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January Monthly Update

The Small Farms Update includes small farm announcements, events, job and internship opportunities, grant and loan opportunities,  other small farm resources. It is intended for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast. If have an item to be included in the update, please contact Violet Stone at vws7@cornell.edu.

Announcements

  • Top 8 Priorities for NY Small Farms Detailed in Report
  • New Online Farming Courses Offered Late Winter/Spring
  • Upcoming Expo Features All-Day Beginning/Small-Scale Farming Session
  • Northeast Organic Farmer Survey

Upcoming Events

  • Grazing Events
  • Other Featured Events

Career etc. Opportunities

  • Assistant Farm Manager, Maple Avenue Farms
  • Dairy Farm Partnership Position
  • Business Partner (Hudson Valley) – Apply now!
  • Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships Database
  • 2013 Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship
  • Fruit & Vegetable Farm Manager

Funding etc. Opportunities

  • USDA Announces New Microloan Program
  • NYSERDA’s Anaerobic Digester Gas-to-Electricity Funding
  • Journeyperson Program
  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Sustainable Bioenergy Grants

Resources

  • Cornell University Releases Buckwheat Cover Crop Handbook
  • Northeast Forest Mushroom Growers Network website Re-launch
  • Cornell Offers Online Permaculture Classes
  • Growing Farms Podcast Available Online
  • Beginning Farmer Network of MA Website
  • New and Revised The Grafter’s Handbook
  • The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac
  • Spanish Version of Farming for NYC Toolkit Released
  • Direct Marketing of Specialty Food Products Online Course
Small Farms Updateis 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


Top 8 Priorities for NY Small Farms Detailed in Report
The Cornell Small Farms Program is very pleased to announce the release of the “2012 Recommendations for Strategic Investments in New York’s Small Farms.” This colorful report details the top priorities for enhancing the viability of small farms in New York. Recommendations in the report are intended for anyone interested in supporting the long term viability of New York’s small farm sector. Download the full report and access supplemental material at: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/projects/summit/. Questions about the report may be directed to Anu Rangarajan, the Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program (ar47@cornell.edu) or the Small Farms Program Office at 607-255-9227 or smallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu.

New Online Farming Courses Offered Late Winter/Spring
A new round of interactive 5- to 7-week courses for both new and experienced farmers are now open for registration. The classes connect you to the information and people you need to start a successful farm business or diversify your farm. The upcoming menu includes:
• BF 103: Taking Care of Business – Understanding the Business, Regulatory, and Tax Implications of Your Farm
• BF 105: Machinery and Equipment – Evaluating What’s Right for Your Operation
• BF 106: Organic Certification – What, How, and Why (or Why Not)
• BF 202: Planning to Stay in Business: Writing Your Business Plan
• BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning: Building Profit Into the Picture
Visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/ to register and learn more!

Upcoming Expo Features All-Day Beginning/Small-Scale Farming Session
Beginning and small-scale farmers interested in improving marketing, management and profitability on the farm should be sure to attend the all-day Beginning Farmer session at the 2013 Empire State Producers Expo on Tuesday, January 22 at the Oncenter Convention Center in Syracuse, NY. Moderated by Anu Rangarajan, Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, the day will feature successful growers, Cooperative Extension educators, and ag business owners sharing their experiences and information on a range of fantastic topics. For details, visit http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2013/01/08/focus-on-skills-for-new-farmers-at-the-2013-empire-state-producers-expo/

Northeast Organic Farmer Survey
Attention ORGANIC farmers! Please plan to take 20-30 minutes of your precious winter time for this survey on your farm’s labor practices and markets. The purpose of this study is to find out how things like pay, housing, health and the prices farmers receive affect farmers and farmworkers. This survey is meant for all organic farms – certified organic, farmers pledge, or self-declared organic, rural or urban – regardless of size or crops. The survey results will be confidential, and only shared in summary form. The survey forms an important part of the research for Becca Berkey’s dissertation at Antioch College and is a joint project with the NOFA Interstate Council Policy Committee. No one has ever collected this information before! The results will help guide the policy and technical assistance work of NOFA and MOFGA. Here is a link to the electronic survey: http://tinyurl.com/NOFAsurvey.

