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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.


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.

bf231grazing-2efimzx-300x225Well-managed grazing systems also provide greater environmental benefits and enhance habitat for many wildlife species.

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.


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

bf122berry-tr31pn-221x300Thinking 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


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:

 ANNIE’S PROJECT: Risk Management for Farm Women
Thursdays, starting October 6th
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County
Do YOU want to increase your knowledge and professional skills in agricultural risk management through goal setting, networking among farm colleagues and industry professionals to meet goals, and discovering their personality type and how it affects working with others?
Annie’s Project is a business planning and risk management training focused on:
• Farm business planning
• Marketing
• Financial statements
• Record keeping
• Software training
• Agricultural production
• Employee relations
• Estate planning
New in 2016 — Spots will be reserved for women veterans who are interested in pursuing agriculture as a career. 
This will take place over 6 Thursdays starting on October 6th from 5:30-9pm at the CCE Broome County office. The cost is $50/person and includes all handouts and time to network with speakers and other participants. Each week we will host a potluck so please bring a dish to pass! The registration deadline is September 30th. Online registration can be accessed at: can be directed to Laura Biasillo at (607) 584-5007 or

Cornell Cooperative Extension will be offering Baskets or Pallets for Farmer Veterans: Scaling up to meet your market channel, Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 PM at Genesee Community College Arcade Campus October 4 through November 8, 2016. To aide in hands-on learning two field trips have been arranged to accompany the Tuesday in classroom trainings. The first field trip will be to Grizzly’s Custom Cutting in Hunt, NY on Saturday October 15th.  The second field trip will be to the Genesee Valley Produce Auction in Centerville, NY on Friday, October 21st. Both trips will be from 9:30am until noon.

During this training, authors of the brand new “Baskets to Pallets” Curriculum will introduce a series of lectures, discussions, activities, videos and other teaching resources designed to prepare small and mid-sized farmers in NY to enter new wholesale markets.

The Curriculum, which consists of 10 hours of instruction, targets farmer veterans of all enterprises.  The Training begins by introducing two Case Study Farms, based on an actual produce and livestock farm currently operating in NY.  Over the course of the Training, trainees will deepen their understanding of the farms’ management, production, and promotion strategies through the lens of marketing.

The training is open to 20 veteran farmers in New York State on a first-come, first-served basis. Trainees should be ready to engage in ‘active learning’ via role-play, small group discussion and activities.  There is no fee to attend however preregistration is required by September 27, 2016.  For more information or to apply contact Lynn Bliven, CCE Allegany County at 585-268-7644 ext. 18 or email

The second round of funding is available through New York’s Farm to School Program. The program helps school districts across New York State establish stronger relationships with local growers and producers and increase their use of homegrown specialty crops. $500,000 in grants is available for projects that help Kindergarten through Grade 12 schools buy and serve healthy, locally grown foods on school menus.

The Farm to School program is aimed at developing and strengthening connections between the more than 700 school districts in New York State and the farmers in their communities to grow the agricultural economy and to provide a greater and more diverse selection of specialty crops during school lunches. The program also looks to educate students about locally produced specialty crops and increase their preference for these healthy meal options.

Projects eligible for this funding must increase the volume and variety of local specialty crops procured by schools/districts for inclusion in school meal programs. Applicants may include Kindergarten through Grade 12 school food authorities, charter schools, not-for-profit schools, other entities participating in the National School Lunch or Breakfast Programs and/or operating Summer Food Service Programs, and Indian Tribal Organizations. For more information on the Farm to School Grant program, please click here. To access the RFP, click here. All applicants must register and apply through the Grants Gateway portalThe deadline to apply is 4:30 pm on October 5. 

Increasing production on the farm can often require investments in equipment to improve labor efficiency. Are you a farmer who is interested in scaling up farm production through investment in your first tractor or upgrading to a bigger piece of equipment? The Cornell Small Farms Program will be hosting a two-day workshop for farmers in New York State with less than 10 years’ experience on the basics of tractor operation, safety, and daily maintenance protocols.

This intensive workshop will be led by Shane J. LaBrake, who provides an unusual and holistic approach to tractor operation, safety and routine maintenance. The class is designed to demystify tractors and equipment, empower and inspire, and inform smart “scale-appropriate” equipment choices and purchase decisions.

The workshop will be held on Sunday October 9th and Monday October 10th  at Blue Star Farm in Stuyvesant, NY. Through funding from the USDA and the Local Economies Project, we are able to offer this training at the discounted rate of $75, which also includes coffee, snacks, and lunch both days. Scholarships are available for military veterans and on a need basis. To register, click here

Participation in the workshop is limited to 12 and applications will be accepted until September 30th or until the class fills up.

Please note: we plan to hold similar training events in Northern and Western New York in early April of 2017.

For questions contact Dean Koyanagi at 607-255-9911 or

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