Cornell Small Farms Program Update- Fall 2010

New Online Courses for Beginning Farmers Debut This Fall!
Reserve Your Spot Now
Need some guidance on the development or expansion of a farm enterprise? Can’t find any trainings near you? If you’re comfortable enough with a computer to consider learning online, you’ll be glad to know that the Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension are expanding offerings of their popular online courses for beginning farmers with two new online courses this Fall, in addition to our usual beginners Fall course, BF 101. Join experienced CCE and farmer instructors and 25 of your farmer peers in a dynamic learning experience that incorporates both self-paced readings and real-time virtual meetings with discussion forums, homework activities, guest presenters, and developing a customized plan for your next steps in farming.
The Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) present:
BF 110: Soil Health Basics: Investing in the Vitality of Your Farm
BF 104: Financial Record-keeping: A Cornerstone of Farm Profitability
BF 101: Taking Stock: Evaluating Your Land and Resources and Choosing an Enterprise
COURSE DATES: Thurs. Oct 14, 2010 to Wed. Nov 24, 2010. All courses incorporate live webinars featuring farmers, agency staff, and University faculty. See link below for webinar dates and details.
COST is $150 per course, except the Soil Health course, which is $165
TO REGISTER, or for more information on course format and requirements, please visit

Farms Demonstrate Wind, Solar, Conservation Strategies
This summer the Cornell Small Farms Energy Work Team sponsored a series of farm energy field days on small farms across New York to hear directly from farmers about how they produce energy to power their operations.  From energy efficiency strategies to wind, solar electric, and solar thermal, farmers offered details of  the cost of installation, any grants or incentives available, amount of energy saved or produced, and where to go for further information.
The Cornell Small Farms Energy Work Team offers many farm energy resources, including a new book of profiles on innovative farmers that have tips for saving energy and producing renewable power.  To download the profiles and for other farm energy resources, visit:

4H Career Exploration: Cornell Hosts Small Farm Dream Sampler
This past July, the Cornell Small Farms Program hosted a 4H Career Exploration event titled “Exploring the Small Farm Dream” for twelve high school students and four adult chaperones from around New York State.  Over the course of 3 days, the enthusiastic 4H members learned about the components of running a small farm through group activities, discussions, and four farm tours.

The career explorers inoculated mushrooms at the MacDaniels Nut Grove, weeded beans at Dilmun Hill Student Farm, picked raspberries at Reisinger’s Apple Country, and learned about cheese making at Sunset View Creamery. Each farm also provided insight into a different aspect of agricultural careers. Read about some of these career explorer experiences in the Youth Pages section.

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Rachel Whiteheart

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