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September Small Farms Update

The Small Farms Update includes small farm announcements, events, job and internship opportunities, grant and loan opportunities, 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 vws7@cornell.edu.


  • Light Up the Farm with Sustainable Energy
  • Small Farmers: Register Now for Fall, Winter, and Spring Classes!
  • Need Help Marketing Your Sheep & Goat Products?

Upcoming Events

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

Career etc. Opportunities

  • Beginning Women Farmers – Whole Farm Planning Program – Apply by October 15, 2012
  • Assistant Farm Manager (West Redding, CT) – Apply by October 17, 2012

Funding etc. Opportunities

  • USDA Funding: Added Value Agricultural Products – Due October 15, 2012
  • NRCS Funding: Adaptation to Drought – Due October 15, 2012
  • SARE (Sustainable Ag) Partnership Grants – Due November 1, 2012
  • SARE  Sustainable Community Grants – Due November 15, 2012
  • SARE Farmer Grants – Due November 27, 2012


  • Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health
  • 2012 Organic Production Guide for Storage of Organic Fruits and Vegetables
  • Cornell Dairy Management Program Fact Sheets
  • Yield Expectations for Mixed-Stand, Small-Scale Agriculture
  • Mechanical Cultivation Tools for Organic Farmers
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.


Light Up the Farm with Sustainable Energy
2012 Field Day Series offers “How-to” information on incorporating solar panels, wind turbines, radiant heat, passive solar and ecological stewardship practices into your farm or homestead.
Have you been considering transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy on your farm or homestead?  The farmers in the 2012 “Light Up the Farm with Sustainable Energy” field day series are eager to show you how.  The farms in our 2012 series are producing a wide range of products spanning vegetables, poultry, milk, eggs, honey, garlic, koi fish, and even lemons and figs!  And they are all doing so using sustainable energy.  Solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind turbines, radiant heat, and a variety of other ecological production techniques are empowering these farms to stabilize their energy bills into the future and conserve resources for the next generation. During these farmer-led, inspiring tours, you’ll learn about how to decide what renewable energy source is right for you; grants and loans available for financing; installers that work with farmers; and other sustainable production techniques.  All field days are free and open to the public and refreshments will be provided.  For details and registration info, see https://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2012/09/17/light-up-the-farm-with-sustainable-energy/
Small Farmers: Register Now for Fall, Winter, and Spring Classes!
Whether you are a seasoned, new, or aspiring farmer, there’s something for you in the 2012-2013 line-up of online courses presented by the Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension. The 12 courses cover a wide variety of topics and are taught over a 5 – 7 week period:

  • Square One – Creating a Farm that Matches Your Values, Goals, Skills, and Resources
  • Markets and Profits – Exploring the Feasibility of Your Farming Ideas
  • Taking Care of Business – Understanding the Business, Regulatory, and Tax Implications of Your Farm
  • Financial Records – Setting up Systems to Track Your Profitability
  • Machinery and Equipment – Evaluating What’s Right for Your Operation
  • Organic Certification – What, How, and Why (or Why Not)
  • Veggie Farming – From Season-Long Care to Market
  • Berry Production – Getting Started with Growing and Marketing
  • Pastured Poultry – Profiting from Layers, Broilers, Turkeys, and Ducks
  • Making Money – Pricing, Positioning in the Market, and Guerrilla Marketing
  • Planning to Stay in Business – Writing Your Business Plan
  • Holistic Financial Planning – Building Profit Into the Picture

Gain valuable tools for starting a farm, honing your business skills, improving production, expanding marketing opportunities, and more. For details and to register, visit: http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/
Need Help Marketing Your Sheep & Goat Products?
We are pleased to announce that the popular online resource center for sheep and goat marketing at  www.sheepandgoatmarketing.info is up and running! After a redesign by Dr. Tatiana Stanton, Cornell Small Ruminant Extension Specialist, and funding from the Cornell Small Farms Program, the site is again a great resource for current sheep and goat production information as well as a great tool to help connect producers with potential buyers. The site includes a wide variety of resources:

  • Marketing Directory: Farmers can network with sheep and goat buyers, processor, auction barns, and livestock haulers.
  • Producer Directory: Farmers can promote their products and animals.
  • Classified Ad Section: Advertising market animals for sale or orders that buyers need to fill.
  • Calendar: Dates and marketing information for holidays.
  • Education: Wide range of information on marketing and processing, evaluating animas, management, and more.

Visit the site at www.sheepandgoatmarketing.info!