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UPCOMING EVENTS


Grazing Events

January 18-19, 2013. 17th Annual Vermont Grazing and Livestock Conference: Global Grazing – Lessons Learned From Around the World.  Lake Morey Resort, Fairlee, VT – Featuring keynote speaker Abdon Schmitt, professor at the University of Santa Catarina, Brazil, and many local and regional experts including sales coach Fred Ashforth, animal behavior expert Kathy Voth, nutritionist Jeff Mattocks, research results, super networking and much more.  Two day-long intensive workshops on Friday and 24 workshops Saturday to choose from.  Discounted attendance for VGFA or VBPA membership.  Details at www.uvm.edu/pasture.  Contact Jenn Colby at jcolby@uvm.edu to learn more.

January 25-26, 2013. 5th Anniversary Winter Green-Up Grazing Conference. The Century House, Latham (Albany County).  Steve Kenyon, a Holistic Management Educator/practitioner from Saskatchewan, Canada will discuss, in two separate sessions, the business and the practice of custom grazing cattle for profit.  Also on the agenda is Jerry Brunetti, founder of Agri-Dynamics and a dairy nutritionist and expert in human nutrition too, is going to discuss these two intimately related topics of animal and human health.  For more information please contact Gale Kohler at CCE Albany County by phone at (518) 765-3500 or gek4@cornell.edu or Morgan Hartman at blackqueenangus@yahoo.com.

February 7, 2013. 1:00 PM.   Pastured Poultry Production and Profitability Webinar. This webinar will be presented by Terrell “Spence” Spencer, a sustainable poultry specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT).   It will cover the basics of pastured poultry production as well as common advantages and pitfalls of getting started in the business and keys to keeping operations profitable.  To register, please visit https://attra.ncat.org/poultry.

February 7- 8, 2013. 2013 Northeast Pasture Consortium Annual MeetingRadisson Hotel, Manchester, NH.  This two-day meeting that precedes the NH Grazing Conference (see below) will be filled with workshops, discussions, and speakers on topics ranging from the economics of confinement vs. grazing operations, bedded packs, current research, and much more.  Pasture research coordination and facilitation is a big part of the program this year.  This is a new addition that we want to become an annual event.  At this conference, since it initiates the process, it involves 4 sessions, including a research and on-farm demonstration update, a farming research needs determination, and then a subsequent discussion.  Contact Jim Cropper for more information at jbcropper@yahoo.com.

Other Events

January 18, 2013. Registration begins at 9:30 AM.  Catskill Regional Agriculture Conference. SUNY Delhi.  Conference registration opens at.  At 10:00 a.m., participants can attend one of two EARLY-BIRD SESSIONS; Understanding Risk Management or Pasture Renovation and Weed Control.  At 11:00 AM, choose any of the four concurrent tracks (Dairy, Livestock, Grazing ,Vegetable) and attend presentations in your chosen track.  For more information call Kim Holden at 607-865-7090.  Registration at door.

January 22, 2013. 7:00 PM. BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning Online Course.  Whether you’re just getting started or have been farming for a while, the Cornell Small Farms Program is offering an online course starting January 22nd to give you the confidence and tools to take control of your farm finances.  This course goes beyond the basics for farmers who already have some financial records but want to increase the profitability of their operations. You will learn how to create a comprehensive financial plan, determine net worth, prioritize your expenditures on the farm, analyze and compare enterprises, and make your farm finances work for you. More info is available at http://nebeginninfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/holistic-financial-planning-bf-203/.

January 22-24, 2013.  9:00 AM- 5:30 PM. Empire State Producers Expo. Oncenter Convention Center, 800 South State St., Syracuse, NY. This show combines the major fruit, flower, vegetable, and direct marketing associations of New York State in order to provide a comprehensive trade show and educational conference for the fruit and vegetable growers of this state, as well as the surrounding states and Eastern Canada. See http://www.nysvga.org/expo/info for ticketing and registration information.

January 24, 2013. 7:00 PM– 8:30 PM.  Conservation Easements for Farms and Rural Land. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County, 480 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424. The workshop will cover legal considerations with conservation easements, pitfalls of this approach to land preservation, the role of estate planning, tax implications, and where to obtain additional information.  This is a good opportunity for farmers and other families who have considered private means of land protection and want to be diligent throughout the process. Pre-registration is required by calling Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County at (585) 394-3977 x427 or e-mail Nancy with your full contact information (name, address, and phone number) to nea8@cornell.edu.

January 24, 2013. 2:00 PM– 3:30 PM.  PACA Trust Provision Webinar. The Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Fruit and Vegetable Program presents a free, interactive webinar on the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) Trust provision.  The PACA Trust provision gives sellers of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables priority status in recovering funds owed by buyers who become insolvent or file for bankruptcy protection.  By following a few simple steps, produce suppliers have received hundreds of millions of dollars that they were owed. More information about this webinar and registration for this webinar can be found here.

