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Can Pastured-Livestock Become a Bigger Part of our Food System?

Can Pastured-Livestock Become a Bigger Part of our Food System?

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Dec 13, 2017 05:05 AM |

With the holiday season upon us, many of us will be coming together with our families for special meals. For those of us who include animal proteins on our plate, and even those whose decision not to is based in anything having to do with animal health or conservation implications, decisions about sourcing often provoke dialogue. It is only recently that the lexicon of conservation has begun to include pastured animals as a solution rather than a complication for issues such as carbon sequestration or soil health.

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Charting Financial Benchmarks for Vegetable Farm Profits

Charting Financial Benchmarks for Vegetable Farm Profits

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Nov 29, 2017 11:28 AM |

Direct market sales (farmers markets, CSA’s, etc.) are an $86 million industry in Pennsylvania, yet very little information is available to help vegetable farmers serving direct markets make successful business decisions. In the winter of 2017-2018, PASA is coordinating a research project to help diversified vegetable farmers improve their bottom lines.

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Jim Travis: Fruit Specialist by Trade, Grower by Passion

Jim Travis: Fruit Specialist by Trade, Grower by Passion

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Nov 14, 2017 01:47 PM |

Jim Travis grew up helping his father in the fruit orchards, developing a passion for the art of growing quality fruit, and being a steward to his environment. Each morning, while leaving the back door, Jim would pick an apple off one of his father’s Jonathan apple trees before boarding the school bus. One day, in the early Spring...

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Native Bees & Plastic Tube Habitat

Native Bees & Plastic Tube Habitat

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Oct 19, 2017 07:03 AM |

An informal experiment conducted by Chester County, Penn State Master Gardener, Tony Buck. I had read that native bees, especially Mason Bees, do not nest in plastic tubes. However, due to my day job of fixing houses, I once observed them nesting in an electrical outlet, so I knew they were adaptable....

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John Good on Farming and Life

John Good on Farming and Life

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Oct 02, 2017 07:05 AM |

Since the summer of 2000 John and Aimee Good have been growing food for themselves and their community. They currently farm certified Organic vegetables on 18 acres in Germansville, PA in northern Lehigh County. Nearly all of their produce goes to their 200 member CSA, with the remainder going to one farmer’s market as well as a few wholesale and restaurant customers. Having recently moved to a new farm site, John noted that this year “many crops, yields and quality are the best we have ever seen.”

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Chicano Sol's Sunny Outlook on Farming

Chicano Sol's Sunny Outlook on Farming

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Sep 18, 2017 12:15 PM |

In October of 2009, as a tribute to her husband’s Mexican heritage and with a respectful bow to the essential role the sun plays in growing plants, Jarrah and Agustin Cernas’ “Chicano Sol” began to shine....

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About the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship

About the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Sep 06, 2017 08:30 AM |

In late 2015, the PASA team met with the founders of the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship (DGA) to talk about a partnership. At that time, DGA was the only formalized apprenticeship in agriculture. PASA was interested in bringing this program to Pennsylvania, to help strengthen and expand a system of dairy farming that has not only proven to have economic viability, but can also be viewed as sustainable and regenerative, both ecologically and socially...

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Master Grazier Brian Moyer and Apprentice Joseph Moyer Approach Milestone

Master Grazier Brian Moyer and Apprentice Joseph Moyer Approach Milestone

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Sep 06, 2017 08:25 AM |

Joseph Moyer grew up on a dairy farm, but he didn’t work on the farm. His older brother, Jacob, eventually became a dairy farmer, but Joseph tried his hand at carpentry, instead. After a relatively brief time working in that trade, however, Joseph began to become curious about the farm and, when he became aware of the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program, he expressed interest....

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Setting and exceeding benchmarks for soil health

Setting and exceeding benchmarks for soil health

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Aug 23, 2017 09:55 AM |

Soil health is the foundation of productivity and profitability on any farm. While most farms regularly test their soils, it can be challenging to put results in a meaningful context. For instance, how do you understand what a “good” soil test result is for your farm, and how do you develop a practical strategy for improving soil health over the long term? ...

