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Organic Broadcaster Online Issue 18.6 November/December 2010
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Table of Contents
- Welcome to the New Organic Broadcaster
- News From MOSES
- The Link Between Soil, Health, and Food by Jerry Brunetti
- Inside Organics: Progress in Washington by Harriet Behar
- MOSES Rural Women’s Project: Championing Women Transforming our Food System by Lisa Kivirist
- Book Review: Building a Sustainable Business by Linda Halley
- Share Your Farm Story: Three Tips to Harvest Media Attention - New NSAC resource provides free tools for farmers by Lisa Kivirist
- Proof Positive:The Organic Food Debate - What’s Needed are Not Arguments But Answers by Jody Padgham
- New FSA Loan Program Helps Farmers with Conservation, Organic and Sustainable Practices by Wade Miller, FSA
- MOSES “Grow Organic Initiative” Replaces “Help Wanted” Program by Kelli Cameron
- Hardy Livestock in the Land of Ice, Snow and Freezing Wind by Will Winter
- MOSES 2011 Organic Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program: Call for Participants
- News Briefs
- Classified Advertising
To better serve our community, MOSES now offers the Organic Broadcaster newspaper as
a FREE online publication six times a year. This newspaper, which MOSES has been
publishing since 2002, offers farmer-focused, current news and information that
assists farmers in successful organic production and offers relevant updates about
the organic community.
If you wish to receive a specific email notice when each future issue is available online, fill out the online form. You also have new opportunities to reach more than 8,000 others interested in organic production and the organic industry by placing an advertisement, or by becoming a Broadcaster Supporter. Follow this link for more information about those. Enjoy this expanded opportunity to learn about organic production and organic industry news.
Jody Padgham, Organic Broadcaster editor
The staff and board have been working hard for several months planning, making decisions, and following through with activity to bring this new edition to you. Though it may appear simple from the outside, there have been many aspects of the change to manage.
- For the first time, we are able to offer an online (both .html and .pdf) version of the current issue. This is one of the wonderful perks of our dropping paid subscriptions. We will also be archiving both .pdf and .html back issues, allowing anyone to browse for their favorite story from the past! You can get to those from http://www.mosesorganic.org/broadcaster.html
- If you value the publication, feel free to forward links to the electronic options to your friends.
- Classified ads may now be submitted and paid for online. See details in the sidebar on this page or on page 16. Through the online .pdf version, your ads will be available to anyone who browses the web.
We are very pleased to be offering the great content of the Broadcaster to more people. Please let us know if you have comments, concerns about the changes, or story suggestions – we always love to hear from you.
Otherwise in the office we’ve been busy wrapping up our summer field days and events - Kelli’s article on page 11 is a great synopsis of all our activities. It has been a fun and busy year out on the road, which our crew always loves, as we get to be out talking to you, our farmer audience, about your needs and concerns.
Planning for the 22nd annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference (Feb 24-26, 2011 in La Crosse, WI) steams along. Workshops, keynotes, and lots of other activities are all cemented, and the exhibit hall is almost full! If you are getting this issue of the Broadcaster in the mail, that means you are also on the mailing list to receive a conference flyer, expected out in early December. If you are curious in the meantime, we will be putting all of the conference info on the web at www.mosesorganic.org/conference.html. We encourage you to register online this year, as it is easy option for you and saves us time too!
Regular readers will note that our favorite columnist, Roger Blobaum, will be taking a one year leave of absence from his popular “Inside Organics” column. Roger instituted the column for us in the fall of 2005 and he hasn’t missed a column since. His hard-hitting analysis involved a lot of time and research, and brought requests for reprints from around the country. We are pleased that our competent organic specialist, Harriet Behar, a self-described “policy-wonk,” will help us keep a close eye on the Washington scene while Roger takes a break. We look forward to Harriet’s critiques and insight in carrying on Roger’s tradition.
The MOSES board has talked for a few years about the need to step up our educational focus on the positives and power of organics. Though MOSES’ mission focuses us very squarely on education and outreach to farmers, we can’t ignore the uptick of conversation and confusion in the national and international media about what organic products are and why they are important. My story on page 7 (instigating our new “Proof Positive” research column) was planned before I ran across the TIME magazine issue that I reference, but flowed out of those articles very well. MOSES has an ongoing commitment to bringing you current and relevant research that will help you explain to your customers and friends what the organic difference is. This synopsis is a good start.
As we go to press, there is a buzz in the community about a related, marvelous analysis written by Marie Rodale, (granddaughter of famed Rodale Institute founder J.I. Rodale), titled “State of the Organic Union.” Printed in the Atlantic magazine, the article eloquently outlines three key points:
- Americans are very confused about what organic is and is not and why organic matters.
- The organic industry must focus on clearing up that confusion and communicating why organic food is so important and the safest food you can buy, and,
- If we are going to save the world, we are going to have to unite and work together instead of fighting amongst ourselves.
I highly encourage you to read the article at http://www.rodaleinstitute.org/20101021_state-of-the-organic-union. It will hopefully inspire and energize you to follow Marie’s advice and help us all work together to reclaim the power of the organic difference. MOSES looks forward to working with you and doing our part to educate and inform about the power and value of organics!
Lastly, we are pleased to bring you a few updates on valuable MOSES projects that you may not be aware of. Lisa Kiverist is competently leading the charge on both the MOSES Rural Women’s Project (page 4) and the FARM media project (page 6). Both are great grass-roots efforts to empower rural people to become more active and vocal in their communities. We are also proud to have secured funding to continue our banner Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Project (page 13). Participants of the program for the past two years are vocal with their praise about the quality of the program and the key value it has had in helping them succeed as new organic farmers. If you are a new farmer or a seasoned one, we encourage you to join the program.
It is really great to bring you all this valuable information.
Jody Padgham, Organic Broadcaster editor
Learning from speakers who bring not only knowledge but also a passion for their teaching based on personal experience can be both inspiring and enlightening. Jerry Brunetti, just such a speaker, participated in a full day of events in Viroqua, WI a few weeks ago. The Vernon County Land Conservation Department, the Vernon County Grazing Group, and MOSES cosponsored a pasture walk at the farm of John and Virginia Goeke (Sylvan Meadows Farm). A delicious dinner from meats and vegetables grown and prepared by the Goekes was followed by a well attended evening lecture.
Jerry’s premise is that food and lifestyle are critical to control and prevent disease for both humans and animals. He believes farms should be viewed as “FARMacies.” Close attention to soil fertility management, which promotes abundant soil biological life as well as a balance of the wide range of nutrients in the soil produces nutrient dense foods. These nutrients are then taken up by livestock and humans in the food they consume. Jerry has lived by this regimen and has restored himself to health and vitality after a cancer diagnosis 11 years ago. The 100 people in attendance at the evening lecture were spellbound by Jerry’s engaging style and incredible story as he discussed his journey back to health.
During the afternoon tour of the highly diverse Sylvan Meadows Farm, John Goeke discussed livestock living conditions and feeds. Throughout the tour we dug soil, reviewed weeds, discussed crop and animal health, and learned about their interrelationship.
Moving from area to area on the farm Jerry explained that animal and human health result from the consumption of a full-spectrum of nutrient dense foods. Sylvan Meadows Farm provided a wonderful backdrop for this discussion, as they produce many species of livestock, crops, vegetables, and fruits. John and Virginia like to think “out-of-the-box” and continually seek to increase the biodiversity of their farm, both above and below the ground. The Goekes have fruit trees planted along fencerows and diverse plantings in their pastures. Sheep, beef, and hogs are all rotationally grazed in various areas of the farm. Pastures are rotated with row crops and vegetables, improving the soil structure and biology through the variety of land use. While managing all of these various crops and livestock at times can be a challenge, they also work synergistically with each other and provide benefits greater than the sum of their parts.
Poultry (chickens and geese) are housed in moveable coops in the orchard, providing both fertility and pest control for the fruit trees. Jerry discussed the benefits of this biodiversity and how farmers can improve their operations by viewing their activities from a more holistic viewpoint. Moving away from the monocultural growing of crops restores and enhances soil biology, and contributes to healthier and better tasting foods. Providing all animal species with access to sunshine and green, growing grass results in fewer livestock health issues and more nutrients present in the resulting livestock products. Free range eggs for instance, are rich in fat soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K, as well as cysteine, other amino acids, and lecithin. These are all important in promoting the health of the animal as well as the humans who survive on the livestock products.
Science has shown that a wide variety of nutrients are important to maintain health. For example lutein, present in egg yolks and kale, is very good for the eyes. Lycopene, found in tomatoes, is good for prostate health. Pigments in many plants, such as proanthocyanadins (grape skins), b-carotene, and Elligic Acid (raspberries) provide anti-viral and anti-oxidant properties. Trace elements build enzymes in the body. These trace elements can be obtained through our food, coming from the soil in which it was grown. High quality foods fuel the immune system, scavenge free radicals, balance our endocrine systems, and help to detoxify both humans and livestock. Resveratrol, found in grape skins, has been found to be healthy for our hearts. However, the vast majority of nonorganic grape skins are treated with fungicides, turning a healthy food into one you want to avoid. Jerry provided numerous examples of how a diverse soil provides nutrition packed foods for human and livestock diets that can result in prevention of chronic diseases, such as diabetes.
If food is not nutrient dense it is not healthy, even if it is grown organically. It is important to not only pay attention to what items you are consuming, but also to how they are produced. Something as eating a rainbow of foods, grown by farmers whose production systems include the nurturing of a vibrant and nutrient rich soil, can result in healthier people.
Jerry has an encyclopedic knowledge of the incredible variety of nutrients in all kinds of foods, and how they relate to human health. Rather than chemotherapy or radiation, which work to destroy an offending tumor or cancer, he prefers a holistic approach which seeks to boost the immune system. This means eating specific foods that are rich in the nutrients needed by our bodies to fight a problem. For those of us who have seen livestock health dramatically increase after they have transitioned to an organic system, Jerry’s discussion of how this works on a scientific level, as well as how it relates back to human health, makes a lot of sense.
