Penn State Extension Start Farming Update
– December 8, 2012
Penn State Extension
Hosts Fall Cover Crop Field Days Considering the interest in cover crops by farmers, the general public, and others, the Crop Management Team at
Penn State Cooperative Extension established cover crop trials on dairy farms across Pennsylvania since 2009. At eight recent field days across the
state we reviewed results from the first year of the study, observed the performance of the cover crops this fall and interacted with peers and
specialists during these events to learn more about cover crops and their potentials.
Call for Seed Farm Apprentices
The Seed Farm is a new farmer training program and agricultural business incubator
project supported by the County of Lehigh in Southeastern Pennsylvania. The mission of the Seed Farm is to start and grow new sustainable farms and
farmers in the Lehigh Valley and to support the growth of our local food system.
Beginning Farmer Barrier Identification Survey
Starting a farm can be challenging. According to a USDA definition, farmers are
considered “beginners” until they have been in operation for 10 years. Many new farms don’t make it to that point. The focus of this effort is to
identify how agencies, organizations and policy makers can help farmers thrive beyond the start-up phase. We are depending on your personal experience
as a beginning farmer or service provider to further help us rank the IMPORTANCE of these areas of concern; determine whether or not you have had
ACCESS to information on the topics, and to explore! your experience as to the AVAILABILITY of training, information, and resources on the topic.
If you are both a service provider AND an aspiring or beginning farmer, please answer from only one point of view during the survey.
Upcoming New Farmer Workshops
Starting January 19, 2012.
ABC's of Beekeeping
Doylestown, PA. This beginning bee
course will provide basic information about honey bee biology, the equipment used in beekeeping, colony management, honey bee pests, harvesting honey
and other essential details for a rewarding experience with these fascinating insects.
February 8, 2012.
Introduction to Soils Leesport, PA. Get a FREE SOIL TEST KIT when you register for this class before January 20!
Don’t wait until the ground freezes – register and pick up your kit TODAY! Good soil management is the basis for healthy, producti! ve
crops. Learn how soil texture, structure, biology and nutrient availability impact crop growth. You will leave this class with a soil management plan
for your land.
February 16, 2012.
Introduction to Potato Production Allentown, PA. How to grow potatoes from soil preparation to market.
Starting February 29, 2012.
Small-Scale Poultry Center Valley, PA. The objective of this course series is to give prospective and beginning small-scale meat
and egg producers a general understanding of what it takes to have poultry. Poultry breeds, housing, health, and nutrition for small-scale meat and
egg producers will be explored.
Starting March 1, 2012.
Exploring the Small Farm Dream Honesdale,
PA. This course is designed to help participants answer the question “Is starting an agricultural business right for me?”
Starting March 1, 2012.
Grazing School Leesport, PA. A course for individuals who
want to transition a portion of, or all of their dairy or livestock farm to a management-intensive grazing operation.
Starting March 6, 2012.
Pasture Management Short Course Doylestown, PA. The
Pasture Management Short Course will help you manage your pastures for optimum production. You will learn about all aspects of pasture management and
acquire the knowledge to develop a sustainable grazing plan for your farm.
Starting March 12, 2012.
Living on a Few Acres – Montgomery County Collegeville, PA. An introduction to fruit, vegetable and meat production, as well as marketing, for
anyone considering starting a farming business.
on a Few Acres – Lehigh County Allentown, PA. An introduction to fruit, vegetable and meat production, as well as marketing, for anyone
considering starting a farming business.
March 15, 2012.
Food for Profit
Bethlehem, PA. An intensive workshop designed to give you the information you need to start a small, food-based business, including contacts and
resources to make your business a reality.
Starting March 15,
Living on a Few Acres – Bucks County Doylestown, PA. An introduction to fruit, vegetable and meat production, as well as marketing, for anyone
considering starting a farming business.
Other Up-coming Programs
Winter Online Courses for Beginning Farmers Open for Registration The long
dark days of winter are the perfect time to dream and plan for the next growing season, and if you're already farming, to organize your records and
look back at how last season went. We offer several online courses to help you with this.
Courses are filling up fast! There are two courses we are particularly
highlighting at this time - BF 201: Making Money,
Pricing, Positioning in the Market, and Guerrilla Marketing
Tactics would be a wonderful course for farmers who want to re-position their
business for success in 2012, and
BF 122: Berry Production: Getting Started with Production and Marketing
is a fantastic course for those interested in learning more a! bout the profitable
world of berries.
December 12, 2011.
Agricultural Regulation & Compliance Outreach Workshop Collegeville, PA. This workshop will help make persons aware of the new agriculture
December 20, 2011.
