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Tickets On Sale for Philly Farm & Food Fest!

Tickets On Sale for Philly Farm & Food Fest!

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Mar 19, 2014 11:49 AM |

Fest is a unique opportunity for local farmers and producers to connect with thousands (this year upwards of 5,000 are expected) of visitors offering samples and products for sale while enjoying a full schedule of informative presentations and workshops.

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

Tickets on sale now!

Check out the Fest Program Book!

PASA's Comments to the USDA on Coexistence

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Mar 07, 2014 12:51 PM |

The Honorable Thomas Vilsack, Secretary
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250

March 4, 2014

Re: Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of our nation’s largest member-based, sustainable farming organizations, with about 6,000 mostly farmer members located primarily throughout Pennsylvania and across the Mid-Atlantic region. Our mission is to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment. In keeping with this mission, we wish to express our grave concerns regarding the issue of “Enhancing Coexistence” as framed by the Report of the AC21 Committee in 2012.

Read PASA's Full Letter Here

Read the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's Comments

Read the National Organic Coalition's Comments

Brian's Latest Blog Post: Letter to the USDA on Coexistence

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Mar 06, 2014 08:21 AM |

The Honorable Thomas Vilsack, Secretary
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250

March 4, 2014

Re: Docket No. APHIS-2013-0047

Dear Secretary Vilsack:

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of our nation’s largest member-based, sustainable farming organizations, with about 6,000 mostly farmer members located primarily throughout Pennsylvania and across the Mid-Atlantic region. Our mission is to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment. In keeping with this mission, we wish to express our grave concerns regarding the issue of “Enhancing Coexistence” as framed by the Report of the AC21 Committee in 2012.

For the more detailed substance of our comments, we will merely refer to those being submitted by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and endorse those for your consideration, since supporting the process of assembling those comments has been where the bulk of PASA’s time on this issue was spent. However, we also have several brief comments to make for the sake of emphasis, as follows:

  • PASA feels very strongly that a crop insurance model is not the appropriate path for USDA to follow in compensating for the effects of genetic drift and contamination on organic and sustainable farms that are otherwise free of genetically engineered (GE) seeds and other materials. Apparently, the AC21 Committee agrees with us on this, since the individual comments contained in the 2012 report indicate significant and consistent displeasure for this approach, even if for varying reasons. Compensation does need to happen, but through a fund developed from a surcharge on the seeds, chemicals and technology fees associated with GE farming techniques. It would be unprecedented and frankly unethical to expect a damaged farm to bear the cost of defending itself against aggressive technology doing harm with no offsetting benefits to the aggrieved party.

Read the full blog post here

Time for Action on Coexistence and 2,4-D

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Feb 26, 2014 09:34 AM |

Dear PASA Members & Friends,

If you heard my annual address at our recent Farming for the Future conference, or have otherwise been paying attention to policy matters of importance to sustainable agriculture, you will know that an important public comment deadline is fast approaching.  You must submit your thoughts to the USDA on the issue of agricultural coexistence by next Tuesday, March 4. In order to do so, I suggest that you consult each of the following links, in this order:

  • NSAC Coexistence Info Page – The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has provided critical background information and links to alerts from other organizations regarding this issue.
  • Federal Register Notice – The actual notice of request for public comment, starting in the third column of the first page. The USDA provides specific questions concerning which comments are invited, though comments may go beyond the specified questions.
  • Comment Submission Page – This is where comments must be submitted, beginning by hitting the “Comment Now” button.


Why is this important?  Because we cannot accept the idea that organic and non-GMO farmers must bear all the risk of cross-contamination of their crops with GMO varieties, and the even greater threat of pesticide drift from one farm to another. It is simply not okay to absolve companies that produce GMO seeds and the accompanying proprietary chemicals of any responsibility under the guise of a “coexistence” euphemism!

And while you’re at it, you may also want to comment on the pending approval of new GMO seed varieties resistant to 2,4-D – an outdated herbicide that is noxious to many common fruits and vegetables, and is known to drift as far as a mile or two from where it is applied. Background info and comment instructions can be found in an alert at Rodale News. The comment deadline has recently been extended to March 11.

There are many challenges we face in achieving sustainability for our food and farming systems, and those stemming from new industry-friendly regulations seem to be coming at a quickening pace these days. It is everyone’s responsibility to be heard through the channels that have been provided, and some channels that we have to create ourselves. Please lend your voice to the growing chorus of those who wish to maintain a clean environment and healthy food supply for generations to come.

Thanks for your prompt attention and action on these matters!

Brian Snyder, PASA Executive Director

Two Additional Training Opportunities with AgSquared

Two Additional Training Opportunities with AgSquared

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Feb 25, 2014 07:45 AM |
PASA & our partners at AgSquared are hosting TWO additional training opportunities in the coming days - please join us:

Planning and Record Keeping for a Better Growing Season


Saturday, March 1
Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock (Butler County)
10:00am-4:00pm

Monday, March 3
Lackawanna College Lake Region Center, Hawley (Wayne County) 
2:00pm - 8:00pm


More Details:
Looking to be more organized in 2014? Aiming to have an effective crop plan that sets the course for a successful season? Hoping to keep better farm records this year that could help you understand ways to make your farm more productive and more profitable?

Come to our all-day workshop to learn about how to use AgSquared’s online software tool kit to easily gather the information you need to better manage your farm and make both day-to-day and strategic farming decisions.

You do not need to have already created an AgSquared account to join this training - you will have the opportunity to create a free AgSquared account during the workshop. 

Please register as soon as possible. If these events do not have a minimum number of registrants, it may be cancelled.

About the Presenters:
Drew Katz, AgSquared’s Director of User Support and Farmer Engagement, and members of the AgSquared Team, will train you in how to get started with AgSquared. In this class you will learn how to set up your AgSquared account, create a crop plan, manage your day to day schedule with AgSquared, and review your records for better decision making. You will also get to hear from Joe Bozzelli of Five Elements Farm about his experience using AgSquared.

Joint PASA/FMC Webinar Recording Now Available

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Feb 21, 2014 11:35 AM |

In case you missed the second in a series of three webinars PASA is hosting in collaboration with the Farmers Market Coalition - you can now view a recording of the February 19th webinar here.

Farm Manager Sought - Carversville Farm Foundation - Bucks Co, PA

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Feb 17, 2014 06:25 AM |

The Carversville Farm Foundation (CFF), a 501 (c) (3) public charity, will be a fully diversified, 150-acre farm with a threefold mission of providing 1) nourishment to people with limited means and access to fresh and healthy food; 2) educational outreach to the general public regarding how food is grown in a setting based on principles of sustainability, and 3) experimentation and demonstration for fellow farmers with respect to innovative approaches that are sustainable from an economic, environmental and social perspective.

We are currently searching for the right individual who will have a huge impact in the development and functioning of a highly ambitious and unique farm. This individual will lead in the development and management of CFF’s agricultural operations. This experienced and highly-competent individual will be responsible for the successful start-up and management of a diversified farm enterprise that encompasses more than 150 acres and wide variety of agricultural processes. The ideal person for this position will have the confidence and skill to function independently; have the spirit of a social entrepreneur; be creative and visionary; and be able to effectively lead a dynamic team comprised of farm employees, student interns and volunteers.

 

READ THE FULL JOB DESCRIPTION HERE.

 

Applications: Please send letter of interest, statement of educational and work history, and contact information for a minimum of three professional references by electronic means to farmmanager@pasafarming.org. Interviews by phone and in person will begin on Monday, March 3, 2014, although applications will be accepted continuously until the position has been filled. CFF is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer.

Online Conference to Focus on Crop Planning Strategies for CSA Operations

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Feb 12, 2014 08:26 AM |

CSA Expert Exchange will feature discussion by Pam Dawling

MILLHEIM, PA. February 11, 2014 -  The CSA Expert Exchange is an online conference co-presented by Small Farm Central and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). Nationwide, the conference is expected to engage between 250-300 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers. The conference will be accessible via any web browser; attendees will be available to view slides and interact via chat to ask questions. This year’s pricing and registration are available at csafarmconference.com.

The CSA Expert Exchange will feature sessions over the course of two days, Thursday, March 6 (7:00-9:30pm EST) and Friday, March 7 (11am-3:30pm EST). You can choose to participate live or watch the archived version at your convenience. Sessions on March 6 will be targeting beginning farmers in the early stages of setting up and managing a CSA operation.

The main event on March 7 will offer four, one-hour sessions with shorter presentations in-between focusing on topics such as marketing & social media, legal issues around CSA operations, crop planning and CSA coalitions.

Many farmers would list proper crop planning, management and consistent quantities as a main challenge in operating a CSA. Pam Dawling of Twin Oaks Community in Louise, Virginia, will present a step-by-step approach to closing the planning circle.

