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How does health insurance affect farmers and ranchers? Help influence rural health policy in upcoming survey

Farmers and ranchers: How does health insurance affect you? Help influence rural health policy by participating in an upcoming USDA funded survey. Your responses will help researchers understand how health-insurance policy affects farmers’ and ranchers’ decisions to invest, expand, and grow their enterprises.

Selected participants received a letter about the survey in February. If you did not receive a letter and survey but would like to participate follow this link:  https://survey.uvm.edu/index.php/132344?lang=en

This survey is a chance for farmers and ranchers to make their voices heard about their experiences with health insurance and how that affects both their economic development and family’s quality of life.

“We’re interested in hearing from multi-generation, beginning, and first generation farm and ranch families across all ages and  sectors of agriculture. We want to understand what parts of health insurance are working well for farmers and ranchers and what types of policy and program modifications need to be made. Results will be shared with agriculture and health policy makers,” said lead researcher, Shoshanah Inwood, rural sociologist and professor at the University of Vermont. All responses will be confidential and only summary statistics will be reported.

“We know from our prior research that farmers identify the cost of health insurance as a key barrier to growing their farms or farming full-time,” said Inwood. This study is a joint effort with the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Policy, and the four USDA Rural Development Centers. Findings will be used to guide the development of training materials for professionals who work with farmers and ranchers—such as Extension Educators, farm consultants, and tax accountants—so that they can support farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to make well-informed decisions regarding health insurance.

The survey questions are based on interviews conducted in 2016 with smaller groups of farmers and ranchers in the 10 states being researched. This study is a four-year national project exploring how health insurance options impact the farm and ranch population in the U.S. The project, titled “Health Insurance, Rural Economic Development and Agriculture” (HIREDnAG), is funded by a $500,000 USDA Rural Communities and Regional Development grant. States included in the study are California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.

Project partners include the Northeastern, North Central, Southern and Western Regional Rural Development Centers (RRDCs); University of Vermont Center for Rural Studies; University of Vermont Extension; Center for Rural Affairs; University of Maryland Extension; and, the Farm Foundation.

For more information, visit the HIREDnAG website: http://www.hirednag.net/
Or contact Katlyn Morris, HIREDnAG Project Coordinator at katlyn.morris@uvm.edu or by phone at 802-656-0257.

Calling All Farmers! Learn about Reduced Tillage for your Organic Vegetable Farms The series is free, but registration is important.

Michigan State University is teaming up with Cornell University and the University of Maine to offer a 3-part webinar to share the latest research on reduced tillage for organic production and learn about the practices, equipment, and cover crops that can work for your farm. Click here to register!

The webinar topics include:

1. Reduced Tillage Organic Vegetables on Permanent Beds

Ryan Maher (Cornell University)

Mark Hutton (University of Maine)

Brian Caldwell (Cornell University)

On: Thursday, March 9, 3-5 pm EST

About: Permanent bed systems can help small farms improve soils and reduce tillage

for a diversity of crops. Learn how these systems take shape and how different practices

are being used to manage weeds, reduce labor, and improve productivity.


 2.  Strip Tillage – How To and Its Values

Anu Rangarajan (Cornell University -Soil Health)

Dan Brainard (Michigan State University – Weed Management)

Meg McGrath (Cornell University – Disease Management)

Zsofia Szendrei (Michigan State University – Pests and Beneficial Insects)

On: Thursday, March 16, 3-5 pm EST

About: Adapting strip tillage for organic production requires system-wide changes. Learn

the tools and equipment and what research is showing about integrating cover crops,

managing residue, attracting beneficial insects, and controlling diseases and weeds.


3. Cultivation for Reduced Tillage Systems

Dan Brainard and Sam Hitchcock (Michigan State University – Tillage to manage weeds)

Eric Gallandt and Bryan Brown (University of Maine-Soil management)

On:  Thursday, March 23, 3-5 p.m. EST

About: Cultivation of the in-row zone is challenging, especially in reduced tillage

systems. Learn about innovative in-row cultivation techniques in reduced tillage crops.


Direct questions to Vicki Morrone, Organic Farming Specialist at sorrone@msu.edu or 517-282- 3557.

The New York State IPM Program is searching for a Livestock and Field Crops IPM Coordinator. An M.S. or Ph.D. (preferred) is required in entomology, plant pathology, weed science, agronomy, animal science, general agriculture or a closely related field; and the candidate must have experience in extension. The position is 80% extension and 20% research, and will be housed on Cornell’s main campus in Ithaca NY. Alternatively , the position could be housed on the Geneva NY campus if desired by the candidate. Please note that this position requires a wide range of knowledge and skills across field crops and livestock IPM. However, we realize that potential candidates may not have experience in all aspects of the position, but they must be willing to learn and grow into those areas.

