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May 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
3rd National Farm Viability Conference
The Small Farms Program is co-sponsoring the National Farm Viability Conference, taking place from May 22 to May 24 in Albany! This conference i s geared towards professionals in the fields of farm and food business planning, financial planning, agricultural financing, farmland conservation, agricultural market development, and food hub management. It will offer attendees the opportunity to network and learn from industry leaders and other professionals in their fields, develop new knowledge and skills and will also include tours of nearby farms and value-added processing facilities. Learn more and register here. Registration closes May 8.
Upcoming Opportunities in Log-Grown Shiitake Cultivation
The Cornell Small Farms Program is actively supporting the development of an emerging new niche crop in New York State: Log-Grown Shiitake Mushrooms.  Several upcoming opportunities are designed to help growers assess and develop viable mushroom enterprises on their farm, including Camp Mushroom 2017, applications to join the Shiitake Business Development Networkand an informational webinar on May 23 that will cover the basic requirements that both sellers and buyers should know before entering a transaction. Learn more about this crop and upcoming events here.
Speak Up: Cover Crop Survey Seeks Farmer Participation
Cover crops can improve soil health, conserve resources and improve farm profitability. Now, your experience with what works and doesn't work can help shape the future of cover crop initiatives nationwide. Farmers who plant cover crops, used to plant cover crops, or have never tried cover crops are all encouraged to take this short survey, now in its fifth year. Data from these surveys are used to help guide policy, research, and education on cover crops nationwide.
AMS Announces 2016 Count of Certified Organic Operations 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced new data indicating the organic industry continues to grow domestically and globally, with 24,650 certified organic operations in the United States, and 37,032 around the world.  The 2016 count of U.S. certified organic farms and businesses reflects a 13 percent increase between the end of 2015 and 2016, continuing the trend of double digit growth in the organic sector . Read the press release to learn more. 
Free Farm Tour of Elly's Acres for Military Veterans
May 6, 10am-2pm. Elly's Acres Farm, 33390 Eager Road, Jamesville, NY 13078
Calling all military veterans interested in farming! Join us for a free farm tour, a shearing demonstration and to learn more about sheep farming. Topics will include: lamb care, herd management, integration of guardian animals for small ruminants, financial aspects of a small ruminant start up, pasture management, hoof trimming, and wool markets. Registration is due by March 4th. Lunch will be provided. If you have any questions, please email jlemondes@aol.com.
Farm to Plate Conference, Ithaca, NY
May 11- 13. Ithaca, NY and surrounding areas.
Registration is now open for the Finger Lakes  "Farm to Plate Conference: Uniting to Create, Educate, and Celebrate a Sustainable and Equitable Local Food System."  The vision of this conference is to bring together people from multiple sectors of the community to collectively develop strategies towards creating resilience in the local food system.  The conference will include workshops, paper sessions, farm tours, cooking demonstrations, and keynote talks by Malik Yakini, Director of the Detroit Black Food Security Coalition, Karen Washington, Co-owner of Rise and Root Farm, Raj Patel, Award Winning Activist, Academic and Author and many more! Check out the conference schedule here, or click here to register. 
