Cornell University Small Farms Program Monthly Update

CONTENTS Announcements

  • New!  Resource Guide to Direct Marketing Livestock and Poultry
Upcoming Events
  • Beginning Farmer Training Calendar
  • Other Featured Events
Career Etc Opportunities
  • Artisanal Cheese Business Seeks Investor or Partner, Central NY
  • Community Food Security Associate (Americorps), Farm Catskills
  • Assistant Farm Manager, Amawalk Farm, Katonah, NY
  • Nutrition Team Coordinator, Tompkins CCE
Funding Opportunities
  • Agricultural Water Enhancement Program – Due May 17th
  • Organic Education and Outreach Grant – Due May 17th
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Program – Due May 17th
  • Regional “Buy Local” Campaign Development Program – Due June 3, 2010
Resources
  • Cornell Organic Production Guides Available Online
  • Cornell Tool Helps Maple Tree Owners Evaluate Best Use
  • Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers
  • New SARE Handbook on Multifarm CSAs
  • New Series on Economics of Growing Alternative Crops
  • Dairy Decision Support Tool
  • Pollinator Toolkit Available for Organic Farmers

ANNOUNCEMENTS

New!  Resource Guide to Direct Marketing Livestock and Poultry
The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce the 2010 revised edition of “A Resource Guide to Direct Marketing Livestock and Poultry”.  This Guide helps to clarify and explain complex laws in layman terms, discussing slaughtering and processing at the custom, state, and federal levels and guiding farmers through the logistics of the various market channels. While the guide is intended for farmers, it is also helpful to buyers, restaurants, market managers, small processors, extension educators, and many others. The Guide was updated by the Cornell Small Farms Work Team on Livestock Processing Issues, with funding from the Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network (NMPAN) and the New York State Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI). The 2010 revised edition has been reviewed by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Download the 155pg Guide for free at http://www.smallfarms.cornell.edu/pages/projects/workteams/LP/livestock.cfm

You may also order CDs at the cost of $3.00 each. Hard copies are available at the cost of $8.00 each.  To order, send your name, address and check made payable to Cornell University to Violet Stone, Cornell Small Farms Program. 135C Plant Science. Ithaca, NY 14853.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Beginning Farmer Training Calendar

June 2 – July 27, 2010. Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming and Local Food Systems. Ithaca NY. In cooperation with the Environmental Studies Program at TC3, the Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming will offer an eight-week Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming and Local Food Systems. This unique, hands-on course is geared for students, community members and professionals interested in learning more about sustainable agriculture, local food systems, and small-scale farming.  Classes will meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9am to 4pm.  Students who enroll through TC3 will receive 6 college credits.  A non-credit option is also offered directly through the Groundswell Center. TCS tuition for the 6-credit course (ENVS 149) is $810 for NYS residents and $1680 for nonresidents, plus a lab fee of $250.  Enrollment through the Groundswell Center, which does not provide academic credit, is $800.  For more information visit http://www.groundswellcenter.org and click on Programs.  Or send an email to info@groundswellcenter.org.

Cornell Sheep Program Calendar — www.sheep.cornell.edu/sheep/calendar/index.html

Other Featured Events

April 23, 2010. NY All Breed Beef Bull and Heifer Sale. 7:30pm at the Empire Farm Days Site, Route 414 south of Seneca Falls, NY.  There will be 20 registered bulls for sale representing the Red Angus, Hereford, Simmental, Shorthorn and Angus breeds.  Fifteen heifers will be offered.  Registered heifers include Hereford, Red Angus, Shorthorn, Angus and Simmental in addition to two commercial SimAngus heifers.  All animals have been BVD tested and vaccinated for respiratory disease.  Some of the heifers have been developed as part of the New York Empire Heifer Development Program.  Reproductive and ultrasound data will be available sale day. A grilled prime rib sandwich by Kirby Bartholomew will be available starting at 5:00pm.  Catalog can be found at www.ansci.cornell.edu/beef/NYGACSaleCatalog2010.pdf. For more information contact: Jeanne White 607-423-4888 or Jeanne@SimmeValley.com.

April & May. Master Beekeeper Program. The Cornell University Master Beekeeper program will conduct its two-day Apprentice Level Spring Workshop twice this year.  Topics include the biology of the honey bee; starting with bees and beekeeping equipment; colony inspection; spring and summer management; and IPM for honey bee pests, parasites, pathogens and predators. Course fee is $140 and will include 2-hours of field work each day. Dates of classes are:

  • April 24-25, 9am – 6pm at the Betterbee in Greenwhich, NY
  • May 1 – 2, 9am – 6pm at the Dyce Lab in Ithaca, NY

New beekeepers and experience beekeepers looking for a refresher course are encouraged to attend.  A workshop manual and refreshments are provided. For more information and to register visit: http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/masterbeekeeper.htm.

April 24, 2010. Equine Business Seminar. 9am – 4:30pm.  Join Morrisville College to learn about “Spurring the Growth of your Equine Business”. Topics to be discussed are building your equine business on hoof beat at a time: making a living with horses; getting the most “bang or your “buck”: how to get the necessary start up funding; managing your financial records using quicken and excel: how to grow your equine business; and thinking outside the barn: marketing you equine business.  Registration fee is $25, which includes lunch and handouts.  For more information contact Professor Sheila Marshmann at 315-684-6106 or at MarshmSA@morrisville.edu.

April 24, 2010. Spring Meeting of the NY Nut Growers Association. 9:00am – 3:00pm. SUNY Delhi, Delhi, NY. We will have experienced growers speaking about hazelnuts, black walnuts, English walnuts, chestnuts, hickory nuts, and pawpaw (a fruit). There will be talks on Agroforestry, the history of black walnut from Central America, managing and selling black walnut and butternut for timber, and ways to protect young nut trees.  The day’s program will include the planting of nut trees.  Each participant will receive nut samples to eat and to plant.  Reistration is $15, including a light breakfast and lunch.  For a detailed list of the program speakers, see www.nynga.org. For more information, contact Jerry Henkin, sproutnut@aol.com or call 914-282-1371.

May, 2010. “Eating Local Yet?”. This conference organized by Berndette Logozar a NNY Local Foods Specialist and a Rural and Agricultural Development Specialist with CCE-Franklin County focuses on these types of questions, what is the difference between local, organic, grass-fed and naturally produced foods? What are the different types of meat cuts offered by local livestock producers? Where do I find local foods? How do I cook grass-fed beef? Are there ways to eat local foods year-round? Jennifer Wilkins, a Nutritional Science Senior Extension Associate with the Community Food Systems Project at Cornell University will provide the keynote presentation. The conference will be held:

  • Thursday, May 6, 5:30-8:30pm, Plattsburg High School, 49 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY
  • Friday, May 7, 5:30-8:30pm, Eben Holden Hall, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY (map: www.st.lawu.edu/campusmap/#)
  • Saturday, May 8, 10am-3:30pm, Case Junior High School, 1237 Washington Street, Watertown, NY

Pre-registration for the conference is required by May 1. 2010.  The $10 registration fee covers the evening and Saturday conference refreshments and materials.  For more details and to register for the conference, contact Logozar at 518-483-7403 or bel7@cornell.edu.

May 7, 2010. Marchellus Shale Inservice for CCE Educators and Cornell Faculty and Associates. 9:30am – 3:00pm at Museum of the Earth.  To register for this event visit: https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dEtkdklXX0lvV0M3UHU2S1BGenllYUE6MA. While there is not fee we will ask participants to pay their portion of a catered lunch (we will have receipts available, anticipated cost $10/person).

May 12, 2010. Webinar, Marcellus Shale: Community and Economic Considerations. 1:30pm – 3:00pm.  Presenter: Jeffrey Jacquet, Cornell Department of Natural Resources.  To register visit https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dE10Mk1qWUhOSnlFWHVXMWh3TDBONEE6MA

May 15, 2010. Protecting and Enhancing Your Woodlot: Advice for Landowners. 9am – 12pm.  Held at the CCE-Wayne County Office in Newark, NY. This workshop will describe the main threats, both human and natural, that your woodlot faces; what you can do to combat them; and how you can maintain a healthy and productive woodlot.  Topics will include how to protect your woodlot from timber theft and poor logging practices, how to recognize various invasive species and the effects that can have on a woodlot, how to develop a management plan, and what resources are available to help landowners practice good silviculture on their woodlots.  Registration fee is $10 includes the workshop and printed copy of reference material.  Registration deadline is May 7.  For more information call 315-331-8415.

May 22, 2010.  Mushroom Workshop Weekend. Our annual weekend is back and expanding to include more on the fascinating world of fungi.  Workshops will cover the basics of both wild and domestic mushroom production and harvesting with local grower Steve Sierigk and special guest Rafter Sass.  Choose to:

a)    Join us Saturday (9am – 12pm) at the sugarbush of Sapsquatch Maple Prodcuts (www.sapsquatch.com) in Enfield, NY where local artist and mushroom grower Steve Sierigk will cover the basics of shiitake log cultures; species to harvest, when and how to prepare wood, and a hands-on demo of the process of inoculated with sawdust spawn.  Fee: $30.

b)    Join us for the entire weekend (Sat. & Sun, 9am – 5pm), where in addition to the Saturday inoculation, we’ll dive deeper into the potential of mushrooms with guest instructor Rafter Sass.  Discover how we can incorporate delicious, nutritious fungi in our veggie gardens, backyards, lawns, landscaping, balconies, window boxes, and more.  Sunday’s workshop will be at Cayuta Sun (cayuta.org) in Cayutaville, NY.  Limited camping is available for a donation.  Fee: $100 – $300 (sliding scale)

Everyone takes home an inoculated log.  Not previous experience is necessary for any of these workshops.  Please register to attend.  A limited number of scholarships are available.  Please fill out an application.  More information & registration: www.fingerlakespermaculture.org.

May 22, 2010. CCE-Saratoga County Offers Tractor Safety & Operation Class for Adults. 1am-4pm.  4-H Training Center in Ballston Spa, NY.  For new farmers, old farmers, and future farmers in the Capital District area with an interest in tractor and machinery safety and operation.  The program includes video presentations and hands on instruction.  You will be driving a tractor and operating a piece of equipment.  There will be a safety presentation by the NY Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health.  Fee is $15 per person (lunch provided); registration is due by May 14, contact Dave Leggett at 518-885-8995 or dsl29@cornell.edu.

CAREER ETC. OPPORTUNITIES

Artisanal Cheese Business Seeks Investor, Partner and/or Cheesemaker

Seeking investor, partner and/or cheesemaker for five-year-old growing farmstead cheese business in the Finger Lakes region of NYS.  Located 20 minutes away from Ithaca and Cornell University.  Established product line with local and NYC market. Substantial room for growth in both market and production capacity.  Open to various levels and areas of involvement: capital investment, cheesemaking, marketing, and/or sales.  Possible benefits include: room, board, and training.  Anyone interested should contact Nancy at 607-387-3108 or nancy@fingerlakes-cheese.com.

Community Food Security Associate (Americorps), Farm Catskills Farm Catskills  is seeking a talented, energetic young person who would like to learn about agriculture and food systems and help increase the share of local foods in Delaware County agencies and the Food Bank.  The Community Food Security Associate will receive a living stipend and education award, and be based in Hamden, NY.  The time commitment is 455 hours, with a May or early June start date.  This service member will work in the Delaware Opportunities garden to grow and harvest vegetables for the Food Bank, coordinate volunteers from area school groups and community members to help in the garden, and facilitate the purchase of locally grown foods by senior meals, Head Start, and other Delaware County Programs.  The position description and application is on at www.ruralhealthnetwork.org/AmeriCorps/parttime.asp.

Assistant Farm Manager, Amawalk Farm, Katonah, NY

Amawalk Farm is a certified organic berry and vegetable farm in Katonah, NY, one hour north of NYC.  The farm is operated by owner-managers Larry and Marian Cross.  We grow salad greens, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, pumpkins, other veggies, herbs and flowers which we sell to local stores and restaurants and at our own farm stand.  July and mid-August through mid-October we have a raspberry u-pick open to the public.  We also have a flock of free range laying hens.  We provide educational opportunities to local children and are active in the local-food/farming community.  Applicants must have solid farm experience, be self motivated and be prepared to engage successfully in all aspects of operating an organic farm including leading and working with interns and other farm help.  This position is 30 hours per week during farm season and 10 hours per week in winter exchange for occupancy of lovely caretaker/farmer cottage, utilities included.  Ideal for couple with need/desire for easy access to NYC.  Email resume and cover letter to marian@amawalkfarm.org.

Nutrition Team Coordinator, Tompkins CCE

Cornell Cooperative Extension is seeking a Nutrition Team Coordinator to provide leadership and management of the nutrition, health and wellness related components of our programming.  The team coordinator will lead a team of 7 experienced staff implementing a range of educational programs designed to increase access to and appreciation and consumption of healthy foods for all communities, urban and rural, the county; develop innovative new programming that builds on community assets to address community needs; collaborate with more than 20 other staff and hundreds of volunteers from other CCETC program areas and other stakeholders throughout the county and region to continue to strengthen local food systems; and manage the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education in Communities Program and the Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program. APPLICATIONS will be reviewed beginning on 4/30/2010, or until an acceptable pool of applicants has been identified.  For details, please see http://cce.cornell.edu/learnAbout/Pages/pa513.aspx.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Agricultural Water Enhancement Program – Due May 17th

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces the availability of $61.2 million in financial assistance funding for Agricultural Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) projects. This funding will help producers conserve surface and ground water and improve water quality on agricultural land. AWEP projects are implemented by NRCS entering into partnership agreements with eligible entities. NRCS works with these partners to help landowners plan and implement conservation practices in project areas established through the agreements. The following partnership entities are eligible to submit proposals for funding: federally recognized Indian Tribes, States, units of local government, agricultural associations, and other groups of producers–such as irrigation associations, agricultural land trusts, or other nongovernmental organization–that have experience working with agricultural producers. When an AWEP project area has been approved and announced, individual producers may apply for program benefits through their local NRCS office.

Deadline for partner organizations to submit a proposal is 3:00 May 17, 2010. To view the full request for proposal, for additional AWEP information, or to apply visit: www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/AWEP/

Organic Education and Outreach Grant – Due May 17th

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) will fund the development of educational opportunities and materials that are (1) pertinent to organic agricultural production or marketing; and (2) aimed at organic producers and/or those considering making the transition to organic certification. OFRF will also accept proposals to fund activities that promote information sharing among organic agricultural researchers and organic farmers and ranchers.  Proposals are due May 17, 2010. To learn more about this grant visit http://ofrf.og/grants/apply_education&outreach.html.

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Program – Due May 17th

The purpose of the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Program is to provide grants for vocational rehabilitation (VR) services to individuals with disabilities who are migrant and seasonal farmworkers, as determined in accordance with rules prescribed by the Secretary of Labor, and to the family members who are residing with such individuals (whether or not such family members are individuals with disabilities).

Proposals are due May 17, 2010.  To learn more about this grant visit http://www07.grants.gov/search/search.do?&mode=VIEW&oppId=52972

Regional “Buy Local” Campaign Development Program – Due June 3, 2010

As consumers become more educated and interested in the various benefits of buying local, many are seeking products that are produced as nearby as possible.  As a result, regional “buy local” campaigns have the potential to further raise the profile of local products within their region and offer an additional platform to expand the “buy local” movement by providing a range of services and/or activities to help local producers market their products and assist consumers in identifying local products.  This RFP seeks proposals for projects that will develop or enhance regional “buy local” food and/or agricultural campaigns in eleven distinct and defined regions.  There is a total of $13,400 available for each region.  New or existing campaigns are eligible to apply. The overall objective of this RFP is to support projects that will foster increased consumer awareness and recognition of locally produced specialty crops, ultimately leading to increased sales and economic development within each region. Specialty crops are defined by USDA as fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture), herbs and spices.  A detailed list of commonly recognized specialty crops is provided in the RFPs and at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/scbgp. A copy of the RFP can be found at www.agmkt.state.ny.us/RFPS.html or by contacting the Department at 518-457-7076.

RESOURCES

Cornell Organic Production Guides Available Online

Cornell University’s Integrated Pest Management Center is pleased to announce the  availability of nine new organic production guides for farmers.  The new guides provide information for farmers on how to produce certified organic apples, blueberries, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, spinach, strawberries and cole crops, including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  There is also a new guide to help control dairy cattle related pests using organic IPM methods. With limited pest control products available for use in organic production systems, these guides offer commercial vegetable crops. IPM techniques such as keeping accurate pest history records, selecting the proper site, and preventing pest outbreaks through use of crop rotation, resistant varieties and biological controls are all components of successful organic and IPM management techniques.  The guides may be downloaded at http://nysipm.cornell.edu/organic_guide/.

Cornell Tool Helps Maple Tree Owners Evaluate Best Use

Mike Farrell, NYS Maple Specialist, has developed a Net Present Value calculator tool that allows landowners to evaluate the option to lease trees for syrup production vs. managing their trees for sawtimber production. This tool is found online at http://www.nnyagdev.org/_maple.htm.

Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers

A new book, Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers, and Conservationist, is not available from NRAES.  The handbook is a first-of-its-kind, in-depth, full-color guide to rearing and managing bumble bees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, and other alternative to honey bee pollinators. The 162 page book features 130+ color photos, 10 chapters, 7 appendices, nest construction details, parasite and disease management guidelines, and much more. For more information about NRAES visit www.nraes.org or phone 607-255-7654.

New SARE Handbook on Multifarm CSAs

The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program released a handbook on cooperative marketing for community supported agriculture farms (CSAs).  The 130-page manual gives concrete details on strategies for forming and maintaining a multiform CSA, including advice on staffing, volunteer boards, distribution, and legal topics.  To download this PDF visit http://sare.org/publications/csa/csa.pdf or you can order a print copy from the SARE website.

New Series on Economics of Growing Alternative Crops

Thinking about trying a new enterprise? Before taking the plunge, you’ll want to check out the capital, labor and management requirements for the alternative agricultural production possibilities.  A new series of crop and livestock enterprise budgets available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and the Beginning Farmers Center at Iowa State University gives farmers a quick overview of when alternative operations might work for them and how.  Enterprise budgets for sweet corn, soghum, popcorn, sheep and beekeeping are provided initially.  Budgets covering Christmas trees and raspberries will appear soon.  The crop budget sheets can be download at www.leopold.iastate.edu/pubs/enterprise.html.

Dairy Decision Support Tool

Several decisions are made daily on a dairy farm – some involve cow and labor management, other address crop and business concerns, and there are a host of others in between.  Unfortunately, dairy producers do not always have enough information to make the best decisions for current circumstances.  The Dairy Expansion Decision Support System – a decision support system designed to explore dairy farm production and expansion scenarios and simulate specific metrics of their performance – provides critical information dairy producers need to actively manage risk on their dairies.  The versatility of the program’s structure offers potential use in several other areas including providing a tool for risk management in times of great uncertainty, particularly during periods of dairy expansion; accounting for future herd growth when considering livestock housing needs; and matching the proper facility design with specific user-defined goals in mind.  You can access this tool at: http://dairymgt.uwex.edu.

Pollinator Toolkit Available for Organic Farmers

Organic farming offers many benefits to pollinators but some common organic-approved pesticides and practices can be potentially just as harmful to bees and other pollinators as conventional farming systems.  The Xerces Society has developed Organic Farming for Bees, a tool kit for organic growers that includes guidance on how to minimize disturbance to pollinators from farm activities, and how to provide nest sites and foraging patches.  In particular, two fact sheets provide information on toxicity to native pollinators for all major organic-approved insecticides and about pollinator-friendly organic farming practices. To learn more visit http://www.xerces.org/organic-farms/.

1 Comment on Cornell University Small Farms Program Monthly Update

  1. Have you tried localharvest.org? I would start there.

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