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Latest from Young Farmers

NYFC November 2013 Newsletter


November is #FarmerHeroes month!  We’re celebrating a few farmer-members who represent our incredible network of bold, passionate, young farmers providing great food for their communities. Follow #FarmerHeroes this month on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Want to be a super hero?  Take a few minutes today to send a comment to the FDA to fix the food safety rules.  Deadline is Friday. Then, kickstart your winter business planning with advice from Farms with a Future author Rebecca Thistlethwaite, who will be joining the Farmers Forum November 18-22, and learn about transforming your local farmer network into a cooperative powerhouse with an introductory panel hosted by Democracy at Work Institute on November 21. 

Learn How to Start a Cooperative

We’re teaming up with the Democracy at Work Institute to introduce successful cooperative business models to our network! Join us on November 21 at 6 PM EST for a webinar on how cooperative businesses are helping to build local food economies and support young farmers in creating new markets, reaching new customers and building sustainable, rewarding farm-based enterprises. Click here for more info and to register.  Space is limited.

We will be joined by farmers, entrepreneurs and local food system advocates who will discuss their cooperative business success stories. We’ll also introduce the first steps and resources for starting a new cooperative business.

Presenters will include:
Margaret Bau, USDA Cooperative Business Specialist
Ellen Dienger, Our Harvest Cooperative Farm
Rebekah Hanlon, Valley Green Feast
Narendra Varma, Our Table Cooperative Farm
Tess Brown-Lavoie, Little City Cooperative Growers
Diana Chapeta, Fifth Season Cooperative Growers

Farm Business Expert Rebecca Thistlethwaite on Farmers Forum

Rebecca Thistlethwaite, author of Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business, will be answering your business and finance questions posted in the “Farm Business” section of the Farmers Forum during the week of November 18-23.

Rebecca writes and speaks regularly on the business of farming, and she’s excited to answer your questions on everything from alternative financing to developing business plans.  Head over to the forum now until November 23rd to post your questions!

Plus, everyone who asks Rebecca a question could receive one of five copies of Farms with a Future! Thanks to Chelsea Green for making this possible.

Food Safety Comments Due Friday

This is the final week to be a part of setting the FDA’s new food safety rules.  From mandatory weekly water testing to long delays on applying manure, these rules will impact your farm.

We’ve met with the FDA and they have specifically asked for more input from those who’ll be affected.  Take a minute to submit a comment directly to the FDA online right now.

Join us in Celebrating #FarmerHeroes!

All month, we are celebrating young, sustainable farmers with our #FarmerHeroes series!  We are sharing amazing photos of three Hudson Valley farmers (and NYFC members) who are overcoming huge obstacles to build new, sustainable farms.

Follow along on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for new content all month long. Thanks to Applegate for making this project a reality.

Colorado Farmers Come Together for Drought Hack

NYFC teamed up with Colorado’s Valley Organic Growers Association (VOGA) and Farm Hack to bring farmers, ranchers, agriculture policy professionals and water experts together in western Colorado for the first-ever drought resilience Farm Hack: “Building Drought Resilience on the Small-Scale Farm.”  The several dozen attendees toured a local farm, discussed water issues with experts and brainstormed ways to build resilience through improving irrigation efficiency, enhancing information-sharing and continuing to build ever-stronger farmer networks. Read more about the event here.


The work crew at Red Fire Farm, in Granby, MA

Do you know where you’ll be farming in 2014?  Now is the time to check out NYFC’s jobs forum to find a great place!  Looking to hire?  Log in for free and post away-

Check out your specific region, or just browse the whole board!  Here are a few recent posts:

Farm manager at Lewis Family Farm, a certified organic and grass-fed livestock farm in Essex, NY.

Urban Farmer at the Jones Valley Teaching Farm in Birmingham, AL. 

Production manager, packing shed supervisors and farm interns at Red Fire Farm in the Pioneer Valley of MA – a 100 acre organic vegetable farm.

Five full-season 2014 apprentices at Soil Born Farms in Sacramento, CA, with a goal of providing training for aspiring farmers.

Plus many more!  Head over to the NYFC jobs forum to start your search.



