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March 15th, 2018

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
mushrooms, woodlot, agroforestry, tree

Specialty Mushroom Growers: Please Complete Survey on 2017 Harvest
The Cornell Small Farms Program is seeking farmers who have  grown and sold specialty mushrooms commercially during 2017 in the states of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania to respond to a survey about their harvest numbers, sales, and marketing strategies. The goal in collecting this information on an annual basis is to keep a pulse on the state of specialty mushroom cultivation by small farms in the Northeast USA. Eligible farmers are asked to respond by Friday March 23rd. Take the survey here.
Climate Smart Farming Decision Tools
Cornell's Climate Smart Farming Program (CSF) Decision Tools are ready for farmers to start entering data to track the 2018 growing season. Farmers can start entering their farm -specific data into CSF Program's Growing Degree Day Calculator and Water Deficit Calculatorwith the start of  the 2018 season on March 1, 2018. The CSF tools combine weather and climate data with agricultural models, and are updated on a daily basis to create accurate projections, available for any farmer to use for free, by entering their zip code or farm location, anywhere in the Northeastern United States (from West Virginia to Maine). Click here to access more of CSF's online tools.
You Still Have Time to Respond to the 2017 Ag Census!
Farmers and ranchers still have time to be counted in the 2017 Census of Agriculture, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Although the first deadline has just passed, NASS will continue to accept Census information through the spring to get a complete and accurate picture of American agriculture that represents all farmers and ranchers.  Conducted once every five years, the census of agriculture is a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them; it is the only source of uniform, comprehensive, and impartial agriculture data for every state and county in the nation. Farmers and ranchers, trade associations, government, extension educators, researchers, and many others rely on census of agriculture data when making decisions that shape American agriculture - from creating and funding farm programs to boosting services for communities and the industry. The census of agriculture is a produce's voice, future, and opportunity.  For more information about the 2017 Census of Agriculture, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov or call (888) 424-7828.
NNY Biocontrol Nematodes Discount
Northern New York farmers interested in protecting their alfalfa crops from the devastating alfalfa snout beetle can take advantage of discounts from the Cornell University laboratory raising the biocontrol nematodes that have been proven to reduce not only populations of snout beetle, but other crop pests as well. The Shields Lab at Cornell University that has reared the biocontrol nematodes as part of its research mandate is offering a discount for orders placed for delivery by June 15 for application within the following 3 to 5 days. This advance order deadline is April 28, and an additional ten percent applies for payment in advance or on delivery. After the April 28 deadline, a ten percent discount applies to any order paid upon delivery. Farmers must contact the lab no later than 45 days prior to a planned application based on their 2018 alfalfa cutting schedule. Biocontrol nematode application must be made before September 15. The cost is $28 per acre before discount. For more information, contact Antonio Testa at  607-591-1493 or  at28@cornell.edu, or call Cornell Cooperative Extension NNY Field Crops Specialists Mike Hunter,  315-788-8602, or Kitty O'Neil,  315-853-1218.
Goat Livestock Barn
Beginning Farmer Workshop
March 17, 9am-4pm. 
Washington County Fairgrounds Administrative Building, 392 Old Schuylerville Rd, Greenwich, NY 12834

Are you thinking about growing and selling agricultural products? Did you start farming in 2017 and need some more help? This daylong workshop will help you better understand various aspects of starting a farm. From attending, you will gain ideas on where to get financing to start a farm, an understanding of what to look for when assessing potential farm properties, information on how to successfully market and sell products, and a better understanding of agricultural regulations.  Space is limited. You may register online here. For more information or to register by phone, contact Tove Ford at 518-765-3518 or at cce-caahp@cornell.edu.
Are You Managing Your Risks as a Farm Employer? The Compliance and Safety Workshop

March 22, 12-4pm. 
CCE Ulster County, 232 Plaza Rd., Kingston, NY 12401

Learn the nuts and bolts of risk management as an employer during this compliance and safety workshop. This workshop will give you resources to help you comply with labor laws and regulations as well as mandated and recommended worker safety training. Representatives from the NYS DOL Ag Labor Program will be invited to present as well as NYCAMH. Participants will leave with an assessment of their farm's exposure to risk from having employees and strategies for reducing that risk.  
Forest Farming Talk
March 29, 6:30-8pm. 
Brunswick Community Center, 18 Keyes Lane, Troy, NY 12180

The Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA) is pleased to host a "Forest Farming" talk by Tracey Testo from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties Agroforestry Resource Center on Thursday, March 29 at the Town of Brunswick Community Center. Forest Farming describes the integration of agriculture and forestry to create sustainable production of crops in a wooded setting. Tracey will cover the how, where and why of ginseng production as well as introducing other potential crops for forest growing, including mushrooms, medicinal herbs and ornamentals. This presentation will be of interest to all woodlot and forest owners curious to learn how to increase the productivity of their woodlands while managing trees for harvest, recreation and/or wildlife habitat. Learn more and register for free here.
Kick-off & Potluck for Leatherstocking Region Chapter of NYFC

April 7, 3-5pm. 
Origins Cafe, 558 Beaver Meadow Rd, Cooperstown, NY 13326

At this inaugural meeting, we will focus on crafting a mission statement and identifying goals and milestones which reflect the ideas and intentions of members, followed by a potluck and social hour. As a farmer-driven collective, the chapter will provide a space for regular communication, collaboration, skills and resource sharing, and advocacy for the network for young, independent farmers following sustainable practices in the Leatherstocking Region of New York (defined here within a 50 mile radius of Cooperstown). The chapter will create a platform  for building and strengthening the community of sustainable farmers and ranchers within their first 10 years of growing or starting a new farm in this region, but is also open to apprentices and seasoned farmers. We intend to convene at least 4 times a year for social gatherings, and other events of the chapter's choosing, such as farm tours, harvest parties, seed and equipment exchanges, and advocacy initiatives. For more information, and to RSVP, contact Kelly & Greta at leatherstocking.nyfc@gmail.com .
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
Bejo Seeds, Inc Farm and Garden Worker

Bejo Seeds, Inc. focuses on quality, market-specific vegetable seed. As part of a worldwide Bejo team, we engage in breeding, seed production, marketing, sales, trials, product development and customer support. T he Bejo facility located in Geneva, NY grows many diverse vegetable crops for research and  demonstration purposes. The Farm and Garden Worker position is a unique opportunity for an individual with an interest in agriculture/farming to learn  about production, processing and sale of vegetable seeds for professional outdoor cultivation.  The successful candidate will be involved in all aspects of crop  production including but not limited to seeding, transplanting, irrigating, maintaining, and  harvesting field and greenhouse grown vegetables. Other responsibilities will include routine  landscape maintenance, cleaning farm equipment, updating seed inventory and possible data  entry. Must be able to work in both a team environment and alone. Up to 40 hours per week.  Summer and Fall positions available from as early as April through end of October, 2018. Please  send resume or list of relevant work experience to Dennis Ferlito at d.ferlito@bejoseeds.com.
Caney Fork Farms Now Hiring Vegetable Farm Hands
Caney Fork Farms in middle Tennessee is seeking full-time farm hands to help raise a diverse mix of vegetables, both annual  and perennial. Farms hands will report to the Vegetable Manager and assist in all aspects of production:  seeding, transplanting, weeding, pest management, harvest and post-harvest, equipment use and  maintenance, etc. The ideal candidate is someone willing to learn, teach, and cultivate cohesive relationships among all farm humans and animals. An independent thinker and worker who can manage time effectively and efficiently. Above all else, we seek an individual who aspires to produce healthy food in a way that regenerates the land. We are willing to train the right person. To apply, please send cover letter, resume and 2 references to ranan@caneyforkfarms.com.
Nutrition Project Lead: Food & Farm Program
The Food & Farm Program provides young people with employment and service opportunities in the Health Care Share, a weekly prescription of fresh fruits and vegetables for families experiencing food insecurity. We work at the junction of youth development and food access, where public health, education and sustainable agriculture intersect. The Nutrition Project Lead is responsible for creating an environment that fosters creativity, learning, experimentation, and confidence among the youth and young adults who grow, cook, eat, and share food the farm.  With help from program staff, this position will deliver VYCC's Food and Finance curriculum to youth Farm Crews, develop and teach daily cooking and nutrition workshops, enhance nutrition education provided to Health Care Share families and host large community meals at our headquarters in Richmond, Vermont. A successful candidate will provide youth and young adults with a culinary experience that introduces them to the basics of cooking, the importance of healthy eating and lifestyle, and the power food has in uniting people from diverse backgrounds, to create strong and healthy communities. To apply, please complete an application here.
Armed to Farm
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is bringing its Armed to Farm training to New Hampshire on June 11-June 15, 2018. Armed to Farm gives military veterans an opportunity to transition to a farming life. Armed to Farm combines engaging classroom sessions with farm tours and hands-on activities. Participants learn about business planning, budgeting, record keeping, marketing, livestock production, vegetable production, and more. Participants gain a strong foundation in the basic principles of operating a sustainable farming enterprise. In addition, Armed to Farm attendees join a nationwide network of supportive farmer-veterans and agricultural advisors. Veterans should  complete an application  by  April 27, 2018. The program is available to military veterans in the Northeast who are interested in starting a farm or who have recently begun farming (less than 10 years). Spouses and farming partners are also invited to apply.  NCAT will notify selected participants by May 4. Please contact Andy Pressman with questions at  andyp@ncat.org or 479-587-3475.
FSA Loss Adjuster Positions Open
The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is currently seeking individuals interested in providing contracted crop adjustment services for its Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and Tree Assistance Program (TAP) in Eastern and Western New York. Loss Adjusters perform crop loss and related program services as assigned by FSA. Duties include but are not limited to: visiting farms to inspect damage or destroyed crops, appraising potential crop production, determining and verifying the cause and time of loss, measuring farm stored production, and visiting FSA offices and/or farms to perform inspections, reviews or other services. Good communication and math skills are necessary. For people interested in becoming a Loss Adjuster, please submit a letter of interest and/or resume detailing their experience with agriculture, crop insurance, specialty crops (honey, maple sap), and the duties listed above. Please mail information to: New York State FSA Office ATTN: Daniel Mapley, 441 South Salina Street Suite 536, Syracuse, NY 13202.  For more information, please contact Daniel Mapley, Agriculture Program Specialist, at ( 315) 477-6331  or email at  daniel.mapley@ny.usda.gov.
Red Fire Farm
Red Fire Farm in Massachusetts currently has many open positions, including a  Fruit Grower, Tractor Operator and Manager in Training , a  Greenhouse and Flower Assistant, and a  Farm InternThey seek crew members who have some experience with farming, a deep work ethic, a sense of humor, and a strong commitment to providing local food. They are are seeking folks who would like to help them grow and improve the farm into the future. Learn more about employment at Red Fire Farm, and click here for more information about available positions!
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
Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS)

