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.
Director, Cornell Small Farms Program
|Small Farms Program Highlights
Welcome Beginning Farmer Coordinator Nicole Waters
Nicole will be coordinating our "Labor Ready Farmer" project and supporting veterans in agriculture. A diverse background of experiences enhance her work coordinating efforts to support farm employees and beginning farmers. She has a degree in enology and a six-year career as an assistant winemaker in the Finger Lakes region. She has spent the last six years coordinating grant funded projects and supporting international students seeking graduate degrees.
Nicole's free time is spent with her son, Sawyer, who shares a passion for canoeing, camping and hiking NYS forests.
Welcome Communications Specialist Kacey Deamer
As the Small Farms Program's first dedicated communications specialist, Kacey will work to build a storytelling and outreach strategy across the website, social media, this newsletter, and more. Kacey has worked in communications and journalism for a decade, with specialties in science and sustainability. An Upstate New York native, Kacey received her undergraduate degrees in Journalism and Environmental Studies from Ithaca College. She is excited to return to the community she has always called home, and hopes to start a small farm of her own.
Survey Regarding Tree Nut Production in NYS
Temperate tree nuts, (walnuts, chestnuts, hazelnuts, etc.) have sustained life in the Northeast for millenia. They are some of the most calorie and nutrient dense foods available and daily consumption of tree nuts has been shown to reduce all-cause mortality from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. As potential perennial crops, they can bring economic value to marginal lands while sequestering CO2, enhancing soil health, and supporting ecosystem services. Despite insufficient research and development, a group of NYS growers are forming a producers cooperative to grow and industry based on hybrid chestnut and hazelnut cultivars. Are you a NYS agricultural producer or CCE Educator? Please contribute to Cornell PhD research on this topic with this brief anonymous survey regarding your current knowledge and perceptions of tree nut production in NYS.
NYS Tax Credit for Food Pantry Donations
Each year, Greenmarket farmers generously donate about 1,000,000 pounds of fresh produce to New York City food pantries as part of their Fresh Pantry Project. Now,
New York State farmers can receive up to $5,000 in a refundable tax credit for helping to feed those in need
. To learn more about the tax credit click
To find the food pantry that collects at your Greenmarket, visit the
Fresh Pantry Project webpage.
And if you want help coordinating with a pantry, or you know a pantry that does not yet participate, please contact
or (212) 788-7900 x237.
HAACP and SQF Courses Available
Three two-day courses are available in August instructed by Merieux Nutrisciences and Cornell Dairy Foods Extension. The Accredited Basic HAACP Training Course is August 23-24, the Impementing SQF Systems course is August 27-28, and the SQF Quality Systems for Manufacturing course is August 29-30.
Registration is $750 and includes all training materials and lunches.
This course partnered with Implementing SQF Systems is $1400. All three courses (HACCP, Implementing SQF Systems, and SQF Quality Systems) is $2000. Register here; classes fill at 40 registrants and students accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Increased Funding for Research on Pollinators
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently announced 14 grants totaling approximately $10 million for research to help sustain healthy populations of pollinators, which are crucial to the nation's food security and environmental health. The funding is made possible through NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. Universities around the country will be conducting the research. From these studies, researchers will develop seed zone guidelines to better predict the fitness and health of both plants and pollinators, thereby ensuring better success in sustaining diverse populations of pollinators. More information regarding the universities and grants can be found here.
Introduction to Agritainment Law
July 19, 1:00- 2:30pm.
Farm-based entertainment-agritainment-can diversify and add revenue to your farm business. But whether you host U-Pick crops, fall festivals, farm dinners, weddings, or other on-site events, bringing the public onto your farm also brings risk.
Marlene van Es
to learn about the factors you should consider for hosting an agritainment venture on your farm, including knowing your legal responsibilities, analyzing potential risks to your farm business, and understanding steps you can take to protect your business from liability concerns.
