About Resource Spotlight Blog
Farm Aid's Farmer Resource Network connects you to 500+ organizations providing services, tools and opportunities for family farm profitability and sustainability, as well as immediate support.
This blog shines a spotlight on some of our favorite resources and spreads the word about new tools and timely opportunities for farmers and farm advocates.
Posts by Category
- Activism & Organizing (15)
- Conservation Programs (17)
- Crisis Assistance (19)
- Direct Marketing Assistance (17)
- Farm Energy Options (8)
- Farmer Resource Network (31)
- Financial Counseling & Business Planning (39)
- Funding Opportunities for Farmers (30)
- Industrial Ag & Factory Farm Issues (5)
- Institutional & Wholesale Markets (11)
- Land Access (7)
- Legal Help & Mediation Services (8)
- Organic / Sustainable Transition & Support (62)
- Partner Organization (30)
- Resources for Beginning Farmers (53)
- Resources for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers (23)
- Uncategorized (26)
Posts by TagATTRA beginning farmers California colleges conference conferences conservation Cooperative Extension cover crops crop insurance crops CSA dairy disaster drought education Farm Aid farm bill Farm to School FLAG food safety FSA funding grants guide guides Iowa livestock loans national NCAT NRCS organic resource partner risk management socially disadvantaged farmers Sustainable sustainable agriculture universities USDA veterans webinar women farmers workshop workshops
- March 2016 (1)
- February 2016 (1)
- January 2016 (1)
- December 2015 (1)
- October 2015 (2)
- September 2015 (1)
- August 2015 (3)
- July 2015 (2)
- June 2015 (3)
- May 2015 (3)
- April 2015 (2)
- March 2015 (5)
- February 2015 (6)
- January 2015 (5)
- December 2014 (2)
- November 2014 (3)
- October 2014 (1)
- September 2014 (2)
- August 2014 (2)
- July 2014 (3)
- June 2014 (4)
- May 2014 (4)
- April 2014 (5)
- March 2014 (3)
- February 2014 (1)
- January 2014 (4)
- December 2013 (4)
- November 2013 (4)
- October 2013 (7)
- September 2013 (4)
- August 2013 (4)
- July 2013 (5)
- June 2013 (7)
- May 2013 (8)
- April 2013 (4)
- March 2013 (6)
- February 2013 (14)
- January 2013 (14)
- December 2012 (5)
- November 2012 (3)
- October 2012 (3)
- September 2012 (2)
- August 2012 (1)
- June 2012 (4)
- May 2012 (3)
- April 2012 (2)
- February 2012 (1)
Help Us With Your Feedback
Iowa State University just published an eight-page guide to working with “short duration” cover crops — those that are managed for just a brief period of time, usually between 45 to 60 days.
According to University researchers, “Planting short duration cover crops can provide multiple benefits to growers who employ them in their fields. Cover crops can improve soil and water conservation efforts, organic matter input, nitrogen fixation, weed suppression and bio-fumigation, providing not only better yields but a healthier environment.” We agree!
The University’s new guide addresses how short term cover crops fit into overall crop rotation, lists example cover crops to plant, and describes various aspects to consider when planting them.
Click here to download the guide (It’s free!) and learn more about the benefits of short duration cover crops.
The fund provides direct financial assistance to certified organic producers and processors/handlers who have suffered losses in 2015 due to extreme hardship.
- Certified organic operation currently in good standing (valid organic certificate required for consideration)
- Have not received CCOF disaster or hardship funding in the last three years
- Have experienced severe economic loss in the 2015 calendar year
- Can submit documentation or supporting evidence of economic loss resulting from the hardship (required for consideration)
- Can submit a copy of receipt for organic certification fees paid in 2015 (by any accredited certifier)
- Have not received federal assistance for the same loss
Applications are due to CCOF Foundation by October 23, 2015.
Next Tuesday, August 4th at 3:00 p.m. Eastern the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is hosting Opportunities for Conservation in Organic Livestock Systems, a free webinar to highlight organic livestock systems and their conservation benefits.
USDA staff will begin the webinar by describing organic management practices and regulations relevant to livestock, focusing on pasture and outdoor access, feed management, and pasture management. Next they’ll highlight conservation practices that can work well with organic livestock systems, such as rotational grazing, fencing, and pasture management.
During the webinar, New Hampshire farmer Steve Normanton will talk about his grass-fed beef farm and how he put NRCS conservation practices into action.
Pre-registration for the webinar is not required. Click here for more information and instructions on how to join.
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is now conducting a national survey of organic farmers. OFRF will contact more than 13,000 certified organic farmers via email or postcard asking for their participation. (Or you can access the survey here.)
The survey is confidential and will ask organic farmers to list data such as their farm size, production methods, and — most importantly — information about organic farming opportunities and challenges. Results from the survey will identify critical issues for organic farmers, and will inform OFRF’s National Organic Research Agenda, which recommends research priorities for the USDA and other policymakers.
