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April 17, 2018

The Small Farms update summarizes announcements, resources, opportunities and upcoming events relevant to small farms. Please feel free to share this information in newsletters, email lists, etc. If you would like to submit an item for an upcoming issue,  please visit our new online form. Subscribe here.  Thank you again for your interest and support of small farms in New York.   

Anu Rangarajan,  Director, Cornell Small Farms Program
Small Farms Program Highlights

Farm OPS 2-Day Advanced Vegetable Training for Veterans
  
The Cornell Small Farms Program invites farmer veterans to apply to a 2-day workshop, which is intended to support farmers improving their efficiency and productivity, enhance farm profitability, and make connections to available educational and research resources for continued success on their farms. Learn more at http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/projects/farm-ops/ or e mail Dean at drk5@cornell.edu if you want to make sure you get the latest info and registration info. 
Stinging Nettles, Anyone? 
Wondering why you should cultivate stinging nettles? Looking to start a hop farm? Need help with chainsaw safety?  These are just a few of the articles featured in the Spring  edition of the Small Farm Quarterly Magazine.  Read the whole issue online or order your hard copy through Countryfolks.  Did you know previously published articles are available online?  Search by key word and access hundreds of information-packed articles on everything from apricots to zucchini
Announcements
National Farming Practices Survey
Cornell University, University of California-Berkeley, and The Nature Conservancy are conducting a nationwide survey for all fruit, vegetable, grain, and field crop producers to identify the biggest challenges that farmers face, as well as the best solutions.  Our goal  is to understand what the most important factors are for farm owners and managers when  deciding whether or not to use certain practices related to soil, crop, and pest management.  Key findings from the survey will be published and communicated to grower organizations and other farmer advocates so that recommendations, actions, and outcomes reflect what growers identify as being most helpful  for their operation. Take the survey here.
Last Chance to be Counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture!
The deadline for responses to the 2017 Census of Agriculture is drawing near. However, producers can still mail in their completed census form, or respond online via the improved web questionnaire.  Conducted once every five years, the census of agriculture is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them; it is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Farmers and ranchers, trade associations, government, extension educators, researchers, and many others rely on census of agriculture data when making decisions that shape American agriculture - from creating and funding farm programs to boosting services for communities and the industry. The census of agriculture is a produce's voice, future, and opportunity. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit  www.agcensus.usda.gov  or call (888) 424-7828.
Events
Adult Tractor Operation Workshop
April 21, 9am-2pm. Hudson River Tractor, 2173 New York 203, Chatham, NY 12037
Have you recently purchased a utility or farm tractor? Would you like to know more about operating and maintaining this investment you made? A hands-on workshop for adults who wish to learn or improve their farm machinery skills, enabling you to better operate and maintain farm equipment, is coming up on April 21. The cost of the workshop is $5 in advance or $10 on the day of the event. The registration fee covers light refreshments and printed materials.  Pre-registration is requested. You can register online here, or register over the phone by calling  518-765-3518 . For more information about the workshop, please feel free to email Steve Hadcock at  seh11@cornell.edu .
Accessing Capital Roundtable: Finding Resources to Grow Your Agricultural Business
 
 

April 26, 5:30pm-8:30pm. 
Agricultural Development Center, 840 Upper Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County invites farms, food-based businesses and agricultural businesses to join them for a panel discussion on accessing capital to grow their business. Whether it is low-interest loans, grants or crowdfunding, the options are often overwhelming. Join us on Thursday April 26th starting at 5:30pm inside the Agricultural Development Center, housed on the CCE Broome County campus, as we hear from representatives of various programs and have the opportunity to ask questions.  This is a great opportunity to learn about the options for accessing financing and other resources to grow your farm and/or food-based business! Cost is $10/farm to attend, to cover the cost of refreshments and printed materials. Pre-registration is required to ensure enough food & materials are available. Visit the registration page to complete your registration.
Learn to Grow Vegetables in Plasticulture
April 28, 9am-2pm. 
North Windsor Berries, 1609 NYS Rt 79, Windsor, NY 13865