A brief description of the position and the NYSIPM program are below. For further details and to apply, go to https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/7516Applications are due March 6, 2017.

Summary Statement of Job’s overall purpose:

The position of Livestock and Field Crops IPM Coordinator in the New York State IPM Program is needed to facilitate and lead statewide IPM demonstration, implementation, and research activities in Livestock (primarily Dairy and Beef Cattle), and field and forage crops production within Cornell Cooperative Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. This position addresses the needs associated with:

-multi-county and statewide IPM program planning

-impact documentation

-evaluation of pest management practices

-applied IPM research

-on-farm demonstration of IPM

-development of educational IPM programs and materials, and

-promotion of IPM adoption by farmers.

This position requires multidisciplinary knowledge and activity including, but not limited to, the disciplines of entomology, plant pathology, weed science, and agronomy. Please note that this position requires a wide range of knowledge and skills across field crops and livestock IPM. We realize that potential candidates may not have experience in all the aspects of the position, but they must be willing to learn and grow into those areas.

The NYS IPM Program

The New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYSIPM) is a nationally recognized leader in the development and promotion of IPM practices. The mission of NYSIPM is to develop sustainable ways to manage disease, insect, weed, and wildlife pests and to help people use methods that minimize environmental, health, and economic risks. NYS IPM has both Agricultural and Community programs, with issues and settings that overlap. NYSIPM’s Agricultural IPM programming includes fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and livestock and field crops. Community IPM is the management of insects, weeds, plant diseases and wildlife in all settings that are non-production such as lawns, gardens, landscapes, golf courses, parks, and buildings; and also includes invasive species and public health pests. The personnel of NYS IPM operate in a collegial and cooperative environment where teamwork is emphasized and appreciated.

Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC), a national nonprofit organization that assists military veterans embarking on careers in agriculture, has announced that the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund will begin accepting applications February 1 for the 2017 award cycle. The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund is the largest grant program in the country that provides direct assistance to veterans in agriculture and has awarded more than $1 million since it was established in 2011.

The 2017 Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund application is posted to the FVC website at www.farmvetco.org. Applicants have a little more than six weeks to complete and submit the application. The deadline to submit an application is Monday, March 20. The fellowship awards, ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 per person, are paid to third-party vendors of the awardees choosing for purchases that make the largest impact on the farmer veteran’s operation, such as livestock, fencing, tractor implements, barns and greenhouses.

While there is no guarantee a fellowship will be awarded to a farmer veteran, FVC’s goal is to award as many who apply as possible. During the 2016 cycle, 20 farmer veterans who were previously denied fellowship awards were surprised with $1,000 Tractor Supply Company gift cards shortly before Christmas.

For more information about eligibility and the application process, please visit www.farmvetco.org/about-us/our-programs/farming-fellowship/.

Our Small Farms Bi-Monthly Update brings you 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. Sign up here!

2016 Small Farm Updates

Looking for a grant opportunity or resource that appeared a few issues back? To view previous 2016 issues, click on the links below.

Issue 1  Issue 2
December  December 1st December 15th
November  November 1st Issue  November 15th Issue
October October 3rd Issue  October 15th Issue
September September 1st Issue September 15th Issue 
August August 1st Issue August 15th Issue
July July 1st Issue July 15th Issue
June June 1st Issue June 15th Issue
May May 2nd Issue May 16th Issue
April April 1st Issue April 18th Issue
March March 1st Issue March 15th Issue
February February 1st Issue February 15th Issue
January No Issue January 15th Issue

 

Join the Cornell Small Farms Program Team! We are looking for a passionate, dedicated coordinator for the Northeast Beginning Farmers Project.

The Cornell Small Farm Program (SFP) engages in research and extension projects and collaborations that support and enhance the viability of small farms in New York. This Coordinator will support the Northeast Beginning Farmers (NEBF) Project, a major SFP effort focused on beginning farmer training, their support networks, and informational resources.

This Project Coordinator will oversee current projects focused on improving long-term viability of “advanced” beginning farmers (defined as farmers operating 3-10 years) and helping military veterans entering into farming as a career. In addition, this person will help facilitate our regional professional development network for beginning farmer service providers.

The Project Coordinator will serve as the key contact within the program for our BF activities. This person will facilitate the development and implementation of project work plans by collaborators, coordinate timelines, manage relationships, convene advisors, do project outreach, and assess project impacts. The Project Coordinator ideally will bring specific agricultural expertise or interest to complement those of the program staff.

This individual will join a dynamic and committed team who work daily with small and beginning farmers, our Cooperative Extension collaborators, and other nonprofits who share our mission. Follow these links to learn more about the Cornell Small Farm Program and the NE Beginning Farmer Project.

