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November 1, 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 Farms Program
Small Farms Program Highlights


Are Your Enterprises Working for You?
Are your enterprises giving you joy, time, and profit, or helping you meet your landscape goals? Ortensi Farm Day is part of HMI's  Open Gate Learning Series, which provides peer-to-peer action-based learning days  geared for participants to share discoveries and management techniques with guidance from experienced facilitators and producers. In the upcoming session on November 11, w e will discuss planet and animal-friendly management techniques that lead to richer soil, improved water containment, nutrient-dense food, more successful farms and ranches, and thriving communities. Learn more and register here.
2017 New York State Veterans in Agriculture Conference
 
Register now  to join the Cornell Small Farms Program and the New York Farmer Veteran Coalition, Inc for the NY Veterans in Agriculture Conference! Participants will have the chance to network with other veterans who share their interests in agriculture, connect with service providers committed to their success as agri-entrepreneurs, and more! Access registration and a breakdown of the day's events  here . The conference will be held on November 29 from 9am-4:30pm at the Arts & Home Center at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, NY.
Announcements
Countdown to the Agriculture Census
In December farmers and ranchers across the nation will start receiving the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Producers can mail in their completed census form, or respond online via the improved web questionnaire. The online questionnaire has been revised extensively to make it more convenient for producers. 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 country. 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 producer's voice, future, and opportunity. For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit  www.agcensus.usda.gov or call  (800) 727-9540.
New ARS Website Enhances Access to Scientific Information

The Agricultural Research Service ( ARS) recently launched a newly designed website that improves access to information about ARS research. The new site features mobile responsiveness allowing users to better navigate and view information on both mobile and desktop devices.  Notable new features added to the site include "I Want To," "Trending Topics," and "ARS Research in Your State." ARS has nearly 4,000 active research projects and more than 77,000 publications on its website. The first two features make it easier to quickly find hot topics from ARS's vast research portfolio. Check out the new website here.
Crop Insurance Deadlines Approaching
The Cornell Crop Insurance and Risk Management Education Program reminds New York producers of approaching deadlines for several perennial crops.  November 15, 2017  is the final date to apply for  Pasture, Rangeland,  and  Forage  insurance for the 2018 crop year. This insurance product is available throughout New York state and helps livestock producers manage risks related to lack of precipitation (rainfall or snowfall).  November 20, 2017  is the final date to apply for crop insurance coverage for the 2018 crop year for the following fruit crops: apples, grapes, peaches, and tart cherries. If crop insurance for a particular crop is not available in your county, you may be able to use a  written agreement  to buy a policy. To enroll, contact a crop insurance agent. Find an agent by asking a neighbor or using the Agent Locator tool at  rma.usda.gov/tools/agent.html . Visit  ag-analytics.org/cropinsurance  for more information about crop insurance.
Madison County Farm Service Agency Is Accepting Emergency Conservation Program Applications
Madison County is approved to accept applications for the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) to address damages from excessive rain and flooding beginning July 1, 2017 and ending July 2, 2017. ECP signup began on October 23, 2017, and will end on November 24, 2017. Approved ECP practices under this authorization include removing debris, grading, shaping, and releveling, restoring permanent fence and restoring conservation structures. ECP is administered by FSA to assist producers with the cost of recovery activities required to restore the agricultural land to pre-disaster conditions. Producers who sustained damage from
this disaster event are encouraged to submit their request for assistance prior to beginning reconstructive work. Approved ECP applicants may receive up to 75 percent of the cost of completing the approved restoration activity. For more information on ECP, please contact the Madison County Farm Service Agency office at (315) 824-9076.
Events
Lifestyle Farming Conference
November 11, 8am-5:15pm. S
UNY Cobleskill, 106 Suffolk Circle, Cobleskill, NY 12043

The second annual Lifestyle Farming Conferencean intense one-day educational event covering more than two dozen topics in farming and homesteading skills, is being held on Nov. 11 at SUNY Cobleskill. During this conference, we will be offering a wider breadth of courses that focus on the fall season. In our classrooms and labs, SUNY Cobleskill faculty, experienced farmers, and craft experts will teach workshops on fruits for fermentation, wine and cider making, cheeses, food preservation, homestead planning, herbal teas, meat smoking, raw milk, bread making, and more. With two levels - 1.5-hour Introductory Courses and 3-hour Skill Builders - everyone from novice to experienced homesteaders will find a course to suit their interests and skill levels.  The conference will be accompanied by a specialized vendor fair featuring goods and supplies that complement the workshops, such as apiary supplies, animal feed, wines and liquors, and orchard necessities. Register here!
New York Women of Agriculture Conference
November 16, 10:30am-12pm. 
840 Upper Front St, Binghamton, NY 13905

New York State Tax Credit for Farmers is starting on January 1, 2018. Farm businesses in New York will be eligible to receive up to a $5,000 tax credit annually for for donating food.  Attend a workshop on November 16th at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, and hear from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier about how you can take advantage of this program! They will also talk about their partner grower program where they partner with local farms to grow for their partner agencies in a wholesale purchasing arrangement.  To save your spot at this informational session, click here.
Building Permanent Raised Beds with Hand Tools
 
November 18, 9am-2pm. 
Groundswell Incubator Farm, 100 Rachel Carson Way, Ithaca, NY

Sean Dembrosky of Edible Acres will lead a very hands on workshop showing participants strategies and techniques for taking 'weedy' areas of shrubs, brambles, tall grasses, young trees, etc., and converting it into permanent raised beds on contour that can be incredibly productive. Using permaculture principles and only hand tools, a group of people can convert 'waste' spaces into amazing production that can grow soil rapidly, hold onto moisture in the landscape and avoid using costly, dangerous and noisy equipment to do the work. Learn more and register here.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
VINES Hiring Urban Farm Manager, Program Assistant
VINES has set ambitious goals for expanding our Community Garden Program, the Urban Farm, and our Grow Binghamton youth employment program. We're looking for self-driven, mission oriented individuals to join our team. The Urban Farm Manager (Manager) will be responsible for the overall planning for and management of VINES Binghamton Urban Farm and the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse Farm. The Manager will plan and manage the growing season, general site maintenance, site expansion and volunteer outreach for both sites, and develop a growing calendar and harvest schedule that matches the programmatic needs of each organization. The Manager will assist the Community Garden and Youth Program Manager (CGYPM) with implementing and overseeing VINES' Grow Binghamton summer youth employment program. The Program Assistant will assist the Community Garden and Youth Program Manager and the Binghamton Urban Farm Manager with key program duties and responsibilities related to the Grow Binghamton summer youth employment program, Urban Farm, Community Garden Program, and Green Thumb Educational Workshops. For more information, visit the VINES website.   Deadline for applications is November 13th at 9am.
Comfort Food Community Food Rescue Coordinator
Comfort Food Community (CFC) seeks a full-time Food Rescue Coordinator to lead its farm gleaning and emergency food distribution efforts. Based in Greenwich, CFC works throughout Washington County in the sourcing and distribution of food. A candidate will be motivated, social, detail oriented, physically fit. Farm and/or food gardening experience is preferred; construction/carpentry skills a plus. Must have a clean, valid driver's license. The positions starts at $15/hr, generally Monday - Friday, with some weekend hours required. Deadline to apply is 11/10/17. Contact Devin Bulger at devin@comfortfoodcommunity.org for an application!
The Farm School is now accepting applications for the 2018 Learn to Farm Class

