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Where to Connect with the Small Farms Team this Winter

Winter is traditionally a season filled with farmer and association conferences, and this year is no different. Our team will be traveling around New York State, and beyond, to share information with farmers and other farming organizations. Check out where our team will be for a chance to learn and connect! 


Join Workshops on Soil Health Practices for Vegetables in January

Reduced tillage practices are important for building soil health. The Reduced Tillage Project helps growers at diverse scales reduce tillage while managing vegetable production systems that build better soils.

There are two upcoming conferences where you will have the opportunity to learn all about soil health with our project team. The Empire State Producers EXPO (January 14 – 16) and the NOFA-NY Winter Conference (January 17 – 19) are back-to-back in downtown Syracuse, NY, this winter. 

At EXPO, come to hear from leading researchers and farmers about soil
biology, cover crops, no-till tools, and tillage equipment.For details on the
agenda and to register, visit: nysvga.org/expo/information/

At NOFA-NY our project team will be digging into compost management with reduced and no-till practices. Join us to learn more about the compost we are using, how it is changing our soils, and recent research using compost as mulch with less tillage. Find the complete agenda at: nofany-winterconference.squarespace.com


Wholesale for Small Farmers

Join Violet Stone, Baskets to Pallets Project Manager and Amy McCann, Local Food Marketplace at the NOFA NY Conference for a discussion on getting into more wholesale markets on Friday, January 17, 2020  from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the NOFA-NY Winter Conference.

Many small farms that have been focused on direct sales (e.g. farmers markets, CSAs) find they need to adjust their sales and marketing plan when they incorporate sales to the wholesale market.  Come to this session if you are thinking about selling to wholesale customers, but aren’t sure where to start, or if you have experienced some challenges in selling to wholesale customers. We’ll present sales & marketing strategies for common wholesale sales channels and then spend 30 minutes working in small groups to shape your farm’s pitch for approaching new potential customers.

Register and learn more about NOFA NY Winter Conference from January 17-19, 2020.


Farming in Balance Discussion & Focus Group

Farmers face stress and uncertainty in many aspects of their businesses and livelihoods. Yet, it can be hard to take time to rest and relax, to invest in one’s own well-being and cultivate supportive relationships within a community. Our new research project looks at the whole health and resilience of  farmers and their teams. Our project focuses on creating reflective spaces for farmers to gather and contemplate how elements of wellness play out in their lives and businesses. Join Violet Stone and Anu Rangarajan on Friday, January 17 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the NOFA NY Conference in Syracuse, NY to tell us how well-being, equity/fairness, and connection to community plays out on your farm and in your life.  In gratitude for your thoughts, we will offer a $75.00 cash gift to each participant. We have space for 15, so please register in advance at https://bit.ly/2MUqdjc or by contacting Violet at vws7@cornell.edu or 607-255-9227.  For more info on the project, read Violet’s blog post “Caring for Your Farm’s Greatest Asset

Register and learn more about NOFA NY Winter Conference from January 17-19, 2020.


Join February Workshop on Holistic Decision-Making for Women

Erica Frenay will be facilitating a full-day workshop on Wednesday, February 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., sponsored by the PA Women in Ag Network. This workshop is a part of the PASA 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Conference, February 5-8 in Lancaster, PA.

This highly interactive workshop hosted by the Pennsylvania Women in Agriculture Network will help people who identify as women reflect on what is most important to them, and provide tools for making holistic decisions for themselves, their families, and their farms. You’ll learn the guiding principles of holistic management decision-making, and how to adhere to your values even under challenging circumstances.

Learn more and register at: https://pasafarming.org/conference/register/.  


Baskets to Pallets 1 Day Training and “Be Well Farming” Focus Group 

Registration opens on January 20 for a Baskets to Pallets Training and a “Be Well Farming” Focus Group. 

Taking place at Hawthorne Valley Farm, join facilitators Violet Stone, Baskets to Pallets Project Manager, and Rachel and Steffen Schneider of the Institute for Mindful Agriculture for the training on February 19, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Discussion and focus group to follow from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Treat yourself to a training that covers the technical skills needed to be successful when transitioning to wholesale markets while making time for reflective conversation, delicious local food feast, fellowship and a walk on the farm.  We’ll discuss consumer trends and the demand for local, choosing and evaluating market channels, building relationships with buyers and cooperative and collaborative farming.  Those who wish are invited to stay for a 90 minute focus group to explore wellness, balance, fairness, and connection to community while farming. Focus group participants will be treated to a local food appetizer social and compensated $75.00 cash.


Keynote Speaker at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire

Steve Gabriel will give a keynote address about Silvopasture in a Changing Climate on February 8, 2020 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Humans relationship to animals has a long and storied past, yet modern agriculture has sought to separate forest and field, animal and pasture. Silvopasture integrates trees, livestock, and forages while sequestering carbon in the landscape and providing climate resiliency for farmers. This talk includes historical narratives, case studies, and the latest research outlining how we can rapidly establish silvopasture for a livable future.

Learn more and register here: https://www.nofanh.org/keynote-speaker

Kelsie Raucher

Kelsie Raucher

Kelsie is from southwest Missouri and grew up on a 150-acre farm helping her family buy and sell horses and cattle. She credits FFA for finding her passion for agriculture and food issues and desiring a career as an “agvocate.” Since coming to Cornell, she has gained interest in local production, global food issues, and environmental impacts of and on agriculture. She joined the Cornell Small Farms Program in May of 2018 and is excited to gain experience to complement coursework in the Agricultural Sciences major and Communication major.
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