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July 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 Farms Program
Small Farms Program Highlights

Summer Webinar Series: Is Your Farm Business Structured for Success?
Do you provide support to beginning farmers? This Summer webinar series is for you! This summer, one Wednesday per month, the Cornell Small Farms Program will facilitate a lunchtime webinar featuring small farm specialists. For the next webinar, p lease join Marilyn Anthony  on July 19th, 12-1pm to learn about about when and how businesses should scale up. Register here More details on the webinar and webinar series can be found  here .
Reducing Tillage With Cover Crops?
How can reduced tillage practices help vegetable growers build soil health, control weeds, and boost productivity? The Cornell Small Farms Program continues its research at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, NY, to see how different tools and techniques can benefit organic growers at all scales. Interested in reduced tillage and cover cropping? Read more about the research in an article recently published in the Summer 2017 Quarterly.

Take This Quick Survey to Help Identify Where Farmers Need Marketing Assistance 
A new study funded by the USDA, and led by several universities in the Northeast, seeks your input on the opportunities and risks of four main marketing opportunities for farmers, which includes direct-to-consumer, direct-to-institution, direct-to-retail, and selling to intermediaries (such as distributors, wholesalers, or food hubs) who in turn sell the products as local or regional food.  The survey is intended to help identify technical assistance and information needs to help farmers scale up for marketing to intermediaries. A national outreach and technical assistance program, conducted by NCAT's ATTRA Program (National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service) will be developed based on the results.  The 10-15 minute survey asks questions about you/your organization and the farmers and ranchers you serve, their marketing practices, and your technical assistance and information capacity and needs.
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture Seeks Partners for SARE National 
Coordinating Office and Regional Hosts
Are you part of a land grant college, university, state agricultural experiment station, state cooperative extension service, or nonprofit organization? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced a new competitive opportunity for such institutions to serve as the National Reporting, Coordination and Communications Office or as one of the four regional Host Institutions for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE). Applications are due by September 28, 2017.  See the request for applications for details.
Weed Identification and Management Workshop
Struggling with weeds? Want to know more about the weeds on your landscapes? Join Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chemung County to learn identification strategies and management tactics to help control weeds. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, from 6:30-7:30 PM at the Steele Memorial Library (IT room), 101 E Church Street, Elmira, NY. Registration is required. Visit here for more information and to register.
Compost with Confidence
Local composting experts in Ithaca, NY provide information and give hands-on demonstrations to help you set up and manage a compost system in any setting! Each class of this FREE series covers composting basics, and a different focal topic is addressed each month (see schedule) to help you address any compost issue you may encounter. The series begins on Saturday, July 29, 2017 from 12:30-1:30pm with more dates through October 21st, at Ithaca Community Gardens Carpenter Circle on 3rd Street near Ithaca Farmers' Market, Ithaca NY. Stop by for one or all classes, and bring your composting questions! To sign up in advance, email Adam Michaelides,  acm1@cornell.edu  or call (607) 272-2292.
Presenting First Northern NY and State Bee Health Research
The results of the first-ever survey of bee colony health in Northern New York will be presented along with an assessment of the impact of parasites, pathogens and pesticides on bee colonies statewide. Cornell University Honey Bee Extension Associate Emma Mullen will talk about the factors that stress bee colonies and can reduce honey production, and will also present information on the levels of mites and viruses in colonies locally and statewide, and suggest ways beekeepers can keep their bees healthy. The presentation will be held at at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Lewis County office in Lowville on  Tuesday, August 1, 2017  from  6-8 pm . Cost is $5 per person. Pre-registration is requested by  July 27, 2017  at  315-376-5270  or  here
Announcing The Grassfed Exchange Earlybird Registration!
