February 3, 2020
Welcome back to the Small Farms newsletter!
Dear friends,

Though we are still in the midst of winter, we are already dreaming of the growing season to come.

There are a few upcoming opportunities to help you prepare, from learning about mushrooms to tackling new markets. We want to help your farm business thrive.

Also, in our last newsletter shared our continuing efforts to better serve our mission, which includes moving to a new email service. This will help us offer you more customized content based on your interests and location. For this to be a successful transition, we are asking you to update your subscriber information.

If you haven't yet updated your information, join the rest of the small farms community and update now: smallfarms.cornell.edu/update-your-profile-information

Thank you for your continued interest and support of small farms,

The Cornell Small Farms team
Small Farms Program Updates
Learn Ways to Boost Your Farm Business with Online Courses

Our current season of online courses is underway, and the last block of courses will start live content at the end of February. With two business courses, a grazing management course, soil health, and mushroom production, this is a great opportunity to learn before the growing season begins. Courses are offered with tiered pricing, and you'll have permanent, year-round access to course content. Learn more and register now.
Register Now for Baskets to Pallets Marketing Intensive

Are you in search of new markets or considering wholesale channels? Join a holistic training with our Baskets to Pallets project. You will gain skills and strategies for successfully entering new markets, with special consideration toward participants’ overall comfort and well-being. This training takes place on February 19 in Ghent, NY. The $35 cost includes local-foods breakfast and lunch. Learn more and register now, space is limited.
March into Better Management with Labor Ready Trainings
With labor as one of the largest on-farm costs, it is wise to invest in people and improve your management skills. Are you managing your labor well? Our Labor Ready project will be co-hosting two intensive sessions of "Supervising Farm Employees" training this March. Farm owners and managers will leave with the skills you need to effectively hire, train, and supervise your farm’s employees. Learn more and register.
Free Webinars Will Teach Commercial Specialty Mushroom Production
Learn to develop and implement a business plan for growing mushrooms commercially with an upcoming webinar series from our Specialty Mushrooms project and our project partner Fungi Ally. The webinars will cover an introduction to mushrooms farming, including details on grow rooms, methods of cultivation and economics of mushroom growing. Join us on Wednesdays in February — the 5, 12 and 17 — from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. EST to start or expand your mushroom production. Learn more and register.
Featured From #CornellSmallFarms
@ladylofo shared the lonely Brussels sprouts sticking out of their edible lawn, a beacon of hope through these winter months.⠀
@juneberry.farm shared that in the cold, dark winter, they dream about what seasonal crops are about to start growing. ⠀ ⠀
@hiyfarm shared that their work horse neighbors stopped by the farm, perhaps curious about the upcoming hemp season. ⠀
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
Farm Service Agency Revises Farm Loan Information

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has revised two of its information guides on farm loans. "Your Guide to FSA Farm Loans" simplifies information on the types of farm loans available; how to apply for a guaranteed loan, direct loan, or land contract guarantee; what you can expect once you submit your application; and FSA customer rights and responsibilities. Meanwhile, "Your FSA Farm Loan Compass" simplifies information regarding the responsibilities of FSA loan borrowers and the loan servicing options available to them. Both publications are available in English and Spanish.
Advanced Payment Option for Historically Underserved Producers

Beginning, socially disadvantaged, veteran, and limited resource farmers or ranchers currently participating in the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) are eligible for advanced-payment grant funding. Rather than waiting to be reimbursed, qualifying farmers receive funding up-front. Learn more and check eligibility. 
Reimbursement Grant Available to Remove Concord Vineyards

The Vineyard Improvement Program has been made available to land owners and growers to remove Concord vineyards and then replace them with an agricultural commodity that is better suited to their needs. Applicants can be reimbursed 50% of removal costs up to $1,500 per acre and 25% of replant costs up to $1,500 per acre for a total possible reimbursement of $3,000 per acre. Reimbursement cannot exceed $50,000.  Learn more and apply.
Value-Added Producer Grant Program Offers $37 Million in Funding 

USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service is accepting applications for this grant program, which helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to processing and marketing of new products. The goals are to generate new products, create and expand marketing opportunities, and increase producer income. Planning grants are up to $75,000, and working capital grants are up to $250,000. A 50% match is required. Learn more and apply by March 10 (deadline is March 5 for electronic submissions). 
Business & Career Opportunities
Market Garden in Greene County Hiring Farm Manager

