:   Cornell
Website   I   Quarterly   I   News   I   Events   I   Projects   I    Resources   I   Contact
April 17th, 2017

The Small Farms update summarizes announcements, resources, opportunities and upcoming events relevant to small farms.  Please feel free to share this information in newsletters, email lists, etc. If you would like to submit an item for an upcoming issue,  please visit our new online form. Subscribe here.  Thank you again for your interest and support of small farms in New York.   

Anu Rangarajan,  Director, Cornell Small Farm Program
Small Farms Program Highlights
livestock goat
Spring Small Farm Quarterly is here!
We are pleased to announce arrival of the Spring Edition of Small Farm Quarterly Magazine. SFQ is for farmers and farm families across the Northeast who value the quality of life that smaller farms provide.  Articles included in this edition of the quarterly include "Successful CSAs in Low-Income Communities" and "Use of GIS in Agriculture".  To read the full issue online or learn more about the Cornell Small Farms Program, visit our website.
Newly Updated Funding Portal
For access to funding information on grants, loans/finances, Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Grants and more, visit SFP's updated funding portal:
Take a look at the webinar recording " Free Money? Finding the Right Grants, Cost-Share Programs, and Low-Interest Loans for Your Farm Business" to learn about programs and tips to help you find a good fit for your farm financing needs.
2017 Census of Agriculture 
Calling all farmers and ranchers: take part in the  2017 Census of Agriculture to strongly represent agriculture in your communities and industry. The census, to be mailed at the end of this year, is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them. Census results are relied upon heavily by those who serve farmers and rural communities, including federal, state and local governments, agribusinesses, trade associations, extension educators, researchers, and farmers and ranchers themselves.  Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 still have time to sign up to receive the 2017 Census of Agriculture report form by visiting  www.agcensus.usda.gov  and clicking on the 'Make Sure You Are Counted' button through June. NASS defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year (2017).  For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture and to see how census data are used, visit  www.agcensus.usda.gov  or call (800) 727-9540.
Conservation Stewardship Program Re-Enrollment Deadline
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is now accepting applications from farmers and ranchers who initially enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship  Program (CSP) in 2013 to re-enroll for another five years. It is optional to renew an expiring contract, and participants who do not re-enroll can re-apply and compete for funding in future annual CSP signups. However, there is significant benefit to renewing now: the process for renewing is non-competitive and much simpler than re-applying through the competitive process later, and participants will avoid any gaps in their CSP payments that would otherwise occur. Applications for re-enrollment will be accepted through May 5, 2017. Learn more about the renewal process here.
Miner Institute's Agriculture in Society Speaker Series: Dr. Joe Schwarcz
April 20. 7pm. Joseph C. Burke Education and Research Center at Miner Institute, 586 Ridge Road, Chazy, NY, 12921
Miner Institute welcomes Dr. Joe Schwarcz for a talk on Thursday, . Dr. Schwarcz will give a talk as part of Miner Institute's Agriculture in Society Speaker Series titled: Agriculture Myths and Facts. The event is free and open to the public. 
Pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are all potentially toxic substances, but that does not mean they cannot be used safely. Without the proper use of these chemicals we have no real hope of feeding the increasing world population. Dr. Shcwarcz will break down the science for us. The talk will be followed by a Q & A session.  For more information about the April 20 event, contact Rachel at dutil@whminer.com or call 518-846-7121, ext. 115.
Meat Processing Class: Lamb Processing and Cooking 2.0
April 21st. 9am-3pm. SUNY Cobleskill, 106 Suffolk Cir, Cobleskill, NY 12043
Harvest New York, in collaboration with SUNY Cobleskill, is offering workshops for animal producers on beef, lamb, and pork processing to maximize profit! In this class you will learn how to use the whole lamb, not just cutting, and cooking lamb too. Classroom materials and lunch are provided - $75 fee - space is limited.  Register at www.cobleskill.edu/workshops or call the Office of Professional and Continuing Education at 518-255-5528.
Farm to Plate Conference, Ithaca, NY
May 11- 13. Ithaca, NY and surrounding areas.
Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming, the Food, Agroecology, Justice and Well-being Collective at Cornell, and  Roots Rising Farm are pleased to announce the Finger Lakes "Farm to Plate Conference: Uniting to Create, Educate, and Celebrate a Sustainable and Equitable Local Food System."  The vision of the conference is to bring together people from multiple sectors of the community to collectively develop strategies towards creating resilience in the local food system.  The conference will include workshops, paper sessions, farm tours, cooking demonstrations, and keynote talks by Malik Yakini, Director of the Detroit Black Food Security Coalition, Karen Washington, Co-owner of Rise and Root Farm, Raj Patel, Award Winning Activist, Academic and Author, Hannah Wittman, Director of the Center for Sustainable Food Systems at the University of British Columbia and more! 
