Bootstrap @ Wild Ridge Farm – Developing a Market for the New Farm

Wild Ridge - Marketing - new logoWild Ridge Farm relies on three converging streams of revenue: CSA membership sales, Farmer’s Market sales, and Restaurant sales.

Approximately half of our revenue comes from CSA membership, which provides an essential preseason financial boost allowing us the crucial funds to buy seeds, potting mix, compost, and all the other bits and pieces necessary to get plants started early and ready to transplant as soon as soil and air temperatures allow. This early income also allows us to fire up the greenhouse as early as February. (more…)

Bootstrap @ Nightfall Farm – Marketing and Sales for the Animal CSA

Marketing and sales – I’m all for them. I’d like to do a bit more marketing and a lot more selling. In our first season, we’ve built our budget on the assumption that we will sell every animal that we raise. Man do I love that assumption.

Nightfall - marketing - chickOur focus is on the CSA model. We offer a chicken share, which includes a chicken every month. We offer a poultry share, which adds to the chicken share a Thanksgiving turkey. These two options have been our bread and butter thus far. (more…)

Bootstrap @ Forager Farm – Marketing the Start-up Farm

I’ve always viewed marketing as telling a story and there’s no better story to tell than the one of growing food and community. I feel a bit biased discussing marketing in farming. Before I decided to be a farmer, I was a marketer. I have a degree in Public Relations and Advertising and have done a lot of self-teaching on graphic design and web design.

Forager Farm - marketing - pictographicTherefore, I knew from the beginning that we’d have to create a feeling of community via social media networks, blogging and email. It was a struggle to understand what exactly would draw people in. Ultimately, we went with approaches that would interest us if we were on the other side.

We discussed for months how exactly we wanted the CSA set up, the price points, how much we could grow for the money asked, etc. Once we decided on that, we knew we needed to create a brand that embodied all things Forager Farm. (more…)

Farming is Public Service: Farmers Need Student Loan Forgiveness

This article was originally posted by Eric Hansen and Sophie Ackoff on the Food Day Blog.  Click here to read the original.

Student loan debt is on the rise. For our nation’s young farmers and ranchers, paying off these loans is a critical barrier to starting a career in agriculture. Young people graduating from college with debt are finding that they either cannot afford to farm and pay down their loans, or are prevented from financing their new farm businesses because of this existing debt.

Just as we’ve provided incentives for Americans to enter medicine, education, and other public service careers, we need to encourage young people to make careers in agriculture. Farming is a public service – we must add farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. (more…)

A Re-Focus on Food Safety

Brian Snyder, PASA

Brian Snyder, Executive Director of PASA

This piece is re-posted with permission from “Write to Farm” by Brian Snyder, executive director of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture.  Click here to read the original.

Food Safety Back On the Agenda

If you thought we were done with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), you can think again. It has been most of a year since the process of responding to newly proposed food safety rules seemed to be smothering every waking moment of our lives, and late December since we heard the good news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had “heard” our concerns loud enough to force serious reconsideration of those first drafts of the Produce and Preventive Controls rules. (more…)

September News: Climate Justice, Food Safety News, and Land Access Training

It’s officially fall  — we hope you’re catching your breath in the fields and watching the new season edge its way in. 

The FDA just released a new draft of Food Safety rules and significant improvements were made. The agency certainly listened, but we’ll need your help to ensure that the final rules work for local farms. Read more about this campaign, NYFC at the People’s Climate March, our work to make farmland affordable and upcoming events in this September newsletter.

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Food Safety Regulation is Back on the Agenda!

Last Friday, the FDA re-proposed draft rules under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). These rules aim to ensure a safe food supply by changing the food safety regulations on farms and food facilities.

NYFC members discussing the new regulations at a letter-writing event last year.

NYFC members discussing the proposed regulations at a letter-writing event last year.

The original rules, proposed last year, would have placed disastrous burdens on small, diversified farmers. In response, NYFC members sprang into action.  NYFC volunteers hosted an incredible 70 letter-writing parties across the country, generating nearly 1,000 comments, out of the 18,582 total submitted. (more…)

NYFC Takes a Step in Protecting Working Farmland with Land Access Innovations Training

Land Access Training

Representatives from over twenty land trusts listened as Equity Trust and other mentors, along with Jen Smith – the farmer and owner at Crimson and Clover CSA – talked about their land access innovations.

“Forty years of farmland conservation, and we are watching it unravel before our eyes.”

That was the warning that John Halsey, president of Long Island’s Peconic Land Trust, delivered to a room full of conservation professionals at this weekend’s Land Access Innovations Training in Providence, Rhode Island. He was referring to the acres of farmland the land trust has protected from development, only to subsequently watch fall out of agricultural production as non-farmers purchase the properties for second, or third, homes. (more…)

USDA Launches Local Food Directories, but Still Needs More Listings

Jubilee Farm, a biodynamic vegetable farm in Washington State, hosts an on-farm market. Image courtesy: Dennis Lussier / PCC Farmland Trust

Jubilee Farm, a biodynamic vegetable farm in Washington State, hosts an on-farm market. Image courtesy: Dennis Lussier / PCC Farmland Trust

Building on the success of its on-line Farmers Market Directory, USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is creating directories for CSAs, food hubs, and on-farm markets (such as farm stands). Farmers or marketing managers can upload information on their market, CSA, hub, or farm to the respective directory. Customers may then search for markets nearby.

To get these markets up and running, USDA needs more listings! Each directory will not be published until AMS’s target number of listings is reached. By listing your CSA, food hub, or on-farm market, you can help push these directories over the edge! (more…)

Introducing Rose Robson and Robson’s Farm LLC of North Hanover, NJ

We’re excited to publish a new Farmer Profile of an inspiring beginning farmer every few weeks on the NYFC blog to help showcase the breadth and vision of the next generation of agricultural leaders.  This one is from Rose Robson of Robson’s Farm LLC of North Hanover, NJ.

Robsons Farm - RoseMy mom had originally thought I would build a house and board some horses on the 40 acres of preserved farmland she kept from my family’s original 1,200 acre fruit and vegetable operation.

And she couldn’t have been more wrong.
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