Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:

Got anyone to help a person understand the business planning of transitioning from public work to farmsteading a diversified organic system?

Peg Hamlett
Tennessee

 

DEAR PEG:

If you haven’t already done so, take some time to simply browse around our site. We think you’ll be amazed with the amount of information you’ll find in our Resource Directory, our archives and the New Farm User Forums, particularly the New Farmer Forum and the Organic Certification Forum. You can find all the guidelines to organic certification through the links on the homepage of our Organic Certifiers Database. We also have an online course in the works for farmers transitioning from conventional to organic agriculture, and much of the information will be useful to beginning farmers, as well.

Another excellent source for specific topics related to organic and sustainable farming is
ATTRA - the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, and be sure to check out their Southern Organic Resource Guide. Whenever possible, try to use information based on farmer experience in your region. In Tennessee, a good source is the Tennessee Organic Growers Association and, regionally, the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. You might also find these archived New Farm articles to be helpful: Retail marketer uses trade secrets to create a successful CSA operation, Farming and marketing small pays off big for these Tennessee farmers, Are all your eggs in one basket? and A good life if you can do it: selling direct to the wholesale market.

Tennessee participates in the USDA-NOP Certification Cost Share Program, which pays for 75 percent of a farmer’s certification costs with a maximum of $500 per certificate. For more information on this program, contact Dan Strasser with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture at 615-837-5160 or Dan.Strasser@state.tn.us.

You may also want to sign up to receive our free e-newsletter for monthly updates on the latest news and features in organic and sustainable agriculture. We hope this helps, and keep us posted.

NF

 

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