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  • Video from outside NY Monsanto Motion to Dismiss Oral Arguments | OEFFA News
    dismiss which it filed last July Plaintiffs from at least 21 states and provinces were in the courtroom including Oregon California New Mexico Colorado Kansas Nebraska South Dakota Saskatchewan Missouri Iowa Ohio Florida North Carolina Virginia New Jersey Pennsylvania New York Connecticut Massachusetts Vermont and Maine The session lasted over an hour and the judge indicated she will issue her ruling within two months Check out this video from outside the courtroom where crowds gathered in support of family farmers For more information about Monsanto GMOs and the case go to http www oeffa org farmpolicy gef php Post navigation The Greenhorns Documentary to Screen at OEFFA Conference Free Film Screening and Discussion will Explore Issues Facing America s Next Generation of Farmers The 33rd Annual OEFFA Conference Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July 2014 June 2014 May 2014 April 2014 February 2014 January 2014 December 2013 November 2013 October 2013 August 2013 July 2013 June 2013 May 2013 April 2013 March 2013 February 2013 January

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=644 (2016-02-17)
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  • Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association (OEFFA) - Farm Policy Matters
    blown pollen from GE crops will contaminate non GE sugar beets and other closely related plants such as swiss chard Corn is a particularly promiscuous pollinator meaning GE ethanol corn could cross pollinate or become mixed with corn for food uses GE alfalfa cross fertilization would be especially disastrous for organic farmers If organic fields are contaminated the crops cannot be sold as organic since the use of GE crops is prohibited under the organic label Organic livestock farmers are also at risk if their cattle consume contaminated alfalfa Despite such concerns the USDA approved the planting of GE alfalfa for a perennial crop this spring without a plan for preventing costly contamination What s more once a crop is fully deregulated the USDA conducts no monitoring to see if a GE crop has harmed the environment Releasing GE crops without a full understanding of their impacts and without a plan to prevent contamination is gambling with our health our environment and livelihoods of family farmers Non GE seeds and crops are vulnerable to contamination at almost every step of the production process from seed drift or cross pollination by coming into contact with contaminated harvest and post harvest equipment or during processing transportation or storage The fact that Monsanto s patented genes are nearly ubiquitous and the USDA has deregulated their use compounds the problem Despite this Monsanto zealously enforces its seed patents Monsanto s own statements suggest that they investigate approximately 500 farmers each year for patent infringement Between 1997 and 2010 Monsanto filed 144 lawsuits against farmers in 27 states for alleged patent infringement And Monsanto has an annual budget of 10 million and a staff of 75 devoted to investigating and prosecuting farmers for seed piracy In 2011 on behalf of 83 family farmers seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations including OEFFA the Public Patent Foundation PUBPAT filed suit against Monsanto in federal court The case Organic Seed Growers Trade Association et al v Monsanto was filed in federal district court in Manhattan and assigned to Judge Naomi Buchwald The plaintiffs representing more than 270 000 members are preemptively asking the court for protection from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto s GE seed The suit also argues the invalidity of Monsanto s Roundup Ready patents under both statute and case law precedent requiring patented products to demonstrate clear social utility and not be dangerous to health Consumers indicate overwhelmingly that they prefer foods made without genetically modified organisms said Dr Carol Goland OEFFA s Executive Director Organic farms by regulation may not use GE seed while other farmers forego using them for other reasons Yet the truth is that we are rapidly approaching the tipping point when we will be unable to avoid genetically engineered foods in our fields and on our plates That is the inevitable consequence of releasing genetically engineered materials into the environment To add injury to injury Monsanto has a history of suing farmers whose

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/farmpolicy_gef.php (2016-02-17)
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  • Ohio produce growers and marketers urged to join food safety program | OEFFA News
    ways with a combination of large growers but also many small scale producers There is a lot of difference in California the thinking process in California and the lifestyle process in California compared to the lifestyle and thinking process in Ohio he said He pointed to a map of Ohio and insisted that any food safety plan for Ohio has to be designed for that state Lots of support The leading farm and produce organizations in Ohio are in fact supporting a food safety program of their own called Ohio Produce Marketing Agreement It has been in the works at least the past three years but is gaining momentum as an accredited food safety program Stanley and other speakers on the opening day went as far as to say that a food safety program will be a requirement if you wish to sell produce in the future Retailers will not buy from you if you are not certified in the future he said Karl Kolb one of the lead organizers of the agreement said 25 or so producers already are signed up and participating But he expects that number to grow exponentially over the coming months and years Part of the process is petitioning the Ohio Department of Agriculture to give final approval of the program as a certified marketing agreement Some 200 petition signatures are needed and the program must demonstrate its effectiveness and commitment to strong standards OPMA currently operates on a de facto status with its leaders confident full approval will granted in the near future At that point we will have our own plan and that will have the force of law Kolb said Many different plans The Ohio plan will not necessarily replace other marketing plans or federal requirements but is expected to replace third party audit fees with a more affordable inspection option for smaller size producers The agreement shares universal standards but is implemented in a scale appropriate three tier approach You need a food safety plan for one principal reason and that is to protect your investment Kolb said It s not if you re going to get a recall it s when and when it s going to come It s your certification your first and best and only line of investment at protecting your investment Stanley said consumers want to be assured of the quality and safety of the foods for sale but currently consumer confidence is very low Only 47 percent of Americans are confident their food is safe according to survey information from the International Food Information Council The Ohio plan he said is one that is developed by Ohioans provides access to new markets and peace of mind to the consumer The Ohio plan is supported by organizations like OPGMA Ohio Farm Bureau Federation and Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Looking ahead In previous interviews Kolb has said the plan has the potential to reach markets further than Ohio and could become a model for other