Jerry Brunetti will be joining Guy Jodarski, DVM, to present a full day of learning at our MOSES Organic University in a session on “Enhancing Animal Health” on February 24, 2011 in La Crosse WI. He will also lead a workshop during the Organic Farming Conference. His business, Agri-Dynamics, will have a booth in our exhibit hall. Look for our Organic Farming Conference flyer and registration form coming in the mail to you in early December 2010. Signup early for Jerry and Dr. Guy’s Organic University class, since we have a limited number of seats. Spending some time with Jerry Brunetti will be a worthwhile experience for anyone wanting to learn more about the incredible gifts of health that food can provide, and how best to improve the diet and lifestyle of both your livestock and yourself to make the best use of these gifts.
Harriet Behar is the MOSES organic specialist. She lives with her husband on a farm near Gays Mills, WI.Return to TOP
Our usual columnist, Roger Blobaum, will be taking a one year sabbatical from writing this column, and I will be filling in for him. Let me introduce myself. I am Harriet Behar, MOSES organic specialist. In my duties for MOSES, I answer our toll-free organic information line, help put on organic field days and workshops, and interact with sister sustainable agriculture nonprofit organizations and government agencies in the development and implementation of agricultural policy. I have been an organic inspector since 1992, and have visited many thousands of organic farms and processors in the Upper Midwest, as well as other parts of the US, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Asia.
My husband and I have been growing certified organic vegetables and grains on our farm since 1989, and farming organically for a decade before that. In my policy work for MOSES, I represent MOSES on a variety of National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition committees, and am an active member of the National Organic Coalition. In Wisconsin, I am a member of the Natural Resources Conservation Service State Technical Committee, as well as the co-chair of the Wisconsin Organic Advisory Council.
Through these various connections, MOSES has partnered with Land Stewardship Project, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Center for Rural Affairs, Organic Farming Research Foundation, Practical Farmers of Iowa, and others to move U.S. agricultural policy away from heavy subsidies of non-organically managed crops to aiding farmers, through regulation and dollars, to improve our shared environment through support of organic farming systems.
While I believe we have a long way to go, I have seen very positive changes in national agriculture policy over time. Recently many doors have opened, bringing organic and sustainable agriculture to the table, where we have not been before. USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan has given organic agriculture more visibility by raising the stature of the National Organic Program and hiring knowledgeable and committed leadership for this program. The Natural Resources Conservation Service is learning to speak and promote organic, through recognition of the benefits of organics, and by offering special enhanced payments for organic farming practices. The Farm Service Agency is offering easy to obtain loans for farmers who are transitioning to organic and performing good conservation on their farms. USDA research dollars now have a dedicated organic research granting program. The Risk Management Agency has removed the surcharge that organic producers were burdened with in the past when paying for crop insurance. There are numerous other changes, including a staff person who will be coordinating all of the various organic activities within the USDA to ensure these various agencies are working together. In addition, the USDA has committed to the development of a National Organic Action Plan to further expand organic agriculture in the United States.
This basic overview paints a rosy picture of the positive changes that have been accomplished, but we still have lots of work to do and many areas that could be vastly improved. Protection of organic integrity and general acceptance of organic agriculture as a viable and necessary method of food production for our planet are two areas that need constant advocacy. GMO drift continues to be an issue, as well as the organic community receiving our fair share of government dollars, relative to the economic activity we generate in the U.S.
Consumers continue to be the backbone of that economic activity, as more and more of them more fully understand the benefits of organic agriculture beyond just the reduction of pesticide residues found on their food. Organic farming has been shown to have equal or at times better yields than conventional, especially in times of climatic challenge. Carbon sequestration, biologically active soils, prevention of soil erosion through increases of organic matter and good crop rotation, all improve our precious soil, water and air as well as our planet’s overall ecology. However, the proliferation of other “ecolabels” has eroded some consumer confidence in the organic label. Is natural better than organic? Should I buy locally grown instead of organic? Do I need to choose between humanely treated animals and organically raised animals? These types of consumer questions illustrate how important it is to continue our communication with the general public about the meaning of organic, and the uncertain meaning of some of these other labels.
We need to continually improve and tighten the organic standards to remove loopholes that allow industrial type organic farming. This is not a large farm versus small farm issue, it is instead an issue that ties organic agriculture to its roots of environmental stewardship, humane treatment of animals, and fair payments for farmers and farm workers. Large farms can do a very good job of implementing a functioning organic system, but it takes commitment and knowledge. Those who enter organic “just for the money” can also do a good job at organic farming. But if they take short cuts and meet the very lowest criteria for organic certification or find loopholes that allow them to circumvent the spirit of the law, these operations need to be called to task and made to either improve or lose their organic certification. Use of the organic label is a privilege, not a right.
This article will be printed about a week after the National Organic Standards Board fall meeting in Madison WI. There are many important issues being discussed: from animal welfare standards, to organic beekeeping, organic hops, and how materials are reviewed for both inclusion and removal from the National List. I will be present, along with many other organic advocates, watching and listening during the four day meeting, as well as preparing thoughtful comments and suggestions. For the next few columns I will be bringing you more detail on some of the important issues facing those of us who see organic agriculture as an important lifestyle choice, both as producers of food and fiber as well as consumers. I welcome your thoughts and comments. email@example.com
Harriet Behar is the MOSES organic specialist. She lives with her husband on a farm near Gays Mills, WI.Return to TOP
What’s one of the fastest growing groups of new farmers prioritizing organic, sustainable, local agriculture? Women launching new farming ventures. Yet despite these growing numbers, these women farmers remain quite isolated and unrepresented as a group, particularly when it comes to connecting with other like-minded women growers, or having a voice toward federal policy better supporting women farmers.
Thanks to vision and leadership from MOSES, women farmers and food-based entrepreneurs now find support, resources, and representation through the Rural Women’s Project. This MOSES-led initiative uniquely provides various educational outreach and inspiration to specifically help women to champion a healthier food system while stewarding our land. The project connects women passionate about organic, local, healthy food with start-up ideas and resources to make their food and farming dream a reality.
The number of women farmers increased nationally nearly thirty percent since 2002 according to the latest USDA’s agriculture census. More than 40 percent of these women are under the age of fifty-five, a movement that may start to reverse the aging trend of the American farmer. Wisconsin ranks among the top ten states in the country for farms operated by women, increasing 25 percent from 2002 to 2007.
“Women are the changemakers and play a critical role in transforming our food system,” explains Faye Jones, Executive Director at MOSES. “Whether you’re a seasoned woman farmer or just starting to explore creating a business around your passion for good, healthy food, the Rural Women’s Project connects women in organic and sustainable agriculture and sparks new collaborations and ideas.”
Rural Women’s Project Outreach
2010 efforts of the Rural Women’s Project focused on facilitating over fifteen “Planting Fresh Seeds” workshops at venues, ranging from Organic Valley’s Kickapoo Country Fair to the National Women in Agriculture Educator’s Conference, collectively reaching over 1,000 women. Featuring case studies of successful women farmers and entrepreneurs along with a synthesis of resources and grants that prioritize women (currently classified as “socially disadvantaged” by USDA’s definition), these workshops also took place in small, rural-based venues such as The Bridge Between Retreat Center in Denmark, WI and the Agriculture & Energy Resource Center in Ashland, WI. These rural venues reached out to women interested in starting new ventures that might not have made these connections otherwise.
In addition to this core educational programming, the Rural Women’s Project leads a national collaborative effort to increase representation of women in organic and sustainable agriculture federal policy. The Johnson Foundation invited the Rural Women’s Project to convene a national summit in March, 2011 of women leaders in agriculture, laying groundwork for fundamental positive change as we move into the 2012 Farm Bill and election cycle.
This summit, entitled “Cultivate 2012: A Recipe for Women in Agriculture to Transform the Farm Bill, our Food System and Politics as Unusual,” showcases how MOSES leads change by prioritizing and building partnerships with other organizations. “Cultivate 2012” is organized with the Women, Food & Agriculture Network (WFAN), the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and The White House Project, together representing thousands of women dedicated to changing our food system.
“MOSES cultivates collaboration in everything they do,” comments Liz Johnson with The White House Project, a non-profit organization supporting more women running for office and taking on leadership roles. “Our two organizations are now close partners to together encourage more women taking on leadership roles that influence agriculture and food policy change.”
In addition to these national leadership efforts, the Rural Women’s Project will be continuing farmer direct educational outreach, including a session at the 2011 MOSES Conference, regional programming, and increasing on-line resources.
How Women Farmers Cultivate Change
An inspiring aspect of these new women farmers and entrepreneurs is how they practice “business as unusual,” trading expected, conventional business models for fresh principles and practices that reflect their sustainable spirit. The Rural Women’s Project champions this movement by showcasing the stories of women who radiate:
1. Ecopreneur Spirit
The majority of these new women farmers tend to run smaller, more diversified and locally focused operations, prioritizing organic and sustainable growing practices. But these women enter farming and food-based business ventures with a mission much deeper than profit. They represent the growing “ecopreneuring” movement, viewing their enterprises as a means to blend their passion for good food with a livelihood that’s also a means to change our world. Conscious thought goes into the detail behind these farms and businesses, along with a vibrant passion that shows in everything they do.
“My farm and business mean much more to me than just a way to earn a paycheck and living,” comments Adrienne Fox, who runs Powerkraut from her organic farm in Viroqua, specializing in hand-producing delicious, nourishing cultured food and fermented foods. “Powerkraut is a deep social calling for me, a means to help others reconnect with the joy of healthy food in their lives.” Many ecopreneurs like Fox take an active role in improving healthy food access in their local communities: Fueled by a commitment to children, Fox pioneered Wisconsin’s first 100% organic hot lunch program. She’s also a presenter at the first annual Reedsburg Fementation Festival, a celebration of foods made with live cultures.
