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  • Farmers and Seed Distributors Defend Right to Protect Themselves From Monsanto Patents | OEFFA News
    who fear being sued for patent infringement if their fields are contaminated by Monsanto s genetically engineered seed our attorney gave Monsanto the opportunity to state unequivocally that they would not sue said Carol Goland OEFFA s Executive Director Instead Monsanto s response was to try to deny our right to receive legal protection from the courts Dan Ravicher PUBPAT s Executive Director added Our filings include sworn statements by several of the plaintiffs themselves explaining to the court how the risk of contamination by transgenic seed is real and why they cannot trust Monsanto to not use an occurrence of contamination as a basis to accuse them of patent infringement Plaintiffs Bryce Stephens who farms in Kansas Frederick Kirschenmann who farms in North Dakota C R Lawn who is founder and co owner of Fedco Seeds in Maine Don Patterson of Virginia and Chuck Noble who farms in South Dakota each submitted declarations to the court describing their personal experiences with the risk of contamination by genetically modified seed and why those experiences have forced them to bring the current suit asking the court As summarized by the accompanying brief filed by PUBPAT on the plaintiffs behalf Monsanto s acts of widespread patent assertion and plaintiffs ever growing risk of contamination create a real immediate and substantial dispute between them Twelve agricultural organizations also filed a friend of the court amici brief supporting the right of the plaintiffs to bring the case In their brief the amici describe some of the harmful effects of genetically modified seed and how easily GMOs can contaminate an organic or conventional farmer s land For more information contact Daniel Ravicher PUBPAT ravicher pubpat org or 212 461 1902 Carol Goland OEFFA cgoland oeffa org or 614 421 2022 Post navigation Farming food reaping

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=428 (2016-02-17)
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  • OEFFA Press Releases | OEFFA News | Page 8
    Meigs Co Saturday June 18 Grain production and cleaning organic vegetables and season extension Hirzel Farms Luckey Ohio Wood Co Thursday June 30 Family owned poultry hatchery Ridgway Hatcheries LaRue Ohio Marion Co Saturday July 9 Organic dairy and herdshare Double J Farm Hamilton Ohio Butler Co Tuesday July 12 Heirloom vegetables buffalo and season extension Heritage Lane Farms Salem Ohio Columbiana Co Tuesday July 19 Farming with horses Turner Farm Cincinnati Ohio Hamilton Co Saturday July 23 Rain and butterfly gardens and native seed production Ohio Prairie Nursery Hiram Ohio Portage Co Saturday July 30 Women in agriculture Blue Rock Station Log Cabin Weaving and Butternut Farms Retreat and Education Center Philo Zanesville and Glenford Ohio Muskingum and Licking Co Saturday July 30 Year round organic farm and market Trinity Farms Market and Meadow Rise Farm Bellville Ohio Richland Co Thursday August 11 Value added fiber and fabric Morning Star Fiber Apple Creek Ohio Wayne Co Saturday August 20 Farmstead cheese and diversified livestock Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese Defiance Ohio Paulding Co Saturday August 27 Organic pork grain and livestock feed mill Curly Tail Organic Farm Fredericktown Ohio Knox Co Saturday September 10 Grass fed marketing and NRCS EQIP demonstration Marshy Meadows Farm Windsor Ohio Ashtabula Co Saturday September 17 All in one organic farm Mile Creek Farm and CSA New Lebanon Ohio Montgomery Co Saturday September 24 Organic family dairy Pleasantview Farm Circleville Ohio Pickaway Co Saturday October 1 Year round growers market Local Roots Market and South Market Bistro Wooster Ohio Wayne Co Sunday October 9 Living off the land Carriage House Farm North Bend Ohio Hamilton Co In addition the series features the following workshops sponsored by OEFFA Friday October 14 Advanced Sustainable Tomato Production This interactive workshop is designed for experienced growers looking to improve tomato production and management Cost 85 OEFFA members 100 nonmembers Lunch included Saturday November 5 Tuesday November 8 Raising the Salad Bar Advanced Techniques and Season Extension for the Established Specialty Crop Grower Geared toward advancing the earning potential of seasoned growers this multi day two part workshop will equip specialty crop producers with the tools needed to improve efficiency utilize season extension engage in sophisticated business planning and improve growing practices Co sponsored by the Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy Cost TBA The Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau 30 Mile Meal Project Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy Innovative Farmers of Ohio the Ohio State University Sustainable Agriculture Team and the Tecumseh Land Trust are also sponsoring tours as part of this series For a complete list of all farm tours including dates times farm descriptions directions and maps go to www oeffa org farmtour The Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA is a non profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers gardeners and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system For more information go to www oeffa org Organic Farms and Seed Sellers File Suit Against Monsanto March 30 2011 OEFFA Press Releases Lauren Preemptive Action Seeks Ruling That Would Prohibit Monsanto from Suing Organic Farmers and Seed Growers if Contaminated by Roundup Ready Seed For Immediate Release March 30 2011 Contact Dr Carol Goland Executive Director Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association 614 421 2022 cgoland oeffa org Daniel Ravicher Executive Director Public Patent Foundation 212 545 5337 press pubpat org Press Release On behalf of 60 family farmers seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations including the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association OEFFA the Public Patent Foundation PUBPAT filed suit today against Monsanto to challenge the chemical giant s patents on genetically modified seed The organic plaintiffs were forced to sue preemptively to protect themselves from being accused of patent infringement should they ever become contaminated by Monsanto s genetically modified seed something Monsanto has done to others in the past 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 Plaintiffs in the suit represent a broad array of family farmers small businesses and organizations from within the organic agriculture community who are increasingly threatened by genetically modified seed contamination despite using their best efforts to avoid it The plaintiff organizations have over 270 000 members including thousands of certified organic family farmers This case asks whether Monsanto has the right to sue organic farmers for patent infringement if Monsanto s transgenic seed should land on their property said Dan Ravicher PUBPAT s Executive Director and Lecturer of Law at Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law in New York It seems quite perverse that an organic 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 Once released into the environment genetically modified seed contaminates and destroys organic seed for the same crop For example soon after Monsanto introduced genetically modified seed for canola organic canola became virtually extinct as a result of contamination Organic corn soybeans cotton sugar beets and alfalfa now face the same fate as Monsanto has released genetically modified seed for each of those crops too Monsanto is developing genetically modified seed for many other crops thus putting the future of all food and indeed all agriculture at stake 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 GMOs 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 GMOs 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 fields have been contaminated by Monsanto s GMOs On behalf of farmers who must live under this cloud of uncertainty and risk we are compelled to ask the Court to put an end to this unconscionable business practice In the case PUBPAT is asking Judge Buchwald to declare that if organic farmers are ever contaminated by Monsanto s genetically modified seed they need not fear also being accused of patent infringement One argument justifying this result is that Monsanto s patents on genetically modified seed are invalid because they don t meet the usefulness requirement of patent law according to PUBPAT s Ravicher plaintiffs lead attorney in the case Evidence cited by PUBPAT in its opening filing today proves that genetically modified seed has negative economic and health effects while the promised benefits of genetically modified seed increased production and decreased herbicide use are false Some say transgenic seed can coexist with organic seed but history tells us that s not possible and it s actually in Monsanto s financial interest to eliminate organic seed so that they can have a total monopoly over our food supply said Ravicher Monsanto is the same chemical company that previously brought us Agent Orange DDT PCB s and other toxins which they said were safe but we know are not Now Monsanto says transgenic seed is safe but evidence clearly shows it is not The plaintiffs in the suit represented by PUBPAT are Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association Organic Crop Improvement Association International Inc OCIA Research and Education Inc The Cornucopia Institute Demeter Association Inc Navdanya International Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter Inc Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont Rural Vermont Southeast Iowa Organic Association Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Mendocino Organic Network Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Canadian Organic Growers Family Farmer Seed Cooperative Sustainable Living Systems Global Organic Alliance Food Democracy Now Family Farm Defenders Inc Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund FEDCO Seeds Inc Adaptive Seeds LLC Sow True Seed Southern Exposure Seed Exchange Mumm s Sprouting Seeds Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co