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November Small Farms Update

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


  • Get Your Ducks in Order! Online Farming Courses Start in January
  • New ‘How-To’ Grazing Video Series
  • Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms Bulletin

Upcoming Events

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

Career etc. Opportunities

  • Northern New York Crop Specialist (Franklin County, NY) – Apply now!
  • Sawyer Bay Farm for Sale (South Hero, Vermont) – Apply by December 7, 2012
  • Executive Director (Vera Cruz, PA) – Apply now!
  • Development Director (Vera Cruz, PA) – Apply now!

Funding etc. Opportunities

  • AgEnhancement Grants – Due December 1, 2012
  • NOFA-NY Winter Conference Scholarships – Due December 3, 2012
  • Northeastern IPM Partnership Grants Program – Due December 14, 2012
  • Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship – Due December 15, 2012
  • Heads up! 2013 NRCS Organic EQIP Funding – Due February 3, 2012
  • Heads up! Food Animal Concerns Fund-a-Farmer Project – Due May 1, 2013


  • People of the Land: A Guide for USDA Service Providers
  • Marketing for Profits: Tools for Success – Free and Open to the Public!
  • The Seed Farm Small Farmer Equipment Videos
  • USDA Results of 2011 Organic Production Survey
  • Access ATTRA on Your Smartphone and Tablet!
Small Farms Updateis 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.


Get Your Ducks in Order! Poultry & Vegetable Production, Business & Financial Planning and Recordkeeping Online Courses All Start in January
Winter is the season for farm planning! What better way to use the long dark evenings than to snuggle up with your computer and join an online course from the Cornell Small Farms Program? You’ll build your skills, be inspired by successful farmers, and develop plans to help you hit the ground running when the growing season begins. Starting in January:

Each course features weekly live webinars to introduce concepts and examples, followed by online discussions, readings, and homework assignments during the rest of the week. All courses are taught by Cornell Cooperative Extension educators, farmers, or other ag service providers, and typically include presentations by successful farmers detailing aspects of their operations.
These 6-week courses each cost $200. Registration closes when the courses fill up, or by one week before the course start date, whichever happens sooner. So don’t delay, visit http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses to register. Learn more about how the courses operate on our Course Logistics and FAQs page at http://nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/online-course-faqs.
New ‘How-To’ Grazing Video Series
The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce a new series of 12 “How-to” videos focused on grazing topics.  The series was produced by Chenango County Cooperative Extension with funding from a Small Farms Program mini-grant.  If you’re a livestock farmer or educator looking to improve your understanding of grazing best management practices, the series covers everything from setting up electric fence, water systems and laneways –  to how to address weeds or periods of drought. The videos can all be found on the Cornell Small Farms Program You Tube Channel.  Visit http://www.youtube.com/user/cornellsmallfarms and scroll down to “Featured Playlists”.   Thanks to CCE Chenango, Chenango County Grazing Farmers,  Conservation Grazing Lands Initiative Educator Karen Hoffman, NRCS Educators Robert Declue and Lauren Johnson, among others for their collaboration on this series!
Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms Bulletin
As interest in local food sourcing increases at restaurants, institutions, and schools, small farms often have to combine forces to move enough products to satisfy the larger-scale buyer’s expectations  The new bulletin, “Collaborative Marketing for Small Farms” provides guidelines for farm owners who are looking to work jointly with other farms to access these new markets.
Collaborative marketing is most beneficial when the farms deal effectively with legal and business considerations from start to finish. This bulletin explains the business structure options and success factors of joint ventures, partnerships, and corporations.  It highlights potential obstacles and suggests practical solutions to them.  After reading this bulletin, a small farm owner will be much more familiar with the ways a collaborative marketing opportunity can positively or negatively affect their farm’s bottom line. Produce by Ontario County Cooperative Extension. Read the guide: https://smallfarms.cornell.edu/resources/marketing/.
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Sponsored Events:
November 27, 2012. Barley Fodder Feeding for Organic Dairies Webinar. Farmer John Stoltzfus and Fay Benson of Cornell University will discuss the benefits and challenges of feeding and growing fodder to dairy animals. For more info and to register, visit http://www.extension.org/pages/65651/barley-fodder-feeding-for-organic-dairies-webinar.
Beginning Farmer Events:
December 12-14, 2012. Young Farmers Conference 2012. Pocantico Hills, NY. Join over 250 young farmers for a conference featuring agricultural luminaries, peers, and advocacy organizations. Workshop topics include: Biochar use in soil, beekeeping, seed production, and more!  Currently sold out but visit http://www.stonebarnscenter.org/learn/growing-farmers-initiative-sbc/yfc-2012.html to get on a wait-list!
Grazing Events:
January 25 – 26, 2013. 5th Anniversary Winter Green-Up Grazing Conference. Latham, NY. Join a large number of grazing specialists for a two-day conference covering topics such as, the business and practice of custom grazing, winter management techniques, animal and human health, and much more! For more information, contact Gale Kohler at CCE Albany County by phone at (518) 765-3500 or gek4@cornell.edu.
Other Events:
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.
November 28 – 29, 2012. 74th Annual Cornell Seed Conference. Join Cornell researchers and industry professionals for a discussion of seed treatment, weed management, and cover crop seed. For more information, see http://cce.cornell.edu/EventDocs/Cornell%20Seed%20Conference%20Program%20Nov%202012%20%20%282%29.pdf.
November 29 & December 6, 2012. Success in Raising Sheep & Goats. Canandaigua, NY. Interested in raising sheep or goats? Or, looking to connect with others who raise sheep or goats? Join CCE for this workshop! For more info: http://www.cceontario.org/temp2.asp?id=ag-workshops.
November 29 – 30, 2012. Cost of Production: Answering Farmer’s Toughest Questions. Rochester, NY. Do you know which parts of your farm generate profits and which parts could use some work? Do you know how to set prices for your products? Join CCE for a workshop for farmers on how to effectively set prices, improve profitability, and make good financial decisions. For more info and to register, visit: https://www.nofany.org/events/field-days/cost-production-answering-farmings-toughest-questions.
December 1, 2012. Cornell Hops Conference. Morrisville, NY. Are you an experienced hop grower? Or, looking to start growing hops? Join an experienced crew of hops growers and experts for a conference about hops! Scholarships are available via application! For more information and to register, visit http://nehopalliance.org/.
December 1, 2012. Landscape Your Yard with Native Plants. Ithaca, NY. NY Winter is the perfect time to plan for next year’s landscape! This workshop will take you through the steps of designing your landscape, including: site analysis, site design and creating a master plan to help guide your overall vision for your property. We will combine these design basics with information on using native plants and lessons from nature to create a native habitat in your own yard. For more info: http://www.cornellplantations.org/.
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.
December 5, 2012. Annual Gathering: Success with the Organic Land Care Market. Sturbridge, MA. Join NOFA Organic Land Care for the Day! Come learn about the Organic Land Care program and hear from the leaders of the movement. Accredited professionals are invited to come and catch up with old friends and visit the 20 sponsors and exhibitors during lunch and during breaks. For more info and to register, visit http://www.organiclandcare.net/education/annual-gathering.
December 5 – 6, 2012. Greenhouse Vegetable Shortcourse. Ithaca, NY. Join Cornell Extension specialists and greenhouse growers for a two-day intensive workshop. Topics will include: nutrient delivery in hydroponic systems, water quality, crop selection, and much more! For more information, visit: https://smallfarms.cornell.edu/hort/files/2012/10/greenhouse_vegetable_shortcourse-1j859f8.pdf.
December 6, 2012. Hay and Forage Quality Workshop. Saratoga Springs, NY. Are you a farm owner interested in learning more about the quality of your hay and developing the skills to evaluate it? Join CCE and Dairy One for a workshop on hay quality. For more information and to register, visit: www.cceequine.org.
December 8, 2012. Southern Tier Maple School. Tyrone, NY. NYS Maple Specialist will be the featured speaker, presenting timely updates for both small and large producers that will help prepare for a successful upcoming maple season. To register: https://pub.cce.cornell.edu/event_registration/main/events_landing.cfm?event=SouthernTierMapleSchool_244.
December 18, 2012. Cornell Agribusiness Economic Outlook Conference. Ithaca, NY. Join Ag Business professors and experts for a conference on the current situation and outlook of agricultural economy. For more information and to register, visit http://dyson.cornell.edu/outreach/ag_outlook_conference.php.
December 18, 2012. Improving Your Business with On-Farm Research. Latham, NY. Learn how to do your own field crop research and how to participate in state-wide research projects with Cornell faculty.  We will discuss the tools, knowledge, and management it takes to do on-farm research.  Put on by Capital Area Agriculture and Horticulture Program. For more info and to register, visit https://smallfarms.cornell.edu/ccefieldcropnews/2012/11/06/improving-your-business-with-on-farm-research-december-18-2012/.
January 22 – 24, 2012. Empire State Producers Expo. Syracuse, NY. This show combines the major fruit, flower, vegetable, and direct marketing associations of New York State in order to provide a comprehensive trade show and educational conference for the fruit and vegetable growers of this state, as well as the surrounding states and Eastern Canada. For more info: http://www.leetradeshows.com/espe.html.
January 25-27, 2012. NOFA-NY Winter Conference. Join organic farmers and researchers from across N.Y. for 3 days of workshops and discussions on topics related to organic farming. For more information, visit https://www.nofany.org/?q=events/winter-conference.
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Northern New York Crop Specialist (Franklin County, NY) – Apply now!
Cornell Cooperative Extension Franklin County is seeking a Northern New York Crop Specialist to provide field crop producers, consultants, and industry representatives with the knowledge and educational resources necessary to crop production and management practices and implement changes that will enhance profitability, minimize environmental impact and sustain the growth of dairy and crop industries in NNY. Prospective applicants should have a MA or PhD in a related field, as well as at least 2 years of relevant work experience. For more information and to apply, visit: https://cornellu.taleo.net/careersection/10163/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=18599.
Sawyer Bay Farm for Sale (South Hero, Vermont) – Apply by December 7, 2012
Looking to start a farm? The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) and the South Hero Land Trust (SHLT) have put the Sawyer Bay Farm up for sale. The farm is 183 acres with 140 acres of tillable land. The VLT and SHLT are looking for proposals that will increase the local food production in the area. For more info and to apply, visit http://www.vlt.org/initiatives/sawyerbay.
Executive Director (Vera Cruz, PA) – Apply now!
The Seed Farm is seeking an Executive Director to supervise  ‘The Seed Farm Agricultural Incubator’ and new farmer education program. The Executive Director will have planning, fundraising, and financial responsibilities, among others. Prospective applicants should have non-profit/business management experience, a commitment to new farmer training and sustainable agriculture, and fundraising skills, among other qualifications. For more details, visit http://www.theseedfarm.org/.
Development Director (Vera Cruz, PA) – Apply now!
The Seed Farm is seeking a Development Director to lead fundraising efforts for the non-profit organization. The Development Director will be responsible for fundraising through grants, private and corporate donations, events and foundations. Prospective applicants should be passionate about new farmer training and have experience in fundraising, among other qualifications. For more details, visit http://www.theseedfarm.org/.
