May 18, 2020
Welcome back to the Small Farms newsletter!
Dear farmers and friends,

Have you noticed how local food systems have responded quickly to food needs during this pandemic?

Farmers are selling online and delivering their products in new ways, including home delivery. In an informal survey of CSA farms around NYS, farmers reported increased sales or being sold out of shares for this year. Some of our local meat producers have even run out of supply and our slaughter facilities are booked out for six months or more. Farmers markets around the state have redesigned their facilities and practices to create safer spaces for shoppers during this pandemic. Other farmers have increased production to support local food bank needs.  

As we start to re-open our communities and look to the future, what can we do together to secure this commitment to our local food systems? Will buyers who have sourced locally continue to shop locally after the pandemic dust settles?

What do we need to do now to secure and support local food growth for the future?

If you have ideas, please share these via our form. Also, tell us how things are going for you as you gear up for the season.
Be well, we are in this together.

Anu Rangarajan
Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program
Small Farms Program Updates
Continuing to Build Farm Resilience During COVID-19

We are continuing to offer resources on building resilience in the various aspects of farming during COVID-19. Our most recent installment shares information on health and safety to take care of ourselves, our employees and our customers through this pandemic. We are regularly updating a COVID-19 resource page as information and resources become available.
Updated Guide Provides Marketing Info for Livestock and Poultry

Understanding how to legally classify, slaughter and sell your meat and poultry is crucial for running a successful operation. Laws that dictate food safety regulations change often and can be unclear. As such, our "Guide to Direct Marketing Livestock and Poultry" has undergone an extensive update to provide useful information on legally selling meat and poultry in NYS.
COVID-19 Update on EIDL Program and PPP Funding

Cornell Cooperative Extension educators have been compiling updates on the various emergency funding opportunities for agricultural businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In their recent update, they provide more information about the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program, which was reopened on May 4 for applications from farms only. Also, there are some new updates on the PPP, including availability of the program and changes to how monthly average wages are calculated for seasonal employers (to the benefit of NYS farms).
Featured From #CornellSmallFarms
@littlesalmonfarm showed how they arere transplanting Brussels sprouts.
@hudsonvalleykinders shared the spring snow on their hay bales. 
@saint_isidores_farm asked which baby will come first: highland calf or farm kid? 
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
Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants

This USDA Agricultural Marketing Service program funds projects that develop, coordinate, and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets. Projects help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products by developing and expanding farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture, agritourism activities, online sales, or other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. A 25% match is required. Learn more and apply by May 26.
Deadline Extended for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trial Proposals

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials. NRCS is seeking proposals that address at least one of the following four On-Farm Trial main priorities: Irrigation Management Technologies; Precision Agriculture Technologies and Strategies; Management Technologies and Strategies; and Soil Health Demonstration Trials. The deadline for proposals has been extended until May 29. Learn more and apply.
Reimbursement Grant Available to Remove Concord Vineyards

The program requires that the Concord vineyard be completely removed and then replanted to whatever the grower/landowner decides will work best in their business plan, however the land does need to be returned to agricultural use. Reimbursement payment is made once all of the work has been completed and receipts submitted. Reimbursement cannot exceed $50,000. Learn more.
Urban AgroForestry Grant Opens Call for Proposals

The U.S. Forest Service requests proposals to substantially expand and accelerate the availability of evidence-based information to support community decisions on the adoption and design of urban agriculture that includes agroforestry practices. Awards are anticipated to be up to $50,000, with a minimum of $25,000 for any one project. Learn more and apply by June 1. 
USDA Grants for Urban Ag and Innovative Production

There are $1 million in funds available for Planning Projects that initiate or expand efforts of farmers, gardeners, citizens, government officials, schools and other stakeholders in urban areas and suburbs. Another $2 million is available for Implementation Projects that accelerate existing and emerging models of urban, indoor and other agricultural practices that serve multiple farmers. Learn more and apply by July 6. 
Business & Career Opportunities
Farm Manager Sought for Flats Mentor Farm in Lancaster, MA

