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Do you have skills in horticulture, sheep, goat or poultry production? Do you have experience in smaller scale field crop production systems, or processing, marketing or business skills geared toward small farms?

Catholic Relief Services, one of the oldest and largest U.S. international humanitarian and development organizations, is looking for volunteers for all expenses paid short-term assignments to East Africa under the U.S. government-funded Farmer to Farmer Program. They are looking for women and men from across America to share their passion for agriculture with small scale farmers and agribusinesses in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. For more information, please call 410-951-7366 or visit their website:  http://farmertofarmer.crs.org/

Are you looking to stabilize rising fuel and energy costs on your farm or homestead? Are you seeking more sustainable sources of energy?

The last webinar in our four-part Sustainable Farm Energy lunchtime webinar series will run from noon-1:00pm this Friday, April 25th. This webinar is free and open to the public. Registration is required. Upon registering, you’ll receive an email providing a link and instructions for you to access the series.

April 25th: Thirsty Livestock?  Use Sun or Wind to Power a Remote Watering System
Noon – 1:00pm with Jonathan Barter of Barter Farm, Branchport NY
Are you getting tired of hauling water to livestock in remote pastures?   Jonathan Barter will show us the renewable energy powered watering system on his 210 acre livestock farm (40 Angus cattle and 130 Cheviot and Dorset sheep). In 2010, Jonathan installed a combination wind and solar pumping system which supplies water to 58 acres of pasture. The pumping system consists of a 350 watt turbine, 400 watt solar panels, back up batteries and a deep well pump. Partial funding for this project was provided by USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service’s Conservation Innovative Grants program.  Register Here

This webinar series is sponsored by NE SARE (Northeast Sustainable Ag Research and Education) and the Cornell Small Farms Program. Please send inquiries tosmallfarmsprogram@cornell.edu. To learn about funding opportunities available from NE SARE, visit www.nesare.org. To learn more about small farm resources and support, visit www.smallfarms.cornell.edu.

Are you looking to deepen your skills in support of beginning farmers? Don’t miss these two free webinars for service providers offered this April! Pre-registration is required and you need to register for each webinar separately.

Valuing time and muscle – Working with beginning farmers in labor record keeping

THURSDAY April 17th, 2014 from 12:00 to 1:00 PM EDT

It can be a daunting task for beginning farmers to track labor inputs on the farm. What records do they keep and when is it most important? Knowing how to take labor records can set up your farmers to make management decisions that appropriately value labor, especially their own. How can you support beginning farmers in these record keeping skills? Join us for a free webinar, learn from farmer, consultant, and educator Chris Blanchard, and explore ways to track and calculate labor inputs that translate into meaningful records. This training will focus on what activities to monitor, if and how to extrapolate from a snapshot, when to lump activities together or get picky, and what forms and formats may work better or worse. Whether it is setting prices, evaluating profitability, or considering a new farm investment, this training will help you work with beginning farmers in designing the right recording keeping systems that lead to informed management decisions.

Presented by Chris Blanchard – Flying Rutabaga Works, Decorah, Iowa

Register for this webinar here

About the Presenter: Chris Blanchard provides consulting and education for farming, food, and business through Flying Rutabaga Works. He has worked in farming for the past 24 years, managing farms and operations around the country. As the owner and operator of Rock Spring Farm since 1999, Chris raised twenty acres of vegetables, herbs, and greenhouse crops, marketed through a 200-member year-round CSA, food stores, and farmers markets.

Diversifying beyond direct – Supporting beginning farmers in exploring wholesale markets

FRIDAY April 25th, 2014 from 12:00 to 1:00 PM EDT

Most beginning farmers look to direct marketing like farmers markets and CSA’s for the majority of their sales and don’t consider wholesale as a viable option. A growth in wholesale marketing opportunities now have many thinking about whether and how to add these channels to their market mix. How can you help beginning farmers decide on and take steps to entering a wholesale market? Join us for a free webinar to learn through the experience of Deep Root Cooperative and their work with organic vegetable farmers in the NE. Learn about the nature of wholesale relationships, terms of pricing and payment, and expectations for quality and packaging. Exploring the structure of wholesale markets will help you design outreach and education programs that prepare beginning farmers to consider these channels as their enterprises grow.

