:   Cornell
Website   I   Online Courses   I   Plan Your Farm   I  Projects    I    Resources   I   About   |   Contact
December 15th, 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 Farms Program
Small Farms Program Highlights

One-Day Log-Grown Shiitake Workshop Happening This Winter in Eight Locations around New York State!
The cultivation of shiitake mushrooms offers farmers and woodlot owners a good opportunity to utilize their forested lands while turning a profit.  Anyone who is a resident of New York State or who farms in New York and is growing commercially, starting a new enterprise, or considering commercial production is welcome to attend this "Log-Grown Shiitake: Economics and Management for a Profitable Crop" workshop The workshop content will cover aspects of production important to selling mushrooms in New York, including safety, sanitation, marketing, and regulations. Workshops run from 9am to 4pm, with a catered lunch included. Learn more and register here. Check out this map to find the workshop closest to you.
Are You Seeking New Markets? Get Help this January!

Are you  looking to diversify sales beyond the farmers market, CSA and farm stand? Ensure your success by joining us for 'Baskets to Pallets', a comprehensive two-day introduction to selling wholesale. This course is designed for farmers of all enterprises and will cover building relationships with buyers, customer management and record keeping, pricing, grading and packaging, uniformity and consistency, food safety, and more! This fun course includes plenty of hands-on activities and opportunities for peer learning and small group discussion. The course includes one break-out session for livestock and produce farmers. View the Training Agenda and Meet the Instructors  hereSpace is limited to 40 participants and early registration is encouraged.
Cornell Program Trains New Farm Owners for Business Success
The Cornell Small Farms Program is preparing the next generation of farmers and ranchers to scale up their operations and reach key business milestones, thanks to a new   grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The new program from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences provides a crucial skillset beginning farmers need to scale up and achieve the 10-year milestone of remaining in business, by preparing them to hire, manage and retain skilled employees. The project is part of the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, which aims to help address issues associated with the rising age and decreasing numbers of U.S. farmers and ranchers. Learn more about this program in the press release here.
NEW New York Farmer Veteran Coalition and New York State Veterans in Ag Facebook Pages
If you are a New York State Veteran who is farming or interested in jobs in the agriculture sector, or if you are a service provider who supports them, the New York State Veterans in Ag Facebook Page may serve as a valuable networking tool for you. Alternatively, check out the new New York Farmer Veteran Coalition Facebook page, which focuses on cultivating a new generation of farmers and food leaders by developing viable employment and meaningful careers through the collaboration of the farming and military communities.
2017 Census of Agriculture Gets Underway
USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service has started mailing the 2017 Census of Agriculture to our nation's producers. Mailing in phases, all census questionnaires should be received by late December. The deadline to respond is February 5, 2018. Producers can respond online at  www.agcensus.usda.gov  or by mail. Conducted once every five years, the census aims to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture. The resulting data are used by trade associations, researchers, policymakers, extension educators, agribusinesses, and many others. The data can play a vital role in community planning, farm assistance programs, technology development, farm advocacy, agribusiness setup, rural development, and more. For more information, visit  www.agcensus.usda.gov  or call  (800) 727-9540 .
WNY Soil Health Alliance Annual Meeting and Soil Health Workshop
December 20, 8:30am-3:30pm. Batavia Quality Inn & Suites, 8250 Park Rd., Batavia, NY

