• 31Oct

    Teaching Financial Literacy to Beginning Farmers – A NIFTI Webinar

    Join the National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) on Nov. 18th, 2014 from 1-2:30 PM ET to learn tools and best practices for teaching financial literacy to beginning farmers. Our presenters are Julia Shanks – Julia Shanks Food Consulting, and Gary Matteson – Farm Credit Council. The webinar will focus on practical strategies for teaching farmers how to manage the financial health of their businesses.

    Click here to register for the webinar, and visit our website: http://nesfp.org/nifti/webinars to view previous NIFTI webinars.

    Julia Shanks – chef and entrepreneur — consults with food businesses and farms, helping them maximize profits and streamline operations through business planning, feasibility studies and operational audits. Clients include Life Alive, Cuisine en Locale, The Elephant Walk, The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources and City Growers. She lectures on sustainable food systems and restaurant accounting. She sits on the advisory board of Future Chefs and is the regional leader of Slow Money Boston.

    Gary Matteson has more than 30 years of experience in the farming and agriculture industry. He leads the Farm Credit program serving young, beginning and small (YBS) farmers and ranchers at the Farm Credit Council, the System’s national trade organization. Mr. Matteson coordinates efforts within Farm Credit’s nationwide network and among many national organizations to ensure that YBS farmers have the opportunities they need to succeed.

    The National Incubator Farm Training Initiative (NIFTI) is a program of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

  • 31Oct

    Global beef demand to outpace supply – More middle class professionals worldwide are causing beef demand to soar: From AgClips

    The problem at global level is that extensive suckler beef is running out of land. This is in part due to more persistent drought in previously high producing areas like Texas and also crowding out by new crops (maize, soya, sugar cane) across its former heartlands in Brazil and Argentina. (Oklahoma Farm Report) Read the full article Global beef demand has begun to run ahead of world supply.
  • 30Oct

    POLICY: FDA Food Safety Rules Update – From the National Young Farmers Coalition-

    Last month, the FDA finally responded to the thousands of comments it received on its draft food safety rules. In the new rules, significant and positive changes were made– but there is still more work to be done. In this month’s update, get the full rundown on what the rules say, how you can take action and upcoming events.

    We encourage you to read the rules for yourself:
    New FDA Produce Rule
    New FDA Preventative Controls Rule

    Take Action: These new rules are a significant improvement, but we must keep up the noise! We must defend these changes and continue to improve on them to ensure that small, diversified vegetable growers can compete.

    1. Send us your reaction  -  We need to tell the FDA that the changes to the rules make a difference. In addition, we have been working with our partners at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to identify places where the rules still fall short. If you would like to make a suggestion to include in NYFC’s organizational comment, email Eric Hansen (eric@youngfarmers.org) with your thoughts.

    2. Submit a comment!  -  You can also submit a comment of your own. We will be sending out our guide to commenting next month. Keep an eye out for that and be sure to contact us if you want help. Here are the links to comment on the produce rule and the preventative control rule.

    FDA to Hold Public Meeting for Feedback on New FSMA Rules – From the Wallace Center-

    On November 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public meeting in College Park, MD to discuss proposed changes to four FSMA regulations originally proposed in 2013. These regulations have been changed due to public input and touch many pieces of the food system, including produce and animal agriculture, on-farm practices, packing and handling, and foreign imports. To learn more about FSMA visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s website.

    The purpose of the meeting is to invite stakeholder and public comments on the new content of the rules and to inform the public about the rulemaking process (including how to submit comments, data, and other information to the rulemaking dockets), and to respond to questions about the revised proposed rules.

    To register to attend the meeting in person, or to get call-in information and instructions, see the full details of the FDA meeting here.

  • 30Oct
    EVENT: 2015 GrassWorks Grazing Conference

    Dates: January 15th – 17th, 2015; Location: Chula Vista Resort, Wisconsin Dells

    The 23rd GrassWorks Grazing Conference is a key event for producers of all kinds of livestock who have a desire to learn how to improve their land, increase forage production, and graze as many months as possible during the year. Topics range from cattle handling basics, dairy management on grass, soil fertility and animal care in the pasture.

    This year’s conference will feature over 25 sessions and a tradeshow with over 40 exhibitors. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear thought-provoking and inspiring speakers. In keeping with grass-based leadership in local and sustainable farming, the meals offered at the conference consist almost entirely of season, local, grass-fed selections from the best in graziers from around the region.

    Conference registration includes workshops, general sessions, admission to the exhibit
    hall and evening entertainment, as well as dinners, lunches and snacks. Online registration is available. For information such as registration costs, volunteering, exhibiting and other opportunities or to register online, visit the GrassWorks website www.grassworks.org.

  • 30Oct
    WORKSHOP: Putting Small Acres to Work – From University of Illinois Extension: Start Putting A Small Acreage to Work as Hobby or Enterprise
    Do you have a few extra acres you’d like to put to good use? Whether it’s an old farmstead, a fallow green space, or a great big yard you’d rather not mow, you probably have some ideas about what it could become.

    Date: Saturday, December 6th; Time: 9am-4pm, Registration starts at 8am; Location: NIU Rockford Meeting and Conference Center, 8500 E. State St., Rockford, IL; Cost: The program fee is $40 per person, which includes all program materials and lunch.

    Registration: Please visit our website at web.extension.illinois.edu/bdo and go to “Register Online” on the right-hand side. You can also contact University of Illinois Extension-Boone County at 815-544-3710 for more information or to register. Please register by Monday, December 1st to guarantee a space and a meal.

    There will be general sessions on building soil health and choosing scale-appropriate equipment, as well as numerous breakout sessions on both plant and animal topics, including perennial vegetables, berry fruits, root cellars, season extension, chickens, hogs, beekeeping, and grazing. Outreach professionals from both Illinois and Wisconsin will provide the expertise. See the full schedule and flyer here.

    If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this program, please contact the Boone County Extension office at (815) 544-3710.

  • 29Oct

    New ATTRA Publication Helps Fruit and Nut Farmers Weather Extreme Growing Conditions

    Wheat or corn growers can decide from year to year whether to plant a little late or plant a little early or plant a different variety. But fruit growers can be locked in for decades once they’ve made a decision. And in what seems to be a time of weather extremes – ranging from long-term droughts to “500-year floods” in back-to-back years – planning can be even more difficult.

    A new ATTRA publication, “Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production: Investing in Resilience in Uncertain Times,” can help farmers develop strategies for building resilience into their operations. Because of its long-lived nature, including two, three, or more years of plant growth before bearing a crop, perennial fruit and nut production requires a long-term commitment from farmers. Many fruit and nut crops do not provide a return on investment until several years after planting. Read more »

  • 28Oct

    After four seasons of waiting, today, on Food Day 2014, the CIW is officially revealing the Fair Food Program label.

    This label, stickered on tomatoes produced on farms participating in the Fair Food Program represents a worker certification program two decades in the making. It was over twenty years ago that workers began organizing general strikes in Immokalee, demanding dialogue with growers and a fair wage. It was thirteen years ago that people around the country began joining workers in the Campaign for Fair Food, demanding that major corporations take responsibility for working conditions in the fields. And it was four years ago that the Fair Food Program went into effect, where a worker-designed vision long in the making became a reality.
    And today, as farmworkers have demonstrated the power and efficacy  of the Fair Food Program — in the never-before-seen rights taking hold in Florida’s tomato fields, poised to expand into other crops and states — the CIW is ready to launch the Fair Food Program label.
  • 27Oct

    Missouri Beginning Farmer Program 2015 Webinar Series

    Jan. 23 - Assessing the Economics of Crop Choices on a Start-up Market Farm, Part 2

    Feb. 6 - Food Safety and Good Agricultural Practices, Part 1

    Feb. 13 - Food Safety and Good Agricultural Practices, Part 2

    March 5 - Financing for Beginning Farmers, Part 1

    March 12 - Financing for Beginning Farmers, Part 2

    April 2 - Grazing Goats, Part 1

    April 9 - Grazing Goats, Part 2

    May 7 - Legal Issues with Direct Marketing, Part 1

    May 14 - Legal Issues with Direct Marketing, Part 2

  • 26Oct

    Program Roundup – SARE Funding Available for On-Farm Research Projects

    The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (SARE) is a farmer driven research and education competitive grants program designed to help advance sustainable agriculture across the whole of American agriculture.  North Central, Northeastern, Western, and Southern regional councils individually set SARE policies and make grants in each region. To find SARE On-Farm Research Grant calls for proposals click….Logo

  • 25Oct

    National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Helps Deliver Soil Health Vision Statement to USDA

    On Friday, October 17, 2014 more than 40 national organizations, companies, and foundations delivered a joint vision statement for soil health and cover crops to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition joined with the National Association of Conservation Districts and American Soybean Association to issue a press release and deliver the letter to USDA on behalf of all 41 signatories…Logo


    National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) Member Organizations Receive Rural Business Enterprise Grants from USDA

    On Tuesday, October 21, 2014 the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced 50 new Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) for the 2014 fiscal year, including awards for two NSAC member organizations.  Practical Farmers of Iowa and National Hmong American Farmers each received RBEG awards from USDA’s Rural Development agency.  The announcement follows an earlier wave of RBEG awards unveiled last month….


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