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…)
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.
The 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
As 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.
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.
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!
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.
The 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.
Our 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-654-6745.