The WNY Soil Health Alliance is holding their Annual Meeting and Soil Health Workshop on December 20th. The workshop will include keynote speaker Karl Czymmek from Cornell talking about resilient soils and how to build and retain organic matter, Steve Groff from Cover Crop Coaching and inventor of the tillage radish talking about using cover crops to manage herbicide resistant weeds, and Jessica Ziehm speaking about how to communicate with landlords. Following the speakers will be the WNY Soil Health Alliance Annual Meeting. Lunch will be provided in the afternoon as well as breakout sessions. The breakout sessions include an inter-seeding farmer panel (including results from Summer Trials at Toussaint Farms) with Steve Groff, a phosphorous study with Karl Czymmek, and how to gain and retain rented farmland with Jessica Ziehm. To register for the workshop, send the registration form to Orleans County SWCD with checks payable to Western New York Soil Health Alliance. You may also register by emailing your name and number of attendees to wnysoilhealth@gmail.com.
The 2018 New York State Maple Producers Winter 
Evening of January 5 & all day January 6. Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School, 5275 NY-31, Verona, NY 13478
The 2018 New York State Maple Conference Friday evening program will feature two great options starting at 5:30. Right after these two concurrent sessions the VVS FFA will host the sixth annual maple conference auction.  This auction gets bigger and better each year, come prepared to buy and sell. This year's Maple Conference will be held in the same great location, the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School in Verona, New York on Friday evening January 5th and all day Saturday, January 6th. Opportunities include having access to the large trade show with many exhibitors displaying plenty of specialized equipment for meeting maple producer needs. Again the 2018 Maple Conference will feature over 40 educational sessions on a vast variety of topics including sessions on all aspects of producing and marketing maple syrup and maple products. The conference is open to the general public, as well as maple producers, and is geared to all levels of sugar makers. Saturday's trade show opens at 8:00 AM with workshops starting at 9:00AM.  With over 40 workshops available, you will have some hard decisions to make. For additional information contact V.V.S. FFA advisor Keith Schiebel at  kschiebel@vvsschools.org.
Farm Business Planning Course

January 9 - March 6. 
Just Be Cause Center, 1013 W State St, Ithaca, NY 14850
Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming is hosting its fifth annual Farm Business Planning Course! In this 9-week course you will learn to set goals, develop market strategies, and assess the feasibility of your business. This course also covers topics of equity and justice in the food system. The Farm Business Planning Course will be be held from Jan. 9 - March 6, 2018. For more information, and to register, please visit Groundswell's  website.
4 th Annual Hudson Valley Value-Added Grain School
February 9, 8:30am-3:30pm. 
Pegasus Restaurant, 10885 Rte 9W, Coxsackie, NY
This year's Grain School focuses on supplying local grains to local artisan bakers. It will be a great opportunity for anyone interested in the grains industry to learn and network. Grain School begins with registration and the Trade Show (open throughout the day) followed by a full day of talks, and includes an outstanding lunch by Pegasus Restaurant. Our three main speakers this year have been part of the local grain economies in Quebec, Vermont, and New York and have years of experience in producing, milling, and baking with local grains, as well as with small-scale grain machinery. They will address these topics as well as what it takes to build a local grain economy.  Click here for a printable agenda/registration form  or register online now. Learn more about the event here.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
The Farmer's Edge - an Online Business Class to Help Farmers Achieve Financial Sustainability

Starting this January, Julia Shanks, the author of "The Farmer's Office", will be offering new sessions of The Farmer's Edge . This online course and consulting collective provides you with the tools, resources, and support needed to cultivate financially sustainable business. Having worked with dozens of New England farmers, Shanks understands your specific business needs and what it takes to be profitable. This "consulting collective" combines the benefits of a business workshop and one-on-one technical assistance, with the added value of peer-learning. Group sessions begin January 9, 2018 and meet on-line for 2 hours every other week. The first hour is devoted to a specific business topic, such as QuickBooks or Cash Flow Budgeting. The remaining portion of each class is an open discussion for participants to ask specific questions about their businesses.  Register before December 15th and take $100 off if you sign up today using code the code TFEearly. Space is limited, so sign up today ! Feel free to email Julia at socialchef@msn.com with questions.
Program Manager for Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program in Buffalo, NY
Journey's End Refugee Services seeks a full time Program Manager for a refugee agriculture education program in the city of Buffalo.  Main responsibilities include facilitation of an 8-week workshop series, management of an urban training farm, collaboration with program partners, and grant implementation and reporting. Interested applicants should have a degree or extensive experience in an agriculture-related field, as well as two years program management experience.  A complete job description can be found here. To apply, s end resume, cover letter, and three references to  jobs@jersbuffalo.org.
Dairy Farm Rental Opportunity

