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Hello. It’s hot and muggy in Pennsylvania. Time to take a break with some fresh fruit and some refreshing news on finding local markets and the capital to build your organic farming infrastructure.

There was a time when colleges and corporations could get unusual food from exotic places or standard produce crops that were wildly out of season, but had no option to buy from farmers in their county. Since food-service pioneers have showed that breaking out of commodity sourcing is a perk for their more demanding institutional clients, early adapters have followed suit. It helps to have a driving force—and food production—right on a campus that is primed for this kind of innovation as Dayna Burtness at St. Olaf College in Minnesota discovers.

And there was a time when putting together a business plan that depended on crop rotations for fertility and even modest organic premiums to boost income would get a polite refusal from the local bank and from the Farm Service Agency. Times are definitely changing. The proven commercial viability of organic farming, showing strength in sectors where conventional operations are not succeeding, has made the FSA more confident about financing new and expanding operations, and many offices are looking with new favor on carefully scripted and well-researched organic plans. See how on-farm entrepreneurs in Wisconsin are benefiting with FSA help.

Looking for a farm near you? Our Farm Locator lets individuals and businesses find farms in any part of the US or Canada selling food and farm products. To help us know if our way of connecting food searchers with the food they want is working as well as you want it to, we need you to talk to us about it. You can help us create a better farmer service by completing the user survey we’ve designed. We’ll reward you with a Rodale Institute Book Store discount coupon for giving us just a little piece of your mind.

Greg Bowman
Online Editor


Fresh today from The New Farm®
Finding a way to establish a market-driven school farm
How an internship, a college and food service mavericks helped a kid from the ‘burbs get passionate about a farm of her own.
Saving family farms by funding organic farmers
Organic producers' paperwork savvy and success rate drive the USDA's Farm Service Agency Loan Program to offer funds for what bankers consider "high-risk" ventures.
Reader Mail
You ask, we answer. Questions from all of you answered by all our expert contacts; from Jeff Moyer (our farm manager) to worm gurus, to other farmers.

News & Views
Pasture access comment deadline NOP rule resist eviction...susainable ag students get marketing lesson...benefit for Big Easy farmers programs on campus.

ag policy perspectives
Do “death taxes” cause the death of family farms?
Daryll Ray challenges the assumption that the estate tax is a burden on family farmers.


at the rodale institute®
one farm to another
Cutworms challenge organic no-till in wet field
Timing and moisture conditions conspire to give cutworms the edge.

dr. paul's research perspectives
New hope for organic management of Asian rust in soybeans
ASR confined so far to Deep South where its kudzu host gives winter lodging.

intern journal
A full plate of field tests and fungi
One of our interns explains why the research we do here at The Rodale Institute should matter to you.

sustainable in senegal
Thriving with peppers, seeds and leaves in Koumpentoum, Tambacounda region
Training in organic agriculture helps woman develop family enterprise that features income streams from integrated and biodiverse micro-agroforestry kitchen garden.

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