12th Annual Camp Mushroom
Sunday May 21, 10am to 2pm at Cornell University's MacDaniels Nut Grove
Camp Mushroom is Cornell University's annual event for farmers, woodlot owners, and anyone who wants to cultivate their own shiitake, oyster, lions mane, nameko and stropharia mushrooms. Learn techniques for these and inoculate several species hands-on at the historic McDaniels Nut Grove at Cornell University.
The workshop is a unique beginner/intermediate level workshop for those interested in small-scale forest mushroom cultivation.
COST: $50 includes lunch and a log to take home!  |   REGISTER HERE
3rd National Farm Viability Conference
May 22-24. Albany Capital Center, 55 Eagle St, Albany, NY 12207
Registration is now open for the  National Farm Viability Conference, featuring three days of workshops, discussions and tours for professionals in farm and food business planning, financial planning, agricultural financing, farmland conservation, agricultural market development, and food hub management. It offers attendees the opportunity to network and learn from peers and industry leaders, develop new knowledge and skills and tours will include visits to nearby farms and value-added processing facilities. See the updated list of workshops and register at www.farmviabilityconference.com.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Mecox Bay Dairy - Assistant Cheese Maker and Farmer's Markets Salespeople
Mecox Bay Dairy is looking for both full and part time help. We produce artisan cheeses from our herd of Jersey cows as well as produce and sell our own pork, beef and turkeys. We are looking for an assistant to the cheese maker as well as 2 farmer's markets salespeople. We are located on the eastern end of Long Island in Bridgehampton, NY. Please call the dairy at 631-537-0335 if interested. You can also find us at MecoxBayDairy.com.
sheep, livestock
Valley Shepherd Creamery - Dairy Farm Manager
Valley Shepherd creamery, located in Long Valley, NJ is looking to hire a full time farm manager. Located on 120 acres in northwest NJ, the farm operates the milking hundreds of sheep and goats and the creation of over 30 types of artisan, cave aged cheeses. They market mostly through farmer markets but also via wholesale to chefs and via their own retail locations. The farm manager reports directly to the Farm owner and is responsible for all aspects of supporting farm enterprises. The farm manager is responsible for entire operation including onsite employees. Hours can be irregular to accommodate agricultural needs. For details see www.valleyshepherd.com and www.meltkraft.com To apply, s ubmit a cover letter and a resume to Eran at  ew@quil.com.
Peacework Farm Seeking Partners or Buyer
Peacework Farm in the northern Finger Lakes region of western NY is seeking either partner(s) to work with us now and take over in 2-5 years or an outright buyer of the farm business. We are a certified organic vegetable operation (certified by NOFA-NY Certified Organic LLC) serving the longest-running CSA in our area with 110 shares in Rochester and 40 local shares. A dedicated group of member volunteers facilitates member recruitment and CSA distribution in Rochester.  The farm is on a 116 acre parcel; the land is owned by Genesee Land Trust and leased to us on a long-term lease. Approximately 73 acres is open land of predominantly Palmyra and Phelps soil types. About 8 acres is in active vegetable production with the balance in cover crops and hay.  We own the equipment and improvements including a 30' x 90' barn with attached greenhouse, 26' x 40' packing shed with 7' x 8' x 7' walk-in cooler, 3 wells, and 6 hoop houses. There is no dwelling on the property but housing options are available nearby. The lease with the Land Trust allows for the construction of a home for people who farm the land.  We are long-term subleasing 6 acres to a permaculture operation and 25 acres to an organic cash crop farmer on a shorter-term sublease. The balance of the hay land is mowed by another farmer but not currently subleased. Anyone inquiring about the partnership option should be experienced in organic vegetable production and comfortable operating farm machinery. Serious inquiries only please. Contact Ammie Chickering and Greg Palmer at 315-398-4007 or info@peaceworkcsa.org.
