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March 1st, 2017

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 Farm Program
Small Farms Program Highlights
Wanted: Aspiring Dairy Farmers, Dairy Master Graziers for NY Dairy Grazing Apprentice Program
Cornell Small Dairy Support Specialist Fay Benson is recruiting participants for the New York edition of the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program, the groundbreaking, nationally-recognized apprenticeship program for the agricultural industry. Those interested in becoming an apprentice or serving as a Dairy Master Grazier may apply online hereTo learn more about the program, contact Fay Benson at 607-391-2660, afb3@cornell.edu.
Calling All Farmers! Learn about Reduced Tillage for your Organic Vegetable Farms
Michigan State University is teaming up with Cornell University and the University of Maine to offer a 3-part webinar to share the latest research on reduced tillage for organic production and learn about the practices, equipment, and cover crops that can work for your farm. The webinar topics include  Reduced Tillage Organic Vegetables on Permanent Beds, Strip Tillage - How To and Its Values, and Cultivation for Reduced Tillage Systems. Click here to register.
Cornell Small Farms offer Statewide Agroforestry Trainings for Veterans in 2017
The Cornell Small Farms Program is offering two more two-day Agroforestry Trainings for Military Veterans in 2017. Agroforestry includes farming practices that combine trees and forestry with crop production. Each training includes classroom instruction and site visits to farms in active production. Content will cover the technical aspects of production as well as the financial and business considerations for each venture. These workshops are exclusively for veterans and active military personnel with an interest in selling commercial farm products (filing a Schedule F) in 2017 or 2018. The March 31 & April 1 training will cover Log-Grown Shiitake Mushroom Production, while the May 12 & 13 training will cover Managing Trees and Animals in Silvopasture. Learn more and register here.
Farmers! We Need Your Ideas About 'Intermediated' and Other Markets
A new study seeks to examine local and regional agricultural production and intermediated markets.  The study will examine the opportunities and risks of four main marketing opportunities for farmers-direct-to-consumer, direct-to-institution, direct-to-retail, and selling to intermediaries (such as distributors or food hubs), who in turn sell the products as local food. We are interested in all farmers' perceptions of these markets, whether currently selling to these markets or not. The survey has several intended benefits for farmers, including the identification of technical assistance and information needs to help scale up farms for marketing to intermediaries. A national outreach and technical assistance program, conducted by NCAT's ATTRA Program will be developed based on the results of this research. Click here for the survey.
Farm to City Expo 2017, The Power of Branding Local
March 7, 12-2:30 pm. Room 1C04 Jacob K. Javits Center, 655 W 34th St, New York, NY 10001
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets is proudly hosting Farm to City Expo 2017 at the International Restaurant and Foodservice Show of New York. The Power of Branding Local is a two panel forum to connect businesses telling their story about working with local growers with smart ways to promote this in their branding. Register here for the panel and complimentary access to the Restaurant Show! 
Specialty Crops Market News - National Retail Reporting Webinar
March 9, 2-3pm. Online.
The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) Specialty Crops Program  (SCP) invites you to a live, interactive webinar on the Specialty Crops Market News  (SCMN). Of special focus is the National Retail Report, how it is produced, and how it may be utilized by all sectors of the produce industry. Our presentation will be led by Melissa Reeves, National Retail Manager (SCMN) and Kim Mercer, Assistant to the Director, SC Market News.

Melissa & Kim will detail the features of the report, including how to customize a search for retail market information. Other areas covered include:

  *     Tracking trends over time
  *     Illuminating retail patterns
  *     Looking through the window at competition
  *     Dairy and Livestock retail reporting
  *     Question and Answer Session

