December 2, 2019
Welcome back to the Small Farms newsletter!
Dear friends,

As the days get shorter and colder, conference season begins, and a few of our team have been traveling recently to meet with farmers and farm service providers on various topics.

For this newsletter, I'm taking the reins to share a note about my recent conference experience. A few weeks ago I joined a group of community organizations who serve farmers across the country in a discussion about the USDA Census of Agriculture and the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.

Much of the work we do to serve our farming communities is informed by data collected through the censuses. These surveys help identify emerging trends, population changes, potential challenges faced by farmers, and much more.

If you haven'y yet, I encourage you to explore the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture — which showed that small farms continue to represent the majority of farms (76%) both in the U.S. and in New York. Also, don't forget to respond to the various surveys so that you, your family, and your farm are counted. 

Warm regards,

Kacey Deamer
Communications Specialist
Small Farms Program Updates
Learn to Be a Better Farm Manager with Labor Ready Training
Labor is one of your farm’s biggest expenses — how well are you managing it? We are offering another series of our “Farm Management Master Classes” this year to support farm owners and farm managers in improving HR management. These two-day intensive workshops will give you the skills you need to effectively hire, train and supervise your farm’s employees.
Now open for registration is our Western NY workshop, which will be held December 9 and 10 in Albion, NY. The master class costs $50, which includes lunch both days, and spots are limited. Learn more and register.
Start the New Year by Exploring New Opportunities with Online Courses
It's already time to start planning for the new year. Our third block of courses begin in January, and cover a range of topics to help your farm business.
  • Have an idea for a farm enterprise but not sure if it’s feasible? This course will help you explore the potential markets and profitability of your ideas, picking up where BF 101: Starting at Square One left off. (Note: BF 101 is not a prerequisite.)
  • If you’ve been struggling to make your farm operation profitable without driving yourself into the ground, this financial planning course is for you. You will learn how to make financial decisions toward farm and family values and goals.
  • Tree fruit are an important component of the agricultural and homeowner landscape. This course trains beginning tree fruit growers in fundamental concepts in orchard planning and management.
  • Have sheep or thinking about getting a flock? Producers of all experience levels will find something for them in this lively, wide-ranging course. There is no one right way to raise sheep — this course covers many of these different options.
  • This course continues where BF 120 ends, covering vegetable production from transplanting to harvest, including: in-season fertility, integrated pest management, weed control, harvesting, and marketing. (Note: BF 120 is not a prerequisite.)
  • With a bit of practice, mushrooms can be easily grown in the woods on many products. This course trains new and experienced farmers in the background, techniques, and economics of farm scale woodland mushroom production.

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. Browse all of our course offerings on our website and register now to start learning.
Featured From #CornellSmallFarms shared the importance of those pumpkin seeds after Thanksgiving weekend.
@marshmeadow_farm shared there’s always one pig who figures out how zippers work.
@saint_isidores_farm shared that morning chores is one of their new favorite things, and with a view.
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
County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Planning Grants

NYS counties and municipalities are invited to apply for funding to assist development and implementation of agricultural and farmland protection plans. Maximum funding available to a county to develop a new or updated county agricultural and farmland protection plan is set at $50,000 or $100,000 for two counties applying jointly. The deadline to apply is open and awards are announced quarterly. Learn more and apply.
Funding for Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative

OREI solves critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. This program funds projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic agricultural products. Learn more and apply by January 30, 2020.
$4.8 Million in Funding for New Research on Managing PFAS in Agriculture

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking grant applications to fund research on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) occurrence, fate, and transport in water sources used by rural communities and agricultural operations and new or improved PFAS treatment methods appropriate for small drinking water and wastewater systems. Learn more and apply by February 11, 2020.
$500,000 in Funding Available for Farmland Access Outreach Activities

Eligible land trusts working to advance farmland protection strategies identified by counties and municipalities throughout the state are invited to apply for funding. These competitive grants of up to $50,000 are available to land trusts to help develop local inventories of viable farmland and protect properties from conversion to non-farm uses. Learn more and apply by February 21, 2020. 
Business & Career Opportunities
New York Farm Bureau Seeking New Chief Executive Officer 

NYFB’s Chief Executive Officer is responsible for providing exemplary leadership for the organization’s more than 40 professional staff, and for managing the day-to-day business of NYFB and subsidiary corporations. Learn more and apply by December 20.
CCE Oswego Hiring Agriculture Economic Development Specialist

The specialist will implement agriculture educational programming for a menu of existing agriculture programs that will enhance the economic viability and sustainability of agriculture and agricultural-related businesses. This position is full-time and based in Mexico, NY. Learn more and apply.
Food System Organization VINES Hiring Multiple Positions

Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments (VINES) is a Binghamton, NY, organization with a focus on community gardens, urban agriculture and community green spaces. VINES is hiring for one full-time Community Garden Manager, one part-time Program Assistant, and has three Americorp positions open. Learn more and apply.
Cornell University Seeks Geneva-Based Food Safety Extension Associate

As Director and Senior Extension Associate for the Institute for Food Safety, this position will lead a dynamic team to continue to build and strengthen the IFS@CU extension, research and outreach program. This position will lead the development, delivery and marketing of new food safety extension, education, and outreach programming in collaboration with internal and external constituents. Learn more and apply
Mark Your Calendars
Check our statewide calendar for events near you. 
Veterans in Ag: Microgreens Workshop

When: Tuesday, Dec. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Honeoye Falls, NY

Details: Our Farm OPS project is providing free training workshops for veterans interested in agriculture. This course will explore the basics of production through lecture and hands-on learning. Learn more and register
Spanish Webinar: Dairy Cattle Reproduction

When: Tuesday, Dec. 10,
at 3 p.m. 

Where: Online

Details: This free webinar is offered by the Dairy Cattle Reproduction Council (DCRC) and will feature Cornell University Associate Professor Julio Giordano discussing reproductive programs for dairy. Learn more and register.
Veterans in Ag: Agroforestry Workshop

When: Tuesday, Dec. 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Honeoye Falls, NY

Details: Our Farm OPS project is providing free training workshops for veterans interested in agriculture. This course will cover various agroforestry values and potential in your woods. Learn more and register
Western New York Maple School and Trade Show

This educational meeting for commercial and hobby maple producers will cover tapping trees, maple tubing, marketing maple products, how sap moves through the trees, chemical safety for equipment, and much more. The trade show will be held on Saturday, December 7, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. in Attica, NY. Cost to attend is $15, which includes classroom instruction and lunch. Learn more and register.
Western NY Soil Health Alliance Workshop

Farmers and agricultural service providers are invited to attend the Western New York Soil Health Alliance’s Soil Health Workshop and Annual Meeting on December 18 in Batavia, NY. Topics will include using precision agriculture to facilitate soil health management, the potential to increase your bottom line with soil health management, and more. Cost to attend is $25 for pre-registration by December 13, or $35 at the door. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Learn more and register.
Additional Reading & Resources
New Tools Available to Help Farms Manage Overtime Regulations

On January 1, 2020 New York farms will have to pay overtime wages for nearly all employees that work over 60 hours a week. Researchers and extension educators from Cornell University have developed several tools to help New York farms manage through these changes, including spreadsheets and worksheets.
Study Explores Controlled-Environment Production for Urban Agriculture

Researchers delved into the likelihood that controlled environments will revolutionize urban food systems and the techniques that can be employed for them to do so. This new review identifies many factors of consideration regarding controlled-environment production in urban areas: local demand and supply of food, location, population density, facility design, and crops produced.
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 .