For more information and to apply for the position, please click here: https://cornell.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/CornellCareerPage/job/Ithaca-Main-Campus/Beginning-Farmer-Project-Coordinator—Extension-Support-Specialist-I_WDR-00009971-1%20.

Learn about Climate Smart Farming, Maple Syrup Production, Holistic Financial Planning, Vegetable Production, and more during our upcoming farming courses starting January 16.

Sign up by December 16 and save $50 on tuition!
http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/annual-calendar-of-courses/

The 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.

Classes starting the Week of January 16 include:

marketBF 102: Markets and Profits
Have an idea for a farm enterprise but not sure if it’s feasible? This course will help you explore the potential markets and profitability of your ideas. Its perfect for beginning farmers in their first few years of production, who are looking for help exploring marketing, development of budgets, and tools to help achieve profitability.

 

climate floodBF 107: Climate Smart Farming
The earth’s climate is always in flux, but today’s rate of change is far beyond what previous generations of farmers have had to face. This course equips farmers with the knowledge to understand their risk to climate change and extreme weather, empowering them to implement measures that address changes and also raise their bottom line by promoting sustainability, preparedness, and best management practices.

 

veggies BF 120: Veggie Farming 1 – From Planning to Planting
This course helps new and aspiring vegetable producers answer basic questions about site selection, crop rotation, seeding and transplanting, and financial aspects of veggie production. Topics including variety selection, pre-plant preparation, and cultivation will be covered.

 

maplepic4BF 152: Introduction to Maple Syrup Production
The production of maple syrup is growing rapidly around the Northeast and offers a sound financial opportunity to utilize woodlots. This course explores the range possibilities of maple sugaring on your land – be it for supplemental income or for your livelihood. Students learn many practical skills. Also discussed are “alternative” trees for production, including Birch and Black Walnut.

 

financialBF 203: Holistic Financial Planning
If you’ve been struggling to make your farm operation profitable without driving yourself into the ground, this financial planning course is for you. Ultimately, this course will help you with the delicate balancing act that all farmers must succeed in: balancing healthy profits with healthy land and a healthy farm family and personal life.

 

apple treeBF 223: Tree Fruit Production
Tree fruit are an important component of the agricultural and homeowner landscape. This course trains beginning tree fruit growers in fundamental concepts in orchard planning and management. Content will include site selection and management, rootstock and cultivar selection, orchard systems, pest management, nutrient management, and harvest consid erations for commercial orchards tailored to the northeast U.S.

 

Happy sheep playing. Photo by Georgia RanneyBF 232: Commercial Sheep Production
Have sheep or thinking about getting a flock? Producers of all experience levels will find something for them in this lively, wide-ranging course. This course is designed for commercial producers seeking to build their knowledge in production, marketing, processing, and sales of lamb and sheep products. We will cover management styles and marketing for different types of sheep farms, focusing on meat production.

 

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.

Check out the listings at http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/ for more information on a particular course and the instructors.

Questions?
Contact Erica Frenay, ejf5@cornell.edu, or Steve Gabriel, sfg53@cornell.edu,
or call 607-255-2142.

Food Safety Plans for Artisan Food Processors, December 5-6, 2016 Crowne Plaza, White Plains NY

Spaces are still available for this course designed to provide a hands-on, practical approach to developing food safety plans for your artisan/farmstead operation! It is targeted to those who need help setting up a Food Safety System in their facility.

Prior to an intensive hands-on session at Cornell University, participants will be responsible for completing online modules and pre-reading to better prepare them for plan development.

Throughout the course, participants will break up into specific commodity groups and you will receive guidance in developing specific plans for your facility. At the end of the workshop you will have a good start to developing Food Safety Systems. We will also cover all the Food Safety Programs needed in your facility that would meet FSMA and 3rd party auditing requirements.

Register online, or contact lmf226@cornell.edu for more information.

The Small Farms Program is very happy to announce that Kreher’s Farm has been approved by the Division of Veterans Affairs to be the first farm in New York state to offer on-the-job farm training (OJT) to military veterans. The On the Job training program allows veterans to use their Military Housing Allowance through the GI Bill during the training period on the farm. During this time the trainee is also paid a standard training wage. In addition, the trainee may be able to continue in to a full-time position on the farm at the end of the training period.

If you are interested in applying for an OJT position at Kreher’s Farm, you can apply online here.

If you are a service provider or know a veteran who may be interested in this opportunity, please help us spread the word. If you are a farmer interested in being approved to offer on-the-job training, please contact me directly.

For more info on this exciting announcement please check out this article from The Cornell Chronicle.

farm ops

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