Team Updates - April 15, 2022
Spring is upon us here in Tompkins!
Enjoy the warmer weather and longer days.

Check out our announcements below, including
  • Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) resources
  • Local farm tourism grant
  • 2022 Ag Summit recordings
  • Upcoming events to learn Point of Sale systems and Farm Marketing

~ The Ag and Food Systems Team at CCE Tompkins
Avian Influenza Information
HPAI (sometimes called Avian Influenza or ‘bird flu’) is a highly contagious poultry virus that has the potential to cause large financial losses to the U.S. poultry industry.

To learn the basics of HPAI click here.

For more information click here or contact Cornell Cooperative Extension.

If you think your chicken may have HPAI, contact
Farm to Fork Microgrant Program
The Ithaca/Tompkins County Convention & Visitors Bureau (Visit Ithaca), a division of the Tompkins Chamber, has released an application for the 2022 cycle of their Agriculinary Farm to Fork Microgrant Program. The purpose of this Program is to support local agriculture while expanding visitor and tourist readiness which will promote overnight visitation in Tompkins County.

This grant, which will provide up to 50% (up to $2,000) of total proposed project costs, is available to: Farms, food and/or beverage producers, and restaurants who use a minimum of 20% locally-sourced food and beverage products, located within Tompkins County. 

Applicants will be reviewed in two (2) rounds of funding:
  • Monday, April 18th, 2022, at 5pm
  • and Monday, June 20th, 2022, at 5pm

Remaining funding may be available following June 6th, 2022 on a rolling, first-come, first-served basis, pending availability of remaining funds.
If you, and/or someone you may know, are eligible for the Farm to Fork Grant opportunity, please visit for full details and application.

If you have any questions regarding application, timeline of your project, or general inquiries, please email Grant Coordinator Cloud Kelley, Business & Workforce Development Specialist, at
Ag Summit Recordings Now Available
On March 23rd, we hosted an Ag Summit to hear updates from our county's Farm Service Agency, our conservationist from the Natural Resource Conservation Service, New York Soil Health, and more. Recordings and slide shows are now available on the CCE Tompkins website. If you were unable to join us, we highly recommend exploring resources in the slides and contacting these valuable service agencies.
Support Agroforestry in NY with a Brief Survey
CCE of Columbia and Greene County announces an agroforestry extension program along with tools and resources to help farmers and land stewards combine production and conservation utilizing trees and forests. In an effort to improve research and education efforts, the team has developed a New York State Agroforestry Awareness and Adoption SurveyThis survey is for anyone working with lands in New York State who is interested in agroforestry in any capacity.
Participate in Seed Corn Maggot Research
Are you interested in participating in Cornell research on the effects of cover crops on corn seed maggot pressure?

Participation will entail putting traps with organic corn and bean seed into fields with cover crops and fields without cover crops. Any crop can be planted in these fields this spring. Growers won't need to alter the management of these fields and traps will be temporarily pulled out of the field whenever it's needed (tilling, planting, or any other reason). Both organic and conventional producers are welcome! 

By participating in this program you will find out how severe seed corn maggot is on each farm.

If you are interested in hosting wire traps and yellow sticky card traps this spring, please email Anna DiPaola at or call 609-751-7282
Upcoming Events
Cornell to Hold 2-Part Webinar Series on Point-of-Sale Use for Farms

Electronic Point-of-Sale (POS) systems present new opportunities for farmers market vendors to improve sales. Researchers Matt LeRoux and Todd Schmit at the Cornell Program for Agribusiness and Rural Development are collecting data using POS with NY farms selling meat, fruits, vegetables, fresh cut flowers and mushrooms in direct-to-consumer channels. The project seeks farms that sell their own products at farmers markets, farm stores, and staffed farm stands to participate. 

Farm participation requires collecting all sales transactions at markets in real time with the Point-of-Sale (POS) software Square. In turn, the team analyzes the data, providing farms with summary reports and specific advice aimed at increasing farm revenue. Project participants receive one-on-one consultation and technical assistance with marketing and pricing. 
To orient farmers to the project, a 2-part webinar series is planned for Thursdays, April 21 & 28 from 6:30-8:00 PM. The webinars are appropriate for any farmers market or farm stand/store vendor interested in or currently using Square or another POS system. 
CADE is Recruiting 20 Farmers to Receive Tailored Marketing Support

Farmers are a good fit for this program if they are looking for support in the following areas:
  • scaling up for wholesale and/or institutional sales
  • market matchmaking
  • adding value with certifications and trainings
  • farm safety and labor plans
  • education on topics such as e-commerce, marketing and branding
  • agritourism and other emerging market opportunities
Farmers must apply to join the program on our website, but participation is completely FREE. Farmers can expect intensive 1:1 support from CADE staff, and should expect to receive services for about one year.
They are also accepting registration from institutions to receive free professional development and training for staff. Renowned experts from The Teaching Kitchen at Lenox Hill (among others) will offer customized professional development support to participants, and coach them on how to work within their existing budgets to procure more local food. New York Institutions that would benefit from these services, can learn more and register at: 
Inspired by Annie’s: Let’s Elevate Your Marketing

Join a set of Cornell Cooperative Extension educators for an Inspired by Annie's Project four-week series focused on elevating your marketing techniques. This series will take place on Tuesdays in April (5th, 12th, 19th & 26th), from 11:30am-1pm – allowing for participation during flexible lunchtime hours. Annie’s Project is taught by trained facilitators and is designed for farm women who have been in farming, or agri-business, or part of the food system for three to five years, and want to develop their understanding, interpretation, and opportunities in sustainable agriculture. Annie’s Project gives farm women the opportunity to learn from female agricultural professionals and network with other women in similar situations.

Inspired by Annie's Project - Let's Elevate Your Marketing will take participants through a four week journey addressing all aspects of their farm marketing. By the end of the four weeks participants will:
  • Learn how to conduct a brand audit of their farm or business and make updates/changes based on the audit
  • Create a marketing strategy statement which reflects their target customer
  • Create a social media strategy which meets their business goals
  • Understand and evaluate which e-commerce platform makes the most sense for their farm, or products
  • Learn to take great pictures
  • Understand how targeted communication pieces can help meet their goals

The cost is $60 for the four-part series and registration is limited to enhance group discussions. Sessions will not be recorded. The cost includes copies of all presentations and worksheets and support from a variety of community partners. The series will take place on Tuesdays, 11:30am-1pm, April 5th-26th. For more information, contact Laura Biasillo at
Agroforestry Webinar Series to Discuss Stewardship, Support Resources, and More

Are you looking at ways to integrate trees, forests, and agricultural production through agroforestry? Join this year’s Agroforestry webinar series to lean how to preserve and enhance woodland and tree landscapes and are an important solution to climate change and in developing healthy farm economics. The first webinar will be held on Tuesday, 4/26, and will cover NRCS technical and financial assistance.
Hudson Valley Food System Coalition is pleased to offer a free virtual info session on the New York Climate Act: 

Monday, April 25 from 6:30 - 8:00 PM 

The New York Climate Act, one of the most ambitious pieces of climate legislation in the country, is in public comment now through June 10. Learn how the Climate Act will impact agribusiness, from manure management and soil health to energy, transportation, waste, and beyond, from policy experts including: 
  • Former New York State Senator Jen Metzger 
  • New York Farm Bureau Deputy Director of Public Policy Elizabeth Wolters 
  • Cornell University Associate Dean for Land-Grant Affairs Julie Suarez 
This webinar will include an in-depth question-and-answer period, myth-busting about what is and isn't in the Climate Act, and important ways for farmers to make their voices heard during the public comment period. 
Recordings are available from the four-part series Navigating the Leasing Process of Utility-Scale and Community Solar in New York and Pennsylvania: 
Session 1: 02/02/2022, “Utility-Scale and Community Solar in NY & PA” (
Session 2: 02/23/2022, “Leasing Your Land for Solar Development” (
Session 4: 03/23/2022, “Solar Leasing Questions, Answers, & Wrap-up” (
Farmer Resources
Join the Farmer 2 Farmer Discussion Group - Ithaca Area on facebook List your farm so that consumers can find you!

Cornell Small Farms Program: Find Classes and Support to Build New Ventures

Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development (HR and labor laws)

FarmNet: Coaching, Business Planning, Farm Succession Planning, Referrals to Resources and more!
FREE 1-800-547-3276

CCE South Central Dairy and Field Crops Team

Cornell Livestock Team

Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE)

NY Farm Bureau

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA)

NYSERDA Agriculture Energy Audit Program FREE

New York Farm Land Finder - Find or Post Farm Land