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Hello [name]. Trying to meet the demand for organic milk: Consumer demand for organic milk has been outstripping supply month after month. Organic dairy companies are feeling more and more urgency to identify and sign up new dairy producers, or convert conventional dairy farmers.

In a wonderful new article, ag journalist Rocky Womack goes south to Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to report on an event sponsored recently by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services that featured presentations to farmers by competing organic heavyweights, Horizon and Organic Valley. Both companies made the case for conversion—and there does seem to be some movement in that direction, even though the infrastructure and support for organic dairy in Virginia and the South as a whole is minimal. While there’s currently only one organic dairy farmer in Virginia, eight others are either considering it or are already in transition.

Enjoy Rocky’s informative look at organic dairy as it begins to emerge in Virginia.

The New Farm Locator® expands to match
farms to restaurants and businesses:
Local flavors. Seasonal celebrations. Relationship marketing. Regional economies.

These dynamic elements are the building blocks of the emerging “local food” movement. They address the aspirations of people who want their food to mean something, and who want their food dollars to build the kind of world they want to live in.

The New Farm Locator® now provides a way for farmers and food buyers to match their needs in this “values-added” marketplace. This online tool began in 2003 as a way for consumers to have a quick-and-convenient way to find farmers selling their products directly to end-users. Nearly 1,100 farmers in the US and Canada have no-cost profiles telling as much as they wish about their farms, crops, livestock, goals and marketing efforts.

With funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Market Development, we added business-to-business (B2B) information for farms selling commercially and expanded the site to include chefs, restaurants and other food buyers.

Our expanded profiles cover the essential data either party needs to explore a new food connection. Farmers indicate their “post-harvest” abilities to wash, sort, pack, refrigerate and deliver their goods. Restaurants tell what they buy from farmers, how they want to order, their willingness to plan ahead of the season, and their level of interest in promoting the food with farmers.

Search to find participating farmers or businesses by ZIP code, farmer/business owner, farm/business name, state, county or product. Also search for farmers by how they market, and search businesses by type of operation. The online tool works nationally, but is just as useful for buy-local campaigns needing a Web presence.

Featured new business on The Farm Locator: RX Restaurant, Philadelphia. This purveyor of organic, seasonal fare is just one of many food businesses now located on the Farm Locator. The Philadelphia BOYB opened in 2001 with a vision of serving a wholesome, carefully selected menu. And according to owner Greg Salisbury, Rx is always on the look out for new producers and new items --“Just give me a call and let’s see if there is a fit.” The best time to call? Late morning.

Tell us how Farm Locator helps you make connections--and spread the word to farmers, chefs and grocery stores you know to add their profiles so they can contribute to more flavor, more freshness and more local vitality in food. Browse Farm Locator now.

Enjoy!
Chris Hill, Executive Editor

 

Alaskan wonder
Susan Willsrud and Tom Zimmer have managed to coax flowers, herbs and vegetables from the permafrost for the 45 members of their CSA
See below for more.

Organic dairy rises up slowly in the South
The demand is strong, and a number of Virginia dairy farmers like James Wenger, above, are starting to transition.
For more, see at left.

Bring it on, Iron Chef!
When it comes to changing the food habits of Americans, small farmers can wrestle the Iron Chef to a draw, says Andy Griffin.
See below for more.

Questioning King Corn
New York Times Magazine writer and author of such books as The Botany of Desire documents the damage done by corn to our health and our environment.
See below for more.

     

Fresh today from The New Farm®
   

King Corn Triumphant?
Michael Pollan, the Paul Revere of agriculture, sounds the alarm, but this time the invading army is not the Redcoats. Its that tassel-waving, husk-cloaked “monstrous mutant grass, Zea mays.” Pollan's argument? You'll find corn in one form or another in almost everything we eat--and it's a major contributor to both obesity and environmental pollution in this country.

Editor’s note: Pollan's keynote address was given at the 2005 25th anniversary Ecofarm conference in Asilomar, California earlier this year. We're running an edited transcription in two parts, with the author’s generous permission. (Pollan, for those who don't know, writes for the New York Times magazine, and is author of such books as The Botany of Desire.)

  King Corn
   
Small farms can go mano a mano with food shows like The Iron Chef in reconnecting Americans with good food
In fact, says Andy Griffin, lots of CSA customers want to be pushed into cooking again. That’s why he and his wife Julia supply members with lots of recipes and tips. They even feature recipes of other members in their weekly newsletter.
 

CSA Journal

 

   

SARE updates a classic: PART 2
For those of you who don’t know, SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education) provides research grants to farmers and publishes a lot of useful information on organic and sustainable farming. One of their classic titles, The New American Farmer, originally published in 2000, has just been updated with 14 new profiles of innovative sustainable and organic farmers. SARE has kindly agreed to let us feature three of those new profiles ...

Tom Zimmer & Susan Willsrud, Calypso Farm
An organic farm blossoms on Alaska's permafrost
By carefully choosing land in a microclimate near Fairbanks, Tom and Susan have managed to do wonders with a short, temperamental growing season.

 

Alaskan farm

   

Organic produce--and research--take root on University of Idaho experimental farm
A U. of Idaho student club runs an organic farm that produces food for a 25-member CSA, produce for the school food service ... and a variety of student-run research projects.

