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WINTER 2005

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY Good Living and Good Farming that Connect Land, People, and Communities

Feature Articles Pastured Pork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 4 Safety in the Woodlot . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 8 Marketing Farm-Produced Cheeses Photo by Joanna Green

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New Immigrant Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 19

Supplement to Country Folks


January 10, 2005

FROM

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

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EDITORS

By Joanna Green By the time you read this, we will have turned the corner around one more longest-night-of-the-year....The sun will be rising earlier again with the promise of another season yet to come. I will be heading into the second year of my sixth decade on this little planet, and into my third decade working with farmers and with my colleagues in the Cooperative Extension system and sustainable agriculture movement. Holy cows! I want to take this moment to reflect on the fabulous network of people that I’ve had the privilege of working with all these years. They come from all different backgrounds. Some have been farming for generations. Some used to farm but had to give it up. Some live in the city or the suburbs and will

never come close to being a farmer. Some want to get into - or back into - farming some day. What all the folks in this network share is not just a keen interest in farming and a deep concern for the future of farming in our region. There’s also some deeply personal connection that we’ve made at some point in our lives, sometimes for inexplicable reasons, to farming. It’s important to remember that all of us who work with agriculture share this deeper connection and concern for the future of farming. We may come from very different backgrounds, and we may disagree about what’s best, but underneath all that is our common desire to see farming continue in our region far into the future. Joanna Green is Extension Associate with Cornell’s Small Farms Program.

SMALL FARMS PROGRAM UPDATE 2004 in Review 2004 was another busy and rewarding year for Cornell’s Small Farms Program, our fifth since the Program was created in 2000 under the leadership of Dr. R. David Smith. Our mission is still the same: to foster the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment. We do this primarily by fostering extension education programs, research and collaborative efforts that specifically target small farms. We also seek to involve farmers in identifying program priorities, and we attempt to hold ourselves accountable to farmers for the work that we do.

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to plan, oversee and often to conduct our Extension professional development programs and our Task Group meetings. We’d like to recognize them here and publicly thank them for their leadership in addressing small farm needs in New York. They are: • Monika Roth, CCE South Central NY Agriculture Team • Jim Hayes, Farmer, Sap Bush Hollow Farm, Warnersville, NY • John Thurgood, Delaware County CCENYC Watershed Agriculture Program • Bernadette Logozar, Franklin County Coop Extension • Mike Baker, Animal Science Department, Cornell

THE SMALL FARMS LEADERSHIP TEAM The staff of the Small Farms Program is small, consisting of Program Director Dr. Anu Rangarajan, Extension Associate Joanna Green, and student assistants Toshie Gomyo and Erika Worden. But we're able to extend our reach through the involvement of many partners including Cornell faculty and staff, Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and many others.

NEW IN 2004.... One of the year’s big changes for the Program came last April when Dr. Anu Rangarajan took over as Director, replacing Dave Smith, who had been named Interim Director of the new New York Farm Viability Institute. Since that time Anu has gotten up to speed - and then some - on our many projects and partners, and will be considering some new directions for the Program in the coming years.

Most notable among our partners are the members of the Small Farms Task Group Leadership Team, who work closely with us

Our 2004 professional development programs were aimed at helping Extension educators and others to facilitate farmer-to-

How can I get Small Farm Quarterly? Country Folks subscribers automatically receive SFQ four times a year at no extra cost. Country Folks is delivered weekly for $35 per year. SFQ-only subscribers receive just the 4 issues of Country Folks that contain the SFQ insert for only $5 a year. Cooperative Extension Associations and other organizations can offer their members a subscription to SFQ as a member benefit! Your organization collects the names, forwards them to Country Folks Subscriptions, and pays Country Folks just $2.50 for each subscriber. Country Folks mails out the copies. Bulk orders: You can order multiple copies of any issue for just10¢ a copy! Minimum order is 100. Orders must be placed at least 4 weeks before the publication date - Spring 2005 copies need to be ordered by March 10. To find out more, contact: Tracy Smith Country Folks Subscriptions P.O. Box 121, Palatine Bridge. NY 13428 1-888-596-5329 email: subscriptions@leepub.com

Photo by Jude Barry farmer learning. A January workshop explored how to organize and facilitate farmer discussion groups. A spring videoconference with Tracy Frisch of the Regional Farm and Food Project focused on farmer-to-farmer mentoring and how Extension can support the process. An intensive training in group facilitation skills was offered in the summer, and finally, a twoday introduction to Holistic Management was held in the fall.

improved access to USDA program benefits; and a stronger voice in public policy development.

A new initiative in 2004 was our monthly email newsletter, Small Farms Update. The Update summarizes announcements, information resources, opportunities and upcoming events relevant to small farms across New York State. We’re getting a great response from farmers and others, even from far beyond NY. To receive the Update, just send an email message to Joanna Green at jg16@cornell.edu. Include your name, farm or business name, complete postal address, and County.

AND MORE... Other accomplishments and partnerships in 2004 included: • Began exploring strategies to strengthen Cornell's sustainable agriculture and food systems research and education programs, working with partners including the Community, Food, and Agriculture Program, the Community Food Systems Program, and external stakeholder groups. • Nineteen local Extension projects funded and completed in the 2003-4 cycle of our CCE Grants Program for Innovative Small Farms Education; support provided by our Farmer Review Committee: Jim Hayes, Janice Brown, Dan Flaherty, Dick DeGraff and Brian Caldwell. • Nine new Extension projects funded in our 2004-5 grants cycle. • Four excellent issues of Small Farm Quarterly; with the support of our outstanding SFQ Editorial Team (see page 2). • Continued refinement and expansion of our web site www.smallfarms.cornell.edu; thanks to our talented student webmaster Toshie Gomyo. • Successful proposal for a new three-year research initiative on Factors Influencing the Viability of Small Dairy Farms in NYS; through a partnership with colleagues in the Community Food and Agriculture Program, the Department of Applied Economics and Management, and the Animal Science Department.

Another new development was the formation of the Cornell Small Farms Club just last fall. The club was the brainchild of Erika Worden, our outstanding new workstudy Program Assistant who serves as the club’s President. Erika has organized an enthusiastic group of undergraduate and graduate students from many different disciplines. Most club members are considering farming either full or part-time at some point after graduation. CONTINUING A TRADITION: LISTENING TO FARMERS In years past, the Program has hosted an annual “Small Farms Task Group Accountability Meeting,” in which we report to a group of small-scale farmers about our activities, and ask them what more they think Cornell, Cooperative Extension, and other service providers should be doing to enhance the viability of small farms. We use this farmer input to guide our programming priorities at the Small Farms Program, and we share it with colleagues throughout Cornell and Cornell Cooperative Extension. This year we hosted one such meeting in Syracuse in March, and two regional meetings in December; one in Western NY and the other in the Hudson Valley. With the help of our Extension colleagues in these areas, we invited a select group of diverse small farm operators to each of these meetings. In our December meetings, in addition to asking farmers about research and extension issues, we explored their ideas about how to build stronger networks and stronger leadership among NY’s smaller-scale farmers, in order to achieve what can’t be achieved individually, such as better information sharing; improved access to markets; a stronger oversight/advocacy role in Cornell and other agency programs;

We will report on what they told us in a future issue of Small Farms Quarterly. Meanwhile, if you have thoughts you’d like to share about small farm support needs or leadership issues, .send an email to Joanna Green at jg16@cornell.edu or Anu Rangarajan at ar47@cornell.edu.

We look forward to another busy and rewarding year in 2005, and as always, we welcome your suggestions for how to do a better job meeting your needs as small farm operators.


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SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

January 10, 2005

FARMING OPPORTUNITIES

The Promising Possibilities of Pastured Pork By Bill Henning “If you’re a chef searching for an old-fashioned, well marbled pork chop, go to the Rodeo Drive of Pork Production. Boutique pork producers offer designer labels such as Berkshire, Korubota, and Duroc - these are the Guccis of pork, with a taste that one chef describes as “wonderfully piggy.” Farmers are putting the fat back into these hogs while following the traditional principles of sound animal husbandry, good genetics, and conscientious land stewardship.” The National Culinary Review, February 2004. While close to 90% of today’s pork comes directly or indirectly from large producers, there are rapidly growing opportunities for small farms in organic and “natural” production. The National Pork Board (NPB) estimates that 40-80% of consumers are interested in either organic or natural pork. This type of production can be an overwhelming challenge for the mega-producers, but lucrative for the well-managed small family farm. The NPB feels so strongly about this it has established a new web site, www.nichepork.org. Generally speaking, this type of pork production prohibits the use of antibiotics, growth stimulants, meat bi-products, farrow-

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ing crates, and fully slatted floors. It encourages the use of pasture, deep-bedded pens with straw, and certain humane standards. Some marketing options also require that family members perform all labor and management. This requires a ‘high health’ method of management. Natural or organic production removes many of the health supports used routinely in mass production. For optimum natural production hogs must be managed in a manner to prevent disease by minimizing stress and maximizing the use of the hog’s natural immune system. At least one international swine nutrition company has also recognized this growing demand for natural production and established a nutritional program specifically for this market. These programs are available through smaller, independent feed companies throughout the country. We have at least one of those companies here in New York. There are various marketing opportunities, the most lucrative of which is direct pork marketing. This can also be time consuming, selling is not something that everyone wants to do, and selling all of the hog can be a challenge. But it’s worth repeating: Direct marketing is the most lucrative option for the person so inclined.

FAMILY

Resource Spotlight

Resources for Marketing Natural and/or Organic Pork New England Livestock Alliance Richmond, MA (413) 443 8356 www.nelivestockalliance.org Vermont Quality Meats North Clarendon, Vermont (802) 747-5950

Courtesy Dr. Charles Talbott, North Carolina A&T State University There are other options. There are a number of companies that market this type of pork. At least one has a guaranteed floor price and they all buy the whole hog. Or better yet, combine a number of market outlets. Don’t forget breeding stock sales. People are often looking for feeder pigs, and 75-pound roasters are popular in the summer. The opportunities for small-scale farming are only bounded by our perceptions and imaginations. What do you see in your future? Bill Henning and his wife Kathleen operate a grass-based beef and sheep farm in the Finger Lakes region of New York. He is also the Small Farms Specialist with PRO-DAIRY/CCE-NWNY Dairy, Livestock, and Field Crops Team.

Valley Livestock Marketing Cooperative Stanfordville, NY (845) 868-1826 www.valleyfarmers.com American Berkshire Association West Lafayette, Indiana (765) 497-3618 www.americanberkshire.com Niman Ranch Inc. Oakland, California (866) 808 0340 www.nimanranch.com National Pork Board's Niche Pork Offers a sourcing page www.nichepork.org

Do You Have the Mid-Winter Blues? By Claire Hebbard Winter is a time when the house sometimes feels too small. It’s too cold to go outside, frozen water pipes have made your patience wear thin, and you just want to crawl into bed as soon as the sun goes down (which is pretty early.) I recently attended a workshop on beating the winter blues. I was excited to walk away with a packet of information that would magically help the winter be more tolerable. To my dismay, I read through the suggestions and heard myself saying “yes...but....” Some of the suggestions were just outright impossible - such as to go mall-walking (30 miles away from home) or join a class or a group (too much time and didn’t allow for flexibility.) These were things I wouldn’t do in the middle of summer, much less in the middle of winter! So the list of “strategies” was not helpful to me, but I did not walk away empty handed. Here are some of the key points I picked up. #1 — There is a difference between the winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). About 20% of people get the blues, but they still can function in their daily chores. About 5% of our population suffers from SAD. Women are more susceptible than men, and it usually begins between the ages of 20 and 30. SAD is a biochemical disorder, brought on by stress, and can be treated (with medicine or light therapy, stress management and counseling.) #2- Both problems are stress induced. Whether you have SAD or the winter blues, it is an indication of a need to identify your priorities and do some problem solving. Look at your life as a whole, and identify which problems can be addressed. Be

proactive by planning and preparing for the trouble spots, rather than waiting to react to stress. #3 - Maintain your childlike sense of awe. Do you remember being a child, waking up to snow and being so excited you just needed to put your boots on and go play in it? Stop fighting the cold and snow! You cannot control the weather, and worrying about the weather will not make it better. Prepare yourself with boots, coat, hat and gloves so you can dress for the cold. Take safety precautions as needed for your traveling - good snow tires, a full tank of gas, and a blanket. Don’t sit and watch the weather channel repeatedly looking for bad news. Instead, recognize and accept the weather, and stop struggling against something you can’t conYour article on page 26 by David Reed in trol. You don’t have to like winter, but you don’t have to be controlled by your distaste the Fall 2004 Small Farm Quarterly did not mention the dangers of logging, of it, either. safety equipment, and how loggers, #4 - Similarly, focus your attention outward. landowners and farmers are injured or killed by trees every year. Safety is Visit a neighbor, write a thank-you note, or the most important part of working in the do something to take care of someone else. woods. Helping someone else will make you feel good and productive, and remind you of the Sincerely, good things in your life. David P. Silloway Randolph Center, VT #5 - Balance your life with self-care. Be mindful of your nutritional needs and sleep patterns. Meditate, take up a hobby, exerHi David. Thank you once again for cise, order take-out for dinner, or read a reminding us about the importance of safebook. Think positive thoughts - you will find ty precautions in the woods. Would you be what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for willing to write about the dangers of logging problems, you will find them. But if you plan and your advice for safety precautions for for problematic situations (#2 above) so you the next issue of SFQ? can focus on looking for the positive, you will be inspired. Joanna

Photo by Brian DeVore

READERS WRITE

Claire Hebbard is the Assistant Director of NY FarmNet. Farm family members in New York can get help with family and business issues by calling the FarmNet helpline toll free at 1-800-547-FARM.