Fromer Market Gardens was established by the Hunter Foundation as a model for small scale, high altitude "market gardening." The 12-acre farm in Tannersville, NY, is organically certified and operates a year-round farm stand. They are looking for a full-time, salaried Farm Manager to fulfill the farm vision. Learn more and apply.
Ulster County Farm Seeks Crew Member

Solid Ground Farm is a seven-acre organic farm in Kingston, NY. They are currently seeking a full-time growing season crew member to join their team. Crew members can expect to be involved in all aspects of production and marketing, and will gain an in-depth perspective on small-scale sustainable agriculture. Learn more and apply.
Cornell University Hiring Agriculture in the Classroom Educator

The School of Integrated Plant Sciences seeks a full-time educator for the New York Agriculture in the Classroom program. The educator will assist with statewide programs through the facilitation of educator workshops, program implementation, and conference planning. Learn more and apply.
St. Lawrence County CCE Seeks Consumer Horticulture Educator

The St. Lawrence County CCE office is seeking an educator who will implement existing horticulture and gardening educational programs and program activities. This position will also coordinate all administrative and management aspects of the consumer horticulture program. This is a part-time position. Learn more and apply.
Mark Your Calendars
Check our statewide calendar for events near you. 
New York Certified Organic Meeting

When: Tuesday, February 11 at 10 a.m.

Where: Waterloo, NY

Details: Reduced tillage, weed control in organic field crops, and mycotoxins risk to humans and livestock are on the agenda for this NYCO meeting. No registration required, but bring a dish to share. Learn more.

When: Wednesday, February 26 to Friday, February 28

Where: Rochester, NY

Details: B.E.V. NY is an annual conference for the grape and wine industry. Learn about business, enology and viticulture from industry experts. Cost is $150 for registrations before February 14. Learn more and register
New York State
Farm Show 

When: February 27 to 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Syracuse, NY

Details: This is the premier indoor farm show in the Northeast, with over 400 exhibitors covering more than 300,000 square feet in five buildings of exhibits. Admission is $5 at the door; free for under 18. Learn more.
Minority and Women’s Business Development Food and Beverage Industry Opportunity Day 

MWBEs will have the opportunity to network with state agencies and authorities, lenders, and other certified firms during the Opportunity Day on Friday, February 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, NY. State agencies and authorities will discuss upcoming procurement and discretionary spending opportunities that are relevant to the industry. Free to attend. Learn more and register.
Pennsylvania Veteran Farming Conference 

Veterans, military, guard, reserve, and theirs spouses are invited to this full-day workshop on Friday, February 28, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg, PA. Beginning and established farmers will have the opportunity to learn from and interact with staff from USDA (NRCS, FSA, Rural Development). Attendees will also hone business skills such as marketing, risk management, and business planning. Cost is $15. Learn more and register.
Additional Reading & Resources
Free Finding Farmland Course Available in English and Spanish

Are you seeking secure access to land? Buying or leasing farmland may be one of the biggest investments you will make in your career, but it can be incredibly risky, complex, or out of reach entirely. To help you understand your options and navigate the process, the National Young Farmers Coalition has created free online resources the Finding Farmland Course and Calculator, with versions of both available in English and Spanish.
Free Row Crop Cultivation Videos Available Online 

The Organic Grain Resource and Information Network (OGRAIN) has posted a series of videos, called "The Art and Science of Cultivation." In these nine videos, experienced organic farmer and consultant Gary McDonald discusses equipment, techniques, and adjustments for successful row-crop cultivation. McDonald addresses the tractor, the cultivator, cultivation timing, and more.
Fruit and Vegetable Growers: Inform Research, Receive e-gift Card!

A group of researchers at Cornell University, the University of California, and the University of Rochester are working on a project to understand and model trade-offs between food safety and conservation practices used on fresh produce farms. To ensure their models accurately reflect grower practices, costs, and needs, they are conducting a survey among fruit and vegetable growers in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast. The survey is 100% anonymous and the first 300 participants will receive a $15 e-gift card.
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 .