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

Beginning Farmers of Connecticut – a few upcoming events from CT NOFA

Due by December 31, 2012: Deadline for Journeyperson Applications CT NOFA is accepting registrations for the 2013-2015 Journeyperson Program.  This provides education and business stipends, mentor support and free admission to CT NOFA programs for two years for Connecticut farmers that are independently farming for the first time.  You can learn more about the program on the Journeyperson Page and you can apply here. CT NOFA “Getting Started... Read More

Survey – Help Understand Beginning Farmer Knowledge Networks

NYFC would like to help researchers and other organizations better understand how to help beginning farmers!  Below is information on a survey on organic farmer knowledge networks.  If you have the time, please fill out the survey to help. My name is Emily and I am a senior at Occidental College in Los Angeles, CA. I am finishing my undergraduate study in Sociology and Urban & Environmental Policy. Help me with my senior thesis by completing... Read More

New! Online Course De-Mystifies Organic Certification

While many small farmers use “all-natural” or “sustainable” practices, going the distance to certify your farm as organic–with the paperwork, annual inspection, and expense required–often feels like an overwhelming step. But for many farmers, the price premium received would increase profits. What do you need to do to become certified organic? Is it worth it for your farm? Do your practices qualify, or would you... Read More

Bootstrap @ Bossy Acres: Preserving Heirlooms

My Uncle Roger, salmon fishing like a pro When I was growing up, my Uncle Roger seemed like an alien. To a kid from the suburbs who’d memorized the prime time TV schedule, his upbringing—on a farm as one of 13 kids—was so foreign to me that I felt more in common with Laura Ingalls than my own uncle. Adding to the gulf between us was his manner, which I perceived as gruff and unfriendly, so much so that my brother and I nicknamed him “Uncle... Read More

Boostrap @ Bossy Acres — Getting Certified

Last week, we got a piece of paper that didn’t contain many words, but seemed monumental to us: our organic certification. All it took was weeks of tracking down seed receipts, doing soil and water testing, getting a prior land use declaration signed by our landlord and a statement from the horse ranch owner who gave us manure. Then there were the crop rotation plans, land use strategies, and inspections of our rented land and greenhouse space,... Read More

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