May Small Farms Update

The Small Farms Update includes small farm announcements, events, job and internship opportunities, grant and loan opportunities, and latest handbooks,  tools and other small farm resources. It is intended for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast. If have an item to be included in the update, please contact Violet Stone at


  • Cornell Small Dairy Team: New Resources for Small Dairy Farms!
  • Food System Development Survey: Challenges for Practitioners
  • Grazing Writing Contest: Win $250.00!

Upcoming Events

  • Sponsored Events
  • Beginning Farmer Events
  • Grazing Events
  • Other Featured Events

Career etc. Opportunities

  • Herdsperson – Sullivan County, NY (The Center for Discovery)
  • Membership Coordinator – Rochester, NY (NOFA-NY) – Apply by May 18, 2012

Funding etc. Opportunities

  • Farmers Market Promotion Grants (USDA) – Apply by May 21, 2012
  • Risk Management Education and Outreach (USDA) – Apply by May 24, 2012
  • Graduate Student Sustainable Agriculture Research Grant (SARE) – Apply by May 25, 2012
  • Seasonal High Tunnel Program (NRCS) – Apply by June 1, 2012
  • Conservation Funding for Organic Farmers (NRCS) – Apply by June 1, 2012
  • Farm-to-School Grants (USDA) – Apply by June 15, 2012


  • Cornell Insect Identification: Mail in a Sample or send a Photo!
  • IPM Resource: Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards and How to Conserve Them
  • Regional Food Hub Resource Guide
  • Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm
  • Farm Financing Webinar: Organizing and Finding Your Numbers
  • Wood Energy Webinars: Penn State Resource
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.


Cornell Small Dairy Team: New Resources for Small Dairy Farms!
With funding from the Small Farms Program, the Cornell Small Dairy Team, a group of Cooperative Extension Educators and farmers, has released 6 new resources for small dairy farmers. The project aims to provide resources to dairy farmers in the constantly adapting market. The new tools and resources include:

  • Financial Bench Marks for Small Dairies: Helps dairies identify the strengths and weaknesses of their farms compared to other farms of similar size in New York State
  • Off-Farm Processing Start-Up Fact Sheet: Suggests first steps for dairy farmers considering adding direct sales of value-added dairy products to their business mix
  • Web based Geo-Map: Shows all the small dairy processing plants in New York state
  • Small Dairy Case Studies: Highlights unique solutions of how four small dairy operators made decisions to keep their farms profitable
  • Production Record-Keeping Book for Grazing Dairies: Formatted and distributed to Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) offices statewide by Cornell Small Farms Program Small Dairy Team; printing funded by New York Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative; books are available to grazing dairies at no cost through local CCE office.
  • Organic Dairy Forage and Grain Survey: Due to fluctuating precipitation in 2011, many farms were short of forage and grain. This is particularly stressful to organic dairies since they have limited options for buying replacement feed.

To access these new resources visit the Small Farms Program site:
Food System Development Survey: Challenges for Practitioners
The American Farmland Trust along with several other organizations have teamed up to provide this survey to identify key challenges and training needs of current and prospective food system development practitioners – anyone who, as a significant portion of their work, uses community development strategies in working with farmers, business people, local residents, etc. to create and strength the viability and sustainability of food systems. If you are a food system practitioner and would like to participate in this 10-15 minute survey please visit this site:
Grazing Writing Contest: Win $250.00!
The Steering Committee of the New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) is once again sponsoring a writing contest for students, farmers, and others. The purpose of the contest is to promote managed grazing. Up to four individuals will be eligible to win $250 each for their submissions. Authors will be judged in one of the following age categories – 15 to 20, 21 to 25, and 25 and older. Professional writers are not allowed to submit articles for consideration. For details and more info, contact GLCI Coordinator Karen Hoffman at . Entries are due August 1, 2012. Contest results will be announced by September 15th.