This position requires strong, practical knowledge of agricultural skills and farm management, and a passionate commitment to providing mentorship to immigrant and refugee farmers. The candidate must have passion, patience, and curiosity in learning about ethnic crops, and the creativity and initiative to problem-solve and strategize with and for the immigrant farmers at Flats Mentor Farm. Learn more and apply.
Essex County CCE Seeks an Executive Director

The Executive Director is expected to be an effective leader, helping to develop and project a compelling and contemporary vision for extension programming to stakeholders, both internal and external. The Executive Director must be engaged with decision makers both locally and at Cornell in order to be effective.  Learn more and apply by June 15.
Call for Papers for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Project

Researchers, farmers and others can now submit paper and other session proposals for the Farm Foundation and the USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Project. Papers and other session proposals should highlight empirical data and models that bring cutting-edge thinking on one or more themes related to beginning farmers and ranchers.  Learn more and apply by May 29.
Discount for eCornell Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Course

This Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training curriculum has been specifically designed to provide a foundation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) knowledge that includes emphasis on co-management of food safety and environmental management goals, while outlining the requirements in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule. All who complete the course receive a certificate. This course normally costs $450, but save $300 with the code VIRTUAL20 when you enroll by July 31, as long as you prepay for the course.  Learn more.
Applications Open for the 2020 Grow New York Competition

The NYS Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech announced that applications are now being accepted for round two of the Grow-NY competition. This initiative provides funding, mentorship, business development support, and other key resources to leading food and ag startups from across the globe. A total of $3 million in prizes will be awarded this year to seven startups.  Learn more and apply.
Mark Your Calendars
Check our statewide calendar for events near you. 
Advancing Industrial Hemp Webinar

When: Tuesday, May 19, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Details: This free webinar will feature tips for how to choose hemp seeds, manage soils for hemp production and identify quality markets for hemp. The webinar will also provide participants the opportunity to interact, ask questions and connect with others in the hemp industry. Learn more and register.
Social Media Marketing for Farmers

When: Tuesday, May 19,
at 3 p.m.

Details: This webinar will review key considerations for developing a social media plan, such as how and what to post to target specific audiences, how to create hashtags that help increase your outreach, and how to turn followers into consumers. Learn more and register.
How Mediation Can Help Farmers

When: Wednesday, May 20, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Details: In this webinar, farmers and organizations that work with farmers can learn how mediation engages farmers in problem solving and make the world more manageable. Join to learn how mediation can help, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more and register.
USDA Teleconference on Impact of COVID-19 on Beginning Farmers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement is holding a public teleconference on Tuesday, May 19, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on beginning farmers and ranchers. To listen to the discussion, call toll-free 866-816-7252 and use conference ID 6188761. For further information, contact Maria Goldberg at or at 202-720-6350.
Active Learning Calendar for Virtual Opportunities and Webinars

The Cornell Small Farms Program team has created this new calendar dedicated to the various webinars and other virtual learning opportunities being offered during this time of physical distancing. Explore upcoming events.
Additional Reading & Resources
Farmers' Legal Action Group COVID-19 Resource Guide Updated

This update reflects program changes and additions recently signed into law to provide further economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic. The resource guide includes programs found in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
NCAT Offers Adaptive Grazing Resources

Adaptive grazing combines regular and careful observation with management-intensive grazing practices. This resource collection include videos, podcasts, and publications to help guide those looking to improve soil health and turn a profit.
New Vertical Farming Podcast

This new podcast is hosted by podcast veteran and vertical farming supporter Harry Duran. The new weekly podcast features conversations with CEOs, Founders, and luminaries from the exciting and fast-growing world of vertical farming.
About Us

The Small Farms Newsletter is a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and beyond. The newsletter is produced by the Cornell Small Farms Program (SFP), which helps farmers get expert assistance to facilitate all phases of small farm business development. SFP is housed at Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and works collaboratively with Cornell Cooperative Extension.
Stay Connected
Do you have farm-related questions? Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Find your local contact .