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=635 (2016-02-17)
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  • Ohio Farmers Fly-In to DC to Talk About Protecting Local Farms | OEFFA News
    two weeks This is the fastest food and farm bill decision making process in history And here in Ohio it s essential that we protect programs that contribute to the success of local and organic family farmers In the past few weeks advocacy groups have been submitting their suggestions to lawmakers for the farm bill and Bailey says her association is supportive of a bill introduced by Sen Sherrod Brown D Ohio this week The Local Farms Food and Jobs Act would prioritize consumer access to healthy fresh food and help Ohio farmers by addressing production aggregation marketing and distribution needs Local and organic farmers rely on programs funded through the farm bill such as the National Organic Certification Cost Share Program Ron Meyer from Strawberry Hill Farm in Coshocton County says that program eases the financial burden organic farmers annually incur to maintain certification Organic certification is expensive so it s very helpful to us to get some of that money back And it encourages us to continue producing food organically which helps to produce a healthy environment Meyer supports Brown s legislation because it strengthens Ohio s local farming economy Those are systems that promote food that is good for us that s good for the planet and is good for farmers to produce The bill also will help to strengthen local and regional food systems Mary Kuhlman Public News Service OH Post navigation ODA and Organic Trade Association reach agreement over milk labeling BROWN INTRODUCES BILL TO EXPAND MARKETS FOR FARMERS AND INCREASE ACCESS TO LOCAL FOODS Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 January 2015 December 2014 November 2014 September 2014 August 2014 July

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=536 (2016-02-17)
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  • ODA and Organic Trade Association reach agreement over milk labeling | OEFFA News
    from the court proceedings The department felt it was best to come to an agreement It was in the best interest of agriculture and taxpayers said Ware Ends the rule The agreement ends the rule that required milk marketed as rbST free include a label disclaimer stating that the Food and Drug Administration says there s no significant difference between milk produced by cows given the hormone and cows that aren t RbST or recombinant bovine somatatropin is a synthetic growth hormone used to stimulate milk production in dairy cattle The bovine somatotropin hormone is also present naturally in cattle Recombinant bovine somatotropin rbST is sometimes also called recombinant bovine growth hormone rbGH Expensive The Organic Trade Association contended the rule made it costly to produce labels and market the milk This agreement is a victory for consumer choice and transparency said Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Executive Director Carol Goland Now farmers and processors in Ohio will be able to accurately label their milk rbGH free and consumers will be able to use this information when they purchase dairy products Goes beyond Ohio Goland said the ramifications of the case go beyond Ohio She thinks that a precedent has been set nationally and it will stop cases like this from moving forward in other states The agreement follows a Sept 30 2010 U S Court of Appeals 6th Circuit decision striking down significant parts of the pending rule created by the ODA to prohibit labeling dairy products as rbGH free Post navigation Consumers Win Right to Know What s in Their Milk Ohio Farmers Fly In to DC to Talk About Protecting Local Farms Archives Select Month February 2016 January 2016 December 2015 November 2015 October 2015 September 2015 August 2015 July 2015 June 2015 May 2015 April

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=534 (2016-02-17)
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  • Farm Policy | OEFFA News | Page 6
    GE foods have also not been shown safe to eat The scientific literature on long term human safety is divided but many of the studies arguing that GE food is safe were conducted by the biotechnology companies that commercialized the seed Monsanto has used their patent rights to systematically prevent rigorous independent scientific research on GE foods GE seeds are also directly responsible for the increased use of pesticides and herbicides Glyphosate the key ingredient in Roundup has been linked to non Hodgkin lymphoma endocrine disruption multiple myeloma DNA damage immune suppression and miscarriage Finally much like the overuse of antibiotics has created antibiotic resistant super germs the pervasive use of glyphosate has created herbicide resistant superweeds Farmers are now having to resort to more labor intensive weed management strategies and more toxic and complex mixtures of herbicides to combat these weeds How to Avoid GE Food Because there is no requirement to label GE products the best way to avoid GE food is to buy organic because organic farmers are prohibited from using GE seed or livestock feed Look for the organic label and support farmers who are growing food organically and preserving heirloom seed varieties For produce a savvy supermarket shopper can also use information on the product s Price Look Up PLU code According to the International Federation for Produce Standards for bulk produce if the PLU code begins with 9 and has five digits it is organic If it begins with 8 and has five digits it is genetically modified Conventionally grown fruit and vegetables have a four digit PLU code Finally the Non GMO Project offers a rigorous third party verification system for labeling products Non GMO Project Verified which a growing number of companies are choosing to participate in Lauren Ketcham is the Communications Coordinator for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association OEFFA For more than 30 years OEFFA has used education advocacy and grassroots organizing to promote local and