For more information, contact OFRF at (831) 426-6606 or visit their website.
Join the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Oklahoma for a Saturday afternoon and evening workshop that will cover ranch watering systems and stream and pond conservation. Specifically, the workshop will address riparian area management, stabilized stream crossings, and livestock watering systems such as: gravity flow from ponds, tractor-tire watering tanks and portable watering systems.
The workshop runs from 3:00 pm – 8:00 pm on July 11th and costs $15 (includes sandwiches and drinks). The registration deadline is July 7th. Click here for more information and to register for this workshop.
Navigating label claims and getting an organic certification can be both confusing and costly for producers. That’s why CCOF and Oregon Tilth have stepped in offering webinars that will cover the basics. Read below to find out about upcoming July webinars.
- Oregon Tilth Certified Organic’s webinar will explain the intricacies of labeling claims and labeling requirements. Brian Scheel from Oregon Tilth and Gwendolyn Wyard from the Organic Trade Association will address labeling compliance under the National Organic Program and other labeling claims like non-gmo, natural and more. Check out OTCO’s labeling and composition guide before the webinar.
Details: July 07, 2015 12:00 PM PDT / 3:00 PM ET; Free; Register here.
- CCOF’s webinar will cover how to develop labels that comply with the USDA’s National Organic Program and how to avoid costly mistakes and delays in product roll-out. Organic Education Solutions LLC — an educational company that helps processors, distributors, retailers and others with organic certification — will lead the webinar with discussion of product composition and percentage calculations, the correct use of CCOF and USDA “Organic” seals, ingredient listing, and the CCOF label approval process.
Details: July 16, 2015, 1:00pm – 3:00pm; $20; Register here.
Join the Kansas Rural Center (KRC) for a “Women in Farming” workshop series. The series consists of four workshops that will explore the opportunities and challenges that women farmers face.
- Workshop One: Saturday, March 14th, in Lawrence, Kansas. This workshop will focus on specialty crop production in the morning and will conclude with a tour of the women-owned Red Tractor Farm. The morning session will include topics such as food safety, crop insurance, and whole farm revenue insurance, and will feature representatives from the Douglas County Extension, Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Douglas County Conservation District (DCCD), and Kansas Farm-to-School Program (KSDE). The workshop costs $15, and includes a catered lunch, snacks and materials. Click here for registration and details. **NOTE: Please eregister by Wednesday, March 11th.
- Workshop Two: Saturday, March 28th, in Bird City, Kansas. This workshop will continue with the topic of specialty crops. The morning session will include discussion of high tunnels, season extension, food safety, organic certification, pest management, cooperative marketing, and specialty crop insurance. The afternoon includes a farm tour of Y-Knot Farm and Ranch’s 960 acres of certified organic wheat, forage, and pasture.
- Workshop Three: Saturday, May 9th, in Linn, Kansas. The morning session of this workshop will focus on business, financial, and legal risk management. Speakers include representatives from Kansas State University who will cover financial and business planning, land price trends, leasing and tenant issues. The afternoon farm tour will take place at Lucinda Stuenkel’s farm near Palmer, Kansas, where participants will learn about conservation practices like cover crops and no-till, and cattle management specifically for women.
- Workshop Four: Saturday July 11th, in Emporia, Kansas. The final workshop in this series will focus on soil health, cover crops and integrated crop and livestock farming. The afternoon farm tour will take place at Gail Fuller’s farm.
Registration and more information about the last three workshops will be made available soon. Check KRC‘s website for details, and contact Joanna Voigt at (866) 579-5469, email@example.com with questions.
The 5th Annual Vermont Organic Dairy Producers Conference is coming up on March 11th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The conference is sponsored by the University of Vermont Extension’s Northwest Crops & Soils Program and NOFA Vermont’s Organic Dairy and Livestock Technical Assistance Program.
Keynote speakers include Dr. Roger Moon, a veterinary entomologist at the University of Minnesota, and Dr. Guy Jodarski, a staff veterinarian for Organic Valley, CROPP Cooperative. Dr. Moon will talk about pests and organic dairy, and Dr. Jodarski will cover innovative ways to deal with livestock health, nutrition, and management challenges.
Sessions include farmer-to-farmer panels that feature certified organic farmers telling stories of their challenges and successes.
Registration closes Wednesday, March 4th. Visit UVM Extension for more information and to register.
If you’re curious about making the transition to organic production, tune into the Natural Resources Conservation Service’s upcoming webinar. This webinar will cover different types of NRCS support that producers can utilize for the transition. Specifically, how producers can use a Conservation Activity Plan (CAP) 138 to help identify conservation practices that are a good match for their operation.
The webinar is scheduled for Feb 18th at 3:00pm EST. For more information and to join the webinar, visit the USDA’s Science & Technology Training Library.