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Read PASA's Board of Directors Adopted Policy Statement on Unconventional Natural Gas Extraction

Posted by at Jun 14, 2012 04:50 AM |

The Board of Directors of PASA recently adopted a policy statement on the topic of unconventional natural gas extraction after considering comments from the organization's members and supporters.

PASA struggled with the issue of unconventional natural gas extraction, involving long horizontal drilling and hydro-fracturing, or "fracking," for a long time before arriving at this policy statement. "I'm sure many folks will consider this statement to be 'too little, too late,'" said PASA Executive Director Brian Snyder. "But we really wanted to get this right, considering the needs and interests of our members on all sides of this critical issue, while also firmly adhering to our mission," he added.

The PASA board is hopeful that the statement can serve to rally interest in examining the natural gas extraction industry more closely at a time when lower prices have also raised question about its economic feasibility.

Read the Board's full statement and press release here.

Vendors Needed for the Fresh Beets Music & Food Festival

Posted by at Jun 01, 2012 09:24 AM |

PASA and our business member partner, Whole Foods Market - Jenkintown (Montgomery County) are teaming up again for the Fresh Beets Music & Food Festival on Sunday, August 5th.

We are currently looking for vendors to participate in the farmers market as part of the festival - so be sure to sign up to reserve your spot today! Deadline for applications is Friday, July 6th.

Application to be a Farmers Market Vendor
Montgomery Co Health Dept Vendor Application

Fresh Beets is this summer's hottest festival celebrating the best Pennsylvania has to offer. The day will be filled with live music, a local farmers market, farm animals, mouth-watering food and a children's sidewalk chalk project.

Proceeds from this event will benefit PASA.

For more information, contact Dana Sommers at Whole Foods Jenkintown, 215-481-0080.

Cooperative Webinar Recording Available

Posted by at May 21, 2012 01:05 PM |

Recently PASA, in partnership with the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition, hosted a webinar on marketing through cooperatives.

A recording of the webinar is now available
, which features the following presenters:


Neil Stauffer, Manager, Penn's Corner Farm Alliance, Western Pennsylvania
Founded in 1999, Penn's Corner Farm Alliance is a farmer cooperative in Southwestern Pennsylvania with the mission to provide high quality, farm-fresh products directly to customers while providing a sustainable rate of return to the farmer.  As a group of more than 30 members, Penn's Corner delivers fruits, vegetables, and other farm food products directly to customers in the Pittsburgh area through a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. In addition to the CSA, they market to fine restaurants in the Pittsburgh vicinity, and host an online, Farm Stand Buying Club. Farmers use sustainable farming practices and many of them grow organically.

Jim Crawford, President, Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, SouthCentral Pennsylvania
Tuscarora Organic Growers (TOG) took root in 1988 when a group of neighboring organic fruit and vegetable farmers discussed the possibility of joining forces in the marketing of their products. By working together, they could coordinate crop production to complement one another rather than compete. And they could enjoy economies of scale in shipping and selling. The cooperative form of business fit the farmers' needs, allowing ownership and market access to be divided fairly and decisions to be made jointly. Through cooperation, the growers were able to serve their customers better, by providing a diversity of crops and a level of service that no one grower could provide on his own. In TOG's first season, seven growers moved about 1,500 cases of produce to Washington DC retailers over a five-month period. Since then, each successive season has brought steady growth in sales as well as diversity, season length and professionalism. In the coming season, TOG will work with over 28 member producers and 17 non-member producers to bring a projected 100,000 cases of produce from farm to city, offering locally grown, certified organic produce all 12 months of the year.

Tootie Jones
, President, Monroe Farm Market, Southeastern West Virginia
Monroe Farm Market Online is comprised of over 25 small and diverse farmers located in Monroe and surrounding counties who produce seasonal fruits and vegetables, beef, chicken, lamb, pork, trout, eggs, baked goods and other value-added items. After starting as a traditional farmers market in 2005, in April 2008 MFM formed the Monroe Farm Market Online Farmers Market to deliver to buyers in the Charleston, Beckley and the Monroe County areas. MFM has a customer base of 80 online members and various restaurants dedicated to locally grown food. Participating farms are family owned and operated, ranging from from small 2 acre farms to several hundred acres. Customers pay an annual membership fee and then can order what they want, in the quantities they want, from the farms they want.

Place your order today! Tait Farm Foods fundraiser for PASA ends today at midnight!

Place your order today! Tait Farm Foods fundraiser for PASA ends today at midnight!

Posted by at May 15, 2012 05:15 AM |

Just in time to find creative gifts for graduations, weddings, birthdays and more...PASA Business Member, Tait Farm Foods is generously donating 30% of every online order when our GROUP CODE: PASA0512 is used at checkout (enter PASA0512 in the Group Code box right before placing your order).

The offer ends tonight - May 15th at midnight - so place your order soon!

PASA's Spring Campaign 2012 - taking our message to the streets!

