College Farms: Southeast Region

We’re making our way across the country highlighting student farms. Two weeks ago we highlighted farms in the Northeast, and now we’re moving to the Southeast. Over the next few weeks the Resource Spotlight blog will profile student farms in other regions of the country as well…stay tuned!

Check out the student farm directory from the Sustainable Agriculture Education Association to find out more about university farms near you. If your college farm isn’t listed below, tell us about it in the comments section!

 

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UGArdenUniversity of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Students run this one-acre garden plot at the University of Georgia that was first planted in May of 2010. Since then the garden has grown to include: tilapia aquaponics, permanent fruit plantings, beehives, and a woodland mushroom demonstration area. In addition to selling produce at a farm stand, the food is used to help alleviate hunger in the senior citizen population of Athens. The garden is used as a classroom for two freshman seminars and a course in sustainable community food production.

Contact: Lindsay Davies at lndavies@uga.edu

 

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Berea College Farm – Berea College

Berea, Kentucky

The Berea College Farm is one of the longest running student farms in the U.S. At 500-acres, this farm has space for pastures, cropland, gardens, woodlots and ponds. The farm has beef cattle, hogs, chickens, eggs, goats, fish, honeybees, grains, pulses, vegetables, fruits, and herbs, all of which are used in the dining hall, or sold to the public. Berea College Farm is housed by the Agriculture and Natural Resources program at the college and compliments the academic programs. The 50 students employed each season rotate between working with field crops, horticultural crops, livestock, equipment maintenance, and marketing and sales for the farm.

Contact: michael_panciera@berea.edu or sean_clark@berea.edu

 

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Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) Farm

Pittsboro, North Carolina

CCCC’s five-acre, organic student farm produces an array of crops. The farm also runs in conjunction with the college’s Sustainable Agriculture program, which teaches students the skills that they need to manage a profitable, sustainable, community-based farm. Students can take a wide variety of courses on the farm: Medicinal Herbs, Organic Vegetable Production, Sustainable Cut Flower production and Sustainable Poultry Production, as well as courses about biofuels, and sustainable building.

Contact: Robin Kohanowich: rkohanowich@cccc.edu / (919) 545-8031

 

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The Clemson Student Organic Farm Project – Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

Clemson’s 15-acre student farm started in 2001 and was certified organic in 2005. Students and faculty work together to grow a variety of vegetables, culinary herbs, flowers and fruit. The farm hosts a CSA program and encourages the community to visit the farm for seasonal pick-your-own fruits and vegetables.

Contact: kgilker@clemson.edu, sjadrnicek@gmail.com

Farming Strategies in Today’s Changing Climate

On February 8th at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) in Pittsboro, NC, the Abundance Foundation will host a one-day conference on “Farming Strategies in Today’s Changing Climate.” Farmers, agricultural scientists, technical assistance providers, and farm advocates are encouraged to register for the conference, where presentations, workshops, and discussion will address adaptation and mitigation practices in the wake of climate-related challenges facing agriculture and local foodsheds.

The conference is presented in collaboration with CCCC, the Center for Environmental Farming SystemsCarolina Farm Stewardship AssociationChatham County Cooperative ExtensionNC Strawberry Association, the American Livestock Breeds ConservancyRAFI-USA, and Piedmont Biofuels.

 

Join Us for Farm Advocate Workshops at PASA’s Farming for the Future Conference

A project of Farm AidRAFI-USA and several cooperating partners, the Farm Advocate Link is a newly established national network of farm advocates whose goal is to honor and support established advocates, welcome new and aspiring advocates, and provide ongoing training, professional development and a shared sense of purpose to farm advocates across the country.

The Farm Advocate Link will offer two workshops: Farm Advocacy 101 and Dealing with Disasters, at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) Farming for the Future conference on February 8th & 9th. The workshops, open to everyone, will be led by Joel Morton of Farm Aid, Scott Marlow of RAFI-USA, and Lynn Hayes of the Farmers Legal Action Group (FLAG).

For descriptions of each workshop and more information about the Farm Advocate Link, visit www.farmaid.org/advocates. For more about the PASA conference, visit conference.pasafarming.org.

Closing Dates Approaching for Federal Crop Insurance Programs

Spring sales closing dates are quickly approaching for Multiple Peril Crop Insurance (MPCI) programs, which include the whole farm insurance programs Adjusted Gross Revenue Pilot (AGR) and Adjusted Gross Revenue-Lite (AGR-Lite). Both current policyholders and uninsured growers must make decisions on crop insurance coverage before the closing dates. See below for specific dates:

  • January 31, 2013: Final date to buy or change AGR insurance in select counties. Final date to submit required documents to continue or change 2013 AGR-Lite insurance for existing policyholders.
  • March 15, 2013: Final date to buy or change all other Spring Seeded MPCI (excluding those crops with other closing dates). Final date to buy 2013 AGR-Lite insurance for new application/enrollment policies.