January 25-27, 2013. NOFA-NY 31st  Annual Organic Farming & Gardening Conference. Saratoga Hilton & City Center, Saratoga Springs, NY. This year’s conference features 85 workshops on a wide range of topics of interest to everyone from the experienced farmer to the novice gardener.  New York Farming Coalition will be hosting a Farm Hack exhibit so if you’re coming to the conference and have designed a tool or implement that better fits the scale and ethics of your farm, please bring it to share with the NOFA community! Visit https://www.nofany.org/?q=events/winter-conference for more information.

January 26, 2013.  10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Sportsman’s Day.  Spencer-VanEtten High School, Darts Crossroad in Spencer (State Route 34).  The list of exhibitors is still expanding but here are a few you won’t want to miss:  ATV’s by Rider Sport Honda, Wildlife Carvings by Jean, Wildlife Photography by Lori Lesh, nationally known wildlife artist Ron Kleiber, hunting advisor of Mountain Hollow Calls and Mossy Oak Camo, Jeff Sayre, Scoring antlers for anyone, Pope and Young and NY State Big Buck Club Scorers, and many more! The Club will also be having a Silent Auction – if you have anything in good condition you might want to donate for the sale or would like a booth in the show: Call Doug @607-589-6512 or email cheveefann@aol.com. Download this for more information.

January 28, 2013.  5:00 PM. Master Composter Volunteer Training. CCE-Tompkins Education Center, 615 Willow Avenue, Ithaca, New York 14850. Master Composters are trained volunteers who promote responsible composting in Tompkins County!  Training involves 20 hours of class time covering composting in depth, and 20 hours of “practical internship”. After training, Master Composters give back to the community in a variety of outreach activities. For more information on the program, visit http://ccetompkins.org/garden/composting/master-composters. Please contact Adam Michaelides at 272-2292 or acm1@cornell.edu for information about this year’s volunteer training.

February 4, 11, 18, 25, 2013. 7:00- 9:30 PM. 2013 Pesticide Training And Recertification Classes. Cornell Cooperative Extension Center, 480 North Main Street, Canandaigua, NY 14424. A series of pesticide training and recertification classes are being offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. This training is NOT a 30-hour certification course. The exam is being offered on Monday, March 4, 2013 from 7 – 11 p.m. To receive registration material or for additional information, contact Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County at (585) 394-3977 ext. 427, email nea8@cornell.edu or ext. 436, email rw43@cornell.edu. The registration form and more information is available on-line at www.cceontario.org

February 5-8, 2013. Varying times. Post It, Like It, Tweet It Workshop. Varying locations around New York state. Reaching today’s consumer is harder than ever, with your audience becoming less responsive to traditional media than ever. Your customers are engaging on social media and this presents a unique opportunity to build an online community around your brand. Learn how to build your brand online from a fellow farmer and leading social marketer. In this workshop, you will be given the tools you need to craft your social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter and other leading social media channels. For more information, email Karen Hall, Director, NYSFI at nysfi@nyflowergrowers.org.

February 5, 12 and 19, 2013. 6:30 PM-8:30 PM.  Cornell Cooperative Extension Offers Strategic Marketing Workshops For Livestock Producers Around New York State.  This workshop series will be offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension at locations around NY. Cornell Cooperative Extension has developed a series of workshops that will teach the basics of strategic marketing, including how to identify a target market and focus your farm’s marketing efforts.  You will also learn how to choose the markets that meet the needs of your farm, such as CSA, farmers’ market and wholesale.  For more information, contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension offices listed below, or you can also contact Matthew LeRoux, CCE- Tompkins County, (607) 272-2292 or by email at mnl28@cornell.edu

February 8, 2013. 5:00 PM-8:00 PM.  Locally-Grown Food Festival in Corning.  Union Hall, 100 Civic Center Plaza, Corning. The event features tasting of meats, vegetables, cheese, fruits, breads, preserves, wines and more! Come sample dishes created with local products, meet dozens of local farmers, and purchase locally grown products on site. Growers interested in participating should call 607-664-2300 for more information! Visit the website at www.putknowledgetowork.com for the latest details.

February 9, 2013.  9:00 AM-12:30 PM. The Peter Levatich Memorial Seminar for Rural Landowners.  Hosted by the Southern Finger Lakes Chapter of the NY Forest Owners Association at the Spencer-Van Etten High School, State Route 34 Spencer. This year’s theme is “Do It Yourself Woodlots” with talks related to achieving greater enjoyment, value and productivity from private woodlands through personal efforts – done safely and efficiently!   This event is free and open to the public.  A raffle to win a chainsaw and other prizes supports 4-H forestry educations programs.  For more information, contact Brett Chedzoy at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County at 607-535-7161, or by email: bjc226@cornell.edu.

February 20, 2013. 1:00 PM-2:00 PM. Good Ag Practices (GAPs) Farm Food Safety Update Webinar.  Luke LaBorde, Penn State Dept. Food Science. Penn State’s Extension Vegetable & Small Fruit Program Team presents a series of webinars to keep you informed on critical production issues. These webinars are most relevant for those involved in commercial production (production for sale) of vegetables on any scale. Webinars may be viewed by groups at one location, but the expectation is that each participant is registered separately for the webinar series. There are no group or site registrations. Visit http://blogs.cornell.edu/fruit/2012/12/04/penn-state-webinars/ for more information.

February 21-23, 2013.  Got Trees? Farmers: Get More from Your Woodlot. The New York Forest Owners Association (NYFOA) has announced free workshops designed to help all New York landowners to get the most out of their woodlots. Fifteen free programs to help owners realize greater benefits from their woodlands are scheduled for the 2013 Farm Show in Syracuse. Learn from experts. Come with your questions. For more information, contact Hugh Canham at 315-457-4972 or visit https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B2C05d2BR_zhdGlVZ1lJbDIwaTQ/edit?pli=1.

February 23-24, 2013. 9:00 AM. 2 Day Aquaponic Training Course. 104 E. Seneca St., Sherrill, NY 13461.  Are you interested in opening an Aquaponic farm, building a back yard system, or just curious to learn more about this exciting farming method? Then this is the perfect opportunity for you!  This training course will focus on hydroponic horticulture, aquaculture, and how to successfully merge aquaculture and hydroponics to get a fully functioning Aquaponic system! Space is limited for these classes! For more information, visit the website or email mark@aquavitafarms.com .

February 28, 2013. 10:00 AM- 4:00 PM. Pre-Conference Field Day /Organic Cereal Grains Seed Production and NYS Certified Foundation Seed Program.  Cornell University, 791 Dryden Rd (Rt 366), Ithaca, NY 14850. This program will detail the process of growing, selecting, and grading seed varieties for possible foundation seed certification. The unique challenges organic seed production creates for certifying and labeling as certified foundation seed in New York State will be addressed.

To register please visit http://tinyurl.com/nofanyevents, call 585-271-1979 or email register@nofany.org.

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CAREER, ETC. OPPORTUNITIES


Assistant Farm Manager, Maple Avenue Farms

Maple Avenue Farms is a third generation, family owned and operated beef cattle farm that sells in NYC Greenmarkets.  We produce high quality, sustainably raised, Angus beef and market it directly to consumers. We seek a motivated, hard working person who shares this vision and has the skills and experience to provide daily care of beef cows, calves and finished cattle.  Duties include: feeding, health, grass finishing, pasture management, harvesting hay and maintaining barns, fences and farm machinery.  Opportunity to assume additional responsibilities managing: beef supply, sales records, website and social media marketing.  Minimum qualifications: 1 year’s farm work experience and HS diploma. MS Excel and Word, 2 or 4 year related degree preferred.  Salary, housing and benefits based on experience. For more information on the farm, check out our website (beta version) www.sunfedbeef.com/wordpress and our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/sunfedbeef.  Application deadline: Feb 11, 2013.  Send cover letter and resume to: sunfedbeef@gmail.com  or Maple Avenue Farms, 689 Borden Road, Earlville, NY 13332.  No phone calls.

Dairy Farm Partnership Position
Looking for someone knowledgeable and motivated to partner with to run dairy farm 1/2 hour from Oneonta in the spring. The farm is 360 acres, approximately 40% wooded and the rest is roughly evenly split between pasture and good tillable ground. The farm has been managed conventionally, but new owner would like to transition it into organic management. The farm is within the NYC watershed and has a management plan through the Watershed Agricultural Council, and there are 2 year round streams that are fenced off in partnership with the CREP program. The farmhouse is in good habitable condition. If interested, please contact Ken Christensen at kenchris06@hotmail.com

Business Partner (Hudson Valley) – Apply now!
A family farm in the Hudson Valley Region of NYS is offering a unique opportunity to an individual seeking a unique agricultural business opportunity. The farmer currently grows several varieties of oyster mushrooms on pasteurized straw and shiitake mushrooms year round in a controlled environment facility and sells through both farmers markets and higher end restaurants locally and south into Westchester County. The grower is seeking a partner with the right individual to both expand production into other crops. Prospective candidates should be self-starters. Most of the necessary equipment is already on-site and only lacks someone to utilize them more. One could use this as a learning experience and move on or continue to work and utilize the current farm and the resources. This is not a seasonal opportunity, I produce year round, however with another crop an individual could set their own schedule. Please contact Gary @ 845-706-1154 or e-mail him at Garyhillfarm@aol.com for more information.

Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships Database
This directory of on-the-job learning opportunities in sustainable and organic agriculture in the U.S. (and some in Canada) has been published since 1989 as a tool to help farmers and apprentices connect with each other. Anyone can browse the listings for free. As a subscriber, you can maintain a personalized listing to connect with internship seekers. Visit https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/internships/ to view the listings.

2013 Sustainable Agriculture Apprenticeship
Sustainable Nantucket is seeking agricultural intern/apprentices to participate in their Apprenticeship program on Nantucket Island, off the coast of Massachusetts. Successful candidates will be paired with one of six island farms/growers, experiencing and participating in many aspects of small-scale farming in our sensitive island environment, from greenhouse cultivation to field planting and harvest to farm stand sales. Applicants should have a strong interest in sustainable agriculture and the practical aspects /business of farming Application deadline is March 16. Cover letter and resume should be sent to mwhelan@sustainablenantucket.org. For more information, visit http://www.sustainablenantucket.org/2013/01/03/2013-sustainable-nantucket-agricultural-apprenticeships-available/.

Fruit & Vegetable Farm Manager
Fishkill Farms seeks motivated individual/couple for long-term position managing 100-acre orchard, berry and vegetable operation. Job includes co-ordinating staff, harvest, packing, horticulture & pest management. Unique opportunity working with experienced team to grow and sell through U-Pick, CSA and farmer’s markets, in historic and beautiful Hudson Valley, 70 miles from NYC. Orchard management is split IPM/ organic. Background in commercial fruit & vegetable production and previous management experience desired. Housing, benefit, salary based on qualifications. www.fishkillfarms.com. Contact Joshua.Morgenthau@gmail.com.

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FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES


USDA Announces New Microloan Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designed a new microloan program to help small and family operations, beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers secure loans under $35,000. The program is aimed at bolstering the progress of producers through their start-up years by providing needed resources and helping to increase equity so that farmers may eventually graduate to commercial credit and expand their operations. Microloans can be used for all approved operating expenses as authorized by the FSA Operating Loan Program, including but not limited to: initial start-up expenses; annual expenses such as seed, fertilizer, utilities, land rents; and marketing and distribution expenses. Producers interested in applying for a microloan may contact their local Farm Service Agency office.  To find an office near you, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/FSA/stateoffapp?mystate=ny&area=home&subject=landing&topic=landing

NYSERDA’s Anaerobic Digester Gas-to-Electricity Funding
Approximately $23.6 million in New York State Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) funds and $5 million in funds provided by the New York Power Authority (NYPA) are being made available to support the installation and operation of New Anaerobic Digester Gas (ADG)-to-Electricity Systems using dairy farm wastes and/or dairy product processing wastes in New York State. Funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis; up to $2 million is available per host site, depending on project size. Application Packages must be received by NYSERDA on or before January 31, 2013 at 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, or until all funding has been fully committed, whichever comes first.  For more info visit http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/en/Funding-Opportunities/Current-Funding-Opportunities/PON-2684-Anaerobic-Digester-Gas-to-Electricity.aspx

Journeyperson Program
This program is for beginning farmers in their first 5 years of farming and with land to farm. Funded by the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (#2011-49400-30510), new farmers are provided with 2 years of educational and business planning stipends, a paid farmer mentor, and educational and networking opportunities. Application deadline is January 31. For more info go to nofany.org or e-mail newfarmers@nofany.org and include “Journeyperson Program” in the subject line.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Sustainable Bioenergy Grants
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Sustainable Bioenergy Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year 2013. Specific program areas are designed to achieve the long-term outcome of reducing dependence on foreign oil through production of regionally appropriate sustainable bioenergy systems. Approximately $10 million is anticipated to fund single-function Research Projects, multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants. A letter of intent must be submitted by January 28, 2013.  For more info, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/sustainablebioenergyafri.cfm

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RESOURCES


Cornell University Releases Buckwheat Cover Crop Handbook
In the Northeast, vegetable farmers are rediscovering how to manage buckwheat effectively, thanks to Cornell University research that demonstrated a well-established stand of buckwheat eliminated 98 percent of summer weeds. The Cornell team, supported by a 2005-08 SARE grant, developed a definitive, 18-page Buckwheat Cover Crop Handbook, based on their research, that outlines important management strategies. Based on their surveys and outreach, the team estimates that by 2008, their efforts had helped 3,000 farmers use buckwheat successfully on a combined 18,000 acres in vegetable production. The handbook can be accessed here.

