September 23, 2019
Welcome back to the Small Farms newsletter!
Dear friends,

Each summer, we have student interns who help us with different projects here at the program.
This past summer, Jesse Corona worked with us in NYC as we develop our new programs that support Urban Farming and Food Systems. 

Jesse helped my grad student Maya Ezzeddine conduct a consumer preference study, to understand willingness to pay for different attributes on locally-grown foods labels. He also worked with one of our collaborators, Farm School NYC, to support their educational programs.

Now that the semester has started and Jesse is back on campus, we had a chance to debrief. He shared with me how this summer was life-changed. His is now energized to learn and engage about ways to support local food systems through policy and planning.

I call that a win!

Warm regards,

Anu Rangarajan
Program Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program
Small Farms Program Updates
Join Mushroom Expert for Series of Educational Events
The Cornell Small Farms Program is welcoming mushroom expert Tradd Cotter to Ithaca, NY, for a number of events on October 7 and 8. Through his business, Mushroom Mountain, Cotter maintains over 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides. The events are open to the public and will cover how mushrooms can integrate into agriculture, medicine, sustainability and more. Explore the events and register.
Our Online Courses Have Begun, Register Now!
Our program offers more than 20 online courses to help farmers improve their technical and business skills covering a range of topics any farmer needs to succeed. Courses are offered with tiered pricing from $199 – $299, based on household size and income to make access to the courses more affordable and equitable for everyone.

Registration is now open for all courses, with live webinar content starting in November for block two courses:
  • This course helps new and aspiring vegetable producers answer basic questions about site selection, crop rotation, seeding and transplanting, as well as the financial aspects of vegetable crop production.
  • If you’re exploring the idea of adding berries and bramble fruits to your farm, this course will help you think through this decision, from varieties and site selection to profit and marketing. This course will be especially useful if you are interested in growing berries for income.
  • Many new farmers get started with poultry because it’s a relatively low-investment with a fairly quick revenue turnaround. The margins can be slim though, and this course will help you develop the necessary skills to build a successful poultry enterprise.
  • Pigs can be a profitable single enterprise, or integrate into an existing farm structure. They provide a variety of products and are also ideal for turning agricultural wastes into valuable product. Pigs make use of marginal, unused lands and they can improve that land.
  • Maple syrup production is rapidly growing around the Northeast and offers a sound financial opportunity to utilize woodlots. This course explores the range possibilities of maple sugaring on your land. Also discuss "alternative" trees for production, Birch and Black Walnut.

Join our online courses and learn from experienced farmers and extension educators, who guide students through about six-weeks of weekly live webinars, videos, and resources. Browse all of our course offerings on our website and register now.
Featured From #CornellSmallFarms
  @alwayssomethingfarm shared how their kids hold their own with farm chores.
  @starryridgefarm is testing out locally grown mother grain — quinoa! welcomed some monarch caterpillar pollinators to their farm.
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
NYS Counties Eligible for Natural Disaster Assistance

Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Delaware, Schuyler, Seneca, and Tioga counties have been identified for grant-assistance following natural disasters where FEMA has declared a notice. Over 100 types of projects for rebuilding communities will be eligible, and grants will be provided on a continuous basis until funds run out. Learn more and apply.
New York Farm Viability Institute Seeking Proposals for Grant Program

NYFVI is accepting applied agricultural research and education proposals for its 2020 competitive grant program. Successful proposals will have a clear relevance to New York’s agriculture community, demonstrated producer support and the ability to deliver positive farm-level impact over time. Learn more and apply by November 12. 
USDA Opens Signup for Regional Conservation Partnership Program

USDA is investing up to $300 million to help support the adoption of innovative conservation approaches on agricultural lands. Eligible organizations interested in partnering with NRCS can apply for conservation projects including a range of on-the-ground conservation activities implemented by farmers, ranchers and forest landowners. Learn more and apply by December 3.
Concord Vineyard Improvement Program Has Available Funding

Farmers and landowners in eligible NYS counties can apply for funding to cover costs of removing unwanted Concord vineyards. Vineyards can be replanted as Concord or other grape varieties, or other agricultural crops. A business plan is necessary to apply, and the grant is paid after all work is complete. Learn more and apply
Applications Open for Milk Donation Reimbursement Program

