New Resource Out for On-Farm Entrepreneurs
A growing number of small farms are reaping more profit by becoming “certified organic,” selling everything from strawberries to pecans.
Others are adding value to their crops by processing them on the farm-- turning tomatoes into salsa, or milk into cheese, or grapes into wine.
In combination, each of these strategies—organic and adding value-- can enhance the other.
A new resource, Farm Made: A Guide to On-Farm Processing for Organic Producers,
available online, is jam-packed with information on processing organic ingredients into value-added organic products, right on the farm. It is available free at www.kerrcenter.com.
The 40-page publication begins with an overview of the general requirements for organic certification and for food processing facilities.
Farm Made then discusses in detail four on-farm organic processing enterprises: sorghum syrup, packaged fresh salad greens, canned fruit products (jams, jellies, and preserves), and table eggs.
For each enterprise, the report outlines the basic production and processing requirements, and follows with details unique to organic management.
Included are extensive lists of resources for further information and supplies.
“Organic farmers need to jump through the same hoops any other business person would in starting a food business, and at least one more – organic certification,” says George Kuepper, co-author of the report. Farm Made helps the farmer navigate the process.
Kuepper is a sustainable agriculture specialist at the Kerr Center, a non-profit educational foundation based in Poteau.
Farm Made is published by the Kerr Center with funding from the Organic Farming Research Foundation and co-distributed with ATTRA, the national sustainable agriculture information service.