July News: NYFC at White House, Student Debt on the Agenda, FSA Elections, Land Trust Ed

Here at NYFC, we think farmers should be spending the summer fighting weeds, fixing fences and growing food—not worrying about student debt and untenable leases. In this July newsletter, we’ll tell you about two exciting campaigns NYFC is taking on: tackling student loan debt and fighting for affordable land. Plus, see us at the White House and read updates on federal programs and local events. Read More  Read More

Farm Bill 2014 – What it Means for Beginning Farmers for the Next 5 Years

This post is the second of three in-depth analysis pieces on the bill and how it will affect you.  Farmers on their way to meetings with legislators to push for a fair farm bill. Last week, after we shared the news that the new farm bill passed, we delved into a three-part series breaking the bill down and what its impact will be over the next five years.  (The bill is scheduled to expire in 2018).  We started out talking about some concerns with... Read More

Bootstrap @ Chaseholm Farm – Pasture Management

This is a big one. This is my first season ever and also my first season managing a rotationally grazed dairy herd. I think I have a lot to learn about how to maximize productivity of both grass and cow and it is fun to feel like I have also come a long way. I learned about grazing management first from Alan Savory and then from Jim Gerrish and more intimately with local farmers and their animals as well as supplemental insight from Graze magazine... Read More

USDA’s “Know Your Farmer” Compass Expanded

The USDA just expanded their “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” Compass, an online database of resources for farmers, now including resources from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Labor, EPA and many other federal agencies. The Compass is a searchable map of projects that have received some form of support for food work from the federal government.  The goal is to show the resources that the USDA – and now... Read More

Database of EQIP Deadlines Now Available From OFRF

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has compiled a one-stop database for information on applying for EQIP Organic Initiative grants, available here. EQIP – the Environmental Quality Incentives Program – supports voluntary conservation programs for farmers and ranchers.  It offers financial and technical assistance to eligible participants to install or implement structural or management practices on agricultural land.  The... Read More

Hudson Valley Farmers Speak Up at the Farmers’ Forum

A US Farm Bill potentially worth nearly one trillion dollars over ten years has stalled in Congress, and with it the hopes of young farmers, conservationists and agriculturalists in general have stalled as well.  When Congress returns to Washington in September, they have only until the end of the month, September 30th, before the current Farm Bill expires and the country is potentially left with a radically reduced support system for farmers. ... Read More

What’s the Hold Up with the Farm Bill?

For those hoping to see some advancement on the US Farm Bill, this summer has so far been a disappointment.  With less than two months remaining before the expiration of the current bill, the process to create the Farm Bill of 2012 continues to be a victim of election year politics.  Here is a quick recap to bring you up to speed: The Senate passed its farm bill version back in June – while there were some letdowns, it was overall a good bill. ... Read More

Third and Final EQIP Organic Initiative Application Deadline is Approaching!

The last chance to apply for assistance through the EQIP Organic Initiative for 2012 is June 1, so if you’re interested read on and apply! EQIP, a voluntary soil, air, and water conservation program of the USDA, provides technical and financial assistance for farmers looking to implement conservation programs on their farms.  The program, administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (an agency within the USDA), includes an Organic... Read More

USDA Conservation Programs: Are They Working for New Farmers?

A recent release of information on funding allocations of two of the USDA’s major land conservation programs highlights the role that those two sources play in providing funding for beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged farmers, and limited resource farmers.  The two programs, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), both are administered by the USDA’s Natural Resouces... Read More

Brendan Smith, Thimble Island Oyster Co.

I am commercial fisherman transformed into an organic ocean farmer; and I’ve fallen in love with growing food at sea. I started Thimble Island Oyster Co. in 2005 with a not-so-seaworthy 22 foot boat and 20 acres of leased ocean grounds nestled in the Thimble Islands of Long Island Sound. Over the last six years my farm has grown to 60 acres, and is now growing 200,000 oysters a year for seafood restaurants and farmer’s markets in Connecticut... Read More