Bootstrap @ Wild Ridge Farm – Debating the Policies of Organic Certification

As someone who has spent many hours paging through codes and regulations in an attempt to develop a compliant organic system plan (OSP), I understand why many small farmers find the process too arduous and time-consuming to be worth their while. And yet, I also understand and appreciate the rigorous and meticulous nature of the certification process which gives real meaning to the USDA Organic label: a certification which takes no effort to obtain... Read More

The 2014 Organic Survey is on the Way!

For the second time, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is conducting a census of organic farmers and ranchers. Much like the five year Census of Agriculture, the Organic Survey provides a snapshot of agriculture across the U.S. The survey asks specifically about an organic farm’s production in 2014. Question cover: Production of field crops, vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, berries, livestock and poultry; Production practices... Read More

Bootstrap @ Wild Ridge Farm – A Perspective on Seeds

Our farming livelihood rests on the success of seeds. But how strange to hold something so small in the palm of my hand and realize I’m investing a lion’s share of days, dollars, and ideas in a speck of organic matter that appears so lifeless. And yet, time and time again, the seemingly powerless soon pushes through soil, and the seemingly lifeless yields fruit in its season. If we wish to finish well, we must begin well. If we desire... Read More

5 Farm Bill Changes You Should Know About

The 2014 Farm Bill changed several USDA programs to benefit beginning farmers and ranchers. These changes have already taken affect – all you need to do is ask about them at your local FSA or NRCS office! EQIP Advance Payment Option President Obama signing the farm bill. Image courtesy of whitehouse.gov. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) provides funding to help farmers pay for on-farm conservation improvements. These activities... Read More

Bootstrap @ Lemonade Springs Farm – Welcome to our 2014 Season!

Lemonade Springs Farm is run by myself, Seth, and my partner, Kathleen. We are in our second full season. The farm is located in Watsonville, California, about a mile inland in the heart of the central coast’s commercial strawberry growing country. Read More  Read More

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,... Read More

NYFC Releases Exclusive “Vegetable Grower’s Guide to Organic Certification”

Whether it’s rallying for better federal programming or providing online resources for your operation, NYFC is dedicated to helping your farm thrive.  We’re excited to release a new tool for you and your farm – the Vegetable Grower’s Guide to Organic Certification. Read More  Read More

A Fond Farewell to Deputy Secretary Merrigan

Leaving Big Boots to Fill:USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan speaks with a potential future farmer in Raleigh, NC. Last week, Kathleen Merrigan announced that she will be resigning from her position as Deputy Secretary of Agriculture in the USDA.  It is a regret to see this visionary of local food and organic agriculture leave the department – we hope her replacement brings the same commitment to renewing sustainable and local farming. Merrigan... Read More

Resource Spotlight: USDA’s Organic Literacy Initiative

The USDA recently launched its Organic Literacy Initiative, a program designed to connect organic farmers, ranchers, processors with the Department of Agriculture resources they could use.  Resources go over what the it means to be organic and how certification works, as well as resources for current certified farmers and ranchers. The matericals include factsheets for producers considering the transition to organic – check out the sheet for... Read More

Take a Stand in DC to Challenge Monsanto’s Aggression Against Family Farmers

Farmers Against Monsanto, courtesy of fooddemocracynow.org If you’re able to be in Washington, DC tomorrow (Thursday, January 10th), please come out to stand in solidarity with the 30 farmers fighting to defend American agriculture.  They will will be appealing their landmark court case challenging Monsanto’s abusive patent infringement lawsuits and could use your support! The assembly will take place at 10 AM at Lafayette Square (H Street... Read More

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