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Small Farms Program Sponsored Events:
October 5, 2012. 10am – noon.  Farm Energy Field Day Series: Energy from the Sun! Summit Naturals Organic Farm. 116 Davis Rd. Summit, NY 12175. Leo Siemion will give us a tour of the sustainable energy features on his 25 acre organic farm. The farm produces 11 varieties of garlic in raised fields, eggs from heritage Dominique breed of chickens, and bottled honey, comb honey and beeswax candles from 12 bee colonies. Leo and his farm crew have spent the past several years raising approximately 450 pond bred Koi fish for retail sale. Thier 60 X 21 foot high tunnel is double walled plastic and excess solar heat is circulated through 250 feet of corrugated pipe 2 feet underground. This active solar heating system allows Summit Naturals to grow greens throughout the winter. Their smaller glass greenhouse attached on the south side of the family home has 520 feet of corrugated pipe, 5 feet underground which runs through an insulated stone pit and radiates back up thru the concrete floor. Leo has been able to produce tropical fruits such as oranges, lemons, and figs in this green house. The 9.4 KW grid tied PV electric system consists of two separate arrays:  Each array has three pole mounts and its own inverter. Their roof mounted evacuated tube solar hot water system provides all of their hot water needs. The farm is considering an electric tractor purchase in 2013 to use the excess electricity they now produce and reduce diesel fuel needs. More info on Summit Naturals at http://www.summitnaturals.com  Free and open to the public!  Refreshments will be provided. Map  | Register here or email vws7@cornell.edu
October 12, 2012. 10am – noon.  Farm Energy Field Day Series:  Farming Off-Grid.  One Earth Farm.  266 Blackman Hill Rd., Brooktondale NY 14817. Erika and Mauricio Medina will give us a tour of their small off‐grid permaculture farm.   The farm provides vegetables, eggs, raw honey, turkeys, chickens and wool from a small flock of Finn sheep.  A 3kW solar photovoltaic (1.5PV is currently installed) system powers the family and farm’s current electrical needs (including water pumping).   Erica and Mauricio have a small CSA and offer workshops at the farm in sustainable living skills, renewable energy, and permaculture. They also run a Renewable Energy Business (One Earth Energy) which designs and installs solar PV and solar thermal systems with a specialty in off-grid/battery based systems.  If you are interested in low-input, off-grid farming and homesteading, this tour is for you!  Free and open to the public!  Refreshments will be provided. Map  | Register here or email vws7@cornell.edu
October 19, 2012. 10am – noon.  Farm Energy Field Day Series:  Wind, Water & Pasture: Managing for Sustainability.  Fuess Meadows Organic Dairy. 7874 Walter St. Oriskany Falls, New York 13425. Kevin and Christine Fuess use multiple energy and ecological conservation strategies on their 100 acre organic dairy.  In early 2012, they worked with the company “Earth, Wind and Solar” to install a 10KW Bergey Wind Turbine.  The Fuess’s took advantage of grants and tax credits available to farmers and rural businesses so that the costs associated with the purchase and installation were affordable.  Additionally, the Fuess’s conserve water by using pre-cooler water to supply fresh drinking water to their pastures. Their herd of 40-50 milking cows are rotated though one acre sections of pasture.   Each lot has its own supply of fresh water piped through a network of tubing for all the grazed pastures.  Another method of land conservation for the farm is the recent installation of a French Drain which aids in managing waste.  If you’re interested in wind power or sustainable energy for a small dairy, this field day is for you!  Free and open to the public!  Refreshments will be provided Map  |  Register here or email vws7@cornell.edu
Beginning Farmer Events:
September 26, 2012. Intro to Mushroom Cultivation. Dryden, NY. Join Blue Oyster Cultivation for a class on basic mushroom biology mushroom production. The class will be a combination of lecture, demonstration and hands-on exercises. For more information, contact info@groundswellcenter.org.
October 3, 2012. Workshop: Maple Sugaring. Ithaca, NY. Learn the basics of maple sugaring from Sapsquatch founder Josh Dolan. For details and to register, visit http://ccetompkins.org/calendar/12/08/24/maple-sugaring.
Grazing Events:
September 19, 2012. Management Grazing Short Course: One Day Intensive with Jim Gerrish. Ancramdale, NY. Join grazing specialist Jim Gerrish, for an intensive grazing workshop at Herondale Farm. The workshop will include classroom time and field observations. For more information, visit http://herondalefarm.com/.
September 21, 2012. Oneida County Pasture Walk. Remsen, NY. Join Groeslon Farm and CCE for a pasture walk, including discussion of the new seeding, watering system, laneway and fence. For more information and to register, contact Bill Paddock at (315)-736-3334 or william-paddock@oneidaswcd.org.
Other Events:
October 13, 2012. Canning Workshop: Preserve it Right! Riverhead, NY. Join CCE for a class detailing the USDA canning methods for preserving fresh produce. For more information and to register, visit http://www.riverheadlocal.com/cornell-cooperative-extension/5810-preserve-it-right.
September 17, 2012. Workshop: A Good Crop of Beans. Brooktondale, NY. Looking to expand your crop diversity? Join Cayuga Pure Organics for a workshop on small-to-medium scale dry bean planting. For more information and to register, visit http://www.nofany.org/events/field-days/good-crop-beans-getting-most-small-medium-scale-dry-bean-planting.
September 18 –November 15, 2012. Dairy Skills Training Online Course Series. Two upcoming learning modules will be posted during the next few months, one on ‘Hoof Health and Lameness’ and another on ‘The Use and Evaluation of DHIA Records.’ For more information, or to register, visit http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/wyoming/dairyinstitute/ or email wcdi@cornell.edu.
September 18, 2012. Farm Disaster Preparation Certificate. NY Extension Disaster Education Network is offering a course to help farmers prepare for small and large disasters that may occur on the farm. For more information, visit http://emergencypreparedness.cce.cornell.edu/Pages/FDPCertificate.aspx.
September 19 & November 27 – 28, 2012. IPM Field Days.Several locations, NY. Join CCE for integrated pest management workshops across the state. Learn the most up-to-date information on New York State IPM. For more information and to register, contact Betsy Lamb at 607-254-8800 oreml38@cornell.edu.
