April Small Farms Update


  • Summit Resources Posted Online
  • Workshop Highlights Opportunities for New York Cheese Makers, Small Dairies

Upcoming Events

  • Sponsored Events
  • Beginning Farmer Events
  • Other Events

Career etc. Opportunities

  • Livestock Resource Educator (CCE Ulster County) – Apply by April 20, 2012
  • Organic Farm to Restaurant Coordinator (NOFA-NY) – Apply by April 30, 2012
  • Farm Start-Up Opportunity – Columbia County, NY
  • Country Store, Bakery & Value Added Kitchen for Sale

Funding Opportunities

  • Anaerobic Digestion Installation Funding for New York Farmers – Apply by April 20, 2012
  • Working Lands for Wildlife: Conservation Funding – Apply by April 30, 2012
  • Seed Quality and Crop Breeding Funding (OFRF) – Apply by May 15, 2012
  • Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants – Apply by May 21, 2012
  • Graduate Student – Sustainable Agriculture Research – Due May 25, 2012


  • ATTRA Farm Job Listings – Find an Apprenticeship or Internship!
  • Backpack Sprayer Videos: Learn to Use Sprayers More Efficiently
  • Acquiring Your Farm: Free Online Course
  • Cell Phone Apps for Farmers – Use Your Phone to Help Organize Your Farm
  • FarmersWeb: Connecting Local Producers and Wholesale Purchasers
Small Farms Update is intended as a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York, and is provided to you by Cornell’s Small Farms Program. Our mission is to foster the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment. Our work is made possible by a network of close partnerships among Cornell faculty and staff, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and staff, NYS agriculture support agencies, non profit agriculture organizations and farmers.
*Please note: No endorsement is implied for products, businesses, jobs or resources listed in the Small Farms Update. Such resources are listed for informational purposes only.


Summit Resources Posted Online
If you missed the statewide Small Farm Summit on February 29th, you can find meeting hand-outs, a complete video of the morning session, links to news articles, and results from the pre-Summit survey at https://smallfarms.cornell.edu/projects/summit. We were very pleased with the overwhelming response to the survey we issued prior to the summit. A total of 573 people responded; 92% of respondents were from New York and 59% were farmers. The top three priority areas selected across the state included: creating stronger food distribution strategies, documenting the economic impact of small farms, and developing new livestock processing facilities. We will issue a complete report in early June.
Workshop Highlights Opportunities for New York Cheese Makers, Small Dairies
The Cornell Small Farms Program recently cosponsored a celebration of New York cheese making along with Paul Smiths’ College Culinary Club. The event had two purposes: to educate culinary students on the varieties of cheese available to the young chefs as well as let artisanal cheese producers know what consumers are looking for when they buy specialty cheeses. Fifty-three cheese producers and culinary students heard why New York cheeses are in great demand. Speakers said the demand is due partly to geographic location in a region that spans from Lake Champlain west to the shores of Lake Erie. Glaciated soils and the ability to grow cool season forages combine to make nutrient dense feed suitable for dairy animals whose milk is used for cheese production. Fay Benson, our small dairy educator, spoke about how grazing animals influence the “terroir” of local cheeses. Terroir is a French term for the unique flavor given to the agricultural products of a specific region. Several presenters evaluated 21 varieties of cheeses brought by producers to the event. Students and the other event participants had the opportunity to compare the cheeses as well. Fay said, “The type of educational exchanges between the producers and the cheese specialists that this event offered will help New York’s artisanal cheese makers to achieve their potential. One goal is to export New York cheese to France rather than having buyers import French cheese into New York.” New York has 130-some artisanal cheese producers statewide.
We’ll be continuing to highlight small dairy innovations in our upcoming summer field day series, which will be announced soon. Watch smallfarms.cornell.edu for details.


