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!
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:
BF 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.
BF 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.
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.
BF 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.
BF 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.
BF 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.
BF 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.
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 email@example.com 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.
Most of us go into farming with the thought of making some – or all – of our
livelihood through the sale of what we make or grow. As you grow your operation to provide more of your family’s income, having a carefully planned marketing strategy becomes more critical.
Completion of this online course will enable you to better understand how to price your products, position yourself in the “buy local”, direct sales or wholesale marketplace, and understand low-cost “guerrilla” marketing tactics to get the best bang for your buck and make your farm operation financially sustainable. If you complete the activities in this course, you will possess a marketing plan to guide decisions for which market channels to enter, branding and crisis management plans and pricing guidelines for your farm products.
This course will help you:
- Link your farm’s mission and vision to your commercial goals and marketing strategy
- Understand the key elements of a solid marketing plan
- Define who your target customers are and how to most effectively reach them
- Develop and implement effective marketing strategies
- Assign various pricing strategies depending on the product and market
- Understand what a “brand” is and how to relate it back to your marketing activities
- Create a marketing plan through weekly input from the course instructors
DATES: November 9 – December 14, 2016 with webinars each Wednesday evening from 6:00-7:30pm Eastern time.
LEARN MORE AND REGISTER: http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/bf-201-making-money/
Cornell Small Farms offer Statewide Agroforestry Trainings for Veterans in 2017
The Cornell Small Farms Program, with support from New York State and the USDA, announces three trainings in agroforestry this coming Winter and Spring to support Veterans looking to get into agricultural production.
Agroforestry includes farming practices that combine trees and forests with crop production. Three trainings will convene to focus on three of the most viable tree-crop enterprises including maple syrup, log-grown shiitake mushrooms, and silvopasture (combining livestock with trees).
Each training includes classroom instruction and site visits to farms in active production. Content will cover the technical aspects of production as well as the financial and business considerations for each venture.
These trainings are exclusively for veterans and active military personnel who are residents of New York State with an interest in selling commercial farm products (filing a Schedule F) in 2017 or 2018. Participants will be asked to complete a targeted survey at the end of the course as well as 6 months from completion, to determine the effect on their operation.
Cost: $30 per training includes lunch and all materials.
Participants are able to submit up to $100 in travel expenses for reimbursement.
Visit Veteran Trainings in Agroforestry to learn more or register for the trainings.
Grazing is more than simply turning livestock out onto a green “warehouse” and hoping for the best. With sound grazing management, you can reduce your workload, keep your animals happier and healthier, and improve the overall productivity and profitability of your farm.
As a participant, you will learn the key concepts of successful grazing operations that can be adapted and successfully implemented on your own farm. Focus will be on grazing ruminant livestock, but most of the information will be relevant to non-ruminant animals as well.
In this course you will:
- Learn common grazing terminology, systems and methodology
- Comprehend the fundamental principles of every successful grazing system
- Develop confidence in implementing or enhancing a grazing system for your farm
- Know how to monitor, evaluate and refine the grazing system
DATES: November 9 – December 14, 2016 with webinars each Wednesday evening from 7:00 – 8:30pm Eastern time.
LEARN MORE AND REGISTER: http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/grazing-management-bf-231/
The New York Division of Veteran’s Affairs has approved Kreher’s Poultry Farm in Clarence, New York, as the state’s first on-the-job training program for military veterans to become farmers!
The Oct. 10 approval was obtained via the Farm Ops initiative of the Cornell Small Farms Program and the Farmer Veteran Coalition. For more information, check out the press release in the Cornell Chronicle.
To learn more about the Northeast Beginning Farmers Project’s Farm Ops project, visit www.nebeginningfarmers.org.
Thinking about adding berries to the farm? Growing strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and other berries is scalable and economical. Learn all about it during our 6-week online course starting November 8.
This course will help you consider all the aspects of this decision, from varieties and site selection all the way through profit potential and marketing. It is especially useful if you are exploring the possibilities of growing berries for income – be it supplemental or for your livelihood. The material presented will assume little past knowledge of farming, but a background in gardening will be very helpful.
Upon completion of this course, you will understand:
- Primary considerations when choosing a site for successful berry farming
- Basic cultural demands of the 3 major berry crops (strawberry, blueberry and brambles)
- Cultural requirements of an array of lesser-known berry crops
- Pest complexes of the major berry crops
- Post-harvest requirements of berries
- Considerations for successful marketing of berry crops
- How to analyze costs vs. expenses and be able to incorporate them into a business plan
DATES: November 8 – December 16 with Webinars on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 – 8:00pm EST
LEARN MORE & REGISTER: http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/all-courses/bf-122-berry-production/
The Fall 2016 issue of Small Farm Quarterly has recently been released! Check out 16 informative articles discussing topics ranging from hazelnut trees to breweries. Download the PDF version or read the Quarterly online here!
Want more? Check out our SFQ archived issues.
Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Broome County Presents: