May 6, 2019
Welcome back to the Cornell Small Farms newsletter!
Every five years, USDA takes a count of who is farming in the U.S.  

Small farms continue to represent the majority of farms (76%) both in the U.S. and in New York. There have been big increases in the number of women farmers (up 27%) and farmers under the age of 35. In fact, beginning farmers (ten or fewer years in business) made up 27 percent of U.S. farmers. 

The new census included some 6.4 million data points of information about America’s farms and ranches, including new data about on-farm decision making. You can explore the data down to the county level. If you like numbers, check out the 2017 ag census report online.

Until next time, 

Anu Rangarajan
Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program
Small Farms Program Updates
Join Our Free Monthly Webinars on Specialty Mushrooms

The Cornell Small Farms Program’s project focused on specialty mushroom farming enterprises is launching a monthly webinar series highlighting the latest research and stories from experienced growers around the region. These free webinars will occur on the first Wednesday of each month, and will be recorded and posted for later viewing. Learn more and register to join.
Up Next in Our Events Series for Veterans in Agriculture

The Farm OPS project of Cornell Small Farms Program is providing workshops throughout 2019 for veterans interested in agriculture. The next event on June 11 is " Controlled Environment Mushroom Production," which will provide practical instruction on controlled atmosphere mushroom production spaces. Learn more and register.
Featured From #CornellSmallFarms shared how their cat helped lay landscape fabric pathways for the flower garden. 
@littlesalmonfarm shared their spring seed order packet and getting started on seeding soil blocks. 
@stonecropfarm shared an "awkward family photo" of their pigs snuggled together with snouts up for dinner.
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
hay, silage, field, bale
Higher Limits Now Available on USDA Farm Loans

The 2018 Farm Bill increased the amount producers can borrow through direct and guaranteed loans available from USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), and made changes to other loans. Examples of these changes include: direct operating loan limit increased to $400,000; direct farm ownership loan limit increased to $600,000; and producers can now receive both a $50,000 farm ownership microloan and a $50,000 operating microloan.  Learn more.
Dairy cow barn livestock
$1.5M in Grants Now Available to Support Dairy Industry

The USDA announced that competitive grant funding is now available for the Dairy Business Innovation Initiatives (DBI). DBI is authorized through the 2018 Farm Bill and supports USDA’s efforts to reduce risk and develop higher-value uses for dairy products, diversify farmer income through processing and marketing innovation, and encourage the use of regional milk production. Learn more and apply by June 17.
Up to $500,000 Available to Increase Access to Local Food

The Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) offers grant funds to support the development, coordination, and expansion of direct-producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access and availability to locally and regionally produced agricultural products. These project grants require a 25% match. Learn more and apply by June 18.
Food Safety Outreach Program Funding Projects Up to $550,000

This program will fund the development and implementation of food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups are eligible for funding. Learn more and apply by June 6.  
Grant Applications Open for Farmers Market Promotion Program

Up to $500,000 in funding is available for projects that develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. This includes domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, CSA programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. These project grants require a 25% match. Learn more and apply by June 18.
Business & Career Opportunities
Ag Cooperatives Invited to Join Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets is encouraging new and existing agricultural cooperatives to submit letters of interest to participate in the State's Industrial Hemp Agricultural Research Pilot Program. Letters should provide information demonstrating the feasibility of growing, processing, and producing industrial hemp or hemp products under a farm-owned business structure. Learn more and apply by June 6.
Deadline Extended to Certify Production for Market Facilitation Program

USDA extended the deadline to May 17 from May 1 for agricultural producers to certify 2018 crop production for payments through the Market Facilitation Program (MFP), which helps producers who have been significantly affected by foreign tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional exports. The deadline was extended because heavy rainfall and snowfall have delayed harvests in many parts of the country. Learn more.
Farmers Market Federation of NY Seeks Applicants for Executive Director

The Executive Director will lead the organization as it continues to build farmers markets in NY as strong, viable outlets for farmers, vibrant marketplaces for consumers and health and wellness assets for local communities. This position is also responsible for working cooperatively with regional networks of markets. Learn more and apply by May 10.
Madison County CCE Hiring Ag Educator

Madison County CCE seeks a dynamic Ag Economic Development Resource Educator to provide leadership and resources to grow and enhance the economic vitality of agricultural enterprises in Madison County. The successful candidate must have passion and enthusiasm for assessing needs and developing opportunities for the agricultural economy in Madison County along with the capacity to develop, plan, and deliver associated outreach and programs. Learn more and apply.
Columbia County Mushroom Enterprise Hiring Full-Time Position

Rock City Mushrooms is looking for someone to support ongoing operations and lead: inoculate all species on the farm; grow additional varieties; begin some outdoor, seasonal production; and host workshops and other events for the public. This is a year-round, full-time position based in Old Chatham, NY. Interested applicants should email a description of interests and experience, along with resume, to
Mark Your Calendars
Check our statewide calendar for events near you. 
Food Development, Safety & Compliance 

When: Tuesday, May 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Salamanca, NY

Details: This workshop will help food entrepreneurs learn about microbiology,
processing techniques, and regulatory compliance to create a viable food
product that can be safely and legally be sold. Free to attend. Register.
Genetically Modified Crops Presentation

When: Saturday, May 18, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Warsaw, NY

Details: Anthony Shelton, entomology professor of Cornell AgriTech, will cover a range of topics relating to GM crops. This presentation is part of the 14th Annual Garden Day Educational Fair and Plant Sale. Free to attend. Register.
It’s Not Too Late for
Summer Marketing

When: Wednesday, May 15, from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.

Where: Canandaigua, NY

Details: This workshop will help attendees develop their visual storytelling and marketing to attract more customers. It is also an opportunity to ask questions to a freelance journalist and leave with a marketing plan. Cost is $15. Register
Glynwood's Small Ruminant School 

The small ruminant school is geared towards participants with beginner-level livestock experience. Instructors will provide participants with an introduction to small ruminant care, including nutritional needs, general health guidelines, lambing and kidding practices and pasture management instruction. Optional breakout sessions feature 'five-point check' or body scoring, tubing and intraperitoneal (IP) injections, birthing stations, and hay evaluation. The one-day school will be held at Glynwood in Cold Spring, NY on May 23. Cost is $25; lunch included. Learn more and register.
Additional Reading & Resources
Farmer’s Guide to NYS "Farm to Food Bank" Tax Credit 

In 2017, New York State passed a Farm to Food Bank Tax Credit which allows New York farmers to claim up to $5,000 annually through a refundable tax credit equal to 25% of the wholesale value of their donations to emergency food programs. To help farmers fully take advantage of the credit, NRDC released a new guide answering common questions.
USDA Launches Decision Tool for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

A new web-based tool will help dairy producers evaluate various scenarios using different coverage levels through the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program. Producers can use the tool to calculate total premiums costs and administrative fees associated with participation in DMC, as well as forecast payments made during the coverage year.
Hudson Valley Farm Hub Offers Content in Spanish and English

Starting with the Spring 2019 newsletter, the Farm Hub is offering a selection of articles in Spanish and English. The bilingual articles reflect a variety of topics from research trials, strategies and techniques in farming, to what is growing this season and programs.
NY Farmers Invited to Participate in Cornell Survey on Specialty Fruit
Are you interested in diversifying your farmers’ market, farm stand, or CSA offerings with specialty fruit crops? Have you ever thought about growing currants, kiwiberries, goji berries, beach plums, or other “unusual” fruits? Cornell University needs your input via a new survey that will help guide a project that aims to develop growing recommendations and enterprise budgets for unusual fruit crops in New York.
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About Us

The Cornell Small Farms newsletter is a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and beyond. The Cornell Small Farms Program (SFP) envisions 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 program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Stay Connected
Are you just starting to farm? We have extensive resources available in the "Plan Your Farm" section of our website. Do you have farm-related questions? Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Check our county-by-county listing for your small farm agents.

If you have a story idea, event, or announcement for an upcoming newsletter, you can always submit to us through our   online form .