Who does the farm safety net actually protect?
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Lindsey Shapiro
1M ago
A major divide in the battle over the next Farm Bill could reverse progress made to support ecologically sound practices and may leave smaller farms unprotected. The 2018 Farm Bill expired over six months ago, and the next one is still many conversations away. What’s the hold up?  According to a report by the American Enterprise Institute, the largest 10% of farms receive 65.4% of all crop insurance subsidies. Part of the issue is that Congress has not allocated any new money to the Farm Bill, so any increased spending in one Farm Bill title (such as commodity payments) means decreased s ..read more
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2024 Pasabilities Award Recipients
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director
4M ago
Each year, we honor farmer, community, and business leaders who serve as examples for advancing sustainable agriculture through innovation and collaboration. I’m pleased to share this year’s award recipients. Business Leadership Award Masa Cooperativa Philadelphia, Pennsylvania A batch of hand-crafted masa being prepared at Masa Cooperativa Masa Cooperativa is a worker-owned and majority immigrant-operated cooperative based in Philadelphia that mills corn grown in partnership with local organic farms to produce masa–a maize dough used to make popular foods, such as tortillas, tamales, arepas ..read more
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How could the Farm Bill actually help your farm?
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Lindsey Shapiro
10M ago
With the federal Farm Bill set to expire on September 30th, this coming month will be a critical time to take action. Farmer and Farm Bill Campaign Organizer Lindsey Shapiro shares a few things you can do to help ensure the finalized bill supports an equitable and ecologically sound food system and includes the needs of farms like yours. photo credit: Lise Metzger for Farm Aid Even for a self-identified policy nerd like me, it can be challenging to understand the real-world implications of boring and confusing legal jargon. When reading bill summaries and policy one-pagers, I often find mysel ..read more
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Farm Bill 101: What’s a Marker Bill?
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Lindsey Shapiro
1y ago
In large omnibus legislation like the federal Farm Bill, it’s easy for good ideas to get lost. Grouping proposed legislation into small packages focused around key issues can help get the attention of lawmakers—that’s where marker bills come in! Marker bills are not intended to pass as standalone bills; they are introduced to show collective interest in an idea and build momentum. Earlier in May, we welcomed two policy experts from National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) to highlight a few key marker bills and, more importantly, to discuss what we can do as farmers to support them ..read more
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Field Notes: Why Adaptability Is Key for Graziers
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Lucas Waybright
1y ago
Pasa’s Dairy Grazing Project Manager Lucas Waybright shares his notes from a recent field day, highlighting the ingenuity and adaptability required for grazing animals on pasture.  Happening soon: Join Lucas at Painterland Farms for a special two-day intensive on Regenerative Grazing with Ian Mitchell Innes May 18–19. Infrastructure Workshop & Pasture Rest Trial at Ben Blank’s Farm This April I organized a field day for our Dairy Grazing Project—a collaborative effort led by Pasa to help dairy farmers improve, expand, or begin grazing. Farmer Eli Mack of Mack Farms and Kencove Fence ..read more
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Meet some recent Apprenticeship & Pre-Apprenticeship graduates
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Marie Hathaway
1y ago
We asked some of the recent graduates of our Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship and Pre-Apprenticeship to share a bit about their experiences. They told us what they love about farming (as well as what they could do without) and reflected on how they’ve grown, and what memories, stories, and lessons they’ll carry with them as they keep growing. Pre-Apprenticeship graduates Diversified Vegetable Pre-Apprenticeship provides introductory hands-on training for people who want to explore sustainable farming as a career but have little to no prior farming experience. Our pre-apprenticeship p ..read more
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A United Voice for Climate Action
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Lindsey Shapiro
1y ago
Find your voice. Join Lindsey and local organizers from the National Young Farmers Coalition at our upcoming Farmer Storytelling for Policy Change workshop at the RE Farm Cafe at Windswept Farm in State College. Farming can be an isolating profession. Even though we share many of the same challenges—like extreme weather events damaging our fields, making it harder for us to feed our communities—it can often feel like we’re facing them on our own. So when I learned through my work with National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) about plans to organize a national “farmer climate action ..read more
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Field Notes: Training Wheels
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Lisa Miskelly
1y ago
On a chilly, almost-spring day in March, a group of new and beginning farmers gathered at The Seed Farm in Emmaus, Pennsylvania to learn about a versatile machine that could help them get growing.  Farmer Dean Buttacavoli of Cabbage Throw Farm shares safe operating tips with a BCS. photo by Katy Hunter, The Seed Farm Two-wheel, walk-behind tractors like the BCS are a powerful tool-of-choice for many small scale growers, and also play a role in larger operations. In addition to safe operation and basic maintenance, attendees got to hear from established farmers about how they’ve reall ..read more
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2023 Pasabilities Award Recipients
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Hannah Smith-Brubaker, Executive Director
1y ago
Each year, we honor farmer, community, and business leaders who serve as examples for advancing sustainable agriculture through innovation and collaboration. I’m pleased to share this year’s award recipients. Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding  Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding speaks with Easton Community Gardens Manager Ross Marcus. Whether commissioning a Pennsylvania agriculture strategic plan, launching the Pennsylvania Farm Bill, or serving on the USDA’s Equity Commission Subcommittee on Agriculture, Secretary Russell Redding steadfastly serves Penns ..read more
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What Loves to Grow at Katydid Hill
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Blog
by Marie Hathaway
1y ago
I recently caught up with Delilah Miske, a second year apprentice in our Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship program. She told me a story about land. What it has to teach us, how it can transform us, and how we can transform our relationship with it, over and over. She shared how apprenticing at Katydid Hill (formerly Tooth of the Lion) near her hometown has redefined her sense of the land she grew up thinking of as coal country. She also talked about what she’s learned through working with her mentor farmers to start her own enterprise and redefine the vision for the farm—homing in on the he ..read more
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