organic food systems helping farmers and consumers reconnect and together build a sustainable food system one meal at a time For more information go to www oeffa org A Band of 60 Davids Challenges Monsanto the Goliath in Federal Court June 8 2011 Farm Policy OEFFA in the News Lauren Knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom com May 27 2011 According to a Federal lawsuit recently filed by the Public Patent Foundation www pubpat org in the Southern District of New York on behalf of the Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter Inc www nofamass org and 59 other plaintiffs Monsanto Corporation has bullied farmers who have resisted its Round Up Ready Technology Organic Seed Growers Trade Association et al v Monsanto 11 CIV 2163 Judge Naomi Buchwald According to Daniel Ben Ravicher University of Virginia Law School 2001 lead attorney in the case and the Public Patent Foundation s Executive Director and Lecturer of Law at Cardozo School of Law in New York City it seems quite perverse that a farmer contaminated by transgenic seed could be accused of patent infringement but Monsanto has made such accusations before and is notorious for having sued hundreds of farmers for patent infringement so we had to act to protect the interests of our clients Monsanto with revenue of 10 5 billion and operating income of 1 6 billion in fiscal year 2010 is a Goliath in the global proprietary seed market It markets and sells transgenic seed also known as genetically modified or genetically engineered seed and according to the legal complaint Monsanto sells Roundup Ready seed for corn canola soybean sugar beet alfalfa and cotton In the United States plaintiffs assert that Monsanto s control of the seed market is so high that over 85 90 of all soybeans corn cotton sugar beets and canola grown in the U S contains Monsanto s patented genes The plaintiffs are largely organic farmers and organic seed businesses who do not want to use or sell transgenic seed as well as some non organic farmers who wish to farm without transgenic seed Plaintiffs fear that they could be perversely accused by Monsanto of patent infringement and bring their lawsuit to obtain a declaratory judgment to protect themselves from ever being accused of infringing patents on transgenic seed They cite a long history of Monsanto aggressively asserting its patents for transgenic seeds against hundreds of farmers including farmers who became contaminated by Monsanto s transgenic seed through no fault of their own This fear causes some of the farming plaintiffs to forgo growing certain crops including corn cotton canola sugar beets soybeans and alfalfa since it is widely known that those crops are currently under severe threat of transgenic seed contamination The plaintiffs sketch out in detail the nature of Monsanto s transgenic seeds and forcefully assert that Society stands on the precipice of forever being bound to transgenic agriculture and transgenic food Transgenic seeds are genetically engineered through the introduction of foreign genes and regulatory sequences into the seeds genome Monsanto s most predominant transgenic trait is glyphosate tolerance which makes crops tolerant of Monsanto s glyphosate based herbicide called Roundup Roundup causes severe injury or destruction when applied to crops that are not glyphosate tolerant Plaintiffs claim that coexistence between transgenic seed and organic seed is impossible because transgenic seed contaminates and eventually overcomes organic seed Organic canola has become virtually extinct as a result of transgenic seed contamination according to the complaint and organic corn soybean cotton sugar beet and alfalfa face the same fate as transgenic seed has been released by Monsanto for each of those crops In support of their pursuit of a declaratory judgment that should they ever be contaminated by Monsanto s transgenic seed they need not fear being sued for patent infringement the plaintiffs assert that Monsanto s patents on transgenic seed are invalid They argue that only technology with a beneficial societal use may be patented and vigorously assert several other arguments as a basis to invalidate Monsanto s transgenic seed patents They make some very technical arguments rooted in patent law 1 Monsanto violated the prohibition in the patent law against double patenting since later patents are not patentably distinct from a patent it already owns and 2 it failed to satisfy patent law requirements of written description enablement and best mode The plaintiffs also contend that Monsanto should be equitably estopped from asserting patent rights due to its misuse of its patents which includes trespass when its transgenic seed contaminates another Plaintiffs make a negligence type argument that Monsanto sells licenses and distributes its transgenic seed in a manner such that contamination of Plaintiffs is reasonably foreseeable In their exhaustive complaint of 47 pages the plaintiffs also argue that even if Monsanto s transgenic seed patents are deemed valid and held to be infringed and enforceable against them Monsanto lacks entitlement to any remedy under law or equity as no injury happens to Monsanto A major focus of the complaint is to establish the factual basis for the plaintiffs assertion that Monsanto s transgenic seed patents lack a beneficial societal use which justifies their invalidation Plaintiffs maintain that as Monsanto s transgenic seed becomes more widely used then so too will glyphosate Roundup which studies have shown is harmful to human health Plaintiffs contend that There are also serious questions about whether transgenic seed itself has an effect on human health emphasis added Plaintiffs also include allegations concerning the case of Liberty Link rice as evidence of the harm farmers can suffer as a result of contamination of their crop with transgenic genes Liberty Link rice was a rice variety genetically engineered to tolerate Liberty herbicide It was field tested on a small number of sites between 1999 and 2001 but had not been approved for human consumption In 2006 extensive contamination of the commercial rice supply by Liberty Link transgenic genes was discovered which led to multiple countries banning the importation of U S rice implementation of strict testing requirements and removal from the market of entire rice varieties The worldwide total economic loss due to the contamination event was estimated at 741 million to 1 285 billion Moreover plaintiffs allege that while transgenic seed poses many dangers for society its purported benefits have not been achieved They claim that Monsanto s propaganda surrounding transgenic seed expresses a promise that its use will increase the quantity of production that can be achieved with the same amount of land Instead studies have shown that there is actually no meaningful improvement in yield from