Access the webinar here. If you have any questions about the webinars or AMS, please contact Jeffrey Davis at  (202) 306-2673  or  jeffrey.davis4@ams.usda.gov.
Northern NY Vegetable School
March 14, 8:30am-3pm. Whallonsburg Grange Hall, 1610 NYS Route 22, Essex, NY 12936
Join Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Specialists in a day-long program covering a variety of topics relating to fresh market vegetable production. This year's focus is on improving soil health. Guest speaker Will Stevens from Golden Russet Farm in Shoreham, VT will speak on fitting cover crops into his crop rotations. Click here  for details and registration. Sponsored by the Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture Program. Registration deadline is  March 10 . Questions? Contact Amy Ivy at  adi2@cornell.edu.
Workshop for food entrepreneurs: "Recipe for Success"
March 23, 9am-5pm. 50 West High Street, Ballston Spa, NY 
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County is offering a workshop for food entrepreneurs, "Recipe for Success" on March 23, 2017. The program fee is $65, a discount is offered for two registering together. The workshop will include speakers covering topics including licensing, recipe approval, processing, marketing and small business planning. Register by March 17. For more information see "Events" at www.ccesaratoga.org or contact Diane Whitten at Cornell Cooperative Extension, 518-885-8995, or dwhitten@cornell.edu. This workshop is perfect for anyone thinking of starting a small scale food business to sell a product directly to the consumer or through a retailer. The speakers have experience guiding food entrepreneurs in developing their product and business. Three small scale food business owners will share their experiences, plus a representative from a local retail food market will explain the process of getting a product on their shelves.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Featherbed Lane Farm Seeking Farm Assistant
Featherbed Lane Farm is seeking a Farm Assistant for the 2017 season. Our farm is a draft horse powered CSA providing year round vegetables and eggs to our CSA Members. The Farm Assistant will participate in all aspects of farm work with a focus on vegetable production. For more detailed information about the position, please contact Tim at tim@featherbedlanefarm.com.
VINES Seeking Community Garden and Youth Program Manager
VINES, a non-profit urban agriculture and community garden in Binghamton, NY, is looking for dynamic and passionate candidates for their Community Garden & Youth Program Manager position. The Community Garden and Youth Program Manager will be responsible for the overall planning and management of the VINES community gardens and related educational programming. The Manager will deliver community-based youth development programming that focuses on empowering youth through gardening and healthy eating. Visit this link for a summary of the position and visit their website for more information. The a pplication deadline is  March 7th, and the p osition start date is early April.
Lake Ontario Fruit Team - Production Economics Specialist
The Lake Ontario Fruit Program (LOF) serves commercial fruit producers in Wayne, Monroe, Orleans, Niagara, and Oswego counties along the shore of Lake Ontario. The Production Economics and Business Management Educator will provide leadership in consultation with faculty and industry leaders for planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs that address producer identified needs and opportunities with emphasis on business management for commercial growers and other industry clientele. Primary emphasis will be in the area of tree fruit but could extend to other horticultural commodities. The program will include but is not limited to: economics of production; record keeping and business analysis; financial management, forms of business organizations, labor management, taxation and marketing. Implement educational programs utilizing a variety of methods. For more information and to apply for the position, click here.
Dairy Certification Coordinator Assistant
Be a part of a growing non-profit company, NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC. This USDA-accredited organic certification agency provides high integrity organic certification to over 900 organic farmers and processors throughout New York State and surrounding areas. We have an immediate opening for a full-time Dairy Certification Coordinator Assistant  in our Binghamton, NY office. The starting hourly rate for this entry level position is $12.00 to $14.00 depending on experience along with annual pay increases. Benefits include healthcare, dental and 403(b) as well as generous paid holidays/vacation time. Primary responsibilities of the Dairy Certification Coordinator Assistant include providing administrative support to the Dairy Certification Coordinator to ensure the timely intake and flow of certification applications through the entire certification process. Key duties include assisting with phones, emails, letter writing, data input, and deadline management. Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to Lori@nofany.org. For more information on this position and our organization visit www.nofany.org.
Funding Opportunities
Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to a third party vendor for any items that make a critical difference in the launch of a young farm business.  In addition to monetary awards, the Fellowship provides support in the form of guidance in production, business planning, and marketing. Awards are also made in the form of a scholarship to study for a career in agriculture at a college, university or farm-training program. Click here for more information and to apply. All applications must be received prior to 5:30 P.M. PST on March 20, 2017.
The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP)  offers grant funds with a 25% match to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. There are two types of project applications are accepted under LFPP-planning grants and implementation grants. Applicants can apply for either but will receive only one type of grant in the same grant cycle. Eligible entities may apply if they support local and regional food business enterprises that process, distribute, aggregate, or store locally or regionally produced food products. Grant applications are due by March 27, 2017.
Latest Resources
Apple scab begone!
Scab in apples can be a persistent problem, and one straightforward approach to managing it is treating the leaves in the fall using a urea spray, either while the leaves are on the tree or after they have fallen. Researcher Dan Cooley has put together a three-and-a-half minute video that covers dilution and spraying rates and a link to more information. Watch the video.
Oyster Mushroom Cultivation in the Northeast United States
Willie Crosby of Fungi Alley in Hadley, Massachusetts has developed a booklet on oyster mushroom cultivation that is a key resource for people interested in growing oyster mushrooms using low-tech, affordable, straw-based methods. This study looked at the efficacy of treating straw for oyster mushroom cultivation with lime, fermentation, or wood ash instead of pasteurization. View the booklet online here, or visit  mysare.sare.org/sare_project/fne15-825/ for more information about the project.
Tractor Resource Hub
The Ground Work Tractor Resource Hub brings together information and resources regarding b asic tractor use and operation, b asic tractor maintenance, t ractor safety, t ractor purchase decision-making, and f arm mechanization strategies.  The website is designed as a resource for both farmers and educators, containing links to webinar recordings, slide sets, fact sheets and other resources. Visit blog.uvm.edu/groundwk/ for the full set of resources.
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 directory of beginning farmer service providers across the Northeast in the "Who Can Help?" section of our Northeast Beginning Farmers Project website.
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.