• 17Jan

    Farm Vegetables in the FieldVibrant Valley Farm is heading into its third full season as a women owned and operated CSA, restaurant and flower farm. We will be farming on Sauvie Island, just 10 miles outside of Portland and home to one of the state’s largest wildlife refuges. This past year we successfully ran a 35 member CSA program, provided vegetables to over 15 local restaurants in Yamhill and Multnomah counties, and delivered fresh cut flowers to New Seasons, a local grocery store in the area. This season we will increase our production two fold adding more CSA memberships and restaurant and flower accounts while continuing to branch out to our greater community with partnerships and educational programming. Vibrant Valley Farm is committed to engaging with our community and to celebrating ecologically sound practices and good stewardship of the land. We are currently working on organic certification.

    Jobs: We are actively seeking two farmers to assist in our production and assembly, 50 hours a week from the beginning of May until the end of October. We are looking for folks who are dedicated to learning about local food systems through growing food and flowers. Experience, team work, willingness to learn, adaptability, customer service, a strong work ethic, and belief in sustainable practices are prerequisites for any applicant and essential to the success of our operation. Read more »

  • 12Jan
    So you grow or raise everything on your farm using organic practices, but you’re not yet certified organic? At what point would it be worth the paperwork to become certified? Could your business benefit by being able to use the word “organic” in your marketing? Are you foregoing a price premium by not certifying? How hard is it, anyway? Dive into these questions in the 4-week online course BF 106: Organic Certification – What, How, and Why (or Why Not).  This course features presentations by certified organic farmers on what certification looks like on their farm and how they made the decision.

    The course is targeted to aspiring, beginner, and experienced farmers who are considering organic certification. 

    New this year! Participants who complete all requirements of one or more online courses are eligible to be endorsed for a 0% interest loan of up to $10,000 through

    BF 106: Organic Certification runs from Mon. Feb 2 – Mar 2 with Monday night webinars 6-7:30pm EDT. If you aren’t able to attend in real time, webinars are always recorded and posted for later viewing.

    All of our courses consist of weekly real-time webinars followed by homework, readings, and discussions on your own time in an online setting.

    This course costs $150, and up to 4 people from the same farm may participate without paying extra. See the course description page for more on the course learning objectives, instructors, and outline.

    These courses are part of the line-up of 14 online courses offered this Fall, Winter and Spring by the Cornell Small Farms Program. Learn which courses would be best for you, read about our team of experienced instructors, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and  view the calendar of course offerings for 2014-2015.

    Courses often fill very quickly, so don’t miss your chance to sign up today!

  • 16Dec

    Rutabaga Riches: Farm Finances for Farmers course
    Date: Friday and Saturday, January 9 and 10
    Location: Rockton, Illinois (just outside of Beloit, Wisconsin).
    Cost: Early-Bird Price: $179 (until 12/12 @ 9:00pm)/Regular Price: $219
    Registration: purplepitchfork.com/rutabaga-riches-conference; Registration is limited, and early-bird pricing is only available for a short time.

    $100 scholarships available for 2014 CRAFT members, email AOLC right away about this opportunity at craft@learngrowconnect.org

    Taught by Chris Blanchard and Badgerland Financial Services’ Paul Dietmann, this course is entirely focused on helping farmers gather, understand, and use financial information about their farming and marketing operations. This course is for beginning and experience farmers alike – and for people planning to get into farming who want to get off on the right foot! Regardless of experience level, this course will provide essential information to help participants move their farms forward.

    The Rutabaga Riches course is going to cover all of the basics for farm finance, including:

    • How to set up a bookkeeping system that is easy to operate and provides useful information to enable better decision-making;
    • Creating balance sheets, income statements, and cash flow statements that participants can use to understand the a farm’s financial health;
    • When and how to access credit, including establishing and maintaining a relationship with a lender;
    • Information about how to price products, including how to track labor and other inputs to accurately identify cost of production and the cost of marketing through different outlets;
    • Using the gathered information to make decisions about operational changes, equipment purchases, and building infrastructure.

    In other words, this course will provide participants with a whole toolbox of financial tools that will help them understand how to get where they want to go, without having to chain themselves to a desk – Chris and Paul want to help farmers understand and manage their finances so that they can put more of their energy into taking care of their farm, their family, and the environment.