using transgenic seed Plaintiffs reference a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General of West Virginia last fall after his office determined that several published tests contradicted the yield results claimed by Monsanto in its advertising www wvago gov press cfm ID 541 fx more They also assert that Monsanto s promise that use of transgenic seeds will result in less pesticide and herbicide use has been disproven by studies and that evidence shows that the increased use of glyphosate Roundup caused by Monsanto s transgenic seed has in turn caused weeds to become resistant to the herbicide citing an article on tenacious new superweeds in the New York Times Farmers Cope With Roundup Resistant Weeds by W Neuman and A Pollack May 3 2010 www nytimes com 2010 05 04 business energy environment 04weed html The complaint raises allegations concerning Monsanto s aggressive assertion of its patents for transgenic seeds noting that 500 farmers are investigated for patent infringement each year and that Between 1997 and April 2010 Monsanto filed 144 lawsuits against farmers in at least 27 different states for alleged infringement of its transgenic seed patents and or breach of its licene to those patents Most serious is the allegation that Monsanto has made accusations of patent infringement against those who never wished to possess its transgenic seed The complaint cites the nationally broadcast CBS Evening News segment entitled Agricultural Giant Battles Small Farmers Monsanto Goes to Great Lengths to Protect Its Patents on Genetically Modified Crops www cbsnews com stories 2008 04 26 eveningnews main4048288 shtml The complaint minimizes Monsanto s commitment to not exercise our patent rights where trace amounts of our patented seeds or traits are present in a farmer s fields as a result of inadvertent means on a page entitled Monsanto s Commitment Farmers and Patents on its website www monsanto com newsviews Pages commitment farmers patents aspx Plaintiffs assert that this commitment by Monsanto fails to define what is meant by trace amounts or inadvertent means Plaintiffs fear that Monsanto will assert its transgenic seed patents against certified organic and non transgenic seed farmers who come to possess more than trace amounts of Monsanto s transgenic seed even if it is not their fault In an insightful article entitled Food Culture with the subtitle Genetically modified agriculture holds both the promise of drought and virus resistant crops and the peril of unraveling the natural food chain in a recent issue of Audubon Magazine March April 2011 www audubonmagazine org features1103 biotech html writer Alisa Opar notes that the USDA to date has approved more than 70 applications for transgenic plants Since the first transgenic crops were planted 15 years ago according to Ms Opar their use has skyrocketed With reference to Monsanto s transgenic seed with the glyphosate resistant trait she notes that Glyphosate resistant weeds like horseweed are popping up and she writes that Monsanto s solution is to engineer a trait for resistance to an older herbicide called dicamba Such step would put even more pesticides into the environment and Penn State weed ecologist Dave Mortensen is quoted as estimating that herbicide use on soybeans will increase by 70 percent in a few years A scientist from the Center for Food Safety worries that Dicamba is a lot nastier than glyphosate because of volatilization and its toxicity Ms Opar also cites the testimony of Steve Smith director of agriculture for Red Gold America s largest private canned tomato processor in testimony before Congress The widespread use of dicamba herbicide possesses the single most serious threat to the future of the specialty crop industry in the Midwest With the filing of their lawsuit the plaintiffs will compel a federal court to address one major argument against genetically modified food crops the contamination of crops grown by organic and other non GMO farmers Still as the Audubon Magazine article suggests there are other serious perils on the horizon Among the sixty Davids four plaintiffs stand out as parties who have already been damaged by the actions of the defendants Monsanto Company and Monsanto Technology LLC If their allegations can be proven a defense by Monsanto rooted in a lack of ripeness of the complaint would seem without merit Plaintiff North Outback Farm an organic farm in Wales North Dakota owned and operated by Janet and Terry Jacobson is a grain and livestock farm on which the Jacobsons grow alfalfa wheat oats and flax Their farm is in an area ideally suited for growing canola but they cannot grow canola because of the widespread use of transgenic canola seed in their area posing a contamination threat for any organic canola crop they may wish to grow Similarly Abundant Acres a farm in Laclede County Missouri primarily grows field crops for seed production In the past the farm has grown corn and soybeans but stopped for fear of transgenic contamination and possible resultant litigation Plaintiff Bryce Stephens a certified organic farmer in Jennings Kansas whose farm has been certified organic since 1994 previously grew organic corn and soybeans but discontinued those crops due to the threat of transgenic seed contamination In addition to the above three plaintiffs twenty three other farms and farmers are named as plaintiffs and are located throughout the United States and Canada 1 Alba Ranch a diversified organic family farm ranch in the Wolf River Valley in northeastern Kansas 2 Wild Plum Farm an organically certified farm in Dixon Montana 3 Gratitude Gardens a certified organic seed grower in Concrete Washington 4 Richard Everett Farm LLC a USDA certified organic farm in Scottsbluff Nebraska 5 Philadelphia Community Farm a community supported CSA farm for twenty two years near Osceola Wisconsin 6 Genesis Farm a community supported garden that grows a variety of Biodynamic cultivated vegetables herbs and fruits in Blairstown New Jersey 7 Chispas Farms LLC an organic farm in Albuquerque New Mexico 8 Kirschenmann Family Farms Inc a certified organic farm which used to grow canola in South Central North Dakota 9 Midheaven Farms a Biodynamic farm in Park Rapids Minnesota 10 Koskan Farms a certified organic farm in Wood South Dakota 11 California Cloverleaf Farms an organic dairy farm in Merced County California 12 Taylor Farms Inc an organic seed farm in Remonton Utah 13 Jardin Del Alma a certified organic seed producer in Monticello New Mexico 14 Ron Gargasz Organic Farms an organic farm in Volant Pennsylvania 15 T D Willey Farms a certified organic farm in Madera California 16 Quinella Ranch a certified organic farm in Saskatchewan Canada 17 Nature s Way Farm Ltd an organic farm in Alberta Canada 18 Levke and Peter Eggers Farm a strongly anti transgenic seed farm in Alberta Canada 19 Frey Vineyards