LLC Comstock Ferre Co LLC Seedkeepers LLC Siskiyou Seeds Countryside Organics Cuatro Puertas Interlake Forage Seeds Ltd Alba Ranch Wild Plum Farm Gratitude Gardens Richard Everett Farm LLC Philadelphia Community Farm Inc Genesis Farm Chispas Farms LLC Kirschenmann Family Farms Inc Midheaven Farms Koskan Farms California Cloverleaf Farms North Outback Farm Taylor Farms Inc Jardin del Alma Ron Gargasz Organic Farms Abundant Acres T D Willey Farms Quinella Ranch Nature s Way Farm Ltd Levke and Peter Eggers Farm Frey Vineyards Ltd Bryce Stephens Chuck Noble LaRhea Pepper Paul Romero and Donald Wright Patterson Jr For a copy of the complaint go to http www pubpat org assets files seed OSGATA v Monsanto Complaint pdf About OEFFA OEFFA was founded in 1979 and is a grassroots coalition of farmers backyard gardeners consumers retailers educators researchers and others who share a desire to build a healthy food system that brings prosperity to family farmers helps preserve farmland offers food security for all Ohioans and creates economic opportunities for our rural communities OEFFA also operates one of the oldest and most respected organic certification programs in the nation certifying more than 650 operations throughout the Midwest For more information go to www oeffa org About PUBPAT The Public Patent Foundation PUBPAT is a not for profit legal services organization affiliated with the Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law PUBPAT protects freedom in the patent system by representing the public interest against undeserved patents and unsound patent policy For more information go to www pubpat org OEFFA Announces 2011 Stewardship Award Recipients March 24 2011 OEFFA Press Releases Lauren Ed Snavely and Deborah Stinner Recognized for Contributions to Sustainable Agriculture in Ohio For Immediate Release February 21 2011 Contact Carol Goland Executive Director 614 421 2022 Ext 202 cgoland oeffa org Press Release COLUMBUS OH The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association OEFFA has bestowed its highest honor the Stewardship Award on Ed Snavely of Knox County and Deborah Stinner of Wayne County The announcement was made on February 19 as part of OEFFA s 32 nd Annual Conference Inspiring Farms Sustaining Communities The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the sustainable agriculture community Dr Deborah Stinner is a Research Scientist and Administrative Coordinator for the Organic Food and Farming Education and Research Program OFFER at The Ohio State University s Ohio Agriculture Research and Development Center OARDC in Wooster Ohio Stinner s research specialty is organic farming systems with a focus on specialty small grains including hard wheat and spelt for artisan bread and pasta products She helped found the OFFER program in 1998 in response to requests by organic producers and supporters to provide science based information to Ohio s organic farmers OFFER is internationally recognized as a leader in organic farming research The OFFER Program which maintains 50 acres of certified research land and 20 organic field experiments supports field to table organic research and education including organic vegetable fruit and grain production environmental impacts of organic farming local and international marketing on farm research with organic farmers and the impact of organic production on food quality For more than two decades Deb Stinner has clearly articulated the challenges facing Ohio farmers She has shared her understanding of what makes agriculture truly sustainable and helped farmers see how their farming decisions effect their profitability their families and their communities said Mike Anderson OEFFA s Organic Education Coordinator who presented the award at the Saturday evening ceremony Ed Snavely owns and operates Curly Tail Organic Farm a 114 acre farm in Fredericktown Ohio One of Ohio s longest continuously certified farms Ed has been certified organic since 1989 and raises pastured pork and feed for livestock Snavely has been a member of OEFFA since 1989 and currently serves on the Board of Directors as the Grain Growers Chapter Representative and Vice President He has served as President of the Organic Crop Improvement Association OCIA Ohio Chapter and also as a former board member of OCIA Snavely has hosted numerous farm tours spoken as a featured presenter at OEFFA OCIA and American Livestock Breeds Conservancy ALBC meetings and has been an honored delegate at the first and second Slow Food Terra Madre conferences in Italy I was proud to present the OEFFA Stewardship Award to my good friend Ed He has long been a proponent of organic and sustainable agriculture and has worked to spread the word not only locally but across our nation and around the world said Mike Laughlin OEFFA Board Member and 2010 Stewardship Award recipient who presented the award Both Deb and Ed care deeply about creating a sustainable food system We should all be sincerely grateful for what they have done to advance sustainable agriculture in our community said OEFFA Executive Director Carol Goland The Ohio Ecological Food Farm Association OEFFA is a non