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New Formal Apprenticeship for Vegetable Farmers

New Formal Apprenticeship for Vegetable Farmers

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Aug 09, 2017 12:05 PM |

PASA is excited to officially unveil the news about our Diversified Vegetable Apprenticeship program or "DVA" for short. The program will help to give structure and support to farmers and apprentices alike as they work through the process of on-farm training and skills development...

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From Farm Manager to App Creator: Meet the Farmer Doing it All

From Farm Manager to App Creator: Meet the Farmer Doing it All

Posted by Christina Kostelecky at Jul 26, 2017 07:55 AM |
Filed under:

One of the many joys of working for PASA is getting the chance to personally connect with our farmer members. There is such diversity among our farmers that I never know with whom I’ll be speaking from one day to the next. When we recently launched the PASA Organization and Individual Profiles, it gave me yet another chance to learn, in depth, about some of the members who make our organization great. One of the first farmers to complete the Organization Profile was Alex Smith, who as farm manager at Living Hope Farm and developer of the farm app BeetClock, actually filled out two profiles. I was lucky enough to speak with him...

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Celebration of Life Planned for Grace Lefever

Celebration of Life Planned for Grace Lefever

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 18, 2014 07:42 AM |

Sunday, June 8, 2014
Grace Fellowship
1405 Seven Valleys Road
York, PA 17408
(Rt. 616 south of York New Salem)


4:00 to 5:00pm - Visitation
No viewing; Grace donated her body to Hershey Medical Center

5:00pm - Memorial Service
Followed by a covered dish / potluck / carry-in meal.
In keeping with Grace's passion for living gently on the Earth, please bring a serving utensil for your covered dish and full place setting for each person attending.

Casual attire

3rd Annual Philly Farm & Food Fest a Success!

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 14, 2014 12:48 PM |

Thanks to all sponsors, exhibitors, volunteers, presenters & attendees for another wonderful Philly Farm and Food Fest on Sunday, April 13th.

Read the full Philadelphia Inquirer article here.

PASA Member Three Springs Fruit Farm Featured in Country Folks Grower

PASA Member Three Springs Fruit Farm Featured in Country Folks Grower

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 10, 2014 08:04 AM |

by Sally Colby

Families who operate successful farm businesses often hope that their children or other family members will be interested in continuing the farm. However, the process by which the transition occurs isn’t easy, and can be awkward and difficult.

Communication throughout the transition process is critical, and can prevent worry and extra expense. Many families avoid the planning process simply because they don’t know where to start.

Three Springs Fruit Farm in Aspers, PA, has undergone several transitions. From partnerships/sole proprietorships in the 1800s, to father and son partnerships and to the current structure that includes several LLCs, the Wenks have remained solid in their commitment to producing the best possible produce for customers.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

John J Jeffries Restaurant To Host PASA Benefit Dinner

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 09, 2014 01:09 PM |

John J. Jeffries Restaurant
300 Harrisburg Ave
Lancaster, PA 17603
Reception begins at 5:00pm
Dinner begins at 6:00pm

JOIN PASA FOR A SPECTACULAR SPRING CELEBRATION DINNER!

Join us for a festive reception featuring Artisan Cheeses, Regional Fruits & Local Breads, followed by a four-course meal including Soup du Jour of Seasonal Ingredients, Local Lettuce Salad, and an entrée choice of Jamison Farm Pastured Lamb, Sweet Stem Farm Pork or the Seasonal Vegetarian. Our meal will conclude with an incredible selection of desserts.

A regional beer or wine selection is included.

PASA is excited to return to John J. Jeffries Restaurant. We applaud Chef Cavanaugh & Chef Carson for their dedication to sourcing local ingredients for their menus. Their long-term relationships with regional sustainable farmers is unmatched – and assures them an incredible array of fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and more year-round. Their meats are raised naturally, produce grown organically, and the dairy products free of artificial hormones.

The Chefs are welcoming the PASA family back for this Spring Celebration Dinner. We are excited to enjoy a meal that is indicative of the coming season. Please join us for this festive evening. We will take time to share news of PASA, and some of the major issues that are facing agriculture.

TICKET DETAILS ARE AVAILABLE HERE

PASA Is Hiring a Western Region Program Coordinator

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 09, 2014 12:05 PM |

Are you interested in joining the PASA team?