Ltd which grows wheat and other crops in its certified Biodynamic and Organic vineyards 20 Chuck Noble a conventional farmer in South Dakota who intends to keep his farm free of genetically engineered traits 21 Larhea Pepper an organic cotton farmer in O Donnell Texas 22 Paul Romero an organic farmer in Espanola New Mexico and 23 Donald Wright Patterson Jr who desires to farm organic alfalfa possibly at the family farmstead in Frederick County Virginia where his farming ancestors settled in 1730 Twelve seed businesses are also named as plaintiffs 1 Fedco Seeds Inc located in Waterville and Clinton Maine www fedcoseeds com 2 Adaptive Seeds LLC located in Sweet Home Oregon www adaptiveseeds com 3 Sow True Seed based in Asheville North Carolina http sowtrueseed com 4 Southern Exposure Seed Exchange located in Mineral Virginia www southernexposure com 5 Mumm s Sprouting Seeds based in Canada that sells seed in the United States www sprouting com 6 Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co LLC based in Mansfield Missouri http rareseeds com 7 Comstock Ferre Co LLC based in Wethersfield Connecticut http comstockferre com 8 Seedkeepers LLC based in Santa Barbara California http ediblegardens com 9 Siskiyou Seeds based in Williams Oregon www siskiyouseeds com 10 Countryside Organics located in Waynesboro Virginia www countrysidenatural com 11 Cuatro Puertas a New Mexico community development corporation which operates the Arid Crop Seed Cache a seed collection established to rescue and reintroduce native heirloom and forgotten crops and 12 Interlake Forage Seeds Ltd based in Canada that sells seed in the United States www interlakeforageseeds com The third category of plaintiffs consists of twenty two agriculture membership organizations or not for profit public interest organizations 1 Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association www osgata org 2 Organic Crop Improvement Association International Inc www ocia org 3 OCIA Research and Education Inc www ocia org RE 4 The Cornucopia Institute www cornucopia org 5 Demeter Association Inc the American chapter of Demeter International the world s only certifier of Biodynamic farms www demeter usa org 6 Navdanya International www navdanya org 7 Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association www mofga org 8 Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter Inc www nofamass org 9 Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont http nofavt org 10 Rural Vermont a membership organization that envisions a Vermont local food system which is self reliant and based on reverence for the earth www ruralvermont org 11 Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association www oeffa org 12 Southeast Iowa Organic Association the Iowa Chapter of OCIA International 13 Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society www npsas org 14 Mendocino Organic Network www mendocinorenegade com 15 Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance www nodpa com 16 Canadian Organic Growers www cog

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?cat=9&paged=6 (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA in the News | OEFFA News | Page 7
    a diverse family owned organic vegetable farm that is operating a pretty large community supported agriculture program which feeds more than 400 families People will have a chance to see more than 30 acres of organic field production she explains Ketchum says they see great turnout at the tours as demand for fresh local foods grows and consumers want to make informed choices We really encourage growers educators and conscientious eaters to attend the tours They can learn about sustainable agriculture in a real world setting from farmers with years of practical experience she says The tours have been offered for more than three decades and this year the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team is sponsoring 10 additional tours More information on the tours is at www oeffa org OEFFA workshops offer wealth of information February 25 2014 Annual Conference OEFFA in the News Lauren Farm and Dairy By Chris Kick 2 25 2014 GRANVILLE Ohio From livestock production to field crops and horticulture this year s Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association conference offered guests more than 100 workshops in just two days Feb 15 16 In the Feb 20 edition Farm and Dairy focused on the two keynote speeches by author and organic consultant Atina Diffley and former U S Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan However there was a wealth of information presented by farmers university professionals and industry experts Most of the sessions were recorded and are now available for purchase at www oeffa com Backyard poultry In the area of backyard poultry producers were reminded about the importance of selecting good productive stock and replacing animals that behave poorly You never need to put up with a mean rooster said author and homesteader Mary Lou Shaw who led a workshop called Creating Sustainability for Your Backyard Poultry Shaw told about a rooster she once owned named Hotshot who was mean and spurred her So she replaced him with a much gentler rooster While that may seem too simple the solution really is that simple Jim Adkins poultry specialist with the Sustainable Poultry Network said producers should start with good stock But if they get a mean bird the best thing to do is to get rid of it Otherwise it will create more birds just like it An aggressive daddy produces aggressive sons he said This is one advantage small scale producers have over large hatcheries Adkins said because small scale producers have the time to cull their birds Selecting good birds Adkins led a talk on selecting heritage poultry or historic poultry breeds He gave five criteria for selecting productive birds as adopted from the 1914 book The Call of The Hen The first thing is to select birds with wide skulls which usually leads to wide bodies and more meat Other considerations include the size of the heart girth back flatness body depth and straightness and quality of the breast bone The back of the bird should be wide and long which indicates growth potential He told producers that to be profitable they should seek at least 6 a pound on a four pound carcass That may seem like a lot but it takes that much to cover all the expenses I think that s incredibly do able in our country he said People who will pay for that bird live where you live you ve got to find them Local foods compass In other workshops former U S Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan led a talk on accessing government grants for local foods projects She walked producers through USDA s Know Your Farmer Know Your Food Compass an online mapping tool that shows producers where grants and projects are taking place Be persistent Merrigan