Here's an update on our plans
to develop transition-to-organic tools: Thanks
to the over 50 well-qualified candidates who applied for the project
manager position we advertised on the web site. As soon as we’ve
interviewed candidates and made a decision, we’ll let you
know who we’ve selected to shepherd our transition to organic
course to completion and to manage the development of a simulation
tool that will allow farmers to evaluate the economic benefits and
risks of transitioning to organic.
Speaking of new hires,
we have two new editor/writers on staff here at New Farm. Dan
Sullivan joined us in December, moving from a senior editor
position at Organic Gardening magazine. Dan is a longtime, passionate
advocate of organic farming and an excellent writer and editor.
Among other things, he’ll be handling our backlog of mail.
We’ve received close to 5000 emails in the past 10 months,
many of them with excellent questions and comments. Dan is organizing
them, and will begin answering selected questions on the web site,
starting in February. Also in February, he’ll begin reinvigorating
our discussion forum area. More news about that later.
Laura Sayre has been writing for us for close
to a year now. It started with a series of New Zealand farming--the
impact of subsidies, plus profiles of down-under organic farmers--then
shifted to excellent profiles of farmers in the Mid-Atlantic region.
In the fall, she began a series on the results of our own on-farm
research here at The Rodale Institute, including a description of
the front-mounted no-till roller/planter we developed, and a review
of the startling data we’ve collected on the impact of organic
practices on a sharp reduction in greenhouse gasses.
Laura’s writing is clear and insightful. We’re going
turn her loose to report on lots of great topics and farm operations
in the months to come, including a piece on student farms, a series
on women in organic farming, and perhaps a series on urban farming
in the U.S.
Please give a big welcome, in your heart, to both these dedicated
Conferences we have known.
New Farm staff people will be at a number of conferences in the
coming months. Stop by and say hi. This weekend we’ll be at
the Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA) conference
in Hagerstown, Maryland, with a booth. Next week (Jan 21 to 24)
Dan and I will be at the Eco-Farm conference in Monterey, CA. We’ll
be on a panel focused on helping non-profit organizations get their
message out. Also next week, managing editor Greg Bowman will be
at the Guelph Organic Conference in Ontario. Greg will also be at
the NOFA-New Jersey conference on January 31, working with our farm
manager Jeff Moyer to present a workshop on weed control. A large
contingent of us will be at the PASA (Pennsylvania Association for
Sustainable Agriculture) conference, February 5 to 7, with a booth.
That same week, associate editors Amanda and Cara and writer Laura
Sayre will be at the North American Farmers’ Direct Marketing
Association conference in Sacramento, again with a booth. Finally,
several of us will be at the Upper Midwest Organic conference in
LaCrosse, WI, Feb. 26 to 28. We hope you’ll stop by the booth
Speaking of conferences, we’re
continuing to provide coverage of workshops at other conferences
around the country through our Talking Shop feature. This week on
the New Farm home page (www.newfarm.org) you’ll find reports
on workshops in Vermont, Iowa, Delaware and Montana covering topics
ranging from seed saving to green manures to successful direct marketing.
We hope you enjoy these talking shops, which are our attempt to
provide wider coverage of regional perspectives. We’d welcome
your feedback on these stories. Just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org,
and put “Talking Shop” in the subject line.
Bookstore update: Check
out four books related to stories posted this week on topics ranging
from seedbanks to slaughterhouses. We've also added new titles offering
perspectives on the mad cow scare.
And, again, we encourage you to take
advantage of our reader review feature at the bottom of each book
entry and share your thoughts about a book with other readers.
to the bookstore now.
In two weeks: A tale
of two goat cheese farmers in California; a two-part series on the
history of the CSA movement in the U.S., and its prospects for the
future; year-end reflections by Julia Wiley and Andy Griffin of
the Mariquita CSA; a profile of an organic cotton grower in New
Mexico; a detailed analysis of a no-till cover crop system for vegetable
production; an all-new, improved Farm Locator; a survey of student
farms around the country that are roping in a whole new crop of
beginning farmers; and much, much more. Until then,
--Chris Hill, Executive Editor
Don't forget to check
out our latest Organic