September 20, 2012. Workshop: Alternative Fruits for Small Farms and Home Landscapes. New Paltz, NY. Join renowned author and orchardist Lee Reich, for a workshop on fruits that can be grown with minimal input and pest control. For more information and to register, visit http://www.nofany.org/events/field-days/beyond-apples-alternative-fruits-sustainable-harvestorganic-growing-small-farms-an.
September 20, 2012. Canning Workshop: Pickling Vegetables. Kingston, NY. Would you like to enjoy the season’s harvest all year-long? Join CCE of Ulster County for a comprehensive canning workshop. For more information and to register, visit http://www.cceulster.org/.
September 22, 2012. Workshop: Transitioning to Organic and High Tunnel Operations. Pulaski, NY. Join Grindstone Farm for a discussion of their transition to organic, the challenges of organic, and their extensive high tunnel system. For more information and to register, visit http://www.nofany.org/events/field-days/transitioning-organic-and-high-tunnel-operations.
September 22, 2012. Workshop: Goderie’s Tree Farm. Johnstown, NY. For more information, visit http://www.goderiestreefarm.com/openhouse.htm.
September 22, 2012. Bike Tour: Tour de Farms. Cazenovia, NY. A scenic tour that combines biking with farms and local food. Bike to three different farms, eat a local lunch, attend a Fall Harvest Festival, and more! To register, visit: http://tourdefarms.eventbrite.com/.
September 29 – 30, 2012. Hudson Valley Garlic Festival. Saugerties, NY. Garlic inspired food, musical performances, seed garlic, and more. For more information, visit http://www.hudsonvalleygarlic.com/.
September 29-30 & October 12, 2012. Workshop: Game of Logging. Van Etten, NY. Looking to improve your knowledge of logging? Join a GOL certified instructor for a hands-on course on how to effectively fell trees and work in the woods. For details and to register, visit http://cornellforestconnect.ning.com/events.
October 12, 2012. Brewing Science & Technology Short Course.Geneva, NY. Looking to further your knowledge of brewing science? Join CCE for a one-day course on the brewing process, including information about barley, malt, hops, brewing water, and more. Designed for people who work in commercial breweries, home brewers and those interested in the brewing process. For more information, visit http://cce.cornell.edu/Pages/CCE-News.aspx.
October 12, 2012. Workshop: Red Barn Tree Farm. Brainardsville, NY. Contact Richard Gast for more details and to register 518-483-7403.
October 16 – 17, 2012. Growing Health Conference 2012: Cultivating Farms, Food & Health. Binghamton, NY. Interested in the connection between farms and health? Join Growing Health for its biannual conference focused on issues such as public health, food, and farming. For more information and to register, visit http://growinghealth.rhnscny.org/home.
October 20 – 21, 2012. Farm Hack Ithaca. Ithaca, NY. Join Groundswell, Cayuga Pure Organics for discussions and demonstrations about innovative farm techniques and systems. For more info and to RSVP, visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org/.
October 21, 2012. Groundswell’s Local Food & Farm Festival. Ithaca, NY. Join Groundswell for an afternoon of local foods, farmers, vendors and inventions. For more info and to register, visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org/.
October 26-27, 2012. Value Added Institute: Food Processing Workshops. Canajoharie, NY. NY Small Scale Food Processors Association, in conjunction with Montgomery County Agriculture Development, is offering a variety of workshops focused on increasing the value of produce and meat products.For more information, contact Toni Christman at mcswcd4001@frontier.com.
October 26, 2012. 2012 Cornell Sheep & Goat Pre-symposium. Cornell Sheep Farm, Harford, NY (5 miles southeast of Dryden on Rt 38). Geared towards beginners or folks who want a refresher course.  Choose either the goat or sheep track to practice hoof trimming, vaccinating, eartagging, tattooing, body condition and FAMACHA scoring. and also cover general management, choosing a breed, selecting animals, hay evaluation, pasture management, and tour the sheep farm.  Go to www.sheep.cornell.edu  (click on 2012 Symposium) to obtain complete program and registration information.  Questions? Contact Terry Haines, 607-255-4503 or tbk1@cornell.edu.
October 27, 2012. 2012 Cornell Sheep & Goat Symposium. Morrison Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Simultaneous programs for commercial and small farm dairy/meat/fiber producers with speakers from well known dairies, commercial vegetative control businesses, the Amer. Inst. For Goat Research, breeding stock farms , diversified small farms and Cornell Univ .  Special sessions for FAMACHA certification, on-farm necropsies, etc.  Go to www.sheep.cornell.edu  (click on 2012 Symposium) to obtain complete program and registration information.  Questions? Contact Terry Haines, 607-255-4503 or tbk1@cornell.edu.
October 29-30, 2012. A Working Conference to Build Our Northeast Food System. Saratoga Springs, NY. The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG) is hosting a conference focused on how to rebuild our food system and make a regional impact. To register, visit http://www.nefood.org/page/annual-conference.
November 5, 2012. Integrating Perennials, Annuals and Animals: Broad-scale permaculture. Interlaken, NY. Join the Good Life Farm for a farm tour and discussion of holistic orchard management, polyculture, low-energy systems for farm power, and more. For more information and to register, visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org/.
November 10, 2012. Introduction to Small Farm Hydroponics & Farm Tour.Penn Yann, NY. Join CCE of Ontario and Yates Counties for an introduction to agricultural hydroponics. For more information and to register, contact CCE Yates County at (315) 536-5123.
November 15, 2012. Cover Crop Workshop and Tour. Corning, NY. Join a wide variety of agricultural specialists for a cover crop tour. Observe 25 different cover crops or mixes with different seeding dates. For more information: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BxPXsBYomhBMeVZZSXUzcHlYaXc/edit?pli=1.
November 15, 2012. Harvesting Opportunities Conference. Hotel Albany, Albany, NY.  This conference will bring together farmers, public officials, land trusts and local food and public health leaders to take a serious look at the potential to grow New York’s economy by strengthening connections between farmers and local consumers and protecting our state’s irreplaceable farmland.  For more details go to:  www.farmland.org/newyork.
December 3 – 7, 2012. Cider and Perry Production: Principles & Practice. Geneva, NY. Join CCE and Peter Mitchell, a cider expert and producer, for a comprehensive workshop on cider and perry production. The class will cover the skills and knowledge necessary for producing high quality products. For more information, visit http://cce.cornell.edu/Pages/CCE-News.aspx.

