Farm Ops Offering NYS Veteran Cohort for Tree Fruit Production Online Course

Do you want to establish an orchard as part of your farm business? Or maybe you have an orchard that needs rehabilitation? Farm Ops, the Cornell Small Farms Program’s veteran project, assists veterans in building and sustaining their farm and agricultural businesses.

Farm Ops is building the 2024 Tree Fruit Production Veteran Cohort. This cohort will bring together a group of veterans interested in establishing and managing an orchard as part of their farm business strategy. This cohort is for beginning tree fruit growers or experienced growers seeking a refresher on basic concepts in orchard management. The topics covered will be specific to orchard systems.

Cohort participants will receive free enrollment into the Cornell Small Farms Program’s Tree Fruit Production online course. This six-week course will help veterans understand the basics of tree fruit production, harvesting, and marketing. Filled with information and materials to support the development of an orchard planting and management plan, this course assists farmers in establishing a healthy orchard system.      Students enrolled in this course meet virtually once a week on Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. from February 29 – April 4, 2024 with the course instructor.

Additionally, veterans will meet for a series of veteran only virtual seminars facilitated by a tree fruit extension educator, who will provide opportunities to learn from NYS orchardists. Cohort members who successfully complete the course and attend all the virtual seminars will be eligible to receive a select hand tool used in tree/orchard management. Cohort members will also be invited to tour a veteran owned orchard business and take home two fruit trees.

Apply below to request a spot in the 2024 Tree Fruit Production veteran cohort. If you are a veteran, who has already taken the Tree Fruit Production online course, you may apply to be part of the cohort. You can also attend the online course virtual sessions again using your access to the course from your previous enrollment. This opportunity is for veterans living in New York State.

Application Deadline – December 11

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Nina Saeli

Nina retired from active duty in 2009. She and her husband, Jeffrey, own and operate Centurion Farm in Locke, NY. Nina also now works with the Cornell Small Farms Program as coordinator of our Farm Ops project supporting veterans in agriculture.