the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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farm classes online this winter

cornell-small-farms-program

Winter is a great time for farmers to rest, slow down the pace, and build new skills for the coming growing season. The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce the winter roster of online courses available through its Northeast Beginning Farmer Project. These courses help farmers learn from the latest research-based education.

Since 2006, the program has offered high quality, collaborative learning environments online and each year educates hundreds of beginning and established farmers through these courses.

http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/

Are there courses for me? From aspiring to experienced farmers, there is a course for nearly everyone. There’s a handy chart on our course homepage to direct you to the right courses for your experience level.

What are the courses like? All of our courses consist of weekly real-time webinars followed by homework, readings, and discussions on your own time in an online setting. If you aren’t able to attend the live webinars, they are always recorded for later viewing.

Qualify for a 0% interest loan! Participants who complete all requirements of one or more online courses are eligible to be endorsed for a 0% interest loan of up to $10,000 through Kiva Zip.

Each course is $200, but up to 4 people from the same farm may participate without paying extra. See the course description page for more on the course learning objectives, instructors, and outline

http://www.nebeginningfarmers.org/online-courses/


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it takes a region, saratoga springs, nov. 12-14

NESAWG Conference Logo

Back in June, we posted about the upcoming NESAWG (Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group) It Takes a Region Conference. And maybe, at that moment, you thought that this year’s theme of “Putting MOVE in the Movement” was so freaking great that you signed up immediately. If so, good for you! But maybe you, like me, were busy planting kale starts, packing for market, coordinating campaigns, or any of the many other June activities that might keep a Greenhorn busy and, planning to sign up later, left the conference page open in a tab on your browser for months. If so, I wanted to gently remind you that It Takes A Region is in THREE WEEKS: Nov. 12-14 in Saratoga Springs, NY. And, phew, it is not too late to register!

This year’s conference will focus on studying social movements of the recent past in relation to our current work in sustainable food systems and food justice. Examples of workshops include sessions on: Addressing Racism in the Food System, Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast, and Food Hubs. The conference is geared towards farmers, nonprofit professionals, activists, and journalists alike, and there is ample discussion time built into the conference schedule.

A few more logistical things to consider: the deadline to book hotels rooms with the special conference discount is October 28, and there are ride and roommate boards available for those looking to share rooms and/or carpool. For all other information, check out the exceptionally-easy-to-navigate conference website.


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working the land symposium, oct. 10, shelburne, vt

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Next week, in conjunction with its current exhibition Eyes on the Land, the Shelburne Museum in Vermont is holding a Working the Land Symposium. From 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Sunday, October 10, regional scholars will present on the histories, stories, archeology, and symbolism of the working landscapes of New England. These presentations will be followed by a panel discussion by the artists featured in the exhibition.

If all of this cold back-to-school weather has given you a hankering to get your academic on, you can buy tickets here. The cost is $50 for General Admission; $45 for Museum Members; and $15 for Students. For additional questions please contact symposia@shelburnemuseum.org or call 802-985-3346, x3392.

Much more information on the event and the organization can be found on the museum’s Facebook page.


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switzer fellowship app is open — let’s get a farm leader in there!

Every year the Switzer Foundation provides funding for 20 scholars and innovators in terminal graduate programs in New England and California. The scholarship is $15,000 for the course of a year for people doing work on sustainability, agriculture, urban development, and related fields/issues.

Their call of for applications says, “Candidates for the Fellowship should demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, be able to clearly communicate how they will apply their technical or professional expertise to environmental issues, and convey a clarity and sense of purpose about their work.  Leadership qualities valued by the Switzer Foundation include a desire to work collaboratively and across disciplines, a commitment to applied environmental work, interest in developing leadership skills and an appreciation of the importance of networks.  Candidates for the Switzer Fellowship are chosen not only for their excellence in academic and scientific or technical work, but also on their true dedication to aggressively pursue practical solutions to environmental problems.”

If this sounds like you or anyone your know, check out the application instructions HERE, and look at last year’s grantees HERE.


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agrarian investments

agrarian-entrepreneur

Making a profit off of real estate investment is no new thing, even when it comes to farmland. Land grabs make the land valuable without valuing the land. There are some investment groups, though, that aim to invest in land sustainably.

One such group is The Entrepreneur Agrarian Fund (EAF), a private equity fund establishing a network of livestock based farm enterprises that provide local grass-fed, natural and organic meats to markets of the Northeast.

Capitalizing on immediate market demand, the EAF utilizes regional production efficiency to create strong investor returns through cash-flow from a consistent supply of premium crops, and on-going improvement to land and soil quality. Thus making investing in the land more attractive to individuals and groups looking to put their money into something they believe in, without sacrificing a favorable return value.

 

 

read the full post at Agrarian Trust


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small farms quarterly seeks writers

Small Farms QuarterlyPicture 1
As the new farmer editor I invite anyone who is located in the Northeast (Maine-Pennsylvania & points east) to submit an article. These can be focused on beginning farmers you work with, or yourself as a beginning farmer, with a story to tell about an innovation in production, marketing, new varieties, use of technology, etc… These should be timely topics and those with stories others can learn from. You can find more information on writing styles, guidelines and more at: http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/quarterly/writers/#Examples. The deadline for submission is August 2nd through the online submission form located here: online submission form with several pictures. The word length and other details are addressed in the first link. I hope you will consider submitting a piece.
 
Laura Biasillo
Agricultural Economic Development Specialist
Cornell Cooperative Extension-Broome County
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