See David’s excellent article “Safety in the Woodlot,” right in this issue. Thanks David! I was just speaking to a woman who works on a farm in Brooktondale. She was

impressed with Small Farms Quarterly and the resources offered by both Small Farms and the Community Food and Agriculture Program and said, “I’m glad to know that Cornell is doing so much work with small farm enterprises.” Gretchen Gilbert Cornell Community, Food, and Agriculture Program

Thanks Gretchen. I should point out that none of our work here at Cornell’s Small Farms Program would be possible without the active participation of our Cornell Cooperative Extension colleagues across the state. They are the front line folks who really make things happen. Joanna


January 10, 2005

PRODUCTION

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MANAGEMENT

Hired Help and the Part Time Farmer By David Leggett Part-time farmers are often weekend warriors, trying to get things done on their farms after working a full week at an 8-5 job. Winter barn cleaning and building repair or machinery repair, spring crop work and fence repair or machinery repair, summer harvest and machinery repair, fall harvest and more... well, you get the picture. On our part-time farm we sometimes spend as much time fixing the old baler as we do baling hay, but when it works well for while we always smile and note what a good baler it is. Who can afford a new baler? Once in a while you may decide to hire some part-time help, perhaps the young man next door, if he hasn’t already figured out from previous experiences that the haymow on a hot summer day is no fun. I have a friend who once hired two young fellows to stack hay in the mow. They looked strong but had never worked on a farm before. He brought the first load up to the barn and unloaded it while his wife continued baling (the kicker on the baler was actually functioning). Wanting to test the metal of his two men he proceeded to put a bale on every flight of the elevator. He could see them working furiously but they never signaled him to slow down. After finishing the unloading he happily hollered up to the fellows to help themselves to a drink

and that he would return shortly with the next load. When he got back they were gone! If you are going to hire youth, there are some things to keep in mind. Child labor laws and insurance are two of these things. Let’s start with child labor laws. Both the State and the federal government heavily regulate employment of those under 18 years of age. Employers can be subject to severe fines for violations of the labor laws. Let’s look at the laws in New York State. For readers outside New York, check with your State’s labor department. Ten and eleven year olds may not legally work on farms in New York State. Twelve and thirteen year olds may work on farms other than the family farm only if they present a farm work permit, and are accompanied by a parent or present written consent from a parent or guardian. They can only work in the hand harvest of berries, fruits, and vegetables and for no more than four hours a day. There are also other limitations with regard to school schedules. Fourteen and fifteen year olds also need a farm work permit to work on other than the family farm during school vacations, before or after school hours, and on days when school attendance is not required. Sixteen to seventeen year olds may work on a farm without

a permit. You need to obtain and retain proof of age. Certain farm jobs have been declared hazardous under both the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Law for persons under the age of 16. The number one prohibited job is operating a tractor of more than 20 PTO horsepower or connecting or disconnecting an implement or any of its parts to and from such a tractor. Note that Tractor and Machinery Certification training is available through Cornell Cooperative Extension for 14-15 year olds which, if successfully completed, may allow these youth to operate such equipment. Contact your local 4-H office for details. For a complete list of farm jobs declared hazardous for persons under the age of 16, and details about age requirements for farm employees, refer to the publication mentioned at the end of this article. Now on to insurance. If you have a farming operation you should be carrying Farm Liability insurance. The farm liability contract, however, does not cover bodily injury to an employee. If your annual payroll (total of all employees) is over $1200 per year, in New York you legally must purchase a workers’ compensation policy. The $1200 annual payroll rule applies to four farm classifications: general farms (0006); fruit farms (0007); vegetable or berry farms (0031); and poultry farms (0034).

If your payroll is less than $1200 per year you may voluntarily elect to provide a workers’ compensation policy, or inquire with your insurance agent about a liability endorsement referred to as Farm Employees Coverage. This is not the same as Workers Compensation, but may provide coverage in the event that an employee who contends that his injury was due to your negligence sues you. Refer to your agent for details and limitations. Note that wages paid to certain family members may be included by the State in that $1200 limit. Check with the Workers’ Compensation Board if you have questions regarding this situation. Clearly, “hiring a little part time help” is not as simple as having Johnny from next door come over for the afternoon and paying him $20 under the table. The State of New York, the federal government, and the Workers’ Compensation Board may all be looking over your shoulder. Be sure to find out what your obligations are and make sure you can fulfill them before hiring help. A good reference is “Farm Labor Regulations” by D.A. Grossman and J.D. Minard. You can order by calling Linda Putnam in the Department of Applied Economics and Management, 607255-8429. David Leggett is a Community Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Saratoga County, NY.

GRAZING

Small Dairies Should Think About Grazing By Julie Berry

With fluctuating milk prices, farmers constantly review the efficiency of their operations. One management practice an increasing number of farms are turning to is grazing.

Grazing makes efficient use of land not suitable for crops and reduces some of a farm’s highest expenses: labor and feed.

These lower feed and labor costs compensate for also traditionally lower milk production rates on farms that graze. According to a review of the 2001 Dairy Farm Business

Summary, total milk sold on grazing farms was approximately 190,000 pounds less than non-grazing farms, but milk sold per worker was roughly 6,000 pounds more on grazing farms. Dairy and feed crop expenses were 29 cents lower a hundredweight and operating costs to produce milk were 36 cents lower per hundredweight, according to the review compiled by Extension educator A. Edward Staehr.

Farm Follies In order to increase customer convenience, one Yates County, NY farmer has posted the following “office hours” on the door of his woodshop: WOODSHOP OFFICE HOURS Open most days about 9 or 10 Occasionally as early as 7 But some days as late as 12 or 1 We close about 5:30 or 6 Occasionally about 4 or 5 Some days as late as 11 or 12

349 Roses Brook South Kortright, NY 13842 (607) 538-9464

Some days, or afternoons, we aren’t here at all. And lately, I’ve been here just about all the time. Except when I’m someplace else. But I should be here then too.

BABY CHICKS Dairy Sanitations

See us for information on any of the above company lines.

~ CORNISH ROCK CROSS ~ ~ REDS ~ BARRED ROCK ~ ARAUCANA ~ HATCHING 16 POPULAR BREEDS, ALSO BRONZE AND WHITE TURKEYS, WHITE PEKIN, MALLARD, KHAKI AND BLUE SWEDISH DUCKLING, GAMEBIRDS, BANTAMS AND FRENCH GUINEAS.

“I increased profit 10 percent at $12 milk and 20 percent at $14 milk. If you do it halfway right at all you can have a 13th check. You can double your net profit,” said LaFargeville farmer W. Edward Walldroff, who converted to grazing seven years ago. His experience is typical. A Truxton, NY herd featured in a February 2003 Northeast Dairy Business article reported converting to grazing in 1993 after realizing 30 percent of their milk check went to feed costs. “Even though we didn’t get things right a lot of the time that first year, our checkbook performed better. Whatever loss we sustained in the bulk tank was more than made up for by sending less money out in the mailbox,” wrote farm owner Kathie Arnold. During summer Mr. Walldroff’s cattle are given free access to the barn and a mixed feed ration, but the cattle seem to prefer pasture, he said. On a typical summer day, after the morning milking, cows will loaf in an exercise yard near the barn, before moving out to graze pastures in the afternoon, and returning to the barn for an evening milking. The cows are rotated through seven different paddocks that Mr. Walldroff routinely mows to encourage growth of optimally nutritious pasture. Having cows stand outside on dry soil, instead of on concrete inside, has also rewarded the herd with health benefits of fewer cows with sore feet. Moving cows outside also helps break any disease cycles in the barn. Mr. Walldroff has been able to keep his cows longer, with some cows in the herd reaching 12 years old. “Our cows are cleaner and healthier. Their coats are nicer and there are no barn fumes,” Mr. Walldroff said. “Our cows are much more content.” Grazing, he said, is well suited for small to medium sized herds located on marginal and poorly drained soils. “It is the lost opportunity for dairy farming in Northern New York,” he said. “It’s the best utilization of natural resources.”

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For more information on grazing call your local Cooperative Extension or NRCS office. Julie Berry is a Community Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Jefferson County.


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January 10, 2005

MANAGEMENT

You Have a Right-to-Farm: Use It Wisely By Lee Telega Most farmers have strong, friendly relations with neighbors surrounding the land they work. And when the subject of farm-neighbor relations comes up, they naturally think the topic is only of interest to owners of large livestock operations with their scenic and aromatic manure handling systems. It is true that manure causes most complaints. In a survey of 470 New York dairy farms, complaints about manure odors, road spills and water pollution lead the list of reasons farmers hear from officials and neighbors. SMALL FARMS NOT EXEMPT FROM COMPLAINTS But it is also true that one out of four small dairy farms surveyed (less than 75 cows) had received a complaint within the past five years. And though manure odor complaints were directed more at large dairies, all the other reasons for complaints were not related to size of herd. Fortunately, most times neighbors and farmers are able to work together to come to an understanding, a realization of each others’ common interests, wants and needs. They find a way of living together. This process of building bridges of understanding comes naturally to some people. It’s a skill, a disarming way they approach people. It’s the way they connect with and understand others. The way they recognize others’ feelings and strive to meet their needs, going at least halfway. For many people, conflict is a terrible thing. A complaining neighbor can build frustration and lead to hard feelings. Most of us have to work hard not to fire back in anger. Under our breath, we mumble, “They have no right to interfere when I’m just trying to make an honest living. I have a right to farm!�

And, yes, most states recognize the right to farm. But what does this right-to-farm really mean? Where does this right come from? And why, in recent years, have a few courts struck down some state’s right-tofarm laws?

THE NOTION OF NUISANCE Most states passed right-to-farm legislation during the 1970’s. At that time, the spread of suburbia outward from cities into traditional farming regions — urban sprawl — had increased the potential for misunderstandings and problems for farmers. The biggest concern was nuisance law. Nuisance is defined as an activity that causes unreasonable and substantial interference with another’s quiet use and enjoyment of his/her property.

The doctrine of nuisance is a common law concept that evolved over the centuries as judges settled disputes between individuals. It centers on two property ownership principles; first, that property owners have the right to use and enjoy their property free of unreasonable interference by others; and second, that property owners cannot use their property in a manner that may cause injury to others.

ties reduces the ‘quiet use and enjoyment of his/her property.’ Right-to-farm laws protect against private nuisance suits when your farming activities are done in designated areas and meet certain standards, such as in agricultural zones and using accepted farming practices.

community is an important business strategy, particularly as development continues to spring up close by.

RIGHT-TO-FARM LAWS MAY GO TOO FAR Recent court rulings on right-to-farm laws in Vermont and Iowa have found their particular laws went too far in shifting this balance of rights. In both cases, courts ruled the laws protected farms too broadly. This protection, they said, was an unconstitutional taking away of the rights of the neighbors. In both states, legislators are working to rewrite the legislation to address the concerns expressed in the courts’ judgments.

Resource Spotlight

Reasons People Complain About Farms Odors Road Spills Water Pollution Farm Traffic Chemical Use Flies and insects Noise Dust

42% 26% 17% 14% 11% 10% 7% 7%

Lee Telega is a Senior Extension Associate with Cornell’s PRO-DAIRY Program. He can be contacted at 518-496-8686.

Cultivating Farm, Neighbor and Community Relations. This bulletin explores the kinds and causes of farm-related land-use conflicts found in rural New York, the Northeast and other urbanizing areas. It suggests ways of maintaining good relations and outlines alternative approaches for dealing with conflict. Copies are available for $5.00 from the Community, Food and Agriculture Program at Cornell, 607-255-9832.

Two Publications Help You Deal with Farm-Related Conflicts Farms, Communities and Collaboration This 40-page manual outlines a process of collaborative problem solving for farmingrelated conflicts. Designed for farmers and neighbors, regulators, local government officials, environmental advocates, and interested citizens, it helps develop the mediation and facilitation skills that resolve conflicts and build stronger communities. A limited number of print copies is available from Lee Telega, 518-496-8686. Also available online at www.cdtoolbox.org, the Community and Rural Development Institute’s Toolbox web site.

Maintaining good relations with neighbors and other community members is always Photo by Frank Winkler important.