Sponsored Events:
May 12, 2012. Brooklyn Food Conference. Brooklyn Technical Highschool. The 2012 Conference will help strengthen the cooperative effort of individuals, groups and organizations fighting everyday for a healthy, sustainable and fair food system. Food activists, local farmers, academics, restaurateurs and health advocates and all those interested in food justice will gather to discuss the global food economy and its impact on our lives. More info at http://bkfoodconference.org/about/
Beginning Farmer Events:
April – September, 2012. On Farm Animal Husbandry: Workshop Series. Several locations, NY. Looking to raise animals and sell pasture-raised meats? Learn from successful farmers and extension educators about how farmers care for their animals in this workshop series. To view the full list of workshops, visit http://ccetompkins.org/calendar/12/01/12/raising-livestock-workshop-series. For more information and to register, call 687-4020, or email meh39@cornell.edu.
April 18 – November 14, 2012. Groundswell’s Sustainable Farming Certificate Program. Ithaca, NY. If you are a beginning or aspiring farmer and would like to deepen your understanding of sustainable production methods through over 100 hours of classroom training, hands-on workshops, farm visits and supervised work experience, consider Groundswell’s Certificate Program. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=77&Itemid=132.
May – November. Finger Lakes CRAFT. Finger Lakes Region, NY. Join CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance in Farmer Training), a community of experienced and aspiring farmers for the first a farm tour and potluck the first Monday of every month from May to November. For more information and to register, visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org/.
May 3, 2012. Beginning Farmer Learning Group: First Meeting. Greenwich, NY. Are you a beginning farmer looking to connect with other beginning farmers? CCE Capital Area Agricultural and Horticultural Program is hosting a meeting to bring beginning farmers together to talk about issues related to starting and operating a farm. To register for the meeting contact Gale Kohler at gek4@cornell.edu. For more information, contact Steve Hadcock at seh11@cornell.edu.
May 4, 2012. Planning and Establishing Vineyards & Wineries in Central New York. Little Falls, NY. Looking to start a winery in Central NY? Join CCE for an informative workshop on crucial areas of consideration for starting a vineyard. For more information and to register, contact CCE-Herkimer County at 315-866-7920.
May 12 -13, 2012. Master Beekeeping Course. Ithaca, NY. Looking to learn the basics of beekeeping? This two-day course provides information about how to start, what to use and management strategies, and more, through both lecture and field activities. To register and for more information visit, http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/masterbeekeeper.htm.
Other Events:
April 16 & 17, 2012. New Farm Disaster Preparedness Curriculum. Keeseville & Watertown, NY. CCE is offering training for farmers to help prevent and prepare for accidents on the farm. All types and sizes of farms welcome. For more information contact essex@cornell.edu or dkw7@cornell.edu, respectively.
April 18, 2012. Emerald Ash Borer: Webinar. Learn the latest about the status of the Emerald Ash Borer and current efforts to control and manage the spread of this insect, in a Cornell sponsored webinar.
April 21, April 28, 2012. Workshop: What’s in YOUR Dirt? Montour Falls, NY. Want to learn more about your soil? Bring up to three soil samples to this workshop and get recommendations for what you plant to grow. For more information and to register, contact Roger Otrt at 607-535-7161.
April 22, 2012. Local Food Pioneers: Panel Discussion. Poughkeepsie, NY. Meet Glynwood award-winning, sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs in the Hudson Valley and learn about what they are doing. For more information and to register visit http://localfoodpioneers.eventbrite.com/.
April 22, 2012. Earth Day Entrepreneur Showcase. Pocantico Hills, NY. Join Slow Money leaders, farmers, and agricultural entrepreneurs for a workshop on Slow Money and Local Opportunities. For more information and to register, visit http://www.stonebarnscenter.org/slow-money-earth-day-2012/?date=2012-04-22.
April 26, 2012. Gardens 4 Humanity Spring Training. Ithaca, NY. Learn about garden design and techniques for maximizing food production at this Gardens 4 Humanity (G4H) workshop. For more information and to register, visit http://ccetompkins.org/garden/community-school-gardens/gardens-4-humanity.
April 28, 2012. Fire House Forum: Got Property? Ways to Generate Green Revenue From Your Land. Join the Sullivan County Farm Network for a free opportunity to learn about food production, solar power, as well as, about agricultural ventures to generate profit on your land. For more information contact Cindy Geiger at sullivanfarmnetwork@gmail.com.
April 28 – 29, 2012. Washington County Fiber Fair. Several locations, Washington County, NY. Visit about a dozen farms and fiber facilities throughout Washington County. Learn about breeding and raising fiber animals, shearing, and much more! For more information visit http://washingtoncountyfibertour.org/.
May 5th & 6th, 2012. Small Scale Shiitake Production. A class for new & old farmers who want to learn about mushroom production in their woodlands. Mecklenburg, NY. Mushrooms, especially shiitake, are fast becoming a niche farm crop in the Northeastern US. Cultivation makes good use of forested lands that are often an afterthought in agriculture systems. Join Steve Gabriel, mushroom grower and extension educator, for a two-day seminar covering the basics of shiitake, oyster, stropharia, and lions mane inoculation through hands-on experience and tours of two active mushroom yards. Cost: $125 includes an inoculated log and oyster substrate. MORE INFO: call 607.342.2825 or visit www.agroforestrysolutions.com
May 9, 2012. Take Root! Training for Garden Educators. Liberty, NY. Learn the basics of Garden-Based Learning and develop a garden program that promotes youth development, opportunities for leadership, and more! For more information and to register, visit https://sullivancce.org/ or call 845-292-5220.
May 18 & 19, 2012. Food Entrepreneur Workshops. Salem, NY. Join the Battenkill Kitchen, Inc., an educational kitchen facility, for one of their workshops on value-added food production. For more information and to register, visit http://www.battenkillkitchen.org/workshop.html.
May 30-31, 2012. Multi-State Marcellus Shale Academic Research Conference. Pittsburgh, PA. This conference is intended to bring researchers and Extension educators to identify gaps in current Marcellus-related research and prioritize research. For more information, visit http://www.cvent.com/events/marcellus-shale-academic-research-conference/event-summary-d7247981c6f34919a47a4fddb04f4140.aspx.
May 31 – June 28, 2012. Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming and Food Justice. Ithaca, NY. Groundswell offers a chance to learn about sustainable food systems and engage with the local food community in a variety of settings – West Haven Farm, EcoVillage and other local farms and institutions – while earning college credit. For more information and to apply visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=62&Itemid=69.
June 23, 2012. Plant a Food Forest: Permaculture in Practice. Montour Falls, NY. Learn gardening methods from an experienced permaculture practitioner. For more information visit http://fingerlakespermaculture.org/.