An avid vegetable grower for almost 40 years, she has lived at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia for over 20 years, growing vegetables and berries for 100 people on 3.5 acres, and providing training for members in sustainable vegetable production.

Dawling’s book, Sustainable Market Farming, is a comprehensive manual for farmers raising organic crops sustainably on  few acres. As well as providing detailed profiles of a full range of crops, common pests and diseases, harvest & storage; information about season extension & disease resistant variety; and farm business skills to ensure a profitable enterprise. Her presentation will be part of the CSA Expert Exchange agenda on Friday, March 8.

Conceived by Robyn Van En as an antidote to industrial, mono-crop agriculture, the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) concept offers farms the opportunity to become centers of more sustainable communities. CSA has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Generally a farmer offers a certain number of shares or memberships to the public for purchase. Each share may consist of a box of vegetable or other farm products that the member picks up on a scheduled basis.

Other presenters for the CSA Expert Exchange include:
David Liker of Gorman Farm, Columbia, MD
Karla Pankow of Bossy Acres, Northfield, MN
Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons
Chris Brockel of FairShare CSA Coalition
Michael Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick Family Farm, Middle Granville, NY

Full details about the CSA Expert Exchange: An Online Conference are available at csafarmconference.com.

###

About Small Farm Central

Small Farm Central is a leading technology provider to small-scale farms across the U.S. and Canada. Started by an former CSA farmer, Small Farm Central provides farm websites, CSA member management services, and more to help increase the economic sustainability of small-scale farmers by creating professional and engaging experiences for the farm’s customers. Small Farm Central’s Member Assembler technology is built to manage the office side of the CSA from online member signup and payment processing to box packing and delivery logistics.  For more information, visit smallfarmcentral.com.

Share Your PASA Conference Experiences!

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Feb 04, 2014 11:25 AM |

Attending our Farming for the Future Conference this week?
Help us share information & experiences with those who aren't able to be there!

PASA is interested in short workshop summaries, photos, good thoughts, etc that could be posted to PASA's website, featured in our print newsletter and via social media outlets in the interest of sharing conference information to many more members.

Please share your experiences, photos and workshop summaries to our info@pasafarming.org email address!

Get in PASA's Pennsylvania CSA Guide!

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 30, 2014 05:32 AM |

PASA plans to publish a new Pennsylvania CSA Guide to promote our members and Buy Fresh Buy Local® partners who offer Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs.

Please submit your listing here by February 17th!

Presenters Sought - Certified Naturally Grown Gathering of the Farmers

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 28, 2014 04:35 PM |

Our partners at Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) are ooking for people in Pennsylvania and surrounding states who would be interested in presenting at their upcoming Gathering of the Farmers to take place on Saturday, March 8th in Chambersburg, PA.

In particular, they looking for people to present a story for "Short Takes on Real Farm Life" (details & presenter proposal form here). "Short Takes" will be a series of six-minute presentations by farmers and others immersed in farm life (interns, veterinarians...). The presentations will be accompanied by 20 pictures that will advance at 18 second intervals.
Deadline to apply is February 10, 2014.
Advertising Available for Philly Farm & Food Fest Program Book

Advertising Available for Philly Farm & Food Fest Program Book

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 28, 2014 01:16 PM |

On Sunday, April 13th, PASA, and our partners at Fair Food, will be hosting the annual Philly Farm & Food Fest (PF3). We are targeting an audience of 5,000 interested and engaged eaters from all around the region - just the sort of people you want to reach with your products and services. And for as little as $90, you can reach over 35,000 sustainably-minded readers.

This year Grid magazine is producing a 15-page color program for PF3. The program will be in all 30,000 issues of Grid, distributed March 13th, and 5,000 more programs to be handed to attendees of PF3 on April 13th. If you have ANYTHING to do with the food scene (or if you have customers who eat) you should be in this issue.

Ads for the Philly Farm & Food Fest Program must be placed by Friday, February 21 - so don't delay!

Below are the ad size options, standard rates and Early Bird discounted rates. Please contact jesse@gridphilly.com or 215-625-9850 ext. 100 for details and to place an order.

