Under Anu Rangarajan’s direction, the Cornell Small Farms Program builds networks and cultivates relationships among new, aspiring, and longtime farmers across the state. During the past year, when staying connected feels harder than ever, Rangarajan, also an assistant director of Cornell Cooperative Extension(CCE), and her team created space for human connection and personal reflection.
In this episode of “Extension Out Loud,” a podcast by CCE, Rangarajan shares her approach to Extension work and her vision for the future of New York farm and food systems. The Cornell Small Farms Program offers many popular online courses that connect new and experienced farmers alike. Courses in urban agriculture, mushroom cultivation, agroforestry and reduced tillage connect farmers to subject experts while programs like Be Well Farming, Reconnecting with Purpose and Small Farms Summits invite farmers to develop meaningful connections and find inspiration. Newer educational projects will focus on environment agriculture and social sustainability.
As she looks to the future, Rangarajan aspires to welcome more voices to the ever-expanding network of small farmers in New York, while also supporting the goals and sharing the stories of historically underserved farmer groups including women, Latinx, BIPOC, Asian, LGBTQ+ and others.
The conversation with Rangarajan is the third episode of the latest “Extension Out Loud” series, “Leading Through Extension,” which features key CCE voices discussing their approaches to extension work and how history – and this past tumultuous year — are shaping the organization’s path forward.
Listen to this and earlier episodes of Extension Out Loud on: