March 2, 2020
Welcome back to the Small Farms newsletter!
Dear friends,

As we are approaching spring, I know that we are all getting a bit antsy to get digging. We remember what motivates and excites us about farming. Yet, we still have some time to consider how we might try and respond differently to challenges we are bound to face. 

We can experience both excitement as well as caution when we approach our edge. Looking forward, how can we better care for our own well-being as well as that of our family and employees as we do the hard work of farming?

For the last month, we have hosted conversations with farmers around the Northeast about dealing with edges, as part of our new “Be Well Farming”project. Over 70 farmers have shared how they find resilience when they are at their edge. 

Maybe this poem could inspire a new way of looking at your own edges. It has helped many farmers step into our conversations.
Wishing you continued calm,

Anu Rangarajan
Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program
Small Farms Program Updates
In the News: Farm Ops Partnerships and Support Across NYS
Our veterans project associate, Dean Koyanagi, was interviewed by WETM18 to provide insight on our Farm Ops project and other programs for NYS farmer veterans. The news story included note of our project delivering two of NCAT’s five-day intensive Armed to Farm trainings, as well as 12 individual workshops for veterans interested in agriculture in 2019. Read more.
Farm Ops Project to Continue Event Series for Veterans in Agriculture
Our Farm Ops project will be continuing its series of training workshops for veterans interested in agriculture throughout 2020. These opportunities include twelve single-day focused trainings on a variety of topics, as well as connecting participating veterans to additional regional training opportunities, print material, and online resources tailored to each individual's interests.

Saturday, March 7
  • Would you like to take agency over the fertility needs of your farm, garden, or growing operation? This focused training on Bokashi production will detail how the solution builds soil fertility and promotes vibrant plant growth.

Saturday, March 28
  • Small-scale intensive production is a tractor-less, cropping strategy for high-yield production on low acreage without the need for large capital investment. This training will review how tools should be considered.

Saturday, April 25
  • What opportunities do your woods hold for ginseng? Learn how to recognize ginseng habitat, identify woodland plants (including trees and wildflowers), and how to start up your own ginseng production in this training.

These events are free to attend and will be held at the EquiCenter Farm in Mendon, NY, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with lunch and refreshments provided. Learn more and register.
Featured From #CornellSmallFarms
@fallbrookfarmsny was making the most of the extra 24 hours this year on a
gorgeous winter Saturday.
@creeksidemeadows captured their first maple sap boil of 2020 as it was really steaming off. is creating a master plan for their farm, including hand drawn maps of the trails. ⠀
Share what’s been happening on your farm with #CornellSmallFarms on Instagram and we may feature your image and story in the next newsletter.
Funding Opportunities
Call for Proposals for NE SARE Partnership Grant

This grant program funds projects conducted by agricultural service providers working in partnership with farmers to encourage the understanding and widespread use of sustainable techniques. Projects will add to SARE’s collective understanding of sustainable agriculture, and strengthen working partnerships between farmers and farm service providers. Learn more and apply by April 14. 
Grant Opportunity for Young Farmers

The National Young Farmers Coalition is launching a new grant program to help young and beginning farmers and ranchers start up and grow their businesses. Grants of $5,000 are available for anything that will further applicants’ goals as farmers, and recipients will also receive a one-year membership to the Coalition. Learn more and apply by March 29.
Apply Now for Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund

This fund is a small grant program that provides direct assistance to veterans who are in their beginning years of farming or ranching. Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000, and can be used to purchase equipment or supplies that will support your farm business.  Learn more and apply by March 6.
Funding Available for High-Efficiency Irrigation Systems

Financial assistance is available to support the implementation of high-efficiency agricultural irrigation water management systems. Proposals for funding should address improvements to existing agricultural irrigation systems that result in the conservation of water resources, improvements to nutrient management strategies and crop production yields, while safeguarding natural resources. Learn more and apply by April 6.
Business & Career Opportunities
Urban Farm Manager Wanted in Brooklyn, NY

Square Roots is looking for an experienced Farm Manager to join their team to establish and maintain a first-class production environment. The ideal candidate will have 3+ years of direct farm management experience and is ready to lead this position with energy, knowledge, ability and a no-task-too-small attitude.  Learn more and apply.
Tompkins County Farm Hiring Two Positions

