Intensive Farm Business Planning Course.

January 15, 2015, 6-9pm., continuing weekly for 10 weeks. Ithaca, NY.
This Groundswell Center for Local Food and Farming class covers all major aspects of the farm business start-up process, including assessing your resources; legal and regulatory issues; production planning; marketing; financial feasibility, budgets and record keeping; and more. It is also appropriate for established farmers who want to improve their business planning and management skills.  For additional information and registration details please visit

Farm to School Webinar Series Announced 
Weekly, January 15th through May 28th
The USDA Farm to School program will present a biweekly 11-part webinar series on building farm to school skills and developing new strategies for bringing local foods into the lunchroom. The first webinar is January 15, and a schedule of webinars through May is available online.

Learn to Write a Business Plan
January 22, 2015. 7:00pm. Erie County CCE Auditorium, 21 South Grove Street, East Aurora, NY 14052
At this Beginning Farmer Discussion Group, we will be hearing from Lynn Oswald, Director of the Small business Development Center at Niagara County Community College.  Participants Can Bring Their Already written Business plans for review or learn how to write a business plan.Come with any questions you may have! (Location is subject to change, please check the website at or call 716/652-5400 x138 a day or two prior to attending the meeting to confirm the location.)

NOFA-NY’s 33rd Annual Organic Farming & Gardening Conference. 
January 23 to 25, 2015. Saratoga Springs Hilton: 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866.
The theme for the conference is “Soil: The Root of the Movement,” and to highlight the importance of soil we are excited that Wes Jackson, founder and President of the Land Institute will be the keynote speaker. The work of the Land Institute is to address the issues of soil loss and degradation, ecosystem destruction, and high energy use associated with agriculture. Our 2015 NOFA-NY Farmers of the Year are Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens. Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens farm 1400 acres of organic corn, soybeans, small grains (wheat, spelt, barley, oats, triticale, heritage grains), dark red kidney beans, and edamame soybeans. They have been farming organically since 1993. Additionally, they own and operate Lakeview Organic Grain, an organic feed and seed business serving the needs of Northeast organic farmers. Find more information and register here.

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) /Food Safety Systems Workshop.
January 27-28, 2015. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.
This workshop is designed to provide comprehensive instruction on the development of HACCP based food safety programs for dairy operations that should apply to juice and other foods as well.  For Grade “A” Dairy processors, this course will meet the core training requirements of the NCIMS Voluntary HACCP Program. FDA Juice HACCP requirements applicable to operations that process juice will be covered as appropriate. It should also serve as a foundation for the Global Food Safety Initiative’s 3rd party certification schemes such as SQF, BRC & FSSC 22000. Preregister here.  Enrollment is limited to 30 participants. The early registration fee is $500 per person for NY companies and $600 for those out-of-state.

The 7th Annual Winter Green-Up Grazing Conference
January 30 & 31, 2015. Century House, 997 New Loudon Rd. (Route 9), Latham, NY 12110.
Featured speakers will include: Neil Dennis, of Sunnybrae Farms, Saskatchewan, Canada and Allan Nation, Editor, Stockman Grass Farmer, based in Ridgeland, Mississippi, Thomas Kilcer. Advanced Ag Systems, Kinderhook, NY and Jim and Deborah Taylor of Sunny Acres Farm, Athens, NY. Once again this year we will have a Friday evening banquet with local grass-fed beef, pork and lamb. Two scholarships will once again be available through the David Huse Education Scholarship Fund. Registration materials will be available in October 2014. Contact Gale Kohler at 518-765-3500 or or visit our website at for details.

Beginning Sheep and Goat Producers Workshop
January 31st, 2015. 9:30am to 3:30pm. The Farm and Home Center at 121 Second St., Oriskany
This livestock learning opportunity is geared towards small ruminant enthusiasts looking to expand their sheep and/or goat interests from hobbyist to sustainable business.  Topics covered include: marketing routes, economics of production, selecting breeding stock, parasite management, feeding needs, and much more. Come and learn from Cornell University professors, Mike Thonney and Tatiana Stanton along with local producers who’ve navigated the learning curve. Participants are required to pre-register by January 26th 2015 by calling 315 736 3394 ext. 132. The cost to attend is $10 and please bring a bagged lunch.

2015 Pesticide Training and Recertification Class 
Mondays, February 2, 9, 16, and 23. 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. Exam offered on March 2, 2015 from 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm. CCE Ontario County. 
This series of pesticide training and recertification classes is being offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Current applicators seeking pesticide recertification credits or anyone interested in obtaining a pesticide certification and meets the D.E.C. experience/education requirements should attend. This training is NOT a 30-hour certification course. The registration form and more information is available on-line at

Vegetable Growers Meeting and High Tunnel School 
Feb. 4th and 5th, 2015. 9:30am-2:30pm Feb. 4th, 9:00am-3:00pm Feb. 5th. Erie County CCE Auditorium 21 South Grove Street, East Aurora, NY 14052. 
You will have the opportunity to learn from industry experts from Cornell’s Regional Vegetable Program and meet your local Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Staff. Topics include site selection and structural considerations, crop and variety selection, disease biology and management, and more. Location is subject to change, please check the website at or call 716/652-5400 x177 a day or two prior to attending the meeting to confirm.

Hudson Valley Value Added Grains School
Feb. 6th, 2015. Anthony’s Banquet Hall, 746 Rt. 23B, Leeds, NY, 12451. 
Featured speakers will be grain drying and storage specialist Dr. Kenneth Hellevang of North Dakota State University, and farmer Thor Oechsner of Oechsner Farms, a 1200-acre certified organic grain operation in Newfield, NY. For full agenda and event details see the flier at Register online here.

An Introduction to High Tunnels workshop
February 9, 2015. 1-4 PM. Good Life Farm in Interlaken, NY.
This stand-alone workshop will be co-taught by Judson Reid, Cooperative Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist and growers Melissa Madden of Good Life Farm and Evangeline Sarat of Sweet Land Farm.  Come early at noon for soup and informal conversation with other growers. In addition, Patrick Barry from USDA NRCS will talk about funding for tunnels. To register for this workshop call Cooperative Extension, 607-272-2292 or email There is a $5 charge for this class.

NY Certified Organic Programs
February 10th and March 10th, 2015. 10am. NYS Agricultural Experiment Station Jordan Hall, 614 W. North Street, Geneva.
New York Certified Organic (NYCO), a group of organic grain and dairy farmers, which has been meeting together since 1994 to increase their practical knowledge and expertise with the organic production of crops and milk.  Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch. The Topics for this year’s meetings will be: Unlocking the Fertility of Your Soil on Jan. 13th, Quality Forage Comes From Planning, Not By Luck on Feb. 10th, and Producing, Protecting, and Marketing of Organic Grain on March 10. For more information, contact Benson at 607-753-5213,

Basic Dairy Science and Sanitation Workshop 
February 18-20, 2015. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
This workshop is designed to help participants understand the basic principles of dairy science and safety, as well as understanding the needs of their dairy processing establishment with regard to dairy sanitation to help ensure that proper sanitation programs are conducted in their establishment. This workshop is tailored to dairy processing personnel and the tuition is $500 for in-state registrants — $600 for out of state registrants. Enrollment is limited to the first 30 participants, so register early and return with your payment to: Louise Felker, Cornell University, Dept. of Food Science, Stocking Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Farmers Market Manager Training Conference
February 19-21, 2014. Ramada Inn in Liverpool.
The conference will focus on farmers markets and building programs and services that maintain connections with the market farmers, consumers, and host communities. Our keynote speakers, Gretchen Wall of the Produce Safety Alliance and John Luker, NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets, will discuss food safety, specifically the Food Safety Modernization Act and current food safety regulations. An evening banquet features Chris Fowler of Syracuse First, talking about building and supporting a local food scene. Each session of the conference builds on the overall theme of maintaining community connections and is designed to help market managers improve their ability to manage their market, advance their market’s potential for long-term sustainability, and promote a marketplace that achieves a mission of supporting local farmers. Get more information at

Winter Webinars on Agricultural Law.
Various dates this winter. Online.
This winter, Farm Commons is hosting an incredible lineup of 14 webinars on farm law. Farmers new to legal education should check the 8 webinars in their “Farm Law Basics” series. Those who are already familiar with how the law affects their farm operation can dig into the details through the “Advanced Farm Law” series. Each webinar will provide lots of time for questions, input from farmers themselves, and true stories about folks who have been there. Go to to view the lineup and to register.

Management Systems to Fit Your Life Workshops.
Various dates.
CCE has planned these workshops for sites in Watertown, Malone, Plattsburgh, and Canton to focus on ways producers can structure their operations to accommodate both their farm business goals and lifestyle. Workshop presentations and discussion will consider how frequently to lamb or kid, growing versus buying feed, how different marketing channels may conflict with off-farm job commitments, and how different management systems impact costs, time and labor requirements. Click here for dates and details.

Berry Pest Workshop 
March 4, 2015. Clarion Hotel, 8250 Park Rd., Batavia, NY. 
Growers of fall raspberries, mid-late season blueberries, and day-neutral strawberries can learn how to manage Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD) at this upcoming workshop offered by the NYS Berry Growers Association. Registration is $25/person for NYSBGA members and $50/person for non-members. Register by February 25th at

Year-Round High Tunnels Course.
March 8, April 12, May 10, June 14, July 12, September 13, October 11, November 8.  Various locations around Ithaca, NY.
Sessions will be held on the second Sunday of each month, March through November, with a break in August. Each session will be held at a different farm, highlighting diverse production systems.  Host farmers and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators will address the full range of production and management issues including: soil fertility, pest and disease management, varieties, economics, marketing, and crop-specific practices for tomatoes, greens and fruit. To accommodate changes in daylight hours, our March and April classes will run from 1-4 PM; then from May through November, classes will run from 4-7 PM. Class size is limited so please register early! Full tuition for the Year-Round High Tunnels Course is $435. Tuition assistance is available for those with financial limitations. To register and to apply for tuition assistance contact Find more information at

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