Established under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, this new reimbursement program is now in effect. Eligible dairy organizations may apply for and receive limited reimbursements to cover expenses related to certain fluid milk product donations made to food assistance programs. Learn more and apply.
Business & Career Opportunities
Center of Excellence for Food & Agriculture Hiring Marketing Specialist

The New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech seeks a Marketing and Development Specialist to help formulate and execute marketing strategies for food, beverage and agriculture companies in the state. The specialist will promote the state’s food and agriculture innovation economy, and promote Geneva as a specific place for food and beverage innovation and businesses. Learn more and apply.
Applications Open for Dairy Farmers of America Immersive Program 

The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA) Accelerator is a 90-day immersive program, with a combination of on-site meetings and virtual programs to provide training, growth opportunities and mentorship. Most startup participants typically spend about four weeks in Kansas City, where DFA is headquartered. Learn more and apply
Lottery Registration for Young Farmers Conference Now Open

The annual Young Farmers Conference, held December 4 to 6, will offer inspiration and education for beginning farmers as they connect with regenerative farming veterans, business and entrepreneurship leaders, chefs and food artisans. Due to limited space, registration is by randomized lottery. Learn more and register by September 26. 
Cornell Course on Permaculture Teaches Fundamentals of Ecological Design

This online course through the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ distance-learning program will build your knowledge about permaculture and ecological design. Successful completion of this 6.5 week course will earn a certificate and the course is a prerequisite for other courses in the series. Learn more and register by October 28. 
Mark Your Calendars
Check our statewide calendar for events near you. 
Evaluating Markets for Your Ag Business

When: Wednesday, Sept. 25, at 12 p.m. or 6 p.m.

Where: Watertown, NY

Details: This program will explore strategies and techniques for evaluating both new and existing markets for your agriculture products, including a presentation on Taste NY opportunities. Free to attend. Learn more and register
Community Mushroom Medicine

When: Tuesday, Oct. 8, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Ithaca, NY

Details: Learn from fungi and harness their power to create medicine with professional mycologist Tradd Cotter. Cost is $15 - $20 suggested scale, no one turned away for lack of funds. Class size limited. Learn more and register.
How To Market Series: Be Retail Ready

When: Saturday, October 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Greenwhich, NY

Details: If you’ve thought about marketing your product, take time to learn what’s needed. Discover what opportunities are out there, and hear how area businesses found what worked best for them. Free to attend. Learn more.
Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Association Field Days

The two-day NODPA event will be held on September 26 and 27 in Canastota, NY. The program features farm tours and workshops that aim to prepare farmers for the realities of today’s organic dairy market. The event also includes a full trade show, networking, and NODPA’s Annual Meeting. Learn more and register.
Farmland for a New Generation Ask the Experts Series

This four-part workshop series by Cornell Cooperative Extension will cover finding, affording, marketing, and leasing farmland. Western New York participants will meet in East Aurora and join the workshop via video conference. Participants from across the state will hear a presentation from each expert and then have a chance to ask questions and have time to network with other farmland seekers and owners.
  • October 15: "Where Do I Find Farmland and Can I Afford It?"
  • October 29: "How Do I Market My Farmland?"
  • November 12: "How is Farmland Valued?"
  • November 26: "What Is In An Effective Lease Agreement?"
Cost is $10 a session or $30 for all four sessions. Discount available for those currently enrolled in the CCE Erie Ag Program. Learn more and register.
Additional Reading & Resources
New York is Ripe for Apple Harvest

New York State apples' color, quality, and size should all be superlative this fall thanks to ideal conditions. Cornell University experts shared projections for the apple harvest, including insight into weather and pests.
CCE Podcast Cuts Through the Hemp Haze

Is hemp the next big New York State ag industry? The latest episodes of Cornell Cooperative Extension's podcast, Extension Out Loud, tackle the state of hemp in New York State. The versatile crop has many uses post-harvest, from fiber to cannabidiol to protein for plant-based foods, and production has been tripling annually in the state.
How to Prepare for a 'Wet and Wild' Winter

The Farmer’s Almanac has predicted a wet winter for NYS farmers. On Pasture suggests a number of ways to prepare your fields. For example, mud and torn up ground can be minimized by dedicating an area of the field to be built up with rocks for livestock to feed.
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 .