2. Lean and Green Business Models
Another way some of these new women ecopreneurs are practicing keeping things lean and green, particularly young female farmers: starting farms with no debt. Chucking the standard business model that such new ventures need to purchase land and acquire lots of gear that typically leads to debt, this new generation of female farmers prioritize getting their feet wet by starting their venture leanly. Gini Knight just wrapped up the first growing season on her farm, Sweet Magnolia Farm, in Sun Prairie. By renting land and keeping her CSA (community supported agriculture) manageable in size (she recruited friends and family for her “rookie” season), Knight succeeded in her goal of farming while leaving her options open by avoiding the burden of debt. Importantly, Knight’s first growing season reaffirmed her commitment to and passion for farming.
“The Rural Women’s Project builds community and connections among women transforming our food system and serves as both an inspiration and pragmatic resource to me as a new farmer,” explains Knight. “I love hearing stories of how other women creatively and successfully built businesses and the opportunity to both connect with mentors and share my story as a beginning farmer to help inspire others.” Knight also helps support the sustainable agriculture movement by serving as a farmer voice in reviewing grant applications for USDA programs aiming to support beginning farmers like her. She serves as a spokesperson for FARM (Farm & Agriculture Resources for Media), a project of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) that helps champion the farmer voice in the media (see the article on page 6 of this Organic Broadcaster for information on how you can join).
3. Collaboration and Partnerships
Another trend exists alongside this increase in women farmers: women launching new businesses. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, for the past two decades and continuing during the current recession, businesses owned by women continue to grow at two times the rate of all companies. Women passionate about food see the business side as an ideal way to blend their sustainable values with their livelihood.
Some of these female-run, food-based business start-ups may not farm themselves, but capitalize on ways to support and partner with area growers. Jen Lynch, along with her husband, Scott, and daughter, Evie, took the foodie entrepreneurial plunge this past summer and launched “La Fortuna Pizza,” a mobile wood-fired pizza business that features ingredients from local farmers, vending at Madison area events. Some of the farms Lynch purchases from regularly are Keewaydin Organics and Jordandal Farms. Other regular local suppliers include Black Earth Meats and Farmer John’s Cheese.
“The business enables my family and I to connect the important dots in our lives which stem from our love of good food and working with area farmers we know well to providing healthy, yummy food options at community events and parties,” explains Lynch. “By running my own business, I can research and control all my inputs and ingredients, from the tomatoes to the cheese, and can share these stories with our customers. These women ecopreneurs embrace and prioritize working in collaboration with others, especially family. I love the fact that my family and I can do this side by side.”
Women in the organic and sustainable agriculture movement share a prime opportunity to further tap into this partnership spirit and together work towards changing our food system to increase healthy, fresh food access for all. “This cooperative spirit of women in agriculture sends a strong message to both our state legislatures and Capitol Hill that we need support for new visions and ideas for an agriculture system that steward our planet,” sums up Kara Slaughter, Government Relations Director with the Wisconsin Farmers Union and partner in the “Planting Fresh Seeds” workshops. “By sharing our experiences, challenges, successes and resources, together we can change not only what’s on our plate today, but the health of our children and rural communities for future generations.”
The Rural Women’s Project will be adding more on-line resources and listings of networking opportunities via the MOSES website into 2011. Please e-mail Lisa Kivirist to keep in touch on the Rural Women’s Project: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Kivirist directs the MOSES Rural Women’s Project and is co-author of the award-winning books ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance.Return to TOP
Developed by Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA)
Published by Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE)
Review By Linda Halley
Within minutes of opening this book the reader understands what it has to offer and how it is set up to walk you through the business planning process. The layout is user friendly. Wide, uncluttered sidebars present important information in boldface. Large-type paragraphs, with diagrams and examples interspersed, lend a sense of order and clarity to a process that could easily overwhelm. I was immediately motivated to dive right in!
Building a Sustainable Business is not so much meant to be read as to be picked up, referred to, put down while planning, and then picked up again. Each of the five chapters, called TASKS, begins with an explanation of what is covered and, equally important, the motivation for performing the task and the expected outcome. Easy to read text is paired with an outline-style check list that serves to reinforce and remind the user where they are in the process, keeping them on track as they work through the guide.
Building a Sustainable Business keeps in mind the variety of ag businesses and the wide range of motivations for writing a business plan. Five farms are used as case studies, supplying examples of their worksheets. The common threads between the farms are that they are sustainable and agricultural in nature. It reinforces the goal of this workbook to be applicable to many different scales and types of farm businesses.
In addition to workbook exercises, the appendices are valuable. They include one complete business plan by a participating example farm and understandable definitions of financial performance measures. The inclusion of business plans from all five case studies would have added depth to the book.
The resource section of the guide, complete with web and print resources, rounds out any aspects of the book that a user may want to explore in greater detail. However, as a user of computerized accounting software I would find completing a business plan without the capability of importing my financial data a handicap. Building a Sustainable Business suggests combining FINPACK software with this book. FINPACK is software developed by the Center for Farm Financial Management, a cooperator in the publication of this book.
In attempting to access FINPACK on line I was unable to download the free trial version or obtain pricing for the full version, so I do not know how practical and useful the combination would be. Nevertheless, the print workbook format of Building a Sustainable Business is ideal for the business owner or team who finds the ease of working on paper, at a desk, more comfortable. At $24.00, it is an affordable place to start writing a business plan. If computer capability is a must this book would still serve as a valuable reference in combination with good software. MOSES has the book for sale through its online Store or at the annual MOSES Organic Farming Conference. The book is also available as a downloadable pdf from the MISA website, go to http://www.misa.umn.edu/vd/bizplan.html Each section is a separate document, between 500 and 1,000 KB in size. Included in this are pdfs of the various worksheets.
Linda Halley currently manages an organic vegetable operation, Gardens of Eagan, and is engaged in writing their business plan.Return to TOP
Want to grow your farm business, expand organic agriculture funding opportunities and transform our food system? Who doesn’t? We each hold the golden ticket to make this happen by sharing our farm story with the media.
Garnering media attention for your farm adds up to a “win-win” for both your individual business and the sustainable agriculture movement. The more we share our stories with the media – from online blogs to newspaper op eds– the greater we advance the national presence of the sustainable agriculture agenda. This media visibility shows up on the radar of our elected officials on Capitol Hill who make decisions on public policies, like how much of the funding pie to allocate toward programs that support programs organic farmers use, like the Value-Added Producer Grants Program (VAPG) and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE.)
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) want to help you make these media connections. NSAC is a grassroots alliance of more than 80 groups like MOSES. NSAC gives us a stronger collective voice to champion better federal policies. They recently launched a new resource supporting farmers in connecting with the media: Farm & Agriculture Resources for Media (FARM). This free on-line resource gives you an easy, timesaving jump-start to effectively engage the media.
“Your individual stories as farmers bring NSAC’s federal policy priorities to life,” explains Annette Higby, Grassroots Advocacy Coordinator for NSAC. “By effectively sharing your experiences with the media about conservation practices on your farm or the ways in which you have benefited from programs like SARE, you can boost polices that promote sustainable agriculture and your business.”
“This NSAC program fills an important need as sustainable and organic farmers now have a resource tailored to helping our movement connect with the media,” adds Faye Jones, Executive Director of the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES). “Farm and Agriculture Resources for Media (FARM) showcases our movement’s key asset: the personal, authentic stories of farmers passionate about transforming our food system.”
Here are three tips on how to use NSAC’s FARM project to help you connect with media:
1. Learn from Others
FARM offers a free online webinar, “Share Your Farm Story: Tools and Tactics to Market Your Business and Connect with Media,” which synthesizes tips and strategies for sharing your story. These tools are exemplified by case study examples of how inspiring farmers across the country creatively share their stories, identifying themes and strategies you can use to cultivate your compelling message.
2. Create Materials in the Off Season
Look at media and public relations as your “winter garden.” As the outdoor harvest and farm duties wind down a bit this time of year, use the brief lull to get some media tools in place. FARM offers a free Media and Public Relations Tool Kit, “Share Your Farm Story,” that you can download off the NSAC website.
This Tool Kit provides a blueprint guide to amping up your media relations, from interview tips to ideas to generate high quality, media-worthy farm photos. Additionally, the Tool Kit includes downloadable templates to save you time and make it easy to create personalized items like a press kit and bio.
3. Join the Farmer Spokesperson Database
After taking advantage of these free training and resource opportunities through FARM, activate your voice to help champion sustainable agriculture policy by joining the NSAC farmer spokesperson database. After completing the easy on-line sign-up process, your contact info will be on file internally at NSAC as a resource when various opportunities arise and spokespeople with your type of background are needed.
NSAC is particularly keen on garnering farmer spokespeople who have successfully used sustainable agriculture programs such as SARE (Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education), VAPG (Value-Added Producer Grants), and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). By sharing how such programs personally and positively affect your farm business through a media interview or by working with NSAC to write an op ed in support of increased funding, you provide an important direct connection to the farmer story and impact behind the policy.
Erin Schneider of Hilltop Community Farm in LaValle, Wisconsin, joined the NSAC database to share her experience of receiving a SARE grant to research how to better grow winter-hardy Midwest fruit such as aronia, quince and saskatoons. “This FARM resource from NSAC is an important tool for farmers like me because it helps me both grow my business while giving back and supporting our sustainable agriculture movement,” explains Schneider. “Through this FARM project, I’m writing an op ed in support of increasing SARE funding, connecting my personal story with the importance of this program.”
“It is important that the public hear from farmers because that’s the only way they will truly understand what’s going on with family farmers,” comments John Kinsman, an organic dairy farmer also from LaValle and a long-standing voice for organic agriculture. “People want to hear our message, they want to have an alternative to the messages coming from corporate food companies, and we farmers need to deliver.”
Thanks to NSAC leading the way, sustainable agriculture farmers now have the opportunity to better pitch their story to the media and collectively support policy priorities. Take advantage of these resources and look for more media opportunities as NSAC leads the sustainable agriculture vision for the 2012 Farm Bill.
NSAC Website: www.sustainableagriculture.net
Farm & Agriculture Resources for Media (FARM) is under the “Take Action” link.
Lisa Kivirst runs the Farm & Agriculture Resources for Media (FARM) program for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. She and her family run Inn Serendipity Farm and B&B outside Monroe,WI completely powered by renewable energy.Return to TOP
While sitting in a waiting room recently I picked up a dog-eared TIME magazine with a cover tag line “HEALTH SPECIAL: The Organic Food Debate.” Inside, the first special story of this August 30th, 2010 issue was titled “What’s So Great About Organic Food?” I was anxious to read what this popular magazine had to say.
