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Reduced Tillage Project Uncovers Tarping Impacts for Organic Vegetable Farmers

By Ryan Maher / September 8, 2020

One farmer shared with us in early summer: “If we didn’t have a tarp down before our mixed greens this spring, we would have been in big trouble with our CSA. In our untarped plantings, we lost the crop to weeds. We’re not going to do that again.”  Tarps are becoming a versatile tool to…

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Recommendations for Agritourism Farms During COVID-19

By Anu Rangarajan / September 3, 2020

Autumn brings about celebrations around the harvest and holidays. It also is an important time for our agritourism farms. These farms host activities that provide customers with a unique outdoor opportunity for farm-based entertainment and food system education, as well the ability to purchase fresh produce grown close to home. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers…

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Register Now for Our Upcoming Online Course Season, Including New Courses

By Kacey Deamer / August 17, 2020

The Cornell Small Farms Program is excited to announce that our upcoming online course season will begin live webinars this fall, and will feature new courses to offer even more learning opportunities. Our suite of online courses moved to a new, more user-friendly platform last year, which grants registrants permanent access to their course content.…

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COVID-19 Update on CFAP Payments and Expanded Eligibility

By Kacey Deamer / August 14, 2020

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced updates to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This includes coverage for additional specialty crops, including nursery crops and cut flowers, and a deadline extension for applications to September 11. Additionally, producers with approved applications will receive their final payment. The following additional commodities are now eligible…

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You’re Invited: Reconnecting with Purpose

By Violet Stone / August 10, 2020

As farm and food system educators or change makers working alongside rural and urban farm communities, we face enormous challenges to our efforts to support improved livelihoods of those we serve. Among these are climate instability, rapidly shifting markets, exorbitant land/lot prices, lack of resources, race/gender/class inequities, and labor shortages. While we may design focused…

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Chickens coming out of their coop in a pasture

In the News: COVID-19 Reveals Slaughterhouse Shortages

By Talia Isaacson / August 3, 2020

Finding a slaughterhouse to process meat has been a challenge for small farmers for years. Federally inspected slaughterhouses are few and far between, and in many parts of the country, it takes driving long distances — often multiple hours, both ways — to reach one. This shortage is often attributed to the consolidation of processing…

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A flock of sheep and one cow graze in a pasture in front of a glamping tent.

Consider Glamping to Diversify Income from Your Scenic Pastures

By Erica Frenay / July 27, 2020

The Cornell Small Farms Program’s Erica Frenay details how a glamping operation has helped diversify her farm’s income stream. In the early 2000’s, I had the joy of spending a memorable 4 days with Bill Burrows, a 6th-generation rancher and Holistic Management practitioner from Northern California. Bill told us the story of how his family…

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Struggling with Slaughterhouse Access? Survey for NYS Livestock Farmers

By Erica Frenay / July 20, 2020

If you raise animals for meat in New York State, you are no stranger to the complicated logistics and roadblocks that exist in getting animals to slaughter. For many producers, the COVID-19 pandemic has made access even more difficult. We are collecting information to communicate with policy-makers the scope of the problem from farmers’ perspectives…

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Food Safety Practices Found to Increase Sales for Small Farms

By Zoe Loomis / July 14, 2020

Previously perceived as a financial burden to small-scale farmers, food safety practices have now been shown to open new markets to producers, leading to an overall gain in revenue. A new study led by Todd Schmidt, an associate professor in Cornell University’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, surveyed New York farmers…

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Neil Mattson and a student, both in masks, examine strawberries in a greenhouse.

In the News: Our Director Helps Provide CEA Training Opportunities

By Talia Isaacson / July 9, 2020

As the year-round market demand for local food grows, more farmers are using controlled environments, such as greenhouses, to efficiently produce fresh, high-quality fruits and vegetables. However, this controlled environment agriculture, or CEA, requires advanced knowledge of both infrastructure and plant biology. As a result, it has been difficult for many farmers to come by…

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