• 20Apr

    USDA funding news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) week of April 14th, 2014

    Funding Restored for Beginning Farmer Training Programs

    Last week, USDA announced the availability of $19 million in funding for beginning farmer training grants through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP).  This highly successful initiative, administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), provides competitively awarded grants… Read More…

    Funding Available for Specialty Crops

    Today USDA announced the availability of $66 million through the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBG) to fund projects related to the research, marketing, and development of specialty crops.  The funding is available to State Departments of Agriculture, which must apply for funding and then use it to supplement state programs or make grants…Read More…

    Disaster Assistance Program Sign-Up Begins

    On April 15, 2014, eligible farmers and ranchers were able to start signing up for disaster assistance programs restored by the 2014 Farm Bill.  Funding for disaster assistance programs established by the 2008 Farm Bill had expired in October 2011. Programs restored by the 2014 Farm Bill include… Read More…

  • 19Apr

    Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success Free Course for Farmers

    Online Course Materials and Notes Available for Educators to Use Free

    The Farmers Market Federation of NY and the NY Farm Viability Institute are cosponsoring an online course in Marketing aimed at farmers called Marketing for Profit: Tools for Success.  This program is funded by USDA SARE’s NE Professional Development Program and hosted by Cornell Cooperative Extension Broome County.

    There is no charge for the course which can be taken by farmers at their convenience asynchronously and is accessible any time, day or night.  Participants do not have to follow a specific schedule which makes it easier for farmers to participate since they can move through the course at their own pace.  The course materials are also available at no charge for use by extension educators or other educators who wish to use the materials to teach this as an in-person class.

    The curriculum includes the following five components, or modules: Self-Assessment, Market Assessment, Customer Assessment, Communications Assessment, and Business Assessment.  Within each module there are three sessions which include a video of each live presentation, Q & A documents, glossary of terms, links to additional resources, an online discussion forum, homework assignments, and a quiz.  By completing all five modules, farmers will be able to learn essential marketing skills to analyze their personal and business capacity, determine optimal marketing channels, build their customer base, and increase their sales and profits.  After completing the course, participants will have all the knowledge needed to create their complete farm business and marketing plan.

    Successful completion of all sessions within each of the 5 components including the assignments and quizzes will earn the participant a Certificate of Achievement.  In addition, farmers who complete the course in its entirety will be eligible for borrower training credits through the USDA Farm Services Agency.

    To register for this free online curriculum to help farmers increase their marketing skills and grow their business, go to: http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/work-shop-programs/online-marketing-for-profit-course.html

    For more information on the curriculum, on teaching the course to groups of farmers, or on using the course to qualify for borrower training credits, please contact the Farmers Market Federation office at 315-637-4690.

  • 18Apr
    2014 National Young Farmers Conference
    Every December, hundreds of beginning farmers from across the United States gather at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture to learn from agricultural luminaries, peers, and advocacy organizations at the National Young Farmers Conference: Reviving the Culture of Agriculture. On December 3-5, 2014, Stone Barns Center will host the 7th annual National Young Farmers Conference, providing participants with access to inspiring keynotes and unique workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, conservation and more.
    Pre-Conference: Agroecology & Climate Change  
    On December 3, 2014 Stone Barns Center will host a day of workshops and conversations with scientists, farmers and policy experts to explore issues related to agriculture and climate change, with a focus on mitigation and adaptation strategies.

    To download our call for workshop proposals, visit the Virtual Grange: http://www.virtualgrange.org/learn/young-farmers-conference/


  • 17Apr

    New Seed Survey Report Highlights Privatization Concerns

    The U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance today released A Preliminary Report on Seeds and Seeds Practices in the US in celebration of La Via Campesina’s International Day of Peasant Solidarity – April 17.

    The report is based on surveys of seed savers and seed advocates from around the United States. It documents who saves seeds, as well as why, where and which ones. Responses reveal that many growers save and share seeds to produce healthy food, preserve their cultural heritage, and to defy efforts by transnational agribusinesses to privately patent and monopolize control of seeds.

    The report is especially pertinent during 2014, the International Year of Family Farming, as designated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

    Based on the surveys and the Call to Action of the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, the report provides individual, community, national and international action recommendations aimed at defending seeds from privatization and preserving them for the common good.

    The U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance presents this report in solidarity with La Via Campesina in its global efforts to defend food and seed sovereignty. The report is available to read at www.usfoodsovereigntyalliance.org and on several Alliance member websites.

  • 16Apr

    An invitation for all specialty crop, CSA and diversified farmers in southern Michigan:

    The Washtenaw Food Hub, with support from Morse Marketing Connections and MDARD, would like to invite you to a FREE half-day marketing workshop in Ann Arbor, Michigan to learn about potential ways to grow your business.

    Financial and food safety experts, value-added entrepreneurs and chefs as well as institutional buyers will share successful ways specialty crop farmers are opening doors to new markets through improved financial readiness and food safety practices. ** Please see the attached flyer with a description and schedule for the program.

