As part of the mission to increase the number and diversity of successful farm enterprises in New York, the Center for Agricultural Development and Entrepreneurship (CADE) is currently running a program to identify, educate and assist New Americans including refugees, immigrants and new citizens in establishing economically and environmentally sustainable farms in the Southern Tier of New York State.
The New Farmer Education Project is a FREE two-day holistic farm-planning workshop in February at CADE’s main offices in Oneonta Saturday February 8 and Saturday February 15, 10 AM to 3 PM both days, and will cover topics such as setting farm goals, developing an action plan, integrating livestock, finding access to land, understanding finances, marketing, and legal issues among other topics. The workshops will be given in English and Spanish, simultaneously. CADE will continue to offer technical assistance to graduates of the program while they navigate the start-up experience, and will continue to offer consultation throughout the establishment of their own farm endeavors. The workshop is designed to begin the process of establishing relationships with and between new farmers so that they might turn their agricultural aspirations into profitable initiatives, while preserving regional farmland and improving the quality and diversity of available food in the region.
The New Farmer Education Project has been funded by the New York State Department of State’s Office of New Americans in order to assist first and second generation immigrants and refugees living in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie counties in the Southern Tier of New York State. Many immigrants come from agricultural backgrounds and are keen to apply their agricultural skills here but lack the land and or resources. Those who participate in CADE’s New Farmer Education Project classes will not only increase their economic viability as they become agricultural producers and farm business owners, but will also form alliances that will strengthen agricultural production throughout the region. Addressing immigrant farming needs gives the farm and food community a fuller picture of the economic growth potential connected to expanding farming operations throughout the US.
The program is based on and in collaboration with New York City’s celebrated New Farmer Development Project, which was established in 2000 as a partnership between Greenmarket and Cornell Cooperative Extension’s NYC Program. The NFDP has graduated dozens of aspiring immigrant farmers in New York City who now provide a range of unique locally-grown farm products in regional markets. By bringing the program to the Southern Tier of New York State, CAD Ehopes to strengthen the local food production and food security.