Elmwood Stock Farm is a diversified organic farm in Georgetown, Kentucky, producing mixed vegetables, fruits, beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, pork and value-added products. As a sixth-generation farm, Elmwood has learned to adapt to changing times, shifts in market opportunities, and modifications in state and Federal support programs over the generations. For farmer John Bell, a key to Elmwood’s success has been an ongoing fertility program based on crop-livestock integration and long crop rotations. For the Bell family, the presence of livestock and the practice of crop rotations are part of a family-farm heritage, one that has long been supported by programs like those offered by the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS).
The Wilson farm, which has been in the family for seven generations, began the transition to organic in the mid 90s, inspired by a neighbor who was making the switch as well. The certification process takes three years on land that has been receiving inputs that are prohibited under the organic program, and the Wilson family farm also needed to transition their herd of dairy cows. They started the process in 1996 and by 1999 all their crop land was certified organic. In this blog, Chris Wilson talks about the transition to organics, the benefits and challenges they've experienced on their farm, and more.
In this guest blog post, farmer and mycologist Cheetah Tchudi shares how USDA farmer support programs have benefited TurkeyTail Farm, and offers advice on how to approach working with these national support organizations.
Dr. Jennifer Taylor and her husband started Lola’s Organic Farm in 2009, but Taylor’s family has been working the land there for much longer. Her grandmother, Lola, who the farm is named after, was a sharecropper in rural Georgia who was given the opportunity to buy her own farmland. She became a successful independent farmer, on the land where Lola’s Organic Farm (LOF) is located today.
Jesse Buie is one of those farmers who has been farming most of his life. “People always say ‘all their life’,” he jokes, “but yeah, that’s basically it.” Jesse grew up exposed to farming, with a father and grandfather who farmed. He explains that his interest in organic farming stemmed from his family’s history with farming, because “organic farming today is so similar to the farming practices they used back then. It was a continuation of the way I farmed my entire life,” he says.
There’s always been something romantic about a farm in New England, through colorful images of red barns, silos, and grazing cows against a quintessential autumnal landscape. Yet, over the past 50 years, the region has lost more than 10,000 dairy farms. Less than 2,000 remain; and Mayday Farm is one of the fortunate few.
Based in Sumter, South Carolina, Sumpter Cooperative Farms (SCF) is a cooperative of organic farmers founded by Azeez and Fathiyyah Mustafa. Acting as a sort of incubator farm, they inspire and support others to pursue organic farming as a way of life and a community building tool.
Impacts of Climate Disruption on a Diversified Organic Dryland Farm - While scientists, policy makers, and carbon marketeers debate the best agricultural practices for absorbing excess atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) into the soil, farmers need tools and strategies now to help them meet the day-to-day challenges posed by climate change.
Mendocino Wine Company is located 125 miles north of San Francisco in Ukiah, where extremely hot temperatures and minimal rain make conservation techniques like cover cropping and efficient water management imperative.
Organic farmer and OFRF Board Chair Bryan Hager knows about organic farming and the process it takes to get certified. Hager and his wife Wendy own Crager Hager Farm, a diversified fruit and vegetable farm in Carroll County, Georgia. Their farm is a year-round operation that grows salad and cooking greens such as lettuce and spinach, and popular market items [...]
January 19, 2021 – Stephen Gray and his family are the third generation to farm their land in Ashkum, Illinois, which they are transitioning to organic using practices such as cover crops and minimal tillage to build the soil and reduce disruption to soil life.
August 6, 2020 - Luke and Ali Peterson farm 500 certified organic acres employing practices such as cover cropping, minimal tillage, and crop livestock rotation toward the goal of becoming self-sustaining and truly regenerative.
June 3, 2020 - Barr Farms is a seventh-generation family farm in Rhodelia, Kentucky. Adam and Rae Strobel Barr raise organic vegetables, pastured chicken and pork, and grass-fed beef. They farm with the intention of taking care of the land by growing healthy soil, healthy plants, healthy animals, and healthy people.
Wild Hope Farm is a certified organic farm owned by the Belk family and located in Chester, South Carolina. The practices they use are simultaneously decreasing off-farm inputs (e.g., pesticides, fertilizers) and increasing the health of their ecosystem.
October 23, 2019 – Crager Hager Farm is located in Northern Carroll County, Georgia, a community on the periphery of metro Atlanta. Bryan and his wife Wendy grow over 100 different varieties of fruits and vegetables on the 123-year old farm that Wendy originally purchased as a rural retreat in the [...]
June 19, 2019 – Rory Beyer was raised on the dairy farm his parents have owned since 1973. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a degree in Animal Science, he returned to the farm and several years later, made the transition to organic production. Today, the Beyers farm 385 acres, raising dairy, beef, corn, and small [...]
January 2, 2019 – April Joy Farm is located near Ridgefield, Washington on 24 acres above the Columbia River Slough. The farm was purchased on contract from Annie Peterson in 2003. Coming “home” to this farm was the realization of a dream for April Thatcher née Jones, who spent many happy childhood days helping the previous owners with farm [...]
October 31, 2018 – Elmwood Stock Farm is a 6th-generation family farm in Lexington, Kentucky that began as a producer of Black Angus breeding-stock cattle. The cattle are still an important part of the farm ecosystem and farm business, though over the past decade the family has branched out to produce a variety [...]
August 30, 2018 – Three Springs Farm is a certified organic farm located in eastern Oklahoma in the Ozark Hills. Farmers Mike Appel and Emily Oakley cultivate over thirty different crops and more than 100 individual varieties on three acres of land. Their goal is to maintain a family operation that demonstrates [...]
August 28, 2018 – In 2018, OFRF awarded a grant to Edmund Frost of Common Wealth Seed Growers in Virginia to assess resistance to both Bacterial Wilt and Cucurbit Downy Mildew among selected cucumber and muskmelon seed stocks, and to continue with the development of a pickling cucumber that is resistant to both diseases.
May 15, 2018 – We recently had the opportunity to talk with OFRF Board President Jeremy Barker Plotkin of Simple Gifts Farm in Amherst, Massachusetts. Jeremy and his team are stewards of the North Amherst Community Farm (NACF), community-owned land preserved in perpetuity for farming. They are working to ensure the land remains an organic community farm, a wildlife corridor, and [...]
February 15, 2018 – OFRF board member Harn Soper is part of a four-generation Iowa farming family based in Emmetsburg, Iowa. Soper Farms is a century farm, having been in the family for more than 100 years. The Soper family voted to transition the farms, which comprise about 800 acres, to organic, starting in 2010. When I was eleven [...]