12. Raising Vegetables and Civic Values: CSA in the 21st Century
Second Biennial Conference for Community Supported Agriculture
When: November 10-12, 2006
Where: Kettunen Center near Tustin, Michigan (Just south of Cadillac)
3480 Potter Rd
Bear Lake, MI 49614
231-889-3216 (toll free 877-526-1441)
Email csafarm AT jackpine.net
(replace AT with @ and paste into your mail program)
We have two exciting keynoters coming to the CSA conference:
A native of New England, Steven McFadden now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he serves as director of Chiron Communications, and continues his work as a journalist, a teacher, a counselor, and a healer. "I have been reporting on community supported agriculture since its inception in the United States in 1986. In those days I was the Organic Outlook farm and garden correspondent for The Monadnock Ledger in Peterborough, NH. The first two CSA experiments started nearby that summer in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. They naturally drew my interest. I have continued to follow the story over the years -- a story that has enormous importance for North and South America, as well as for many other nations sharing the water, soil, and air of our earth." He is co-author (with Trauger Groh) of Farms of Tomorrow Revisited – Community Supported Agriculture and Agriculture Supported Community
Scott is a poet, farmer, and educator. For the last fifteen years he has grown garlic, greens, potatoes (and fifty other crops) for the Peconic Land Trust at Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett, New York. A pioneer of the CSA movement, he serves on the governing council of NOFA NY and on the board of the Center for Whole Communities in Vermont. He has worked as poet-in-residence in numerous schools and museums and for over 20 years has taught poetry to children of all ages. He lives in Sag Harbor, NY with his wife and three children. His recent book, This Common Ground – Seasons on an Organic Farm will soon be released in paperback.
In addition to his address on Sunday morning, Steven will present two workshops:
The Spirit of Our Land, The Spirit of Our Times – A CSA Council Circle. The Council Circle tradition is the oldest form of democracy in North America, with roots reaching thousands of years into the past. In the traditional manner, adapted to our needs a members of CSAs, we will take seats as equals in the circle. We will pass the Talking Stick to share the authority and hear the heart and mind of every person who chooses to speak -- adding layer after layer to our understanding of our times, our land, and our work.
Farm Safety 101: Yoga for Yeoman and Yeowoman. A yeoman is a diligent farmer who cultivates the land, working constantly with his or her body and the forces of nature and machines. The farmer’s body must be properly cared for over the years – for it is the most valuable piece of farm equipment, and it eventually absorbs a lot of wear and tear. In this experiential workshop, we will talk about basic body safety for farmers, then learn and practice gentle stretches to keep our bodies strong, limber, and uninjured while we attend to chores.
Scott will be an instructor in the intensive mini-school on CSA and on two workshop panels:
Land Trusts (description not available) with Ellie Kastanopolous of Equity Trust, Inc.
Metaphors, music, and meaning: CSA
and the arts with Laura B. DeLind
In today's world of sound bites, fast food, and multi-tasking, we forget (and are starved for) what art and aesthetics add to our lives. CSA farmers and members are dedicated to a more humanely-scaled and naturally-paced way of growing and eating. This needs to include opportunities for creative expression and time to reflect on the beauty and meaning that exist within ourselves and our shared environments. This session will consider the value of stories, song, poetry, dance, ritual, and the visual arts for building and enriching the CSA community.
In addition there is a full line of workshops, time for meeting and mixing with your fellow CSA farmers and farm advocates, and great entertainment on Saturday eve with NW Michigan favorites Seth and Daisy Mae.
Much more information at the website!
13. Hay Shortage in the UP?? A chance to work together to assure availability
Due to shortage of hay in some parts of the UP and overabundance in others, we are putting together a list of people selling their extra hay. We have had a few phone calls of people either looking for or selling hay, so we are going to try this free of charge. If you know of anyone selling their hay, please have them contact us and we will list them. We just need a little info from them:
1. Type of hay (1st, 2nd, 3rd cutting), (grass, alfalfa, mix, etc.)
2. Kind of package (round, sm. square, lrg. square) Size and amount.
3. Balage? Silage?
4. Name, phone, city
14. Workshop on Transition to Organic Dairy
CONTACT: Fay Benson, Cornell Cooperative Extension
607-753-5077, [log in to unmask]
The Organic Dairy Decision
A video linked workshop on transition to organic dairy production
November 29th, 11am = 2pm
The meeting will be held simultaneously in 5 counties: Jefferson, Lewis,=20 Oneida. Franklin, and Tompkins. At each of the 5 sites we will have current= =20 organic farmers present to talk about their operations and help with=20 questions. An organic dairy processor field person will be available to=20 answer questions about programs and markets in the area. The NOFA NY=20 Transition team will also be involved to help with any questions.
Fay Benson will go over the use of the workbook "The Organic Decision."=20 Each participant who is in transition or thinking about it will receive=20 this workbook, produced by NY FarmLink.
To attend this workshop, please register with the contact listed for the=20 site nearest you:
* Lewis County: County Office Bldg, Outer Stowe St., Lowville, NY. Call= =20 315-376-5270 to register (by Monday, 11/27)
* Jefferson County: 203 N. Hamilton St. Watertown, NY 13601. Call=20 Donna Alberry at 317-788-8450 to register.
* Franklin County: Distance Learning Lab, North Country Community=20 College, Reshetkina Hall Room 111, Malone, NY 12953. To register, call=20 518-483-2550 Ext. 246.
* Tompkins County: 300 Rice Hall, Cornell Campus. To register contact=20 Sharon VanDeuson at 607-753-5078.
