February 22, 2014, 9:00am – 4:30pm
Taconic Hills Central School, Craryville, NY
WHO WILL FOLLOW IN OUR FARMERS’ FOOTSTEPS?
Succession planning is the topic of the upcoming FarmingOurFuture Conference. ”Succession” refers to farmers handing the reins to the next generation, or to the next farmers, and stories about succession from the Hudson Valley and the Tri-State region will be highlighted in the keynote speech by Don R. Rogers. Rogers, an expert in the field of helping farmers move their operations into the future, began his career with Cornell Cooperative Extension before joining Farm Credit East, the number one financial services cooperative for the Northeast agricultural industry. He’s worked with more than 2,000 farm operators and owners on everything from family farms, to labor management, to funding.
Conference speakers will share practical strategies and some intriguing new concepts for ensuring that farms will continue to thrive in our region for many years to come. Workshops scheduled throughout the day will cover topics related to succession planning, bee-keeping (because bees are the best at succession planning), the restaurant-community link to locally produced food, farmer-training programs, and vital skills training for new farmers.
Morning refreshments, lunch, and snacks are provided with a $20 registration fee.
November 3, 2013, 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Chaseholm Farm, 115 Chase Rd Pine Plains NY 12567
The Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition and Chaseholm Farm welcomed participants for an afternoon of letter writing action and end of season gathering.
This event was a chance to learn more about the new Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) and to submit comments about these rules to the FDA. It was a crucial and limited time in which the FDA accepted feedback before passing a final draft of the food safety rules which could then go into effect. These rules cover all aspects of produce farm operation – from testing of water and soil amendments, to training regimens to value-added activities. The rules have the potential to significantly impact operation cost and management strategies on all farms.
There were both detailed info about the FDA rules as well as people on hand who were able to answer questions and talk about how the rules might affect a farm. There were letter writing materials ready and all letters were collected and mailed the following week. Great food and beer were served (thanks to generous support from Farm Credit East!) and a warm kitchen and/or warm dairy barn in which we gathered and shared news from the summer, and our hopes and organizing possibilities for the upcoming winter.
During this process the FDA was only accepting personalized commentary on specific rules – no form letters or online petitions you can click to sign. Comments and concerns had to be submitted by November 15th.
You can find out more here and here.
November 20, 2013, 8:30am – 5:00pm
Hilton Albany, 40 Lodge Street, Albany, NY
Harvesting Opportunities in New York was a conference for people who care about New York agriculture and want to work together to grow local food economies, protect farmland from development and support the next generation of farmers. Conference participants included: farmers, public officials from all levels of government, land trusts, local foods and public health leaders, local food advocates, institutional food-service managers, agricultural organizations and concerned citizens.
The morning program featured keynote speaker Andrew McElwaine, President of American Farmland Trust, followed by 12 concurrent workshops, including CLC’s Marissa Cody who presented as part of the New Models of Farmland Affordability workshop. Workshop topics included:
• Real World Success in Connecting Local Food & Public Health
• Emerging Models of Farmland Affordability
• Planning for Locally Produced Beer, Wine & Spirits
• Engaging the Public in Saving Farmland
• Bringing Locally Grown Food to the College Campus
• Growing Opportunities for Farmland Conservation Funding
• Land Access Strategies for the Next Generation of Farmers
Download Full Conference Brochure
Here is the latest update from Cornell’s Small Farms Program. CONTINUE READING
This fall, the Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) is introducing an innovative new program called the “Conserve a Local Farm” (CALF) Program. Drawing its relevance from Columbia County’s rich agricultural heritage, the program aims to protect working farmland in the region through the establishment of conservation agreements that restrict development on farmland and ensure future economic and cultural benefits for both farmers and landowners.
The Columbia Land Conservancy (CLC) is working with the Dutchess Land Conservancy (DLC) to expand its Farmer Landowner Match program into Dutchess County. The program, which previously focused solely on Columbia County, facilitates lease agreements between landowners seeking to have their land farmed and farmers seeking land.
High real estate costs make it difficult for farmers to purchase farmland and farm leasing is one strategy to help increase access to farmland. Leasing enables farmers to start and expand their operations with significantly less capital and risk.
Thanks to CLC’s Farmer Landowner Match Program I have been able to add significantly to my grazing acreage and thereby to continue to expand our cattle and sheep numbers. The two owners I work with are a great match for me because they were prepared to give long term leases and very much support having grazing animals on their land.
farmer Jerry Peele CONTINUE READING