Historic moment as Colorado River flows to Delta for first time in decades

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Looking up river from Morelos Dam, last dam on the Colorado River. Photo by Kate Greenberg

Take a ride down the street view of the Colorado River, past Lake Powell and through the Grand Canyon. The river will narrow and calm after Lake Mead, the reservoir that feeds Las Vegas. As you approach the Mexican border you will have to get out and walk: what remains of the river is diverted to feed cities and farms on both sides of the border. (more…)

Arkansas Farmers Speak Out in Support of BFRIDA

Mountain Bounty Farm

Mountain Bounty Farm, in Glenn County, CA. Mountain Bounty benefited enormously from the California FarmLink’s IDA program, which helped them save up for a livestock trailer and to develop their financial plans.  Photo courtesy of mountainbountyfarm.com

While the onset of Spring has farmers across the country sowing seeds, plowing fields, and preparing for a new season, the appropriations process for the Farm Bill is underway in Washington DC. This process—in which funding is allocated for specific programs—is markedly important in determining the Farm Bill’s ability to truly offer support for young and beginning farmers.

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CLF Offers New Legal Resource for New England Farmers

CLF_new_logoThe Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), a non-profit environmental advocacy group based in New England, is piloting a new resource project for farmers: the New England Legal Services Food Hub.

The problem that CLF hopes to solve with the Legal Services Food Hub is an important and widespread issue; many farmers and food entrepreneurs are forced to sacrifice economic viability or even their businesses due to the costly fees associated with legal aid. In order to combat these fees, CLF is creating the Legal Services Food Hub, which will support farmers and food entrepreneurs via a network of attorneys willing to provide pro bono legal assistance. (more…)

BOOK REVIEW: “The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming” by Jean-Martin Fortier

The Market Gardener book coverAs a farmer who subscribes to the adage “small is beautiful”, it was inspiring to read Jean-Martin Fortier’s book The Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-Scale Organic Farming.  In it he describes in thorough detail how he and his wife make their sole livelihood on 1.5 acres of land. 

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Tomorrow: USDA Deputy Secretary Harden Hosts an Online Workshop on Credit and Farm Finances

Deputy Harden visiting with a group of young farmers last fall

Deputy Harden visiting with a group of young farmers last fall.

On Tuesday, April 1 at 4 p.m. EDT Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden will host a Google+ Hangout to discuss types of agricultural credit and ways to access them in support of your farm or ranch business.

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Apply Now: Two New Job Opportunities with NYFC

The National Young Farmers Coalition represents, mobilizes and engages young farmers to ensure their success. We’re hiring for two positions: a policy analyst and communications coordinator, ideally to work from our Hudson, NY office.

Details are below, or view all NYFC openings on the Opportunities Page!

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NYFC March 2014 Newsletter

We’ve kicked off the spring with an exciting win at the USDA!

Thanks to feedback from our coalition, the Farm Service Agency is making key changes to its facilities loan program that will increase access to diversified farmers. Want to be involved in NYFC’s next policy win?  Now’s your chance – we’re calling for applications for a new Policy Analyst for the coalition, one of two new positions.

In this March newsletter, we welcome Rachel Armstrong, attorney and founder of Farm Commons, to the Farmers Forum to answer your farm legal questions. We’ll report back from the Agricultural Outlook Forum in Washington, DC, and fill you in on the exciting events of our chapters across the country.

 

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Rachel Armstrong, Founder of Farm Commons, on the Farmers Forum This Week

rachelarmstrongWe are excited to welcome Rachel Armstrong, attorney and founder of Farm Commons, to the Farmers Forum this week (March 24th-28th) to answer your farm legal questions!

Running a strong farm business is easier with the help of a knowledgeable attorney who truly understands the business of farming and can help farmers meet their financial and social goals. Rachel is generously offering legal advice on the “Legal” section of the Farmers Forum this week, so head over now to post your questions now (it just takes a moment to register before you can post)!

Rachel started Farm Commons because she thinks farmers deserve specialized legal information that addresses the direct market farm’s unique goals.  The organization provides business legal services to farmers, creates useful legal education resources, and educates attorneys on issues relating to community-based farmers around the country.

Rachel has experience helping farmers establish an LLC or corporation to help meet their farm goals. In particular, she is skilled at negotiating ways for unrelated partners and individuals to create a long-term partnership or farm transition. Leases are an important part of Rachel’s legal services, and her farming experience helps her craft a lease that resolves problems before they start. Rachel has also studied conservation easements extensively.

USDA Responds to NYFC Feedback with Major Changes to FSA Loan Program

Ben ShuteThe USDA announced major revisions to its Farm Storage Facility Loan (FSFL) Program, a major win for young farmers who specialize in diversified operations and CSA’s.  Thanks to the efforts of NYFC and its allies, the new program is now more flexible and useable for a much broader set of farms needing to build or upgrade their storage facilities.

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“An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Farming in Massachusetts” Now Released!

NESFP Guide coverOur friends at the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project in Massachusetts just published their new guide for aspiring MA farmers, entitled “An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Farming in Massachusetts.”

The guide covers everything from finding land to business management to resources on developing farming infrastructure.  While the guide is intended for Massachusetts-based farmers (and many of the resources are state-specific), anyone looking for advice and ideas should take a look.  The guide can be downloaded for free, either as one complete packet or as individual fact sheets.  Whether you’re just starting to think about farming or planning on expanding your operating farm, this information is for you!

Download it for free from the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project or from the Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts website.  You can also contact New Entry directly at nesfp@tufts.edu or 978-654-6745.