December 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


  • Two Farm Financial Management Online Courses Offered January 2013
  • Call for Organic Dairy and Field Crop Presenters
  • From Grazing to Goat Marketing, New Grant Program Generates Resources

Upcoming Events

  • Sponsored Events
  • Grazing Events
  • Other Featured events

Career etc. Opportunities

  • Executive Director (Annapolis, MD) – Apply by December 21, 2012
  • Call for Manuscripts: “LAND FOR FOOD” – Due May 15, 2013
  • Extension Specialist (UMass Amherst) – Apply now!
  • Extension Educator (Penn State) – Apply now!
  • Groundswell Incubator Farm (Ithaca, NY) – Apply now!
  • Business Partner (Hudson Valley) – Apply now!

Funding etc. Opportunities

  • Heads up! 2013 NRCS Organic EQIP Funding – Due February 3, 2012
  • Heads up! Food Animal Concerns Fund-a-Farmer Project – Due May 1, 2013


  • 2013 Cornell Pest Management Guidelines for Berry Crops Now Available
  • JUST FOOD Online Resource Center in Spanish
  • Virtual Grange – New Resource from Stone Barns Center!
  • Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success
  • Sheep Shearing Videos from Penn State Extension
  • USDA Organic Production Survey Results – New York Results
  • Your Guide to Farm Service Agency Farm Loans
  • New NOP Guides on Organic Certification
  • Research: Saving Soil, Nutrients and Money with Cover Crops
  • New and Upcoming Organic Farming and Food Books!
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 to register. Learn more about how the courses operate on our Course Logistics and FAQs page at
Call for Organic Dairy and Field Crop Presenters
The NYCO/ Cornell Organic Dairy and Field Crop Program Work Team is recruiting presentations for the upcoming meeting on January 8th @ Jordan Hall, Geneva, 10:30 AM till 2PM.  Contact Fay Benson if you would like to share a 15 minute overview of your project at the meeting, 607-753-5213 or  We can offer to have presentations by webinar as well, but in person is preferred.  Margaret Smith will speak about ‘Five State Team Breeding Corn for Organic Systems’.  Matt Smith and Dr. John Aber will be presenting on closing the nutrient and energy cycles at the UNH Organic Dairy by transferring waste streams into revenue generating products.  Brian Caldwell will discuss yields and economics of the Cornell Organic Cropping Systems Project grain experiment.  Robert Perry will give updates on winter meetings including a Feb 28th seed field day/short course. Fay Benson will talk about improving the omega-3 and amega-6 ratio in organic milk and share initial work and information on Barley Fodder production and feeding to dairy cows.  To attend the meeting, no preregistration is required. Bring a dish to pass for lunch.
From Grazing to Goat Marketing, New Grant Program Generates Resources
The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce a variety of excellent new resources generated from project recipients of the 2012 “Small Farm Grants Program.”  This program offers up to $5000 per year to organizations in New York that present compelling projects to serve and support small farms. This year, four projects were funded. They include 1) A new series of 12 “How-to-Graze” videos 2) A study assessing small farmers’ success selling to distributors 3) An initiative to expand “Work-place CSA’s” and 4) a makeover to, a website that connects sheep and goat producers to markets.  An additional project to support a small dairy field day series during Summer, 2012 was also funded.  Detailed reports reflecting project successes and lessons learned, as well as additional educational materials for any of the initiatives, are available at
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Sponsored Events:
January 8th, 2013.   NYCO/ Cornell Organic Dairy and Field Crop Program Work Team Meeting.  Jordan Hall, Geneva, 10:30 AM till 2PM.  Contact Fay Benson if you would like to share a 15 minute overview of your project at the meeting, 607-753-5213 or  We can offer to have presentations by webinar as well, but in person is preferred.  To attend the meeting, no preregistration is required. Bring a dish to pass for lunch.
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
Other Events:
December 17, 2012. Webinar: Food Hubs – What are they? Farm Credit East is hosting a webinar on food hubs! This webinar will provide insight into what exactly a food hub is, how they work and how they can benefit the agriculture industry, specifically in the Northeast. More info and to sign up, visit:
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
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
December 18, 2012. Webinar: Building the Base of Your CSA: Legal Best Practices, Including Member, Volunteer, and Intern Agreements. Do you have a CSA program or are you planning to start one? Would you like guidance on how legal documents can help you achieve your CSA goals? Farmers are invited to attend a webinar to learn about the legal aspects of running a CSA and gain strategies for crafting a CSA member agreement to improve customer satisfaction and retention. Register for this webinar at
December 18, 2012. Farming Wood for Heat and Biofuels. Geneva, NY. Speakers will talk on a variety of subjects including Willow cultivation and economics to wood chip boilers.  For additional information go to:
December 19, 2012 – March 27, 2013. Various dates. Vegetable, Small-Fruit Production Webinar Series. Penn State Extension’s Vegetable and Small Fruit Program is offering monthly webinars 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, with time for questions and answers. Webinars are aimed at those involved in commercial production of vegetables and small fruits on any scale, with access to timely updates in commercial vegetable and small-fruit production for extension educators, producers and industry representatives in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. For more info and to register:
January 4 – 5, 2013. Annual New York State Maple Producers Conference. A producer‐focused conference with practical and hands‐on sessions for maple farms to enhance existing and expanding operations. More info and registration at:
January 8 – January 24, 2012. Various dates. Basic Farm Financing Training.  Burrville, Canton, Malone, Plattsburgh, and Westport, NY. Cornell Cooperative Extension associations of Northern New York are offering a basic financial management training for farm business owners and managers. Educators will cover the three basic financial statements every farm business should use, recordkeeping systems, inventory management, cash flow vs. profitability, crop insurance and risk management. For more information:
January 10 – 11, 2013. Critical Interactions: Ecological Research into Landscape Design 24th Annual Ecological Landscaping Symposium. New London, Connecticut. To design and manage landscapes successfully is to create symbiotic relationships between people and living systems. While these systems are highly complex, research into their interactions, patterns, and processes is robust. This conference will explore the connections between science and design and the potential for these connections to profoundly alter how we create and manage small and large scale landscapes. For more information see the
January 10 – March 14, 2013. Groundswell Business Planning Course. Ithaca, NY. Groundswell, in collaboration with CCE-Tompkins and Alternative Credits Union are offering a 10-week financial planning course that meets every Thursday evening. The class covers all major aspects of the farm business start-up process, including assessing your resources; legal and regulatory issues; production planning; marketing; financial feasibility, budgets and recordkeeping; and more. It is also appropriate for established farmers who want to improve their business planning and management skills. For more info and to apply, visit
January 15 -16, 2013. General Gaps Training For All Fresh Produce Growers. Penn Yann, NY. This 2-day workshop, hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension, is for those farmers who are being required by buyers to provide third party verification of their food safety practices and for farmers thinking about moving in this direction. For more information, visit:
January 21, 2013 – March 7, 2013. Permaculture I: Cornell Online Course. Want to learn more about Permaculture? Cornell’s Horticulture Department offers a three-part online course. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of design for a site of their choosing. More info and registration at:
January 22 – 24, 2013. 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:
January 25-27, 2013. NOFA-NY Winter Conference. Saratoga Springs, NY. 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
January 28, 2013. Master Composter Volunteer Training. Ithaca, NY. Master Composters are trained volunteers who promote responsible composting in Tompkins County!  Training involves 20 hours of class time covering composting in depth, and 20 hours of “practical internship”. After training, Master Composters give back to the community in a variety of outreach activities.
February 5, 12, 19. Strategic Marketing Workshops for Livestock Producers. Many locations, NY. Cornell Cooperative Extension has developed a series of workshops that will teach the basics of strategic marketing, including how to identify a target market and focus your farm’s marketing efforts. You will also learn how to choose the markets that meet the needs of your farm, such as CSA, farmers’ market and wholesale.  Each participant will develop components of a marketing plan and create marketing materials. While this series is tailored specifically to the marketing of meats and other livestock products, it will benefit any farm looking to improve their marketing efforts. For more information and to sign-up, contact Matthew LeRoux, CCE- Tompkins County, (607) 272-2292 or by email at
February 10 – 12, 2013. It Takes a Region Conference. Saratoga Springs, NY. Sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, It Takes a Region is the conference for everyone doing food system change work! Discussion will focus on exciting efforts underway in the region in production, distribution logistics, research, food access and nutrition, policy advocacy and more. Whatever your part in the Northeast food system, this conference is for you! For more info and to register, visit:
February 20, 2013. Webinar: Good Ag Practices (GAPs) Farm Food Safety Update. Part of Penn State Extension’s production webinar series. To sign up, visit:
March 2, 2013. Shearing School. Dryden, NY. Doug Rathke from Minnesota will instruct on topics including shearing pattern, blade sharpening techniques, physical fitness, handpiece maintenance and more. Rathke is one of the top shearers in the United States and has had extensive training from the New Zealand Wools. For more information and to register:
March 11 – April 25, 2013. Permaculture II: Cornell Online Course. Want to learn more about Permaculture? Cornell’s Horticulture Department offers a three-part online course. Participants will explore the content through videos, readings, and activities and complete portions of design for a site of their choosing. More info and registration at:
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Executive Director (Annapolis, MD) – Apply by December 21, 2012
Water Stewardship, Inc. (WSI), a 501c-3 nonprofit organization headquartered in Annapolis, MD, is seeking a highly qualified and motivated individual to serve as Executive Director. The position will be based in Annapolis with the potential for some flexibility in days in office and remote work location. The successful candidate is expected to start during the first quarter of 2013. For complete announcement information visit:
Call for Manuscripts: “LAND FOR FOOD” – Due May 15, 2013
The Journal of Agriculture Food Systems, and Community Development is seeking submissions on a wide range of topics that explore the relationship between land use and food systems.Submissions may include qualitative and quantitative studies, case studies, review articles, reflective essays, and commentaries. We encourage submissions that draw on diverse interdisciplinary and community/practitioner perspectives and are written in using accessible scholarship (note 2). Papers could include topics related to: farm transfer and succession planning; permanent farmland protection programs: best practices and performance to date; International land grabbing; race and land loss; and the changing face and nature of agriculture (e.g., the switch from dairy to intensive vegetable production), among many others. For more information, and to submit your manuscript, contact Duncan Hilchey at and visit to learn more about the journal.
Extension Specialist (UMass Amherst) – Apply now!
UMass Extension is seeking an Extension Specialist for the Sustainable Vegetable Crop Systems and IPM program. The individual will work with faculty and specialists to develop and deliver education and informational materials to support the vegetable industry in Massachusetts. Prospective applicants should have an MS in a related field and three years of professional experience working with growers and agricultural research/extension projects. For more information about the position visit:
Extension Educator (Penn State) – Apply now!
Penn State Extension – Schuylkill County is seeking an Extension Specialist as a team member of the Penn State Extension State Horticulture Team, working directly with statewide faculty and staff. The individual represents Penn State in interpreting, applying, and disseminating the latest research findings in Ornamental Horticulture and Vegetable and Small Fruit Production. The individual will also serve as the local contact person for the State Tree Fruit and Grape Team. Major responsibilities will include planning, implementing, conducting and evaluating a broad educational program for the Green Industry and the Vegetable and Small Fruit Growers. For more information and to apply:
Groundswell Incubator Farm (Ithaca, NY) – Apply now!
Apply today for the 2013 growing season! Access to land – low-cost infrastructure – business planning support. Located at EcoVillage in Ithaca, NY.  The Groundswell Farm Enterprise Incubator is a new program designed to provide support and resources to a range of beginning producers who need affordable access to land in order to grow their enterprise. The Incubator will offer a relatively low-risk entry avenue for new producers by providing land, production and marketing infrastructure, production support services (such as tractor tillage), and ongoing support from experienced farmer- and business – mentors through Groundswell’s New Farmer Training Programs. For more information and to apply:
Business Partner (Hudson Valley) – Apply now!
A family farm in the Hudson Valley Region of NYS is offering a unique opportunity to an individual seeking a unique agricultural business opportunity. The farmer currently grows several varieties of oyster mushrooms on pasteurized straw and shiitake mushrooms year round in a controlled environment facility and sells through both farmers markets and higher end restaurants locally and south into Westchester County. The grower is seeking a partner with the right individual to both expand production into other crops. Prospective candidates should be self-starters. Most of the necessary equipment is already on-site and only lacks someone to utilize them more. One could use this as a learning experience and move on or continue to work and utilize the current farm and the resources. This is not a seasonal opportunity, I produce year round, however with another crop an individual could set their own schedule. Please contact Gary @ 845-706-1154 or e-mail him at for more information.
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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:
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
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2013 Cornell Pest Management Guidelines for Berry Crops Now Available
The 2013 edition of the Cornell Pest Management Guidelines for Berry Crops is now available. This annual publication provides up-to-date pest management and crop production information for blueberry, bramble (raspberry and blackberry), strawberry, ribes (currant and gooseberry), cranberry, elderberry, and Juneberry (Saskatoon) production in New York State. Supplemental information on wildlife management and harvesting, handling, and transporting berry crops is also included. This publication has been designed as a practical guide for berry crop producers, crop consultants, Ag chemical dealers, and others who advise berry crop producers. In addition to the annually revised pesticide and crop production information, two new significant items have been added to the 2013
edition of the Berry Guidelines that will benefit berry producers: Revised management information for spotted wing drosophila and addition of currant cane blight and white pine blister rust to the list of diseases of concern. To order, call (607) 255-7282, send an email to, or order on-line at http://psep.cce.cornell. guidelines.
JUST FOOD Online Resource Center in Spanish
Just Food released its Spanish-language version of the Farming for NYC Toolkit. The Toolkit provides resources on farming production in NYC and beyond. Resources include info on starting up, CSA’s, farmers markets, and much more! To view these great resources:
Virtual Grange – New Resource from Stone Barns Center!
Stone Barns Center has launched the Virtual Grange, an online community and hub for beginning farmers. Inside the Grange, you’ll be joined by hundreds of other beginning farmers from across the country who are busy preparing for the season ahead. Participate in forums. Watch technical tutorials. Read the latest agricultural news. Find out about upcoming conferences, workshops, and apprenticeship opportunities in your region. Seek advice from experienced farmers and share your story. Step inside the Virtual Grange and join the conversation. Check out this great new beginning farmer resource:
Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success
The Farmers’ Market Federation of NY and the NY Farm Viability Institute have partnered with USDA Northeast SARE to present a series of webinars on marketing, “Marketing for Profits: Tools for Success.” These webinars have been designed with the assistance of regional and national marketing experts to provide critical marketing insights for farmers and farm markets throughout the northeast. The webinars are free, approximately 90 minutes long, and easy to access with a basic internet connection. This webinar series will give farmers the information and tools to excel at direct marketing their farm products. It will also provide curriculum, presentations and handouts to Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and other farm service providers to help farmers master key marketing concepts that will bring greater success and more profits to their farms. To view webinar dates and register, visit:
Sheep Shearing Videos from Penn State Extension
Producers interested in learning to shear their own sheep, or those who may just need a refresher to brush up on their skills, can now look to the Web for help on shearing sheep. Finding someone to shear your sheep is becoming more difficult and expensive every year. We hope these videos will get you on a good track to doing your own shearing. The Penn State Extension’s Start Farming team created two videos, one explaining the tools needed to shear sheep and preparing and caring for the shears, and one explaining the six positions to shear a sheep. To view the videos, please visit the Start Farming team’s website at:
USDA Organic Production Survey Results – New York Results
The New York Field office of NASS has prepared a 4-page summary of New York State data that you might find interesting. Check out NY’s organic statistics at:
Your Guide to Farm Service Agency Farm Loans
The guide is designed to serve as an informational tool and resource to help educators in providing outreach and technical assistance to farmers and ranchers. The guide provides information about FSA’s farm loans and loan servicing options. A list of additional resources is also included in the guide. The guide is available at:
New NOP Guides on Organic Certification
The new guides are part of the USDA’s National Organic Program’s Organic Literacy Initiative, which was launched earlier this year. This effort has included self-paced training modules, outreach materials, and a guide to organic and organic-related USDA programs. Beginning farmers and existing organic operations can find detailed information about organic certification in the four new guides available now on the ATTRA-National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The guide topics are: Guide to Organic Crop Producers, Guide for Organic Livestock Producers, Guide for Organic Processors, Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products. The guides were written by sustainable-agriculture experts at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in partnership with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP). To access the guides, visit:
Research: Saving Soil, Nutrients and Money with Cover Crops
Oregon State University (OSU) Extension specialists, with funding from SARE, have spent six years studying the role cover crops play in fertility management. To date, the OSU researchers’ main contribution is a calculator for estimating the cost and Nitrogen (N) contribution of cover crops, compost, and organic and synthetic fertilizers. The calculator has been used by more than 620 people since 2010, representing more than 52,000 acres. The profit potential from cover crops’ role in nutrient management is immense: In one trial, the OSU researchers found a vetch cover crop could replace 110 pounds per acre of feather meal for a broccoli crop, leading to a cost saving of $500 per acre. To use the calculator and access more cover cropping resources, click here.
New and Upcoming Organic Farming and Food Books!
Chelsea Green Publishing has several new titles on organic farming and food.

Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business by Rebecca Thistlethwaite
Farms with a Future
explores the passion, creativity, and entrepreneurship that’s needed to help family farms find their niche and remain sustainable and successful in an age of agribusiness and consolidation.
A Farmer’s Guide to Vegetable Seed Production by John Navazio
The Organic Seed Grower
is a comprehensive manual for the serious vegetable grower who is interested in growing high-quality seeds using organic farming practices. It is written for both serious home seed savers and diversified small-scale farmers who want to learn the necessary steps involved in successfully producing a commercial seed crop organically.
Perennial Vegetable Gardening with Eric Toensmeier (DVD) by Eric Toensmeier
Imagine growing vegetables that require just about the same amount of care as perennial flowers and shrubs, need no annual tilling or planting, yet thrive and produce abundant and nutritious crops throughout the season. In this DVD—a culmination of workshops recorded in Mexico, Florida, and Massachusetts—plant specialist Eric Toensmeier introduces gardeners to more than 100 species of little-known, underappreciated plants.
More books from Chelsea Green Publishing:
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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.
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