Van Noble Farm raises pigs in a pasture-based system using non-GMO grains in Trumansburg, NY, and serves their pastured pork at the Ithaca Farmers’ Market, weddings, local festivals and events, as well as directly from their commercial kitchen. They are currently looking to fill two farm team positions: an Assistant Farm Manager, part-time from April to October, and a Farm to Table apprentice. Learn more and apply.
Organic Farm in Steuben County Seeks Summer Intern

Peace Weaver Organic Farm is certified organic and run by a non-profit educational organization, the PeaceWeavers, in Bath, NY. They cultivate over 70 varieties of vegetables on 5 acres for their CSA program, which provides produce weekly to over 100 families in the summer and fall. They also grow field crops (oats, buckwheat, sunflowers) on 40+ acres. Interns will be involved in all aspects of operations of our farm and receive room and board. Reach out to for more information and to apply. 
Apply Now for NOFA Improved Pasture Management Project

This project will offer direct support for 15 organic and sustainable farmers, focusing on tools to reduce farm expenses, build farm resiliency, and expand marketing opportunity. This program is open to organic and conventional grazing dairy producers, and NOFA anticipates building networks that share management practices between farmers utilizing different production methods. Learn more and apply.
CCE Seeks a Central NY Emerging Crops Specialist

This extension position is responsible for providing leadership to plan and develop educational programs that emphasize the production and management of emerging crops. The specialist will be developing a formal program that supports the growth and expansion of industrial hemp, hops, grains for the local craft beverage or bakery industry, or other emerging crops in New York State. Learn more and apply.
Mark Your Calendars
Check our statewide calendar for events near you. 
Low or No-Till Options for Vegetable Growers

When: Saturday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where: Watertown, NY

Details: Small-scale and urban vegetable production has shown the efficacy of low and no-tillage methods. This program will discuss weed control, planting methods, ways to minimize labor inputs, and more. Free to attend.  Learn more and register.
The 3 P’s of Farmers Markets Webinar

When: Tuesday, March 10, from 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where: Online

Details: Learn strategies that can help make your market into a venue that is attractive to today's customer. This session will look at your market policies, market layout, and vendor and product diversity. Free to attend. Learn more and register
Lambing Clinic at Owens Farm  

When: Saturday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Sunbury, PA

Details: Pack years of lambing experience into one day with veterinarian Dr. Jackie Rapp, a panel of shepherds, and a barnful of lambs. Learn about ear-tagging, tube feeding, tail docking, and more. Cost to attend is $65. Learn more and register.
Northeast Dairy Management Conference

This conference is designed for producers and agri-service professionals to interact and relate to the latest thinking and issues in the dairy industry. Connect with other dairy producers and advisors to build your network for long term success. It will be held on March 11-12 in Liverpool, NY. Cost to attend ranges. Learn more and register.
Inaugural Northeastern Cider Conference

This is an opportunity for cider makers to network, share knowledge and learn from each other. Programming for the three-day conference will include four educational tracks — Growing, Fermenting, Midstream (distribution, packaging, etc.) and Downstream (retail, education, promotion) — across 25+ panels. It will be held on March 24-26 in Albany, NY. Cost to attend is $210. Learn more and register.
Additional Reading & Resources
Guidebook and Online Resource Library for the FSMA

The Young Farmers Coalition aims to help small and beginning growers understand the Food Safety Modernization Act’s Produce Safety Rule, and to generally make the food they offer safer. Their guidebook and the accompanying online resource library help to equip growers with the basics to improve food safety on their farm. 
Survey on Farmers' Marketing Decisions

Do you hate when you have to fill an order with specific beet size requirements? Is it a lifesaver when a customer picks up produce from your farm? Researchers at Cornell University want your help in answering these questions and others relating to how you make marketing decisions on your farm! Earn a $20 Amazon gift card when you take this 20-minute survey and make your voice known on what factors influence you to sell or not sell to a wholesaler. Please email Rebecca Wasserman Olin or Dr. Miguel Gomez with questions or comments.
About Us

The Small Farms Newsletter is a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and beyond. The newsletter is produced by the Cornell Small Farms Program (SFP), which helps farmers get expert assistance to facilitate all phases of small farm business development. SFP is housed at Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and works collaboratively with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Stay Connected
Do you have farm-related questions? Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Find your local contact .