Skip to main content



Registration has been opened for the 2017-2018 season of Small Farm Online Courses, helping to build the technical and business skills of farmers. Expert farmers and extension educators guide students through the latest research-based information to help improve efficiency and increase profit on small farms. 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.

From aspiring to experienced farmers, there is a course for nearly everyone. Visit the Online Courses page for more information.

Did you know that Alfalfa height may be a reliable indicator of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) values for your alfalfa field and alfalfa/grass-mixed fields? The South Central New York (SCNY) team is monitoring alfalfa heights again this Spring to help predict % NDF for first cutting hay crop. Results will be compiled and emailed on a weekly basis. To be included on the weekly email, or to be removed from the email, please contact Besty Hicks,

As of May 1st, the SCNY has predicted that this year’s conditions are closer to the “normal” for this region. Alfalfa heights near the southern portion of our region are approaching the 17” plus range on average. In the northern counties, observations show only a few inches less than that. According to SCNY, in order to cut pure grass stands for maximum quality, now is the time to be harvesting pure stands… if you can get in them! The rain and cooler temperatures this week have put the hold on in many operations, so you’re not alone in feeling frustrated about harvesting or being able to put corn in. Predictions for mixed grass stands are looking to be ready next weekend for peak quality harvest. Cooler weather may delay this a little bit, so hopefully fields will dry up a little soon.

Join the weekly email to see charts for determining what the optimal height is for cutting your mixed stands. If you have questions, contact the team at 607.391.2662 or by email at

Attendees of the November 2016 Beginning Farmer Learning Network (BFLN) meeting made it clear that they wanted ways to remain connected and learning from each other throughout the year. So we invited your ideas for topics you would be willing to share, and the following monthly webinars are the result: a mosaic of ideas representing the diversity and wealth of knowledge among members of the network.

  • May 17: 12-1pm, Overview of FSA Programs and the Bridges to Opportunity Resource Database – Lynette Wright, FSA. REGISTER HERE
  • June 21: 12-1pm, What Urban Farmers Need and how All Service Providers can Support Them – Molly Riordan REGISTER HERE
  • July 19: 12-1pm, Scaling Up: How to Determine If, When, How, and How Much? – Marilyn Anthony, Fox School of Business, Temple University REGISTER HERE
  • August 16: 12-1pm, Organic Vegetable Cost of Production Project – Jen Miller, NOFA-VT – REGISTER HERE
  • September 20: 12-1pm, Integrating a Profitable Forest and Timber Production System into Your Farm – Jared Woodcock, SUNY AdirondackREGISTER HERE
  • October 18: 12-1pm, Integrating Food Justice into Rural Farmer Training Programs – Elizabeth Gabriel, Groundswell Center for Local Food and FarmingREGISTER HERE

A reminder that if you have research and extension work relevant to small farmers in New York and the Northeast, the Small Farm Quarterly is a great place to get the word out. We reach over 32,000 readers, 75% of which reside in NY. We invite anyone to submit an article relevant to our farming readership in the Northeast. Articles can not promote a specific business or product, but be intended as an educational piece. Please read over the guidelines below before sending us an article. We reserve the right to publish or not to publish any materials received.  We may hold materials for publication at a later date.

Our deadline for the summer issue is May 19th. We love articles that offer useful information to assist farmers in doing their work better.

See further guidelines here, and consider a submission!

Location: Wingdale, NY

Top 3 Products: Medicinal herbs, farm-made pesto, and social justice-activism

How has the Profit Team Program helped your farm?: It will help pay our mentor as we begin mushroom production.


Location: Brooktondale, NY

Products: diversified vegetables




Location: Enfield, NY

Products: pasture raised pork


IMG_3815Teasel Meadow Farms focus is to provide high quality, naturally raised feeder pigs, breeding stock, and pork to discerning customers who care about how their animals area raised. They have purebred Berkshire pigs which are renowned for their meat quality. They also have a combination of several heritage breeds.

Teasel Meadow Farms works with a local slaughter facility that is USDA inspected. We can supply local meat markets and restaurants with fresh, local grown, high quality, naturally grown pork.

Location: Savannah NY

IMG_3704Top 3 Products: Berkshire Pigs,  and Berkshire Pork

How has the Profit Team Program helped your farm?: To be able to earn a living from the farm business

What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring farmer?: Network with existing Farmers They are the best database for information


Sparrowbush Farm raises animals, vegetables, and grains in Hudson, NY with a focus on fall and winter availability.  They are fortunate to be surrounded by farming neighbors and continue a tradition of agricultural production in Columbia County. They raise high-quality, nutritious food using practices that do not deplete the soil or pollute the water so that farmers can continue to grow for generations to come.

Location: Hudson, NY


Top 3 Products: Greens, herbs, and eggs

10417649_769287409796496_5869096236080287513_nHow has the Profit Team Program helped your farm?: Allowed me access to mentorship

When you envision your farm business five years from now, what differences do you see?: More profitable and simplified

If you weren’t a farmer, what would your dream job be?: Teacher

What is your best piece of advice for an aspiring farmer?: Work on many other farms first.

Location: Watkins Glen, NY

Products: Lamb, Pork, Poultry, Eggs (chicken and duck), and Garlic



More »