Northeast Forest Mushroom Growers Network website Re-launch
An updated version of the Northeast Forest Mushroom Growers Network website has just been re-launched, available at http://mushrooms.cals.cornell.edu. This website, largely based on the work of Cornell faculty with support from federal formula funds and Northeast SARE, contains factsheets, publications, and videos for farmers interested in cultivating mushrooms.

Cornell Offers Online Permaculture Classes
Three separate 6.5 week long courses will be offered by Cornell University’s Department of Horticulture. The courses are as follows: PERMACULTURE I: Fundamentals , offered January 21, 2013 to March 7, 2013; PERMACULTURE II: Ecosystem Mimicry offered March 11, 2013 to April 25, 2013; and PERMACULTURE III: Design Practicum offered April 29, 2013 to June 6, 2013. These classes will provide an opportunity to build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of design for a site of their choosing. To view a full syllabus of each class and to find out more, visit http://blogs.cornell.edu/permaculture/online. Email sfg53@cornell.edu to be notified.

Growing Farms Podcast Available Online
My name is John Suscovich and I am excited to bring you the Growing Farms Podcast. GFP is a free, downloadable online radio show that is posted on my website every week.

The Growing Farms Podcast is your weekly behind the scenes look at family farms from across the United States. On the show I discuss what it takes to get started in agriculture and how to reach success. Through farmer interviews you gain perspective to various kinds of agriculture, as well as farm business and marketing strategies.

The Growing Farms Podcast follows my start in agriculture as I seek advice from farmers from all over the land. I share my expertise in farm marketing, small farm business, and farming as a career while operating a farm myself.  The best way to learn how to farm is through other farmers. The guiding principle of the GFP is the documenting and free sharing of information. Whether you have been farming for years, you are a Homegrown Greenhorn, or you are starting to consider a career in agriculture, there is something we can all do to grow our farms.

A new episode is posted every Tuesday on the FarmMarketingSolutions.com website. You can always visit GrowingFarmsPodcast.com for more info, and to listen to past episodes.

Beginning Farmer Network of MA Website
BFNMass (Beginning Farmer Network of MA) just launched a new website providing resources, including blog posts, farming event logs, and more, for beginning farmers throughout Massachusetts. Check out the new MA site at www.bfnmass.org/.

New and Revised The Grafter’s Handbook
R.J. Garner’s The Grafter’s Handbook is the classic reference book and revered encyclopedia (and the only one of its kind) on plant propagation by grafting, and has been favored by orchardists and gardeners since its first publication in 1947. Everything the dedicated amateur, student, and professional horticulturalist wants to know about grafting is here. Available through Chelsea Green Publishing on February 12, 2013.

The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac
The 2013 New Farmers Almanac, published by Greenhorns, has its eye fixed sharply on the farmers of a future America — how will we reclaim a landscape, dominated by monoculture, how will we accommodate the coming population megaflux, how will our nation change now that the majority of its citizens live urban lives? To access this publication, visit http://www.thegreenhorns.net/?cat=28. To purchase The 2013 New Farmer’s Almanac, you can use Etsy or donate $20 per copy to Paypal or the old fashioned way by sending a check or money order to PO BOX 13 Hudson, NY 12534 (please make check out to SEE, memo: Almanac and include your shipping address) They will be sent out at the end of January.

Spanish Version of Farming for NYC Toolkit Released
Just Food released its Spanish-language version of the Farming for NYC Toolkit; an online resource center in Spanish and English is also available. To view online go to http://justfood.org/farmer-outreach/online-resource-center.

Direct Marketing of Specialty Food Products Online Course
The Direct Marketing of Specialty Food Products online curriculum will help farmers learn strategies to direct market food and sell online, evaluate the role of technology in their businesses in regards to direct online marketing, examine strategies necessary to deal with technology and weigh some cost/benefit measures, and more! Access this online course at http://eship.unl.edu/directmarketingfood.

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