PASA's Spring Campaign 2012 - taking our message to the streets!

Posted by at May 03, 2012 06:20 AM |

PASA launched our Spring Campaign 2012 on April 1st and it will run through June 30th. This multi-dimensional effort led by PASA staff and board will showcase the organization, our variety of farmer-driven programs, and provide ways for members and the public to engage.

Be sure to check out our Spring Campaign 2012 web page. We will be updating this page with new resources & features each week.

Featured Section This Week - Meet Our Members! We have wonderful member stories in the queue – a new one to be posted every week! Check out this week's PASA member story.

2012 Farm Bill Update - let your voice be heard for sensible farm policy

Posted by at Apr 25, 2012 04:30 AM |

PASA is following Farm Bill developments along with our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), and we are passing along their call to action.

NSAC is focused on these amendments and strategies:
•    Help more schools serve fresh, healthy, local food (the Casey farm to school amendment)
•    Provide critical support for beginning farmers and ranchers (the Leahy agricultural land easements amendment)
•    Use a “sodsaver” provision to protect ranchlands and native prairie (the Thune sodsaver amendment)
•    Ensure farm support goes towards working farmers by closing loopholes that allow corporate mega-farms to collect nearly unlimited payments (the Grassley payment limitations amendment)
•    Restore greater fiscal responsibility in farm policy by tightening income eligibility caps on commodity payments – and investing some of the savings into beginning farmer and rural entrepreneurship programs (the Brown-Nelson AGI amendment)

Please focus your efforts on the above points by contacting these Northeast Senators:

New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand - 202-224-4451
– remind her of the Thune sodsaver amendment (she’s already leading on a “seeds and breeds” amendment)
Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey - 202-224-6324
– remind him of the Grassley payment limitations amendment (he’s already leading on farm to school)
Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy - 202-224-4242
– remind him of the Brown-Nelson AGI amendment (he’s already leading on another beginning farmer initiative)

When you call, simply ask for the staffer who works on agriculture, and deliver this message:  "I support sensible farm policy – it’s time for a better food and farm bill!  Please support the [issue-specific amendment names/sponsors here] and the Brown-Nelson AGI amendment!"

Have a business idea you would like to develop? Wondering what resources may be out there?

Have a business idea you would like to develop? Wondering what resources may be out there?

Posted by at Apr 20, 2012 07:25 AM |

Local Food Systems Website Provides Tools for Businesses to Develop and Collaborate

Do you have a new business idea that you’d like to develop?  Are you wondering what other businesses and resources are out there in the region to help your business idea grow?  

The Ohio State University has launched a new and improved Local Food Systems website to provide entrepreneurs with tools and resources to explore business ideas and build business ecosystems rooted in agriculture.  

The new site,, provides tools for entrepreneurs to explore their business ideas and the regional resources available to support them, map their ideas, and connect and collaborate with others to develop their business concepts into reality.

Local Food Systems helps entrepreneurs to connect to other entrepreneurs and to build networks between your outputs that might be useful as inputs for another business and vice versa. The website helps to foster cooperative relationships that strengthen the success of all the businesses in a network.

The business and entrepreneurial users of the site is diverse and growing. The more existing businesses and business ideas that are placed on the map, the more dynamic the site becomes. Take a few minutes to explore and share your business concept.

You may already see a few connections identified, and as the community of users grows, these networks should develop and expand into real-world opportunities for entrepreneurs to collaborate with one another and work together to grow the local food system in the region.

Considering becoming a PASA member? Longtime member, Barbara Gerlach shares her story.

Considering becoming a PASA member? Longtime member, Barbara Gerlach shares her story.

Posted by at Apr 13, 2012 04:50 AM |

"It all started with a desire to eat healthy food," according to Barbara Gerlach of Berry Fields Farm located in New Albany, Pennsylvania (Bradford County). Barbara and her husband Charlie had relatively no farming experience, except for a few raised beds in their garden at their previous home in the York area.

"We became increasingly aware of how the quality of food we were eating may affect our long-term health," Barbara continued.

Hear their story first-hand from Barbara during a recent TEDx event in Williamsport, you can also read their PASA Farm Profile that originally appeared in our Passages newsletter - here.

Learn more about their farm at And don't forget to consider joining PASA today!

PASA supporter Eastern Mountain Sports (Exton location) is offering PASA members a discount

PASA supporter Eastern Mountain Sports (Exton location) is offering PASA members a discount

Posted by at Apr 12, 2012 02:18 PM |

Ready for summer and need some new gear?

Eastern Mountain Sports in Exton, Chester County, is generously offering a "club day" 25% discount to all PASA members and past volunteers April 13-14 for purchases in their Exton location.

The coupon is good for 25% off of all EMS-brand items and 20% off of everything else (a few exclusions apply).

The Exton store is located at 298 Main Street - download your coupon now!

PASA Business member MicroDairy Designs featured in AP article.

PASA Business member MicroDairy Designs featured in AP article.

