Learn to Farm at The Farm School

The Farm School in Athol, MA, is currently accepting applications for the 2013-2014 Learn to Farm Program Year. Prospective farmers seeking a curriculum-based agriculture immersion program should consider a year at The Farm School.

The Farm School’s Learn to Farm program offers a full year of full-time agriculture education through holistic and practical coursework and farm work in organic field crop production and management, animal husbandry, forestry, practical skills, homesteading and marketing, in addition to growing food for their 175-member vegetable and 50-member meat CSA, farmers market and managing 150 acres of forest land.

For more information and to apply visit the Learn to Farm webpage. Be sure to visit current student, and photojournalist, Erik Jacobs’s blog, The Plough & Stars Project, a yearlong chronicle in words and photos of living and learning at The Farm School.

Free Webinar: “Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for Specialized, Diversified, and Organic Farms,” Presented by NCAT

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will present a free, hour-long webinar on Thursday, November 29th at 1 pm EST, providing guidance for farmers and other professionals on the Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-Lite) crop insurance program and its potential to serve small-scale, diverse, specialty crop, organic and direct-market farmers.

AGR-Lite is a unique type of federally subsidized crop insurance that is based on whole-farm revenue, rather than a specific crop or commodity. With AGR-Lite, farmers of diverse operations, specialty and high-value or organic crops and livestock can insure based on their farm’s historic revenue.

The webinar will also introduce NCAT’s new AGR-Lite Wizard assessment tool, which assists farmers in determining how whole-farm insurance can benefit their operation. The tool is available at www.agrlitewizard.com or by calling 1-800-346-9140.

Organic Farming Research Foundation Accepting Grant Proposals

Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), in partnership with Seed Matters, is now accepting grant proposals for research or education and outreach projects in organic seed quality or crop breeding innovation through November 19, 2012.

OFRF will consider funding for research projects in topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Systems approaches to managing seed-borne diseases;
  • Developing seed treatments compliant with the organic standards;
  • Participatory plant breeding activities;
  • Developing strategies for maintaining integrity of organic seed.

Education and outreach proposals will be accepted for the development of interactive educational materials, activities and media for:

  • Effective seed treatments allowable under the organic standards;
  • Maintaining seed quality during processing and handling;
  • Small-scale seed harvesting, drying, and processing methods;
  • On-farm or participatory breeding and selection methods.

Grant applicants in Canada, Mexico and the United States are eligible for funding up to $15,000.00. Proposals may be submitted online, and funding decisions will be made in March 2013. For guidance in writing and submitting your proposal, contact OFRF at grants@ofrf.org, or (831) 426-6606.