said not as many people are using the compass as she had hoped but said it s a valuable tool nonetheless She encouraged farmers to be persistent when applying for grants and to seek help with the grant writing process If you don t get it the first time around you might get it the second she said Many of the projects awarded funding actually end up failing but Merrigan said that s part of the process and part of taking chances You know a lot of these are not going to succeed because what we re doing is cutting edge she said At the same time she said it s important to intelligently learn from our failures Food trends In a separate workshop Mike Hogan OSU Extension educator from Fairfield County outlined the top 10 emerging marketing trends for 2014 The No 1 thing is that local will be big whether it s local meats or local produce He cites the National Restaurant Association s annual What s Hot Culinary Forecast which lists local foods as the top trend for the year The second trend is healthy foods which includes dark greens and more plant based protein as well as healthy beverages The third and fourth are signature foods and ugly foods both being products that stand out and that are unique to specific farms Snacking trend The fifth is that people are snacking more He shared research that revealed one out of every five of today s eating occasions is for a snack not a meal These on the go consumers want something that is bite sized or hand held creating new demand for snack size portions Snacking is especially popular among millennials 18 34 And many of the snacks they demand are actually healthy replacing high sugar high fat snacks Social media No 6 social and mobile will continue to be big This includes all major forms of social media as consumers look to click their way to recipes and ingredients and to read about a product 7 Food packaging is changing with more sensory stimulating packages that tell the story of the product and more packages that are edible 8 Consumers want foods that are sustainable and that produce less waste 9

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?cat=3&paged=7 (2016-02-17)
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  • Lauren | OEFFA News | Page 7
    companies for research funds Even if they are not directly beholden their universities are I know from talking to a lot of them that there is pressure to say the right thing I m not saying they re making things up but if you don t ask certain questions all you have is the answers to other things Expert to Examine Ways to Build a Successful Sustainable Farming System February 2 2015 Annual Conference OEFFA in the News Lauren Public News Service 01 22 15 By Mary Kuhlman PHOTO Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Senior Scientist at the Center for Food Safety Doug Gurian Sherman COLUMBUS Ohio While the nation s agriculture industry is productive a leading scientist and biotechnology expert says it s not sustainable Director of Sustainable Agriculture and Senior Scientist at the Center for Food Safety Dr Doug Gurian Sherman says the industrial model of farming focusing on methods rather than the whole system has contributed to loss of biodiversity as well water and air pollution He suggests moving toward an agroecological approach that takes into account the ways farming interacts with the environment To use natural processes that are more and more understood through the science of ecology in a way that enhances production and preserves scarce resources and reduces the impacts and pollution from farming says Gurian Sherman He says no till farming is an example of focusing on only a method While it reduces soil erosion and saves water it has increased the use of chemical herbicides and pesticides Gurian Sherman will discuss the relationships between biotechnology and agroecology and how they can combine to build a successful sustainable agricultural system when he speaks at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association s annual conference in February Gurian Sherman points to the toxic algae pollution in Lake Erie as another example because it is linked to the runoff of excess nutrients from no till farming It illustrates dangers or risks of relying on piece meal solutions without taking a more holistic systemic view of agriculture as an endeavor and as a system in the environment as opposed to a series of methods he says Another problem says Gurian Sherman is the uneven playing field when it comes to social political and regulatory views of agriculture Maybe about two to five percent of our agricultural research budget goes to ecologically based and sustainable farming systems and the rest goes towards reinforcing the industrial model including improving its efficiency he says Gurian Sherman adds research has contributed tremendously to the success of industrial farming and with better support sustainable farming systems would become more efficient as well He s scheduled to speak at the conference in Granville on Feb 15th Ohio s Largest Food and Farm Conference Features Three Pre Conference Workshops Regenerative Agriculture Poultry and Dairy Herd Health Sessions Will Provide In Depth Knowledge to Farmers and Veterinarians January 28 2015 OEFFA Press Releases Lauren FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 28 2015 Contact Renee Hunt Program Director 614 421 2022 Ext 205 renee oeffa org Lauren Ketcham Communications Coordinator 614 421 2022 Ext 203 lauren oeffa org The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association OEFFA will host three full day pre conference workshops in Granville Ohio on Friday February 13 as part of its 36th annual conference Sustainable Agriculture Renewing Ohio s Heart and Soil These events feature some of the country s top experts and are designed to provide ecological growers a deeper education than short workshops or webinars can said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt This year we re also offering a session geared toward livestock veterinarians so they are better positioned to serve organic dairy clients These practices can be used in non organic dairy systems as well During this pre conference workshop John Kempf founder of Advancing Eco Agriculture will help farmers learn regenerative farming principles which allow soil and plant health to improve not degrade over time Using these techniques growers will discover how they can produce disease and pest resistant crops which are healthier and more nutritious An Amish grower from Middlefield Ohio Kempf is an internationally recognized lecturer on biological agriculture plant immunity mineral nutrition and soil microbiology Jim Adkins of the Sustainable Poultry Network will discuss effective and profitable strategies for sustainable poultry production during this pre conference workshop For the past 30 years Adkins has raised more than 50 breeds and varieties of chickens ducks geese and turkeys A licensed poultry judge he established the International Center for Poultry in 1992 and has taught at field days workshops and conferences Designed for poultry producers of any scale this session will explore the unique advantages of sustainable production systems while exploring the history of traditional heritage breeds and the transition to hybrid breeds and industrial production models Growers will walk away with an understanding of the breeding feed forage facilities and care required for different size production models and how to make their poultry businesses profitable through effective financial planning marketing and consumer education During this pre conference workshop veterinarians Dr Päivi Rajala Schultz and Dr Luciana da Costa from the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine and Organic Valley staff veterinarian Dr Guy Jodarski will help dairy producers and veterinarians serving organic dairy farmers learn how practical management and mastitis control practices can improve milk quality and farm profitability Attendees will learn the basic requirements for good udder health strategies for managing clinical mastitis and more Thanks to funding from the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education NCR SARE Professional Development Program a limited number of scholarships are available for veterinarians to attend the dairy herd health pre conference event at no cost To request a scholarship or to nominate a veterinarian who would benefit from this opportunity contact Eric Pawlowski at 614 421 2022 Ext 209 or eric oeffa org All pre conference workshops will be held from 10 a m 4 p m on Friday February 13 at Granville High School 248 New Burg St Granville Ohio Pre registration is required and costs 75 for OEFFA members and 90 for non members The pre conference workshops will be offered as part of the state s largest sustainable food and farm conference on Saturday February 14 and Sunday February 15 an event which draws more than 1 200 attendees from across Ohio and the U S In addition to pre conference events this year s conference will feature keynote speakers Alan Guebert and Doug Gurian Sherman nearly 100 educational workshops a trade show activities for children and teens locally sourced and organic homemade meals and Saturday evening entertainment Separate registration is required for all conference events For more information about the conference or to register go to www oeffa org conference2015 Opting out Farm bill exempts more organic farmers from checkoffs January 20 2015 OEFFA in the News Organic Certification Lauren Farm and Dairy 1 14 2015 By Brian Lisik SALEM Ohio Circleville Ohio based dairy farmer Perry Clutts has been farming 100 percent certified organic since 2005 Since transitioning from a conventional dairy operation Clutts has not had to pay into the national dairy checkoff order thanks to a 2002 farm bill provision exempting 100 percent organic operations from conventional checkoffs A proposed rule change announced by the U S Department of Agriculture Dec 15 would expand that exemption to include 95 percent organic farmers handlers marketers and importers otherwise known as primary organic operations The USDA recently fast tracked its efforts to expand the exemption part of the 2014 farm bill A 30 day public comment period on the proposed rule change ended Jan 15 There are 22 national research and promotion checkoff programs Under these programs producers of a particular agricultural product pay assessments to fund marketing campaigns and research initiatives that benefit their commodity The USDA estimates the organic exemption has freed up 13 6 million for the organic sector which produces an estimated 35 billion in annual sales according to the USDA Not far enough Laura Batcha CEO and executive director of Organic Trade Organization applauded the USDA s efforts to implement the rule change so quickly The 100 percent exemption solved some of the problems but was drafted in such a way that it was restrictive Batcha said Communications from some of the commodity orders were bordering on disparaging to organic They were not promoting organic a lot The USDA s proposed rule change Batcha explained would apply to split operations those that farm both organically and conventionally It would also address instances when non organic agents are used in processing such as sanitizing agents on a production line or milk processing line Carol Goland executive director for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association said the USDA s proposed rule change corrects the 2002 rule s inequity in defining different types of organic operations In a sense what this farm bill does is better define the multiple foods and crops of organic as a single commodity Goland said adding that OEFFA fully supports the proposed rule change Public comment A number of conventional commodity organizations including the United Soybean Board and the Almond Board of California have requested the USDA extend its 30 day public comment period due to the complexity of the issue Organic checkoff option The 2014 farm bill grants the USDA authority to not only expand the organic exemption in the 2002 farm bill but to also explore options for an organic specific checkoff order Maggie McNeil director of media relations for the Organic Trade Association said the organization has been working on the framework for such a checkoff for three years McNeil said they hope to have the application out within the next two months If accepted by the USDA it then has to go through a comment period and a referendum an actual vote of all organic stakeholders in the industry A lot of people know the word organic but don t know really what it means said Clutts who also sits on the board of the Organic Trade Organization It is based on a very specific criteria like no other food process anywhere I think the collective pool could do something bigger to promote organic agriculture Gaining majority support for an organic checkoff order however could be challenging Goland said OEFFA recognizes the need for organic research and promotion and feels the organic sector should be able to spend its money as it sees fit But I would not necessarily go so far as an organic checkoff she said Several comments on the USDA s rule change proposal also cautioned against an organic checkoff Please stop the start of a checkoff plan for organic products wrote Roger Pepperl of Wenatchee Washington based organic fruit farm Stemilt Growers Our organic world is too large and diverse to have an organization work on our behalf We grow organic tree fruit and have nothing in common with organic cotton organic beef etc Organic farmer Ted Weydert of DeKalb Illinois added Contrary to popular belief the Organic Trade Association only speaks