Back to Top


Sponsored Events
May 9 – July 11, 2012. Small Farm Dairy Field Days. Several locations, NY. Are you interested in how small dairy farms across New York are improving profitability, sustainability, and quality of life? Field days are free and open to the public. See details below:
June 8, 2012. Adding Income Streams to a Small Dairy. Bloomville, NY. Join Ernest and Barbara Hanselman of DelRose Farm for a discussion of how they use on-farm resources and trends to create a diversity of income streams to add to farm income.
June 20, 2012. Staying Small Through a Century of Dairy Farming. Brooktondale, NY. Join Aaron and Calvin Snow of SnoFarms for a tour of their 35 cow dairy and cheese making facilities.
June 30, 2012. Achieving Low Somatic Cell Count on Small Herds. Ancramdale, NY Lowell “Jim” Davenport will discuss his high forage diet, use of soil resources, and marketing of his milk under the Hudson Valley Fresh label, among other topics!
July 11, 2012. On Farm Energy Production (Oilseed Press/ Grass Pellet Demonstration. Groton, NY. Ed and Eileen Scheffler will discuss the oilseed press and how it functions as part of their dairy farm. Several organic dairy farmers will also join in for the discussion of the potential marketing options for oilseed press products.
For more details about the field days and more information about the Small Dairy Project visit:
Beginning Farmer Events:
May – 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 For more information and to register, call 687-4020, or email
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
Grazing Events:
June 9, 2012. Pasture Walk at Green Heron Growers Farm. Sherman, NY. Join Green Heron Growers Farm for a walk around the pastures and different grazing management techniques and practices. Other forage experts will also be joining the walk! For more information contact Steve Rockcastle at 585-615-7438.
Other Featured Events:
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.
May 19, 2012. Spring Garden Fair & Plant Sale. Ithaca, NY. Looking for some vegetables, herbs or flowers for your garden? Attend this annual plant sale organized by Master Gardener volunteers from CCE.
May 22, 2012. Kidding & Lambing Field Day. 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm. Highwood Farm, 87 West Hill Road, Spencer, NY. When managing a flock of sheep or goats, the birthing season is one of the most stressful times of the year Come to this field day to learn efficient kidding and lambing management practices to reduce your labor without sacrificing animal wellbeing. This Field Day is being hosted by Mark Baustian and Luce Guanzini of Highwood Farm. Highwood Farm is a commercial pasture-based meat goat farm established in 1999 on a 178 acre former poultry farm formerly overrun by honeysuckle and multiflora rose. To register, contact Molly Shaw at 607-687-4020 or
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
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
June 7, 2012. Food Policy Council Workshop and Networking Session for New York. Rochester, NY. A NOFA-NY, NYS Hunger Action Network, and Community Food Security Coalition sponsored event aimed at providing information about the food policy council organization and practices as well as serving as a networking opportunity for NY’s local food policy councils, coalitions, etc.
June 16, 2012. Workshop: Fruiting Plants from Around the Globe. Montour Falls, NY. Marvin Pritts, Professor and Chair of the Cornell Horticultural Department, will discuss new fruits from around the globe, variety and site selection, and the potential of new fruit crops in New York, among other topics. For more information, contact Roger Ort at
June 16, 2012. Workshop: Beef Quality Assurance in a Day. Hermitage, NY. Join Cornell Cooperative Extension and Beef Checkoff for a BQA workshop. Upon attending beef producers will become Level 1 certified and with a signed Veterinary Client Patient Relationship form will become Level 2 certified. To register, contact Cathy Wallace at For more information, contact Nancy Glazier at 585-315-7746.
June 17, 2012. Horse-Powered Field Day: Northland Sheep Dairy. Marathon, NY. Join the farmers of Northland Sheep Dairy for a day-long workshop on farming with horses. The field day will focus on topics that include: how horses interact with each other, what to do when bringing home a new horse, and horse senses, communication and natural responses. For more information visit the NOFA-NY site:
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
July 16 – 20, 2012. 18th Annual Recirculating Aquaculture Systems Short Course. Newburgh, NY. A comprehensive course looking at aquaponics and hydroponic production systems offered by Cornell’s Biological and Environmental Engineering Department.
August 11 & 18, 2012. Cornell Master Beekeeper Workshop. Ithaca, NY. Interested in working with bees? Join Cornell Master Beekeeper Program for a comprehensive day-long workshop focused on bee hive management – equipment, pests, hive construction, management, and more! For more information visit the Master Beekeeper site:
August 15 – 18, 2012. Urban Agriculture Summit. Toronto, Canada. A summit bringing together people involved in all different types of urban agriculture. Some major topics of focus include food security, innovative infrastructure, and scaling up of urban agriculture.

Back to Top


Herdsperson – Sullivan County, NY (The Center for Discovery)
The Center for Discovery, an organization that provides services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, is seeking a herdsperson to supervise all herd/animal husbandry operations and associated staff. Applicants should have 5 years experience in animal husbandry, preferably with the following animal groups: grass-fed and finished beef cattle and sheep, pastured pork and poultry for egg production. For more information and to apply visit: or contact Erica at
Membership Coordinator – Rochester, NY (NOFA-NY) – Apply by May 18, 2012
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York is seeking a membership coordinator to help grow the organizational membership, to administer the membership program, augment development efforts and support NOFA-NY operations. Prospective applicants should have experience in database management, accounting and customer service. For more information and to apply visit:

Back to Top


Farmers Market Promotion Grants (USDA) – Apply by May 21, 2012
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing a total of $10 million for projects that seek to strengthen farmer-to-consumer marketing efforts and increase access to fresh, healthy, local and affordable food. For more information and to apply visit:
Risk Management Education and Outreach (USDA) – Apply by May 24, 2012
This USDA grant opportunity is aimed at delivering crop management training to U.S. agricultural producers to assist them in identifying and managing production, marketing, legal, financial, and human risk. Potential projects include: educating producers of crops currently not insured under Federal crop insurance or providing outreach and assistance programs for limited-resource, socially disadvantaged, and other traditionally under-served farmers and ranchers. For more information visit:
Graduate Student Sustainable Agriculture Research Grant (SARE) – Apply by May 25, 2012
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program (SARE) is providing up to $15,000 for graduate students researching topics in sustainable agriculture. Potential projects may focus on themes of good stewardship, profitability, and quality of life for farmers and the farm community. For more information and to apply, visit:
Seasonal High Tunnel Program (NRCS) – Apply by June 1, 2012
Looking to extend your season, or improve yields of warm climate crops? Apply for a National Resource Conservation Service grant for financial and technical assistance in building a high tunnel on your farm. For more information visit this site:, or contact your local NRCS office.
Conservation Funding for Organic Farmers (NRCS) – Apply by June 1, 2012
The Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing funding for conservation projects through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP), to be implemented by organic farmers and farmers transitioning to organic. Conservation proposals can include irrigation and water management measures, improved grazing technology, pest management plans, and more. For more information about this funding opportunity visit
Farm-to-School Grants (USDA) – Apply by June 15, 2012
The US Department of Agriculture is providing funding for programs that seek to improve access to local foods in schools. Potential projects include programs that get local food on the menus of schools, education activities that encourage the participation of school children in farming and gardening, among others. Proposals should include evaluation plans as well as demonstrate the long term sustainability of the plan. For more information visit the USDA Grants site at

Back to Top


Cornell Insect Identification: Mail in a Sample or send a Photo!
If you are unsure of the name of an insect or related organism, send in a sample of the insect to the Cornell Diagnostic Lab for identification. For a $25 fee, the Cornell Diagnostic Lab will identify your insect and provide management suggestions if needed. For more information about the program and proper sampling protocol, visit this site:
IPM Resource: Wild Pollinators of Eastern Apple Orchards and How to Conserve Them
This 12-page, full-color guide helps readers identify wild pollinators, provide them with food and habitat, and avoid pesticides that are toxic to them. By encouraging wild bee abundance and diversity, agricultural growers may be able to buffer rising honey bee rental costs while creating an environment that better supports both wild and commercial bees.
Download the Wild Pollinators guide (pdf) at To request hard copies in quantity, contact the Northeast IPM Center at
Regional Food Hub Resource Guide
The USDA recently published the first Regional Food Hub Resource Guide. The guide is part of the USDA’s initiative to expand market opportunities for local and regional food systems – the guide aims to connect and support small to medium sized producers nationwide. To view the guide:
Guide to Financing the Community Supported Farm
Thinking about alternative financing methods for your farm? This University of Vermont New Farmer Project Guide outlines the legal, accounting, environmental, and social consequences of alternative funding. The guide includes four farmer case studies. To view the guide visit:
Farm Financing Webinar: Organizing and Finding Your Numbers
This ATTRA (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service) webinar is aimed at helping beginning farmers become familiar with basic accounting techniques and organizational strategies. Topics include: understanding financial statements, assessing profitability and financial viability, record keeping, and more. To view the video and other ATTRA webinars visit:
Wood Energy Webinars: Penn State Resource
Learn more about forest energy in the northeast by watching these webinars presented by the Penn State Renewable and Alternative Energy Extension team. Webinar topics include: Green Buildings and Wood Energy, Why Wood Energy, and Short Rotation Woody Crops in the Northeast. Learn more:

Back to Top

Violet Stone

Violet's work focuses on creating retreats, workshops and programs for the agricultural community centered on themes of connection, wellness, purpose, integrity and courage. She sees this work as contributing to a more inclusive ‘culture’ of agriculture where all voices are warmly welcomed, honored and celebrated, including the voices of our ‘inner teachers’, sometimes referred to as 'spirit' or 'soul'. Violet serves as the NY SARE Coordinator and can help farmers and educators navigate NESARE grant opportunities.
Posted in


  1. Avatar of veena shekar veena shekar on May 20, 2012 at 8:26 am

    I am interested in raising meat goats and wool sheeps, chicken and ducks, train horses. Are there any on-the farm training program in the future.

Leave a Comment