Ad SizesStandard Rates10% Discount
Full page $1375 $1238
2/3 page $1100 $990
1/2 page $770 $693
1/3 page $550 $495
1/4 page $450 $405
1/5 page $350 $315
1/6 page $250 $225
1/10 page $100 $90

 

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

GMOs Under Scrutiny at Upcoming PASA Conference

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 28, 2014 11:13 AM |

Intensive Track to Investigate Use of Genetically Modified Crops and
Associated Agrichemicals in the Field

MILLHEIM, PA January 23, 2014 – Iowa farmer Howard Vlieger and Penn State agroecologist Dave Mortensen are set to lead “Glyphosate and Genetically Modified Crops: Implications and Remediations,” a day-long intensive track to be held Feb. 6 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. The track is hosted by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) as part of its 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference.

Eaters’ concerns about genetically modified (GM) foods have taken up residence in the headlines, from news about proposed food labeling laws in several states to General Mills' recent announcement that it will no longer include GM ingredients its original Cheerios cereal. Vlieger and Mortensen will approach the topic from the perspective of a farmer in the field, exploring the science behind GM crops and their associated agrichemicals—glyphosate in particular—and investigating the implications of their use on farms.

"[Glyphosate] is the active chemical ingredient in the most widely used herbicides in the world, and...it's being used in ways are very, very detrimental,” Vlieger said in an interview with Food Sleuth Radio last August. “The damage to the biological community in the soil is significant, and now we have science that is further documenting that damage going up the food chain."

Participants in the day-long track will learn about the modes of action of broad-spectrum herbicides and other agricultural chemicals, as well as the resultant effects on microbial, plant, animal and human systems. Drawing on Vlieger’s experience as a third generation family farmer and independent crop nutrition advisor and Mortensen’s research on land use practices and the dynamics of pest and beneficial organisms on farms, the track will also cover strategies for remediation of soil and other ecosystems impacted by the proliferation of GM crops.

“It is imperative that farmers and eaters alike examine the growing influence of genetic engineering in farming,” says Brian Snyder, PASA’s Executive Director, “and this pre-conference track presents a much needed opportunity for in-depth scrutiny.”

Now in its third decade, Farming for the Future has grown into one of the largest and most respected gatherings on sustainable agriculture in the country, a multi-day affair comprising intensive pre-conference tracks, two plenary sessions and over 100 main conference workshops. The Farming for the Future Conference is made possible in part by Opening Keynote sponsor Lady Moon Farms and PASAbilities Sponsor Kimberton Whole Foods.

Registration is open to the public. To register, and to view a full schedule of conference programming, visit pasafarming.org/conference.

Contacts:

Kristin Hoy, Conference Manager
kristin@pasafarming.org

(814) 349-9856, ext. 11



Food Entrepreneurs Will Find Wealth of Resources at Annual PASA Conference

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 28, 2014 10:33 AM |

MILLHEIM, PA January 25, 2014 – Farmers and other food entrepreneurs are set to acquire tools for success at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference, Feb. 5-8 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA.

On Feb. 6, PASA hosts “Raising Dough: Financing Your Food Based Business,” an intensive, day long track aimed at farmers looking to amass capital for farm-based businesses.

Elizabeth Ü, one of the track’s presenters and author of Raising Dough: The Complete Guide to Financing a Socially Responsible Food Business, described financing options available to farmers and other food entrepreneurs in an August interview with Food Sleuth Radio.

“[T]here's more money than ever before available for people who are raising financing for food companies, whether its at the farm, at the aggregator level, at the food processing/small manufacturing level or retail,” said Ü, who directs the nonprofit Finance for Food. “Part of the challenge is that [farmers] don't know where to look for it.”

Sponsored by AgChoice Farm Credit and MidAtlantic Farm Credit, the track will cover a variety of resources available to food entrepreneurs, including grants, loans and crowd funding.

In addition to pre-conference programming, the main conference schedule features a long list of workshops gathered under the heading, “The Business of Farming,” and includes sessions devoted to topics like writing a business plan, keeping records and planning for succession.

Rebecca Thistlethwaite, farmer, food business consultant and author of Farms with a Future: Creating and Growing a Sustainable Farm Business, will present at both the pre-conference track and during the main conference.

“My overall mission is to see small and midscale family-owned farmers succeed in this country and be able to manage their businesses sustainably—stewarding the land, taking care of their people and being economically viable,” Thistlethwaite told Organic Connections last July.

Now in its third decade, Farming for the Future has grown into one of the largest and most respected gatherings on sustainable agriculture in the country, a multi-day affair comprising intensive pre-conference tracks, two plenary sessions and over 100 main conference workshops. The Farming for the Future Conference is made possible in part by Opening Keynote sponsor Lady Moon Farms and PASAbilities Sponsor Kimberton Whole Foods.

Registration is open to the public. To register, and to view a full schedule of conference programming, visit pasafarming.org/conference.

Contacts:

Kristin Hoy, Conference Manager

kristin@pasafarming.org
(814) 349-9856, ext. 11

 

Full Menu for Meat Producers at PASA Conference

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 27, 2014 08:27 AM |

Annual Gathering To Offer Numerous Sessions for Cattle, Hog, Sheep, Turkey Farmers

MILLHEIM, PA January 27, 2014 – Livestock farmers will find a full slate of programming tailored to their interests at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) 23rd Annual Farming for the Future Conference, Feb. 5-8 at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA.

On Feb. 6, PASA hosts two intensive, daylong tracks for meat producers as part of the event’s pre-conference schedule. Aimed at experienced farmers and ranchers raising cattle on pasture, “How to Take Your Grass-Based Enterprise to the Next Level” is set explore a variety of successful models for grazing management systems.

For “Diversifying Poultry with Turkeys, Ducks, Geese & Guineas,” PASA is teaming up with the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) to offer a session for producers looking to add turkeys, guineas and waterfowl to their farms.

“I'm really looking forward to PASA,” says Greg Gunthorp, an APPPA board member who will present during the conference. “The enthusiasm shared by the people attending conferences such as PASA is very contagious. It’s virtually impossible to attend a PASA conference and not come back recharged with excellent ideas.”

The schedule of main conference workshops includes a long list of topics designed for meat producers, from backyard poultry basics to on-farm, nose-to-tail hog harvesting. The lineup of speakers features several notable names in sustainable agriculture, including Craig Haney, livestock manager at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, NY, and Gunthorp, who owns Gunthorp Family Farm in Lagrange, IN, one of the largest pastured poultry operations in the country and a favorite of Chicago chefs.

“I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of progressive movers and shakers in the Pennsylvania and surrounding local food scene,” says Gunthorp.

Now in its third decade, Farming for the Future has grown into one of the largest and most respected gatherings on sustainable agriculture in the country, a multi-day affair comprising intensive pre-conference tracks, two plenary sessions and over 100 main conference workshops. The Farming for the Future Conference is made possible in part by Opening Keynote sponsor Lady Moon Farms and PASAbilities Sponsor Kimberton Whole Foods.

Registration is open to the public. To register, and to view a full schedule of conference programming, visit pasafarming.org/conference.

Contact:
Kristin Hoy, Conference Manager
kristin@pasafarming.org
(814) 349-9856, ext. 11

New Resource Helps Farmers and Farmers Markets Accept SNAP Benefits

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 27, 2014 07:38 AM |

MarketLinkTM is a program of the National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (NAFMNP) launched in 2013 to connect farmers, markets, and consumers through technology.  The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) set a goal to increase the acceptance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps) at farmers markets nationwide, and awarded a contract to NAFMNP to work towards this end.  The MarketLink program was developed out of this collaboration.  MarketLinkTM is an innovative solution that will help farmers grow their business, markets increase their customer base, and shoppers increase their consumption of fresh produce.

Learn more here.

CSA Farms Face Increasing Pressure From New Food Distribution Models

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 23, 2014 05:35 PM |

CSA Online Conference Aims to Give Small Farmers the Tools to Keep Pace


PITTSBURGH, PA. January 23, 2014 — The number of farms providing Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs exploded during the 2000s as the demand for fresh, local food surged. As this trend became impossible to ignore, many other companies stepped up to the plate to market local food. In 2014 and going forward these small-scale family farms face pressure from huge companies like Wal-Mart that have embraced local food, venture capital backed technology companies, and a multitude of smaller local food hubs.

To survive this onslaught of competition, CSA farmers need to work together to share best practices and promote true, small-scale localized farm options.  CSA farmers also need to work together to chart the future course of CSA in order to keep the concept fresh and relevant in the years that come.  The 2014 CSA Expert Exchange (www.csafarmconference.com) is an online conference co-presented by Small Farm Central and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) that brings CSA farmers from across the United States and Canada together to discuss topics important to the success of CSA now and into the future.