Survey of 470 NY dairy farms, 1997

No doubt, right-to-farm is a great legal protection. But imagine the reaction of the neighbor upon finding out that you may cause a nuisance and they can’t do anything about it. In conflict resolution terminology, the neighbor is the party of lowpower. Your legal right to farm trumps any claim that you are interfering with your neighbors’ enjoyment of their property. Parties of low power have several options once they realize their circumstances in a conflict situation. They can merely sulk and give up with much resentment and bitterness towards you and the system that protects you. Or, they can play dirty, getting even in a whole host of unimaginable ways. Or, they can look for means of leveling the power imbalance. They can recruit others claiming the nuisance you are causing them affects the whole community. You then move beyond the claim of private nuisance into the purview of public nuisance, a claim not protected by right-to-farm laws. They can also claim you are more than a nuisance, that you are real a hazard to the health, safety and well being of the whole community.

Right-to-farm legislation actually shifts the balance of these two principles in favor of the farm. It’s like taking a slice from the rights of your neighbor and giving them to you.

INVOKING RIGHT-TO-FARM: A LAST RESORT Conflicts are never settled until each party perceives their power to resolve the situation is equal. That is why relying on the right-to-farm protections when receiving a complaint is a flawed strategy. It should only be called upon as a last and final resort. Instead, it is important that all your neighbors, and, in fact, the whole community perceives you and your business as being approachable, reasonable and responsive to their concerns.

This right specifically says your neighbor can not claim damage if your farming activi-

Making sure your farm has a reputation as a wholesome, contributing member of the

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January 10, 2005

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

Page 7

COMMUNITY/WORLD

Cutting Herb’s Locusts By John Keidel My friend Herb called awhile back and invited Sue and me for dinner. “Have to clean out the freezer before we leave for the winter,” I believe was his line — and that always promises a gourmet feast to behold. One week before the culinary extravaganza, Herb called to ask if my chainsaw was running and I assured him it was in fine tune, and then asked reluctantly, “Why?” “Well, you know those twenty or so locust trees around my house — I want them taken down and wondered if you wanted the posts. And would do the work?” I am a sucker for a good locust post standing tall in the ground, as it holds vineyard or fence wire for many years, while its natural

preservative repels rot. I’m also realist enough to know the work involved in harvesting these posts. I sure needed the exercise, and I’m always in need of a stockpile around the farm, so I agreed to the offer and began my back stretching exercises. I arrived five hours early for supper that day and began dropping the trees that Herb planted from seed twenty-five years prior. Down they came, thankfully missing every gutter, downspout, and birdbath. As desired, the sun immediately found its way upon Herb’s yard and house and soon shed light on new projects, such as a rotten windowsill by the garden hose and an old bee’s nest by the electric meter. While the pots were slowly simmering on the stove and the pans heated in the oven,

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my saw buzzed and Herb and I told jokes, ran the tape up the felled trees and found the posts that lie within the puzzle of mangled wood and brush. Words rang out like; “If we cut this here, and that there, it will give us this for firewood and that for posts. If we split the butt log twice and leave a seven-footer at the end, this tree will net six posts, and a pile of firewood.” We didn’t finish the locust project that day but as Sue arrived with a loaf of bread still warm from the oven and Herb’s wife Denise called us in for the evening, we put a log on the fire and gathered around the table to eat a gourmet meal with friends that couldn’t be beat. I returned in my spare time to finish the locust project and netted many posts. Some I split for line posts, and others I left large for end posts. We worked hard. My trucks springs sagged, and I felt an old back injury, but we finished in good order. The big question; was it worth it? Couldn’t I have bought the same number of pressure treated posts from a farm supply store? Posts that are perfectly round, lightweight, easy to handle and require no work. On my farm there exists a paradox within the locust tree. I maintain three locust groves and I planted another ten years ago that awaits maturity. Once cut, these posts

will stand in my vineyard, holding tons of grapes for many years, or keep cattle in my fields. I smile as I cut an irregular one with a peculiar top or a fancy twist. Over the years that pass, I will remember the occasion of their conception. While mowing past a memorable one I may say to myself, “I cut that one with Bill the year his mother died and he wanted a day’s work to relax. I wonder how he’s doing.” Or that post with the funny arm. “That came from the Smith place the year their horse jumped the fence and went swimming in the lake. I should go by there and visit them.” When one of my old posts rot and I snap it from the ground, I am far from done with it. With a spiritual reverence, it is recycled. This time it is cut two feet in length and stored in a special woodpile used for only one thing. Beginning in February the old post are loaded into my maple syrup evaporator. As the sap boils away from the year’s first crop, more friends are called and gathered, more meals are served, and the locust is used for its final purpose. As the sweet syrup dances across our pancakes well into the night, I can say, “Yes, it was worth it.” John Keidel is a farmer, small business owner, minister, and sometimes writer. He operates Big Peace Farms & Guest House in, Penn Yan NY. You can reach him at 315-595-6630.

NEW FARMERS

Extension Explores Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring By Heather Sweeney Here in Oneida County in Central New York we have been experiencing a steady stream of entrepreneurs interested in starting their own farming operation. Unfortunately, when starting any type of new business, you’re bound make some mistakes and encounter some roadblocks. Agricultural businesses seem to offer additional challenges simply because of the intricacies and the other “uncontrollables” involved, all of which can result in failure or lack of fulfillment of a farming dream. Fortunately, a mentoring relationship with an experienced farmer and some thoughtful planning and guidance can greatly improve the chances that a new farming business will succeed. This year, supported in part by a CCE Small Farms Education Grant from Cornell’s Small Farms Program, we are developing a “New Farmer Mentoring Program” here in Oneida County and surrounding area which will provide entrepreneurs serious about starting their own farming operation with the opportunity to learn from other experienced farmers and receive critical guidance in developing and managing their businesses. Local farmer Keith Morgan-Davie will serve as the lead farmer mentor. Keith has extensive knowledge and experience in a variety of livestock marketing and production areas, including sheep dairying, meat and poultry production, direct marketing and value-added production. Other mentors are standing by to offer their experience and expertise in areas such as grassbased small dairy farming, beef grazing and grass finishing, and farm produce production. The mentoring program is designed for novice agricultural producers, some of which may still be at the exploratory stage of developing their businesses. They will be exposed to the variety of opportunities in agricultural production, from small scale dairy and livestock production to vegetable and farm produce production. They will

receive training and skills development specific to their individual needs. Then most importantly; they will receive one-on-one guidance and assistance from Keith or from another producer with experience and expertise in the particular type of agricultural production that the new farmer is developing. The “new farmers” will be invited to the mentor’s farm to experience how the farm operates as well as specific tasks required by that particular type of operation. Then as the new farmer’s operation grows and develops, the mentor will be available to answer questions and provide guidance as needed. The mentor may visit the participant’s farm to provide assistance and suggestions. We are now actively recruiting new farmers to participate in our mentoring program. Participants in the program will be assigned a mentor who will work one-on-one with them to meet their individual farming goals. They will also develop a detailed work plan, which will chart their goals and serve as the basis for their business plan. An application process will be used to select up to 6 “new” farmers to participate in the program. Selected participants will gather in March 2005 to meet their mentor(s), discuss the details of the program, and receive and review workbooks and resources that will be utilized throughout the process. By the fall of 2005, the new farmers and their mentors will have met several times on each other’s farms and worked closely to develop their long-term plan. Each selected participant will be expected to pay a fee of $100, plus purchase necessary publications and resources (approximately $100). Applications for the “New Farmer Mentoring Program” are now available and must be returned by February 15, 2005 in order to be considered. For more information or an application, please call Heather Sweeney at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida Coun-


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STEWARDSHIP

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

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NATURE

Safety in the Woodlot By David Silloway In the last issue, cutting logs and firewood by landowners and farmers was discussed. Being properly equipped was not mentioned. When heading for the woods, to be safely equipped, a person should have a hard hat with hearing and face protection. Chaps or safety pants and gloves along with steeltoed boots are also necessary for your protection. If using a tractor, 4WD is best, with roll over protection and a roof. Bringing a cell phone or someone with you is a good idea. Before cutting a tree, you should walk around it, looking up to check for dead limbs and to determine which way it leans. Next, plan an escape route about 45 degrees from the sides and back on either side of the direction of felling. A mark on the saw helps to aim the tree when cutting the notch. After cutting your notch, use the nose of the saw to make a bore cut parallel to the notch through to the center of the tree. Continue the bore cut toward the notch until approximately one inch of wood is left. This hinge is what keeps the tree from tipping sideways. Then cut away from the notch until the cut is about one inch from being complete. Remove the saw from the tree.

The final stage is called a release cut. Using the tip of the saw, make a 45 degree cut through the remaining wood. As the tree starts to fall, walk away from it in a side direction with the chain brake on. In some instances a hammer and wedge will help start a tree that won’t fall where you want it to. After the tree falls, it’s a good idea to look up again to see if there are any broken limbs hanging on adjacent trees that might fall on you while you’re working. Just this morning, while removing limbs from a downed tree, an eight-foot limb broken from an adjacent tree came down where I had been standing moments before. Another place to be careful is when you’re cutting limbs and saplings with pressure on them. They can snap and hit you or throw the saw blade at you. In the past ten years, I have known of three men seriously injured and another killed by trees. Safety is more important than the money when harvesting your own logs and firewood. This article is just a brief description of what you would learn in a logger safety course. Attending a safety course is time well spent. Ask your county forester for information on courses in your area. David Silloway and his son John have a dairy farm, and also produce maple syrup and log part time, in Randolph Center, VT.

OSHA Logging Safety Tips Here are some safety tips from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s online tutorial on logging safety, available at www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/logging/manual/manual.html. Plan your escape route about 45 degrees from the sides and back on either side of the direction of felling. NEVER move away directly behind the tree-you can be seriously hurt if the tree butt kicks back during the fall CUTTING AN OPEN-FACED NOTCH Step 1 - the Top Cut The top cut is the first of two cuts that result in an open faced notch. The notch is made on the side of the tree that faces the direction you want it to fall. 1. Starting Point Important — begin at any height as long as you allow enough room for the undercut 2. Angle of Attack Important — cut downward at an angle of 70 degrees 3. Ending Point Stop when the cut reaches 1/4 to 1/3 of the trunk’s diameter or when the cut reaches 80% of the tree’s diameter at breast height

January 10, 2005 Step 2 — The Bottom or Undercut The undercut is the second of two cuts that result in an open faced notch. 1. Starting Point Very Important - begin at the level that will create at least a 70 degree notch opening 2. Angle of Attack Important - cut upward at a 20 degree angle 3. Ending Point Very important - stop when the cut reaches the end point of the face cut. Ideally, you have created a 90 degree notch opening. Step 3 — The Back Cut The back cut is the third and final cut and is made on the opposite side of the notch. The back cut disconnects almost all of the tree from the stump leaving a “hinge” that helps to control the tree’s fall. 1. Starting Point Important - begin on the opposite side of the notch at the same level as the notched corner 2. Angle of Attack Important - cut flat along a horizontal plane 3. Ending Point Very important - stop at the point that will leave a hinge width that is 1/10 the tree’s diameter. This is the simplest of all back cuts. Other back-cutting techniques may be required for felling difficult trees.

FARMING OPPORTUNITES

Try A High Tunnel! By Judson Reid Greenhouse tomato production is on the rise among New York’s family farms. However, heating a greenhouse in the Northeast requires high-energy input and can be cost prohibitive. An alternative to a fully heated greenhouse is the hoop house or high tunnel. Unlike greenhouses, these structures have no supplemental heat or automated ventilation. High tunnels can be moved, which offers an advantage for rotating into fresh soil for tomato culture, to avoid pest and disease build-up, as well as nutrient depletion. Little research had been done on growing tomatoes in high tunnels in New York, so local produce grower Howard Hoover and I agreed to conduct a variety trial at Howard’s farm in Penn Yan. We submitted our proposal to Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), and received approval. Our goals were to: • Compare 4 tomato varieties in an unheated high tunnel by measuring yield in total weight, total number of fruit, and mean fruit weight. • Compare vertical to horizontal trellising. • Observe disease and insect pest trends in the high tunnel, and manage them in a sustainable manner. • Share our information with other growers in the region.

Our results were exciting. We looked at both “determinate” and “indeterminate” varieties. Determinate tomatoes grow to a certain height, stop, then flower and set all their fruit within a short period of time. The harvest period for determinate tomatoes is generally short, but can be heavy. Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow, flower, and set fruit until killed by the first frost in the fall. Accordingly, the harvest from inde-

terminate varieties often extends over a greater period of time, without the pronounced peak common to determinate varieties. We found that indeterminate varieties that had previously A harvest of red, yellow and green tomatoes from our only been Both determinate tomatoes (short) and indeterminate varieties grown in heated high tunnel. (staked) performed well in our high tunnel. Photos by Judson Reid greenhouses would perform well in an unheated high Variety Mean yield per plant Mean fruit per plant Mean weight per fruit tunnel. The indeterminate varieties yielded (pounds) (pounds) (pounds) more consistently over time than the deterBig Beef 21.23 a* 37.38 a b 0.57 a minate variety in our trial. This may be an 0.47 b 40.86 a 19.41 a Boa advantage or disadvantage depending on Trust 16.49 b 34.54 b c 0.47 b market windows. If a grower prefers a 16.35 b 33.12 c 0.50 b Mtn. Spring LSD (P<0.05) 2.12 4.24 0.03 heavy flush of fruit prior to availability of field grown tomatoes, the determinate vari*Means with different letters (grouping) differ significantly according to Fishers Protected LSD (P<0.05). ety may be preferable. Alternatively if the grower desires a long, sustained harvest, els of foliar diseases occurred in the high the indeterminate types may be superior. Our high tunnel tomato trial was a success, tunnel, but none approached an economic not only because our data showed clear threshold. In our trial two indeterminate varieties, Big differences between varieties, but also Beef and Boa yielded significantly higher because we were able to share this inforAn interesting development was widethan the common determinant variety for mation with other greenhouse tomato growspread late blight (Phytophthora infestans) high tunnels, Mountain Spring, in both ers throughout the Finger Lakes. A high in field grown tomatoes throughout the mean weight per plant and mean fruit per tunnel twilight meeting was convened in present in the The disease was region. plant. Big Beef yielded significantly heavier farmer’s home garden 30 feet from the high early August. Over 40 growers observed fruit than the three other varieties. These our treatments and yields. We even had tunnel, yet no late blight was observed results suggest that high tunnel tomato tomato tastings! We hope to continue our within the tunnel. This can be credited to growers could realize higher yields by efforts in the coming growing season. inside the tunnel. environment dry the warm, adopting indeterminate varieties and culThanks to NE SARE for supporting this ture common to heated greenhouses. project. That warm environment is also great for working together with family. When it is We endeavor to design a low-input, susraining outside and fieldwork has to be put Judson Reid is a Resource Educator tainable approach to off-season tomato on hold, children and parents can get with Cornell Cooperative Extension of production and the high tunnel may together in the hoop house to pull weeds, Yates County, New York decrease pesticide inputs. For example, no pesticides were used in this trial. Minor lev- trellis, prune and harvest.


January 10, 2005

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

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GRAZING

The Science and Business of Pasture-Based Farming National Conference Draws Attention to Environmental, Economic and Social Benefits — and Research Needs By David Conner What are the opportunities and challenges for pasture-based animal production? How can this method be scaled up to meet the needs of more people? About 100 people, including farmers, academics, Extension educators and nonprofit organizational leaders gathered at the Kellogg Biological Research Station in Hickory Corners, Michigan on November 3-4, 2004 to discuss these issues at the Animals in the Food System Conference. OUT OF THE FEEDLOT, BACK TO THE PASTURE The goal of the conference was to begin to develop a framework to reintroduce animals into U.S. farming systems, disperse animals across the countryside, revitalize local and regional livestock processing and marketing, and satisfy growing consumer demands for pasture-based animal products. The conference outlined opportunities, barriers, policy implications and research needs at each step of the pasture-based supply chain. As a follow up to the conference, a white paper will be drafted and distributed to Everything about the Hesston 1345 disc mower conditioner was designed to pamper your hay – and to make your life easier, too.

Land Grant University Deans and Directors, focused on research, teaching and outreach needs and opportunities associated with pasture-based systems. Keynote Speaker Chuck Hassebrook from Nebraska’s Center for Rural Affairs opened the conference by noting the environmental, economic and social benefits of re-integrating animals into agriculture. He discussed strategies for achieving this goal, including increased research investment for pasture-based methods, developing a meaningful “family farm” standard, and reversing the policy bias toward industrialized commodity production. The next day and a half was devoted to each link of the supply chain, from food to fork, starting with consumption, then marketing and distribution, then processing, and finally production. Speakers included Cornell’s Jennifer Wilkins, who discussed consumer perceptions and demand for grass-fed products. Panelists presented findings on the topic; then breakout groups, based on areas of interest, discussed the opportunities, barriers, policy and research needs.

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MAJOR FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Pasture-raised products offer consumers health benefits, such as lower overall fat and calories, and the ability for many to support a form of agriculture that matches their values, such as support for local and ecologically friendly agriculture, animal welfare, aesthetic landscapes, etc. However, consumers may not be aware of the meaning of terms such as grass-fed or pastureraised, and may not be accustomed to differences in pastured meat’s cut sizes, taste, texture or fat quantity and color. Research can help consumers make more informed choices by comparing the nutrient levels of pastured to feedlot products for different species, accounting for differences in altitudes, latitudes, forage, etc. Participants saw opportunity in developing new business models to distribute and market pastured products. One model of particular interest is the value chain. As described by panelist Rich Pirog, a value chain differs from a traditional “arm’s length” supply chain in its emphasis on value over price, interdependence, information sharing, and mutual respect and trust. Value chains preserve the value of food products by keeping the farmer’s face on them, and can provide higher and more stable prices for farmers. Any new model must avoid re-creating the commodity system which exerts downward pressure on farm gate prices and leads to consolidation and exodus from farming. Policy needs include grading and labeling standards that promote product differentiation and branding. Partnerships between Colleges of Agriculture and Colleges of Business at major universities can provide research and outreach to guide value chain creation. The lack of processing facilities, caused in part by the high cost of compliance with regulation, was seen as the major barrier to scaling up pasture-based agriculture. Panelist Temple Grandin advocated the use of slaughterhouse audits to increase both profit and animal welfare. Research is needed to separate regulations that ensure food safety from those that simply drive up cost. One policy option is to specify outcomes but allow flexibility on how to achieve them.

Easy on the Hay – and the Operator DEVINE SALES Rt. 7, Main St. Ferrisburg, VT 802-877-3302

J.E. ANDREW & SONS FARM & LAWN EQ. INC. 2931 Leach Rd. Espyville, PA 16424 724-927-6440 MARSHALL MACHINERY INC. RR 4, Box 630 Honesdale, PA 18431 570-729-7117

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Pasture-based production offers many opportunities for beginning farmers, with its lower start up costs than confinement or row crop operations. However, high land costs, due to competition from land development and hunting use, pose a barrier. Research is needed to find strategies to overcome the health and predation problems faced by animals on pasture. Policies that reward ecological stewardship rather than subsidize grain production would also benefit pasture-based farmers. The conference concluded with a talk by farmer and cookbook author Shannon Hayes, who offered tips on how best to prepare and enjoy grassfed meats. Her talk focused on the importance of embracing the variation of products, finding time to cook, learning where different cuts come from and getting to know your farmer. The Animals in the Food System Conference was sponsored by Michigan State University’s C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable

Food Systems, with help from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Conference proceedings will be available in early spring. Further questions about the conference can be directed to Susan Smalley at 517-432-0049 or smalley3@msu.edu. David Conner is a Research Specialist with the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Agriculture, Michigan State University. He can be reached at (517) 353-1914 or connerd@msu.edu.

Resource Spotlight

The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook NY Farmer Shannon Hayes’ New Cookbook Can Help Educate And Inspire Farm Customers Around the country, Americans are discovering the unique flavors and important health benefits of grass-fed and pastureraised meats and dairy products. Now, health-conscious home cooks and professional chefs can learn the secrets to finding, preparing and enjoying these healthy, delicious, and environmentally beneficial farm-raised foods with a new cookbook written by Dr. Shannon Hayes, a Schoharie County, NY farmer, educator, and epicurean. The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook: Healthy Cooking and Good Living with PastureRaised Foods, offers an insider’s view of where to find and how to prepare pastureraised beef, poultry, pork, bison, lamb, goat, veal, and dairy products. Readers will learn how to avoid the most common mistakes home cooks and professional chefs make when cooking with grass-fed meats, as well as fool-proof strategies for getting the most out of each purchase. Throughout The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook are charts showing cuts of meat and appropriate cooking methods to ensure the best flavor and textures from these extraordinary meats. Dairy lovers will discover the health benefits of milk and cheeses produced on pasture-based farms as well as the unique flavors that can only come from artisan cheesemakers. Each chapter is followed by scores of delicious recipes-more than 125 in all-both by the author and by fellow pasture-based farmers from around the country. In The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook, the advantages of pastured foods are clearly explained, including why fats from animals raised on pasture are regarded as “good” fats and why eating grass-fed meats and dairy products may lead to reduced risk of certain diseases. Readers will also learn why environmental organizations and animal welfare groups are embracing pasturebased farming. And both home cooks and chefs alike will find tips on how to find and work with pasture-based farmers, either directly or through a local retailer or farmers market. The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook is published by Eating Fresh Publications in Hopewell, NJ. You can order single or multiple copies by calling them at 609-466-1700, or you can order online at www.eatingfresh.com.


Page 10

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

January 10, 2005

URBAN CONNECTIONS

Growing Food; Growing Youth The Added Value Project Develops Community Leaders Through Urban Farming community, with over 30 families participating. Produce grown right on site is sold, along with fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs and meat from five to eight participating NYS farmers. Their farmers’ market caters to customers with WIC coupons (“food stamps”) and even sets up a market mid-week in front of the Red Hook Senior Center for recipients of NYS Farmers Market Nutrition Program checks.

By Linda Ameroso Added Value is a program about growing youth as well as growing food. Its mission is to promote the sustainable development of a community in Red Hook, Brooklyn... and it does so by nurturing a new generation of young leaders. “We work towards this goal by creating opportunities for the youth of South Brooklyn to expand their knowledge base, develop new skills and positively engage with their community through the operation of a socially responsible urban farming enterprise,” says the mission statement of co-founders Ian Marvy and Michael Hurwitz. For the past three seasons, Added Value has trained and employed more than 30 young people, founded the Red Hook Farmers’ Market and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and helped to revitalize that community’s Coffey Park. CUCE-NYC is one of several partner organizations working together on the Added Value project. The partners have successfully woven together a Community Advisory Council representing 30 local, regional and national institutions that support their work to improve the neighborhood by creating youth leaders. In fact, Added Value was honored this season with a check in the amount of $112,500 from Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y) at a ceremony that took place right at their two-acre farm site in Red Hook, which is also the site of one of their farmers’ markets. Velázquez successfully secured the federal funding through the U.S. Department of Agriculture for a garden and urban agriculture project.

Added Value also supplies three local restaurants with greens grown by youth at their 2 acre farm site in Red Hook, and composts not only the restaurants’ food wastes but also local community food wastes, which are dropped off weekly. From this compost they produce their own growing media on-site - a model that demonstrates one way of positively responding to the problem of NYC’s waste stream. Added Value hosts tours and welcomes community involvement at many levels, with regularly scheduled volunteer days. Funding has also been secured for a position on staff that will more efficiently coordinate farm site involvement with local public schools, something they have already been doing since their inception. Some of Added Value’s participating youth have successfully presented at conferences outside of NYC, in other states and other countries, and one young person has gone on to receive a scholarship towards college. As a partner in food production and accessibility, Added Value works hard and fulfills its mission in its community, to its youth, and to NYC Urban Food Systems. For more information about Added Value visit www.addedvalue.org. Linda Ameroso is an Extension Educator in the Urban Food Systems Program of Cornell University Cooperative Extension in New York City.

Added Value is truly a multi-dimensional project. Their Red Hook Farmer’s Market houses a CSA for the local

Added Value youth leaders sell fresh produce at farmers’ markets to seniors using NYS Farmers’ Market Nutrition checks in Red Hook, Brooklyn.

(Left to right) Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz honor Added Value youth and co-founder Michael Hurwitz for their many achievements, including a Red Hook Farmers’ Market complete with CSA, local grown produce, NYS farm products and drop off to local restaurants. Photos by: Linda Ameroso

Growing in raised rows on the hard surface of a 2 acre city lot, Added Value youth leaders prepare beds and harvest mixed greens to sell to local restaurants and at their community farmers’ market.

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January 10, 2005

STEWARDSHIP

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

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Page 11

NATURE

CSA Farmer Jean-Paul Courtens of Kinderhook, NY Wins Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture From the Northeast SARE Program More than a decade ago, two civic groups approached New York farmer Jean-Paul Courtens and asked if they could partner with him in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) arrangement. CSA was being tested on farms in the Northeast after debuting in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and its tenets of shared responsibility - nearby residents buy “shares” and “join” a farm in exchange for weekly deliveries of fresh produce - were catching on. For Courtens, who was raising organic vegetables on Roxbury Farm near Albany and selling them wholesale or to local restaurants and institutions, the CSA concept made sense. “I was developing complex ways of doing retail and restaurants wholesale,” he recalled. “I didn’t want to become a retailer, I wanted to farm.” He felt fortunate to connect with like-minded people who approved of his organic/biodynamic methods and his commitment to creating a cycle of interlocking activities such as carefully crafted rotations that build, rather than deplete, the soil. With farming partner Jody Bolluyt, who joined him in 2001, by 2004 Courtens had become a large, efficient CSA farmer, supplying 800 shareholders with produce for 25 weeks each season. Courtens grows some 50 different types of vegetables; in a

typical mid-summer week, a shareholder receives red cabbage, cantaloupe, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, corn, greens, onions, beets, carrots and herbs. Over the years, he has found winning varieties that perform consistently, such as Bloomsdale spinach and Early Cascade tomatoes. Other crops he dropped off the list: celery requires too much nitrogen and head lettuce proved a deer delicacy. He raises his produce using exemplary farming practices. Courtens is known throughout the Northeast as a fertility management expert, on a farm protected as a perpetual agricultural operation thanks to a groundbreaking agreement he signed with a land trust that now owns the property. The lease agreement allows Courtens to rent the land from the trust for 99 years or more. While the land trust owns the land, thanks in part to donations from Courtens’ CSA membership, it will only lease to a bona fide farmer. Meanwhile, the land is designated to be a farm in perpetuity, and its real estate value stabilizes in a region of rapidly escalating prices. “It’s a very creative way in which we don’t only preserve open space, we preserve the land as a farm,” Courtens said. Courtens takes his land seriously. Years ago, he trained in biodynamic farming in his native Netherlands. Today, he applies compost (a mix of cow manure, horse bedding

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and cranberry pulp) as his main soil amendment and rotates his fields between vegetables and soil-improving cover crops. He balances 35 acres of vegetable production with 35 acres in cover crops like red clover, sweet blossom clover, rye, oats and peas. Certain cover crops grow in the offseason, while others disrupt disease, insects and weeds in between rows of cash crops. “The additional land is justified by the labor savings and increased yield and quality in the cash crops,” he says. Key to Courtens’ economic success is his solid relationship with his CSA membership, said Frank Scheib, who nominated him for the 2004 Madden Award and was one of the original civic group members who forged the CSA partnership. “Through this direct connection, he and his partner Jody are able to charge an affordable price for their produce that provides a fair return on their inputs,” Scheib said. “The shareholders know who grows their food and how it is grown. Everyone benefits from this relationship.” The active Roxbury Farm CSA membership organizes distribution at sites dispersed from Harlem to Albany. Their fluid communication, through a weekly newsletter, monthly farm days, website and direct contact, has brought improvements. Rather than boxing up the bushel of produce each member receives each week, for example, Courtens now delivers in bulk to the dropoff sites, where coordinators organize a pick-up process. It’s less labor for Courtens.

To help with on-farm labor while guiding future farmers, Courtens hires apprentices alongside his permanent local farm crew. In addition to paying them, Courtens establishes individual “contracts” with each apprentice that lays out his expectations and the newcomer’s educational goals and provides them with a phonebook-thick manual on production practices. To provide a diverse educational experience for them, he formed a collaborative of New York and Connecticut farms that take turns hosting area apprentices at farm workshops. “We hire the journeyman types who are serious about farming,” he said. “When they leave, they have all the information they need to go out and grow vegetables.”

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January 10, 2005

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

Small Farm Quarterly

Youth Pages

Page 12

Yes, I Show Llamas! By Katey Perz, Suffolk County Farm Llama Showmanship Program, Suffolk County, NY, age 17 When people find out that I show llamas, their first reaction is disbelief. Normally they start laughing next, and then the questions begin. “What do you do with them? Do you have a llama? How do you show them?” I lease an animal each year from the Suffolk County Farm. For two years I showed WMF Pumpkin Sweet, and this year I am showing WMF Cole’s Quince (Cole). When I am older, I hope to have my own herd.

Agriculture and You is brought to you by New York Agriculture in the Classrom, helping kids and adults understand and appreciate the importance of agriculture in their lives. Find out more at www.cerp.cornel.edu/aitc.

ACTIVITY No-Sew Polar Fleece Blanket By Kristen Tangen, Setauket Spies 4-H Club, Suffolk County, NY, age 11 I entered this project in the New York State Fair and won a blue ribbon. I also made a polar fleece blanket for the instructor for the livestock showmanship program. WHAT YOU NEED • 2 pieces of complementary polar fleece of any size, both the same size. • Scissors • Rotary cutter • Masking tape • Ruler • Straight edge • Cutting mat DIRECTIONS Line up the two pieces of polar fleece the best that you can because they will not be exactly even. Using a straight edge and a rotary cutter, square off all four Kristen Tangen with one of her colorful polar fleece blankets. sides. Once this is done measure six inches in on each side, this will be your fringe. Mark the six inches with tape to create a straight edge. Using a ruler and scissors cut one-inch strips to the tape along each side. This is the most time consuming part. After the entire fridge is cut begin to tie knots with the matching pieces. The knots should be tied so that the fleece at the front is on the other side. Example: purple will now be on the polka-doted side.

I have learned a lot about llama shows. Llama shows have many different classes. There are the halter, or conformation, classes in which the llama’s conformation-the way they are put together-is judged. The halter classes are split up in three different ways: male or female, age, and wool division. There are three separate wool divisions. Light wool animals have the least wool, heavy wool animals have Katey Perz with LILCO McKenzie. the most wool, and medium wool animals are in between. Then there are 4 performance classes in which the llama and handler do obstacles: Public Relations, Obstacle, Pack, where the llama wears a packsaddle and carries weight, and Driving, where one or two llamas pull a cart. There is also a showmanship class, in which the handler is judged on how well they present the animal to the judge. And, there is a separate youth division for showmanship and the performance classes, which is what I show in. I enjoy spending time with the llamas. At least once a week I go up to the farm for my 4H meeting and to train my llama. For the past two years I’ve been helping to train the criasthe babies. I also help bring the llamas to different places-churches, schools, libraries, and festivals-to teach the public about llamas. The llamas are so much fun! I sometimes go up to the farm just to see them. They make me laugh constantly with their antics and amaze me with their intelligence every time I am there. The best thing is the bond that develops between us. Cole can tell when I am happy and when I am upset. When I’m not in a good mood, he goofs off and makes me feel better. I’m so happy that I became involved with 4H in Suffolk County, and I can’t wait until I can have my own llamas someday. For more information about raising llamas, visit: http://camelid.webis.net/Publications/books.html


January 10, 2005

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

Page 13

Fun and Farming at the Suffolk County Farm By Cody Kazel, Suffolk County Farmers 4-H Club, Suffolk County, NY, age 13 My name is Cody Kazel. I am 13 and a member of the Suffolk County 4-H Livestock Program. I live in a small town called Yaphank in Suffolk County on Long Island. I have been in 4-H for 5 years. I own a flock of registered Cotswold and Suffolk sheep. I also have a horse, 2 hunting dogs, and a rabbit. Most people think that Long Island is the “city”. Although some parts of it are, the eastern end of Long Island, where I live, is not. Farming has changed on Long Island but there are still farms. There are many vineyards, potato and vegetable farms, U-pick farms, and nurseries. In fact, Suffolk County is the top-producing county in the state for onions, cauliflower, and nursery stock. The most special farm to me on Long Island is the Suffolk County Farm in Yaphank. It is a 270 acre farm with a very interesting history. Back in the 1800’s, the county’s poor and disabled lived in the almshouse and worked on the farm to produce food for themselves. It is still owned by the county but is now managed by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. The farm still produces food for the county. There is a beef lot and a hog raising facility (bet you didn’t think there were any of those on Long Island!). The meat is used at the county nursing home and other county institutions. The farm also provides training for county residents in carpentry, horticulture and meat processing, and the local colleges

do their vet tech training here. Additionally, thousands of school children come to the farm each year to do educational programs, take hay wagon rides, and have fun. The Suffolk County Farm is free and open to the public seven days a week. It has a variety of summer camps and activities for children and parents to spend time with each other and experience different ways of life. There are family programs on the weekends. You can even have your birthday party on the farm. There are hay rides and carrots to feed the animals. There is the annual Pumpkin fest in October, Baby Animal Day and the Spring Fling Thing in April and May. The farm also has its very own gift shop, which includes refreshments, souvenirs and many other gifts for you or others. The farm also leases animals to 4-H members who don’t have their own to take to the great New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY and Big E in Massachusetts. The main animals used for these events are Llamas, Sheep, Goats, Dairy Cattle and Beef Cattle. Why is the farm so special to me? I volunteer with other 4-Hers on the farm with hayrides, birthday parties, farm festivals and weekend programs. I am also part of an Animal Ambassador Program for 4-H teens. We go with educators on animal outreach programs where we bring the animals to schools and festivals. My club, the Suffolk County Farmers, has been on TV many times. To find out more about the Suffolk County farm, visit: www.cce.cornell.edu/suffolk/Programs/SCFhome.htm or Cody Kazel showing one of his registered Cotswolds at the State www.cce.cornell.edu/suffolk/Kids/JustForKidsFS.htm Fair.

Long Island Teen Participates in A National Judging Competition much as I could, and bought new judging attire. Living in Suffolk County made it difficult to meet with my team members, most of who were from northwestern New York. But my team and my parents made valiant efforts to come together, and we physically met as a team three times.

By Sarah Heath, Commack Calvary Crusaders 4-H Club, Suffolk County, NY, age 19 Hi, I’m Sarah Heath. I live fifty miles outside of New York City, in Northport, Long Island - where people drive the newest sports cars, have the fastest Internet connections, and make some of the highest salaries in the U.S. This setting makes my experiences in agriculture even more amazing. During the spring and summer of 2001, through a lease program started by Suffolk County Cornell Cooperative Extension, I became “owner” of three beef heifers. I was responsible for learning to show them, fit them, and remind them how to lead on a halter. After qualifying to go to the New York State Fair in Syracuse New York, ‘my’ three heifers and I competed in showmanship, breed, and open classes. It was the experience of a lifetime - each 4-Her that had shown came home with special memories, several ribbons, and new, exciting 4-H adventures to remember and learn from. Although I have never again been able to show beef heifers at the New York State Fair, my love of farming and especially beef cattle has grown tremendously since then through livestock judging. I began judging in 2001, as the first Suffolk County 4-Her in twenty years to participate in the state judging competition. I had never judged before, and I had no judging team. That first year I placed fifteenth overall, and first in group judging. The following year I placed seventh overall in the senior individual high score ranking, and first in group judging.

In November I rode with my coach, chaperone, and team to Louisville, Kentucky for the International 4-H Livestock Judging Competition. I was there with 4-Hers from all over the United States, the best cattle in the world, and a great judging team that was ready for anything. I have never in my life judged so poorly, or been so nervous, as the day I judged in Louisville. Yet, it is still one of my best memories. Sarah Heath works with a young child on a paper bag hat. Sarah Heath showing a lamb at the State Fair. During 2003, I placed second in individual judging, overall high score, second in individual overall oral reasons and first in-group judging. I thought that was the end of it. I picked up my ribbons, thanked the judges, and was about to leave when I was stopped. I was told that I would be going to a special show in Louisville, Kentucky. I was to be one of a special four-man team traveling together as the New York State 4-H Livestock Judging Team. That fall I studied nightly, calling ‘Coach’ to discuss judging terminology, oral reasons, and judging techniques. I read as

While you have only gotten a glimpse of one highlight in my 4H career, I hope you realize how much 4-H has meant to a girl like me. Even on Long Island, I have fully been involved in agriculture. In the tradition of our motto, I have learned everything by doing. In the tradition of our pledge, I have learned to use my head wisely. I have given my heart to everything worthwhile and to many 4-Hers and 4-H leaders. I have used my hands for the good of others, my animals, and myself. My good health (though sometimes endangered by the kick of a calf) is spiritually, physically, and emotionally strong. And finally, my community, country, and world are better for all the 4-Hers that live in it, of which I am part. For project materials to help you learn more about livestock judging, visit: http://cerp.cornell.edu/directory/search_result_details.asp ?pid=1148

The Youth Page is written by and for young people. Many thanks to the 4-H Teen Ambassadors in Suffolk County, NY, for most of the material in this issue. We believe there’s a bright future for young farmers in the Northeast. Whether you live on a farm or only wish you did, we’d love to hear from you! Write to: SFQ Youth Pages c/o Celeste Carmichael 4-H Youth Development Program Specialist CCE State 4-H Youth Development Office 340 Roberts Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853 607-255-4799 • cjc17@cornell.edu


SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

Page 14

January 10, 2005

NEW FARMERS

Young Farmer’s Dairy Business Is Small AND Profitable By Mariane Kiraly Matthew Terry, 24, operates a small dairy in the town of Franklin in Delaware County, NY. He had always had an interest in dairy farming and showed Jerseys and Ayrshires through 4-H. Matthew’s parents always lived on a farm and offered him facilities to raise animals. A native of Franklin, Matthew took diesel hydraulics at BOCES during high school and then attended SUNY Cobleskill to earn a degree in Agricultural Engineering. Just before finishing college he began shipping milk from a rented facility with 19 cows. Today he owns 80 cows and 50 head of youngstock along with a line of equipment. Matthew bought his forage equipment gradually while using some of his father’s line of hay equipment in the beginning. His goal is to replace a piece of equipment every other year if he can. Operating during 2002 and 2003 had been a challenge, but being able to fix his own equipment lowers costs and reduces downtime.

COMMUNITY/WORLD

LEAD New York Leadership Development Program Welcomes Participation of Small-Scale Farm Operators By Larry Van de Valk All aspects of the food and agricultural industry need effective leadership. Whether it be at the local, regional, statewide or national level, individuals with strong lead-

Matthew strives for quality forage as the key to reducing milk production costs, cutting down on costly grain inputs. That’s his biggest challenge during the crop season. Currently, he plants 40 acres of corn, uses 35 acres of pasture, and takes hay off of 200 acres. This ambitious cropping plan is completed with mostly family help, including his father Matt, sister Megan (when she’s not in college), and mom Karen when she can. Another thing that Matthew attributes to his success is learning as much about dairy animals as he can in order to maintain a healthy herd. He credits Dr. Dave Leahy with helping him learn how to assess and treat dairy animals. Matthew breeds his own animals to ensure timely service and to reduce costs. He also works with nutritionist Dan Wood, who helps him balance the cows’ ration. Optimum milk production combined with high fat and protein components make Matthew’s cows profitable. Even with low milk prices, a butterfat test of 4.7% combined with a protein test of 3.7% made the milk checks more palatable when prices ership skills are more likely to effect positive change for their organizations and communities. Small farm owners and those that serve them often do not benefit from a large collective voice. This means it is much more important for spokespersons for this industry segment to enhance their leadership effectiveness and communication skills LEAD New York can help! The Empire State Food and Agricultural Leadership Institute, or LEAD New York, is a 2-year professional development program that not only helps individuals develop critical leadership skills, but also inspires par-

NEW FARMERS

Future Farmers of America: Youth Leaders in Agriculture By Noah Cooper

The nation’s largest youth organization has just gotten larger. In 2004, the number of active members in the FFA (Future Farmers of America) program has reached 476,732 members. The FFA helps introduce students to agriculture through leadership skill development and competitions. Students from all states participate in competitions and interactive leadership activities where they learn about agriculture, as well as build on skills they will need throughout their entire lives. The Southern Cayuga FFA chapter in New York has similarly gained some fresh blood for growth.

I interviewed Joseph Doeing, our New York State District 7 President. Mr. Doeing has been active in our chapter for three years. Why did you join the FFA? Doeing: I transferred to Southern Cayuga in seventh grade and wanted to fit in, so I joined FFA along with some sports teams to attempt to fit in. It helped tremendously. I became friends with many people inside and outside of my school.

What have you gained from the FFA program? Doeing: I have gained extensive training in public speak-

ing, organizational skill, and knowledge of finances by participating in the FFA through being an officer and actively participating in career development events. I have learned skills important to succeed in today’s competitive business world. I also interviewed Myles Mangan, FFA Senior Historian. She has been with the FFA program for two years. What have you gained by joining FFA? Mangan: A lot. I have gone on many field trips to farms, judging contests, camps, and I have met many friends. One of the camps that Ms. Mangan spoke about during her interview is Camp Oswegatchie, a leadership camp held during the summer where FFA members go and compete in competitions like extemporaneous speaking, skit competitions and games.

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were low. Matthew’s milk is shipped to Dairy Farmers of America, which pays him an additional $.35 per hundredweight for high quality milk. One downside that many young farmers face when they rent a facility is that housing is not always on the farm. Matthew lives about a mile from the farm and invariably has to check on cows that calve in the wee hours. Living a distance also adds to time and transportation costs. Another issue is trying to please neighbors who may not be as tolerant to agricultural practices as those who are more familiar with farming operations. Matthew tries to accommodate neighbors and keep friendly relations. All in all, Matthew is pleased with his choice of occupation and does well financially in good times and in bad because of his high components, excellent quality milk, attention to detail, and good forage crops. He is an excellent manager of resources and hopes to continue in dairy farming for many years to come.

ticipants to accept leadership roles when the opportunities arise. Thirty adults are selected through a competitive application process for each class. The group then completes roughly 50 days of intensive training over a two-year period. A variety of instructional activities are selected to develop specific leadership skills, educate the group about the public policy process, and inform them about a wide variety of issues facing the food system today. Sessions are held throughout NY State, as well as Ottawa, Washington, DC, and a study trip to a different part of the country As for myself? This is my first year, and I was elected Senior Reporter. Before I joined FFA I knew little about some of the agricultural fields that were available. In FFA, I have visited college agricultural facilities and processing plants. I have learned many skills that will be valuable in the future, like equipment safety, organizational skills, and computer skills. I strongly encourage all youth to get involved in their local FFA chapter. The opportunities are endless!

Matthew Terry, now 24, has been running his own dairy farm since his senior year in college. Mariane Kiraly is a Resource Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension Delaware County. She lives in Franklin, NY on a 50-cow Registered Holstein dairy with her husband Andrew and children Ian and Alison. or world. Class members are responsible for a modest tuition fee, as most of the program costs are covered by the College of Agriculture and Life and Sciences at Cornell and by industry sponsors. Applications for Class 11 of LEAD New York are currently available. The application deadline is March 1, 2005, and the class will be selected by May of 2005. To obtain a copy of the application or further information about the program, please visit www.leadny.org, or call Connie Kastenhuber at 607-255-7907. Larry Van De Valk is Director of the LEAD New York Program. blueffa@ yahoo.com. For more information on FFA, visit www.ffa.org. Noah Cooper is a Senior Reporter with the Southern Cayuga FFA in Poplar Ridge, NY.

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January 10, 2005

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

Page 15

MARKETING

Marketing Farm-Produced Cheeses Cornell Study Suggests Promising Opportunities By Angela Gloy and Mark Stephenson With the right confluence of product characteristics and market conditions, new value added products need not be a challenge at all. But then this is the equivalent of asking the planets to align... if only it were so simple. In the case of farm-produced specialty cheeses, however, it really may not be so complicated, at least from a marketing perspective. Our initial inquiry into market dynamics suggests that attention to a handful of marketing basics can yield positive results for cheese makers. Providing a high quality product, in addition to keeping a close eye on low production costs, are the key targets. This is in contrast to the marketing obstacles that often plague producers trying to get their finished products to consumers. It appears that marketing concerns (e.g., advertising and product distribution) present less of a challenge than we first expected. CORNELL STUDY NOW UNDERWAY Funded through a USDA value-added grant, the Cornell Program on Dairy Markets and Policy (CPDMP) is conducting a market analysis of specialty dairy products in select New York markets. These markets include the New York wine trails, New York City specialty/gourmet shops, and restaurants. Consumers in these markets are increasingly well-versed in ethnic cuisines through travel, heritage, or self-inquiry. They tend to have the discretionary income associated with purchasing high-quality specialty foods. Many of these consumers are looking for new taste experiences and have the wherewithal to experiment. CPDMP has undertaken this study as a first step in providing information to New York State dairy producers interested in initiating new venture processing operations on-farm. Our study explores market oppor-

tunities and issues for a range of valueadded dairy products, with an emphasis on specialty cheeses. We perceived that marketing could be a potential hazard for many dairy producers, who may not be particularly savvy about consumer demand and product distribution issues. EARLY RESULTS ARE PROMISING While still on-going, some interesting early feedback is emerging from the project. It seems that a number of product and market characteristics come together to work to the small-scale cheesemaker’s benefit. First, the proximity of Northeast dairy producers to East Coast markets, and particularly New York City, provides access to a large, diverse customer base. At the same time, geographic proximity works to minimize potential product transportation costs which are critical to providing perishable dairy products to niche markets. Second, the strength of consumer demand for specialty cheeses translates to consumers “pulling” for product from their end of the supply chain. Producers, distributors and retailers alike have noted such strong consumer demand that it appears consumers are assuming some of the marketing responsibility (e.g., information sharing/consumer requests) in an attempt to bring new-found cheeses to their retailer. It appears that positive consumer reaction travels quickly, both up and down the supply chain. In their interest to find new specialty cheese products, consumers are sharing their cheese finds with others, including their local retailer. Consumers who taste product at a farmer’s market may well follow up with requests at their local retailer, creating an ideal situation for the cheesemaker. Sales data offer another perspective on category growth. Information Resources Inc. (IRI) data indicate sales of specialty and artisanal cheeses topped $1.4 billion during the 52-week period ending May 2004. Relative to the same time period the previous year, this is an increase of 13 percent (DairyField, 2004). CONSUMERS ARE SEEKING OUT FARM-PRODUCED CHEESE Third, consumer interest in food production is growing. The story behind the specialty cheese often serves as a real catalyst luring new customers. Producer investment in promoting farm location, feed type, and cheesemaking techniques (i.e., pasteurization, mold-ripened) on labels and brochures is wellreceived by consumers who are increasingly interested in simpler, less processed production processes.

Fourth, and in a similar vein, niche products tend to highlight special consumer interests. For example, consumers may be drawn to organic products, or other production characteristics, for Rt. 20 Sharon Springs, NY • (800) 887-1872 or (518) 284-2346 which they are willing to pay 1175 Hoosick St. Troy, NY • (518) 279-9709 a higher price above commodity products. And, in fact, retailers are noting the growth of the organic dairy

and raw milk cheese markets. Though little formal data is available on these types of products, retailers and producers both comment on increased consumer interest in these product categories. In short, consumers want to know where their food came from. Moreover, niche markets are highly dynamic, and uniqueness of product is a priority. Specialty food stores are anxious to find one-of-a-kind locally produced cheeses. Assuming high product quality, retailers may be more inclined to relax some of their vendor “rules” as a means of working with small producers. For example, early discussions with cheese buyers at New York City specialty food stores indicated they are willing to The cheese room at Northland Sheep Dairy in Marathon, NY. work with producers in terms Northland’s Karl and Jane North have been pioneers in the of delivery frequency and/or renaissance of farmstead cheesemaking in the Northeast. volume delivered in order to be able to carry a quality, novdepartment of Applied Economics and el product. Management at Cornell University. This article first appeared in the October, This combination of market factors, includ2004 issue of Smart Marketing. Smart ing producer proximity to market, increased Marketing articles are available online at demand, and available discretionary http://hortmgt.aem.cornell.edu/smart_ma income for specialty food products, creates rketing/index.htm or you can order print a favorable environment for specialty copies by calling Wen fei Uva at 607-255cheesemakers. These characteristics work 3688. to the on-farm cheesemaker’s advantage to alleviate some of the marketing effort. MARKETING FUNDAMENTALS ARE STILL IMPORTANT That said, successful marketing of specialty cheeses in New York markets is still conditioned on paying careful attention to a handful of fundamental tasks. Lack of attention to marketing basics renders other questions secondary, such as whether or not to employ a distributor. In the specialty cheese market, it is important to: • Know the market (i.e., competitors, size of market) • Provide quality product consistently • Know product price points relative to production costs, and • Provide the cheese “story.”

Resource Spotlight

Safe Sell Dairy: Creative Ways To Sell Dairy Products Safely at Farmers’ Markets

In addition, those producers who are entering cheese competitions are finding that the publicity and recognition from winning awards can pay marketing dividends, simply from ensuring a superior quality product and making sure that a few key people have tried that product.

This grassroots, farmer to farmer booklet introduces you to the adventure of selling your dairy products directly at Farmers’ Markets. Its purpose is to enhance your marketing skills by presenting safe and creative ways of selling dairy products at farmers’ markets and other outdoor venues. It is not for the hobbyist, but is meant to help owners of commercial, licensed dairies market their dairy products. Legal, presentation, and food safety issues are discussed and many innovative suggestions are made.

In sum, value-added dairy ventures can be challenging, but the market outlook is encouraging. Dairy producers looking to initiate on-farm value-added enterprises should certainly compile as many pieces of the new venture puzzle as possible. With respect to marketing, attention to the fundamentals is a necessary springboard to other marketing issues.

Written by New Hampshire dairy producer Courtney Haase, Safe Sell Dairy is 76 pages long and is in a paperback-book format. The book is small enough to carry in your truck and keep as a convenient reference when you go to Farmer’s Markets. It has a comprehensive index so you can find each topic quickly and is written in the language of one small dairy farmer to another.

Fortunately for Northeast dairy producers, hitting the marketing fundamentals is likely to be positively rewarded, both by other supply chain participants and, ultimately, cheese aficionados.

Single copies of the book are $8.00 each including postage, and can be ordered from Courtney Haase, 603-927-4176, nunsuch@conknet.com, or from her web site at http://nunsuch.org. Funding for this publication was provided by USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program through a Farmer/Grower Grant.

Angela Gloy is a Research Associate and Mark Stephenson is a Senior Extension Associate Department in the


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SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

January 10, 2005

GRAZING

The USDA’s Grassland Reserve Program: An Opportunity for Your Farm?

with additional information about the program. Deadline for sign-ups in 2005 has been set for April 22 and the process is very similar to last year.

By Karen Hoffman Sullivan

For more information about the Grassland Reserve Program, contact your local USDA Natural resources Conservation Services (NRCS) office.

We all know that the Federal government has more acronyms than any other organization, and USDA probably has more than any other branch. You’ve probably seen or heard about CRP, WRP, EQIP, AMA - the list goes on. All of these are programs that as an agricultural producer, you may be eligible to participate in to improve or enhance the conservation efforts on your farm by working with your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office. In the 2002 Farm Bill, a new program was authorized - the Grassland Reserve Program, or GRP. This is one of the newest “kids on the block” with conservation programs, and the intention is to maintain the grassland resources we have in this country. While the program was originally designed for the Western US, it is available on our side of the continent as well.

THE BENEFITS OF CONSERVING GRASSLANDS Why would the Federal government want to conserve the grasslands? There are a number of benefits, including reduction of soil erosion, improved water quality, and benefits to wildlife habitat. In particular, there are certain grassland-nesting birds whose populations are declining due to loss of habitat. With more and more acreage being plowed each year for row crop production, as well as conversion to non-agricultural uses, this country is losing some valuable grassland areas.

Further, and just as important, it has been shown that there are economic benefits to farms that manage their grasslands through rotational grazing. These farms are generally more profitable, allowing them to continue farming and preserving open space, as well as contributing to their local economy. By enrolling land into GRP, we help to preserve all the benefits of grasslands across the country. MORE DEMAND FROM FARMERS THAN FUNDS AVAILABLE The program was “rolled out” in 2003 for the first time. Here in New York, we had 152 landowners apply to participate in the program, demonstrating the popularity of grassbased farming across the state. Unfortunately, very few of those who applied were able to participate in the program due to a low level of funding from Washington. Again, GRP was designed as a “Western program”, and there was not an expectation that it would be popular in the East, so funding was limited and continued to be in 2004. However, the GRP legislation indicates that when a state shows a high level of interest in the program, it may result in additional funding in future years.

through easements. The minimum acreage that can be enrolled is 40 acres, and the land has to all be contiguous. Rental contracts are for 10, 15, 20, and 30 years, and payments are based on 25% of the CRP grazing land rates. On average, it works out to be around $9 per acre enrolled per year, with rental values ranging from $7.50 to $16.50 per acre per year depending on the county and the soil type. In 2005, NY will be allocating all of the funding towards rental contracts as a way of getting the program out to more landowners, and to ensure more of our land can be maintained as grasslands. There is cost-sharing for certain practices that enhance or improve the functions and values of the grassland resource. These practices would include such things as fencing, watering system development, and reseeding for those who are accepted into the program. Thus, if you are hoping to improve your grazing system, participation in GRP may help you offset some of those costs. We were recently notified of 2005 funding levels for GRP in New York. Again, it is not as much money as we were hoping for, but we will try to get the program out to as many people as we can. Please sign up to participate at your local NRCS office, where they can provide you

Karen Hoffman Sullivan is an Animal Scientist with NRCS in Norwich, NY, and Coordinator of the NYS

Grasslands provide many environmental and economic benefits in NY Photo by: Robert DeClue

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After the 2003 program sign-up, Congress decided to “finetune” GRP to place more emphasis on grazing systems and land that is in more rural areas. This is good news for many smaller grass-based livestock operations, as there is more opportunity for participation in GRP. The sign-up for GRP in 2004 was held this past summer, and 124 landowners signed up. While we were still limited by funding, more people were able to participate this year than last.

NORTHEAST NEEDS TO SHOW CONTINUING DEMAND If you were one of those who signed up for GRP and did not get in, PLEASE keep applying in the future. If Northeast states continue to show a high demand, eventually we hope to receive a higher level of funding. If the interest drops off, so will the funding. We know it is discouraging to go through a process to participate in a program and then find out you were not accepted. However, the ranking worksheet that was used in 2004 has only been changed slightly for 2005, so signing up again should only take a small amount of your time. GRP offers two options to participate - by rental contract or Large Selection High Performance

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January 10, 2005

HOME

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Page 17

FAMILY

Why 4-H? By Jessica Spence At the beginning of the 20th Century if you were to ask someone, “why 4-H?” they may have responded with an answer that included the words “cows” or “cooking.” This is not the case today. When today’s 4-H members, parents and leaders are asked, “why 4-H” the responses include building life skills, meeting new people or hands-on learning. The New York State 4-H Club Study, Understanding the Difference 4-H Clubs Make in the Lives of New York Youth: How 4-H Contributes to Positive Youth Development, quotes one 4-H member as saying: “I feel that the experience I’ve gained from being a 4-H member puts me ‘a notch above the rest.’ 4-H experiences such as public presentations and educational projects have given me an edge in school. Biology and English seem so much easier when you already know about pond life and

how to deliver an oral presentation. My experiences with 4-H community service projects have encouraged my desire to help other people as well as my feelings of selffulfillment. Most importantly, the leadership experiences that I have had through 4-H have helped me to become a more outgoing person, ready to take on all different sorts of responsibilities.” Today there are over 7 million 4-H members and more than 500,000 teen and adult volunteers in the 4-H program across the nation. This makes 4-H the largest out-ofschool youth development program in the United States. 4H is open to all youth ages 9-19 regardless of location, income, gender, race or religion. The stereotypical agriculture or nutrition 4-H club is no longer the norm. Today’s 4-H members are involved in projects ranging from sewing and cooking to computer technology and zoology. There are traditional 4-H clubs, independent 4-H members, after school programs, summer recreation programs and many more opportunities for youth to reap the benefits of 4-H projects and curriculum.

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4-H empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults. Youth are the future, the next generation of politicians, caregivers, farmers and educators. 4-H provides these youth with the opportunity to build the skills they need to be competent, caring adults. 4-H is recognized world wide for its public presentation programs, community service, juried curriculum materials and educational trips to places like Washington D.C. and state capitols. 4-H members also benefit from a close connection with land grant universities, such as Cornell, which provide timely research, events and college opportunities. Unfortunately 4-H has been deemed by some to be “exclusive.” This is a sad misunderstanding that has prevented the opportunity for some youth to participate in an organization that has so much to offer. You can find 4-H in almost every county across the nation. 4-H programs welcome all youth to participate at a level that is comfortable for them. Some counties do charge fees for enrollment or participation in programs, mostly to cover the overhead costs to run a quality program. Youth do not have to join a traditional “4-H club” to take advantage of project materials, events or interaction with local youth and adults. Due to budget cuts in many 4-H programs, it is typical to see staff devote more time to providing high quality programming than to the marketing of and recruitment into 4H at a county level. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that 4-H appears to be “exclusive.” However, a quick call to your local Cooperative Extension Association or a Google search will show you some fast, easy ways to become a member of this welcoming organization. 4-H offers something for everyone, makes a difference in the lives of young people and can take you places you have never imagined. So, why 4-H? Why not? If you would like to find out more about participation in 4-H, contact your local Cooperative Extension office or visit the New York State 4-H website at www.cce.cornell.edu/4h or visit www.4husa.org to find 4-H in your state. Jessica Spence is a 4-H Youth Development Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Yates County, NY.

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SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

NEW FARMERS

January 10, 2005 Looking for herdsperson who wants to raise his/her own animals. Excellent opportunity to start with little down and to build equity. Located in Cayuga County, Central NY. Tractor experience required.

greenhouse, processing & aging facilities. Business is 12 years old, well-established, respected and thriving. Sale to include herd of approx. 60, equipment, accounts, recipes and training in cheese making and herbal herd health care. This is a completely solvent, successful dream life which can also be quickly grown to multiple times its size. Buyer will receive those details as well. We have had great fun here and now are off to pursue other projects.

NY FarmLink Connects Aspiring Farmers With Diverse Farming Opportunities By Karin Jantz Are you trying to find farmland to rent or to buy? Are you looking for farm partnership opportunities? Or employment as a farm manager? Are you a landowner or retiring farmer looking for someone to farm your land? NY FarmLink can help. NY FarmLink maintains a database of farming opportunities in New York State as well as a database of individuals seeking farming opportunities. There are currently 5 sections within the NY FarmLink Opportunities Database. In the past our website only offered a clearinghouse for beginning farmers and retiring farmers looking to transfer the farm. This has been expanded to capture the intermediate steps that occur before farm transfer, such as: farmers who are seeking business partnerships; farm management employment opportunities; and farms for rent. Please visit www.nyfarmlink.org or call 1-800-547-3276 for more information.

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A FARM? Farm Seekers, whether they are looking to own their own farm right away or start out with a management position first, need to be knowledgeable about the farm business they wish to enter. They need to know not only the intricate details of production, but also the business part of the business; the records, the finances, possibly the employees. This is not to say the farm seekers need to be an expert in all these areas, but they must be aware that all these areas make up the farm business, whether they deal with them themselves or hire out the task. Farm owners who are selling or transferring their life’s work do not want the farm business to fail, therefore they look for individuals who they feel are qualified to take over the responsibilities of their farm.

FARM OWNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FO107 Fresh Beginnings kitchen/garden workshop seeks a new farmer interested in working to develop a diversified small farm. Thirty acres of pasture, cropland and forest near Albany provide opportunities for campsites, vegetables, plant and animal production. Nearby school programs and farm and food education classes offer year round financial opportunities. Collaboration with a personal chef operating out of the 1400 sq ft kitchen offers direct consumer marketing of food grown on the farm.

FO110 A working 332-acre goat ranch fully stocked, fully equipped, with a house, a barn, storage sheds, multiple goat sheds (3 phased) in Saugerties, NY. Adjacent to thruway, 1 1/2 hours from New York City markets and an active tourist population. Well-known ranch for meat goat stock and products; good school system; excellent Hudson Valley community FO115 Dairy, Tie Stall, 2 story hip roof barn - 2” pipeline remodeled 1984 for 60 cows plus heifers. Our arrangement is not for ownership, however, we are in a unique position to help a condition towards ownership. We would like someone who is interested in managing their own dairy operation using our farm facilities. Once you build equity in the cattle, you may choose to leave to a location of choice or make arrangements for long term lease. We can provide crops, or you provide your own with or without our tillable acreage. We are experienced dairy operators. We work off the farm and want to retain ownership of the family farm, while giving interested persons opportunity to build equity in their own herd. Housing is limited to a trailer, however for a larger dwelling, rentals are available. FO132 Our 130 acre farm in Cayuga County needs a key person to be the farm manager/herdsman for our 70+ herd of Black Angus cattle. We are willing to offer an ownership interest to the right person. Arrangements flexible. Our goal is to transition this farm, including the 8 year old home, to employee(s) within the next 8-10 years. We both work off the farm. The growth and income opportunity of the farm needs to be developed. We are looking for a key person to develop the farm potential and are offering ownership interest in return. FO137 This rural 74 acre farm on Rt. 5 is centrally located between Syracuse and Utica in the Mohawk Valley region of central New York. Heavy Turning Stone Casino (Verona, NY) traffic makes direct marketing plausible. Approximately: 10 acres woodland, 20 acres pasture, 42 acres tillable, 2 acres residential. The property has a bordering trout stream providing continuous water. The circa 1832 restored colonial home is well suited for a bed and breakfast or possible in-home business. FO138 Organic Artisinal Goat Cheese Dairy. 50 acres, 4 1/2 hours north of NYC. Circa 1895 converted barn/residence, barns,

FARM MANAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES Listed here are positions of a higher degree of responsibility than strictly an employee. Some farm owners who list these positions offer equity building positions and future ownership opportunities. FM111 Retiring farm couple on the Herkimer/Oneida county line is offering an opportunity to build equity in our 60 cow tiestall dairy of 2/3 holsteins, 1/3 colored. We have started “off farm” jobs and are in need of a full-time herdsperson. The right candidate MUST be cow oriented. Once you build equity in the cattle to secure a loan for total herd buy-out, you may choose to leave to a location of choice or make arrangements for a long term lease. At present there is no housing available on the farm however, mutual arrangements could be made. FM114 Biodynamic/organic vegetable farmeastern Dutchess County. 80 acres: 25A tillable with prime soils. 25A open fields/pasture (cut for compost), pristine creek, wetlands, and woods. Owners wish to find likeminded partners to develop diversified farm with vegetarian orientation to include vegetables, herbs, soft and tree fruit, grains, and legumes. Possibly working animals. Interested in simply, sustainable living. Currently seeking experienced organic farmer/couple to manage and expand existing vegetable operation under entrepreneurial or cooperative arrangement. Long-term interest preferred. Have established CSA (6 years), market customers, and excellent new market possibilities. House, greenhouses, and equipment available.

FP109 38 cow NY tiestall barn with 2” pipeline with 16x46 silo and bunk silo. Heifer barn with 5 open bays holds 50 head, 20 calf hutches. Currently installing rotational grazing system. Complete line-up of machinery. Currently have 80 head of heifers. Crops: corn silage, baleage, haylage, dry hay (square & round) & HMEC. I

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(607) 655-1291 We Write Coverages For:

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Serving the State of New York

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Karin Jantz is a Project Coordinator with NY FarmLink.

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and capital. Our background is in finance and small business. We are not entering into this search lightly nor naively. We don’t need immediate income from the farm and assume it will take five to ten years to bring a farm to our vision. Our vision very much depends on the property we find. We hope to build a diversified sustainable farm that can be an asset to its community and a home to raise our family. Our ideal location is within two hours of NYC. FS214 We want to own 100 plus acres within forty-five minutes west, south or east of Syracuse. We seek a quiet farm oriented community. Our business plan is based on grazing beef, pork and poultry. We will use custom crop/hay support if the farm includes tillable acreage. For more information on these opportunities as well as others not listed here please call NY FarmLink at 1-800-5473276 or visit www.nyfarmlink.org.

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FARM SEEKERS Listed here are individual’s desired characteristics in a farm as well as their qualifications and assets for ownership. FS211 Self sustaining meat/dairy goat farm w/at least 100 acres as pasture/hay fields. Prefer residence on property. Willing to do work to own arrangement. FS212 Looking for a diversified fruit/vegetable operation to purchase, lease or manage. Prefer organic practices. If within 30 minutes of Batavia, NY housing is not essential. Have experience with tree fruit, including apples, peaches and pears. Strawberries, blueberries & raspberries, and vegetables. Have owned & operated a farmstand/U-pick business, and have experience running a 270 member CSA. FS213 My family and I want to transition into farming. We are looking for a farm that needs an infusion of energy

FR108 Two hundred cow freestall barn with double 9 herringbone parlor, 4 bay commodity shed, 36’x48’ heated shop, bunk silo pad. 150 acres cropland, other land available. Farm in the same family for 3 generations, no one interested in continuing the farm. Very rural county, small town- county seat, good school, YMCA, hospital, Walmart & Tops. One hour to larger cities.

FP108 Ideal situation is a young couple interested in wildfarming, permaculture, organic ag opportunity to develop into intentional community and education center for wilderness stewardship and alternative living. Farm is part of growing wildlife corridor in the Adirondack Mountains Champlain Valley. Need farmers interested in alternative education, simple living, traditional living skills, local/barter/gift economy, alternative building and most importantly wilderness conservation and stewardship. Small cottage with composting toilet and access to farmhouse/education center kitchen and facilities. Good water supply, pond, large hay and livestock barns, fenced in pasture, fruit trees, asparagus, possibilities for flowers, herbs and small organic livestock.

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Farm owners in the FarmLink database are individuals who are looking to retire or semi-retire and have no one to take over the farm business. Because these individuals desire that their farm stay in operation, they need to be willing to step back from control of the day to day aspects of running the farm. However, depending on the situation, they could be a huge source of knowledge and support for the new farmer. Owners also need to be in a secure place financially that can allow the transfer to work. Successful FarmLink owners should have retirement income outside of the sale of the business. Typically farm seekers do not have the cash to purchase a farming enterprise outright. Owners who are in the position to provide equity building situations for the seeker or are willing to hold the mortgage, can find themselves with a larger pool of seekers to work with.

FARM PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES FP106 23 acre homestead in Stuyvesant, NY (Columbia County). The property, circa 1876, used to be a small working vegetable farm, dairy and fruit orchard. Today about 67 acres are currently arable. The property has a large 4 bedroom farmhouse and a newly renovated and converted 2+ bedroom barn (where we stay on weekends). We are weekenders who live in NYC most days. We are interested in finding individuals (preferably a couple or business partners) who would be interested in rent free living in the farm house and free use of the majority of the arable land in return for some minor caretaker duties and a fraction of the gross revenue from the farming operations. I would also be able to offer some start-up capital and have some good farm equipment. We would also help with farm labor on the weekends. We would like to find someone to make at least a 2-3 year commitment to grow crops and possibly raise livestock on the property.

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FARM RENTAL OPPORTUNITIES FR107 428 acres, profitable farm operation includes over 300 acres of pastures and feed crop lands. Ideal grazing opportunity. 3 bedroom house includes gas heat, hot water. Owners maintain buildings, large barn with additions for equipment. Long term lease available, $850 a month negotiable. Owners will consider partnership on projects. Traditionally, operators have used all proceeds to purchase a farm on their own. Good opportunity for grass farmer with expertise but no credit or capital. Cattaraugus County


January 10, 2005

SMALL FARM QUARTERLY

Page 19

URBAN CONNECTIONS

The New Farmer Development Project Connecting New Immigrant Farmers to NYC’s Urban Food Systems By Linda Ameroso Across the country, farmers are unsure of what will happen to their farms when they retire. This concern represents not only the fears of individual farmers, but a national crisis: Who will be the next generation of farmers? The lack of new farmers has severe implications for the economic viability of agriculture, the preservation of farmland, and the continued supply of locally grown food. THE CHANGING FACE OF FARMING Immigrants are a group of farmers whose numbers are growing. There is significant potential for immigrants to become farmers despite tremendous risks associated with agricultural operations, especially for socially disadvantaged producers. The New Farmer Development Project was founded in 2000 to address the declining number of farms in the Northeast region as well as to respond to increased demand for farmers’ markets in underserved communities within New York City. The New Farmer Development Project (NFDP) is a collaborative partnership involving the Urban Food Systems Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Greenmarket, a program of the Council on the Environment of NYC. The NFDP’s goal is to assist socially disadvantaged and limited resource immigrant farmers in the NYC region in establishing economically sustainable farms, drawing on the breadth of agricultural skills and knowledge found in many immigrant communities. AN “INCUBATOR” FOR NEW FARMERS Our model for farmer entry targets immigrants who already have agricultural experience in their home country. We provide education, technical assistance, financial management, one-on-one assistance, risk management tools, marketing outlets, and access to credit. We reconnect immigrants with their agricultural roots, providing some of the resources and support necessary to assist them in becoming food producers here in the Northeast. The geographic impact of this project spans New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. The NFDP has made significant strides in recruiting and training participants, creating demonstration sites and facilitating the farming and marketing activities of program participants. To date, most participants come from Spanish speaking countries in the Western hemisphere. More than

Martin and his family selling Mexican vegetable varieties at Farmers Market in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Photo by: Maria Alvarez, NFDP

More than 120 people have participated in training, production, and marketing opportunities through the New Farmer Development Project. From left to right: NFDP participant Martin Rodriquez, CUCE/NYC’s John Ameroso, NFDP’s Kate Granger, and Martin’s family and friends break ground for a small scale operation, growing Mexican vegetable varieties on muck soils in Orange County, NY. Photo by: Michelle Hughes, NFDP 120 people have participated in the NFDP through training, production, and marketing opportunities. Through our current partnership with USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), we refined our training series, The New Planting (La Nueva Siembra). In Spring of 2004, 35 participants enrolled and 22 graduated from La Nueva Siembra training classes which included training in production, marketing and financial management. Hands-on field oriented training continued throughout the season, as participants worked on demonstration sites and small farms established by NFDP. SUCCESSFUL START-UPS This past growing season NFDP participants launched 2 more new small-scale farming ventures, bringing to six the number of active start-ups by NFDP “graduates.” These new farmers each work between 2-7 acres and sell, altogether, at more than 15 different markets in NYC. Many of these markets are located in immigrant neighborhoods, where NFDP farmers sell culturally appropriate produce to members of their own community. This also includes some sales to local restaurants. Other NFDP trainees have not yet launched their own independent businesses, but continue to raise crops on our

Looking for Farmland... Looking for Farmers As Mentors... The New Farmer Development Project (NFDP) seeks farmland for sale, rent or loan! We’d like to help place our beginning farmers on land that is reasonably close to the NYC markets. The land will be used by NFDP participants to raise vegetables and/or livestock for sale in NYC markets. Project participants are immigrants with the agricultural experience and resources to succeed as farmers in the New York region. If you have land available, or ideas and leads that we might pursue, please contact us. We are also looking for farmers who are interested in mentoring a program participant looking to gain more hands-on farming skills. For more information, or to help link us with available farmland or with farmers who would like to be mentors, contact Michelle Hughes at Greenmarkets NFDP, a program of the Council on the Environment of New York City www.cenyc.org, (212) 3412256 or John Ameroso (212) 340-2946 (jma20@cornell.edu) Cornell University Cooperative Extension in NYC. demonstration site at Staten Island’s Decker Farm, and sell them to the Mexican population in Staten Island. We also enrolled 20 new participants for a second 2004 training this fall, and graduated 10 potential new immigrant farmers. Mentoring of NFDP participants by experienced local farmers is an important aspect of the training program. The NFDP has matched more than fifteen participants with local farmers who serve as mentors and provide valuable hands-on experience at market and/or on the farm. At NFDP training farms, where participants acquire production and marketing experience, fifteen participants are cooperatively farming and marketing their produce. The NFDP has facilitated the establishment of independent farms by farmers from Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and Chile. They grow specialty crops such as herbs, vegetables, small fruits, traditional ethnic produce, and pastured poultry. These farmers are not only successful as individuals; they are also role models for future farmers. A PARTNERSHIP EFFORT In addition to the NFDP’s partnership between Greenmarket, a program of the Council on the Environment of NYC and CUCE-NYC, we rely on strong partnerships with community organizations, other agricultural organizations, and state and federal agricultural programs. Current funding sources include USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA), Heiffer International and the Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation. We invite interested individuals find out more about how you can get involved. For more information about this and other CUCE-NYC Urban Food Systems programs and partners, contact John Ameroso (212) 340-2946 at Cornell University Cooperative Extension in NYC. Linda Ameroso is an Extension Educator in the Urban Food Systems Program of Cornell University Cooperative Extension in New York City.


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Preventing Rural Fires A Checklist for Rural Fire Safety and Prevention Self-reliance is the rule for fire safety for many people. If you live in an area where the local fire department is more than a few minutes away because of travel time or distance, or if you are outside the limits of the nearest town, be sure you know how to be self-reliant in a fire emergency. The United States Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to use this fire safety checklist to help you protect yourself, your home and its surroundings from fire. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility... Fire Stops With You!

• Beyond 30 feet, remove dead wood, debris and low tree branches. • Landscape your property with fire resistant plants and vegetation to prevent fire from spreading quickly. • Stack firewood at least 30 feet away from your home and other structures. • Store flammable materials, liquids and solvents in metal containers outside the home, at least 30 feet away from structures and wooden fences.

FOLLOW LOCAL BURNING LAWS Reprinted with permission from: The United States Fire Administration Office • Do not burn trash or other debris without of Fire Management Programs. Also proper knowledge of local burning laws, available online at: http://www.usfa. techniques and the safest times of day fema.gov/public/factsheets/ruralcheck.shtm and year to burn. • Before burning debris in a HEATMOR OUTDOOR WOOD FURNACES wooded area, make sure 5 Sizes - 19 Colors - Wood or Coal Grates you notify local authorities Forced Draft - Ash Auger Clean Out and obtain a burning perCOMPARISON WITH OTHER OUTDOOR UNITS mit. • Burns up to 1/2 less wood • Emits up to 1/2 less smoke • Use an approved incinera• Corrosion Warranty up to 10 times longer tor with a safety lid or covNEW! Wood - Oil - & Corn-burning Options ering with holes no larger Dealerships Available in Some Areas than 3/4 inches. Eastern US Distributor • Create at least a 10 foot Outback Heating, Inc. clearing around the incinerStainless Steel 888-763-8617 800-743-5883 ator before burning debris. Jamestown, NY

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MAINTAIN HOME HEATING SYSTEMS • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually by a certified specialist. • Insulate chimneys and place spark arresters on top. • Extend the chimney at least three feet above the roof. • Remove branches hanging above and around the chimney. HAVE A FIRE SAFETY AND EVACUATION PLAN • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. • Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. • Practice fire escape and evacuation plans. • Mark the entrance to your property with signs that are clearly visible. • Know which local emergency services are available and have those numbers posted. • Provide emergency vehicle access through roads and driveways at least 12 feet wide with adequate turnaround space. MAKE YOUR HOME FIRE-RESISTANT • Use fire-resistant and protective roofing and materials like stone, brick and metal to protect your home. Avoid using wood materials that offer the least fire protection. • Keep roofs and eaves clear of debris. • Cover all exterior vents, attics and eaves with metal mesh screens no larger than 6 millimeters. • Install multipane windows, tempered safety glass or fireproof shutters to protect large windows from radiant heat. • Use fire-resistant draperies for added window protection. • Keep tools for fire protection nearby: 100 foot garden hose, shovel, rake, ladder and buckets. • Make sure water sources, such as hydrants and ponds, are accessible to the fire department. LET YOUR LANDSCAPE DEFEND YOUR PROPERTY • Trim grass on a regular basis up to 100 feet surrounding your home. • Create defensible space by thinning trees and brush within 30 feet around your home.

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VERMONT DESMARAIS EQ. INC. Orleans, VT 05860 802-754-6629 L.W. GREEN WOOD E. Randolph, VT 05041 802-728-5453 WIMBLE & SON Fairfax, VT 05454 802-524-4217

MAINE WATERMAN FARM MACHINERY 827 Sabattus Road Sabattus, ME 04280 207-375-6561 800-439-6561 NEW HAMPSHIRE KNOXLAND EQ., INC. Rt. 2, South Sugar Hill Rd. Weare, NH 03281 603-529-2366


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