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 Each directory will not be published until AMS’s target number of listings is reached.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…)

Calling All Experimenters, Tinkerers, and Innovators: SARE Has Funding for You!

Participants spread wildflower seeds that will become pollinator habitat at the Dirt Works Incubator Farm as a part of a SARE-funded project. (Photo courtesy of USDA)

Participants spread wildflower seeds that will become pollinator habitat at the Dirt Works Incubator Farm as a part of a SARE-funded project. (Photo courtesy of USDA)

Did you know the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program offers grants directly to farmers?

Through it’s Farmer Rancher Grant Program, SARE funds individual or groups of farmers to test solutions to their sustainable farming challenges. For example, grants could be awarded to try out an innovative erosion control technique or pest management regime. These grants are designed to produce research that other farmers in your community can use as well. (more…)

Hangout with USDA!

USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden address Champions of Change at a White House event (Photo courtesy of USDA)

USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden addresses Champions of Change at a White House event (Photo courtesy of USDA)

Next Tuesday, USDA Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will be hosting a Google+ Hangout to talk all about new farmers and the Farm Bill. Passed at the beginning of 2014, the Farm Bill has a ton of programs, resources, and opportunities for new farmers. USDA is middle of implementing this law right now, so it is the perfect time for an update! (more…)

Bootstrap @ Lemonade Springs Farm – A Modern Farm Education

Lemonade Springs Farm - tomatoesIt’s important to remember that the greatest investment you can make for the health and success of your farm is you. This is a platitudinous sentiment, perhaps, but accurate enough. If your farm is to be, like many of us hope, a hand raised up against the monoculture- a place of resiliency amidst collapse- then you would do well to train and educate yourself towards such ends.
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Bootstrap @ Wild Ridge Farm – Looking Back on Training

Alissa seeding at Chubby Bunny.

Alissa seeding at Chubby Bunny.

It was clear from the beginning of my farming internship at Chubby Bunny Farm that my boss, Dan Hayhurst, loved the work of growing vegetables. Most mornings I would be lying in bed, just waking up around 6:30 am, and I’d hear his truck roll up to the barn. I’d listen as Dan got out and started hauling sacks of feed out of the barn to drive out to the small flock of chickens and few pigs on pasture. This was my cue to get up and stumble about my trailer, putting on filthy work pants and shirt, probably mildly hungover, quickly frying eggs and making coffee so I could meet him and my co-interns in the greenhouse or at the tailgate of his truck in time for the morning meeting. I knew he’d been up for hours thinking on the farm, planning the most efficient way of doing all the days’ many tasks, and it was barely 7 am. (more…)

Bootstrap @ Forager Farm – On training and learning

Forager Farm - training - box of greensEvery single week we learn something new. We never stop learning. Farming is a profession where your weakest link and your biggest problems are apparent almost immediately.

When Jonathon and I decided to start Forager Farm, we had a combined vegetable growing experience of roughly 10 years. We also had one full CSA season under our belt from our time spent working and learning at Captain’s Creek Organic Vegetable Farm in Australia. (more…)

Bootstrap @ Nightfall Farm – When You Have A Job To Do

Nightfall - training pic - with lambThis blog was in danger of sounding like an acceptance speech where I list off all the names of the people responsible for me being in a position to run a farm. I can’t separate the lessons I have learned from the people who taught me. So to really talk about my training to be a farmer, I’ll pretend it was a planned out education instead of just happening. (more…)

August News: Jobs, Climate March, Water Innovation, Events

We’ve been on the road this summer, crop mobbing with the Missouri Young Farmers Coalition, talking shop with first-generation organic grain farmers in Montana, and square dancing with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition. All along the way, we’re collecting stories for our campaigns and building a stronger young farmer movement. Want to see us in action? Follow the NYFC Instragram! (more…)

New York’s Young Farmers Ask Governor Cuomo to Support Land Access Legislation

Gov. Cuomo speaking on a farm in Middleburgh, NY in 2011. Photo: Office of Gov. Cuomo

Governor Cuomo speaking on a farm in Middleburgh, NY in 2011. Photo: Office of Governor Cuomo

Farmers, aspiring farmers, and organizations across New York State are rallying to urge Governor Cuomo to pass a bill that would improve land access for beginning farmers in the state.

If passed, this bill could provide access to state-owned farmland for beginning farmers, bolster technical support to both beginning farmers and organizations that assist them with land transfer, and reduce the likelihood of state-owned farmland being developed. (more…)

USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Programs by the Numbers

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funds the construction of hoop houses such as this one. (Photo courtesy of USDA)

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funds the construction of hoop houses such as this one. (Photo courtesy of USDA)

Last month, USDA hosted an event honoring the White House’s Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change, including NYFC’s own Lindsey Lusher Shute. This event recognized the need for young farmers and highlighted USDA resources targeted at these farmers in particular. (more…)