Mark your calendar--Early bird registration now open! The 2017 Grassfed Exchange, set to be held September 27-29 at Albany, New York's award winning  Desmond Hotel , promises to be an experience you won't want to miss. This year's event will feature a lineup of renowned  keynote speakers , live cooking demonstrations, interactive farm tours, two full days of seminars with exhibitors, and outdoor livestock display pens. Come network and learn from some of the industry's most innovative producers, thought leaders, top chefs, and bloggers that have their finger on the pulse of what is driving the fastest growing segment in the beef industry. Registration and more information about all the speakers is now available here.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Codman Community Farms Assistant Farm Manager in Lincoln, MA
Codman Community Farms is seeking an Assistant Farm Manager to support all aspects of operating a community farm. The  farm focuses on pasture-raised livestock with a small fruit and vegetable component. This is a full-time, year-round position with housing and benefits. The ideal candidate will possess a commitment and passion for growing sustainable food, while engaging the public. This position is more than a job, it is a lifestyle.  Living and working on the farm, in public view and positively engaging the community on a daily basis is an essential part of the position. A naturally outgoing attitude is needed along with a focus for the daily work required to operate a diverse livestock-centered farm operation. Start date is  immediate, July  2017. For information on how to apply, email pete@codmanfarm.org.
Research Support Specialist in Ithaca, NY and New York State
Research Support Specialist job opening to work on a new NYS Ag & Markets-funded "Soil Health Initiative." The position will involve a range of activities, from research on economic and environmental costs and benefits of adoption of soil health practices, to help with project coordination, developing educational materials, trainings, and field soil sampling with collaborating farmers. The specific balance of duties will depend on project needs and the strengths of the candidate selected. Details can be found here. This is an 8 month term appointment (August 1, 2017-March 31, 2018), with possibility of extension dependent on performance and funding.
Land Access for Shepherd in Westtown, NY
Hop Shepherd LLC operates a hop yard on 23 acres in Westtown, NY and is looking for a sheep grazer in need of grazing land access. The property currently has 13 acres in pasture surrounding a 1.5 acre hop yard. Hop Shepherd LLC would like to run sheep through the hop yard during specific periods of the growing season for vegetation control and would offer pasture access throughout the year in exchange for this timed grazing. The land has a stream, pond, and 10 acre wood lot that can be utilized. No fencing or shelter currently on site. Need is immediate. If interested, contact Joe at hopshepherd@gmail.com or 914-391-6395.
Farm Investor Seeks Farmer
landscape_forest_tree.jpg Farm Investor seeks motivated and qualified young/experienced farmer for the coming season. The investor is actively seeking to purchase larger tracts of land, organic preferred, to grow vegetables, fruit trees, poultry and a small cattle, and will be working on marketing. The investor wants to install greenhouses such that fall/winter season will be available, and is specifically seeking properties in upstate New York, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Please apply via email at Gruskay.Connectivity@gmail.com.
Funding Opportunities
Small Business Innovation Research Funding
Are you part of a small agricultural business interested in research and development? The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced available funding to test the next generation of small business innovations in agricultural sciences. Funding is available to encourage domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth research and development that has the potential for commercialization and could lead to significant public benefit. The application deadline is Oct. 5, 2017. See the request for applications for details.
Latest Resources
Extended Strawberry Season?
University of New Hampshire researchers have announced success in quadrupling the length of their strawberry growing season as part of a multi-year research project that aims to benefit both growers and consumers.  New Hampshire's strawberry season traditionally lasts only four to six weeks. However, researchers working on the multi-state TunnelBerries  project were picking day-neutral strawberries in Durham last November.  Last year, experiment station researchers harvested strawberries grown in low tunnels for 19 consecutive weeks from mid-July through the week of Thanksgiving. They also found that the low tunnels significantly increased the percentage of marketable fruit, from an average of about 70 percent to 83 percent. Read more here.
SARE's "How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch" Now Available
Crop and livestock producers, as well as agriculture educators, can benefit from knowing practical strategies about how to go about research. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education's (SARE) handbook on "How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch"  also includes a comprehensive list of in-depth resources and real-life examples, such as a Missouri crop and livestock farmer testing the effect of additional cover cropping on forage available to his animals. This guidebook will help to stimulate on-farm research ideas and provide guidance. Download it 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.