Posted by at Apr 10, 2012 01:50 PM |

A PASA business member since 2009, MicroDairy Designs, in Smithsburg, Maryland fulfills the needs of small dairy processors.

An excerpt from the recent AP news article: "With small dairies popping up nationwide to meet the growing demand for locally produced food, the market for equipment for five-cow, 10-sheep and 20-goat operations has grown, too. Major manufacturers long ago gave up producing equipment for small dairies, which seemed to be a thing of the past, leaving the field open for entrepreneurs like Kipe."

Read the full article here.

The PASA Board of Directors needs your input, take this short survey today.

The PASA Board of Directors needs your input, take this short survey today.

Posted by at Apr 04, 2012 05:55 AM |

PASA board members, with the help of Carrie Evans, a student at Dickinson College, are generating a resource for PASA members outlining opportunities available within PA focusing on resource conservation initiatives and community enhancement.

A major component of this resource will consist of examples of projects that other PASA members have completed with local funding. Please take a moment to complete this short survey.

Looking for ways to increase your marketing this year? Heard of Buy Fresh Buy Local®?

Looking for ways to increase your marketing this year? Heard of Buy Fresh Buy Local®?

Posted by at Mar 29, 2012 09:49 AM |

What is Buy Fresh Buy Local®?
Buy Fresh Buy Local® (BFBL) chapters in Pennsylvania are coordinated by PASA, on behalf of our national partner, FoodRoutes Network. To explore your region's food system further, hear about upcoming events and find more ways to get involved, visit

Be Sure You are Listed - get on the map! Thousands of eager eaters each month use the map-based search tool on to find local foods near them in markets, stores, restaurants and direct from local growers. Shouldn't they also find your business there?

Even if you have your own website or Internet listings elsewhere, you don't want to turn down the additional free exposure you'll get through a profile on our site - the online home of the Pennsylvania Buy Fresh Buy Local program. Signing up is quick and easy.

Already on Be sure your listing is up to date!
If your business is already listed on, check to be sure that your information has been updated and you are using all the available tools. Consider uploading a picture of your business to further personalize your profile.

Need a New Grazing Plan?

Need a New Grazing Plan?

Posted by at Mar 29, 2012 09:40 AM |

Join PASA at our Intensive Learning Program, May 20-23 in Ligonier (Westmoreland County), and learn about the details of Holistic Management Grazing Planning.

Register by April 13th to save $100!

Over this 3.5 day course, you will complete a 2012 growing season grazing plan for your farm. You will leave with the knowledge of how to implement your grazing plan to improve the environment while maintaining animal performance and increasing profitability. Participants will have the opportunity to take advantage of two foll-up consulting call at intervals following the workshop.

What is Holistic Management?

Another reason to consider PASA membership - exclusive discount offers available only to members!

Another reason to consider PASA membership - exclusive discount offers available only to members!

Posted by at Mar 29, 2012 09:27 AM |

To offer PASA members even more value for their membership dollars, Megan Epler, our Business Outreach Coordinator, has been working hard to develop our Member2Member Benefit Program.

If you would like to learn more about this program and potentially offer a discount or exclusive service to fellow PASA members only, reach out to Megan today!

And for all of our current PASA members, be sure to check out the updated list of benefits available. Need marketing materials for your market? Be sure to check out the PASA Brint Barn.

There are also discounts on soils & amendments from The Organic Mechanic Soil Company and much more!

Manure Management in PA - where's the poop?

Manure Management in PA - where's the poop?

Posted by at Mar 29, 2012 09:08 AM |

If you live in Pennsylvania and either produce, store or use manure on your farm operation, you need a manure management plan.

This impacts not only livestock owners, but also those who use manure in the production of veggies, hay and grain and other crops. If an individual has over five thousand square feet of cultivated area, they will need a manure management plan.

There are several workshops being held about manure management throughout the state. PASA is working in collaboration with several conservation districts and the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) to help make this process as simple and painless as possible.

Contact your local conservation district, regional NRCS representatives or Susan Beal at the PASA office.

Just Label It Campaign reaches 1 million signatures!

Just Label It Campaign reaches 1 million signatures!

Posted by at Mar 29, 2012 08:55 AM |

In the fall of 2011, PASA became one of over 500 partner organizations representing the healthcare community, consumer advocates, farmers, concerned parents, environmentalists, food and farming organizations, businesses and many more concerned with protecting the consumer's right to know in support of the FDA petition and the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

More than one million strong had signed the petition to ask the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

92% of Americans want the FDA to label genetically engineered foods. Learn more.

Learn more about Miller Livestock Company, one of our recent Food Alliance Certified farms

Learn more about Miller Livestock Company, one of our recent Food Alliance Certified farms

Posted by at Mar 29, 2012 08:40 AM |

Miller Livestock is the first farm in Ohio to achieve the esteemed Food Alliance certification, and is only the 10th farm in the Mid-Atlantic region to receive the certification.

Read More…

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