for a very small number of actual organic farmers This checkoff is not needed Does Fracking Threaten Future of Ohio Organic Farms January 20 2015 OEFFA in the News Organic Certification Lauren Public New Service 10 13 2014 Mary Kuhlman PHOTO Certified organic farmer Mick Luber of Bluebird Farm in Cadiz Ohio says he s concerned about what possible contamination from nearby fracking operations could mean for the future of his business Photo credit Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association COLUMBUS Ohio Certified organic farming is a growing business in Ohio but some farmers warn that the threat of contamination from hydraulic fracturing could dampen its future Some of the chemicals used in fracking have been identified as naturally occurring toxic substances metals and radioactive materials In eastern Ohio Mick Luber is a certified organic grower and owner of Bluebird Farm in Cadiz He says several well pads and a compressor station are located near his land He is worried about contamination of soil water and air and what it could mean for his organic certification I m in a quandary about the production on my farm being of good quality says Luber Do I lose my business I ve put 30 years into this soil to make this soil grow You don t just go someplace and oh well it s bad here I ll just go over the hill If prohibited substances including some fracking chemicals are detected on a certified organic farm the producer may have to wait at least three years before becoming eligible for recertification Ohio is home to more than 700 certified organic operations and nearly 57 000 acres of certified organic land Luber says an air quality monitor showed high levels of particulate matter on his farm He says one time he discovered water running white from springs coming out of a well pad near his land The Ohio EPA had a 165 day investigation supposedly and said there was no problem says Luber But from my estimation somehow they fractured the rock structure so that anything spilled on that well pad site will get into that water and flow down through the stream Besides drilling sites there are pipelines used to transport gas and injection wells that store fracking waste throughout the state In the event of an accident or spill Luber says it s impossible to know the full extent of the danger What they re doing is a bad idea he says Any cement you put in is going to crack sometime So all these wells are eventually going to leak And if they have all these chemicals in these wells they re going come up and they re going to affect the groundwater and they re going to affect people s health Supporters of hydraulic fracturing say it is an economic boon for the state but opponents argue the risks outweigh the benefits Federal Produce Rules Still on Table January 20 2015 Farm Policy OEFFA in the News Lauren Farm and Dairy 11 05 2014 By Chris Kick SALEM Ohio The public comment period continues for new federal rules designed to increase the safety of the nation s produce and to meet the requirements of the Food Safety Modernization Act The U S Food and Drug Administration has revised its rule proposal various times over the past couple years and announced its most recent revision Sept 19 with a public comment period that extends through mid December What changes The current rules reflect five basic changes farmers sought including more flexible definitions for water quality and manure application a new definition of which farms must meet the new rules and more clarity over who is exempt Although the rules have been changed many times farmers and the groups that represent them say they re pleased FDA is listening They FDA are taking a lot of feedback They are trying to make sure that the rule meets the needs but that it is also a workable rule said Kristi Boswell director of congressional relations for the American Farm Bureau Federation Boswell said the most recent revision addresses Farm Bureau s concerns but Farm Bureau continues to be involved with the process and the final rule The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association said the FDA is to be commended for listening to farmers and the public and for realizing that a second draft was necessary Amalie Lipstreu OEFFA policy program coordinator said the original regulations issued in 2013 contained several requirements that would have jeopardized organic farmers discouraged growth of local food systems and negatively impacted the conservation of natural resources In response OEFFA and other state and national groups mobilized more than 18 000 farmers consumers and food businesses to submit comments to FDA Farm definition One of the biggest concerns among organic and non organic growers was the FDA definition of different sized farms and farm businesses Previously the rule required producers who sold more than 25 000 worth of food to comply but it also counted non produce crops such as corn and soybeans The current rule counts only the sale of produce foods which gives farmers more flexibility as to which level of compliance they must meet Basing farm size on sales of covered produce rather than total sales is incredibly important for diversified farming operations Lipstreu said Also the definition of farm is revised so that a farm no longer would need to register as a food facility merely because it packs or holds raw agricultural commodities grown on another farm under a different ownership Manure application Another major revision is the time period when farmers can apply manure prior to harvesting a crop The FDA is removing the nine month proposed minimum interval between application and harvest while it reviews a more appropriate time interval Also at the relief of organic farmers FDA does not intend to take exception to farmers complying with the USDA s National Organic Program standards which call for a 120 day interval between the application of raw manure for crops in contact with the soil and 90 days for crops not in contact with the soil Boswell said time will tell what the final rule will look like and how it will work but at the same time FDA made a great step forward by listening to producers Program costs Once the rule is complete the FDA will need to determine how it will implement the rule and how implementation will be funded The legislation would increase the burden on FDA s inspection functions the number of employees and the agency s annual operating budget Without additional funding FDA will be challenged in implementing the legislation fully without compromising other key functions according to FDA Get the details About 48 million people one in six Americans get sick 128 000 are hospitalized and 3 000 die each year from foodborne diseases according to recent

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?author=2&paged=7 (2016-02-17)
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