:   Cornell
Website   I   Online Courses   I   Plan Your Farm   I  Projects    I    Resources   I   About   |   Contact
December 1st, 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
apple, produce

Starting a Farm? Diversifying? Get Help from an Online Course!
The  Cornell Small Farms Program  offers over 20 courses to help farmers improve their technical and business skills. Students connect with other farmers, work on farm plans, and gain practical tips without leaving their home. Course content can be accessed anywhere with a high-speed internet connection. Classes starting the week of January 15 include Climate Smart Farming, Holistic Financial Planning, Tree Fruit Production, and more! Most courses are six weeks long. Each week features an evening webinar and follow-up readings, videos, and activities. Students and their instructors connect through online forums and live chat.  Learn more and register for the upcoming round of online courses here .
Baskets to Pallets Training Offered in Northern NY on January 29th and 30th
Are you looking to diversify sales beyond the farmers market, CSA and farm stand?    Food hubs, grocery stores, restaurants and cooperatives are looking for your products to meet growing consumer demand for local and sustainably-grown food.  Yet, doing successful business with wholesale buyers requires planning and preparation.  Ensure your success by joining us for 'Baskets to Pallets', a comprehensive two day introduction to selling wholesale.  The course will take place on Monday, January 29th and Tuesday, January 30th from 10:00am - 4:00pm at Tug Hill Vineyards in Lowville, NY. Registration will open December 7th. Contact Violet Stone at 607-255-9227 or  vws7@cornell.edu  or Cathy Moore at 315-788-8450 or  cmm17@cornell.edu .
Gift Card Winner!
Congratulations to Kathy Burmaster of Irving, NY. Kathy is an alumnus of our  BF 120 and 121: Vegetable Production I & II online courses. She responded to our Progress Tracking survey for 2016-2017 online course students, and was selected at random as the winner of a gift card to the ag supplier of her choice.
Results and Recommendations From the 2017 National Young Farmer Survey

According to the 2017 National Young Farmer Survey, America's new generation of young farmers expect to overcome major barriers to their success in agriculture, including access to land, affordable health care, and mounting student loan debt; but success will require deliberate policy change at all levels of government.  The survey, conducted with 94 partner organizations, collected data from 3,517 current, former, and aspiring U.S. farmers under 40 years of age. The top challenge cited by young farmers is land access, particularly finding and affording land on a farm income. It is also the main reason why farmers quit farming and why aspiring farmers haven't yet started. Read the full report of survey results here.
Soil Properties and Soil Health
December 5, 6-8pm. 
Frank W. Bratt Agricultural Center, 3542 Turner Road, Jamestown, NY

In this workshop, participants will have the opportunity to learn how to inventory the soils on their property, use a soil survey to determine the suitability of their soils for various cropping programs, and how to use crop rotations, cover crops, and the application of organic materials to build a healthy soil. Participants will receive a copy of the Chautauqua County Soil Survey. Leading this workshop will be Robert (Rob) Halbohm, who is currently the Water Quality Technician with the Chautauqua County Soil & Water Conservation District. Cost to attend is $5/family, payable by cash or check that evening. This L.E.A.F. Workshop Series is open to the general public, including homesteaders, beginning farmers, established farmers looking to diversify and grow, agriculture enthusiasts, and everyone in between! This workshop will be 2 hours long and light refreshments will be offered. The L.E.A.F. workshops are designed to be interactive, so participants are encouraged to bring their questions and ideas to this collaborative environment! Pre-registration is required prior to the workshop to allow for adequate time to prepare printed resources and materials. Interested participants can register online here, or register by emailing  kaw249@cornell.edu or by calling ( 716) 664-9502 ext. 202.
Exploring our Roots: Food Justice History, Understanding and Action
December 9, 10am-3:30pm. Groundswell Office, 225 S Fulton St, Ithaca NY
Looking to deepen your understanding of food justice and your own role in creating a just local food system? Attend this one day participatory workshop with Laura Arias from the Youth Farm Project and Kate Cardona from Groundswell Center!
We will explore:
  • The meanings of food justice and food sovereignty
  • The historical roots of racism and oppression in the U.S. food system
  • Food system issues such as land access, workers' rights, food access and corporate control
  • Our own roles in both upholding and undoing oppression in the food system
  • Resistance projects nationally and locally that address food injustice and ways to plug in
  • Strategies for collective healing and more
During our time together, we will do activities involving movement, theater, art, and small group discussion! We hope that you join us as your effort to understand this challenging topic will allow you to better serve everyone in your community. Space is limited - register here.
High Tunnel Winter Greens Productions Class
December 14, 3pm-4:30pm. 
Ag & Business Center, 36 Center Street, Warsaw, NY 14569

Come learn the basics of how high tunnels work to help grow crops throughout the year.  We will focus on crops grown in the tunnels during the colder months. Whether you want to get an early start in thespring, grow later into the fall, or even keep cold hardy plants alive throughout the winter, this session will have information you need. We will meet inside the building and then take a short walk out to the on-site high tunnel. The session will be primarily outdoors in the high tunnel, so please dress for the weather. If you arrive late and would like to catch up with the group, the high tunnel is south of the building perpendicular to the large white barn. Cost $5.00 if enrolled in Wyoming County Cornell Cooperative Extension or $10.00 if you are not. Please Contact Don Gasiewicz 585-786-2251 ext. 113 or drg35@cornell.edu for more information. Contact Lisa Aures 585-786-2251 or lma96@cornell.edu to register.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Crop Production Specialist/Equipment Mechanic
This is a one year traineeship, approved by the Division of Veterans  Affairs to provide formal on the job training for Veterans seeking  to pursue agricultural careers. This program allows veterans who are eligible for GI Bill benefits, to access their GI Bill On the Job Training (OJT) benefit as they gain the skills needed for agricultural employment. For those Veterans eligible for this benefit under their GI Bill, Reeves Farms will pay them at a rate equal to that of any other Non-Veteran trainees working at the farm. In addition to wages paid by Reeves Farms, upon approval, Veterans Affairs will pay the Veteran a monthly payment under the GI Bill OJT benefit, equal to the applicable Basic Allowance for Housing. Successful completion of the training period will lead into a full-time position with Reeves Farms. Job duties include operating, maintaining, and repairing farm equipment, crop planting, cultivating, and field irrigation. This position also includes training for Class B Commercial Driver License (CDL).  To apply, contact the employer by email at   karin.reeves@reevesfarms.com. For more information about the position, click here.
Norwell Farms - Vegetable Farmer
Norwell Farms is seeking an experienced, organic vegetable farmer who shares our vision to build a small-scale, organic, market garden at Jacobs Farm (~7 acres) in Norwell, MA. The vegetable farmer will have the advantage of starting with an established farm operation and "Norwell Farms" brand, which has become a household name in our surrounding South Shore community. We also have access to a historic barn for storage and distribution and other key farming infrastructure. Proposals/applications are now being accepted. Please send all inquiries to: Norwell Farms, attn: Mari Creatini, email:  mari@norwellfarms.org.
Rock Steady Farm - Head Flower Farmer
Rock Steady Farm is looking to hire a full-time skilled farmer to run our flower operation. The cut flower operation is currently 1.75 acres, mostly annuals with some perennials, biennials, and two 50ft tunnels for season extension. Our flower operation is a high volume production enterprise, and is integrated into our 10+ acre vegetable farm. We are tractor based and think in "whole farm" systems. We anticipate that someone with experience farming veggies or flowers over 5 acres will best fit the pace and systems we have -- although that is not a hard requirement.  The head flower farmer will manage all operations of the flower farm, from the seeding schedule to harvest and post-harvest handling, and overseeing sales. This person will be taking over an existing operation, so there is a good deal of structure in place to help with the transition. That said, there is also room for flexibility and new ideas, especially from candidates who join us with a lot of experience. To apply please send your resume, cover letter, and three references to Angela DeFelice at Flowers@RockSteadyFarm.com. Interviews will be held in December and January. The most up to date job description can be found on our website.
Rock Steady Farm - Vegetable and Flower Field Crew Positions
Rock Steady Farm is looking to two hire full-time vegetable and one full-time flower field crew positions for 2018. Field Crew will assist in all operations on the farm from greenhouse propagation, cultivation, harvest and post-harvest, weeding, irrigation, markets, and everything in between. We are looking for passionate and hard working people to join our field crew team that both understand our vision for a co-op farm, with a social justice mission, as well as an outstanding work ethic and dedication to some of the most physically demanding work out there!  To apply for the veggie or flower crew positions, please send your resume, cover letter, preference for flowers or veggie position, and three references to  Veggies@rocksteadyfarm.com. Visit Rock Steady Farm's website for more information.
Amir Farms - Farm Manager
The Amir Farms, located at summer camps across the country, are the flagships of our summer programming. These sites feature elaborate crop plans, farm animals, and a team of Amir Farmers to build a unique educational space. Farm Managers are the connective tissue between Amir's program staff and their Farm sites, and valued leaders at camp. Farm Managers are given the freedom required to ensure our youth participants, young adult Farmers, and senior camp staff all have opportunities to express their needs and have them met. Farm Managers are responsible for leading a team of 2 - 3 Farmers, creating program schedules and work assignments, reporting progress to central Amir staff, and ensuring all local camp protocol is being followed through the care of the Farm. Most importantly, Farm Managers work with camp leadership to create and execute upon a vision for the Farm and its relationship to the camp community. Farm Managers draw from significant agricultural and educational experience. The ability to communicate, work well with, and manage a team is essential. Apply here. For more information about the position, please email recruiting@amirfarms.org.
Amir Farms - Farmer
Amir Farmers are a diverse group of passionate leaders who work to cultivate today's youth to change tomorrow. Serving as garden-educators during the summer, they are at the center of the Amir program, building productive gardens and farms with campers, and using the garden space to teach about issues of environmental and social justice.  Amir is seeking applicants that will be directly responsible for implementing its program at one of the organization's partner camps. Amir Farmers will be trained and build bonds with staff working at these camps across the US and Canada at the annual training seminar in late May. At this training, Farmers will learn all aspects of building a community garden, as well as how to use Amir's Garden Manual & Curriculum to run programming for campers of all ages. Throughout the summer, Amir Farmers will be full staff members at their camp in addition to their garden responsibilities.  Apply here. For more information, visit Amir Project's website, or email recruiting@amirfarms.org. 
Farms and Ranches Hiring Now in Montana
The 2018 farm and ranch season will be here before you know it! Get your hands dirty learning the ins-and-outs of farming or ranching amid the rugged, breathtakingly beautiful wilderness of Montana!  Farm Link Montana   is a free, searchable database of current listings for jobs, internships, and land opportunities in Montana. It features a searchable map of farms and ranches across the state hiring for the upcoming season. Learn about each operation and  complete one application to apply for all of the jobs that interest you.  Opportunities range from organic veggies, wheat, and pulses to hops to dairy and more.  Now is the time to apply!  Farmers and ranchers are already hiring for the upcoming season and many will try to have all positions filled within the next month or so.  For more information and to apply now, visit  Farm Link Montana  or contact Dave Renn at  dave@farmlinkmontana.org .
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
Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP)  
NIFA requests applications for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) for fiscal year 2018 to support the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical assistance programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories with entering, establishing, building and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises. The anticipated amount available for grants in FY 2018 is approximately $17.7 million. A webinar will be held Wednesday, December 19, 2017 at 1-3pm EST. Click here to join the webinar. Check out the RFA for detailed grant information, and click here to apply. Closing date for applications is February 8, 2018.
Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program