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Beginning Women Farmers – Whole Farm Planning Program – Apply by October 15, 2012
Are you a beginning woman farmer seeking to expand your farm plan? Join the Central New York Resource Conservation and Development Project, Inc. for a comprehensive course on topics such as: goal setting, financial planning, soil fertility, and more. To apply and for more information, visit http://www.cnyrcd.org/.
Assistant Farm Manager (West Redding, CT)Apply by October 17, 2012
New Pond Farm Education Center, a non-profit environmental education center, is seeking an Assistant Farm Manager to take care of the farm animals, buildings and property; milk and process milk; split wood; maintain equipment, among other responsibilities. Prospective applicants should have prior dairy farm experience as well as a degree in agriculture or related field. For details and to apply, contact Ann Taylor at ann@newpondfarm.org.
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USDA Funding: Added Value Agricultural Products – Due October 15, 2012
The USDA is offering grants of between $100,000 and $300,000 to agricultural producers seeking to increase the value of their products. Under the Value Added Producer Grant Program (VAPG), producers can submit proposals that include activities such as, generating new products, creating and expanding marketing opportunities, and increasing producer income. For more information and application information, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP_VAPG.html.
NRCS Funding: Adaptation to Drought – Due October 15, 2012
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has made available funding for projects that “stimulate the development, adoption, and evaluation of innovative approaches to technologies that enhance adaption to drought,” under the Conservation Innovation Grants program. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/financial/eqip/?&cid=nrcs143_008205.
SARE Funding: Partnership Grants – Due November 1, 2012
Northeast SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education) is offering up to $15,000 to agricultural service providers who work directly with farmers to do on-farm demonstrations, research, marketing, and other projects that contribute to the understanding of sustainable agriculture. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Partnership-Grant?utm_source=Northeast+SARE+Master+List&utm_campaign=ea75987802-fall_deadline_tickler9_12_2012&utm_medium=email.
SARE Funding: Sustainable Community Grants – Due November 15, 2012
Northeast SARE is offering up to $15,000 for projects that address specific issues related to the connection between community revitalization and farming. Projects may focus on issues including, farm finance, marketing, land use, water use, enterprise development, value-added product development, among others. The grant is available to those affiliated with Cooperative Extension, a municipality, college or university, or other institutional entity. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Sustainable-Community-Grant?utm_source=Northeast+SARE+Master+List&utm_campaign=ea75987802-fall_deadline_tickler9_12_2012&utm_medium=email.
SARE Funding: Farmer Grants – Due November 27, 2012
Are you a commercial agricultural producer with an innovating idea that you want test via a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique? Northeast SARE is offering up to $15,000 for agricultural producers to work with a technical advisor on such a project. Projects should aim to contribute to knowledge about effective sustainable practices. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.nesare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Farmer-Grant.

