The USDA recently announced the availability of $2.3 million for the establishment of regional centers to support comprehensive food safety training and education.The regional centers funded by the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Grant Program will facilitate work across their regions to increase the understanding and adoption of established food safety standards, guidance, and protocols. Specifically, this work will address the needs of small and medium-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, and small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. View the Request for Applications here, and apply for the grant here.
Leading soil scientists have released a review of scientific literature that summarizes the precarious state of the world’s soil resources and the possible ramifications for human security. The paper published in the journal Science outlines threats to soil productivity and food production due to soil erosion, nutrient exhaustion, urbanization, and climate change. Click here to read the report.
Want to reduce your spring tillage? This NOFA-NY field day (titled Ready to Roll? New Field Research on Organic No-Till Soybean with Rolled-Crimped Cover Crops) will demonstrate equipment for successfully rolling down cover crops and planting soybeans into the resulting mulch; plus field plots will show results of several different rolling dates and cover crop species. This is a viable way to save money and time, while improving your soil! Join Matt Ryan, Brian Caldwell, Jeff Liebert, Christopher Pelzer and other Cornell Researchers at this twilight meeting held at a Cornell University research farm.
When: June 18th, 6pm – 8pm.
Where: Musgrave Research Farm, 1256 Poplar Ridge Rd., Aurora, NY 13026
The Growing Farmers Initiative at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is now accepting workshop proposals for the 8th annual Young Farmers Conference, December 2-4, 2015. Every December, hundreds of beginning farmers from across the United States gather at Stone Barns Center to learn from experienced farmers, agricultural luminaries, peers, technical experts and advocacy organizations. Workshop Sessions, consisting of a single presenter or panel discussion, will be approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes in length, including Q&A with participants. Please allow ample time for participant questions and discussion. More information is available here.
The New York State (NYS) Mesonet or Early Warning Weather Detection System is an advanced, statewide weather station network. This network will be the first of its kind in New York and will consist of up to 125 surface weather stations that will detect weather phenomena across the entire state. This weather detection system will provide federal, state, and local communities with access to high-resolution, real-time data, and more robust predictive models.
The NYS Mesonet is looking for up to 125 weather station sites across New York State. The University at Albany will pay for any costs associated with the installation and will handle all of the maintenance and repair associated. If you are interested in hosting a weather station at your farm, please contact Program Manager Jerry Brotzge via e-mail at or by phone at 518-442-6376.
View the full press release here.
What is Greener Partners?
In imagining a better food system, Greener Partners operates community Farm Hubs as resources for local produce and for education — as well as inspiration — about food and farming. Their farmers grow vegetables, herbs and fruit for Greener Partners’ own Farm Market, Community Supported Agriculture members and to sell at area farmers’ markets. Education programs engage kids, both on farms and in area schools, through programs like The SOL Food Project and Farm field trips. To cross generations, Greener Partners offers workshops for adults and families on the “lost arts” of our agricultural and cultural past that still are relevant and useful in our lives today.
The Available Positions
Guild House Farm Manager: Greener Partners (GP) seeks a dynamic, experienced and committed farmer and farm educator to manage and lead education and community programs at Guild House Farm, a
partnership with Friends Rehabilitation Program’s Guild House West. The Farm Manager is a full-‐time salaried position with benefits.
Guild House Farm/SOL Food Part–time Educator:
Greener Partners (GP) seeks a dynamic, experienced and committed part–time educator to assist with growing and programming at Guild House Farm and SOL (Sustainable Organic Local) Food Project, our Philadelphia-‐based teen program.
Longview Farm Community Engagement Coordinator
Greener Partners (GP) seeks a dynamic, experienced and committed part-‐time staff to lead on-‐farm
education programming and expand our food access outreach in the region. The ideal candidate will be
an experienced gardener, an engaging educator, have experience doing community organizing and/or
community outreach, have demonstrated a commitment to food justice, and know the Norristown
and/or Phoenixville community.
Shiitake mushrooms have become a very popular crop for both growers and consumers, but it’s not the only mushroom with potential in an agroforestry operation: the Lion’s Mane is an exciting and exotic addition to any shiitake enterprise! Read about the Lion’s Mane mushroom in this Spring Quarterly article: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2015/04/06/lions-mane/
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a new report showing tremendous demand for recent college graduates with a degree in agricultural programs with an estimated 57,900 high-skilled job openings annually in the food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, and environment fields in the United States. According to the USDA and Purdue University, there is an average of 35,400 new U.S. graduates with a bachelor’s degree or higher in agriculture related fields, 22,500 short of the jobs available annually. View the full press release here.
The Northeast Beginning Farmer Project and New York FarmNet are happy to announce the first round of successful candidates to our Advanced Beginning Farmer Profit Teams. Selection for this program was competitive and we received a lot of great applications but our review team selected the twelve farms that we thought would have the best chance at success in the program. The twelve farms represent a wide variety of farm sizes, crop types, business models, and regions across the state. This initiative seeks to improve the long-term success of these farms by providing customized, one-on-one guidance from farm professionals (financial, production, legal, marketing, etc.). This project is funded by the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. To see the participating farms or learn more, visit https://nebeginningfarmers.org/projects/profit-teams/
The Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture has released two new publications on pollinator habitat. Native Plants for Native Pollinators in Oklahoma is a full-color guidebook that provides information on 38 native plants and the pollinators that visit them. Establishing Native Pollinator Habitat Organically: Tips from Our Experience at Kerr Center is a four-page PDF. The Kerr Center has also released an eight-page publication, Cover Crops as Beneficial Insect Habitats: Observations from a Demonstration Organic Market Farm, that outlines experiences in using cover crops as beneficial insect habitat in rotational organic market farming.