FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 18th, 2013
PRESS ADVISORY: National Day of Action to Save Local Farms will bring together farmers, consumers to change proposed FDA food safety rules that threaten farm viability
HUDSON, NY – On Sunday, October 20th farmers and consumers from across the country will take action to change the FDA’s draft food safety rules. Activists will gather at farms, schools and grange halls to educate each other on the impact of the proposed rules and write comments to the agency. Dozens of events are happening in 28 states between now and early November. The Day of Action is sponsored by the National Young Farmers Coalition and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition.
Select Events and Organizer Quotes:
Action in Eyota, Minnesota at private home (10/21/13)
“We’re always looking to make sure our food is healthy and safe, and we believe that small farms are part of the solution to healthy, safe food–not part of the problem!” – Hannah Breckbill, Organizer and Farmer at Humble Hands Harvest
Action in Paonia, Colorado at Downtown Public Library (10/20/13)
“Because food safety issues are uniquely different for small farms, FSMA’s current one size fits all approach poses a threat to small-scale agriculture,” says Kacey Kropp, Farmer at First Fruits Organic Farms and Organizer. “The goal of writing these letters to the FDA is to illuminate the worth of sustainable, already safe and locally sourced foods from small farms.”
Action in Albuquerque, NM at the Rio Grande Community Farm (10/24/13)
“As an economically challenged state, with a number of exceptional challenges to farmers like erratic and limited water supplies, writing to the FDA to comment on FSMA is particularly important to the Rio Grande Farmers Coalition. What may seem like a financial drop in the bucket for large, industrial farm and food operations can sink a small family farm, an artisan food producer, or a food hub.” - Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, Organizer
Action in Lansing, Michigan at private home (10/25/13)
“I’m utilizing my birthday to entice friends with food and drink to have them write comment letters to the FDA on how it will affect their farming operations or farms that they patron regularly,” says Alex Bryan, Farmer at Food Field and Organizer.
“FSMA has the potential, as written, to derail most everything I’ve spent the last 5 years of my life working for…Not only will this impact my livelihood and way of life, but it threatens the very nature of regional food sovereignty. I care about my community’s future and cannot sit idly by while these rules are put in place. I just hope that the FDA will continue listening, adapting and changing to the needs of smaller, younger, beginning farmers.”
Action in East Berlin, Pennsylvania at Everblossom Farm (10/26/13)
“These proposed rules stand to change how we farm and run our businesses, so it is imperative that we make time to tell our stories to the FDA. I hope this Day of Action will rally together farmers and consumers to make change with our collective voices!” –Emily Best, Farmer at New Morning Farm and Organizer
Action in Sonoma, California at the Sonoma Valley Grange Hall (10/27/13)
“The issues facing young farmers today are too daunting to grapple with alone, so we’re uniting our communities to inform and empower them to take a stance with us on these rules that could gravely effect their future success doing what most needs done: feeding us.” –Evan Wiig, Farmer at True Grass Farms and Organizer
Action in Peterborough, New Hampshire at Wells School (11/9/13)
“By submitting comments to the FDA we take a proactive stance toward shaping the landscape that we will have to work within down the road,” says Ray Connor of Evandale Farm and Organizer. “If we miss this opportunity to take action now, we will spend the rest of our careers reacting to whatever rules are imposed on us.”
In 2011, President Obama signed into law the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) — mandating the first overhaul to U.S. food safety laws since 1938. The USDA Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released 3,500 page of rules in the spring, covering all aspects of a produce farm operation – everything from water testing to soil amendments and worker training. In the words of former U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan, the new rules have the potential to “destroy some operations.” In fact, for many diversified farms, the average annual cost to comply with the proposed rules is about half or more of what many farmers might, in a good year, expect in profits.
For more information, map with actions nationwide and details: youngfarmers.org/fsma
Lindsey Lusher Shute, lindsey[at]youngfarmers[dot]org
Calling all farmers from the Greater Portland (Maine) area!