This webinar will help you explore how you can make agritainment a safe and profitable endeavor.
Non-members $15. Register here.
"Soil Health and Your Land"
July 25, 3:00- 8:00pm. CCE-Allegany, 5435A County Road 48, Belmont, NY 14813
Everyone is talking about soil health. "Soil Health and Your Land", a primer for women farmland owners, will be the topic of discussion at a Great Lakes Conservation Connect Learning Circle. This event will engage women landowners in informal discussion of soil health with local resource people at Cornell Cooperative Extension - Allegany County,
5435A County Rd 48, Belmont, NY 14813
. Plan to attend from
3:00 pm to 8:00 pm
on Wednesday, July 25
for discussion and a tour to see progressive conservation practices, including award-winning streambank protection practices. Space is limited so please register in advance at
or by calling 585-268-7644, Ext. 18.
Spotted Lanternfly Impact on Craft Beverage Industry
August 7-9, 9:00am - 12:00pm. Craft Beverage Center, Lots 1001 and 1002
How invasive species are impacting grape and hops production and the craft beverage industry will be featured in a new daily program at the
Craft Beverage Center at the August 7-9, 2018 Empire Farm Days at Rodman Lott and Son Farms in Seneca Falls, NY.
The presentation by Patty Wakefield Brown of the Finger Lakes Institute at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY, and the Finger Lakes PRISM: Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management, will include a discussion of how to identify and report Spotted Lanternfly.
Cornell Viticulture and Enology Extension specialists will be available for question and answers daily at the
2018 Empire Farm Days at the Craft Beverage Center at Lots 1001 and 1002 from 9 am to 12 pm.
Their focus on
Tuesday, August 7
will be on wine; on
Wednesday, August 8
on cider; and on
Thursday, August 9
on distilled spirits.
Soil Compaction Field Day
August 15, 10:00 am- 12:00pm.
2221 Greens Crossing Rd, Sauquoit, NY 13456.
The day will include discussion on sources of compaction and methods of reducing or eliminating compaction. Amy Langner NRCS will show maps of compaction developed from ground penetrating radar from local fields using different growing practices. Local growers will also explain use of different technologies like no-till & strip till.
Please RSVP by August 10th 315-736-3394 ext 120.
|MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Taking the Gamble Out of Grazing
The Seventh Annual National Grazing Lands Conference will take place December 2-5, 2018 in Reno, Nevada. The conference is target at ranchers; farmers; consumers; federal, state and local land managers and policy makers; representatives of seed, animal, and other related companies; public officials; academia and students; and anyone interested in proper grazing land management and its benefits. Learn how sound, scientific technical assistance can help you improve your management systems and how you can increase public awareness of the economic and environmental benefits of grazing. Details and registration can be found here.
4H Urban Outreach Educator
posting will remain open until there is a suitable candidate pool. Deliver a community-based 4-H youth development program which focuses on safe, educational, and fun activities
within an after-school setting. Manage/facilitate the delivery of youth services that address locally developed priorities. 4-H activities include homework and literacy tutoring, Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM) recreation and life skills, arts and crafts, multicultural education, and community service projects, among many others. Responsible for providing input to program planning and d
evelopment and for implementing innovative approaches to reach youth and families and to build community-wide support for children, youth and families. Provide supervision to college students, and interns, and guide volunteers and parents to implement a wide range of hands-on learning activities for youth. Provide youth with programming after school and will include some night and
weekend programming. Planning and office hours are flexible. Read the Position Announcement for more information.
For a full position description and link to apply visit:
. Questions about this position before applying should be directed to Megan Tifft, 4-H and Community Development Association Issue Leader. This position is part-time (20 hours/week), benefits eligible, including medical, dental, paid time off, and retirement.