Presented by Anthony Mirisciotta – Deep Root Organic Cooperative, Johnson, VT

Register for this webinar here

About the Presenter: Anthony Mirisciotta builds direct relationships with farmers and links them to consumers as sales manager of Deep Root Organic Cooperative, one of the oldest co-ops of organic vegetable growers in the US. Anthony brings 10 years of experience in the produce industry, working in retail, distribution, and cooperative enterprises, and serving in communications, sales and logistics, procurement, and administrative roles.

Did you miss our last webinar?

Learn from Michele Pfannenstiel DVM, of the Farmer Veteran Coalition about “The Language and Landscape of Working with Farmer Veterans“. You can view an archived recording here.

 

Any questions can be directed to Ryan Maher, Cornell Small Farms Program, ryan.maher@cornell.edu.

This year’s annual Small Farms Summit,  Beyond Direct Marketing: Exploring New Ways to Sell, scheduled for March 12th, 2014 from 9:30am – 3:30pm has been postponed due to potentially hazardous weather conditions. Because a large proportion of our attendees are farmers from rural regions, the “vulcan” snowstorm that is predicted to hit New York will make it difficult for many people to safely make it to the summit presentation sites.  Stay tuned to this website for a rescheduled date- more details will be posted in the next few days. Thanks to all the attendees, presenters, and hosts for their patience and cooperation!

NOFA-NY’s 3rd Annual Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference
Holiday Inn, Auburn, NY 
March 7, 2014
Registration: 8:00-9:00am
Keynote Speaker Gary Zimmer, president of Midwestern BioAg, will discuss how to build healthy sustainable soils for your farm. Recognized around the world for his commitment to improving farming through building healthy soils, Gary has spoken to farmers and agribusiness professionals all across the United States and in Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Ethiopia, Korea, and South Africa.
Three different workshop tracks will be offered-Business Management, Dairy, and Field Crops–and a total of 12 workshops.

Registration is only $60 and includes a delicious lunch prepared from food donated from local organic farms.

To learn more, just click here.

The Cornell Small Farms Program Bi-Monthly update is a great resource for finding funding, farm jobs, and new tools that you can use on your farm! Check out the excerpt from our latest update below and visit our archive of updates for an extensive listing of opportunities.

Career Opportunities:

Farm Manager Position- North Salem, NY
Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard is a u-pick apple orchard, vegetable and CSA farm, raise beef and chickens for egg production, and recently received their Farm Winery license. The Farm Manager position would involve overseeing farm store produce, managing the existing CSA, and helping with other farm activities. Applicants should be good with customers, knowledgeable about food/produce, and capable of working with others. Applicants should also be ambitious and self-reliant because this job entails managing some aspect of the business with little oversight. This job will have an hourly wage and typically runs from April through December. Job starts this spring/summer. For more information, contact Kevin Covino at 845 629 1832 orCovinofarms@gmail.com.

Fishkill Farms Vegetable Production Field Crew Opening- East Fishkill, NY

Fishkill Farms is a 150-acre fruit and vegetable farm located in East Fishkill, NY. The vegetable production team grows 20 acres of vegetables using organic methods for a 200-member CSA, an on-site farm store, wholesale outlets, and three farmers markets in NYC. Crew members will participate in every aspect of vegetable growing, including greenhouse work, planting, hand and tractor cultivation, disease and pest management, harvesting, and washing and packing. In addition they will attend and run one market in the city each week. This is a seasonal, full-time position beginning in the spring (April or May) and ending in late fall (November or December). For more information: http://www.fishkillfarms.com/jobs.html.

Produce Resource Educator- Middletown, NY

The Association Produce Resource Educator will work under the direct supervision of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County (CCEOC) Agriculture Issue Leader to provide leadership in developing, planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs in Vegetable and Small Fruit production and crop management. This position will represent the association to the public, community leaders, government officials, agricultural industry and Cornell University. This person will work as a team member in addressing local, regional and statewide programming priorities and operate as a multi-association team member in the above areas of specialization. Application deadline is March 7, 2014. To apply, visit: https://cornellu.taleo.net/careersection/10163/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=22902.

Position Available:   Association Resource Educator – GAPs/Post Harvest

Location:  Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County, 18 Seward Avenue, Suite 300, Middletown, NY

The GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) Resource Educator will work with Cornell staff under the direct supervision of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Orange County (CCEOC) Agriculture Issue Leader to deliver programming in two components.  The first programming component will offer GAPs and FSMA (Food Safety Modernization Act) workshops, certification, and one-on-one technical assistance to farms.  The second programming component will offer training sessions and one-on-one technical assistance to farms on harvest and post-harvest handling and packaging standards needed to serve the wholesale market.   The position is located in Orange County delivering direct services to the Hudson Valley, including Greene, Columbia, Ulster, Dutchess, Sullivan, Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester counties.  This is a 2-year grant-funded, exempt position.