Owner planning to retire in spring of 2018:  I am looking for a motivated individual to lease my rotational grazing farm in Moravia. The farm consists of 83 acres of cropland and pasture with high tensile fencing and water in every paddock. There is additional land and feed available nearby. The large tie stall barn with a capacity of 130 head has many recent updates with cattle and machinery also available. 
Contact Don at  315-497-2292  or  dfjjar@yahoo.com
NOFA-NY Certified Organic is Hiring a Full-time Certification Specialist

NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC is a non-profit, USDA-accredited organic certification agency, whose primary purpose is to provide high integrity organic certification to over 1,000 organic farmers and processors throughout New York State and surrounding areas. NOFA-NY Certified Organic, LLC is hiring a full-time  Certification Specialist. Training provided along with the ability for a flexible work location at home or at NOFA-NY Binghamton, NY office. A candidate who can regularly visit the Binghamton, NY office is preferred, though flexibility in location is possible. This position will take approximately one year to master - serious applicants only. Interested and qualified candidates are invited to email a resume and letter of interest to  Lori@nofany.org. See the full job description  here.
Project Technicians for the 
Eastern New York Commercial Horticulture Program 

The Eastern NY Commercial Horticulture program ( ENYCH) is looking for 2 full time field research technicians. One of them would be located in the greater Albany region, the other in the Champlain Valley region. Both technicians would be working in specialty crops including tree fruit, grapes, vegetables and berries.  Under the direction of regional fruit specialists (Extension Associates), the Project Field Technician in the NY Capital District Region and the 
Project Field Technician in the NY Lake Champlain Valley Region  will each provide technical and program support in carrying out research and outreach that will ultimately enhance the profitability and sustainability of the tree fruit, small fruit, grape and vegetable industry served by the ENYCH. Interested and qualified applicants can apply here for the Capital District position and here for the Lake Champlain Valley Region.
Main Street Farms Looking For CSA Marketing Assistant
Main Street Farms is a diversified organic vegetable farm located in Cortland, NY serving a CSA, farmers market, and wholesale customers. As a rapidly expanding business, we are looking for a creative, sales minded, and motivated individual to help us market our CSA to a wider audience. Our goal is to increase from 250 members to 350+ members in 2018.  The sales manager will work in our office on the farm 2 days per week and can do a third day of work remotely. The CSA manager must be skilled in photography, social media advertising, copywriting, storytelling, and graphic design. We're looking for somebody who is passionate about cooking and farming and has a keen sense of how to inspire people to eat local, organic food. We are looking for a highly organized individual who can work independently and is a strong self-motivator. View the full job description here, and apply by March 1, 2018 by sending your resume, cover letter, and example of your work to help@mainstreetfarms.com.
Main Street Farms Field Manager Position
Main Street Farms is a diversified organic vegetable farm located in Cortland, NY serving a CSA, farmers market, and wholesale customers. We have 30 acres in vegetables, 20 acres in cover crops and plenty of land to keep expanding on. As a rapidly expanding business we are looking for a motivated individual to help us manage our fields as we scale up to reach these goals. We are looking for a dedicated individual with a commercial farming background. Top candidates will bring new skills and knowledge in sustainable vegetable production and a strong motivation to enhance our practices and refine our systems to become more streamlined and efficient. Candidates with previous field management experience on large, diversified, organic, vegetable farms will be best suited to the position. Apply by January 5, 2018 by sending your resume and cover letter to  help@mainstreetfarms.com.
Applications Sought for Northeast SARE Leadership Committees 
The Northeast region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is currently seeking individuals to serve on its leadership committees. Northeast SARE is inviting applications to serve on the program's Administrative Council and Technical Committee. The Administrative Council (AC) is Northeast SARE's 20-member leadership committee. The primary function for the AC is the review and evaluation of grant proposals. AC members also provide input and advice to guide program and policy development. Currently, Northeast SARE is seeking a farmer representative to serve on the AC. Interested candidates for the AC should submit an application that includes: 1) a cover letter that describes why they wish to serve and what they would bring to the Northeast SARE program, 2) a brief resume or a few paragraphs describing their relevant background and experience, and 3) a profile of the farm they operate. Send applications to  northeastsare@uvm.edu by no later than  January 15, 2018. The candidate selected would start at the summer AC meeting in July 2018.
Northeast SARE is also seeking members for its Technical Committee (TC). The primary function of the TC is the review of proposals for the program's six grants programs. Currently, Northeast SARE is seeking representatives with a wide range of sustainable agriculture experience. Farmers, Extension educators, nonprofit staff, federal and state employees, and other service providers who regularly work in the farm and food system communities throughout the Northeast are encouraged to apply. Candidates interested in the TC should submit a description of their agriculturally-relevant experience, specific subject matter expertise, and their full contact information to  northeastsare@uvm.edu. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.
ARE YOU HIRING? If you have a job opportunity that you would like to submit to the Small Farms Bi-Monthly Update, please write a detailed 125 word description and submit it here !
Funding Opportunities
FruitGuys Community Fund
The FruitGuys Community Fund provides grants up to $5,000 to small farms and agricultural nonprofits for sustainability projects that have large positive impacts on the environment, local food systems, and farm diversity. Projects should help farms and/or orchards operate more sustainably, both environmentally and economically, as well as strengthen community outreach. There is a preference for farms located within 250 miles of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Dallas, Boston, Baltimore, New York, or Atlanta. A letter of intent to apply is due January 8, 2018. Apply here.
Baskets to Pallets Training: Scholarships for Veterans
The Cornell Small Farms Program is currently offering scholarships to veterans and active duty military personnel in New York to attend the "Baskets to Pallets: Preparing Small and Mid-Size Farmers to Enter Food Hubs, Cooperatives, Restaurants and Groceries" training on January 29th and 30th. The scholarship will cover up to $100 in hotel, mileage and registration fees. Contact Kat McCarthy at  kmm485@cornell.edu for information on the scholarships.  
Methyl Bromide Transition Program

