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Posts by Nicole Waters

Nicole is the Beginning Farmer Project Coordinator for the Cornell Small Farms Program. Her work focuses on the human side of farming, with the day-to-day operations of the Labor Ready Project as her main priority. Trained in organizational communication, leadership, and English as a Second Language (ESL); Nicole’s work aims to foster healthy and positive working environments through professional development programs.

How We’re Building a Strong NYS Agricultural Industry with Current and Future Programs

By Nicole Waters / October 1, 2021

As the Winter season approaches, we would like to share information on existing and upcoming programs currently available to fruit producers. We welcome the opportunity for collaboration and adaptation to NYS’s vegetable producers and service providers. The Cornell Small Farms Program is currently recruiting for the Winter 2022 Futuro Financiero course! The Futuro Financiero course…

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Join Our Team: Now Hiring Bilingual Program Coordinator

By Nicole Waters / August 6, 2021

The Cornell Small Farms Program is hiring! We are excited to share the application for our newest team member, Bilingual Program Coordinator. Through the efforts of the Labor Ready Project and the successful Master Class Program, our farmer audience has grown to include many Spanish-first farmers. We aim to welcome new farmers and expand our Spanish…

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Sergio and Silvia Rosario participated in the Master Class series, then applied for a Smart Farming Team grant, gaining access to a small team of Spanish-speaking agricultural consultants to further their financial skills sets in support of their farm business.

What it Means to Join a Smart Farming Team

By Nicole Waters / April 5, 2021

Two farms’ stories of building new skill sets while also building community.  The Smart Farming Team initiative has become one of the most impactful elements of the Labor Ready Project. Offering farm business owners the time and space necessary to address specific challenges facing their farm businesses, New York State producers worked in teams to build critical…

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Labor Ready Project Shares Farmers’ Stories

By Nicole Waters / March 12, 2021

Our Labor Ready project seeks to enhance the efficiency and overall success of NYS fruit and vegetable farm businesses through professional development for Ag managers, with a special emphasis on creating opportunities for growth and career development for aspiring Latinx farm employees. In a new video series, we highlight the experience of two NYS farmers…

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Join Our Farmer Focus Group and Discuss New Approaches to Farm Labor

By Nicole Waters / February 8, 2021

Do you struggle with getting all the work done on your farm? Do you have challenges attracting and retaining employees? Are you interested in working with other farmers to design solutions to labor challenges? If so, consider attending our farmer focus group, “Exploring Novel Approaches to Farm Labor,” to be held via Zoom (online), on…

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Smart Farming Team participants and Bineyard owner, Chad Meigs poses with a beautiful hop harvest.

Smart Farming Teams

By Nicole Waters / July 20, 2020

Two Perspectives on the Benefit of Agricultural Labor and Farm Business Consulting The Cornell Small Farms Program has nearly 20 years of experience supporting New York State farmers in their agricultural business pursuits from small-scale startup to long-term farming success. Throughout the years, our team has become increasingly aware of the importance of on-farm leadership,…

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Mario Miranda Sazo and Master Class graduate Luis Garza stand in orchard talking

March into Better Management through Labor Ready Trainings

By Nicole Waters / February 3, 2020

Management skills are not something people are born with, but are learned with time and practice. With labor as one of the largest on-farm costs, it is wise to invest in people and improve your management skills. Are you managing your labor well? Our Labor Ready project works to ensure that new farmers and advancing…

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Learn to Be a Better Farm Manager with Labor Ready Training

By Nicole Waters / November 20, 2019

Managing people is a skill that can be learned, much like operating equipment or growing crops. Do you expect yourself, or your employees, to learn those other skills on your own? Most people are not born with people management skills and benefit from coaching. Labor is one of your farm’s biggest expenses — how well…

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Lake Ontario’s New Generation of Hispanic Employees, Future Leaders, and Innovators

By Nicole Waters / July 24, 2019

It was a sunny and gorgeous Saturday afternoon on July 13 for the 5th annual CCE Lake Ontario Fruit Program’s Hispanic Summer Fruit Tour successfully conducted in partnership with the Cornell Small Farms Program.  The beautiful weather added to the high turnout, but in truth, Mario Miranda Sazo is the reason more than one hundred…

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Labor-Ready Trainings Support Farm Management Skills

By Nicole Waters / April 2, 2019

The first three months of 2019 have been a whirlwind of activity for the Labor Ready Project. In this retrospect, Nicole Waters shares how the project’s recent trainings supported both advanced beginning farmers and farm managers in business and management skills. The accumulation of months of outreach and preparation came to fruition during March for…

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