  Idaho student farm
   
Getting started with pastured chickens, part 3
In her third and final installment, Jean Nick outlines the basics of watering and feeding. She also tells you how to set up nest boxes, manage the chickens in winter … and even how to insure that your chickens get their essential dust bath.
 

Pastured chickens

   

Developing your pricing plan:
A 7-part series about understanding costs, setting prices, and getting the most value for your products. This issue—Parts 1 and 2:

The basics of pricing, and an overview of the series
Good for those with little experience pricing.

KNOW YOUR COSTS: The first and most important step toward effective pricing
A detailed look at how to get a real handle on all your costs, from inputs and labor to direct and indirect overhead costs to fixed and variable costs.

 

Overview

Know your costs

   

NEW FARM CLASSIFIEDS

Wanted: Farm or house with land, barn homes for cats, used broadfork, horse

For sale: Worm castings, 80-acre sustainable farm, hay, 21 acres with ranch-style home

Opportunities: Experienced herd manager, Better Cotton Initiative program officer, CSA farmer/environmental educator

AND THOSE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW ON THE NEW FARM CLASSIFIEDS!

   
   

READER MAIL

READER COMMENTARY

ASK JEFF

   
   

ACTION ALERT!

Conservation programs are getting beat up ... again! Time to contact your congressional reps now.

Conservation programs that help you pay for environmentally sound farming practices will get bullied out of their already meager 4-percent share of the 2006 ag appropriations budget if someone doesn't act quickly to jump to their defense. That includes you-- and the 150,000 farmers who signed up to participate in one of the government's conservation programs last year but were turned away due to lack of funds.

So, write your Senators and House Rep today. Click here and we'll make it easy for you.

   
   

Dr. Paul's Research Perspectives
The sacred art and science of composting

In the second of three essays on teaching organic farming methods in Ghana, Rodale Institute research manager Paul Hepperly reflects on the scientific method, calcium deficiencies--and the far-reaching benefits of soil organic matter.

12 reasons to make and use compost
These are good reasons to compost, whether you farm in Ghana or the upper Midwest.

At right: Examining a compost pit in northern Ghana during Paul Hepperly's training session there earlier this year.

 

Ghana
Reasons to compost

   
Ag Policy Perspectives:
A world without subsidies, part 3 of 3

Counter cyclical payments--adopted in 2002--steady prices but fail to resolve agriculture's basic market problem
Policy columnist Daryll Ray takes a closer look at farm subsidies and what an America without them would look like in the finall installment of this three-part series.
  Subsidies
   

Forum updates: Join the conversation

The New Farmer Forums continue to be fertile ground for sharing ideas, giving and gathering advice. Check out some of these current threads and add your own voice:

Farming for Credit Forums: Now that fall semester is right around the corner, join in on the action as students share what works for them in the classroom and in the field when it comes to learning about—and teaching—organic and sustainable agriculture:

Our No-till+ forum includes questions and advice about undersowing, interplanting and choosing the right cover crop.

   
   
What does it take to produce good hay?

A friend of farm manager Jeff Moyer always says that once you cut your hay, you can only make the quality worse, not better. So here’s the big question—what can you do to maintain the quality of what you grew? Jeff explores factors like the timing of when you cut, and how you handle tedding, raking and bailing. (We posted this back in July, but I never got to promote it in the newsletter. Enjoy.)
 

Making hay

   

BOOKSTORE

Been to our bookstore lately? Check out featured titles on marketing, agricultural policy, migratory beekeeping, food history and fruit and vegetable ID. PLUS:

REVIEW: Making a Difference College & Graduate Guide
Sustainable you
Miriam Weinstein's college and grad school guide with a difference. MORE >

REVIEW: A Safe and Sustainable World
Pioneers in sustainabilty
Nancy Jack Todd recalls the history of the New Alchemy Institute. MORE >

   
   
Resource Directory adds new listings
We’ve been working diligently on The New Farm Resource Directory to make it the go-to place for sustainable and organic agriculture resources across the country and beyond. We now list nearly 400 organizations and websites dedicated to family farmers, healthy communities, and the local food movement. Haven’t been there in awhile? Check it out and tell your friends. Have an idea for a resource we don’t yet have listed? Tell New Farm Senior Editor Dan Sullivan.
   
   
New Farmer Journals

Your Farm (is out there somewhere)

Flying the coop
Chickens, cats, dogs and plants follow our intrepid farmer in her continued quest for a place to land … and plant a seed.

Easy Growin’ Farm, Buena Vista, CO

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get
When equipment starts failing and you can hear the weeds growing, it’s nice to have the help of family and friends.

Camp Treetops/North Country Day School
Watchless in the Adirondacks
How one camp counselor/farmer keeps track of “time.”

 

Your Farm

Easy Growin' Farm

North Country

   

Ag News Highlights

Drought draining Midwest farmers
Illinois already reporting a 12-percent drop in corn yields compared to last year.
Iowa city offers what may be the first organic tax break
Woodbury County is offering tax incentives to farmers who switch from conventional production to organic.
Even in small doses, Roundup fatal to frogs
Elaborating on previous research, a Pitt professor has found Roundup® to be deadly to tadpoles at even lower concentrations than previously believed
Rice becomes the first crop to have its genes mapped
The new map opens rice up to many genetic manipulations both by making conventional breeding programs more efficient and by allowing actual modifications to the gene's make-up.

   
   
ALSO LOOK FOR ...
Check The New Farm home page for the latest news. Enjoy.
   
 
   
   
     
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