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Farm Ops Project to Continue Event Series for Veterans in Agriculture

We are pleased to announce that our Farm Ops project will be continuing its series of training workshops for veterans interested in agriculture throughout 2020. Opportunities include twelve single-day focused trainings, as well as connecting participating veterans to additional regional training opportunities, print material, and online resources tailored to each individual’s interests.

These events are free to attend and will be held at the EquiCenter Farm in Mendon, NY, unless otherwise specified, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with lunch and refreshments provided.

The first quarter trainings will begin on February 23, and will run through the end of April. We will be covering a variety of topics relevant to small-scale agricultural endeavors, and each workshop consists of hands-on learning opportunities, along with paired reading materials, and connection to additional resources. Workshops are open to all farmers, with no prior knowledge of the specific topic required.

Home-Scale Maple Syrup Production
Sunday, February 23

With an abundance of Maple species as well as the necessary climactic conditions needed to generate robust sap flows, our region is a prime area for tree-sap harvesting and syrup production. Accessing tree saps can be an easy way to generate your own supplemental sugar source, either for household consumption or as an added farm enterprise. This training will introduce you to tapping tools and equipment, sugar testing, and will include a farm tour and pancake brunch.

On-Farm Fertility Production
Saturday, March 7

Would you like to take agency over the fertility needs of your farm, garden, or growing operation? This focused training on Bokashi production will detail how the fermented organic inoculant/ amendment builds soil fertility and promotes vibrant plant growth. Production takes 15-days to complete utilizing low-cost materials and traditional farm equipment (hand-tools). When made properly, Bokashi can be a complete, stand-alone fertility solution for nearly any cropping system.

Specialized Tools for Small-Scale Intensive Production
Saturday, March 28

Small-scale intensive production, aka micro-farming or market garden farming, is a tractor-less, cropping strategy for high-yield production on low acreage without the need for large capital investment. This training will review how tools should be considered with regard to your operation, and whether the efficiency-savings they provide justifies their sticker cost.

Ginseng Production in Your Woods
Saturday, April 25

What opportunities do your woods hold for ginseng? Learn how to recognize ginseng habitat and how to start up your own ginseng production in this training. You will be introduced to the American Ginseng plant, woodland plant identification (including trees and wildflowers), and the startup steps toward a successful ginseng operation.

Our Farm Ops project is an initiative to support New York State veterans who are interested in agriculture. Launched in 2015, this project has teamed with established veteran groups to offer a statewide service provider network for organizations to support agriculture training for veterans. The project also offers educational strategies tailored to the unique needs of military veterans interested in agriculture. Along with its partner agencies, Farm Ops serves the 800,000 military veterans living in New York State.

To learn more about Farm Ops, visit the project page. You can also contact the Farm Ops project associates, Dean Koyanagi (drk5@cornell.edu) and Shaun Bluethenthal (csb258@cornell.edu), with any questions. 

Kacey Deamer

Kacey is the Cornell Small Farms Program’s communications specialist. In this role, she manages all storytelling and outreach across the program’s website, social media, e-newsletter, magazine and more. Kacey has worked in communications and journalism for more than a decade, with a primary focus on science and sustainability.