Organic has gained recognition in the last several years, as evidenced by regular articles supporting or bashing it in such media as the New York Times, Sunday news talk shows, and TIME magazine, among many others. There is a lot of confusion among consumers about why organic may be the best choice.
After an introduction focusing on how consumers are made to feel guilty about their food choices, the author, Jeffery Kluger, did a fair job of presenting both sides of the organic debate. (After aggravating me by making numerous statements confusing organic with local, grass fed, or hormone-free.) Kluger ends his introduction with an important point about the great organic food debate: “What’s needed are not arguments but answers.” He continues: “The biggest reason not to ignore the food purists is that in a lot of ways they’re right.”
The organic industry has argued on the side of “answers” for a while now. We continue to pressure the USDA to designate more funds to support organic research. The research is needed to show the real answers about why organic food is the right choice. We present here a synopsis of recent research looking at the impact of organic production and consumption. You may want to use the information in making a strong organic argument to your customers or community.
There are hundreds of studies that bring to light the negatives of various pesticides, including those that have led to the recalls of numerous popular chemicals, such as DDT and endosulfan. We won’t go into detail on the effects of pesticides here, if you’re interested, the research can be viewed on the website of the Pesticide Action Network, http://www.panna.org/.
What the research shows:
Research conducted by the USDA, California Dept of Health, and Consumers Union has consistently shown that organic products have very low, or no, pesticide residues.(1)
Your and your children’s health:
Researchers at the University of Washington found that a diet composed of predominantly organic food “provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against exposures to organophosphorous (OP) pesticides.” The researchers concluded that, “consuming food grown using organic production methods can virtually eliminate exposures to a dangerous class of insecticides known to disrupt neurological development in infants and children.”(2)
Exposure to agricultural pesticides is associated with the risk of prostate cancer.(3) Twice as many children of Iowa farmers developed childhood lymphoma as the control population.(4)
The President’s 2010 Cancer Panel Report urges consumers to choose foods grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, antibiotics, and growth hormones to help decrease their risk of contracting cancer. The report states, “Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing, to the extent possible, food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers…Similarly, exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feed lots can be minimized by eating free-range meat raised without these medications.”(5)
Mothers consuming mostly organic milk and meat products were found to have about 50 percent higher levels of rumenic acid in their breast milk. This Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is responsible for most of the health benefits of CLAs in milk and meat. The greater reliance of organic beef and dairy farmers on pasture and forage grasses increases the levels of CLAs in milk and beef, and in turn in the breast milk of women eating organic animal products.(6)
Children consuming predominantly organic dairy products (> 90% organic) in the first two years of life had more than a 30% lower risk of eczema.(7)
More nutrients in organic food:
In a ten-year comparison of the influence of crop management practices on the content of flavonoids in tomatoes, UC Davis researchers found that the ten-year mean levels of two important bio-flavinoids, quercetin and kaempferol, were 79% and 97% higher in organic tomatoes. The levels of flavonoids increased over time in samples from the organic fields.(8)
USDA scientists have found that organic brands of catsup contain 57 percent higher levels of the health-promoting antioxidant lycopene.(9)
Researchers in Texas found that organic grapefruits had higher levels of ascorbic acid, certain health-promoting flavonoids, and sugars, and were lower in nitrates.(10)A review of 88 peer- reviewed studies comparing the nutrient content of organic and conventional produce shows that organic plant-based foods (fruits, vegetables, grains) contain higher levels of eight of 11 nutrients studied, including significantly greater concentrations of the health-promoting polyphenols and antioxidants. This comprehensive review concludes that organically grown plant-based foods are 25% more nutrient dense, on average, and hence deliver more essential nutrients per serving or calorie consumed.(11)
Organic and water quality:
Drinking water is often contaminated with nitrates, which can cause blue baby syndrome and other negative health impacts. In studying water found in drainage tiles, University of Minnesota researchers found that alternative cropping systems, including organic, reduced the amount of water lost in drainage tile by 41 percent and reduced nitrate-nitrogen levels by 60 percent.(12)
In long-term research at Washington State University, nitrogen (N) losses to groundwater and the atmosphere were reduced in organic orchards. Annual nitrate leaching was significantly lower in the organic plots. The organically farmed soils exhibited higher potential de-nitrification rates, greater de-nitrification efficiency, higher levels of organic matter, and greater microbial activity.(13)
Atrazine, a common herbicide that is a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, was found in 50% of the drinking wells in Dakota County, MN, in 2005. The use of Atrazine is prohibited in organic production.
Organic improves soil quality:
Long-term USDA-ARS research has shown that organic farming practices significantly build soil organic matter content. The research showed that organic farming improved soil organic matter because the use of manure and cover crops more than offset losses from tillage.(14)
In research conducted by Iowa State University, by the fourth year in an organic crop rotation, organic corn and soybean yields rose above county averages. The improving performance in the organic plots was attributed to soil quality improvements: more soil organic matter, enhanced microbial activity in more diverse communities of organisms, and reduced soil acidity.(15)
Organic does not allow genetic engineering:
Researchers at Indiana University have found that genetically engineered Bt corn harms aquatic insects and disrupts stream ecosystems. Caddisfly larva experienced high mortality and stunted growth when exposed to Bt corn pollen and crop residues.(16)
Scientists performing field research in North Dakota have discovered the first evidence of established populations of genetically modified plants in the wild. Researchers from the University of Arkansas, North Dakota State University, California State University, Fresno and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found strong evidence that transgenic plants have established populations outside of agricultural fields in the United States. Of the 406 plants collected, 347 (86 percent) tested positive for genetically engineered herbicide tolerance. There were also two instances of multiple transgenes in single individuals. Canola varieties with multiple transgenic traits have not been released commercially, so this finding suggests that feral populations are reproducing and have become established outside of cultivation.(17)
Organic enhances biodiversity:
Biodiversity is fundamental to organic farming. Diverse plant communities support beneficial insect communities that manage pest populations, eliminating the need for highly toxic pesticides.
Organic farming increases biodiversity at every level of the food chain – all the way from bacteria to mammals.(18) That is the conclusion of the largest review ever done of studies from around the world on the impacts of organic agriculture on biodiversity. The study reviewed data from Europe, Canada, New Zealand, and the US.
Organic mitigates climate change:
According to a report issued by the International Trade Centre, a joint technical agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, “organic agriculture has much to offer in both mitigation of climate change through its emphasis on closed nutrient cycles and is a particularly resilient and productive system for adaptation strategies.” (19)
Organic can feed the world:
Long-term experiments in IA, MN, and WI demonstrate comparable corn and soybean yields. Research summarizing 293 published comparisons found a 30% increase in world-wide yields using organic methods.(20)
Returning to my TIME magazine, a follow up article was titled “Farm vs Supermarket: Our panel of experts says- surprise!- organic and small farm products aren’t always better.” In reading the title I thought I would hear organic bashing- but- surprise- the comparisons of eight products done by eight different master chefs pitting organic (or local) against conventional products showed organic on top or tied for taste and texture seven times! Only one chef pair decided that corn-fed beef was more tender and had more fat (=tastier, to them) than grass fed. ( The article doesn’t say that the beef is organic.) The misleading headline implies to the reader that organic isn’t the answer, but, even this non scientific research shows…….organic food IS great!
Jody Padgham is the MOSES associate director and editor of the Organic Broadcaster.
The majority of these research summaries were taken, with permission, from a 2010 pamphlet “What is Organic Food and Why Should I Care” published by the University of Minnesota, authored by Jim Riddle and Bud Markhart. To view the entire pamphlet online, go to http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu/organic/whatisorganicfood.pdf
Sources of information about organic research:
The Organic Center https://www.organic-center.org/
MN Organic Ecology Research and Outreach Program www.organicecology.umn.org
The Organic Farming Research Foundation http://ofrf.org/
MOSES Organic Research Resources http://www.mosesorganic.org/research.html
The Rodale Institute http://www.rodaleinstitute.org
1.Food Additives and Contaminants, May 2002. B. P. Baker; C. M. Benbrook; E. Groth; K. Lutz Benbrook.
2.Environmental Health Perspectives, doi:10.1289/ehp.10912 http://dx.doi.org/ [Online 15 January 2008]
3.American Journal of Epidemiology, Agricultural Health Study. May 2003.
4. Environmental Health Perspectives, 112:631-635.
5. “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now.” 2010. Dr. LaSalle Leffall, Jr., Howard University, and Dr. Margaret L. Kripke, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
6. British Journal of Nutrition, June 2007.
7. British Journal of Nutrition, August 2007.
8. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2007.
9. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. December 29, 2004.
10. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. (Vol. 55, 2007)
11. The Organic Center, March 2008
12. Journal of Environmental Quality. July-Aug 2007.
13. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. March 21, 2006.
16. Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. (Vol. 104, No. 41)
17. Sustainable Food News. August 6, 2010.
18. Biological Conservation. (vol 122, p 113)
19. International Report on Organic Farming and Climate Change: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 2008.
20. Renewable Ag and Food Systems, Badgley C. et al, 22:86-108.
A program recently introduced by the Farm Service Agency helps farmers with costs relating to conservation, including new projects being done as part of upgrading your organic operation, or transitioning to organic. This loan program is unlike any other loan program the agency has to offer. The loans are not targeted to financial concerns but rather to stewardship of our agricultural resources. This Conservation Loan Program (CL) represents a shift within FSA, where environmental regulations are no longer viewed as a hurdle, but instead conservation activities are to be embraced and encouraged. There is no requirement that farmers be previously turned down at private lending institutions before they can apply for this program. The program is open to all active farmers who can provide collateral and show repayment ability.
This loan program represents true partnerships between FSA, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), private organic certification agents and the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. This FSA loan money can be used to implement a variety of practices. However, they must be part of an approved NRCS conservation plan, a transition to organic plan approved by NRCS and organic certifiers, or activities that are part of the SARE program. Examples would be setting up fences or animal walkways for rotational grazing, or seed and planting costs in accordance with the NRCS cover crop standard. The program provides low interest direct loans written and serviced by your local FSA loan teams as well as guaranteed loans delivered by other local agricultural lenders.