profit organization founded in 1979 by farmers gardeners and conscientious eaters who committed to work together to create and promote a sustainable and healthful food and farming system For more information visit www oeffa org More than 150 Grassroots Groups Oppose House Budget Cuts to Sustainable Agriculture Programs March 2 2011 OEFFA Press Releases Lauren For Immediate Release March 2 2011 Contact Carol Goland 614 421 2022 cgoland oeffa org Press Release Columbus OH The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association OEFFA was one of more than 150 organizations to sign on to a letter to the U S Senate in opposition to a House budget bill H R 1 that would cut more than 60 billion dollars from the federal budget over the remainder of this fiscal year H R 1 slashes a disproportional amount from the agriculture budget 22 relative to other budget sections Worse it unfairly targets programs that serve sustainable organic beginning and minority farmers H R 1 makes deep cuts to conservation and renewable energy funding provided by the 2008 Farm Bill a combined 500 million would be cut under the House bill from programs including the Conservation Stewardship Program CSP the Environmental Quality Incentives Program EQIP and Wetland Reserve Program WRP While Conservation Renewable Energy Farm Services Agency direct farm lending and feeding programs for low income families took big hits no cuts were proposed for commodity payments or crop insurance two of the biggest line items in the agriculture budget after nutrition programs According to the letter submitted by OEFFA and other groups In a year of relatively high farm income the House has focused its cuts instead upon programs that protect the environment increase economic opportunity serve beginning and minority farmers and ensure proper nutrition for low income families These cuts are reckless and unfair said Carol Goland OEFFA s Executive Director If cuts must be made then everything must be on the table Cuts must be fair equitable and made based on the merits of each program she said The House bill would make very major cuts in agricultural research and extension rural development and would also eliminate funding completely for a number of small programs of great importance to sustainable organic beginning and minority farmers The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service ATTRA Organic Transitions Research Program Office of Advocacy and Outreach to coordinate policy and outreach to beginning women and minority farmers and the Office of Tribal Relations program would all be terminated H R 1 also cuts several USDA agency administrative budgets more severely than the programs they manage With the staff cuts this will require we don t see how they can possibly do their job effectively said Goland The Senate needs to be more responsible and even handed in its approach to deficit reduction To read the full text of the letter go to http sustainableagriculture net wp content uploads 2010 11 154 Organization Letter to Senate on Ag Section of HR 1 pdf The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association was founded in 1979 and is a grassroots coalition of farmers backyard gardeners consumers retailers educators researchers and others who share a desire to build a healthy food system 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 Organic Grain Farmers to Keynote Ohio s Largest Sustainable Food and Farm Conference January 28 2011 OEFFA Press Releases conference grain Martens oeffa Lauren Leading Experts in Organic Production Klaas and Mary Howell Martens to Speak Saturday February 19 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 19 2011 Contact Renee Hunt 614 421 2022 Ext 205 renee oeffa org Klaas and Mary Howell Martens Press Release Klaas and Mary Howell Martens made the transition from conventional farming to being one of the leading experts in organic production They will share their knowledge as keynote speakers at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association s OEFFA 32 nd annual conference Inspiring Farms Sustaining Communities February 19 20 2011 in Granville Ohio We re excited to able to bring Klaas and Mary Howell to this year s conference They are a perfect illustration of this year s theme Inspiring Farms Sustaining Communities The Martens are a great example of how two people can make a huge impact as they reach out to farmers across the country in an effort to build local and organic food systems said OEFFA Program Director Renee Hunt Farming organically since 1993 Klaas and Mary Howell Martens raise about 1400 acres of corn soybeans small grains and other crops as well as heifers pigs and chickens The Martens venture into organic farming led them to start an organic grain business in 1996 Lakeview Organic Grain has expanded to supply more than 300 organic farmers in central New York and is the state s only dedicated organic feed mill and organic seed operation We truly believe

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?cat=4&paged=8 (2016-02-17)
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  • Smarter Food: A farmers market with a difference | OEFFA News
    with small farms the county is home to one of the largest Amish populations in the country And it has a small dedicated group of residents who wanted a different kind of place to shop Local Roots founders are a diverse group including farmers agricultural researchers teachers a banker and an architect In 2009 the group began meeting weekly to figure out how to build a co op without a lot of capital which co founder Betsy Anderson says none of us had That ruled out traditional retail models where the store sources and buys all of the food up front and loses money on whatever goes to waste From the beginning we were looking at how this would all fit together so it was environmentally and economically sustainable Anderson says Local Roots solution was to develop a hybrid grocery store farmers market There are sections for meat dairy products bread produce and specialty items such as gourmet popcorn and sorghum syrup Each department carries offerings from a variety of producers who come each week and stock the shelves themselves That allows customers to buy grass fed milk from Hartzler s Dairy eggs from the Shepherd s Market walnut bread from the Grain Maker bakery and turnips from Martha s Farm but still check out at a single cash register using a check a credit card even food stamps as well as cash For tracking sales each product in the store has a bar code created with free open source software Every week each farmer gets an inventory report of what sold and when Every two weeks each farmer gets a check for 90 percent of his or her total gross sales The other 10 percent goes toward operational expenses rent utilities and the salary of the co op s market manager its only full time staffer Farmers also sell to the co op s cafe On most days the three chefs buy food just like any other customer and turn it into homey delicious dishes such as leek and feta quiche or a curried cauliflower apple and arugula pesto sandwich on locally made bread Producers also sell the cafe their excess produce the stuff that won t sit another week on the shelves The cooks prep and freeze it or use it for soups and sauces The setup has been a boon to farmers Marion Yoder who sells pastured meats cheese and homemade bagels says the co op helps keep her business running all year with no need for customers to drive out to the farm after the farmers markets close for the season She is now selling about half of her meat through Local Roots Shoppers benefit too because the co op makes it convenient to source most of their food locally It s as easy as the grocery store says Trevor Dunlap the head of a local nonprofit group who stopped in to pick up some grass fed milk and butter on his lunch hour There has

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=618 (2016-02-17)
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  • Hoop houses extend the growing season so farmers can meet demand for local veggies | OEFFA News
    increased demand is that grocers are embracing buy local based on growing consumer demand Meijer in August announced that it plans to increase by 5 percent the amount of locally grown fruits and vegetables it sells in its stores The goal is to ensure that nearly one third of all produce Meijer sells this season comes from local producers said Scott Calandra a produce buyer for the Grand Rapids Mich based chain And Kroger and Giant Eagle both obtain a majority of their produce from local sources as do other grocers including Whole Foods In fact the U S Department of Agriculture projects that demand for local and organic foods is soon going to overtake supply said Sharon Sachs an owner of Women Farm a Columbus based company that helps women start or expand farms As farms get smaller and local foods emphasis grows there is more opportunity to get more people into the farming business particularly women she said The expansion of farmers markets coupled with a growing demand by restaurants and chefs to work directly with growers and producers has resulted in the need for growers to expand their growing capacity and growing season Hoop houses especially in climates such as Ohio s are one way of doing that Sachs said Hoop houses also called high tunnels are similar to greenhouses but are less expensive and require no artificial energy source according to the Agriculture Department The structures are typically made using wood or metal covered in layers of plastic which trap daytime air inside and minimize heat loss at night Depending on the size of the high tunnel the cost can range from about 2 000 to 15 000 Jorgensen said There are those who d be glad to see more of those hoop houses pop up Michael Jones who owns the Greener Grocer a local organic food store said farmers who are able to continue supplying produce beyond the usual central Ohio growing season are in strong demand We could sell five times more local foods than what we are getting from growers he said The issue is being able to fill the demand for orders It s taken awhile for farmers to see that there is a strong demand for local foods and it takes more time to get production up to meet that demand Jones also a spokesman for Local Matters a central Ohio nonprofit group that supports local food said the goal for many retailers is to sell more local foods As you grow it we ll sell it he said As more retailers espouse that sentiment more growers are realizing the benefits of expanding their growing season through the use of hoop houses especially in colder states such as Ohio said Ferd Hoefner policy director for the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition a Washington based trade group More younger and new farmers are getting into agriculture and are finding that with the addition of hoop houses they don t need a lot of