The methyl bromide transition program (MBT) addresses the immediate needs and the costs of transition that have resulted from the scheduled phase-out of the pesticide methyl bromide. Methyl bromide has been a pest and disease control tactic critical to pest management systems for decades for soilborne and postharvest pests. The program focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Projects should cover a broad range of new methodologies, technologies, systems, and strategies for controlling economically important pests for which methyl bromide has been the only effective pest control option. Research projects must address commodities with critical issues and include a focused economic analysis of the cost of implementing the transition on a commercial scale. Apply for the grant here, or view the RFA for more information. Applications are due January 30, 2018.
Latest Resources
lamb livestock animal
ATTRA Publication Covers Questions About Sheep And Goats
ATTRA's recently released publication,  " Sheep and Goats: Frequently Asked Questions , " offers concise answers to many common questions about raising sheep and goats. Download the publication for free hereFor more in-depth information on any questions, check out the Small Ruminant Toolbox, which includes many publications, presentations, and other resources that will be helpful to small ruminant producers.
Farmer Field Day Toolkit
SARE's new, free  Farmer Field Day Toolkit  is a comprehensive digital resource of step-by-step instructions, timelines, and downloadable tools and templates for planning and hosting a successful field day event. Plus, users will learn the ins and outs of working with the media, creating press releases and PSAs, generating public interest, capturing the event with video and sharing it online. This  toolkit  offers ideal support to farmers and ranchers who have received a SARE grant and are interested in holding a field day to fulfill their outreach requirement. But our  toolkit  can be used by anybody interested in hosting a field day, so download it now and start planning an event of your own.
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 resources available in the " Plan Your Farm" section of our 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.