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Beginning Farmers
Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

NOFA Summer Conference August 9-11, 2019 Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

Nutrition Matters | Soil Health Builds Human Health

The NOFA Summer Conference is a dynamic and diverse gathering of people working at the intersections of organic agriculture and gardening, food justice, land management, education, carbon sequestration, environment and health.

Even as Hampshire College is going through a tumultuous period, their summer schedule is business as usual. We are grateful that they are sticking it out even while things are rocky and we have constant communication with them as they manage their way forward. We hope they find a solution to their woes that gives them long term stability and allows their cutting edge culture of creativity to continue to thrive.

We are excited to host our 45th annual NOFA Summer Conference with keynote speaker, Sandor Katz for a festive summer weekend August 9 -11, 2019 at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Always a family friendly event, you can bring the whole family to enjoy workshops for adults, kids and teens, over 60 vendors, live music, games and amazing food!

Registration is now open and we hope you’ll join us this summer!

NOFA Summer Conference Program

Our three-day conference offers a wide-range of seminars, workshops and other educational opportunities. Immerse yourself in a community of like-minded practitioners and curious learners eager to share inspiration and ideas for organic food, farming, health, activism, and beyond. Find the full NOFA Summer Conference program schedule at http://nofasummerconference.org/2019-program/

About The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA)

The Northeast Organic Farming Association is a non-profit organization of over 5,000 farmers, gardeners, landscape professionals and consumers working to advocate for and educate about healthy food, organic growing practices, agricultural justice, and a cleaner environment.

NOFA has regional chapters in ConnecticutMassachusettsNew HampshireNew JerseyNew YorkRhode Island and Vermont.

NOFA Summer Conference
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers
Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

Dragon Fruit Farm Internship at Wallace Ranch Bonsall, California

Wallace Ranch is a Dragon Fruit farm in Bonsall, California.  We are located in North San Diego County. We have over 7000 Dragon Fruit plants in our vineyard on top of a hill overlooking Mt. Palomar.  We grow organic and conventional dragon fruit, avocados, citrus, fruits, vegetables & herbs. We use no power equipment and harvest completely by hand. We are female and veteran co-founded, owned & operated.  

Dragon Fruit Farm Internship

Daily responsibilities include: working in the day to day operations on the farm under the direction of our head grower and owners. You will learn and help with various seasonal activities taking place on the farm: such as fertilizing, trimming, planting, pest management, and weed management; using organic farming methods.  The intern will also work with the picking, packing, and shipping process and with sales development.  The Dragon Fruit Farm Internship may focus more intently on one aspect if better reflected with the degree program, but the intern will learn all aspects of the business.  Internship to align with school semester. Typically 3 months, with a possible 3-month extension based on school program requirements. Start and finish dates are flexible.   Come prepared to learn a lot and work hard!

Intern Requirements:

  • Enrolled in an accredited agricultural / sustainability certificate or degree program with Internship credit.
  • Internship to align with school semester or school requirements. Typically 3 months, with a possible 3-month extension based on school program requirements. Start and finish dates are flexible.
  • Previous paid or unpaid experience on a fruit or vegetable farm.
  • Willingness to do hands-on work in a farm environment in the field
  • Willingness to get the job done
  • Ability to work 2-5 days per week Mondays - Fridays, with 1 Saturday per month
  • Temporary housing may be available but is not guaranteed

If you are interested in the Dragon Fruit Farm Internship contact Neva at 310-686-3755 Please text and indicate interest in "Internship".

Dragon Fruit Farm Internship
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

Northeast SARE Grants Available in 3 Different Categories - Application Deadlines this Month

SARE's Research and Education Grant

Northeast SARE's Research and Education Grant program funds projects (with or without an applied research component) that result in gains in farmer knowledge and skills applied to make changes that lead to greater sustainability throughout the Northeast region. 

This Northeaset SARE Grants program uses an outcome funding approach. If you are not familiar with how outcome funding works, we urge you to read the Guide to Outcome Funding.

Preproposal Application Materials

Find Full Proposal Application Materials at https://www.northeastsare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Research-and-Education-Grant

SARE'S Research for Novel Approaches Grant

Northeast SARE’s Research for Novel Approaches in Sustainable Agriculture grant program funds projects that conduct applied research leading to the feasibility of new practices and approaches that have high potential for adoption by farmers.

Preproposal Application Materials

Find Full Proposal Application Materials at https://www.northeastsare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Research-for-Novel-Approaches

SARE Professional Development Grants

The Professional Development grant program funds train-the-trainer projects that will better help educators and agricultural service providers teach farmers about sustainable practices and approaches.

