Cornell Small Farms Program Update

Message from the Editor
It’s with great pleasure that I take the reins of the Quarterly, a paper I have enjoyed reading over the years as my wife and I have explored and started our own small farm. I’ve also always enjoyed writing, having first been passionate about short stories and creative writing in high school and college, switching to non-fiction and advocacy writing as I got deeper into environmental, farm, and community issues.
One of my favorite elements of the Quarterly is the dedicated and thoughtful writers who submit articles for each issue, not for any personal or financial gain, but for the benefit of us all learning from one another. My farming path has been graciously mentored by so many others that I feel compelled to share my experience with words, and in doing so give back at least a small portion of what’s been given to me. I think that many of our writers feel the same way.
Anyone with a story, experience, or issue of importance that feels called to write should submit an article to the quarterly. Check out the write guidelines and feel free to contact me with any questions. I look forward to serving the readers as the next generation of farm knowledge is passed around the circle.
 Steve Gabriel                                                                                                                          
Message from the (Outgoing) Managing Editor
As we turn the corner from a record cold winter into a more benign Spring, I have some transitional news of my own to share. Starting with this Spring edition, I have transitioned the role of Managing Editor over to new Small Farms Program staff Steve Gabriel. I have reduced my work hours since our son, Julian, was born 1.5 years ago, and along with that change, I’ve needed to simplify my work plan. It has been such a pleasure these past 5 years to get to know the writers and readers of Small Farm Quarterly and hear about the wonderful farms and agriculture projects happening around the Northeast. Steve is a very talented writer, educator and farmer and I am looking forward to seeing the magazine continue to grow under his leadership.
Violet Stone
Small Farms Program welcomes new Northeast Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator
We are pleased to announce that we have hired Matthew Weiss to fill the role of Northeast Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator. Matt is an Ithaca, New York native who has returned to the Finger Lakes region after spending seven years living in Philadelphia, PA. Matt has a B.S. in Communications from Cornell University and an M.S. in Community and Regional Planning from Temple University, where he focused on environmental planning and the collaborative planning process. Most recently, Matt spent three and a half years working with small farms in Southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey on direct-to-consumer sales and marketing through farmers’ markets, CSAs, and buying clubs. His work in Philadelphia involved coordinating partnerships across a diverse group of stakeholders including farmers, small business owners, non-profits, and government agencies. He is very excited to be returning to his roots in Central New York while continuing to work with small farms to help them grow and thrive.
New Support for Veterans and Advanced Beginning Farmers
The Cornell Small Farms Program is excited to announce that we have been awarded a 3-year grant from the USDA’s Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program that will enable us to provide new support services for military veterans seeking to farm, and for “advanced beginning” farmers who have 3-9 years of experience. With this grant and matching funds from our collaborators at the NY Farm Viability Institute and the Local Economies Project, we will create training programs and farmer-to-farmer networks to aid these veterans and farmers. For more information, visit
Sparking a Wholesale Revolution
We are excited to announce the launch of a new 3 year train-the-trainer project, “Sparking a Wholesale Revolution: Connecting Small and Mid-sized Farmers to Larger Markets” sponsored by Northeast SARE and the Cornell Small Farms Program. The goal of the project is to equip NY agricultural educators with the knowledge and skills to identify and communicate with wholesale entrepreneurs in their regions and assess the benefits and challenges of these new wholesale markets to ensure sound marketing decisions. We are also aiming to help farmers assess changes needed in production, storage, packaging and handling to satisfy larger markets. If you’re an educator or farmer in NY interested in participating in the project, please sign up at the project website:

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Tara Hammonds

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