* Oneida County: 121 Second Street, Oriskany, NY. Call 315-736-3394 ext= =20 120 for reservations.
Sponsored by the NY Farm Viability Institute, Cornell Small Farms, and the= =20 NOFA NY Transition team.
For more information about this Distance Learning opportunity, contact Fay= =20 Benson with the Cornell Small Farms Program at (607) 753-5213 or=20 <[log in to unmask]">file:///mailto:[log in to unmask]>[log in to unmask]
For more information on a variety of small farm topics, visit=20 <file:///http://www.smallfarms.cornell.edu/>www.smallfarms.cornell.edu.
15. Initial Concepts for the 2007 Farm Bill
Brise Tencer, June 2006
Our farm bill interest: Organic farming and ranching provide multiple benefits that contribute to all U.S. strategic goals for agriculture: a safe and secure food system; environmental protection; increased trade opportunities; improved human health and nutrition; and prosperous rural communities. USDA programs supporting organic agriculture should likewise be present in all agencies and mission areas. Despite gains made in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002, organic producers still receive a disproportionately small share of USDA resources. It is important for Congress and the USDA to work together to strengthen public investment in organic research, extension, education and economics. These programs should receive a share of USDA resources that reflects the growth and opportunities of the organic sector. Programs and policies in other mission areas (natural resources, risk management, etc.) should be established that provide strategic support for the balanced growth of organic production. Specific recommendations are detailed below.
Data Collection: The Organic Production and Marketing Data Initiatives (Sec. 7404 in the 2002 Farm Bill) reads: "Secretary shall ensure that segregated data on the production and marketing of organic agricultural products is included in the ongoing baseline of data collection regarding agricultural production and marketing." This initiative should be reauthorized. Expanded data on the organic sector is essential to better understanding the organic industry’s growth and trends. This initiative from the 2002 Farm bill should be reauthorized and should receive mandatory funding. Specifically:
Research: Many organic producers find few information resources available to them to address production or marketing issues specific to organic. Federal agricultural research dollars dedicated to organic food and farming are disproportionately low in relation to the size of the organic industry. Only since 1998 has organic research been funded at all, and it currently receives far less than a proportionate share of federal agriculture research dollars. In 2004, 3.1% of the USDA gross outlays ($2.5 B) was used to fund and research and education. Of this $2.5 B, only about $10 M (0.4%) went to organic specific research.
Additionally, we believe a stronger fiscal commitment is essential to better serving the organic community. In 2004, USDA- ARS spent about $3.5 million on organic-specific projects, or about 0.35% of ARS annual expenditures. A framework of “fair share” funding of organic agricultural research, based on the organic share of U.S. retail food sales, calls for at least a 5-fold increase in USDA-ARS resources explicitly allocated to organic. ARS should be directing devoting at least a 2% “fair share” (based on the organic share of US food markets) of their total resources to organic research, equivalent to approximately $20 M per year.
We also believe that ARS needs to strengthen efforts to disseminate organic research results through the National Agriculture Library’s Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC). For example, funding should be provided to the USDA National Agriculture Library’s Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) to manage the www.OrganicAgInfo.org website as a publicly available online database of research and extension information specific to organic production and marketing. Additionally, we would like to see a requirement for on-going reporting of USDA ARS organic specific activities.
· USDA CSREES
Integrated Organic Program (IOP) - The Integrated Organic Program
is a production based competitive grants program managed under the CSREES
Plant and Animals Systems division. The IOP, which is comprised of the
Organic Research and Extension Initiative and the Organic Transitions
Program, has been extremely successful. Because of the high level of interest
in this program, only about 10% of qualified applicants have been able to
receive funding (compared to 19%-29% of qualified applicants that receive
funding in comparable grants programs at the USDA CSREES). We expect interest
in this program to continue to grow. Accordingly, funding for the IOP should
be increased to $10 M mandatory per year. Expansion of this program should
focus on a higher number of smaller grants. Also, it is important that this
program keeps its own identity and not be incorporated into the National
o IPM Centers- The USDA CSREES Integrated Pest Management Centers should have a role in expanding the USDA organic portfolio. The development of “Strategic Plans for Organic Best Management Practices” is a potential way these centers could better serve the organic sector.
o National Research Initiative (NRI) - Organic plant and animal breeding should become a priority area within existing NRI germplasm programs.
· USDA CSREES Integrated Organic Program: The extension component of the Integrated Organic Program should be refined and strengthened.
· Cooperative Extension System: Amendments to the Smith-Lever Act to direct the Cooperative Extension to spend an increased percentage of agriculture extension dollars on organic should be considered.
· USDA National Agriculture Library: Fund the USDA National Agriculture Library’s Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) to manage the www.OrganicAgInfo.org website as a publicly available online database of research and extension information specific to organic production and marketing.
· USDA Current Research Information System (CRIS): Create organic as an activity code within the USDA CRIS system. This will allow increased access and search-ability of organic research.
In 2004, 10% ($8.1 Billion) of USDA gross outlays were used for natural resource and conservation programs. It is still unclear how much went to organic growers (OFRF is currently researching organic growers use of CSP and EQIP programs). Stronger NRCS leadership and oversight of how their programs serve organic producers should emerge from this Farm Bill.
END of Info till next time….
Organic Vegetable and Crop Outreach Specialist
Michigan State University
C.S. Mott Sustainable Food Systems
303 Natural Resources Bldg.
East Lansing, MI 48824
If you would like to access a searchable archive of the all the previous Mich-Organic listserv postings copy this URL and paste in your browser address field http://list.msu.edu/archives/mich-organic.html