Evergreen Berry Farm Hiring 2017 Summer Crew
Evergreen Berry Farm, LLC is a small Pick-Your-Own berry farm in Watertown, CT growing predominantly blueberries as well as other cane fruit. We are currently hiring our summer 2017 crew, including register staff, field hands, and harvesters. Successful staff work efficiently and with quality. They are also able to effectively task-switch and communicate our farming practices to inquiring visitors. Work hours have some flexibility, up to 40 hours/week, and can be in one or more of the positions. Picking season varies but typically begins late June/early July and runs through August, tapering into September. Contact thefarmer@evergreenberryfarm.com for additional information, including more detailed job descriptions and an application. Learn more about the farm at www.EvergreenBerryFarm.com.
The Chef's Garden - Research Specialist
The Chef's Garden (Huron, OH ) looks to hire a Research Specialist. A small amount of investigation will reveal that the Chef's Garden is an unusual farm and that the Research Specialist position is a valuable opportunity for a person who:
1. Has strong research capabilities in plant varieties and growing methods;
2. Has some experience and/or familiarity with both greenhouse and field production;
3. Can manage/coordinate field and greenhouse research and crop production simultaneously;
4. Can lead, shape, inspire, and motivate a small team;
5. Is interested in non-conventional plants and growing methods;
6. Can document research results and growing plans for new crops selected for production; and
7. Will maintain absolute confidentiality in their work in that it and its outcomes must remain the property of the farm (Chef's Garden).
People interested in the position are asked to contact Bob Jones, SR at  419-433-4947 .
Funding Opportunities
Farm Business Management and Benchmarking Grants Program (FBMB)
This U.S. Department of Agriculture program provides funds to improve the farm management knowledge and skills of agricultural producers, and establish and maintain a national, publicly available farm financial management database to support improved farm management. A maximum of $500,000 over a period of up to 3 years is available. Deadline to apply is April 17. Apply for the grant or view the RFA here.
Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grants
The goal of this grant program is to support graduate students who are doing research on topics specific to sustainable agriculture under the supervision of a faculty advisor.  Graduate Student proposals should address issues of current or potential importance to Northeast farmers and farm service professionals such as NRCS staff, Cooperative Extension, and researchers. Grants are capped at $15,000 and projects can run up to two years. The deadline for Graduate Student Grants is May 9, 2017 for awards in August. For application instructions, visit NESARE's Graduate Student Grant Description page.
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative - Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for projects with multidisciplinary systems approaches that integrate new technologies and strategic management to solve water availability and quality challenges in food-production systems. The projects are expected to transform how abundant, safe, and nutritious food is produced, processed, distributed, and consumed within the limits of available water from traditional and non-traditional sources. Approximately $34 million will be available for new grants to eligible entities. A letter of intent to apply is due May 17, 2017. Apply for the grant here.
United Fresh Start Foundation Community Grants Program
This program provides $25,000 in grants to local community organizations and groups that share the United Fresh Start Foundation's commitment to increasing kids' access to fresh produce, helping them develop healthy habits to last a lifetime.  Grants will support programs, events and/or activities that increase children's access to fresh produce, and will be available in various amounts up to $2,500. Applications for the 2017 grant cycle must be received by April 20, 2017. For more information and questions about the Community Grants Program, contact Andrew Marshall at 202-303-3407. Download the grant application here.
Latest Resources
Northeast Beef Directory
In consideration of the number of Northeast farmers selling their products directly to the public, and those consumers being especially interested in local sourcing of their food, the national beef checkoff has just launched the  Northeast Beef Directory through a partnership with the Virginia Beef Industry Council.  This new website, launched in April, includes robust educational resources that inform consumers about their options for choosing beef including where to buy and understanding labels. Additionally, farmers who raise beef and market directly to the public can find resources that may be beneficial for their businesses. 
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)'s  Library of Cover Crop and Soil Health Images  is now available to help educators show producers how cover crops can work on their farms.  The collection includes over 1,500 photos and illustrations organized into 10 galleries. A  soil health gallery  features high-resolution illustrations compiled in a set of 20 PowerPoint slides for use in presentations.  The collection also includes five complete PowerPoint presentations that may be used by educators to illustrate the benefits of incorporating cover crops into cropping systems.  These cover crop materials are provided for free to educators for use in non-commercial agriculture and conservation work, provided that proper attribution is used.
Get Connected!
Need personal help?
Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Check out our county-by-county listing of small farm agents here. You can also get to know our Cornell Small Farms Program  staff, or contact us. Just starting to farm? We have an extensive directory of beginning farmer service providers across the Northeast in the "Who Can Help?" section of our Northeast Beginning Farmers Project website.
SFP Small Farms Program Logo
The Small Farms Update is intended as a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast, and is provided to you by Cornell Small Farms Program. We envision 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 Cornell Small Farm Program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.