ALBUQUERQUE, NM: Quivira Coalition 3rd Annual Career Connections Event – November 14
This Thursday, NYFC is partnering with the Santa Fe-based Quivira Coalition to bring together prospective employers with young job-seekers in the farming, ranching and conservation fields for the 3rd annual Career Connection event. This event will be held the second night of the annual Quivira Conference, 6:30-8:30 at the Embassy Suites in Albuquerque, NM. The conference, titled “Inspiring Adaptation,” will draw leading scientists, farmers, ranchers, conservationists and planners from across the West to share and build important tools for an adaptation toolbox.  The event is open to the public – you don’t need to attend the conference to join us.

ONLINE: Rachel Thistlethwaite is NYFC Farmers Forum Guest Expert – November 18-22
Rachel Thistlethwaite, author of Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business, will answer your business and finance questions on the NYFC Farmers Forum.  Click here to ask your question today!

WILLITS, CA: Mendocino Farmers Guild Meeting – November 19
Regular meeting of the Mendocino Farmers Guild at the Little Lake Grange Hall, 291 School St, Willits, CA.  Starts at 6 PM.  Contact Evan at for more info.

AUSTIN, TX: Texas Young Farmers Coalition Meet-up – November 21
3rd Wednesday Meetup. Black Star Coop. 7:00 PM-9:00 PM. Come join us for our third Wednesday meet up. Great beers and great conversations.  Email for more info.

ONLINE: Cooperatives Webinar – November 21
NYFC and the Democracy at Work Institute are co-presenting a webinar on how cooperative businesses are helping to build local food economies and support young farmers.  6 PM.  Click here for more info and to register

MADISON, WI: Wisconsin Young Farmers Coalition End-of-Season Potluck – November 22
Come join us for an end-of-season potluck. This will give us a great chance to talk about our seasons, future plans, and just what is going on with food and farming in Wisconsin! Bring yourselves, your friends, a dish to pass, and stories from the season!  Starts at 7 PM at 169 Talmadge Street, Madison, WI.  Contact Ginny at for more info.

KENTUCKY: Community Farm Alliance’s Connecting Kentucky’s Food System – November 22
An online workshop exploring the potential of a statewide food policy network.  1-2:30 PM.  Click here for more info

AUSTIN, TX: TXYFC Sponsors Green Gate Farms’ Hoop House Workshop – November 24
Join the Texas Young Farmers Coalition as we help Green Gate Farms construct a new hoophouse at their river property.  11 AM-4 PM.  Lunch provided. Cost: 10 Farmer, 20 General Public. 
Purchase tickets here, or contact for more information.

SONOMA, CA: Sonoma Valley Farmers Guild Meeting – November 24
Regular meeting of the Sonoma Valley Farmers Guild at the Sonoma Valley Grange Hall, 18627 California 12, Sonoma, CA .  Starts at 6 PM. 
Contact Evan at for more info.

MADISON, WI: Happy Hour with the Wisconsin Young Farmers Coalition – November 25
The Wisconsin Young Farmers’ Coalition is teaming up with Slow Food Madison to host a happy hour at Heritage Tavern. Farmers and food advocates can come together to chat food, farming, and life in general. We will source many of the ingredients for the snacks and beverages from young farmers.  Located at the Heritage Tavern, Madison, WI. 
Contact Ginny at for more info.

YOLO COUNTY, CA: Yolo County Farmers Guild Meeting – December  2
Regular meeting of the Yolo County Farmers Guild, location TBA.  Starts at 6 PM. 
Contact Evan at for more info.

FRANKFORT, CA: 28th Annual Community Farm Alliance Membership Meeting – December 2
CFA’s annual meeting, located at the KSU Center for Sustainability.  Click here to register

SEBASTOPOL, CA: North Coast Farmers Guild Meeting – December 3
Regular meeting of the North Coast Farmers Guild at the Sebastopol Grange Hall, 6000 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol, CA.  Starts at 6 PM. 
Contact Evan at for more info.

POCANTICO HILLS, NY: Stone Barns Center’s Young Farmers Conference – December 4-6
Stone Barns Center will host the 6th annual National Young Farmers Conference, with inspiring keynotes and more than 65 workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, marketing, and more.  Featuring Your Voice Can Change Farm Policy, a policy update from  NYFC!  Click here for more info.

MANCHESTER, NH: New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference – December 17-19
The New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference includes more than 25 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics.  Click here for more info and to register.


In Solidarity,

Lindsey, Wes, Sophie, Kate, Eleanor, Tracy, Debbie & Kacey


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PO BOX 292, Tivoli, New York 12583
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