Extension and outreach
Late Fall through Winter and early Spring is a great time for farmers to rest, slow down the frenetic pace (at least somewhat), and build new skills for the coming growing season. If you sign up for an online course through the Northeast Beginning Farmer Project, you don’t even need to leave your home to connect with other farmers, work on your farm plans, and gain practical tips.
Are there courses for me? From aspiring to experienced farmers, there is a course for nearly everyone. If you’re just getting started exploring farming as a career, BF 101: Starting at Square One and BF 102: Markets and Profits, were designed with you in mind. For those with at least a few years of farm management experience, check out BF 204: QuickBooks for Farmers and BF 203: Holistic Financial Planning to take your skills to the next level. 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.
These courses are part of the line-up of 16 online courses offered this Fall, Winter and Spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program. Learn which courses would be best for you, read about our team of experienced instructors, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and view the calendar of course offerings for 2015-2016.
Courses often fill very quickly, so don’t miss your chance to sign up today!
A summit meeting to identify resources and opportunities to improve agricultural resiliency to severe weather across New York state will explore current initiatives and link researchers and extension members.
Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, will host the New York State Agricultural Resiliency Summit, Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Jordan Hall. The summit aims to increase individual and collective capacity to prepare for, respond to and recover from weather-related events.
Participants will analyze the status of agricultural resiliency and emergency engagement and outline steps to improve how all stakeholders interact during a disaster. Breakout sessions will cover working with new weather patterns, improving communication before and after a severe weather event, and strategies to improve community preparedness.
The summit is funded by Empire State Development through a grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration.
More than 120 greenhouse growers and retailers, florists, educators and others from around New York and the Northeast attended the annual Cornell Floriculture Field Day August 11. The day included morning presentations on campus followed by afternoon tours of flower trials at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility and cutflower and high tunnel research at Maple Avenue.
After a warm welcome from Kathryn Boor, Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, attendees were treated by a talk on What’s trending in annuals, perennials and edibles by Alan Armitage, emeritus professor at the University of Georgia and best-selling author. Armitage also demonstrated his new Greatest Perennials and Annuals app for the group. They also heard from Cornell plant pathologist Margery Daugherty on greenhouse diseases, Cornell horticulture professor Chris Wien on high tunnel cut flower production, and Peter Konjoian, Konjoian’s Floriculture Education Services, on making the switch to greenhouse vegetables from ornamentals.
In the afternoon at Bluegrass Lane, attendees got hands-on experience diagnosing pests and diseases, toured favorite perennials, and viewed trials of annual flowers and container growing media and demonstrations of containers combining edibles and ornamentals.
The afternoon also featured the announcement of the winners of the twelfth annual Kathy Pufahl Memorial Container Design Competition. Pufahl, who founded Beds and Borders, Inc., Laurel, N.Y., was a staple on the horticultural educational seminar circuit, spreading her container ideas far and wide. It is her vision that changed the way the horticulture industry looks at the spring container business. Her influence brought back a bit of the art and beauty to the business. All proceeds from the contest — which has topped $10,000 since its inception — go directly to IBD research at Mt. Sinai Hospital, to help ensure a bright future for Kathy’s daughter and others like her, who have Crohn’s disease. For more information about the competition, contact: Karen Hall firstname.lastname@example.org.
“An art project featuring a live tree that bears 40 different kinds of fruit is more than just a conversation piece. The so-called “Tree of 40 Fruit” — blossoming in a variety of pretty pink hues when completed — is rooted in science.
“The eye-catching artistic rendering of the tree brought worldwide attention to its creator, Sam Van Aken, a professor in the school of art at Syracuse University in New York. And although Van Aken’s “Franken-tree” is not common, the processes that hold it together are, according to experts.
“‘[Van Aken has] taken the idea of a single root stock and a single variety and amplified it to express something creative, and that’s the artistic side of it for him,’ said Greg Peck, an assistant professor of horticulture at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. [Peck received his PhD in Horticulture at Cornell in 2009 and will be joining the Horticulture Section faculty here this fall.]”
Meg McGrath, vegetable pathologist based at the Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center, talked with Margaret Roach about tomato troubles on Roach’s popular A Way to Garden podcast.
Members of the Cornell’s Adult University course “Coffee, Cloves, and Chocolate: How Plants Have Shaped Human History,” taught by Don Rakow, took a field trip Friday to the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility adjacent to campus where research technician Kendra Hutchins gave them a tour of annual flower and foliage plant trials and other plantings. Earlier in the week, the class toured Gimme! Coffee’s roasting facility near Trumansburg.
Late blight — a highly contagious and devastating disease of tomatoes and potatoes — has been confirmed in Wayne, Wyoming and Livingston counties. If your crops have been infected, it’s critical that you take action to help stop the spread of the disease.
The New York State IPM program has developed posters and videos to help you identify the disease and learn how to properly dispose of infected plants. Please share them widely.
- Legal-sized poster
- 14- x 24-inch poster poster
- Video: What To Do if You Find Late Blight in Your Garden
- Video: Identifying and Scouting for Late Blight on Farms
- Video: Distinguishing Late Blight from Other Tomato and Potato Diseases
Cornell team readies for national ‘Weed Olympics’ July 21 [Cornell Chronicle 2015-07-15] – After enduring practice through thistle and flashcards, the Cornell University Weed Team will send four graduate students and seven undergraduates for two days of agronomic combat at the 2015 National Collegiate Weed competition – affectionately dubbed the “Weed Olympics.” The contest will be held at Ohio State University’s Agricultural Research and Development Center at South Charleston, Ohio, July 21-22. Horticulture graduate student Vinay Bhaskar is among the students representing Cornell under the tutelage of Antonio DiTommaso, professor in the Soil and Crop Sciences Section, School of Integrative Plant Science. Read the whole article.
Stopping Pests Earns Greenhouse Pro ‘Excellence in IPM’ Award [NYSIPM Program news release 2015-07-16] – : Nora Catlin, floriculture specialist at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County, has received an “Excellence in IPM” award from the New York State Integrated Pest Management Program (NYS IPM). The award honors Catlin for her work with commercial greenhouse growers who, on Long Island alone, contribute nearly $80 million to New York’s economy. Catlin received her award at the Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center’s Plant Science Day on July 15. Read the full release.
More than 40 golf course superintendents and other turf professionals spent the morning on Thursday learning about the latest turfgrass research taking place at the Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Facility adjacent to the Robert Trent Jones golf course northeast of campus.
Among the highlights:
Horticulture graduate student Grant Thompson explains his research using 13C carbon dioxide to label grasses, which he will clip and return to lawns to study the fate of carbon in different urban soils.
Associate professor Frank Rossi explains how overseeding overused athletic fields can help maintain safe playing conditions.
Rossi discusses a new collaboration with Consumer Reports to evaluate robotic lawn mowers.