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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 |
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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 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 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 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.


John J Jeffries Restaurant To Host PASA Benefit Dinner

Posted by 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 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.


PASA Is Hiring a Western Region Program Coordinator

Posted by 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!


PASA's Director of Educational Programs Job Announcement

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

State Ag Council Celebrates Political Trifecta

Posted by 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.


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 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

Intern Guide for Producers

Posted by at Apr 01, 2014 02:46 PM |

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

(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

For more information contact Cheryl Burns at Capital RC&D at 717.241.4361 or via email at

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.

Volunteers Needed for Philly Farm & Food Fest - April 13

Posted by at Mar 31, 2014 01:56 PM |

We are looking for volunteers to assist with the 3rd Annual Philly Farm & Food Fest coming up on Sunday, April 13th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Full details are below!

3rd Annual Philly Farm & Food Fest
Sunday, April 13

11am - 4pm

Philadelphia Convention Center Annex

1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia

Philly Farm & Food Fest (PF3) brings together regional farmers, unique food producers, sustainable food businesses and organizations under one roof for a day of sampling, shopping and learning in support of our region's diverse and delicious food system.

Philly Farm & Food Fest is a joint project of Fair Food & PASA, presented by Whole Foods Market.

If you are interested in volunteering at Philly Farm & Food Fest, please click here & select "sign up" for the shift you prefer.

Here are the details of volunteer duties for each shift:
- Vendor Load-in
- Handwashing Station set-up
- Signage Placement

- Final Vendor Load-in
- Classroom Management
- Libations Lounge Management
- Shellfish Salon Management
- Demo area Management
- Customer Service
- Registration
- Wayfinding

1pm - 5pm
- Classroom Management
- Libations Lounge Management
- Shellfish Salon Management
- Demo area Management
- Customer Service
- Registration
- Wayfinding
- Clean - up of Hall G
- Exhibitor Load-out assistance

New Pennsylvania CSA Guides

New Pennsylvania CSA Guides

Posted by at Mar 28, 2014 05:10 AM |

PASA's Pennsylvania CSA Guides promote our members and Buy Fresh Buy Local® partners who offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Thanks to all those farms that elected to be included in the guides this year!


Grace Lefever, founder of Sonnewald Natural Foods & PASA Member, Passes at the Age of 91

Grace Lefever, founder of Sonnewald Natural Foods & PASA Member, Passes at the Age of 91

Posted by at Mar 28, 2014 05:02 AM |

PASA was saddened to learn of Grace Lefever's passing earlier this week. Grace was a long-time member of PASA and she supported us in various ways; from teaching workshops to donating her beautiful finger paintings to our conference auction and to always be a smiling and generous face to see at our many events.

Grace will be sadly missed. Our thoughts are with Grace's family during this difficult time.

York Dispatch

York Daily Record

Local Markets at Whole Foods Jenkintown - Vendors Needed

Posted by at Mar 27, 2014 02:06 PM |

A message from Dana Mensah, Marketing Team Leader at Whole Foods Market - Jenkintown:

Hi local producers and artisans!

Whole Foods Market Jenkintown has decided to continue their new tradition of monthly indoor markets. The “From Around Here Showcase” will take place on the first Saturday of each month from 11am-3pm beginning May 3rd. (5/3, 6/7, 7/5, 8/2, and 9/6). You are invited to sell your wares directly to the customers, just like you would at an outdoor market. We have space for 7-10 vendors each month and hope you will be one of them!


After receiving feedback from some of last year’s vendors, we have decided to make some small changes. This year, we will be concentrating all of the vendors into one area of the store so we can create more of a destination for shoppers. We also ask that everyone package their goods in a bag so we know that the items have been paid for. We are open to other suggestions as to how to make your day more profitable and enjoyable. Please let me know if you have any thoughts.

Here is the application if you are interested. You can apply for all 5 dates or just one… whatever works best for you! And feel free to pass the application along to other artisans. Plus, we’re looking for local musicians to join us at each event so please send any talented friends my way!


Have a great day!
Dana Mensah
Marketing Team Leader
Whole Foods Market
1575 The Fairway
Jenkintown, PA 19046

Niche Pork Survey - Participants Needed

Posted by at Mar 27, 2014 01:55 PM |

Jamie Picardy is a graduate student of Ag, Food and Environment at Tufts University in Boston, MA.  She is researching both the production and consumption side of niche meat (pork in particular) for her dissertation, which is detailed more below. She is specifically collecting data on performance metrics at all life phases. In addition, her study will attempt to define the term "niche" from the priorities of the producers and the understanding of the consumers - seeing where the two intersect.

Jamie is looking for pork producers who would be willing to complete her short survey on your production practices/experiences. Deadline is April 30th. Participation is vital to her project and responses will be kept anonymous.  She will share results with participants and producer cooperatives to strengthen productivity.