Since 2002, The Farm School has offered a practical, real-world agricultural education for aspiring farmers, educators and community leaders.  The Learn to Farm program is a full-time, residential immersion in the work and rhythms of sustainable farm life. Everyday, and in every way, our student farmers learn to farm by farming, supported by coursework, mentoring and instruction from our staff farmers.   We help our students establish conceptual understanding and physical competency in a wide range of skills and areas of farm production: forestry, animal husbandry, carpentry, mechanics, business planning, homesteading, marketing, cooking, organic vegetable production and beyond. The program curriculum reaches one hand back into history to pull forward the best of what traditional agriculture has to offer and with the other hand pushes ahead into cutting edge creative and dynamic ways of enriching our stewardship of land. Learn more about the program and application information, and apply by February 15, 2018.
Calypso Farmer Training Program
Start a Farm. Run a Homestead. Build Community.  Calypso Farm and Ecology Center  in Fairbanks, Alaska is accepting applications for their immersive, interdisciplinary 2018 Farmer Training Program.  This program is an intensive experiential education program focused on providing the skills, inspiration and experience necessary for participants to embark on starting their own small farm with confidence. The Farmer Training Program immerses participants in all aspects of farming: production, creativity, and business planning. For more information or to apply, click here. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
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
Specialty Crop Research Initiative
Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and horticulture and nursery crops, including floriculture. The  Specialty Crop Research Initiative invites pre-applications to solve critical U.S. specialty crop issues, priorities, or problems through integrated research and extension activities that use systems-based, trans-disciplinary approaches. The SCRI program will give priority to projects that are multistate, multi-institutional, or trans-disciplinary and include clearly defined mechanisms to communicate results to producers and the public. Five focus areas for SCRI projects include research on breeding, pest and disease management, production efficiency, innovations and technology, and food safety. View the RFA and apply for the grant here. Closing date for applications is December 8th, 2017.
Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Competitive Grant Program

NIFA requests applications for the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) Grant Program for fiscal year 2018 to support projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase. The anticipated amount available for NIFA to support this program in FY 2018 is approximately $21 million.  Current closing date for applications is December 13, 2017. View this grant opportunity here.
Latest Resources
Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide
To assist farms and companies that are interested in pursuing a meaningful welfare certification, the ASPCA, in partnership with  Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, has created the  Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide. This tool will help farmers understand the value of certification programs and determine which certification might be right for their farm.  The Guide covers three meaningful certification programs that represent a spectrum of higher-welfare ways to raise farm animals: Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane® and Global Animal Partnership. These are the three programs that the ASPCA recommends to welfare-conscious consumers and businesses through our  Shop With Your Heart  campaign.
Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production
Producing maple syrup and value-added maple products offers an opportunity to diversify farm operations and income. ATTRA's new publication, " Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production," provides an overview of maple sugaring, including business planning, financial considerations, marketing, equipment and supplies, value-added products, organic certification, regulations, and quality control.  The publication also includes resources for acquiring more knowledge on maple syrup production and determining if maple sugaring is a viable addition to a farming operation.  Download it free today here.
Finding Farmland
The National Young Farmers Coalition is excited to present  Finding Farmland, a financial education tool for farmers buying land. In the throes of a land search? Use the  Land Affordability Calculator to compare financing costs for two different farm properties, or to compare different financing scenarios for a single property. Dreaming of owning a farm, but not yet planning? Read the  Case Study, brush up your financial literacy, and plug some numbers into the Calculator to start building a plan around your dreams. Farm service provider? Check out the site to see how these financial planning tools can support your work.
The Irrigator's Pocket Guide
Created with input from irrigation experts in over 20 states, the Irrigator's Pocket Guide belongs in every irrigator's hip pocket. It is a take-to-the-field guide that demystifies the art of irrigation management, explains everything you need to know about soil moisture and crop water use, and shows you how to optimize crop yields while conserving water, soil, and energy. The Equipment Maintenance half of the book features exceedingly clear and detailed maintenance and troubleshooting procedures for pumps, motors, engines, control panels, and distribution systems. The Water Maintenance guide on the other side of the book provides a step-by-step guide to irrigation water management for sprinkler, surface, and microirrigation systems. The book includes 44 diagrams and tables, 14 pages of handy conversions and formulas, and irrigation guidelines for over 30 common crops. Purchase the guide here.
Small-Scale Poultry Processing
In order to sell poultry meat products, they must be processed in a way that results in a quality and economically viable finished product while taking into account animal welfare and environmental impact. This free publication explains the poultry slaughter process step by step and some of the factors that affect final carcass quality. This guide also covers equipment needs, waste product management, and packaging needed to get poultry meat to market. Access the guide online here.
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.