Apple Crop Load Management - An In-Depth Workshop for
Orchardists Gettysburg, PA. Crop load management is one of the most important orchard cultural programs. Small fruit do not have a strong market
and the effects of less return bloom following a heavy crop can affect overall profitability. Special guest presenter, Dr. Duane Greene, University of
Massachusetts, and Penn State pomology faculty will discuss new models and tools to use in assessing when and how much to thin apples. Each
participant will receive a limb caliper disk (Equilifruit disk) to use in assessing optimum apple crop load as well as training! on using the Lakso
carbon balance model to predict the effect of weather on plant growth regulator efficacy.
By December 31, 2011.
Future Harvest Beginning Farmer Training Program Future Harvest-Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture is now accepting applications from
new farmers across the Chesapeake region interested in participating in the Beginner Farmer Training Program (BFTP) 2012 program year.
Starting January 3,
Your Future In Focus Multiple Locations in PA. This 5 session course
covers topics like how to choose a business structure, goal setting, effective marketing, developing useful financial documents, and how to put it all
together as a written business plan. The course is appropriate for both existing and new businesses.
Starting January 5,
2012. Farm Business Planning Course Ithica, NY.
In collaboration with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County and
Alternatives Federal Credit Union’s Business CENTS Program, we'll be offering an intensive Farm Business Planning course this winter. The class will
cover all major aspects of the farm business start-up process including assessing your land, infrastructure and equipment needs; legal and regulatory
issues; production planning; marketing; financial feasibility, budgets and recordkeeping; and more.
Starting January 17, 2012.
Carbon Farming: Workshops in Regenerative Agriculture
near New York City. I want to invite you and the farmers you serve to the Carbon Farming Course, a series of workshops in Regenerative
Agriculture taking place just outside of New York City from January 17 - February 5th, 2012. There is an incredible lineup of teachers and topics,
including Joel Salatin, Wes Jackson, Elaine Ingham, Darren Doherty, Dave Jacke, and more! For more information on discounts available for specific
courses and scholarships, please e-mail Jodi at email@example.com.
January 20-22, 2012. NOFA-NY Winter
Conference: A Cooperative Economy Saratoga Springs, NY The United Nations
has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives. Building on this momentum, NOFA-NY has chosen The Cooperative Economy for the theme of
our 2012 Winter Conference, set for January 20 through 22 in Saratoga Springs. The conference is nothing if not a team effort; from the
technical workshops to the meals, it is the product of all
of us working together. Our presenters donate their time and knowledge to help others learn new techniques! and perfect old ones. This year’s
keynote speakers include: John Ikerd, a Professor
Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at the University of Missouri, Kathlyn Terry, executive director of Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD), and
the 2012 NOFA-NY Farmers of the Year Paul and Maureen Knapp.
Farm Foreman in Lititz, PA Position opening December 2011. As our
business evolves and our market grows, we've developed the need for a dedicated foreman to attend to the daily farm responsibilities of helping to
care for our animals, pastures, crops, and maintaining and operating our facilities and equipment. After several months of experience and training on
the farm, greater responsibility will be given to the foreman in this role. Ultimately the foreman will also be responsible for train! ing and
providing oversight of interns in the completion of daily chores, crop work, major projects and various other tasks. This is a great opportunity for
someone with the right skill set and characteristics to learn complete care and all aspects of animal production for pigs, sheep, and cattle. This
position is perfect for someone who likes to work hard and is interested in sustainable agriculture and passionate about animal welfare. Previous
experience with livestock is not required.
Locusts on Hudson Farm is seeking 1 full year, 4 six month apprentices and interns
We are a100 acre diversified farm located along the Hudson River in
Dutchess County, New York. Our farm produces vegetables, herbs, mushrooms, dairy, livestock, poultry and honey. We sell to a high-end restaurant and
are beginning our first year of CSA. We are in the process of building an educationa! l outreach program for the public.
Northeast Organic Farming Association – New Jersey is Hiring. The
Beginning Farmer Program Manager works in partnership with NOFA-NJ staff, the farming community, the Duke Farm Foundation, the State Agriculture
Development Committee (SADC) and other government agencies, educational institutions, cooperative extensions, and other partners to launch a
comprehensive Beginning Farmer program in New Jersey. Modeled after existing programs at the Maine Organic Farming and Gardening Association (MOFGA),
the NOFA-VT (Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont) and the New England Small Farm Institute (NESFI), the Project Manager w! ill develop
tools, coordinate learning opportunities and launch incubator location (s) for beginning farmers.
CASA – Future Harvest Conference Registration Open January 13-14, 2012.
Our most anticipated educational and networking event of the
year, the Future Harvest CASA 13th Annual Conference, is almost here! Everything you need to know, including the conference schedule and links to
break-out session descriptions, is on this page.