News from the West

The end of summer brought both bounty and hardship to Western farmers and ranchers. From hurricanes to fire, flood to drought, many have struggled with serious impacts to both their operations and their communities. But as farmers do, you are rebuilding, pitching in, and standing together. Times like these remind us how important it is to strengthen our communities and build a common voice for resilient agriculture. NYFC’s Western team has been... Read More

To save water, first save soil and heirloom plants

By Tyler Hoyt, Green Table Farm In August we had our first big monsoon of the summer, which was a blessing because we had not seen any precipitation for nearly a month. Our first few storms of the monsoon season in the Southwest can be incredibly violent, quick moving, and drop lots of water on the sunbaked soil. During this first storm, we received just under 1.5 inches of water in about an hour, which is a perfect recipe for erosion, flash flooding,... Read More

New report: Innovation & stewardship in the arid West

Here’s a story you probably haven’t heard in the news: Family farmers are leading water conservation efforts in the West. Here are two examples. By building up the level of organic matter in the soil of their California farm, Paul and Elizabeth Kaiser (pictured above with their crew) have drastically cut their irrigation use while increasing their production seven fold compared to similar California farms. In Wyoming, ranchers Pat and Sharon... Read More

The West, water and you: Take our new survey

This year drought has gripped the West to a new extreme. But both young and seasoned farmers are forging new and innovative solutions, growing more food with less water while enhancing biodiversity, soil health, and their local communities. Yet despite this, too often young farmers are not engaged in shaping water policy. This means their values and their voices go unheard by policymakers. NYFC is changing that. As part of our ongoing work on water... Read More

NYFC Presents at Western Governors Association Drought Forum

Presenters at the 2014 WGA Drought Forum California State Capitol where the WGA Drought Forum was held National Young Farmers Coalition was invited to present during the Western Governors Association forum on “Drought Impacts and Solutions in the Agricultural Sector”. Many academics and water resource managers from California were in attendance along with several ranchers and farmers.  Jerry Brown, Governor of California and Nevada Governor Brian... Read More

Water Tour brings farmers together from across Southwest

Farmers of Southwest CO Young Farmers Chapter gather for a potluck and photo shoot for NYFC film “Resilient” Below average precipitation combined with warm and dry summers make it difficult for producers to grow enough to make a profit and forecasts of low precipitation patterns suggests this may be a new normal.  With water being a critical resource for managing a successful farm, drought resiliency is an important skill. This week... Read More

NYFC launches “RESILIENT,” new film on water conservation in the West

The National Young Farmers Coalition proudly announces the release of its short film “RESILIENT: Soil, Water and The New Stewards of The American West.”  Within the context of historic drought and increasing urban demand, “Resilient” highlights the work of innovative farmers and ranchers across western Colorado who are adapting to a drier climate. They are building soil, enhancing irrigation efficiency, and saving water, all while forging... Read More

Western Water Profile: De Smet Dairy Farms

Mike De Smet is known for his friendly disposition, his inability to say no to a challenge, and a deeply ingrained love of dairy farming. De Smet grew up on the 125-acre dairy farm he now manages. But this is not his father’s dairy—he and his wife, Erica, have embarked on an ambitious and pioneering effort to build New Mexico’s first, and only, USDA certified organic, raw, grass fed dairy farm. De Smet started learning the dairy trade as soon... Read More

Tillage, drought and their child: disaster

Paul Kaiser, Singing Frogs Farm Across the arid West, farmers and ranchers are sharing tools and stories of resilience. Farmer Paul Kaiser discusses how he and his family are preparing for drought on their farm, Singing Frogs Farm, in Sonoma County, CA.  On January 17th, 2014 California Governor Jerry Brown announced a statewide drought emergency. Despite recent March rains, seven of the last eight years have been very dry in California, and... 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

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