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Monthly Archives: December 2014

Organic Seed Alliance and the University of Wisconsin-Madison have announced the release of a new open-pollinated sweet corn variety. ‘Who Gets Kissed?’ is the first in a series of organic sweet corn releases developed through participatory plant breeding. ‘Who Gets Kissed?’ has yellow and white kernels, yields well, tolerates cool soils, and is resistant to common rust and corn smut. It also demonstrates superior flavor and sweetness. Find more information here.

Annie’s Homegrown awards scholarships through the Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship program are open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school in the United States for the 2015/2016 school year. Students must be focusing studies on sustainable agriculture. Find more information at

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.

When? January 27-28, 2015

Where? Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

This conference provides farm families and their advisers critical information for helping the next generation find success on the farm and identifies effective management transfer strategies to implement. The conference key note speaker is Dr. Klinefelter, a Professor and Extension Economist with Texas AgriLife Extension and Texas A&M University and founder and former director of The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP). In addition, Dr. Klinefelter is co-director of the Texas A&M Family and Owner-Managed Business Program and serves as executive secretary for the Association of Agricultural Production Executives (AAPEX). Register at

When? January 13-14, 2015

Where?  DoubleTree Hotel in East Syracuse

Forest mushroom cultivation is an emerging niche crop with potential to improve farmer stewardship of forests while offering a unique and highly desired product. Learn the background, techniques and economics of small outdoor (forest grown) commercial mushroom production in an online course starting February 24th.  BF 150: Woodland Mushroom Cultivation is a 6-week online course that consists of weekly real-time webinars followed by homework, readings, and discussions on your own time in an online setting. This class is part of the line-up of 12 online courses offered this Fall, Winter and Spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program. Click here to learn which courses would be best for you, read about our team of experienced instructors, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and view the calendar of course offerings for 2014-2015.

According to an announcement by Senators Schumer, Gillibrand, Higgins, and Collins, the USDA has issued a Secretarial Disaster Area for 7 Counties in Western New York that were devastated by the November snow storm: Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, and Wyoming. The programs available with a USDA disaster declaration include Farm Service Agency emergency loans, the Disaster Set Aside Program, Tree Assistance Program, Livestock Indemnity Program, and more.

View the press release here:

1-FVC-Resource-GuideFarmer Veteran Coalition has released Veteran Careers in Agriculture: A Resource Guide. The 40-page PDF publication introduces the Farmer Veteran Coalition and its work, profiles veteran farmers, discusses opportunities for veterans to find employment in agriculture, and offers resources for business planning. It also serves as a directory of agricultural organizations and educational opportunities for farmer veterans.

With another foot of snow expected in the next few days in some parts of New York, it’s time to read up on some tips for dealing with severe winter weather on farms.

To Minimize Wind Damage to Greenhouses:

  • Remove loose objects from the area (including weak tree limbs)
  • Close all openings to the greenhouse
  • Open the blower’s intake valve on air inflated greenhouses to increase the inflation pressure
  • Consider planting windbreaks.

Click here for more info about preventing greenhouse damage.

If Your Greenhouse Has Minimal Damage:

  • Prop up greenhouse frame to prevent further collapse
  • Add additional bracing (diagonal at corners)
  • Check and tighten frame connections
  • Repair glazing
  • Close doors and vents
  • Open drain pipes
  • Provide temporary heat to keep plants from freezing
  • Check and repair heating/electrical/water systems.

If your greenhouse sustains major structural damage:

  • Support frame members for safe entry
  • Cut poly if necessary to reduce load on structure
  • Clear aisles
  • Remove plants to temporary structures or alternate location
  • Drain water system
  • Cover heating/cooling and materials handling equipment with tarps

With any greenhouse damage, start by shutting off power, gas, and water supplies and take lots of pictures.

With new Local Food Promotion Program funding, the Lucky Dog Food Hub will scale-up their offerings to encourage agricultural entrepreneurship and help local farmers expand into high-quality, high-value markets through personalized buyer and producer activities. During this workshop, producers will learn more about the activities made possible through LFPP and how be become part of the Hub’s producer line-up for 2015. For more information, contact Sonia Janiszewski at 914-720-1020 or .

When: December 16th, 2014. 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Where: Lucky Dog Farm Store & Café on Main Street in Hamden

Applications due December 15, 2014 

RICHMOND, VERMONT – The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is currently accepting applications for their 2015 Journey Farmer Program. The Journey Farmer Program is a two-year program for beginning farmers who are in the first few years of running their own farming enterprise in Vermont. The program is largely shaped by the farming interests and goals of the Journey Farmers, and enables aspiring new farmers to advance their farming skills and experiences, along with being a part of a learning community of other aspiring farmers and farmer mentors.

NOFA-VT’s Journey Farmer program began in 2011, and to date 23 Journey Farmers have participated. Three to five new Journey Farmers will be added to the program for 2015.

The Journey Farmer program was developed to help farmers successfully bridge the gap from education and apprenticeships to viable commercial enterprises. The program provides several offerings to help reach these goals, including farmer-to-farmer mentoring, free admission into NOFA-VT’s Summer Workshop Series and Winter Conference, business planning support, access to technical assistance, and an educational stipend.

Journey Farmers also become part of a supportive network made up of other beginning farmers and farmer mentors by participating in special gatherings, educational offerings and events. “My mentorship with another farmer has helped my farm become more sustainable financially, and has helped guide me through my farming years,” said past participant Nate Lewis of Moonlight Farm.

Applications and resumes are due by December 15, 2014. Couples and/or business partners should submit one joint application. If you have any questions regarding the program, criteria for selection, or the application please contact Rachel Fussell, Education Coordinator, at .

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