The survey takes about 10-15 minutes.  Here is the link to the online version:
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jamie:
Jamie Picardy
Agriculture, Food and Environment doctoral candidate
Phone: 215-360-5885
Email: (preferred) or
Address:  251 St. Paul St. Unit #1, Brookline MA, 02446

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  Additional information on Jamie's  study ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My dissertation research study has three components:  (1) production characteristics to determine land requirements of pastured pork, (2) consumer preferences toward production characteristics to estimate retail demand, and (3) site suitability to calculate production capability. Please note that the survey was reviewed by Dave Stender and Mark Honeyman (Iowa State University), Silvana Pietrosemoli, Jim Green and Niki Whitley (North Carolina State University), pork producers in New England, and my advisors Chris Peters and Tim Griffin (Tufts University).
By completing the survey, the niche pork community (farmers, aggregators, marketers, advocates and researchers) will have a better understanding of common production metrics to examine your farm's productivity and efficiency against other niche and commodity pork producers.  This type of information is currently not available for niche pork productionOnce survey information is collected, I will aggregate the information in a form (like 1 page hand-out or flyer) easy for farmers to read/obtain.  Then, I can also create a spreadsheet whereby the production metrics from the study can be in one column and farmers can "track" their data in additional columns -- this style of data sharing will help the producer compare how their farm performs against the rest and over time.  In addition to the immediate project results of performance metrics, the application of the results will indicate the land requirements of an alternative meat production, thereby reinforcing the need to conserve working lands.
One comment that I heard from past farm conferences was the lack of printed information shared with the farmers at the conference sessions. Thus, I will make available my study results in various forms: (1) hand-outs for the farmers/aggregators/advocates, (2) electronic Excel spreadsheets for the farmers/aggregators/advocates, and (3) dissertation/funding report to be written for a peer-reviewed journal article.
My study is completely anonymous.  The only personal information that I collect is your STATE of production (like MI, IA, MA or NC). Your information will be INCORPORATED INTO THE WHOLE DATASET. This dataset also includes producers from North and South Carolina who completed the survey in November and December, as well as my farmers in Michigan (connections from my home state), New England and California. Working with your farm would be key!  I am excited to share the results back with you -- in terms of production (Part 1) but also Part 2 of my dissertation research on retail consumer preferences for niche meats.
Thank you for your time and expertise!

Jamie Picardy
Agriculture, Food and Environment doctoral candidate
Phone: 215-360-5885
Email: (preferred) or
Address:  251 St. Paul St. Unit #1, Brookline MA, 02446

Cover Crop Research Participants Needed

Posted by at Mar 27, 2014 12:45 PM |

Abbe Hamilton is a student at Penn State University currently beginning a research project on the topic of cover crops. She is recruiting farmer participants now, for both this spring and next spring for her work - please read her full announcement below and be in touch with Abbe directly if you are interested in participating.

Do you have a cover crop growing on a field in your farm? Will you be planting one this year?

I’m looking for farmers of all types interested in learning more about the quality of their cover crops (as measured by biomass, growth stage, C:N ratio and flowering density, if applicable) and willing to allow me to conduct a short, one-time study on one of their cover cropped fields. I’m especially interested in farmers growing a polyculture cover crop. I’ll be sampling this spring, as well as late this fall and next spring, so there will be future opportunities for participation.


Participation would involve answering a few questions about how your cover crop was managed, and I would take a small destructive sample (7.5 square feet, distributed throughout a field) with two weeks prior to the termination of the crop.


I’m scheduling farm visits for this spring now, so please contact me as soon as possible to answer a couple of preliminary questions!
Abbe Hamilton

Check Out Brian's Latest Blog Post - The Regenerative Power of Restraint

Posted by at Mar 26, 2014 08:35 AM |


If we were lacking an adequate appreciation for the concept of power and the ways it can be used in both constructive and destructive ways, the world has certainly given us an abundance of opportunities in the past several years to remedy that situation. From the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the Arab Spring, leadership transitions in North Korea and the Catholic Church, and right up to the current Ukrainian crisis, we’ve had a chance to examine and contemplate the alternative expressions of power on an international stage numerous times.

Read the full blog post here.

PASA/FMC Webinar Recording Available - Your Edge in a Changing Marketplace: Thinking Like a Retailer

Posted by at Mar 21, 2014 12:25 PM |

This webinar was the 3rd in a series planned through a joint partnership between Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and the Farmers Market Coalition, supported by a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant. 

Farmers markets are no longer the only option for shoppers seeking locally grown foods. Is your markets’ brand, products, and shopping experience keeping pace with an evolving marketplace? Learn about savvy retailer strategies to understand and promote your best assets and make your customers feel special.  This session will offer a variety of strategies to help put your market in the spotlight and grow customer loyalty to keep you on the cutting edge of the changing local food landscape.

Presenter: Eric Barrett, Ohio State University Extension

Moderator: Brian Moyer, Penn State University Extension

From Northeast SARE - How To Guide for Aspiring Urban Micro-Agriculture Entrepreneuers

Posted by at Mar 20, 2014 04:50 AM |

The How-to-Guide for Aspiring Urban Micro-Agricultural Entrepreneurs was created by Sustainable Urban Development for residents of West Philadelphia who want to increase their access to fresh, healthy and affordable food. The guide equips anyone interested in urban farming with the information they need to reclaim vacant lots in the city and build a for-profit urban farm.

The guide contains information on building raised beds and maintaining healthy soils; zoning, code and permit requirements for community gardens; and business and market planning. While the guide is based off of research in West Philadelphia, it is intended to be a replicable model for individuals in other urban areas.


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