrite.com/.

March 22, 2012. Grafting Workshop. Montour Falls, NY. Learn the about grafting at this CCE sponsored workshop! For more information and to register, contact Roger Ort at 607-535-7161.

April 18 – November 14, 2012. Groundswell’s Sustainable Farming Certificate Program. Ithaca, NY. If you are a beginning or aspiring farmer and would like to deepen your understanding of sustainable production methods through over 100 hours of classroom training, hands-on workshops, farm visits and supervised work experience, consider Groundswell’s Certificate Program. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=77&Itemid=132.

Other Events

March – April 2012. CSA Fairs. Several locations, New York. Looking to sign up for a good source of fresh, local veggies? Attend a NOFA-NY CSA Fair to meet your local farmers and pick a CSA. For more information visit http://www.nofany.org/csafair.

March, 2012. 7th Annual New York Agricultural Literacy Week. If you are an agricultural professional or gardening enthusiast interested in volunteering to read an agriculturally themed book to second graders, you can access details and information about the event at http://www.nyaged.org/aitc/programs/literacy.htm. This year’s book is Seed, Soil, Sun: Earth’s Recipe for Food.

March 20, 2012. Workshop: Farms Working Together: Collaborative Marketing for Profitability. Victor, NY. Join CCE for a workshop focused on ways for family farms to increase their marketing power through different forms of collaboration. To register and for more information visit http://farmsworkingtogether.eventbrite.com/.

March 21, 2012. Winter Dairy Management Group-Housed Calf Conference. Carthage, NY. For more information and to register contact Ron Kuck at 315-788-8450.

March 22, 2012. Winter Dairy Management Group-Housed Calf Conference. Chazy, NY. For more information and to register contact Kim Morrill at 315-7379-9192.

March 23, 2012. Workshop. Forecasting Tomato and Potato Late Blight Risk for YOUR Farm. Geneva, NY. A workshop held by CCE, Cornell Vegetable Progam, and NOFA, focused on the online program used to forecast the movement of Late Blight to your farm. For more information visit http://www.nofany.org/events/field-days.

March 24, 2012. Schoharie County Ag Day. 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Curtis Mott Hall on the SUNY Cobleskill campus. Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and SUNY Cobleskill faculty will present informational workshops with a focus on livestock and field crops for aspiring, new, and experienced farm producers and land owners. Admission is $5.00 per person for the morning sessions, which includes refreshments, workshop materials, and youth activity center. A special 3-hour afternoon session is free. Lunch is on your own, or purchase pizza by the slice, the proceeds to benefit students of the SUNY Cobleskill Pre-Vet Club. Space is limited; pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension Schoharie County at 518-234-4303/518-296-8310, or visit www.cce.schoharie. cornell.edu or www.cobleskill.edu for details.

March 24, 2012. Workshop: Get a Jump on the Season. Hamden, NY. Want to expand your production to the winter months, or looking to improve on your season extension methods? Join Lucky Dog Farm for a NOFA sponsored field day focused on Lucky Dog’s use of high tunnels, variety choices, soiling blocking and transplant system, and more! For more information and to register visit http://www.nofany.org/events/field-days.

March 24, 2012. Backyard Fruit Production Workshop. Watkins Glen, NY. Learn the basics of growing fruit at home, including site selection, planting, pruning, pest control and more! For more information and to register visit http://backyardfruit.eventbrite.com/.

March 26 – May 3, 2012. Cornell Garden Based Learning Online Course:Teaching and Learning in the School Garden: Theory into Practice. Would you like more information on the strategies, foundation and benefits of garden based learning? This course will focus on developing a gardening program that meets cross-curricular needs. For more information and to register contact Donna Cooke at dmc72@cornell.edu or visit www.rocklandcce.org.

March 27, 2012. The Science of the Upstate Food Shed, Safety, Security, Accessibility. Rochester, NY. CCE- Monroe County is hosting a program focused on the research-based insights into food safety, security, abundance and related policies. For more information and to register visit www.mycce.org/monroe.

March 28 – March 29, 2012. Workshop: GAPs for Small Farms. Auburn, NY. Looking to learn more about food safety regulations on the farm? Join NOFA and CCE for an intensive workshop focused on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). Attendees will develop a personalized farm food safety plan. For more information and to register visit http://www.nofany.org/events/field-days.

April 21, April 28, 2012. Workshop: What’s in YOUR Dirt? Montour Falls, NY. Want to learn more about your soil? Bring up to three soil samples to this workshop and get recommendations for what you plant to grow. For more information and to register, contact Roger Otrt at 607-535-7161.