A conservation practice can be fully farmer funded, such as one that was not chosen by the NRCS during the EQIP or CSP ranking, or can be used to pay the 25% farmer portion of NRCS cost shared practices that were part of an application that was approved. This loan could also be used for a very short term, to pay for work done under an NRCS contract, while you wait for the NRCS payment to go through channels. At this time the short term interest rate for these loans is approximately 4%.
The Farm Service Agency is now accepting and processing applications for its’ Conservation Loan Program. The program demonstrates FSA support at the highest levels for resource conservation, customer choice, and sustainable production practices. It is also an excellent response to the longstanding need for financing transition costs.
To begin the application process, interested individuals can call their local Farm Service Agency office. Applicants will need to provide an approved conservation or transition plan which addresses the practices to be financed. Farmers can work with the NRCS to obtain an approved conservation plan.
Wade Miller is a farm loan manager at FSA in Wisconsin.Return to TOP
Newspaper headlines read “Help Wanted: Organic Farmers” as the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) used the 2005 Organic Farming Conference to launch a new educational campaign. Help Wanted was designed to draw attention to the expanding need for organic production, and increase the number of organic farmers to satisfy the rapidly growing consumer demand.
Now, six years later, the Help Wanted: Organic Farmers campaign has grown and evolved, along with the Organic Farming Conference, to reflect the needs of farmers and the industry. The growth of the Conference alone, from 1,800 participants at the 2005 event to an expected 3,000 in 2011, demonstrates the ongoing expansion of the organic industry. To better reflect MOSES’ goals, Help Wanted: Organic Farmers is changing names, and will now be known as the Grow Organic Initiative.
Over the past five years the continuation and growth of the initiative was made possible with funding from the Ceres Foundation, The Brico Fund, Bradshaw-Knight Foundation, Blooming Prairie, Organic Valley, Wallace Genetic Foundation, and other supporters. Financial support is essential to support the staff needed to make these programs possible and to provide numerous free resources to farmers.
The goal of the Grow Organic Initiative is to assist an increasing number of farmers in the adoption and integration of organic and sustainable production practices. To succeed, education, training, support, and resources on successful organic production practices must be provided to a wide diversity of farmers. The outreach efforts identified in the Grow Organic Initiative assist producers in making sound decisions and avoiding common mistakes.
Key highlights of the past five years include:
• Hiring of two organic specialists focusing on outreach, education and policy improvement.
• Hiring of an event and resource coordinator to manage the planning and implementation of MOSES trainings, field days and educational resources.
• Utilizing social media including Facebook and Twitter for increased promotion of MOSES, our programs, resources and industry news.
• Joining the Wisconsin and Minnesota Public News Service Networks, enabling MOSES to promote organic agriculture through a greater number of media outlets.
• Hosting or sponsoring hundreds of workshops, trainings and farm field days, many in collaboration with regional partners.
• Developing teaching modules with area collegiate and technical college programs on sustainable farming techniques.
• Annually updating and providing as a searchable, online data base the popular and much-requested Upper Midwest Organic Resource Directory.
• Writing, updating and distributing 26 fact sheets on various organic production topics for farmers.
• Influencing and educating about federal farm legislation.
• Improving the MOSES website to include online access to numerous educational resources.
• Regularly attending Farm Technology Days in Wisconsin, the Farm Progress Show in Illinois and Farmfest in Minnesota – all large farm shows, providing the opportunity to talk about organic and sustainable farming practices to conventional farmers.
• Implementing and continuing a successful Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring program matching experienced organic farmers with new organic farmers in a one-on-one relationship.
• Answering thousands of toll-free calls from producers who had questions about organic certification and production through the Organic Farmer Hotline.
The impact from the activities in the Grow Organic Initiative stretches far beyond the attendance and participation figures – the true impact is through the increase in numbers of farmers producing organically. We also see impact in increases in the measures of success (knowledge, relationships, profitability) for new, transitioning, and experienced organic farmers in the Midwest. To gauge satisfaction and to better understand the longer-lasting impact, MOSES staff communicates via emails and follow-up phone calls to our program participants. Program changes are made based on comments we receive.
The past five years of successful Help Wanted activity have paved the road for the success of the Grow Organic Initiative. With ongoing support and improvement, MOSES will continue to plan and implement programs to help farmers transition to sustainable and organic farming systems that are ecologically sound, economically viable, and socially just through information, education, and research.
Are you interested in learning more about the Grow Organic Initiative or providing feedback? Visit our website at www.mosesorganic.org, or contact MOSES at (715)778-5775 or by email at email@example.com.
Kelli Cameron is the MOSES director of development and systems.Return to TOP
First printed in the NODPA News, January 2008. Published by the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, www.nodpa.com, 413-772-0444
Winter in the northern climes is a rough time for all of us. People suffer from “colds,” flu and a variety of upper respiratory symptoms, including those that can get worse, going to bronchitis, “walking pneumonia” and, worst case scenario, full-blown pneumonia. Children, the elderly and those who are immunecompromised suffer the most. Pneumonia was once the most common cause of death in the US.
Livestock also suffer, and the reasons for that are multiple and cumulative. Quite often the animals in the herd or flock are bunched up during times of cold weather and have more contact and therefore more germ transmission. They also share more contact at feed bunks, hay racks and water troughs. When we look at the cause behind the cause, however, we see that erosion of the immune system underpins almost all infectious disease.
Cold weather blues
When it comes to basics, it might be said that the most disease-producing factor in cold winter weather could be just plain lack of energy in the forages. This tends to be the most common limiting factor in livestock production year-round but it shows up in many ways in the winter. Animals fed low-energy feedstuffs use what energy they have digesting food, and the overall result is a greater likelihood of diseases and reproductive problems. These animals are often cold and miserable all winter and can expire during a blizzard or ice storm as they have no reserve. Dairy animals that are milked year-round will usually show a drop in milk production which can be taken as an immediate indicator of problems. The brix index of forages is the quality guideline of utmost importance and many believe it’s the most informative test for the money. Many farms, especially as they begin to remineralize their soils, struggle to maintain a 3-4% brix level. This is just plain too low and it’s amazing how many farm problems of all sorts go completely away as the average brix levels exceed 10%, with 12% commonly considered to be the gold standard.
Another simple weakening factor is lack of drinkable water. For those of us living in the northland, maintaining ice-free water in adequate supply is a daily headache. Modern tank heaters, frost-free water nozzles, and buried PVC pipe have done wonders for easing the burden.
Obviously most winter forages tend to be deficient in adequate vitamins, enzymes, nutrients, and overall plant vitality. Stored forages are almost always inferior to grazed fresh forages and each form of storage has its plusses and minuses. Dried hay and dried concentrates protect most nutrients but in wet years it’s impossible to guard fully against mold contamination.
A common mold is the Fusarium family which, unlike Aspergillus aflatoxins, don’t kill an animal suddenly and viciously, but they smolder inside the body. These mold toxins rob health by stealing immune strength and undermining fertility. Fusarium toxins lead to an insidious health problem commonly called “Lazy Leukocyte Syndrome” which basically consists of an army of white blood cell defenders that are worthless against infection.
Animals trying to function in the higher latitudes also suffer from lack of sunlight, more specifically ultraviolet light, that force needing to generate adequate levels of vitamin D3. Experiments conducted at Randleigh Farms back in the 1950s proved that exposing cows to uv lamps during milking or barn time radically improved their health. Interestingly, this milk would also have more health-giving vitamin D3 levels producing healthier calves and more health for the human customers.
Another fat-soluble vitamin essential for good membrane and immune integrity is vitamin A. Formerly called the “anti-infective” vitamin, A is needed for membranes of the respiratory tract as well as the eyes. Lowered vitamin A predisposes to shipping fever, pneumonia, scours, and pinkeye. While prime pasture grass and legumes is loaded with the carotenes that are converted by the body into vitamin A, the stored forages suffer a loss with hay being the most likely to lose vitamin content. Hay that was heated from being put up too wet loses carotenes as does all hay stored over 300 days. Silage or baleage is the best storage technique to preserve carotenes, and good fermented feedstuffs will retain 90% of the carotenes. Alfalfa and clovers contain the highest levels of carotenes as compared to grasses, whereas orchard and canary grass are the highest of the common grasses. It’s important to note that animals that are pregnant in the winter have variations in immune integrity during gestation, the most important of which is a severe dip just about 2 weeks before parturition. During this window many pathogens that will later cause mastitis or uterine infection penetrate the immune shield. Wise herdsmen will augment the feed, vitamins, and care during this period of vulnerability.
Cold weather husbandry
As stated before, winter is the time to pour it on with good forages and good management. This would include prevention of mud problems, wind shelter and fresh drinkable water. It’s also a time to make sure that adequate minerals and vitamins are being provided. Think of it as an insurance policy. If you are sure you have no deficiencies and if you haven’t had a vet bill in 50 years, well, that is a good sign that you are on track and can probably quit reading. If, on the other hand, you are unsure, or especially if you are having the occasional problem with ringworm, lice, foot rot, pinkeye, or other issues, then these recommendations probably apply to you.
KELP- nothing says love to the immune system like delivery of all the nutrients required to make the body immune. I like to use a good kelp brand such as Thorvin, and offer it free choice in a covered mineral feeder at all times. It’s acceptable to mix kelp with a good granular mineral salt, such as Redmond’s. They can be mixed 50:50.
DESERT DYNAMIN- A trace-mineral bearing earth-mined clay that can be offered to the herd or flock free-choice at all times. This is an excellent buffer for pH issues and it will absorb mold toxins or other pollutants in the body. It’s a bouillon cube of minerals for the body.
CALCIUM-PHOSPHORUS TRACE-MINERAL MIX- This is most often in a 2:1 ratio and contains other macro minerals as well. A smart feed mill will augment the so-called immune minerals as well and these include IODINE, SELENIUM, COPPER and ZINC.
