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 conventional milk.
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
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
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 welcomes comments.
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
The dairy will enter the Chinese dairy market—the fastest
growing food sector in China—charging a premium price for
a high-quality product.