April 28 – 29, 2012. Washington County Fiber Fair. Several locations, Washington County, NY. Visit about a dozen farms and fiber facilities throughout Washington County. Learn about breeding and raising fiber animals, shearing, and much more! For more information visit http://washingtoncountyfibertour.org/.

May 31 – June 28, 2012. Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming and Food Justice. Ithaca, NY. Groundswell offers a chance to learn about sustainable food systems and engage with the local food community in a variety of settings – West Haven Farm, EcoVillage and other local farms and institutions – while earning college credit. For more information and to apply visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62&Itemid=69.

 

CAREER, ETC. OPPORTUNITIES

Agronomy Educator (CCE Rensselaer County) – Due March 20, 2012

CCE Rensselaer County is seeking an Agronomy Educator to develop, implement, evaluate and provide input to planning, educational programs and applied research in agriculture, soils and crop production for CCE Rensselaer County. Prospective applicants should have a strong commitment to extension in support of the field crops industry and a willingness to collaborate with other staff in a multi-disciplinary, integrated approach. Applicants should have a Masters degree in a related field along with related work experience. For more information and to apply, visit https://cornellu.taleo.net/careersection/10163/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=16305.

Farm Incubator Program (Peconic Land Trust) – Due March 31, 2012

The Peconic Land Trust is looking for applicants to their Farm Incubator Program that seeks to provide productive farmland to farmers with an emphasis on food production. The Program will eventually provide successful applicants with greenhouse space, retail space, and shared equipment. Prospective applicants should have 1-3 years of farming experience and a strong interest in sustainable agriculture, among other criteria. For more information visit http://www.peconiclandtrust.org/news.html.

Farm for Sale – Northern NY

Looking for farmland? A 107+ acre, organic tree farm is up for sale in the Triangle Region (Saratoga, Lake George, Vermont). The farm includes private skiing, biking and hiking areas, spectacular views of the Green Mountains, as well as two log cabins, and more! For more information contact Geraldine Pauling at 646 – 249 – 9829 or gmerril@nyc.rr.com

Organic Food Coordinator (NOFA-NY)

NOFA-NY is seeking an Organic Food Coordinator to coordinate organic food donations, food purchases and food transportation for the NOFA-NY sponsored events. Prospective applicants should have experience in event planning and customer service, among other qualifications. For more information and to apply visit http://www.nofany.org/about/work-us.

Community Food Security Associates (Rural Health Service Corps)

Farm Catskills and Rural Health Service Corps in Delaware County are seeking 2 Community Food Security Associates to help make local, nutritious food more available to low-income families and senior citizens in the County. For more information about these AmeriCorps positions and to apply visit http://farmcatskills.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_ID=102.

Assistant Manager: Orchard & Fruit Production (Fishkill Farms)

Fishkill Farms is seeking an Assistant Manager for the 2012 season, to help manage the orchard and berry operations on their Hudson Valley Farm. Prospective applicants should have several years of farm experience, with knowledge of fruit production and operation of farm equipment desired. The Assistant Manager will perform outdoor fieldwork as well as coordinate CSA and market distributions, among other responsibilities. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.fishkillfarms.com/.

Coordinator of Ag in the Classroom Education Program (CALS)

The Ag Outreach and Education Program is seeking a Coordinator of Ag in the Classroom (AITC) to assume ownership of developing the program, field implementation, and in-service training for all participants of AITC in NYS. The coordinator will be responsible for identifying program needs, developing a budget for AITC operations and reviewing and adapting existing agricultural literacy resources, among other responsibilities. A prospective applicant should have a BA in agricultural education and at least 2 years of experience, among other qualification criteria. For more information and to apply visit https://hr.cornell.edu/jobs/ .

 

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Forestry Initiative Funding for Forest Stewardship – Due March 23, 2012

The USDA is offering funding for forest land conservation managemtn under the New England-New York Forestry Initiative. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/news/releases/ne-ny_forestry_initiative.html.

Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) – Due March 30, 2012

Are you an agricultural producer or rural small business owner looking to reduce energy costs? The USDA program, REAP, provides loan guarantees and grants for energy efficient improvements and installation, such as irrigation pumps, new ventilation systems, etc. For more information and to apply visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_Reap.html.

FreshConnect: Funding for Projects that Make NY Products More Accessible to Low-Income Residents and Areas in Need – Due April 6, 2012

The FreshConnect Program is funding projects through a competitive grant process that increase access to NY farm products, including delivery programs, CSA accessibility, etc. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.agriculture.ny.gov/RFPS.html.