This Northeast SARE Grants program uses an outcome funding approach. If you are not familiar with how outcome funding works, we urge you to read the Guide to Outcome Funding.

Preproposal Application Materials

Find Full Proposal Application Materials at https://www.northeastsare.org/Grants/Get-a-Grant/Professional-Development-Grant

Northeast SARE Grants Available
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

Here is all the latest news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) including a post about how the USDA Disregards Congress on relocation of research agencies, and news on the Kids Eat Local Act.

RESEARCH NEWS  

COMMENT: USDA Disregards Congress, Plans to Relocate Research Agencies to Kansas City

Despite ongoing opposition from core stakeholders and multiple warnings from Congress not to proceed, USDA has chosen to act with unprecedented disregard for good governance. USDA charged forward with relocation of two key federal research agencies: ERS and NIFA, announcing its decision to relocate a majority of the agencies’ services and staff to Kansas City, MO. NSAC urges Senate to take a final stand against relocation of ERS and NIFA.  

NUTRITION NEWS  

RELEASE: Kids Eat Local Act Expands School Food Options, Opportunities for Farmers

The Kids Eat Local Act, introduced Thursday by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representatives Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Josh Harder (D-CA), and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), would help to break down barriers between school food purchasers and family farmers by simplifying local purchasing guidelines for school meal programs. By including the Kids Eat Local Act in the next Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization, schools would be given a new, easier-to-use local product specification option.

The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.

NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.

USDA Disregards Congress and More News
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

Registration is open for the UMass Online Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate Program

We are pleased to welcome you to consider enrolling in the 15-credit Online Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate Program offered by the UMass Amherst Stockbridge School of Agriculture.   Registration for our second summer session is now open and the first class starts on July 8 - but you will get access to the class on July 1 to check it out once you are registered.  You can take online classes at whatever pace that works for you.  Some folks have completed 15 credits in two semesters... others are still plugging away after several years.  Still others simply select a course or two of interest and leave it at that. It's up to you.  

COST: online classes in the Stockbridge School of Agriculture cost $482 per credit.  Most classes are 3 credits unless otherwise indicated below.

You may register for individual classes by going to the course schedule page linked below and finding "register here" on the class page that interests you or going to the CPE web page here: How to enroll.  Unless you are already accepted into the online A.S. or B.S. degree program, you should enroll as a "non-degree" student.  If this is your first class, you will need to fill out a form to receive a UMass ID number. It requires a bit of patience and persistence.... 

Credits earned toward the 15-credit Online Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate may also be counted toward our 60-credit online Associate of Science degree or fully online Bachelor of Sciences degree at UMass... or will transfer to other colleges and universities.   If you want to learn more about the A.S. or B.S. degree programs, please feel free to contact the Online Degree Program Manager Renee Ciulla at rciulla@umass.edu.  

Please let me know if you have any questions... and thanks for your interest in our online program.  


Summer Term II (6 weeks - July 8 - August 16, 2019)

  • STOCKSCH 100 – Botany for Gardeners (GenEd-BS – 4cr)

  • STOCKSCH 258 – Urban Agriculture (New)

  • STOCKSCH 320 – Organic Vegetable Production

  • STOCKSCH 379 - Agricultural Systems Thinking 

  • STOCKSCH 382 – Professional Development in Sustainable Food and Farming 

To see individual course descriptions go to the Annual Class Schedule

Online Sustainable Food and Farming Certificate
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers
Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

Farm Driver Job at Keller Farms in Illinois - 2019

Keller Farms is a large family-owned farming operation in Collinsville, Illinois and Charleston, Missouri. The farm produces a variety of grain and specialty crops such as horseradish and sweet corn. We take an aggressive approach to maintaining soil fertility, controlling weeds and insects, providing added plant nutrients, preparing seedbeds, cultivating, and harvesting to maximize commodity production.

Keller Farms is looking to hire an individual who is energetic and eager to join our expanding farming operation. This position is a part-time, as needed position. This job will require, but not limited to, the following:

Farm Driver Job Responsibilities:

  • The Farm Driver must safely operate trucks with heavy loads.
  • The Farm Driver performs pre-trip and post-trip inspection - assuring the safety of the vehicle.
  • The Farm Driver maneuvers truck into loading or unloading position as needed.
  • The Farm Driver maintains accurate records of products carried, delivered or returned.
  • The Farm Driver performs general service and maintenance of equipment, trucks, and trailers.
  • The Farm Driver keeps maintenance list/records updated.
  • The Farm Driver hauls grain to an elevator or grain bin.
  • The Farm Driver operates farm equipment as needed.
  • The Farm Driver assists with other duties as assigned.