Come and join the FarmOps program and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County at North Windsor Berries to learn about growing vegetables in plasticulture/plastic mulch. Professor Steve Reiners, Horticulture Chair of the Cornell University School of Integrated Plant Science at the NY Agriculture Experiment State will be our main presenter. Attendees will learn about soils and appropriate soil amendments for growing in plastic mulch, a calendar for planting & harvesting, proper irrigation and fertilizer techniques, and any other topics that attendees may bring up during the course of the presentation. Laura Biasillo, Agricultural Economic Development Specialist of CCE Broome County, will also cover the basics of creating a business plan and marketing strategy for your operation. After lunch, weather permitting, we will go out into the fields and get our hands dirty in transplanting some cold weather crops, such as lettuce, kale, broccoli, etc. Cost is $40/farm. Registration is limited to 25 farms and priority is given to active service members or veterans in NYS. Click  here to register. 
Farm Tour for Veterans
 
 

May 2, 10am-12pm. 
Lake Effect Farms, 17075 Cook Road, Watertown, NY 13601

On May 2nd, 2018 at 10:00am, John and Kirsten Anderson will be giving a tour of their "Lake Effect Farms".  John is a proud veteran who has a herd of milking shorthorn cattle, has traveled to cattle shows throughout the country, and is a talented carpenter and woodshop enthusiast. Following the tour will be discussion and a free lunch featuring local foods. All veterans, active servicemen/women, and family members welcome! Register online. For questions related to this event, contact Alyssa Couse at 315-788-8450 or amc557@cornell.edu .
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Assistant Farmer Position at Millstone Farm

Millstone Farm is a 75-acre family owned farm nestled in a bucolic rural setting in Wilton CT. They are a working farm with many different components including: diversified livestock, 2 acres of intensively produced crops and an international level equestrian facility currently under construction. The Assistant Farmer position requires no previous experience. The ideal candidate will be interested in a career in the agricultural industry and have a passion for organic and sustainable local food systems. The Assistant Farmer will be trained by the existing staff members and will focus on all aspects of the crop production and/or basic livestock care. The candidate will learn valuable knowledge in soil building, composting, pest and disease control, irrigation, greenhouse propagation, crop planning and record keeping. Some gardening tasks may include harvesting, transplanting, seeding, and post-harvest handling of crops. Some livestock tasks may include feeding, moving, fencing as well as prep for harvesting. To inquire about this position, please send resumes to Annie Farrell at afarrell@millstonefarm.org.
Organic Farm in Berkshire, NY Seeking Partners, etc
Currently active organic hay, forage, and livestock business looking to partner with other farmers and or potential lease or sale or partnership of the farm.  Potential housing available.  Main farm is 266 acres, 75 tillable, 30 pasture, balance woods.  Also other land is accessible in the area that is not part of the main farm.  Located in Berkshire NY.  For more information see:   http://www.fingerlakeslandlink.org/landowners/88 ,  call/text 315-378-5180, or see marzfarm.com.
Evergreen Berry Farm Summer 2018 Crew

Evergreen Berry Farm, LLC is a small Pick-Your-Own berry farm in Watertown, CT growing predominantly blueberries as well as other cane fruit. We are currently hiring our summer 2018 crew, including register and kitchen staff, field hands, greeters, and harvesters. Successful staff work efficiently, are able to effectively task-switch, and communicate our farming practices to inquiring visitors.  Work hours have some flexibility, up to 40 hours/week, and can be in one or more of the positions. Picking season varies but typically begins late June/early July and runs through August, tapering into September. Contact thefarmer@evergreenberryfarm.com for additional information, including more detailed job descriptions and an application. Learn more about the farm here.
Market Garden Farm Hand or Possible Farm Partner