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=601 (2016-02-17)
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  • Pollution linked to ‘fracking’: Industry objects; EPA says report isn’t final in case from Wyoming | OEFFA News
    step in a process of opening up its findings for review by the public and other scientists EPA s highest priority remains ensuring that Pavillion residents have access to safe drinking water said Jim Martin EPA regional administrator in Denver We look forward to having these findings in the draft report informed by a transparent and public review process The EPA also emphasized that the findings are specific to the Pavillion area Fracking there occurred below the level of the drinking water aquifer and close to water wells Elsewhere drilling is more remote and fracking occurs much deeper than the level of groundwater that normally would be used Pavillion resident John Fenton applauded the EPA for listening to homeowners with contaminated water Those of us who suffer the impacts from the unchecked development in our community are extremely happy the contamination source is being identified Fenton said Calgary Alberta based Encana owns the Pavillion gas field Spokesman Doug Hock said there was much to question about the draft study The compounds the EPA said could be associated with fracking he said could have had origins not related to gas development such as contamination in the sampling process water well construction or natural occurrence There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered This is a probability and it is one we believe is incorrect Hock said Tom Stewart with the Ohio Oil and Gas Association said there have been more than a million frack jobs created in the United States There has always been circumstances that they say that there s a connection that did not necessarily exist U S Sen James Inhofe said the study was not based on sound science but rather on political science Its findings are premature given that the agency has not

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=598 (2016-02-17)
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  • Long-running experiment shows organic farming is profitable | OEFFA News
    profitable than conventional crops Craig Chase interim leader of the Leopold Center s Marketing and Food Systems Initiative and extension farm management specialist calculated the returns to management that is the money left over for family living after deducting labor land and production costs for both systems He based his calculations on actual LTAR data from 1998 to 2004 as well as scenarios modeled with enterprise budgets Both methods gave the same result On average organic systems return roughly 200 per acre more than conventional crops In addition to its profitability organic agriculture helps build healthy soils While conventional LTAR plots receive synthetic herbicides pesticides and fertilizer organic plots receive only local manure based amendments Total nitrogen increased by 33 percent in the organic plots and researchers measured higher concentrations of carbon potassium phosphorous magnesium and calcium The results suggest that organic farming can foster greater efficiency in nutrient use and higher potential for sequestrating carbon Delate said they use a whole suite of practices to manage weeds in the organic plots including timely tillage and longer crop rotations Allelopathic chemicals from rye and alfalfa help keep weed populations under control as does growing an alfalfa cover crop in winter which provided cover for beneficial insects and animals I think there s a strong future for organic agriculture Delate said My phone is ringing off the hook The interest hasn t waned When Delate became Iowa State s first specialist in organic agriculture in 1997 the Leopold Center provided start up funds to develop a program and set up LTAR research plots The Center has provided annual operating funds for LTAR and in 2010 the work was moved to a competitive grant in the Leopold Center s Cross Cutting Initiative LTAR s findings concur with recently published results from the

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=564 (2016-02-17)
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  • Farmers Visit DC to Advocate for the Local Food Bill | OEFFA News