Farm Driver Job Requirements:

  • Minimum of one-year truck driving experience.
  • Must hold a valid Class A-CDL.
  • Familiarity with farm equipment, such as augers and bins.
  • Must be responsible and professional at all times.
  • Previous experience in farming, agriculture, or related field preferred.
  • Must be able to work in severe weather conditions; both heat and cold.
  • Ability to work independently, as well as part of a team.

We are looking for energetic individuals with previous experience to fill full-time positions at our company.

Operation of equipment (planting and harvesting), CDL (not required but preferred), and equipment maintenance are some qualifications needed.

Applicators license is a plus, but not required.

Pay and Benefits Include: Hourly Pay, Uniforms, Paid Holidays, Profit Sharing, Paid Vacation, Health Insurance, 401K Retirement Plan

Please contact us with any questions about the farm driver job or send resumes with previous employer references to:

Bree@kellerfarmsinc.com

Farm Driver Job in Illinois
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

Join us this Saturday at Michigan State University
MSU Student Organic Farm
Public Tour
 
Are you interested in learning more about organic food production? Have you ever wonder what goes on "behind the scenes" to bring fresh, organic produce to our campus markets and CSA? If you answered yes, come on out this weekend to check it out!
 
The MSU Student Organic Farm Tour is Saturday June, 15th at 10:30am!
 
The student-led tour will touch on hoop house production (season extension), organic field crop management, and details about where to find our food and various educational programs.
 
Please RSVP to msufarm@msu.edu or (517) 230-7987 by Friday at 4pm
 
The tour will begin in the parking lot of the Hort Research Farm at 3291 College Road, Holt, Michigan.
 
Can't make it this weekend? Put a future tour on your calendars! We will also be holding tours on July 20th and August 17th, 10:30 am.
 
The MSU Student Organic Farm was started in 1999 by a group of MSU students who were interested in learning to grow food sustainably. At the time there were no classes in organic agriculture at MSU and students were looking to acquire knowledge in a hands-on, experiential format.  They wanted to apply what they were learning in their classes in the context of a working farm.  Inspired by other student farms around the country, these students felt that MSU -- the nations first land grant college -- should have a student farm of its own.  At the same time, Horticulture Professor John Biernbaum began researching possibilities for 4-season farming in Michigan. The connection of these two projects was ideal, as year-round farming provided opportunities for students to engage in farming during the main part of the academic year (September to May). From the beginning, the aim of the farm was to provide a place where students could come and volunteer, work, visit, and have input on the development of the land and farm. As a result of the vision and hard work of many, the farm has flourished. Over the years the farm has developed into a place where many different groups are able to engage with growing food and creating learning opportunities through farming. 
 

MSU Student Organic Farm Public Tour
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

Farm to School Director Position at Sierra Harvest in Nevada County, California - 2019
 
Are you passionate about bringing nutrition education to thousands of Nevada County students?  Then the Farm to School Director position is for you! 
 
The Farm to School Program provides fresh produce and nutrition education to 96% of K-8 students in Western Nevada County, as well as several preschools and a community college. Schools participate in a variety of program elements, including monthly tastings of seasonal produce through Harvest of the Month, cooking lessons with guest chefs, field trips to local farms, school garden carts, farmer visits to classrooms, spring plant sales, and support for school garden education.
 
Some of the Farm to School Program Director Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Coordinates Farm to School (FTS) programming with participating pre-K-community college Western Nevada County schools. Delivers training and mentoring to schools outside of Nevada County.
  • Hires, trains, manages and conducts performance reviews for FTS liaisons who carry out programming
  • Tracks liaison progress on program deliverables and manages tracking system Coordinates Harvest of the Month produce selection and distribution in collaboration with Procurement Specialist
  • Develops Harvest of the Month educational newsletters and other program materials including Calfresh annual flier
Farm to School Director Compensation: $25/h, 20h/week.
 
Full Farm to School Director job description here 
 
Please send resume, cover letter and references by 12pm June 20, 2019 to 

About Sierra Harvest
Sierra Harvest is a nonprofit dedicated to educating, inspiring and connecting the people of
Nevada County to fresh, local, seasonal food. We train dozens of farmers, organize
hundreds of community events, and educate over 9,500 school children. We envision a
thriving local food economy and a network of financially viable farms providing good food for
the community, where health and wellness is the norm and people of all ages are engaged in
growing, harvesting, preparing, and sharing fresh food. We are creating a place where
farmers thrive and residents of all ages have access to nutritious, whole food.

Farm to School Director Job in California
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers
Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

The latest news from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) includes an update on the latest Agriculture Funding Bill, the Agriculture Appropriations Process, and information about the proposed relocation of ERS and NIFA.