Effective mineral ratios can be found from modern sources online, or from books. An inexpensive and simple source of minerals is a product called HEMOCELL- 100. This is a trace mineral pre-mix pack which can be mixed in with the larger and cheaper ingredients. (Hemocell-100 may also be used as a direct free-choice supplement or top-dressing if there is an on-going herd health problem, or given to certain individuals with health problems).
ESSENTIAL TRACE MINERAL LEVELS- For cattle, we like to maintain these levels of the “limiting factor” health and immunity minerals, Calcium = 7,500-8,500 mg/day, Phosporus = 400 mg/ day, Magnesium = 5000-10,000 mg/day, Copper = 150-250 mg/day, Zinc = 1200-1600 mg/day, Selenium = 4 6 mg/day, Iodine = 25-28 mg/day, Manganese = 1200 mg/day.
Maintaining herd health in the winter is one of the ultimate challenges of holistic management. Each step taken brings the farm more into alignment with profitability and success. Nobody gets it 100% right all the time but then again, no one ever said it would be easy!
William G. Winter is a free-lance journalist and teacher. www.willwinter.com.Return to TOP
The MOSES Farmer-to-Farmer Mentoring Program links a new farmer with an experienced organic farmer who is doing the same type of farming ( vegetables, dairy, crops, etc.). The program provides an important avenue for an exchange of information. Farmers who have been farming for just a few years, or who are making the transition to organic agriculture are invited to apply for the MOSES Organic Farmer- to-Farmer Mentoring Program. Experienced organic farmers who are willing to mentor novice organic farmers by visiting their farms and taking questions throughout the year are also encouraged to apply. As participants in the program both mentors and mentees attend the 2011 Organic University and 2011 Organic Farming Conference as well as the 2012 Organic Farming Conference at no charge. Mentors receive a small stipend in addition to these free registrations, and mentees are asked to pay a fee to participate in the program. Questions about the program can be answered by Harriet Behar, MOSES organic specialist, 888-551-4769 or firstname.lastname@example.org Detailed information and applications can be found at http://www.mosesorganic.org/mentoring.htmlReturn to TOP
MN to Study Transition Costs
Minnesota economists will study the economic costs associated with transitioning from traditional to organic farming through a new $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The four-year project is aimed at gathering data about costs and returns for farmers making the switch to organic farming. Data will come from transitioning and recently certified organic farmers who enroll in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Farm Business Management Education program. The project also will develop educational materials that will help transitioning farmers make long-term planning decisions. The project will include training on fundamentals of organic transition for the 71 instructors in the state colleges and universities system’s Farm Business Management Education program. http://www1.umn.edu/news/news-releases/2010/UR_CONTENT_257280.html
GrassWorks, the WI grazing organization, is the industry sponsor for a new “Dairy Grazier Apprenticeship.” Similar to the well-established model used for plumbers, bricklayers, electricians, this “Dairy Grazier Apprenticeship” will combine classroom education through the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) with on-the-farm training under the guidance of a Master Farmer. If you are interested in enrolling in the program as an Apprentice or as a Master Farmer, please visit www.grassworks.org or contact Joe Tomandl, III the project coordinator at: email@example.com or 715-560-0389.
New Apprenticeship Program Addresses Needs of Beginning and Established Dairy Farmers
Organic Program Strategic Plan Available
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) recently made its 2011-12 Strategic Plan available on its website (http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop) . Articulating a vision of “Organic integrity from farm to table, consumers trust the organic label,” the plan lays out the agency’s mission and a set of goals designed to accomplish that mission. Among other things, the plan emphasizes the importance of clear and consistent organic regulations and strong and consistent compliance enforcement.
Organic Farmer Garners Attention in Iowa Ag Secretary Race
Organic dairy farmer Francis Thicke’s campaign for the post of Agriculture Secretary in Iowa has drawn national attention to sustainable agriculture in a farm bloc state. Thicke is a long-time sustainable agriculture advocate who has authored a book, A New Vision for Iowa Food and Agriculture, and is an active dairy farmer who also processes the products his farm produces. http://www.grist.org/article/food-2010-09-19-the-new-agtivist-francis-thicke-wants-to-lead-iowa
New MDA Report Shows Increase in Certified Organic Farms
The Status of Organic Agriculture in Minnesota report released in September by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture provides detailed information about the economic performance of organic farms, organic consumer and market data, environment and human health topics and an inventory of state and federal programs directed toward organic agriculture. Highlights include:The number of certified organic farms in Minnesota increased 42% between 2000 and 2008. Organic acreage in the state increased 88% during the same period. Consumer appetite for organic products has continued to grow. Most (78%) Minnesota organic farmers started their careers as conventional farmers. Organic farmers are optimistic about the future of organic agriculture and of their farming operations. Weed control and production costs remain top concerns of organic farmers. Weed management, soil health and nutritional studies on organic foods are top research priorities.
USDA ARMS to Study Corn Production Practices
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will be contacting corn producers to learn about their production practices during the 2010 growing season. As part of the Agricultural Resource Management Survey (ARMS), USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will gather data on farmers’ chemical use, pest management and irrigation practices for corn and potatoes. Organic production practices will be included in survey questions. Read more at http://www.farmandranchguide.com/articles/2010/10/07/ag_news/regional_news/news12.txt
Online Market Planner Helps Farmers Determine Product Demand
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State’s Institute for Transportation have teamed up to create the Iowa Fruit and Vegetable Market Planner, an online tool to help Iowa farmers assess the market for their products. The Planner shows rates of demand for 80 different crops based on food availability data reported each year by the USDAs Economic Research Service and U.S. Census data.Target market demand can be compared with state-level production to see where the greatest opportunities exist for farmers.
Dairy Industry Completes Carbon Footprint Study on Fluid Milk
The U.S. dairy industry has completed a carbon footprint study that measured the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with a gallon of milk in the United States. Researchers followed the journey of a gallon of milk from the beginning of the life cycle when crops are grown to feed cows; milk is produced and delivered to processors; through processing, packaging and distribution; all the way to the purchase and disposal of the gallon of milk by the consumer. The completion of the study is a significant first step for the dairy industry in a comprehensive, science-based approach to measure and improve its environmental footprint. http://bit.ly/bM5em1USDA National
Scientists Pursue New Weed Controls for Organic Systems
A press release by the Weed Science Society of America highlights several research projects underway that offer new alternatives in weed management. The Global Change and Photosynthesis Research Unit of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, Ohio State and Purdue universities are all exploring practical ways to reduce the persistence of weed seeds. In a survey conducted online by researchers at Rodale Institute, 85 percent of the organic growers responding use of at least three weed management strategies -- and most use six. The new research could offer them important new management alternatives. http://www.prweb.com/releases/prweb2010/10/prweb4666714.htm
Comment Invited on Draft NOP Guidance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture invites comment on draft guidance issued by the NOP. Topics addressed include: compost and vermicompost in organic crop production; wild crop harvesting; outdoor access for organic poultry; commingling and contamination prevention in organic production and handling; and use of chlorine materials in organic production and handling. The guidance documents are available on the NOP website in draft form (http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/NOPDraftGuidance). The NOP will consider all comments submitted by Dec. 13, 2010, before issuing final guidance for inclusion in the Program Handbook. The public can view the documents and provide comments at http://www.regulations.gov (document number AMS-NOP-10-0048) or by mail to Toni Strother, Agricultural Marketing Specialist, National Organic Program, USDA-AMS-NOP, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 2646 So., Ag Stop 0268, Washington, DC 20250-0268.
Representatives Withdraw from Sustainable Agriculture Standard Initiative
The American Soybean Association (ASA) announced this week that it is withdrawing from the Leonardo Academy’s initiative to develop a sustainable agriculture standard for American National Standards Institute. Fifty-four other commodity and farm organizations representing U.S. production agriculture interests joined ASA in withdrawing from the Leonardo Academy’s process. A statement issued by ASA notes that, “While ASA supports the goal of a sustainable agriculture standard, it has become clear that that the Leonardo Academy process is biased against a balanced and open analysis of modern agriculture.” The ASA statement continues, “Despite the Leonardo Academy’s claim that the Committee is made up of members from ‘across all areas of agriculture,’ in reality the Committee is dominated by environmental groups, certification consultants, agro-ecology and organic farming proponents.”
Organic Farming Research Foundation Grants
OFRF has funding available to fund research or education/outreach projects on any agricultural production, social, economic, or policy-related topic of concern to organic farmers and/or ranchers. Special funding is also available for projects in the categories of organic seed quality or crop breeding. There are separate RFPs for research proposals and education/outreach proposals. Proposals are due November 18, 2010. http://ofrf.org/grants/apply.html
Four Bats and White-nose Syndrome Fungus - Emergency Listing Comment Periods
The WI Department of Natural Resources will hold hearings on the emergency listings of four bat species as threatened, due to the White-nose syndrome (WNS- caused by an invasive fungus called Geomyces destructans and affects bats while they are hibernating in caves and mines). Hearings will also cover a rule concerning monitoring for WNS, and other regulatory steps associated with the control of the fungus. WDNR recognizes organic farmers as potential stakeholders in these decisions and welcomes comments you may have, either sent to Stacy Rowe at Stacy.Rowe@wisconsin.gov or mailed to Stacy Rowe, Bureau of Endangered Resources, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707, or by attending two public hearings (Oct 26 for emergency listings and Nov 29 for permanent listings and WNS rule). More information on the listings and comment period can be found at http://dnr.wi.gov/news/BreakingNews_Lookup.asp?id=1885
Organic Farmland Access Program: Call for Farmers
New Spirit Ventures (NSV) is a social finance organization facilitating a flow of capital to farmers while fostering land stewardship and social ethic to protect and nourish the earth. The goal of the Organic Farmland Access Program is to help farmers committed to organic or sustainable agriculture start, maintain and grow their operations by linking farmers with socially motivated investors who will purchase the farmland they need and lease it to them on long-term, renewable leases with an option to buy. To date, NSV has helped four different organic farmers expand their farming operations in the Midwest, through the purchase of over 670 total acres. At this time they have additional people interested in purchasing and leasing out farmland and seek to expand our pool of farmers wanting to start or grow their businesses.