We now have a position open in our Western Region office in Richland Township (near Gibsonia), PA (Allegheny County). If you are interested in planning regional education and networking events, as well as coordinating our Buy Fresh Buy Local® Chapter in the region this position may be for you!

READ THE FULL JOB DESCRIPTION

PASA's Director of Educational Programs Job Announcement

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 08, 2014 09:16 AM |

Dear PASA Members and Friends,

I am very pleased to announce that the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is currently accepting applications for Director of Educational Programs, a staff position that will be fundamental to the future of our organization and represents a very significant career opportunity for the right candidate.

For some background, about 18 months ago the PASA Board of Directors established as our top strategic priority the reformulation and intensification of our educational programming, already nationally renowned for excellence in helping new farmers to get started and existing ones to become more sustainable in their growing and business practices. The board initiated this process knowing that, despite much progress, the challenges ahead in the agricultural community remain daunting, and will require the "best and the brightest" among us to take the lead in envisioning and establishing a more sustainable future. The job currently advertised is the symbolic capstone of that planning process.

We seek an inspired leader with wide-ranging experience to design our research agenda, curriculum and program delivery mechanisms to be as innovative and effective as any in the nation, working with the strong set of academic and other partners PASA has developed over the past 22 years. Interviews will start in the first full week of May, but our search will continue until exactly the right person has been identified.

As our members and closest friends, I hope you will do everything possible to help us get the word out about this important professional opportunity. The full position description is available on our website.

Wishing you all the best for the growing season ahead!

Brian

Brian Snyder, Executive Director
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)

State Ag Council Celebrates Political Trifecta

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 07, 2014 01:48 PM |

PASA's Executive Director, Brian Snyder, is also the President of the PA State Council of Farm Organizations. Check out this nice article in the recent issue of Lancaster Farming.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.

As a group, the organization focused on transportation funding, correcting issues with high-tunnel building codes and responding to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s proposed food safety rules.

USDA Farm to School Grants - Deadline April 30

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 02, 2014 11:55 AM |

FY’15 USDA Farm to School Grants request for applications was released earlier this month- applications are due April 30th.

1. Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.
2. Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
3. Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.

Proposals for planning, implementation, and support service grants are due at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, April 30, 2014.
A 25% cash or in-kind match of the total project cost is required.

Tegan Hagy

Farm to School Program Specialist
Mid Atlantic Regional Office (MARO)
USDA Food and Nutrition Service
(609) 259 5071
tegan.hagy@fns.usda.gov
www.fns.usda.gov/farmtoschool

Intern Guide for Producers

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Apr 01, 2014 02:46 PM |

PRESS RELEASE
from The Capital Resource Conservation & Development Council

For Immediate Release

For More Information Contact: Cheryl Burns, 717.241.4361

Intern Guide for Producers

Available online at Capitalrcd.org

(Carlisle, PA) – More farms are utilizing interns and apprentices than ever before, not only to satisfy farm labor requirements but to share important agricultural knowledge. These educational opportunities are in demand and when well planned to incorporate hands-on education they can be mutually beneficial, yet without standardized requirements it can be difficult for farm businesses to know if they meet the legal and educational requirements for these positions. Capital RC&D developed the “Guide to Internships and Employment for Pennsylvania Farms” in response to this need and to help reduce the confusion experienced by both farmers and employees participating in internship and apprenticeship opportunities. 

The “Guide to Internships and Employment for Pennsylvania Farms” surveys legal requirements   and provides an overview of legal definitions of intern and apprenticeships, wage and compensation details, and housing considerations. It is not a replacement for direct legal counsel but builds a strong foundation for farmers considering the hire of or already employing an intern or apprentice. Farmers will also find references for additional information from appropriate state agencies, national scope nonprofits and programs showcasing successful intern and apprentice programs.

The guide is available online at no cost to all Pennsylvania farmers at www.capitalrcd.org

For more information contact Cheryl Burns at Capital RC&D at 717.241.4361 or via email at cburns@capitalrcd.org

Funding support has been provided by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service.

The Capital Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Area Council is a seven-county, non-profit that provides leadership to promote regional partnerships for the responsible use and conservation of our natural, community, and economic resources. The Capital RC&D serves Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, and York.

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