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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

On Aug. 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated 15 counties in New York as primary natural disaster areas due to losses caused by a recent drought:

Cayuga Monroe Steuben
Chemung Niagara Tioga
Erie Ontario Tompkins
Genesee Schuyler Wyoming
Livingston Seneca Yates

All qualified farm operators in the designated areas are eligible for low interest emergency (EM) loans from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), provided eligibility requirements are met. For more information and to see the other counties in New York and Pennsylvania that also qualify for natural disaster assistance, click here.

The Agriculture Energy Audit Program offers a free energy audit to farms and on-farm producers. The applicant can choose from one of three levels of audits including a simple walk through for smaller and less complex operations, a standard energy audit which looks at all farm systems and provides recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades and a more in depth audit which includes an analysis of a specific system and/or a renewable assessment. The farm then gets a follow up to discuss opportunities for implementation funding.

For more information or to apply, visit

If you have questions about the program, contact NYSERDA at or 800-732-1399.

SUNY Cobleskill and Harvest New York invite beef producers to hone their skills in a one-day Beef Cutting Seminar on May 25, the first in a new series of meat production classes to be offered throughout the year. The course will be taught by SUNY Cobleskill faculty, and specialists from the Harvest New York program of Cornell Cooperative Extension.

The all-day class is designed for producers who are selling to markets, would like to learn to cut their own meats, or are interested in learning about cuts of beef. It will cover which cuts are most profitable, quality of meat, what products consumers want, and marketing strategies. Participants will learn about the cuts of beef and marketing in a morning classroom session before applying that knowledge in the afternoon to cut a cattle carcass.

The event comes amidst growing consumer interest in the production and availability of locally sourced meat and meat products in New York. It is the first step in a partnership that will host classes for other meat producers, including lamb, pork, shelf stable, and charcuterie.

“The partnership between Harvest NY and SUNY Cobleskill is wonderful. SUNY Cobleskill has the facilities to help Harvest NY meet its educational goals for meat processing education, while Harvest NY has the ability to grow the meat industry in the state. We are looking forward to a mutually beneficial long-term relationship,” said MacKenzie L. Waro, Livestock Processing & Marketing Specialist for Harvest New York.

Harvest New York’s goal is to expand and enhance Cornell Cooperative Extension’s regional agriculture programs to spur agricultural development in New York State. Harvest New York specialists develop educational programs that increase agricultural investments, profitability and sustainability.

The seminar will be held Wednesday, May 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at SUNY Cobleskill’s new Meat Laboratory, in the College’s Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources. The cost is $50 per person, which includes lunch and classroom materials. Space is limited to 15 participants.

To register or for more information, call Linda Serdy, Office of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE), 518.255.5528 or

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