NSV is currently accepting applications from:
• Farmers in Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa who are seeking additional land to grow their operations;
• Farmers seeking a whole farm in which to start or grow their operations; and
• They are particularly (but not exclusively) interested in applications from farmers who are, or want to be located in the driftless region or the St. Croix River Valley.
For more information, visit NSV on the web at http://www.newspiritventures.org/content/farmers or contact Jim Holub at: 319.310.7263 or firstname.lastname@example.org
USDA Publishes Organic Program Handbook
The first edition of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s handbook for the organic sector was published on Sept. 2, 2010. Prepared by the National Organic Program, the handbook provides guidance about national organic regulations for those who own, manage, or certify organic operations. It is intended to serve as a resource to help participants comply with federal regulations. The handbook is at www.ams.usda.gov/NOPProgramHandbook. Printed copies by request from the Standards Division, National Organic Program, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Room 2646-S, Ag Stop 0268, Washington, D.C. 20250-0268; telephone: (202) 720-3252; fax: (202) 205-7808.
Wisconsin Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Grant Program
The Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative (GLCI) announced the 2011 Request for Proposals for the Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative Grant Program. The program offers grants for grazing education and on-farm demonstration, grazing research, and grazing technical assistance. Proposals are due November 12, 2010. http://www.datcp.state.wi.us/arm/agriculture/land-water/grazergrant/index.jsp
Course Study on Farming, Food, Cooking and Nutrition
Now available: The Whole Plate: A Return to Real Food, a course of study of four classes on farming, cooking and nutrition by Jane Siemon and staff of the Viroqua, WI Youth Initiative High School. This powerful combination of practical advice and scientific facts was designed to guide and instruct students in how to cook and eat for the rest of their lives. The Whole Plate is directed towards high school students, but any adult who reads through it will be challenged and enlightened. The course includes dozens of recipes that are healthy and delicious and affordable, from eggrolls to crepes to pot roast. Following The Whole Plate, a class hears, cooks, and eats. The idea and the act and the flavor become one thing. For more complete information visit The Whole Plate website at:http://www.thewholeplate.yihs.net/ or call Shawn at 608-637-6445. For information about Youth Initiative High School visit the website at:http://www.yihs.net/
For Sale: 12’ refrigerated delivery truck. 1990 GMC Topkick with Cat diesel, Allison automatic and all new tires. Box and ThermoKing reefer new in 2001. Asking $12,000 or best offer. Contact: 608-574-5066.
For Sale: NI 708 Uni-System w/ Perkins diesel, cab, heater, hydro, with 838 husking unit, NI 844 4-row corn head and NI 841 feeder house. $4500.00. Richland Center,WI. Sam. 608-536-3567.
For Sale: JD 494 4-row planter, excellent; JD’s 290 & 999 planters, both with check wire; Case 2 btm pull plow, manual trip; IHC 4 btm 2pt steerable plow, vg; 4-section pull-type rotary hoe; JD front mount 4-row cultivator. Contact: 641-751-8382.
For Sale: JD 55 combine with cab, with 235 two-row cornhead. Always stored inside. Very good original condition. Contact: 641-751-8382.
For Sale: Howard HR 20 Rotovator. Northern Illinois. Contact: Dave Campbell. 630-201-7569.
For Sale: Tractors, good running condition, serviced regularly: two IH Super C’s with cult. set up, $3500 ea. Super C with Cole sidedresser, $4500. IH 140 with 5’ Woods mower, $6500. IH 140 with finger weeder and sprayer, $7000. IH 504 Hi-Clear with tank and sprayer boom, $6500. 952-985-7233 or 952-201-3993.
For Sale: John Deere 956 MoCo discbine, hydraulic tilt, impeller, field ready. Very good condition. $14,500. 920-427-6663.
For Sale: IH 700 plow. 416 and field ready. $800 OBO. 920-427-6663.
For Sale: Yetter chisel plow. 9 shank, heavy duty. Very good condition. $1600 obo. 920-427-6663.
For Sale: 6-8 MOSA certified Angus heifers, 2 years old. Silver Lake, MN. Contact: Gerald Harris. 320-327-2728.
For Sale: Semen, good selection for crossbreeding your herd. 17 Friesian Red, 6 Swedish Red, 19 Brown Swiss, 9 Belgian Blue, 42 Holstein. 93 straws total, $600. Tank $300. Plus shipping if over 50 miles. Southeast Wisconsin. Call for bull names and numbers, mostly Semex and Genex. Contact: Tim Dobberphul. 262-707-5602.
For Sale: 25 Certified organic and grass-fed yearling Black Baldy steers and heifers. Contact: Tom Neuberger. Canistota, South Dakota. 605-296-3314.
For Sale: 45 head of OCIA certified organic Angus spring calves. Available Nov-Dec. Must sell before January 1st. Good grass genetics. Bill Rosin, Selby, SD (605) 649-7224.
For Sale: Milking shorthorn heifers, fresh or springing. 608-625-2165.
For Sale: Two Jersey cows from organic, outwintered, Johne’s test negative herd. Vaccinated and boostered with 9-way vaccine and magnets. Both are bred to a polled Jersey bull. Big, healthy girls with gentle dispositions. Both are dry, one is about 6 mos. pregnant and the other around 3. $1,000 each or both for $1,800. Contact: Mark Kopecky. 715-820-2857. Evenings.
For Sale: Two butcher steers. Grass fed, ready to butcher. MOSA certified. $1 per pound. Freedom Dairy. Hixton, Wisconsin. Contact: Marianne 715-533-5761.
For Sale: 2 certified organic steers, Finnish Ayrshire-Jersey crosses. 5-6 months old, approx 300 lbs. Healthy, never had grain, plenty of colostrums and whole milk to 3 months. 715-512-1071.
For Sale: Organic Jersey X and Jersey springing heifers and cows. Contact: Eric. 715-772-4495.
For Sale: 4 organic heifers, 2 Jersey, 2 Jersey milking shorthorn cross. 16 months, ready to breed. 715-232-8785.
Wanted: To buy 12 Jersey or Jersey-crosses (with any dairy breed). Contact: 715-512-1071.
For Sale: Brown Swiss bull, 6 months, registered. Proven & calm. Asking $1200. Westby, Wisconsin. 608-634-4056 or 608-632-1869.
For Sale: MOSA certified alfalfa/grass hay, wrapped/dry, 1st & 2nd. Steve Kakes. 715-678-2552.
For Sale: Certified organic barley and oat straw from 2010 crop. 715-625-2596 or email@example.com.
For Sale: Organic grass hay. Round bales, 5x5, has not been rained on, stored inside. Osseo, WI 715-597-1815.
For Sale: MOSA certified organic ’08 straw, 4x6 large rounds, net wrapped. Prescott, WI. Contact: 715-262-5115.
For Sale: MOSA certified organic ’09 straw, 3x3x7 ½ large squares. Prescott, WI. Contact: 715-262-5115.
For Sale: MOSA certified baled alfalfa hay. Central Wisconsin. Contact: 715-897-1646.
For Sale: MOSA-certified 4x5 net wrapped 1st crop. 715-879-5572.
For Sale: Organic 800 lb. 1st & 2nd crop round bales. Bloomer, WI. Contact: Culver Farms. 715-568-3758.
For Sale: MOSA-certified organic hay. Wrapped big squares or round bales. Special price paid if paid for in 2010. Can deliver or will Store for future delivery. Eau Claire,WI. Tim at Damar Farms. 715-797-3914.
For Sale: Certified organic 1st crop hay 2010. Stored inside. 4x5 round/$44 bale. Contact: 715-748-6863 or 715-965-1234.
For Sale: 2010 crops of hay & straw. Contact: Matt. 715-664-8374.
For Sale: Organic grass hay. Round bales 5 x 5. Has not been rained on. Stored inside. Osseo, WI. Contact: 715-597-1815.
For Sale: 1st crop 4x5 rd bales. MOSA-certified organic hay, alfalfa-grass mix, stored inside. Medford, WI. 715-748-6863 or 715-965-1234.
For Sale: 1st, 2nd & 3rd crop hay. Large square baleage bails. Southern Wisconsin, Northern Illinois. Contact: Jordan Farms. 608-558-9530 or 815-291-3341.
For Sale: Big round net-wrapped bales, first cutting 2010. MOSA-certified. Contact: Bob Molini. 608-875-5810.
For Sale: Organic hay and oat straw. 50” round bales. 140-160 RFV @ Dairyland. Hauling available. Contact: Kent Wolf. 608-553-1136.
For Sale: Certified organic hay, wrapped and dry big bales and straw big bales. Can deliver. Contact: 608-574-2160.
For Sale: MOSA certified organic hay. Small square bales. No rain, easy loading. SW Wisconsin. Roland & Sherry, Ferryville, Wisconsin, 608-734-3312.
For Sale: MOSA certified rye, $4/bale and straw bales, $250/bale. Hillsboro, WI. Contact: Derek. 608-489-4125.
For Sale: MOSA certified organic alfalfa/grass hay and oat straw. Hay is 140-180 RFQ. Wrapped and dry 4x5 net-wrapped round bales. Delivery available. Wonewoc, WI. Contact: 608-553-1136.
For Sale: 2010 hay and straw, large square bales. Sparta, WI. Contact: 608-269-1748.
For Sale: 2010 crop MOSA-certified organic barley & oat straw. Small sq. bales stored inside. Also 100 4x4 1st crop alfalfa rd. bales, approximately 700#, also stored inside. Dunn-Hill farms, Westby, WI. 608-634-5065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Sale: Organic alfalfa baleage, big squares, dairy quality. Also oat & alfalfa baleage and 1st crop alfalfa baleage. Ron Hanson. 608-489-3978.
For Sale: Grass/Alfalfa Mix and Grass Hay For Sale. Analysis Available. Certified Organic. Southern Minnesota. Contact: Randy. 612-669-6892.
For Sale: Hay, alfalfa timothy mix, 103 RFV. 4x5 net-wrapped bales. 250 bales. $40/bale or $100/ton. Central MN. 612-805-0111.