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AgEnhancement Grants – Due December 1, 2012
Northeast agricultural credit associations and CoBank award grants to help organizations promote agricultural awareness in New England states, New York, and New Jersey. Eligible projects may seek to: development of young and beginning farmers; encourage leadership; promote interest in the agricultural industry; and more! For details and to apply, visit https://www.farmcrediteast.com/Industry-Support/AgEnhancement-Grants.aspx.
NOFA-NY Winter Conference Scholarships – Due December 3, 2012
NOFA-NY is providing Beginning Farmer scholarships to cover the cost of its annual conference. Join experienced growers and agricultural researchers for a weekend conference free of cost! To apply, visit https://nofa.wufoo.com/forms/r7w9s7/.
Northeastern IPM Partnership Grants Program – Due December 14, 2012
Looking to fund an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) project? The Northeastern IPM Project is providing funding for projects that fall under several categories: IPM working groups; IPM issues; Regional IPM Publications; and IPM Planning and Assessment Documents. For more information and to apply, visit http://www.northeastipm.org/grant-programs/ipm-center-grants/ipm-partnership-grants/.
Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship – Due December 15, 2012
Are you studying sustainable agriculture as an undergraduate or graduate student? Apply for Annie’s Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship, which provides funding directly to tuition for a 2 or 4 year college or graduate program. To apply, visit http://www.annies.com/our-practices/farming/agricultural-scholarships/apply/.
Heads up! 2013 NRCS Organic EQIP Funding – Due February 3, 2013
The National Resources Conservation Service will provide funding for over 64 conservations practices in 2013! EQIP is a great opportunity for organic and transitioning-to-organic growers to receive financial support to implement specific conservation practices. Contact your state NRCS office for more information: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detailfull/national/programs/financial/eqip/?&cid=nrcs143_008223.
Heads up! Food Animal Concerns Fund-a-Farmer Project – Due May 1, 2013
Looking to transition to a pasture-based system, improve marketing of humanely raised animal products, or improve the conditions of your livestock? The Fund-a-Farmer project offers awards of up to $1,500 for such projects. To apply, visit http://www.fundafarmer.org/.
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People of the Land: A Guide for USDA Service Providers
In the United States, more than one in three farms benefits from a range of direct payments by the federal government, according to USDA statistics. But when it comes to farms operated by American Indians, that figure plummets to nearly one in 10. Extension educators in University of Nevada created this guide to help USDA service providers understand the needs and complexities of agriculture. Emma Loretta Singletary, a co-writer of the guide, said: “It was important to design an educational program for USDA professionals that explained the obstacles that present themselves when trying to implement a USDA program on Indian trust land.” To view the guide: http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center/Project-Products/Western-SARE-Project-Products/People-of-the-Land?utm_source=Curriculum+Helps+USDA+Build+Bridge+to+American+Indians&utm_campaign=People+of+the+Land&utm_medium=email.
Marketing for Profits: Tools for Success – Free and Open to the Public!
Webinars for farmers and extension educators on how to achieve success in the direct marketing of farm products! The webinars will focus on five market categories over the course of three years: Self-Assessment, Market Assessment, Customer Assessment, Communications Assessment and Business Assessment. Market and customer assessment will be the focus of the webinars this winter. For more information and to register, visit http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/work-shop-programs/webinars/registration.html.
The Seed Farm Small Farmer Equipment Videos
The non-profit organization, The Seed Farm, has videos focused on four different types of equipment: Paper Pot Transplanter, Push Seeder, Plastic Layer, and Spader. These videos demonstrate how to use each piece of equipment and the potential benefits. Check out the videos at http://theseedfarm.org/.
USDA Results of 2011 Organic Production Survey
The USDA has recently released the results of its 2011 survey of organic production in the United States. The survey includes data on organic field crops, livestock, vegetable and fruit production. http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1859.
Access ATTRA on Your Smartphone and Tablet!
If you have a Smartphone or Tablet, you can take the ATTRA website with you wherever you go! The ATTRA site now has a “Mobile” view, which automatically appears when smartphone and tablet users access the site. Visit the new site: www.attra.ncat.org.
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Violet Stone

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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  1. Avatar Flavia on November 28, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Would like to know if I can do overlapping plow fileds with existing plow fileds or I have to delete all the existing plowed fileds?I got 5 existing plowed fileds can it’s just too bad if I have to delete all of them please need help thanks so much

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