  • 08Dec
    USDA FUNDING NEWS
    New Awards Will Strengthen Farm to School Programs
    Local farmers, food businesses, and schools from 82 farm to school projects across the country received a boost this week with the announcement of over $5 million in funding from the Farm to School Grant Program by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack…Logo
    Organic Plant Breeding Research Grant Announced
    Farmers and consumers alike should be excited about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s recent announcement that over $6 million will be awarded this year to support research related to plant health and production – including breeding for organic research that is the first step in developing new and improved varieties that farmers need to be successful and meet the growing demand for sustainable food…Logo
    Much Needed Funding Will Support Outreach to Minority and Veteran Farmers
    Farming is a risky business and has become increasingly difficult to enter over the past few decades. However, for the growing number of racially and culturally diverse or veteran farmers and ranchers in this country, starting and managing a successful farming operation is fraught with even greater challenges. That’s why NSAC is excited about the nearly $10 million in federal grants that were announced this week that will support outreach and technical assistance to minority, tribal, and veteran producers…Logo
    Local Food System Community Planning Awards Announced
    On December 3, the White House Rural Council, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies, announced 26 communities in 19 states chosen to take part in the Local Food, Local Places Initiative. The new initiative provides technical support to help them develop and implement action plans promoting local food and downtown revitalization…Logo
  • 30Nov

    New York State New Farmers Grant Fund
    The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund provides assistance to new and early-stage farmers and encourages farming as a career path. The fund will provide grants from $15,000 to $50,000 for up to 50% of project costs including, but not limited to, lease or purchase of farm machinery and equipment; construction or expansion of farm buildings or systems; and purchase of supplies such as root stock, seed, and fertilizer.
    Applications must be postmarked by January 28, 2015.

    Mary Boyer Sustainable Food and Agriculture Grant
    Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) is accepting applications for the 2015 Mary Boyer Sustainable Food and Agriculture Grant. The grant is open to female farmers, ranchers, and producers in the BRWIA service area in North Carolina and Tennessee. Two grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded.
    Applications are due by December 19, 2014.

    >> More Funding Opportunities

  • 24Nov

    A farmer’s dream come true: land to farm – By Hema Easley, Times Herald-Record

    New Farmer Unloading Vegetables
    CHESTER – Travis Jones always knew he’d be a farmer. During college, Jones worked summers on his father’s land in Blooming Grove. After graduating, he worked full time, dreaming of a time when he could farm his own land. That’s a challenge for farmers who don’t have the resources to buy expensive land. But this month his dream will come true. Together with four other young men and women, Jones will lease 30 acres of land from Chester Agricultural Center, LLC, a group of investors committed to making land affordable and accessible to experienced farmers.
    Read the full article at: http://www.recordonline.com/article/20141117/NEWS/141119400

  • 20Nov

    The ISLAND Farmer Residency Program in Northern Michigan has extended its application due date and will accept applications until we have filled our position. ISLAND’s Farmer Residency Program provides land and a supportive environment for aspiring farmers to become part of the growing local food movement in northwest Michigan.
    Plowing in a green manure crop
    ISLAND’s residency program is new and growing. This first cohort of residents will have the opportunity to influence the development of infrastructure and program support. Read more »

  • 17Nov

    New Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs Helps Distill Farm Bill Resources
    NSAC’s 2014 Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs– a free resource for farmers, conservationists, entrepreneurs, researchers, and rural and urban community groups – is now online!  This comprehensive digital guide offers plain-language explanations of the dozens of federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture and how farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide can access them…Logo

  • 07Oct
    The Margin Protection Program (MPP), established by the 2014 Farm Bill, provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin – the difference between the price of milk and feed costs – falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer.

    MPP, which replaces the Milk Income
    Loss Contract program, gives participating dairy producers the flexibility to select coverage levels best suited for their operation. Enrollment began Sept. 2, and ends on Nov. 28, 2014, for 2014 and 2015. Participating farmers must remain in the program through 2018 and pay a minimum $100 administrative fee each year. Producers have the option of selecting a different coverage level during open enrollment each year.
    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) also launched a new web tool to help producers determine the level of coverage under the Margin Protection Program that will provide them with the strongest safety net under a variety of conditions. The online resource is available here.
    The 2014 Farm Bill also established the Dairy Product Donation Program. The program authorizes USDA to purchase and donate dairy products to nonprofit organizations that provide nutrition assistance to low-income families. Purchases only occur during periods of low dairy margins. Dairy operators do not need to enroll to benefit from the Dairy Product Donation Program.
    To read more about the program, visit the USDA website.
  • 16Sep

    Boot Camp for Farmers – Financial and Food Safety Success – Monday, September 22, 2014, 6:00 – 8:30 pm

    Workshop will be held via webinar: https://connect.msu.edu/upfe/; Webinar is Free, please RSVP below

    Note: If you have not been on an adobe connect webinar before, please use this link to test your internet connection ahead of time:  http://connect.msu.edu/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

    The U.P. Food Exchange, in partnership with Morse Marketing Connections, would like to invite you to a free webinar to learn about potential ways to grow your business and connect to new markets in the Upper Peninsula.

    Financial and food safety experts will share successful ways specialty crop farmers are opening doors to new markets through improved financial readiness and food safety practices.

    Ann Herrington of Greenstone Farm Credit will be presenting on financial literacy and business planning for profitability.  In addition, the U.P. Food Exchange will provide an update on how to reach new markets and the resources they are providing regarding food safety including the Group GAP pilot.  Please RSVP by Friday, September 19, 2014, by calling 906-635-6368 or by contacting walkmich@msu.edu.

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