APPROPRIATIONS NEWS  

Appropriations Committee Sends Agriculture Funding Bill to House Floor

The committee debated and advanced their Agriculture Appropriations bill for fiscal year (FY) 2020. The agriculture funding bill passed in Committee 29-21 along party lines, and will now be sent to the floor of the full House for consideration. There’s still a long road ahead for Congress to get final FY 2020 agriculture funding bill finalized and signed into law by the President in advance of the upcoming September 30 deadline. 

RELEASE: House Appropriators Advance FY 2020 Agriculture Spending Bill

The House Appropriations Committee passed their fiscal year (FY) 2020 Agriculture Appropriations bill, sending it to the House floor for a vote in the weeks ahead. NSAC applauds appropriators for advancing an FY 2020 bill that meets or exceeds all of the coalition’s top funding priorities including language that would prohibit the Administration from moving forward with a plan to relocate ERS and NIFA, but we recognize that major hurdles remain to securing final FY 2020 funding levels.  

RESEARCH NEWS  

USDA Research Agencies Needed in Washington to Serve Farmers and Policy-Makers

Congress hosted its second hearing on the proposed relocation of USDA ERS and NIFA. The issue is raising serous concern among the agriculture and research communities, as well as a growing number of Members of Congress, who have introduced legislation in both chambers that would stop the move. Three witnesses testified at the hearing – all in opposition to the proposed relocation that would undoubtedly impact farmers, consumers, and trade – at a time American farmers can ill-afford.

Agriculture Funding Bill and More News
Taylor

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Beginning Farmers
Beginning Farmers - Practical Tools for Successful Family Farming

Follow the Food - Generation Farmer, a BBC Documentary – June 14 @ 6:30 p.m. ET

“Follow the Food” is an eight-part series exploring the biggest questions and most innovative solutions from leading minds around the world on the future of food and feeding the planet.

American Farmland Trust (AFT), the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®, announces the premier of “Generation Farmer” -- episode three of the eight-part BBC World News documentary series Follow the Food. Follow the Food - Generation Farmer features AFT president and CEO John Piotti, AFT's work helping young and beginning farmers access land and senior farmers retire, and farmers Josh Rockwood and Sandy Gordon, who connected through the Hudson Valley Farmlink Network, a partnership of seventeen organizations coordinated by AFT to support transitioning land to a new generation of farmers in New York’s Hudson Valley.

“American agriculture faces a demographic tidal wave. Forty percent of U.S. agricultural land is owned by people age 65 and up, meaning over 371 million acres could change hands over the next 15 years as farmers retire. The good news is there’s an increasing crop of Americans who want to become farmers – but finding land to farm that’s affordable and suits their intended operation is a big hurdle,” says John Piotti.

He continues, “On the other hand, senior farmers looking to fund their retirement often see  selling their land to developers who can pay well as the only option. AFT works to address both these issues, helping aging farmers and ranchers take steps to keep their land in agriculture as we help new farmers find land and obtain the critical services they need to succeed. Connecting these two groups and making sure helpful programs and policies are put in place on a local, state and national level is key to the future of farming in America and one of AFT’s three core mission areas.”

BBC’s Follow the Food - Generation Farmer focuses on the challenges facing new farmers around the world and highlights initiatives that are giving the next generation a helping hand. Piotti highlights the problem of land access for young farmers starting out in the United States – how someone with little or no family farming background and limited capital can make a start, or how an older farmer approaching retirement age can secure the future of his/her farm, perhaps with no heirs or with pressure to sell land out of farming.

BBC World News is the BBC’s biggest television service, operating in more than 200 countries and territories and reaching 454 million households around the world. Each week, the BBC’s global platform comprised of TV, radio and online services reaches 376 million adults.

Consult your television provider’s guide for information on where to view BBC World News. If you don’t have access via television, you can view it by signing up for free access to the live broadcast on the BBC World News webpage.

Follow the Food - Generation Farmer will re-air as follows: Saturdays (10:30 PM ET; 11:30 AM ET), Sundays (5:30 AM ET; 5:30 PM ET), Wednesdays (8:30 PM ET)

In addition, each episode of “Follow the Food” will appear on BBC Reel, posted each Thursday before transmission. BBC Reel can be watched anywhere in the world.

Also, check out write ups and clips at the “Follow the Food” website.

The State of New York is a leader in efforts to support a new generation of farmers. The recently adopted 2019-2020 state budget included$400,000 in funding for Farmland for a New Generation New York, a statewide program comprised of a Resource Center (www.nyfarmlandfinder.org) and an active network of Regional Navigators available to help farmers find land to farm across the state.

Follow the Food: Generation Farmer
Taylor

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