June 17, 2019
Welcome back to the Cornell Small Farms newsletter!
Dear friends,

In trying to promote resilience of small farms, we tend to focus mostly on the economic or environmental aspects of farms. We rarely talk about how to strengthen social sustainability of farms.  

How might we actively foster social resilience of small farms? This feels like a a big leap for me from growing cabbage.  

Luckily, there are many researchers who are thinking about the science of human connection. I am at a workshop with several of them and am intrigued to learn what they are finding.


Anu Rangarajan
Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program
Small Farms Program Updates
Summer Field Days to Feature Reduced Tillage Project’s Tarping Research
Join the Cornell Small Farms Program at events this summer to learn about strip tillage, cover cropping, tarping for weed suppression, and reduced tillage . Up first is an Organic@Cornell field tour at the Thompson Vegetable Research Farm on July 31 in Freeville, NY. We’ll also be at the Empire Farm Days Soil Health Center on August 8 in Seneca Falls, NY. We’re happy to announce that we have received a NE SARE Research and Education Grant to support small-scale vegetable farms in adopting tarps to reduce tillage. Learn more and join us at the upcoming events.
Apply Soon for New York “Armed to Farm” Veteran Training
The deadline is approaching for military veterans to apply to attend the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training, hosted by the Cornell Small Farms Program’s Farm Ops and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) this summer. This training will be held from July 29 to August 2, 2019, in Victor, NY. The ATF training allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career. Learn more and apply by June 30.
Featured From #CornellSmallFarms
@impseeder shared a nifty gadget, this rigged up paint brush to ... clean the gutters!
@marykatewheeler shared these happy cows running in a newly fenced field. 
@wylliefoxfarm shared their little fox getting the watering done.
Share what’s been happening on your farm with #CornellSmallFarms on Instagram and we may feature your image and story in the next newsletter.
Funding Opportunities
Funding Available for Farmers to Increase Resiliency to Flooding

The NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Department of Environmental Conservation announced the availability of funding for the Community Resiliency Training program. The funding will allow County Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Regional Watershed Coalitions to provide community and municipality-based training events to help communities increase resiliency to future flooding and prevent outbreaks of harmful algal blooms. Learn more and apply
vegetables, produce, carrots, onions, garlic
$10 Million in Grants Available to Support Specialty Crops

The USDA announced that $10 million is available for competitive grant funding in the 2019 Specialty Crop Multi-State Program. Grants are awarded to state departments of agriculture to fund collaborative, multi-state projects that address food safety, plant pests and disease, research, crop-specific common issues, and marketing and promotion for specialty crops. Funding will be available for use beginning September 30, 2019, and matching funds are not required. Learn more and apply
Applications Open for Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is requesting applications for the 2019 Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program. This program is designed to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep and sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business, and resource development, and the development of innovative approaches to solve long-term needs. Learn more and apply
Crop Insurance Benefits Available to Military Veteran Farmers, Ranchers

The USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) announced new benefits available to military veterans with farms or ranches seeking federal crop insurance coverage, including exemptions from fees and additional coverage options provided by the 2018 Farm Bill and effective for the 2019 crop year. Learn more and apply.
Business & Career Opportunities
Farm Service Agency Accepting Nominations for County Committee 

USDA’s Farm Service Agency is now accepting nominations for county committee members. Committees make important decisions about how federal farm programs are administered locally. Their input is vital on how FSA carries out disaster programs, as well as conservation, commodity and price support programs, county office employment and other agricultural issues. Learn more.
CCE Seeks Dairy Management Specialist for Southwest New York 

Working with the Southwest New York Dairy, Livestock and Field Crops Program, this position will provide leadership for educational programs that address producer identified needs and opportunities with emphasis on dairy management for commercial dairy producers. The program will include but is not limited to: nutrition, reproductive management, milk quality, facilities, dairy record analysis, financial management and business planning, diverse production practices, forage production and management, and dairy marketing policy. Learn more and apply
NYC-Based Sprout by Design Seeking Urban Farm Manager

Sprout by Design is a minority and women-owned company whose mission is to "Design, Build, Educate, Grow." They are hiring an Urban Farm Manager to be responsible for day-to-day upkeep, maintenance and repair of Sprout by Design’s Urban Farms throughout the five boroughs of NYC, as well as supervising Open Garden Hours for youth and adults and running urban farming workshops. Learn more and apply
Network Alliance for Northeast Farmers of Color

The Northeast Farmers of Color network (NEFOC) is an informal alliance of Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian farmers in New England and Upstate New York. Their vision is to advance land sovereignty in the northeast region through permanent and secure land tenure for POC farmers and land stewards who will use the land in a sacred manner that honors our ancestors dreams — for sustainable farming, human habitat, ceremony, native ecosystem restoration, and cultural preservation.  Learn more and become a member. 
Call for Southern Tier Stocker Initiative Survey Responses

Help researchers determine the main hindrances preventing New York farmers from embracing the Stocker enterprise. Whether you are actively farming or exploring options, your feedback will be helpful in discovering the barriers here in NYS to entering this profitable enterprise. The survey will take five minutes or less. Take the survey.
Mark Your Calendars
Check our statewide calendar for events near you. 
How to Dive into
Social Media

When: Tuesday, June 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Greenwich, NY

Details: The second installment of CCE Washington County's "How To Market Better" series, this hands-on workshop will guide you through creating or improving your business' social media presence. Free to attend. Register
Cornell AgriTech Symposium 

When: Wednesday, June 19, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: Geneva, NY

Details: Hear about research and extension efforts from graduate students and postdocs, and hear from keynote speaker James Livengood, co-founder of Utica-based urban agriculture business Radicle Farms. Learn more
NYS Invasive Species Awareness Webinar

When: Wednesday, June 26, from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Where: Online

Details: Learn about and how to identify jumping worms, tree-of-heaven, and water chestnut — three invasive species that are under-reported in NYS. Part of the NYS Invasive Species Awareness Week. Learn more and register
American Society for Enology and Viticulture-Eastern Section Conference

The 44th annual conference will include technical and research presentations, a digital viticulutre tour, equipment demonstrations at local vineyards, and more. The final symposium will feature invited speakers to discuss "Digital Viticulture: New Tools for Precision Management of Vineyards." The conference will be held from Tuesday to Thursday, July 16-18, 2019, at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. Cost to attend ranges. Learn more and register.
Additional Reading & Resources
Five Simple Steps to Improve Biosecurity Around Livestock

When traveling from one farm to another, it is important for livestock producers and farm visitors alike to think about the health and safety. Learn how to improve biosecurity on your farm, not only for livestock, but also for people interacting with farm animals.
Learn About Soil Compaction From Traveling Soil Health Trailer

Soil compaction is an important facet of soil health that can strongly influence farm productivity. The NY Soil Health Trailer will be traveling across the Northeast this summer and fall in a series of events to educate on soil compaction in pastures.
Wild Honeybee Biology Can Help Beekeepers Build Resilient Hives

A new book by Cornell University professor, Thomas Seeley, illustrates the previously little-known biology of wild honeybees, and details smart management strategies for small-scale beekeepers in a changing world.
The Case for Investing in New Entry Sustainable Farmers

Sustainable agriculture is among the most urgently needed work in the US, researchers argue, because of an environmental crisis, a health crisis, and a rural economic crisis. A recently published paper examines why it is so hard to enter and succeed in sustainable farming, and reviews policy and civil society interventions to address these barriers.
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About Us

The Cornell Small Farms newsletter is a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and beyond. The Cornell Small Farms Program (SFP) envisions 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 program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Stay Connected
Are you just starting to farm? We have extensive resources available in the "Plan Your Farm" section of our website. Do you have farm-related questions? Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Check our county-by-county listing for your small farm agents.