It’s time to celebrate the harvest and connect with fellow young farmers! On Saturday, September 28th, join us for the kick-off event of the Greater Portland Young Farmers Coalition, the newest chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition. NYFC chapters bring farmers together to share meals, opportunities and strategies for overcoming the obstacles we face in starting careers in farming. It’s a wonderful community to be a part of, and you won’t want to miss this party.
We’re kicking it off at 12pm with a hands-on workshop at Frinklepod Farm, a 4-acre farm with CSA and farm-stand! Topics include weed & pest management, greenhouse construction, sheet mulching and farm design. Refreshments provided! (244 Log Cabin Rd Arundel, ME)
Have questions? Email the organizers:
Thank you to our sponsors!
The CSA Expert Exchange will be held on March 15, 2013 from 11:00am-4:00pm EST. The conference expects to engage between 500-1000 farmers nationwide. The conference will utilize video presentations and slideshows with participants interacting via a chat function and can be accessed via any web browser.
Registration for the conference is $45 but NYFC members get $10 off! (See coupon code in your February update.) Twenty full scholarships are also being offered for new and beginning farmers. Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with your farm story and reasons why this conference will help by March 1st to be considered. More details here.
For more information on conference details, registration, and information about PASA, Small Farm Central and other conference partners, please visit: csafarmconference.com.
Win a Fair Farm Bill & Farm Prizes!
Here at the National Young Farmers’ Coalition, we’re fighting to protect programs in the Farm Bill that support beginning farmers and ranchers. We’re creating a breeding ground for innovative on-farm problem solving with Farm Hack. And we’re building a national network of local young farmer chapters that share resources and collectively organize.
We need your help to do this work– whether you’re a beginning farmer or rancher, seasoned grower, farm advocate, or conscious consumer. Luckily for you, every supporter who donates to NYFC in the month of December will be entered to win one of over 50 farm prizes!
Here’s what you can win:
*2 Earthway Seeders ($100 value)
| 1001-B plants at precise depth, a precise spacing, and covers and packs all in one operation.
*6 Earthway Spritzer Garden Duster/Sprayer ($35 value)
The angled tip of the Spritzer Garden Duster/Sprayer allows the operator to easily apply materials without kneeling or crawling on the ground. The Spritzer will apply dusts or liquids – it’s the only product that will do both!
|10 subscriptions to Wilder Quarterly ($59.99 value)||
Wilder Quarterly is a publication for people enthralled by the natural world. Wilder is ‘life through the lens of the growing world’— indoors and out, culture, travel, food and design.
|*1 Kencove 12V Solar Energizer .5Joule ($269.95 value)||
The Kencove KF500S 12-Volt Solar Energizer delivers the most power in its class. Two 12v batteries (included) operate this unit for weeks without sun. Low impedance with .5 joule output.
|1 Matt Singer Canvas Zipper Top Tote ($205 value)||
This sturdy canvas tote is lightweight and durable enough for everyday use. The 22-ounce cotton canvas has been treated with a polyurethane coating to deflect water and resist stains.
*2 4-gallon Field King Max Backpack Sprayers from Forestry Suppliers ($89.95 value)
This rugged four-gallon capacity sprayer delivers up to 150 psi to easily spray high into trees and also delivers a continuous 25 psi spray to effectively distribute amendments.
|1 pair of LaCrosse Hixon Boots ($120 value)||
All natural, hand-crafted rubber over 4mm insulating neoprene upper. Uncompromising fit and waterproof protection. Pull on with adjustable lace-up fit and fleece lined comfort.
|*1 roll of fencing supplies from Premier 1 ($108 value)||
IntelliRope PE 6.0 1320′ roll. Excellent for both permanent and portable fence situations because PE (polyethylene) filaments resist wear and abrasion. Comes with 2 P Springs and 2 Ropelinks.
|1 Moon Tide and Time Clock by Wilderness of Wish ($74 value)|| What would it be like if your days were set not by the sun but by the moon and tides? Hang one of these clocks on your wall, calibrate it by the full moon, and try marking your days by a new rhythm.
|*1 Set of 3 Hand tools from Earthtools includes SHW single chopper hoe, double chopper hoe, and rotating handle pruners. ($79 value)||The Eye-Hoe (or Chopping hoe) is the oldest hoe design in the world. The eye-hoes produced by SHW of Germany today are more refined: ergonomic designs, light weight and perfectly fitted handles.|
|1 The Horticulture Society of New York membership and bulb planting kit - ($65 value)||
Membership at the Hort includes library borrowing privileges, canvas Hort tote bag, invitations to special events, discounted or free admission to programs, and much more.
|1 Acres USA Tote Bag and Both Gary Zimmer books: The Biological Farmer and Advancing Biological Farming ($45 value)||Acres USA is North America’s oldest, largest magazine covering commercial-scale organic and sustainable farming. Zimmer’s books offer scientific support to those who’d like to use natural processes to their advantage.|
|1 Small Farmers Journal box set of 40 issues||
This journal is designed for the independent family farmer. It offers information on the use of animal-power, organics and sustainable agriculture.
|25 subscriptions to Farmers’ Markets Today ($21 value)||
Each issue of Farmers’ Markets Today is filled with information to help small farmers and farmers markets be more successful and profitable in selling their products.
That’s a ton of farmer swag that you just might win when you join NYFC in support of the next generation of farmers and ranchers. And that’s a win/ win for everyone. So what are you waiting for?
*Everyone who donates online at youngfarmers.org between December 1 and December 31st, 2012 at 11:59 EST will be entered in the raffle.
*One entry is allowed per individual.
*Starred items are available to current farmers only (of all experience levels.)
*Staff NYFC/OSI and members of NYFC’s Advisory Council and OSI’s board are not eligible to win.
*Winners will be selected at random, and given a choice of available prizes. Winners will be notified via e-mail.
*Winner is responsible for any and all taxes associated with prize.
*Raffle Disclaimer: Void where prohibited or restricted by law. No purchase necessary to enter.
*All proceeds will go to support the work of The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). NYFC is fiscally sponsored by the Open Space Institute, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization registered in New York State, through its Citizen Action Program.
Attention young agrarians! Do you want to learn how to grow Brandywine tomatoes? Would you like to learn the best methods to milk goats and shear sheep? Do you aspire to live on a homestead, or to learn about sustainable cattle grazing and land use? Have you wanted to learn more about food processing, value-added products, or food marketing? If this sounds like you, don’t miss this opportunity to learn from veteran agrarians. Come to the Quivira Coalition’s “New Agrarian Career Connection” in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the Embassy Suites on the evening of November 9th.
This meet-and-greet will put you in direct contact with prospective employers and mentors from farms, ranches, conservation groups, food advocacy organizations, government agencies, land use service consultants, and related private sector businesses. Think “job fair,” “country fair livestock show,” and “speed dating,” all in one package.
The event will begin at 6:30pm with a short presentation by Julie Sullivan and George Whitten, from the San Juan Ranch in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. The San Juan Ranch is a mentor ranch in the Conservation and Ranching Leadership and Youth program. These ranchers will provide guidelines for creating a successful mentorship program. The meet-and-greet will begin following their presentation.
Be sure to bring any pertinent documentation, such as resumes or business cards, to exchange information. No reservations are necessary for job seekers. This event is open to the public. Friends are welcome!
Southern Vermont Beginning Farmers Summit
Saturday April 30th, 2011
The Southern Vermont Beginning Farmers Summit is a free event for young and beginning farmers (both practicing and aspiring) who are located in Southern Vermont and surrounding areas. The event is centered around discussing and workshopping through issues facing beginning farmers, including but not limited to: accessing capital, accessing land/land tenure, and using federal funding programs. Additionally, we will discuss the potential for creating a local coalition of young and beginning farmers. We will use the resources of the group to come up with new ideas, give feedback, and make connections. There will be a potluck lunch following the summit. Please bring a dish to share and your own plate/utensils.
Space is limited! Please RSVP HERE
Increasing access to healthy food is one key mechanism for stemming the tide of obesity and diabetes sweeping America’s young and old. But, what does it take to grow healthy food? Hear from three individuals with a farming perspective on the challenges of growing fruits and vegetables and insight into the impacts of the Farm Bill and other federal policies. Read more and register.