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Hello [name]. All the production planting is done here at The Rodale Institute experimental farm, with only a few research plots left to work on. As you move into early summer tasks, keep an eye on what you can learn this summer. Be alert to situations in which wise agricultural practices are part of the answer to Big Questions.

Knowledge about sustainable farming of any type is in short supply in most places. If how a nation farms were only an abstract concept, this wouldn’t matter. The fact that it touches everyone to a greater or lesser extent—despite how little they may wish to care —bestows upon those in the know a great civic responsibility. This update brings you many examples where practical knowledge needs to be applied to do well and to stop doing harm. Read on to find out how:

Inputs for non-organic corn may impact pre-born children during their development, giving new reasons to question the wisdom of a near-record level of corn planting in the United States.

Farmers and consumers can learn how to produce, handle and consume raw milk safely—and how they are banding together to keep direct sale of farm products to willing consumers as free as possible from government interference.

Consumer understanding of dairy-cow health management could expand the options for certified-organic farmers.

We all need to understand how to value immigrant laborers and their contribution to our food system.

Changing climate is shifting the advantage of some of the peskiest weeds, despite chemical technology arrayed against them.

To make the most of the field days you attend, in order to equip yourself to have the information to produce, market and strategize as sustainably as you can.

Knowing your farm means knowing how to learn from its every aspect and element, year after year. Knowing your markets takes a similar kind of inquisitive, carefully observant and respectful relationship with the people who trade something of value for your crops, livestock and products. Savor the promise of this kind of thoughtfulness put to work at Washington state’s Bluebird Grain Farms in our lead feature.

Know, too, that we value every reader and what you bring to this virtual community. Whether you are new this month or have been with us for several years, please fill out our new-and-improved survey. Sharing your thoughts in a few clicks offers us the chance to possibly send you three classic New Farm publications. It also keeps us knowledgeable about you and what you want us to know.

Greg Bowman
Managing Editor

     

Fresh today from The New Farm®
   
Going (well) against the grain, emmer and all
New farmers choose remote fields to pioneer organic, then direct-sale grain crops.
 
   
Weeds of the globally warmed future
Researcher looks at the potential impact of rising CO2 levels on weed populations—yesterday, today and tomorrow.
   
   
Fact sheet lists critical areas for raw-milk safety
Farmers and consumers urged to be informed, careful and in communication.
   
   
Undocumented workers need to be respected, paid and given a way forward
Farmers admit we need immigrant laborers; now we have to step up to be accountable for their role.
   
   
Whacking the hornet nest: Talking about humane cow care is a good thing, isn’t it?
If there’s a real dialogue, consumers can make a more informed choice, conventional vets will keep learning about alternatives and organic dairy will improve.
   
   

Reader Mail
This month features questions and answers about picking a breed of chicken, planting buckwheat, finding a farm partner and more. Readers ask jeff about rolling hairy vetch, using vinegar as an herbicide and more.

   
   

News & Views
Organic methods for safe leafy greens... Iowa study: organics better for region... Bacteria in food may lead to “super bugs”... Farmer John movie hits theatres... California dairy loses organic certification... Change chemical regulation, group says.

letter from ontario
Shouldn’t the market serve us, instead of
the other way around?

Why can’t society chose fairness and food access over speculation?

   
   

at the rodale institute®
   
   
one farm to another
Make time to leave home for farmer-to-farmer learning
Choose well and plan carefully to get the most out of summer field days.
 
   
intern journal
Sustainability in a wasteful world
Rodale Institute research intern calls for major changes in policy and behavior; ones which, like good farming, mimic nature.
   
   
dr paul's research perspectives
Indiana study shows correlation between ag chemicals and fetal impacts, from pre-term births to children's school performance
Non-organic corn booms in 2007, and so may its human health consequences.
   
   
tri events
July 11-14, 2007: 2nd National Conference on Facilitating Sustainable Agriculture Education
July 20, 2007: 2007 Annual Field Day
   
     
 
   
   
     
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