For Sale: OCIA certified. Organic alfalfa hay in 3x3x8 bales, RFV-RFQ test 130-170, protein 19-24. NW MN. Contact: 218-686-2946.
For Sale: Certified (in good standing) organic hay, alfalfa and grass mix. Dairy & Beef quality in medium square bales. Organic wheat straw in medium square bales. Moorhead, MN. Contact: Lee Thomas. 218-790-0236. email@example.com.
For Sale: Certified organic alfalfa hay and alfalfa timothy mix hay. 3x3x8 square bales. Protein 18-21%, tdn 66-68%, rfv 155-181. Stored inside. Krumm Farm, Strasburg, ND. Contact: 701-336-7644.
For Sale: Certified organic 1st & 2nd cutting alfalfa hay. 3x3x8 square bales & 4x6 round bales. Contact: 701-684-6371 or 701-730-0035.
For Sale: Certified organic alfalfa or grass hay. Excellent test results. 3x3x8 900# square bales. Located in Linton, ND. Contact: Dave Silbernagel. 208-286-9397 or 208-867-9939.
For Sale: Alfalfa grass mix, Indiana certified organic. Sparta, Michigan. 616-260-9838.
For Sale: High quality organic alfalfa hay. 4x4 rounds, net wrapped, balage baler. Dry or wrapped balage and dry cow hay. Custom bailing available. Rushford, MN. Contact: 507-864-8080.
For Sale: Large round bales of alfalfa and 2nd crop grass hay. $1.10/pt RFV. Delivery possible. Waseca, MN. Pat Gregor 507-521-5525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Sale: MOSA certified organic alfalfa/grass 3x3x8 squares, no rain, stored inside. CP 12%, TDN 59%, RFV 88. Elroy, WI. Contact: 262-490-7499.
For Sale: Organic alfalfa hay. Small sq. & big rd. 1st & 2nd cutting, possibly 3rd. O’Neill, NE. 402-336-7841 or email@example.com.
For Sale: MOSA-certified organic 2nd, 3rd, 4th cutting. Very good quality alfalfa & alfalfa grass. Available in small sq. 920-427-6663.
For Sale: Certified organic alfalfa hay, med square bales, 3x3x8. West Central, MN. Contact: Bob Henneman. 320-834-4049 or 320-491-9337 (cell).
For Sale: Certified organic oat straw bales. 4x5 round. $30.00. Avon, MN. 320-845-4511. firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Sale: Round alfalfa grass bales. Also big squares of dairy quality hay. 320-352-6053 or 320-493-5067.
Wanted: Organic wheat, barley & oat straw, clean & in good condition. Large sq. or rd. bales. Year round demand for outdoor organic pig operation in Dyersville, IA. Contact Jude Becker at 563-543-4513.
For Sale: Certified organic spring & winter wheat. Also stone ground flour & sprouted flour. Ship U.S. weekly. Contact: Dan Juneau. Red Lake Falls, MN. 218-698-4222.
For Sale: OCIA certified organic corn and oats. Corn test results are 0% for Aflatoxin and Vomitoxin. 13.5% moisture. Contact: 641-751-8382.
For sale: Corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, rye & hairy vetch, hay extruded and/or expelled soybean mean, 09 crop, ICO certified. Also a special bin of low test weight corn. Contact: Ernest Blosser. 815-438-2174 or 815-590-2174 cell.
For sale: Certified organic oats, corn & soybeans. NW Illinois. 815-865-5288.
For Sale: Certified organic oats. Contact: Dave Silbernagel. Linton, ND. 208-286-9397 or 208-867-9939.
For Sale: MOSA-certified organic corn. Special price paid if paid for in 2010. Can deliver or will Store for future delivery. Eau Claire,WI. Tim at Damar Farms. 715-797-3914.
For Sale: 2400 bushel organic barley, 45# tw, 9% protein; 1000 bushel ’08 food grade organic hard red spring wheat; 500 bushel ’08 organic corn, 55# tw; 550 bushel ’09 organic corn, 42# tw and vomitoxin 3 ppm, $2/bushel; 200 bushel ’09 organic rye. Contact: Bob. 715-572-0206.
For Sale: MOSA certified, 11.5 acres of corn. Can harvest as silage or grain. Central Wisconsin. Contact: 715-897-1646.
For Sale: 2010 crop of corn, oats, barley & soybeans. Contact: Matt. 715-664-8374.
For Sale: 3600 bushel of OCIA certified organic barley. Stevens Point, WI. 715-592-4468.
Buy and Sell: Quality certified organic grains and proteins. Custom feed milling and soybean roasting. Bulk auger delivery in Wisconsin. Golden Grains, Sparta, WI. Contact: 608-269-5150.
For Sale: MOSA certified organic ear corn or shelled corn. $4.50/bushel. Will load your truck or arrange delivery. Contact: 608-269-2729.
For Sale: Certified organic rolled roasted soybeans. Also buying organic feed grade soybeans. Contact: Andersen Feeds, Inc., Galesville, WI, 54630. 608-582-2595.
For Sale: Widest independent selection of certified organic & non-GMO seeds & related products at lowest possible prices. All major brands handled. Serving all WI & SE MN. Order early for best selection & price. Your #1 certified organic seed source. Golden Grains, Sparta, WI. Contact: 608-269-5150.
For Sale: Approximately 450 bushel Transitional spring hard red wheat. La Farge, WI. Make an offer. 608-386-4478.
For Sale: 1500 bu. high moisture organic shelled corn. Harvested in November 09, stored in Harvestore, moisture at time of harvest 28%. Contact: Gary Wiedemann, 27038 Neville Road, Cashton, WI 54619 or 608-654-7336 or 608-487-3693.
For Sale: 50 ac MOSA-certified corn & 30 ac Transitional corn. Could be harvested as silage for someone nearby. Bill Larson. Brodhead, WI 53520. 608-436-4901 or email@example.com.
For Sale: Certified organic corn, oats and barley. Can deliver. Contact: 608-574-2160.
For Sale: 2500 bushel of oats, tested at 39 lbs, 14%. Last year’s crop. Central MN. 612-805-0111.
For Sale: 1500-1800 bushel GOA certified organic corn. 2009 crop. Central Minnesota. $4/bushel. Contact: 320-251-4274.
For Sale: 750 bushel roasted shell corn. 320-352-6053 or 320-493-5067.
For Sale: Up to 8000 bu of OCIA certified organic feed soybeans. Contact: Randy. Green Acres Organic Farm, Hortonville, WI. 920- 779-0566 or 920-378-2642.
For Sale: Certified organic high quality corn & soybeans. 920-427-6663.
For Sale: Certified organic barley and oats for sale 2010 crop. Contact: 715-625-2596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Sale: Corn, Soybeans, Wheat, Oats, Rye & Hairy Vetch, Hay, Extruded and/or Expelled Soybean Meal. ‘10 crop, ICO Cert. Ernest Blosser 815-438-2174 815-590-2174 cell
Opportunity: Organic Farm – West Central Wisconsin, 130 crop acres, buy or lease to own. Established markets for organic crops. Off farm jobs available. Owners want to retire. 800-657-4412.
Opportunity: 240 acre organic farm in Central, Wisconsin. This well designed freestall/parlor dairy farm has great soil and can be converted easily from grazing to complete confinement. The renovated three bedroom home is spacious and comfortable. The farm comes with a productive herd of cows, feed stored and full line of equipment. Contact: 608-231-1514.
Opportunity: 40 acre parcel in the Brimson area 50 miles northeast of Duluth, Minnesota. Organic hoopouse vegetable and flower growing business. Rustic two bedroom home featuring first floor family room with Franklin Stove, computer room, sauna and 1 ½ bath. Navigable creek with wild rice flows through the property. $135,900. Contact email@example.com
Opportunity: 130 crop acres, certified organic, two houses & other buildings. Owners need to retire. $500,000. West Central Wisconsin. 800-657-4412.
For Sale: 40 acre farm in Loyal, WI. Contact David E. Yoder, W2619 Rockcreek Rd., Loyal, WI 54446.
Weeds are a product of poor soil environments. The book “Weeds and Why They Grow” lists over 800 weeds and factors encouraging their growth. Other control tips included. 116 pgs, $25 postpaid. Contact: McCaman Farms, PO Box 22, Dept OG, Sand Lake, MI, 49343-9554. 800-611-2923.
Save Energy, Save Money! New insulated, tempered glass for sunrooms, storefronts and greenhouses. Also oak, ash and cherry butcher-blocks for countertops, from $59. Contact: Joe. 715-639-2516 before 9 pm.
Nuttleman’s Custom Grain Cleaning. Food grade or seed bags, totes or bulk. MOSA certified. Contact: Kevin. 608-486-4346 or 608-633-1132.
For Sale: GARLIC - MOSA Certified Organic Garlic: Excellent quality eating and seed garlic. We have over 40 different softneck and hardneck varieties: Inchelium Red, Simoneti, Brown Temptest, Italian late, German, Spanish Roja, Russian Red, Romanian Red, Amish Rocambole, and many more. Contact: 608-655-1596 or www.keeneorganics.com.
For Sale: Certified Organic Garlic Seed for Sale : German Extra Hardy, German Red and Inchelium Red. $10/lb. Call ahead to reserve your seed. Blue Moon Organics (608) 625-6358.
Seeking Farm Division Manager for a certified organic and humane farm in Virginia. Interested candidates can email firstname.lastname@example.org for detailed job description. BA in Business Administration and/or Agronomy required.
For Sale: 8-acre parcel with great views in Castle Rock Township, Dakota County, MN; hilltop setting of 6 acres includes eligible building site surrounded by tillable and/or pasture land plus 2 acres required for driveway access to land; possible to buy additional land if needed; 35 miles south of downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul; priced right for small start-up sustainable farming operation and/or home site; see listing at http://tnprservices.com/land.html
Order your onion plants now. Redwing, Cortland, Candy and more. MOSA certified. $8 for 100. $40 for 1000 or more. Ammon Stoltzfus, W12200 County C, Black River Falls, Wisconsin, 54615.Return to TOP