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Small Farms Staff to Present at “Farmer to Farmer” Conference

If you head out to the Homer C. Thompson Research Farm in Freeville, NY, you’ll find a field filled with permanent beds in the organic section of the farm. These beds have been under trial for four years using different combinations of tarps, mulches, and tillage depths to discover the ideal system for an organic … Read More

#34 Information Resources for Getting Started

Back to Guide to Farming Table of Contents >> There are numerous resources to help you learn how to grow or market specific products. These are a few that have been verified for content. Reading and research are great, but if you want to start a farm, the best way is to learn from farmers who … Read More

#33 Agricultural Agencies and Organizations

Back to the Guide to Farming Table of Contents>> Federal Agencies Serving Agriculture Program Information Contact USDA Farm Service Agency Federal agency with county offices across the state to administer farm loans, price support programs, commodity programs and payments, conservation programs, and disaster assistance. 315-477-6300 USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service Federal agency that has … Read More

#32 Opportunities for Veterans in Farming

Back to the Guide to Farming Table of Contents >> An increasing number of programs and resources are available for veterans entering farming. Navigating through federal, state and local channels can be time consuming. While not intended to be all encompassing the information below will help you get started. Sign up for the New York … Read More

#31 Grant Opportunities for Farmers

Back to the Guide to Farming Table of Contents>> An increasing number of grant programs are available to farmers from federal or state sources each with specific objectives. Grants fall into the three general types: Grants for business planning, adding value and increasing farm viability Grants for on-farm research and demonstration projects that are mostly production … Read More

#30 Organic Certification

Back to the Guide to Farming Table of Contents >> Becoming Certified Organic production offers many advantages for small farmers including ecologically friendly production methods, strong consumer demand for organic products, and higher prices.  Regardless of whether you use organic practices, if you have farm sales of more than $5,000/year you cannot legally sell your … Read More

#29 Collecting Sales Tax on Farm Product Sales

Back to the Guide to Farming Table of Contents >> Products Exempt from Sales Tax Collection Farmers do not need to collect sales tax on farm and food products intended for human consumption; this includes: all fresh and processed foods: fruits, vegetables, baked goods, jellies, jams, preserves, meats, eggs, dairy products, syrup, honey, cider, etc. … Read More

#28 Becoming a Small-Scale Food Processor

Back to the Guide to Farming Table of Contents >> Information prepared by Dr. Olga Padilla-Zakour and Dr. Bruno Xavier from the NYS Food Venture Center at Cornell University ( – for educational purposes only – please contact pertinent regulatory agencies for further detail. The Federal government, individual states, cities and municipalities govern the operation … Read More

#27 Marketing Regulations, Weights and Measures

Back to the Guide to Farming Table of Contents >> Weights and Measures How does a customer know that what they just paid for is actually what they received? The system that provides this public trust is a carefully regulated process. Article 16 of the Agriculture and Markets Law regulates how “commodities” are packaged and sold … Read More

#26 Direct Marketing Options

Back to the Guide to Farming Table of Contents >> Direct marketing is a common strategy for beginning and small farmers. The main attraction compared with selling through traditional wholesale markets is that you receive the full share of the consumer dollar and have more control over the price you receive for your products. But with … Read More

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