    Who: Specialty crop farmers

    What: Free workshop including lunch and tour of the Washtenaw Food Hub – “Connecting Specialty Crop Farmers with New Markets and Food Hubs: Financial and Food Safety Options for Scaling Up”

    When: Monday, May 5, 2014 from 11:15am-4:00pm

    Where: Washtenaw Food Hub, 4175 Whitmore Lake Rd., Ann Arbor, MI. More info: http://washtenawfoodhub.com

    Registration for this workshop is free of charge but space is limited.

    Please RSVP before April 28, 2014 at: http://bit.ly/1hBTuVc

    Note: Participants coming from more than 30 miles may request a travel scholarship for funds to reimburse mileage.  Contact Chad Gerencer:  chad@morseconnections.com or 231-740-4056 for more information.

  • 15Apr

    Picture of Maine FarmhouseMoodytown Gardens is a diversified farm located in Central Maine. They specialize in organic mixed vegetables but also grow flowers, herbs, pigs, poultry, and herbs. Products grown are sold through a CSA, at two farmers’ markets, to restaurants, stores, a multi-farm CSA, and at the farm stand.

    Expected tasks include animal chores, weeding, planting, harvesting, washing, and packing, along with many grounds and building jobs that arise. The work varies and workers are tasked based on their strengths and interests.

    Interns are given free room and board, beer if they drink it, and a small stipend. Interns live in the farm house with the farmers and other interns. Interns are asked to work 40-60 hour work weeks and are given one and a 1/2 days off a week. Interns are asked to cook 1-2 nights a week and expected to help keep the house neat.

    Maine Small Farm FieldsPeople who do well at Moodytown Gardens are folks who are self directed, fun loving, fast learners, flexible, and easy going.

    If you are interested in applying contact Johanna and Jarret at


    Or call them at 207 431 2860

  • 15Apr

    Job: Compliance Manager for Commercial Fruit & Vegetable Farm in Pittstown, New Jersey (Hunterdon County)

    Peach Trees in Bloom

    This person will be responsible for helping to complete our farm’s comprehensive food safety plan and then to implement and enforce the procedures from the field harvesting to postharvest handling.  This person will also be responsible for implementing the state’s Worker Protection Standards as per required by the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. Other duties include but are not limited to: helping with the produce deliveries, assisting with the postharvest handling and organizing the produce after it has been packed.

    We are looking at a mid-May start date for this position. This is a seasonal job. The end date will be after harvest season which will be sometime in Oct. We are projecting about 20 hours until harvest is in full swing and then the hours will increase to @ 30-40 hours per week.

    Read more »

  • 14Apr

    The 2014 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Request for Applications has been posted!!!

    For 2014, $19.2 million is available for grants through the program.

    Applications must submit proposals by June 12, 2014.

    NIFA posted the RFA on their website which also has a wealth of  information about the program including notice of two upcoming webinars on the BFRDP

    • UPCOMING Webinar – General RFA introduction, April 30, 2-4pm (EST)

    • UPCOMING Webinar – For applicants with special audiences (includes veterans, socially disadvantaged, limited resource, and farm workers), May 6, 2-4pm (EST)

    NIFA uses three grant types to offer awards: Standard Grants, Educational Enhancement Team , and  Curriculum and Training Clearinghouse.

    Note: These grants are not for land, equipment, or other farm costs. The recipient must be a collaborative, State, tribal, local, or regionally-based network or partnership of public or private entities, which may include: state cooperative extension service; community-based and nongovernmental organization; college or university (including institutions awarding associate degrees); or any other appropriate partner. Others may be eligible to apply.

  • 14Apr

    Unique Opportunity for a Young/Beginning/Aspiring Farmer:  Omega Lane Farm

    We are a small organic farm outside Rural Retreat, Virginia. We’re looking for a responsible and hard-working apprentice. In exchange for 25-29 hours of work we’re offering a furnished farmhouse, farm produce, and hands-on experience in our passive-solar greenhouse and gardens.

    Some of the things you will learn are: Germination; Companion Planting; Straw Bale Gardening; Gutter Gardening; Natural Pest Control; Food Processing Techniques; Marketing at a Farmers Market

    Position May 1st-October 1st (flexible), 2014

    If Interested, please contact Suzanne Capone at: 276-686-5843

  • 14Apr

    Farm Job in New York for 2014

    Blue Heron Farm, an established organic produce farm in Lodi, New York, is looking for full time help May through November, Tuesdays-Saturdays.

    Assist with planting, weeding, irrigating, picking, packing, and selling organic vegetables.  Experience desired, willingness to work hard a must. Carpooling from Ithaca a possibility. Starting pay $8.50 per hour, more with significant experience

    Check the website for more information and to download an application: Blueheronorganic.com or mail bluheron@empacc.net

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