Scything: Preparing to Mow - Sharpening & Peening
May 20, 9am-2pm. Groundswell Center's Incubator Farm, 101 Rachel Carson Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850
The scythe has been used as a human powered mowing technique for centuries. Austrian-style scythe blades are forged from a single piece of steel into a light and graceful tool. Get your scythe ready for the season at this upcoming workshop! Students will learn how to prepare their blades for peening, use a peening jig and sharpen with a whetstone. Scythe fitting issues will also be addressed. Registration deadline is May 8th. Register here, and learn more about the workshop by visiting groundswellcenter.org
Cured Meats Workshop
May 31-June 1. Stocking Hall, Cornell University, 411 Tower Rd., Ithaca, NY 14853
The Cured Meats Workshop is tailored to small-scale meat processors and restaurant owners interested in creating a value-added meat product for their customers. The course consists of lecture sessions that will cover basic charcuterie, meat fabrication, casings, grinding, as well as an overview of HACCP, scheduled processes, and testing. Participants will also learn through on-hands sessions the basics of cured meats production in coppa, pancetta, speck and others. The course is ideally suited for small-scale meat processors, restaurant owners, and producers wanting detailed information. Register here.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Urban Agriculture Specialist, Extension Associate, Cornell Cooperative Extension, NYC
The Urban Agriculture Educator is responsible for planning, organizing, developing, implementing, and evaluating Extension educational programs for New York City commercial urban agriculture farmers.  Specifically, this position will provide leadership and delivery of educational programming related to urban agriculture including production, harvesting, packaging, marketing, food safety, and other sustainability issues.  Urban farm types include those producing in soil, greenhouses or vertical /enclosed facilities. The Educator will work closely with Cornell faculty, Regional Agriculture Teams and NYC Cornell Cooperative Extension to support research and extension on urban agriculture development and entrepreneurship.  Please apply via Academic Jobs On-line.   Applications will be reviewed as received, continuing until a suitable applicant is identified. For more information, please contact Craig Trowbridge at  cdt6@cornell.edu
Farmers and Apprentice Farmers Needed, New Jersey
From B.J. Hertz: My 15.5 acre farm in New Jersey needs farmers - collaborating farmers - partners, etc. for continuing farming in New Jersey (45 minutes from NY City).  If there were a group of young farmers who want to 'stack' their productive agricultural initiatives at my farm, that would be amenable. Or if there is a group of farmers who want to rent-to-own, I would also consider that possibility.  The property is still entitled to participate in "selling the development rights" to the state - for upwards of $500,000, which would go towards the purchase price if some farmers want to purchase the farm outright.  Please contact Barbara Hertz at (973) 334-3331 or stewardsffsafety@yahoo.com if you may be interested.
Funding Opportunities
bug, pest, insect
Crop Protection and Pest Management Program
The purpose of the Crop Protection and Pest Management program is to address high priority issues related to pests and their management using IPM approaches at the state, regional and national levels. The CPPM program supports projects that will ensure food security and respond effectively to other major societal pest management challenges with comprehensive IPM approaches that are economically viable, ecologically prudent, and safe for human health. The CPPM program addresses IPM challenges for emerging issues and existing priority pest concerns that can be addressed more effectively with new and emerging technologies. The outcomes of the CPPM program are effective, affordable, and environmentally sound IPM practices and strategies needed to maintain agricultural productivity and healthy communities. Total program funding exceeds $12,000,000. To see if you are eligible and to apply, visit the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program webpage. Applications are due May 9th, 2017.
Food Safety Outreach Program
The Food Safety Outreach Program will complement and expand the national infrastructure of the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program. This program will build upon that national infrastructure, with a sustained focus on delivery of customized training to members of the target audiences. Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Grant applications will be solicited directly from those in local communities - to include those from community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups.  For more information and to apply, view the RFA here. Closing date for applications is June 6, 2017.
Latest Resources
The lack of a futures market for forages can make it difficult for land owners and beef producers to establish a fair-market value, particularly for standing forages. Establishing that value, however, can make the difference between profit and loss for a beef operation in a given year.  Iowa State University Extension and Outreach beef specialists Patrick Gunn and Joe Sellers have created a new fact sheet, " Pasture and Grazing Arrangements for Beef Cattle ," for those who use pasture and grazing rentals in their operations.  This new resource provides an overview of four common types of arrangements along with suggestions on how to structure agreements for the benefit of both parties.  The two-page fact sheet includes information on establishing pasture rental price for each of the four types, and links to online resources from ISU Extension and Outreach  Ag Decision Maker  and  Iowa Beef Center .
NOFA-NY Organic and Local Farm Directory
NOFA-NY is pleased to provide their popular Organic and Local Farm Directory in an online format that is now searchable and linked to Google Maps! Farms and food processors that are certified Organic by NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC and farms and food processors who have signed the NOFA-NY Farmer's Pledge™ are included. Search by farm name, location, farm type, products, and/or distribution method.
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.