NIFA requests applications for the  Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program  for fiscal year 2017 to provide grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. With targeted outreach and key strategic partnerships, existing and pilot programs can assist veterans in securing meaningful employment opportunities that strengthen rural economies across America.  The anticipated amount available for grants in FY17 is approximately $4,797,500.  Letters of Intent must be received by 5pm ET on January 11, 2018. Applications must be received by 5pm ET on February 8, 2018. View the RFA  here, and apply for the grant here .
Latest Resources
Local Foods, Local Places Toolkit: A Guide to Help Communities Revitalize Using Local Food Systems

The  Local Foods, Local Places Toolkit is meant to help communities interested in undertaking a process to develop their own plans for setting and achieving local food and revitalization goals. The toolkit was developed over the course of delivering the Local Foods, Local Places technical assistance and compiles best practices and lessons learned from the program. A facilitator, either from the community or hired from outside, could use this toolkit to help a community articulate its goals, engage stakeholders, and prioritize achievable actions to make progress.  The toolkit provides step-by-step instruction for planning and hosting a community workshop that produces an action plan laying out next steps for implementation. It also suggests some approaches, useful tips, and lessons in maintaining momentum.
ATTRA Grazing Planning Manual and Workbook
Find all the resources you need to write your own grazing plan, monitor its efficacy, and adjust your management throughout the grazing season in the new ATTRA publication,  "Grazing Planning Manual and Workbook." The manual includes a discussion of grazing principles and how to conduct a resource assessment, followed by a step-by-step process for writing a grazing plan. The manual also explains developing a simple pasture-monitoring system and provides further resources to assist you with planning, charting, and recording grazing throughout the season. Download the publication for free here.
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.