We are looking for a candidate with knowledge of GAPs certification processes and Food Safety Management Act legislation and implementation.  The candidate should have very strong interpersonal and communication skills and a proven ability to work with diverse audiences in group and one-on-one settings.  The incumbent will need to be able to work effectively with staff, clientele, committees, community and funding partners.

Master’s Degree in Horticulture, Microbiology, Food Science, or other agricultural degree appropriate to the position is required.  One-year experience or education in each of the areas of agriculture, food science/microbiology and education/extension needed.  Candidate should meet FDA proposed qualifications to be FSMA trainer.

Salary:  $53,843 along with benefit package.

Application deadline is Feb. 21, 2014.  

To apply, visit: https://cornellu.taleo.net/careersection/10163/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=22773.

What: Sprouting Fodder Webinar
When: February 17, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Sprouting barley and other grains for dairy cows (and other livestock) is not a novel practice, but has gained more popularity in the past few years as grain prices rise and farmers search for ways to maximize their return on grain purchases.

John Stoltzfus, a dairy farmer in Whitesville, NY who has produced fodder for his 50-cow dairy herd, will talk about his methods for sprouting barley, the problems he’s encountered in his system over the past two years, and what he’s learned since our previous webinar in 2012. Fay Benson, an educator at Cornell Cooperative Extension, will discuss the topic of nutrient availability in sprouted seeds, and how this process can benefit the animal, as well as minimizing nutrient losses to the environment. Romi Wilson, a graduate student in Horticulture at Cornell University, will talk about seed issues relating to sprouting fodder. She will present on the physiological process of the first 12 hours of a seed germinating, and review the water uptake during the first 6 days of sprouting.

Please register ahead of time for the webinar here.

To learn more about the practice, follow the Sprouted Barley Fodder Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/533261656709517/

When: April 25 and 26, 2014

WhereCornell’s Arnot Teaching and Research Forest, 611 County Route 13, Van Etten, N.Y. Directions.

Camp Mushroom is Cornell’s annual two-day event for farmers, woodlot owners, and hobby growers who want to cultivate their own shiitake, oyster, lions mane, and stropharia mushrooms. For almost a decade, Professor Ken Mudge has been dedicating his time to researching the dos and don’ts of successful cultivation. This year we are excited to announce the release of a new shiitake growing guide, produced in conjunction with the University of Vermont and developed through a grower-based research project that was conducted over the last three years, which demonstrated that log-grown shiitake is a viable commercial niche crop for the Northeast and beyond.

The workshop is a unique beginner/intermediate level workshop for those interested in small-scale forest mushroom cultivation. Participants will be trained in three methods of mushroom cultivation; shiitake on bolts, lions mane/oyster on totems, and stropharia in woodchip beds. In addition laying yard and management considerations will be covered. Each participant will also inoculate two shiitake blots to take home. Anyone who wants to get into mushroom growing as a serious pursuit should not miss out on this opportunity to learn from experienced growers and researchers who will present for this event.

Cost: $100 for overnight guests (primitive cabin with heat), $70 for commuters. IncludesFriday dinner and breakfast and lunch on Saturday, featuring mushrooms and local, organic foods.

For a complete schedule and to register, go to http://blogs.cornell.edu/mushrooms/events/

Consider signing up for NOFA-NY’s Mentorship Program or the Technical Consultancy Program! Beginning farmers in the program have called the advice and availability of their mentors “an invaluable help” and “a real comfort and confidence booster.” Farmers already engaging in mentorship have also joined the program, nominated by the new farmers that want to celebrate the long-standing relationships they’ve built with such leaders and experts.

The NOFA-NY Mentorship Program is geared toward supporting beginning farmers in a role of farm start-up, ownership, leadership, management or transition-to-Organic as well as the farmers who train and educate them. The Mentorship Program offers several forms of support:

  • A matchmaking process, three times a year, to help beginning and experienced farmers find each other and form long-term advisory relationships
  • A connection to peers (other new farmers or other experienced farmers who take an active role in training new farmers)
  • Useful information and education to support experienced farmers’ abilities as teachers and guides.

For more information: http://www.nofany.org/mentorship

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