Funding for Protection and Improvement of Grazing Lands – Due April 6, 2012

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering producers and opportunity to sign up for voluntary conservation rental payments as part of the Grasslands Reserve Program (GRP). GRP offers landowners the ability to protect, restore, and improve grasslands on their property. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/national/programs/easements.

Farmland Protection Resources – Due April 13, 2012

NRCS is providing a total of $4.5 million in funding for the protection of productive farmland for continued agricultural use, under the Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP). For more information, eligibility requirements and to apply visit http://www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/frpp/index.html.

 

RESOURCES

Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and Conservationists by Eric Mader, Marla Spivak and Elaine Evans

Want to learn more about the rearing and managing of different types of bees? This new handbook is a source of detailed information for beekeepers, growers and conservationists. The book includes information on nest construction, parasite and disease management, among many other topics. For more information about the book and ordering information, visit http://www.nraes.org/nra_map.html.

Smartphone App: Access to Soil Survey Information

Need more information about your soils in your neighborhood or surrounding area? A new smartphone app, SoilWeb, provides combines the GPS capabilities of smartphones with soil survey information. The app is freely available through smartphones.

Farm To People: Website Resource in the Works

This website will help to connect farmers and producers of agricultural products to direct consumers via the internet. The resource is slated to provide a platform to educate, promote and encourage sustainable, bio-diverse agriculture. If you are producer, farmer or food artisan and would like to be a part of the project, contact Johanna Kolodny at jk929@nyu.edu.

 

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT

Announcing 2012 Small Farm Grant Awards

Each year, the Cornell Small Farms Program awards grants of 3-5K to organizations in New York that present compelling projects that will serve and support small farms. This year, four proposals were selected. An additional project to support a small dairy field day series this summer will also be funded.

“Bringing the sheep goat marketing website back home” will focus on modernizing and updating the popular marketing directory located at the former address www.sheepgoatmarketing.info. Project leaders Michael Thonney and tatiana Stanton, from the Cornell Animal Science Department, will reinstate an interactive producer listing that is useful to direct marketers, market pools, buyers and distributers. The site will have additional educational resources on marketing and processing. Renovating the website will help identify new markets and facilitate communication between producers and buyers.

“Assessing Local Foods Distribution Systems: Farmer Experiences and Models for Building Successful Farmer-Distributor Relationships” will be led by Monica Roth of CCE Tompkins County and Becca Jablonski a PhD. Candidate in City & Regional Planning. This proposal is a continuation of a study funded by the Cornell Small Farms program where NY Distribution Companies were interviewed to assess their experiences with purchasing from NY Farmers. A total of 19 companies were interviewed and profiles developed. A second part of that proposal which remains to be completed is to interview farmers that sell to these distribution companies to assess their experiences selling to NY distribution companies. The goal of the project is to identify what farmers need to do to comply with distributor purchasing requirements, how it impacts marketing practices, cost of marketing, risk management, product pricing, and overall farm viability. The aim is to be able to better inform small farmers about how to successfully conduct wholesale sales and gather some benchmark data about impacts of wholesale sales on small farms.

“Promoting Workplace CSA in the Southern Adirondacks” is led by Laura McDermott, CCE CDVSFP Regional Agriculture Educator and Teresa Whalen, Adirondack Harvest Southern Chapter Coordinator. This project seeks to help businesses and community centers within the greater Glens Falls region investigate the feasibility of sponsoring a CSA. The southern Adirondack region (the counties of Warren, Washington and Saratoga) has many fruit and vegetable farms and successful Farmers’ markets. Expanding non‐traditional markets, such as the business CSA, is one method to assist local growers in finding new marketing outlets. A series of promotional events, surveys, farmer/business/and consumer meeting will trial the best approach to developing this model. A report of educational materials and lessons learned will be developed to share with the rest of the state.

“Chenango Regional Video and Social Media Grazing Outreach Program” is led by Ken Smith, CCE of Chenango County. The purpose of this project is to provide grazing farmers with information on grazing best practices, and to create forums where grazing farmers can share questions or successes with other farmers or agricultural educators. 12 short videos of grazing best practices from around the region will be developed and shared through websites and social media platforms. In these videos, grazing farmers and educators will share best practice examples of grazing topics such as watering systems, laneways, permanent fencing systems, portable fencing systems, pasture growth measurement systems, shade and nutrient management, and other grazing topics.

The final project funded this year is titled, “Small Dairy Innovation Field Days.” Six individual field days will be hosted between June 1st and September 20th in regions across the state on dairy farms milking under 100 head. Field days will highlight innovative production or marketing strategies that represent new opportunities to enhance small dairy viability in NY.

The Cornell Small Farms Program will be publishing resources, articles and reports from these projects as they become available!

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *