the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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new york organic dairy discussion series

A series of free discussion meetings for dairy farmers — lunch included! — will take place from 11 AM to 2 PM between March 19 and April 1 at the New York farm sites listed below. These meetings are great for beginners and an excellent place for farmers who are considering organic production to ask questions.

Photos of dairy cows grazing green pasture with barn in background

Photo by Kate Whittemore for the Cornell Small Farms program blog.

Titled “Lunch with Jerry,” these discussions will honor the late Jerry Brunetti. Fay Benson, organic dairy extension educator at the Cornell Cooperative Extension, will show video trainings produced by Jerry Brunetti for the NY Organic Dairy Initiative.

To register for a lunch discussion at any of the sites below, please contact Ellen Fagan at or 607-753-5078, or visit Lunch will be provided.

March 19, 2015:
Alfred State College Farm
1315 New York 244, Alfred, NY 14803
Host: Virginia Chamberlain, Alfred State Farm Manager

March 20th, 2015:
Dave Hardy Farm Shop
718 Aney Hill Rd, Mohawk, NY 13407
Host: Dave Hardy

March 26, 2015:
Hooper Farm
7197 River Road, Memphis, NY 13112
Hosts: Mike and Karen Hooper

March 31, 2015:
Hammond Village Hall
24 S. Main St. Hammond, NY 13646
Host: Farmer Liz Bawden

April 1, 2015:
Malone Courthouse
355 West Main Street #456 Malone, NY 12953
Hosts: Farmers Fred and Gwen Tuttle

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northern new york agricultural development program posts economic impact report


The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has posted the economic impact report for its 2014 projects.  The program serves Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties with farmer-selected agricultural research and technical assistance projects.

Twenty-nine NNYADP–funded projects in 2014 included research focused on dairy and field crops production, crop and livestock pest and disease management, agricultural environmental management, beef production and marketing, and fruit and vegetable production.

Read the full Press Release here.

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ny, pa, oh: fracking waste allowed to be spread on roads as de-icer

Farmers! Did you know that New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania permits the use of brine from fracking operations to be applied to roads as a deicer? If not properly controlled, this waste can run off into adjoining property and ultimately could contaminate rivers, streams, and underground aquifers that feed local drinking water supplies. Government entities, as well as private companies, that wish to use production brine for road spreading must get permission from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to use the brine by applying for a Beneficial Use Determination (BUD).  Some local governments in New York have also prohibited the practice by passing ordinances banning fracking and waste disposal.

Click HERE to read more, start the path towards getting informed, and attending your local town governance meetings. 

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‘food from the farm’ tasting event in plattsburgh, ny march 7th

Fifth Annual Food from the Farm Tasting Event in Plattsburgh March 7

Plattsburgh, NY   The public is invited to meet Northern New York farmers, food processors, wine and cider makers, and chefs with a diverse array of products at the 5th annual Food from the Farm event on Saturday, March 7 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at the Plattsburgh Recreation Center gymnasium on the US Oval in Plattsburgh, NY.

Visitors will have the opportunity to sample and buy locally-grown or produced foods, wine and cider; pick up recipes and gardening tips; meet local food producers, and support the local economy and food movement.  Products for sale may include overwintered storage crops such as carrots, beets and potatoes; winter greens, frozen meat, maple, honey, wine, and hard cider. Continue reading

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job opening at cornell: beginning farmer project coordinator

Check out the description for this incredible job opportunity at Cornell University!

image via

The Cornell Small Farm Program (SFP) engages in research and extension projects and collaborations that support and enhance the viability of small farms in New York. This Coordinator will support the Northeast Beginning Farmer (NEBF) Project, a major SFP effort focused on beginning farmer training, their support networks, and informational resources.
The department is currently searching for a Project Coordinator who will oversee all aspects of a USDA project designed to 1) facilitate military veterans entering into farming as a career, and 2) improve long-term viability of”advanced” beginning farmers (defined as farmers operating 3-10 years).  Facilitate the development and implementation of project work plans by collaborators for each component of the project, coordinate timelines, manage relationships, and synthesize evaluation data into reports.  Lead the outreach for the overall project, publicizing events and impacts of the project and collaborating with the SFP outreach staff to achieve these goals. Convene advisory groups for all aspects of the work.
The Project Coordinator will also implement specific projects to provide training for beginning farmer service providers and collaborate with other organizations and individuals to develop new informational resources for beginning farmers. Work closely with the SFP Beginning Farmer Project Manager and the SFP Director to insure participation and engagement of partners and stakeholders and share outcomes with other organizations nationally.
Think this is the position for you? Click HERE for the full description and application!

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hiring your first employee class in burrville/canton feb. 11

Great for farmers in upstate New York!

Hiring Your First Employee Workshops Set for NNY Sites

February 11th from 1 pm to 3 pm. The session will be live in Burrville and online in Canton.
Cornell Cooperative Extension/CCE will offer training to help farmers who will be hiring their first employees in 2015.

This beginners course covers topics such as payroll accounting, minimum wage, withholding, general work agreements, worker’s compensation, unemployment insurance, youth hiring rules and rates, termination, quarterly and annual report filing requirements. OSHA safety regulations, dangerous jobs, Right to Know and training will also be covered.

“There are several critical considerations to put in place before you take on employees. Those attending this course will receive a To-Do list and a set of resources to prepare them for hiring,” says workshop co-organizer Anita Deming with CCE Essex County. “Learning how to properly manage workers can expand your earning potential exponentially.”

Deming notes that even if a farm owner hires a professional to help with employment forms and government reporting requirements it is wise for the farm owner to have a working knowledge of what is legally required for hiring and employee management.


Peggy Murray, 315-376-5270,

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one week left to apply for blue mountain writers’ residency


There is one week left until the application (February 1) deadline for a writer’s residency at the Blue Mountain Center, nestled deep in the Adirondack Park in New York. Several four-week sessions are available throughout the summer and early fall. Aside from the $25 application fee, the residency is free.

The committee is particularly interested in fine work that evinces social and ecological concern and is aimed at a general audience.

It is an incubator for strong writing and strong social thinking.

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Learn more about the residency and see how to apply HERE.


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