Blogs | April 2013

Mark Keating's picture

What's next for Organic Cost Share?

Organic family farmers are facing real hardship due to Congress’ ongoing failure to get its act together. Case in point: When it finally passed the 2013 federal budget in January, Congress stripped funding from a host of essential programs which support small- and medium-sized organic farms. Among the abandoned programs were the $5.5 million which had funded the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program (NOCCSP) each year since 2009. 

Maureen Wilmot's picture

Where Are Your Tax Dollars Going?

Last week, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation released a report addressing the need to reduce the use of fumigants in conventional strawberry production. This is old news for organic farmers. Fumigants are gaseous pesticides that are injected into soil before strawberries and other crops are planted, primarily to control fungal pathogens and nematodes. This practice is not allowed in organic production. OFRF has been funding research to determine alternative methods for controlling these pests for organic farmers for more than three years.

Mark Keating's picture

Antibiotics on Apples?

Like many others invested in organic agriculture, the decision at last week’s National Organic Standards Board meeting to phase out an antibiotic used in certified apple and pear production may have left you wondering, why was it allowed to begin with? The straightforward answer is that, throughout its history, organic certification has allowed a very small number of materials, even pesticides, that we more often associate with conventional agriculture.

Mark Keating's picture

Deadline for 2013 Conservation Stewardship Program Fast Approaching

Thinking of enrolling your farm or ranch in USDA’s dynamic Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) which pays farmers to implement and upgrade a wide variety of conservation practices? CSP is a natural fit for organic farmers because it compensates them for many practices already required by certification including cover cropping, managed grazing, and providing habitat to conserve biodiversity.  If you think CSP could work for you, contact your local NRCS office very soon because the deadline for participating in 2013 will likely close before the end of May.  Submitting some simple paperwork before the deadline allows you more time to work with NRCS and develop your conservation plan.

Jim Cochran, Swanton Berry Farm

"Farming production is not the hard part. Without a solid handle on marketing, you can't grow the right things at the right time at the right price. You have to know your market really well."

- Jim Cochran, Organic Farmer -
Swanton Berry Farm

 

Rich Everett, Everett Family Farm

photo of Rich Everett, Everett Family FarmWhen asked why he farms organically, Rich replied--

"There really is no alternative.  It's always been important to us to instill the value of growing healthy food and the connection of where it comes from.  We learn a lot by trial and error and the young farmers who launch their farming careers here."

Check out what's going on at Everett Family Farm.