The Cornell Small Farms Program in partnership with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) are bringing the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training back to New York State. ATF gives veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and examine farming as a viable career.
ATF combines engaging classroom sessions with farm tours and hands-on activities. Participants learn about business planning, budgeting, record keeping, marketing, livestock production, vegetable production, and more. Participants gain a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farming enterprise. In addition, ATF attendees join a nationwide network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisors.
Instructors include NCAT sustainable agriculture specialists, staff from the Cornell Small Farms Program, Cooperative Extension, and USDA agencies, plus experienced crop and livestock producers.
Veterans are invited to complete an application by June 23, 2017. The program is available to military veterans in New York State who are interested in starting a farm or who have recently begun farming (less than 10 years). Spouses and farming partners are also invited to apply. Selected participants will be notified by June 29.
Dates, Location, and Cost
Armed to Farm is scheduled for July 31-Aug. 4, 2017 at SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury, NY. The training will be divided between classroom sessions and travel to local farms for tours and hands-on activities.
The event is free for those chosen to attend; lodging, transportation to local farms, and most meals will be provided. Participants must pay their own travel costs to and from the event.
NCAT and the Cornell Small Farms Program organize and host the Armed to Farm event in New York. Financial support comes from NCAT’s ATTRA program and the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Please contact Margo Hale, firstname.lastname@example.org, (479) 442-9824, Dean Koyanagi, email@example.com, or Kat McCarthy, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2015-70017-22882
Location: Jacksonville, NY
Wild Hill Farm is a vegetable CSA farm located on 50 acres in Bloomfield, NY. A CSA with 150 weekly
shares is the heart of the farm, with 4-5 acres in vegetables. U-Pick blueberries are an additional crop
on the farm, as well as hay and straw. All land is managed using organic practices.
Wild Hill Farm is Erin Bullock’s second CSA farm, started in 2016. She also started Mud Creek Farm CSA, and ran it for 5 years growing it to over 250 weekly shares, before selling it to her assistant manager.
Location: Bloomfield, NY
Top 3 Products: 20-Week Vegetable CSA share, U-Pick Blueberries, Hay
How has the profit Team Project helped your farm?
Scaling up fast to profitability was the goal this year, as we doubled CSA membership from 75 to 150
weekly shares. Getting members to sign up was a challenge, and hiring the marketing consulting firm
helped us reach our goal! Now we have the income to run the farm, and the momentum of loyal
members to fund the expansion of the farm. It was difficult as a new farm entering the market in 2016
to make ourselves known. A promoted “farm commercial” on Facebook really helped us reach and
acquire new members.
When you envision your farm business five years from now, what differences do you see?
With a loyal CSA member base, we will diversify from just vegetables to offering fruit, meat, mushrooms, agritourism, and other products. Possibly value-added or prepared foods as well.
If you weren’t a farmer, what would your dream job be?
Farmer, just not working so much.
What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring farmer?
Think about life balance.