    the aisle have constituents that can benefit from stimulating farm income and job creation through the growing consumer demand for local and regional foods Fly in participants with Rep Pingree A packed room listens to Rep Pingree Afterwards the participants spoke with their Members of Congress and staff members about the economic social and environmental benefits of local and regional food systems and about how their farms and local communities would benefit from the provisions included in the bill I found the staff members we spoke with generally receptive and supportive of the ideas behind local food issues wanting to support local economies through building local food systems I m hopeful that we ll continue to get a good response from Washington As a first experience advocating in the halls of power in Washington I found the experience educational I plan to make further contact with Washington to make my voice heard and I encourage others with similar concerns about local food to contact their Members of Congress Ron Meyer Strawberry Hill Farm Fresno OH It s a great opportunity to meet with lawmakers face to face to proactively advocate for sustainable agriculture and we are incredibly grateful to NSAC for providing us with the chance to do so We were able to clarify and explain the particular needs that a farm like ours has such as making a real case for a shift in funding within farm revenue insurance priorities Even in this chaotic farm bill process we re sowing the seeds for more sensible sustainable farm policies that will produce better food for the future Jack Hedin Featherstone Farm Rushford MN A special thank you to the following NSAC member organizations for their assistance with fly in outreach and participation Delta Land and Community Union of Concerned Scientists

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=547 (2016-02-17)
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  • Local and Regional Farm and Food Bill Introduced in Congress | OEFFA News
    Program The legislation will establish 30 million a year in mandatory farm bill direct funding for what is now the Farmers Market Promotion Program FMPP The newly refashioned Local Marketing Promotion Program will do everything FMPP does but also will provide grants to scale up local and regional food enterprises including processing distribution aggregation storage and marketing Fifty percent of funding will go to direct marketing with the remaining 50 percent to scaling up food systems and no less than 10 percent of total funding will contribute towards strengthening statewide regional and national market development networks Explains Stacy Miller Executive Director of the Farmers Market Coalition This legislation makes existing programs more effective The Farmers Market Promotion Program which has proven exceptionally efficient at using small grants to build capacity of young farmers markets and helping them leverage other sources of support for long term sustainability is continued and expanded by this important new bill It has our strong support School Meals The bill will improve institutional access to local and regional foods through a series of provisions regarding school meal procurement For example through a local food credit program originally championed by Representative Pingree in her Eat Local Foods Act introduced earlier this year School Food Authorities could opt to use up to 15 percent of their school lunch commodity dollars for making purchases of foods in their own communities from their own farmers and ranchers instead of through USDA s nationalized commodity food program Highlighting the systemic benefits of this approach Illinois Stewardship Alliance Policy Coordinator Wes King notes Whether you are looking at it from the perspective of the small or mid sized family farmer who is interested in accessing new markets or the parent who is concerned about the health of his or her child this bill makes it easier for schools to purchase fresh healthy food from local farmers and is a win win for everyone involved Rural Development Funding for Rural Development programs has declined significantly in recent agriculture appropriation bills and these programs are at risk during the farm bill reauthorization The Local Farms Food and Jobs Act boosts rural investment by increasing the Business Industry Loan funding set aside for local and regionally produced agriculture products and food enterprises from five to ten percent The legislation will also provide authority for specific types of local and regional food system funding under Rural Business Opportunity Grants RBOG Rural Business Enterprise Grants RBEG and Community Facility Grants and Loans Says Dave Runsten Policy Director of Community Alliance with Family Farmers in Arcata CA We have worked with various Rural Development programs such as RBOG RBEG and Value Added Producer Grants that are oriented toward job creation in rural areas This bill makes adjustment to these programs to make them as useful as possible We applaud the focus on recreating the local food infrastructure a critical need all across the country Specialty Crop Block Grant Program Within the Specialty Crop Block Grant program the bill

    Original URL path: http://www.oeffa.org/news/?p=543 (2016-02-17)
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