Pitchfork Urban Farm, LLC (PUF) is a Baltimore-based 3.5 acre urban farming company created to provide good jobs for worker-owners, re-purpose unused city property into vibrant, productive green spaces, and produce ultra-local, healthy food using sustainable and environmentally friendly methodologies. Essential duties for this position will include planting, harvesting, and caring for crops in greenhouses and hoop houses, doing routine maintenance checks and making repairs to farm structures and tools, seeding, planting, spraying, spreading, weeding, harvesting in the fields, and more. This is a full-time, year-round job but hours will vary based on the season. Exceptional candidates can be promoted to Farm Manager if not already qualified. For more information and to apply, email angela@pitchforkurbanfarm.com.
ARE YOU HIRING? If you have a job opportunity that you would like to submit to the Small Farms Bi-Monthly Update, please write a detailed 125 word description and submit it here !
Funding Opportunities
Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants

This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements. Agricultural producers with at least 50% of gross income coming from agricultural operations, and small businesses in eligible rural areas may apply. Grant applications and loan/grant combo applications are due April 30, 2018. Applications are accepted at your local office. For further questions, contact New York's Rural Development Energy Coordinator, Gary Pereira, at (315) 570-2233 or gary.pereira@ny.usda.gov.
Graduate Student Grant Program
Graduate students from the Northeast region are invited to apply to the Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grant programGraduate student grants are open to all graduate students enrolled at accredited colleges, universities, and veterinary schools in the Northeast region who are researching topics in sustainable agriculture that will serve the interests of farmers and the greater agricultural community. Awards are capped at $15,000 and projects may address the wide range of issues that affect farming throughout the Northeast. Applicants must work with a faculty advisor who serves as the project's principal investigator. Please contact grant manager Candice Huber with questions. Visit NESARE's website for application materials and tools. Online applications are due May 8.
Community Growers Grant Program
The Community Growers Grant Program will have funds available through a competitive process to support the development and expansion of community gardens, school gardens and urban farms across the state.  Those eligible to apply for funding include 501c3 not-for-profit organizations, educational Institutions, and government entities.  A total of $500,000 is available for the Community Growers Grant Program.  Proposals must be submitted online through the Grants Gateway. This year's grant application is labeled AGM01-2018CG-2018. Proposals are due on Monday, May 21 at 4:00 pm. No late proposals can be submitted.
Latest Resources
Farm Commons Releases Additional New Tip Sheets

Farm Commons has six new tip sheets available free online to help farmers and their advocates get up to speed on common farm-law issues. Titles include  Succession PlanningWhy Form an LLC?The Lease: Who Is Responsible for What?Farm Insurance, Dealing with Regulators, and  Value-Added Agritourism and Taxes. These titles join Farm Commons' collection of tip sheets on legal issues for farmers and farm advocates. Click here to access the tip sheets and further farm law resources.
Soil Health, Water & Climate Change: A Pocket Guide to What You Need to Know

The twin problems of polluted water and climate change share a common solution: the building of soil carbon via farming practices that protect the landscape's surface and generate biological activity below. That's why the Land Stewardship Project has developed  Soil Health, Water & Climate Change: A Pocket Guide to What You Need to Know This resource provides an introduction to the latest innovations in science and farming related to building soil health, and how implementing such practices on a wide scale basis can make agriculture a powerful force for creating a landscape that is good for our water and our climate.
Agroforestry: Enhancing Resiliency in U.S. Agricultural Landscapes Under Changing Conditions

This technical report presents the first-ever synthesis on agroforestry as a mechanism to provide mitigation and adaptation services in the face of a changing climate. With contributions from more than 50 experts from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, this report draws upon recent science and shows how tree-based management strategies can improve agricultural production and resiliency.
Get Connected!
Need personal help?
Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Check out our county-by-county listing of small farm agents here. You can also get to know our Cornell Small Farms Program  staff, or contact us. Just starting to farm? We have an extensive resources available in the " Plan Your Farm" section of our website.
About
SFP Small Farms Program Logo
The Small Farms Update is intended as a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast, and is provided to you by Cornell Small Farms Program. We envision a future where diverse and vibrant urban and rural farms build human capacity, revitalize communities, supply regional food systems, and foster ecological resilience in a changing world. The Cornell Small Farm Program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.