Livestock Resource Educator (CCE Ulster County) – Apply by April 20, 2012
CCE Ulster County is seeking a Livestock Educator to help build and foster sustainable agriculture practices in Ulster County and the Hudson Valley. The successful candidate will work in areas such as, educational programs, research programs, and youth husbandry skills development. The prospective applicant should have a Masters degree in the appropriate field, among other qualifications.
Organic Farm to Restaurant Coordinator (NOFA-NY) – Apply by April 30, 2012
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York, Inc. is seeking a Farm to Restaurant Coordinator to coordinate 3 workshops and a March 2013 conference for organic farmers and NYC restaurateurs, among other responsibilities. The prospective applicant should have experience in customer service, event coordination and strong interest in promoting the goals of NOFA-NY. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.nofany.org/ or email Lea@nofany.org.
Farm Start-Up Opportunity – Columbia County, NY
Looking for an opportunity to start a farm? Connie Chang is seeking a farmer to start a small, organic farm on her 10 acres of farmland in Stuyvesant, NY, 30 minutes from Albany. Prospective candidates should be willing and able to start a farm from scratch. Veterans are encouraged to apply. For more information and to apply, contact Connie Chang at 917-214-1235.
Country Store, Bakery & Value Added Kitchen for Sale
Harford, NY. Fabulous center hall federal built in 1820, w/ original hand hewn doors, hardware & wide plank flrs throughout. Cherry handrail on staircase. Addition dates to approx. 1840, w/ 24 x 32 upstairs ballroom, currently an antique shop. This perfectly maintained building is insulated w/low e windows & 5 chimneys. The country store & bakery are open 4 days a week (business offered for sale separately or together. P&L Statement avail to qualified buyers only). There is a rented 1 bedrm apt w/ a separate entrance. Could be owner occupied in the 5 bedrm house. Visit here for more info.