The purpose of this program is to support research, education/teaching, and extension projects that increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM. NIFA intends this program to address educational needs within broadly defined areas of food, agriculture, natural resources, and human (FANH) sciences. Applications recommended for funding must highlight and emphasize the development of a competent and qualified workforce in the FAHN sciences. WAMS-funded projects improve the economic health and viability of rural communities by developing research and extension initiatives that focus on new and emerging employment opportunities in STEM occupations. Projects that contribute to the economic viability of rural communities are also encouraged. Closing date for applications is Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Apply for the grant here, or view the RFA for more information about this grant opportunity.
flower, market, produce
Farmers Market Promotion Program

Approximately $13 million in competitive grant funds in fiscal year   2018 is available to be awarded through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). The goals of FMPP grants are to increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Grants can assist with developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the development, improvement, and expansion of domestic farmers' markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. FMPP offers both Capacity Building (CB) and Community Development, Training, and Technical Assistance (CTA) projects. The official performance period must begin on September 30, 2018 Both CB and CTA FMPP projects are awarded for up to 36 months (3 years) and are expected to be completed by September 29, 2021. Matching funds are not required. Current Closing Date for Applications is May 07, 2018. Learn more about this program.
Higher Education Challenge Grants Program

Projects supported by the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program will: (1) address a state, regional, national, or international educational need; (2) involve a creative or non-traditional approach toward addressing that need that can serve as a model to others; (3) encourage and facilitate better working relationships in the university science and education community, as well as between universities and the private sector, to enhance program quality and supplement available resources; and (4) result in benefits that will likely transcend the project duration and USDA support. Current closing date for applications is May 7, 2018. To view this grant opportunity and learn more about eligibility and program funding, click here.
Latest Resources
How to Add Compost on Your Small Farm
Compost provides nutrients to plants, improves soil structure, increases water-holding capacity, and suppresses root diseases by supporting beneficial microorganisms in the soil. It also helps improve porosity and the friability or ability to work the soil. It also increases water penetration and exchange of gases, reduces compaction, and improves soil texture.  ATTRA's new publication,   How to Add Compost on Your Small Farm , is your guide to the benefits of compost regardless of farm size.
Come & Get It!
Adding any form of on-farm food service to your farm business mix requires a well-thought-out and strategic planning process to bring you to long-term success.  Come & Get It! is a publication from the University of Minnesota that will tell you what you need to know to serve food on your farm. Topics covered include marketing, financing, and farm profiles.
Organic Farmers in Disasters - Flooding and Whole Farm Revenue Crop Insurance

Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) is a nonprofit law center dedicated to providing legal services and support to family farmers and their communities in order to help keep family farmers on the land.  FLAG recently announced a new resource that is intended to assist organic farmers in time of disaster. "Organic Farmers in Disasters" looks at two important issues. First, it discusses the extremely challenging effect of a flood on an organic farm. Second, this booklet discusses a relatively new form of crop insurance - Whole-Farm Revenue - that could benefit organic producers going forward.
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.