Beef Quality Assurance Program Training
Cornell Cooperative Extension will be offering an opportunity to become Beef Quality Assurance BQA certified. A BQA certification is good for three years and this event also works for re-certification. BQA training helps to ensure consumer confidence in the beef industry and can provide the producer with additional management skills that can contribute to a consistent, high quality end product. This training will consist of a classroom portion, discussion and will be followed by a chute side training exercise where participants will learn proper injection techniques. The BQA training in Oneida County will take place Friday, August 17th from 5 to 9pm. Hosted by Bob Curtin/Curtin Dairy 1108 State Rt. 8, Cassville, NY 13318.
Registration is required by Monday, August 13th. Please contact Marylynn Collins at 315-736-3394 ext. 132 for all the details.
Becoming BQA certified is also a requirement for becoming NY State Grown and Certified and gives you an opportunity to apply for grant funding of up to $50,000. Applicants are required to contribute 10 percent of the total project cost in the form of cash equity. Please call CCE Oneida County at 315-736-3394 ext. 124 to request an application.
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
Wholesale Opportunities Grant Deadline Extension for NYS Farmers
Tremendous growth in consumer demand for local food has driven wholesale buyers to seek
significant increases in
local food procurement from New York State farmers. This grant will
provide free consultation on profitability analysis for wholesale products as well as assistance connecting interested growers with wholesale buyers in the Northeast region. Please take a moment to fill out an
to participate in the grant,
Scaling Up: Developing New and Additional Wholesale Enterprises with Greenmarket Farmers
This grant is limited to NY State growers, and the application deadline has been extended to
July 31st, 2018. If you have any questions or would like assistance in filling out the application, please call 212.788.7900 ex. 269 or email FARMroots Marketing Specialist,
, for more information.
Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Available in NYS
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced $30 million is available statewide to support conservation easement projects on dairy farms. New York's dairy farmers have been challenged with prolonged low milk prices, increasing the threat of the conversion of viable agricultural land to non-farm development. Funding through the state's Farmland Protection Implementation Grants Program will ensure dairy farms the opportunity to diversify their operations or transition their farm to the next generation at a more affordable cost while ensuring the land forever remains used for agricultural purposes.
Conservation easement projects will be awarded to eligible dairy farms that are:
- Transitioning to the next ownership of a continuing dairy, but whose operation has been modified to ensure greater financial sustainability;
- Continuing dairy, but diversifying the overall farm operation; or
- Converting to a non-dairy farm operation.
All farmland protection project proposals must be submitted electronically through the New York State Grants Gateway. For more information regarding the Grants Gateway, please visit
. Additional information and the RFA can be found on the Department's website at
The application deadline is August 31, 2018.
New Soil Health Tutorial
Soil health is critical to the sustainability and profitability of all farms and ranches. This tutorial
will give producers the tools they need to assess their soil health, understand the principles
behind soil health management, and learn practices they can use to return soils to a healthy state. There are five principles to sustainable soil management that will be discussed throughout these lessons: keeping the soil covered, maintaining living roots, including a diversity of plants, limiting soil disturbance, and including livestock where possible. If farmers are able to model their operations on the soil-forming processes seen in the natural environment, their soils can be regenerated and remain rich, productive, and resilient for generations. This tutorial will give farmers the tools needed to understand how to invest in their soils wisely. Use this link to access the tutorial.
Farm to Institution Wholesale Webinar
Interested in selling to schools, but having a hard time knowing if it's right for your farm from a business perspective? This webinar explores the way the Farm to Institution Growers Workshop provides practical, repeatable tools to analyze new sales channels and determine if wholesaling is the right fit for your business. We'll have a look at the current and potential growth of this market, and how you could fit into it. The webinar includes time to touch on the most common barriers you could face when approaching and selling to schools, and a GAP certification reality check.
Rebecca Frimmer, Jennifer Brodsky, and Elaine Lemmon
of Kitchen Table Consultants. Access the webinar here.
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
. You can also get to know our Cornell Small Farms Program
. Just starting to farm? We have an extensive resources available in the "
Plan Your Farm
" section of our website.
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.