USDA releases organic
certification funds for farmers in 15 states
The USDA, through the Federal Crop Insurance Act, will
make up to $1 million available to assist farmers who
successfully seek organic certification. The money will
be available in proportion to the number of organic
producers in each selected state. The states, in turn,
will reimburse each eligible producer for up to 75 percent
of the individual's organic certification costs, not
to exceed $500.
The states are: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New
York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West
Virginia, and Wyoming.
Eligible applicants will have received certification
or update of certification by a USDA-accredited certifying
agent during the period from October , 2006 through
September 30, 2007.
Farmers tout omega-3 superiority
of organic milk documented in UK university study
A three-year study sponsored by the Organic Milk Suppliers'
Co-operative (OMSCo) in the UK found organic milk contained
68 per cent more omega-3 fatty acids on average than
OMSCo said the milk study, conducted independently
by the universities of Liverpool and Glasgow from 2002-2005
and published in the Journal of Dairy Science,
is the first to consider a cross-section of UK farms
over a 12-month production cycle.
The UK’s Food Standard Agency has repeatedly
refused to recognize that any organic food products
are healthier than their conventional counterparts.
SARE honors farmers
in four regions for innovations in production, marketing
The Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
(SARE) program awarded its 2006 Patrick Madden Awards
awards at its August conference in Wisconsin.
Honored were Rex Spray of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, a pioneering
cash-grain farmer (North Central Region); Edwin and
Marian Fry of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, crop, livestock
and dairy farmers (Northeast Region); Alex and Betsy
Hitt, high-value market farmers from Graham, North Carolina
(Southern Region); and Paul Muller of Guinda, California,
who heads a team that runs a diverse operation with
80 crops, 40 workers and an 800-member CSA.
Enviro group offers study
guide “Exploring true costs of food”
The Sierra Club's Sustainable Consumption Committee
encourages people to think about the environmental impacts
of their consumption choices by providing specific information.
They’ve launched a web-based study guide and video
to provoke thought and discussion about the effects
of food choices.
Suggested solutions to industrial farming’s downsides
include: eat more vegetables, fruit and grains and less
meat; look for meat that is produced in the least harmful
way—grass-fed, organic, antibiotic- and hormone-free;
buy organic whenever you can; and buy from small, local
sources whenever you can.
The campaign is still unfolding, and the committee
Chinese organic dairy
opens to meet domestic demand for fresh organic milk
The Beijing Guiyan Ecological Agriculture Development
Company became China’s first organic milk production
entity in August. It is located in Huoshaoying village
in Northwest Beijing's Yanqing County, according to
a story in the China Daily.
The farm features around 800 cows grazing in a sparsely
populated area known for its good air quality. The cattle
completed a six-month conversion process in July, complying
with standards drawn up after an 11-member board studied
other international organic dairy rules. The Chinese
standards cover items including the production of feedstuff
and forage, the cows' welfare, their diet, disease prevention
and control, veterinary medicine usage, breeding and
reproduction, and milk quality.
The dairy will enter the Chinese dairy market—the
fastest growing food sector in China—charging
a premium price for a high-quality product.