Info for Authors

Small Farm Quarterly Magazine | Info for Authors |

Jump to a section: Important Forms | About | Deadlines | Target Readers | Target Writers | Topics of Interest | Article Length | Style and Content | Graphics | Alterations | Reprints | Payment | How to Submit | Contact

Important Forms for Writers/Editors, 2011-2012

About Small Farm Quarterly

Thank you for your interest in writing for Small Farm Quarterly. SFQ is for farmers and farm families across the Northeast who value the quality of life that smaller farms provide. Our goals are to…

  • Celebrate smaller-scale, family-oriented farming in the Northeast
  • Inspire and inform farm families and their supporters
  • Help farmers share their expertise and opinions with one another
  • Increase awareness of the multiple benefits that smaller farms contribute
    to society and the environment
  • Share important reserch, extension, and other resouces with small farm operators and their families
  • Present a positive, upbeat, “can-do” attitude about small farms while not shying away from challenging issues
  • Encourage the respectful expression of diverse opinions and perspectives

Small Farm Quarterly is not just about being a good business manager and producing quality products. It’s also about the joys and challenges of farm living, the pleasures of raising kids on a farm, and the beauty of nature. It’s about working with neighbors and building community, and the importance of stewardship. It’s about good farming and good living that connects people, land and communities.

All submissions are reviewed by members of the Editorial Team. The Editor in Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that are not consistent with SFQ’s goals.

Important Deadlines for Authors, 2011-2012







FINAL Articles w/ Submission Forms Due to Violet

November 12th

February 11th

May 13th

August 12th

Order bulk copies @ $.10 each

December 10th

March 4th

June 3rd

September 2nd

Publication date

January 11th, 2011

April 5th

July 5th

October 3rd

Target Readers

Small Farm Quarterly is for Northeast region farmers and farm families who value the quality of life that smaller farms provide. It is for full-time and part-time farmers, experienced and beginning farmers, and even folks who are just thinking about getting started in farming. We don’t use any particular definition of “small farm” but leave it up to the reader to decide if the shoe fits. Our readers include small farm producers of dairy, livestock, fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and forest products. Many operate diversified farms.

Target Writers

Northeast region writers are strongly preferred, although we include occasional articles from outside the region.

Farmers and farm family members are especially encouraged to contribute articles reflecting your own experiences. Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience writing – we are happy to edit your work.

Young writers are also especially encouraged. Our Youth Page is written by and for young people.

Small farm boosters are key contributors to Small Farm Quarterly. They include Cooperative Extension educators, researchers, USDA agency staff, and staff of non-profit organizations. They also include consumers, farm neighbors, community leaders, planners, environmentalists and others interested in supporting small farms in the Northeast.

Topics of interest

Below is a list of topics we are interested in addressing in Small Farm Quarterly. We’re also open to suggestions – tell us what you think would be interesting to our audience.

Readers Write: Send us a story about your life on the farm, your reminiscences, poems, recipes, questions for other readers or for Cornell specialists, or just a letter.

Resource Spotlight: Information about an organization, program, publication, website, service, or other resource that small farmers in the Northeast should know about.

Small Farm Profiles: Detailed stories of interesting small farms and the families or individuals who run them.

Commercial production: Dairy, livestock, grazing, field crops, forages, vegetables, fruit, specialty crops, poultry, bee-keeping; machinery and equipment.

Production for the home: Home garden, home food processing and storage …

Marketing: Marketing success stories, how-to’s, market planning, direct marketing, CSA, farmers markets, wholesale, mail order, internet, cooperatives, adding value…

Home and Family: Livelihoods and lifestyles, balancing farm & family, parenting, farm safety, family activities, relationships and communication, food safety, farm family stories, economics and budgeting, health and disability…

Forest and Woodlot: Forest management and stewardship, logging, firewood, maple products, forest crops, ginseng, mushroom production…

Farm Business Management: Business planning, controlling costs, managing risks, record keeping, planning and budgeting, government programs, farm transfers…

Stewardship and Nature: Protecting soil and water quality; wildlife on the farm; learning from nature; enhancing biodiversity, conservation programs, sustainability …

New Farmers :Success stories, young farmers, new immigrant farmers, retiree farmers, apprenticeship opportunities, legal considerations, what lenders look for …

Organic Farming: Success stories, how to get started in organic, production systems, organic markets, should you get certified?  Organic certification options….

Community & World: Life in a farming community, neighbors helping neighbors, building relationships with non-farmers, connecting rural and urban communities, small farmers across the world, global connections…

Food For Thought: Big picture thinking, intriguing and inspirational ideas, opportunities and challenges facing small farms, the future of farming, opinion pieces…

Youth Page: What you love (or hate) about growing up on a farm, why you wish you lived on a farm, why you want (or don’t want) to be a farmer when you grow up. Written by and for young readers.

Urban Agriculture: Farming inside our cities, urban CSA’s, urban youth development through agriculture, farm-city connections…

Other: Book reviews, poems, photo essays, drawings, or other items may be included.

Article Length

Most articles should aim for 1,000 words. A “Resource Spotlight,” which describes a useful publication, organization, website, or other resource relating to the topic and referenced in the article, should generally be under 300 words.  Where appropriate, we encourage authors to provide a Resource Spotlight to accompany your article and direct readers to additional information.

Style and Content

Small Farm Quarterly articles should be simply and clearly written, warm and friendly in tone, and should engage the reader through use of the first and second person (I, we, you) where appropriate. Avoid formal, impersonal or academic-sounding language. Whenever possible avoid the use of technical jargon that is not common to the general public.

Farmers love to read about other farmers. Wherever possible, use one or more real-life farms to illustrate your theme, either in the text of the article or as a sidebar. Interview the farm operator and family, and use direct quotes to add interest. Photographs of the farmers and the farm family are strongly encouraged, but must be accompanied by a signed Photography Release Form (see below). We strongly recommend that you have your interviewees review and approve your article before sending it to us.

Photos and Graphics

All articles must be accompanied by one or more high resolution photographs. This does not apply to resource spotlights or letters to the editor. Other graphics such as cartoons, lineart, or charts may be included as appropriate.

All photographs featuring subject(s) under age 18 or personally identifiable adults must be accompanied by a signed photography release form.

All photos and graphics files should be sent as email attachments. Do not embed photos or graphics in your Word document.

High resolution only. Digital photos and other graphics should be 300 dpi TIF or JPG in either BW or RGB or CMYK color.  WE CANNOT USE IMAGES COPIED FROM A WEBSITE — these reproduce poorly in print. Lineart is preferred at 1200 dpi Bitmap (BMP).


Small Farm Quarterly reserves the right to alter your manuscript for readability or space considerations. There will be no deliberate changes in the meaning of the text. Although every effort is made to avoid error, Small Farm Quarterly does limit its responsibility for any errors, inaccuracies, misprints, omissions, or other mistakes in the article content.


We prefer to publish original articles. We will consider reprinting an article if it is: 1) well written, reader-friendly, and engaging,2) relevant and useful to Northeast small farm families; AND 3) not already easily available to our readers through another publication.

If your article has been printed in another publication, please use the Article Submission Form to list the publication and date published, and provide a written statement from the publisher giving permission for the article to be reprinted in Small Farm Quarterly.


Unfortunately, Small Farms Quarterly is not able to pay any of our contributing writers at this time. We can offer up to ten free copies of the issue in which your article appears.

How to submit your writing

For longer articles, please use the Article Submission Form. We recommend that you first contact the Coordinating Editor by phone or email to discuss your idea.  We reserve the right to publish or not to publish any materials received.  We may hold materials for publication at a later date.

For letters to the editor and other short submissions, simply send them to the Coordinating Editor (see below) either by email (preferred) or by mail.

For more information contact…

Violet Stone

SFQ Managing Editor
Cornell Small Farms Program
15A Plant Science Building
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853