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Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health
by Les Crowder and Heather Harrell
Looking to learn more about top-bar hive management techniques? Les Crowder and Heather Harrell recently published an intensive guide to top-bar beekeeping.
“This book presents practical advice, gained from first-hand experience, on the organic management of top bar hives. This book will serve as an excellent guide to the ever-growing number of beekeepers that utilizes less intrusive management schemes such as top bar hives. Thanks to Les and Heather for their efforts to provide sound advice on natural ways to keep bees.”
Dr. Jeff Pettis, USDA-ARS
Available at the Chelsea Green Publishing site: http://media.chelseagreen.com/top-bar-beekeeping/.
2012 Organic Production Guide for Storage of Organic Fruits and Vegetables
Cornell University’s Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program offers a multitude of organic production guides, including a new guide outlining management principles for storage of fruits and vegetables. The guide provides specific product recommendations for over 50 different vegetables. To view the IPM guides, visit http://www.nysipm.cornell.edu/organic_guide/default.asp.
Dairy Management Program Fact Sheets
Cornell’s Dairy Management Program provides a series of fact sheets and worksheets that cover a wide variety of topics, including: “Sampling Feeds for Molds,” “Dairy Herd Forage Inventory Worksheet,” “Molds and Mycotoxins,” and more. To view these resources, visit http://ansci.cornell.edu/dm/factsheets.html.
Yield Expectations for Mixed-Stand, Small-Scale Agriculture
Without a lot of experience production farming, it can be difficult to forecast crop yields. However, yield expectations are a crucial aspect of farm planning. Rutgers Extension has compiled reasonable yield expectations for a variety of crops in small-scale agriculture systems to assist beginning farmers and others in planning farms and agricultural projects. The report is available at the Rutgers Extension site: http://njaes.rutgers.edu/pubs/urbanfringe/pdfs/urbanfringe-v07n01.pdf.
Mechanical Cultivation Tools for Organic Farmers
Looking to diversify your cultivation techniques? A new publication from Penn State Extension and provides some useful tips and management strategies for controlling weeds on an organic farm. The recommendations emerged from equipment demonstrations conducted by The Seed Farm Incubator Program as well as discussions with farmers. The publication is available on the Penn State Extension site: http://extension.psu.edu/start-farming/news/2012/vegetable-equipment-considerations-for-new-organic-farmers.

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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.
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