Producers should visit their local crop insurance agent as soon as possible for specific details because the closing dates vary for specific crops. If there is no coverage in a county for a specific crop under the traditional MPCI program, producers are encouraged to ask crop insurance agents whether they would be eligible under a written agreement.

A list of crop insurance agents is available at all USDA Service Centers or on the Risk Management Agency’s website.

Hurricane Sandy Damage? Sign Up Now for Emergency Conservation Program

Producers who suffered severe damage from Hurricane Sandy have until January 29, 2013 to sign up for cost-share assistance through the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP). Removing debris from farmland and restoring permanent fencing are two rehabilitation measures that may be eligible for assistance of up to 75% of their cost. To be eligible, approved restoration measures must not be carried out until an application has been filed, the Farm Service Agency (FSA) has done an on-site inspection of damage, and a needs determination has been made by the appropriate agency.

Contact your local FSA office to find out whether your farm is eligible and how to apply. Also see Farm Aid’s list of resources for farmers facing natural disasters, as well as an earlier blog post on post-Sandy resources.

Resources for Family Farmers Affected by Hurricane Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy barrels into the Northeast, many farmers are feeling the impact of this superstorm. Family farm organizations, state departments of agriculture and emergency management agencies have issued warning, urging farmers to prepare for the storm’s damage. The National Young Farmers’ Coalition has compiled a list of preparedness suggestions to help farmers minimize destruction to their crops, livestock, equipment and farmland.

As the storm continues, farmers are encouraged to take important steps to prepare for the after-effects:

  • Compile important phone numbers and documents for your county extension agent, crop insurance agent, emergency management district, county Farm Service Agency (FSA) and veterinarians.
  • Document and photograph farm losses to report to your state’s FSA office.
  • Visit the FSA website for more information on Disaster Assistance Programs.
  • Any damage to homes or barns should be reported to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at 1-800-621-FEMA.

For state-specific information about Hurricane Sandy, contact your state’s department of agriculture.

This post will be updated with more resources as they come in. Please let us know if we are missing any important information or assistance programs. Stay safe!

**UPDATE** For information on how to support recovery efforts in state’s affected by Sandy, visit the Responding to Sandy resources page compiled by The Vermont Community Foundation. Visit Farm Aid’s Disaster Assistance for Family Farmers page for a comprehensive list of recovery resources available to farmers facing natural disasters.

 

Risk Management for Fruit Growers

USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced expansions to crop insurance options for blueberry, cherry and grape growers in Oregon and Washington state:

  • Blueberry Crop Insurance
    Expanded availability for Benton, Cowlitz, Franklin, Grant, Snohomish, Walla Walla and Yakima counties in Washington.
  • Cherry Actual Revenue History (Cherry-ARH) Crop Insurance
    Expanded availability for Gilliam and Sherman counties in Oregon and Kittitas County, Washington.
  • Grape Crop Insurance
    The Mourvedre variety is now recognized as a separate type in the central Washington counties; previously insured within the ‘all other red & pink varieties’ grouping.

RMA reminds growers throughout the country that November 20, 2012 is the last day to apply for coverage of many fruit crops (apples, blueberries, cherry “Actual Revenue History” pilot, cranberries, grapes, pears, and stonefruit). Growers who currently hold insurance policies, as well as currently uninsured growers, must make decisions about their insurance needs for 2013 before this date.

RMA encourages growers to contact their insurance agents as soon as possible – find a list of agents here. If your county does not have coverage for a specific crop under the traditional Multi-Peril Crop Insurance Program, be sure to ask your crop insurance agent if you’re eligible for coverage under a “written agreement.”

Visit the RMA website for more information on crop insurance.

Resources for Farmers Facing Drought Disaster

The National Sustainable Agricultural Information Service (ATTRA), managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has put together a wealth of resources on Water Quality, Conservation, Drought, and Irrigation for farmers across the country facing this historic and severe drought (see the U.S. Drought Monitor map for the most up-to-date conditions across the country). These publications offer information and recommendations for drought-stricken farmers on topics that address crop and livestock water use and conservation, soil moisture management and proper irrigation. Examples, include:

For more information and to access these resources, visit ATTRA’s Drought Resource Guide webpage. Also, be sure to consult Farm Aid’s Diaster Assistance for Farmers page for additional assistance farmers can consider when disasters strike.

 

Equine Operations Now Eligible for Farm Service Agency Emergency Loans

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) has expanded the FSA emergency loan program to include assistance for equine operations facing losses due to natural disasters.

Certain equine farms and ranches within or contiguous to a county  declared a disaster area by the President or the Secretary of Agriculture can apply for emergency funds to restore or replace essential property, cover production costs associated with the disaster, pay essential living expenses, reorganize the operation, and refinance certain debts.

For more information on FSA’s emergency loan program eligibility, requirements, terms and conditions, please refer to the FSA emergency loan program fact sheet and www.fsa.usda.gov.