Anaerobic Digestion Installation Funding for New York Farmers – Apply by April 20, 2012
USDA/NRCS are offering a total of $1 million to help farmer in New York install anaerobic digesters as a component of their manure management systems. The anaerobic digester system “reduces odors, greenhouse gases, and pathogens, while producing electricity and recycling nutrients back to the land.” For information about eligibility, visit http://www.ny.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/eqip/eligibility.html and to apply sign up at your local USDA Service Center, https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=NY.
Working Lands for Wildlife: Conservation Funding – Apply by April 30, 2012
The USDA, in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is providing funding to private landowners for creation and maintenance of habitat to sustain breeding populations of New England cottontail, golden-winged warbler and bog turtle in their current ranges. Conservation practices can include brush management, plantings, fencing, riparian buffers, and wetland enhancements. For more information about the Working Lands for Wildlife Program and eligibility requirements, visit http://www.vt.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/whip/. To apply or for information contact our local USDA Service Center https://offices.sc.egov.usda.gov/locator/app?state=NY.
Seed Quality and Crop Breeding Funding (OFRF) – Apply by May 15, 2012
The Organic Farming Research Foundation is providing funding for seed quality and organic crop breeding in partnership with Seed Matters. For more information and to apply, visit http://ofrf.org/grants/apply_education&outreach.html.
Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants – Apply by May 21, 2012
USDA is seeking applications for projects that will increase availability of local agricultural products in communities as well as strengthen farmer-to-consumer marketing efforts. Marketing operations, such as farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and roadside stands, are eligible. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/FMPP.
Graduate Student – Sustainable Agriculture Research – Due May 25, 2012
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research (SARE) and Education Program is seeking proposals for graduate students who want to conduct sustainable agriculture research under supervision of a faculty advisor. Proposals should address potential issues of importance to Northeast farmers, researchers and farm service advisors. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.nesare.org/Grants.


ATTRA Farm Job Listings – Find an Apprenticeship or Internship!
Looking for a farm apprenticeship or internship? ATTRA provides extensive job listings by state. To check out the hundreds of listings, visit https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/internships/.
Backpack Sprayer Videos: Learn to Use Sprayers More Efficiently
Learn how to better use modified backpack sprayers to save time and money, and improve safety, by watching the 7 videos created by Rutgers Research Farm. This may be a helpful resource for small, organic and urban farmers, both beginning and experienced. To watch the videos, visit http://snyderfarm.rutgers.edu/snyder-backpack-sprayers.html.
Acquiring Your Farm: Free Online Course
Looking to start a farm, but haven’t found the right piece of land? Land For Good, a non-profit organization, is offering a new course: “Acquiring Your Farm.” The course takes farm seekers through a comprehensive, step-by-step investigation of options and strategies related to access to land and farms. The course covers seven modules, or topics, each with tools such as worksheets and checklists. To access the free course, visit https://landforgood.org/.
Cell Phone Apps for Farmers – Use Your Phone to Help Organize Your Farm
Technology never stops developing – especially mobile technology – and thanks to that, there is a dizzying array of applications available for our mobile devices. Here are a few apps we think might benefit the tech-savvy farmer.

  • SoilWeb by Dylan Beaudette gives users GPS-based, real-time access to USDA-NRCS soil survey data. This app retrieves graphical summaries of soil types associated with the user’s current geographic location. Images are linked to detailed information on the named soils. (Price: Free; Available for iPhone & Android)
  • Farmer’s Partner by Bruce Gordon aims to be your “friend in the field”. The app allows users to input dozens of variables to create an overview of farm operations. (Price: $4.99; Available for Android)
  • DriveSafe.ly by iSpeech will read texts and emails aloud to you so that you can keep your mind – and hands – on the wheel when on the road or in the field. Can be used with Bluetooth headsets and has customizable features to al-low auto-responding via voice. (Price: Free version is available as well as a Pro version for $3.99/month; Availa-ble for iPhone& Blackberry, with an Android version on the horizon)
  • Pro Dairy Event by Smart Farm Apps, Ltd allows users to view and track current and historical data by herd or by individual cow. Set reminders for vet calls, milking times and more! One nice feature is that connectivity is not re-quired to enter data – you can enter right from the field even without service! (Price: $12.85; Available for Android & iPhone )
  • Smart Farm Apps, Ltd also has two newly released applications for farmers – Pro Grass Rotation and Pro Cattle Breeding. Each will work similarly to the Dairy Event app by allowing farmers to track data related to paddock and grazing management and cattle herd management, respectively.

With a cell phone or tablet becoming a daily tool for more and more farmers, take some time to see what’s out there that could help you work more efficiently! For more information, please contact Jenny Brown at the Center for Sustainable Ag.

Violet Stone

Violet is the coordinator of the Reconnecting with Purpose project, which offers farm and food system educators and change makers a retreat space to explore challenges and renew a sense of inspiration and purpose in their work and lives. She is also a collaborator on the Be Well Farming Project. This project creates reflective spaces for farmers and food producers to connect meaningfully and explore strategies that can ameliorate challenges and bolster quality of life. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.
Posted in

Leave a Comment