"Joining a CSA farm is still the most direct way to support a small-scale, family farm growing high-quality produce, but there are now many options vying for the local food dollar. CSA farmers must be at the top of their game to produce the highest quality food and continue to articulate why CSA is so important for both the farmer and the eater. This is why we organize the CSA Expert Exchange: to learn from the best and brightest." - Simon Huntley, Founder of Small Farm Central and former CSA farmer.

“The ‘Know your farmer. Know your food’ mantra is not one that will soon be pushed to the wayside. As consumers continue to push for that greater connection and understanding of their food and the environment in which it is produced, the demand for local food rises. CSA programs, by their traditional roots, provide just that - a genuine opportunity to know one's food and the hands that produced it. The CSA Expert Exchange offers a platform - a network - for like-minded farmers and supporters to gather, to learn, and to be inspired to keep fighting the good fight.”  - Karla Pankow, Bossy Acres

This year’s CSA Expert Exchange will occur live on March 6th and 7th, 2014.  The first day will be an evening session focusing on beginning CSA farmers running from 7pm until 9:30pm EST.  The second day will cover a variety of topics relevant to CSA farmers of all levels of experience beginning at 11:00am EST and running until 3:30pm EST. Nationwide, the conference is expected to engage between 250-300 CSA farmers. The conference will be accessible via any web browser; attendees will be available to watch video of presenters, view powerpoint slides, and interact via chat to ask questions. The fee is $70 for both days and registration is open at csafarmconference.com.

Presenters include

- David Liker of Gorman Farm, Columbia, MD

- Chloe Diegel and Alex McKiernen from Robinette Farms, Martell, NE

- Karla Pankow of Bossy Acres, Northfield, MN

- Rachel Armstrong of Farm Commons

- Chris Brockel of FairShare CSA Coalition

- Pam Dawling of Growing For Market and Twin Oaks Community, Louisa, VA

- Michael Kilpatrick of Kilpatrick Family Farm, Middle Granville, NY


###


About PASA

With over 6,000 members, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of the largest and most active sustainable agriculture organizations in the U.S. Through educational programs and regional marketing assistance for farmers, advocacy, and public outreach, PASA seeks to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment. PASA’s hallmark event, the Farming for the Future Conference, draws thousands of participants from more than 30 states and six countries each February. For more information, visit pasafarming.org.


About Small Farm Central

Small Farm Central is a leading technology provider to small-scale farms across the U.S. and Canada. Started by an former CSA farmer, Small Farm Central provides farm websites, CSA member management services, and more to help increase the economic sustainability of small-scale farmers by creating professional and engaging experiences for the farm’s customers. Small Farm Central’s Member Assembler technology is built to manage the office side of the CSA from online member signup and payment processing to box packing and delivery logistics.  For more information, visit smallfarmcentral.com.


PASA Member In the News: Margaret Schlass of One Woman Farm

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 22, 2014 05:50 PM |

A trip to Peru detours an art major onto a path to farming

If Margaret Schlass could go back in time to her first year as a farmer and give herself a piece of advice, it would be this: Stop throwing up so much.

Ms. Schlass, who grew up in Bethel Park and went on to major in art history and anthropology at the University of Delaware, discovered her passion while studying art history in Peru, where she met farmers who worked along a river bank.

Read the full Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Article here.

Joint PASA/FMC Webinar Recording Now Available

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 20, 2014 02:10 PM |

Understanding Your Market Base: Strategic Surveys to Make More Shoppers Core Shoppers

Management and Operations | Surveys, Evaluation, and Research

This webinar is the 1st 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.  These webinars are free for Farmers Market Coalition members as well as all farmers markets and vendors in Pennsylvania.

PASAbilities Award Winners Announced

Posted by michele@pasafarming.org at Jan 20, 2014 11:28 AM |
Dear PASA Members & Friends,

We are proud to honor Victory Brewing Company and Kim and Ann Seeley of Milky Way Farms as the recipients of our 2014 Sustainable Ag Leadership Awards. These long-time PASA members have shown innovation and leadership within the agriculture community, and we are excited to showcase these experts during our upcoming Farming for the Future Conference!

Both of our award winners will be speaking as part of the PASAbilities Plenary, sponsored by Kimberton Whole Foods, and scheduled for 10:15 am on Saturday, February 8th. Full program details and conference registration are available here.
Pictured left to right:
Kim, Ann and Jessica Seeley of
Milky Way Farms in Bradford County; along
with Brian Snyder, PASA.

In 1996, Sustainable Ag Leadership Award winners Kim and Ann Seeley were raising dairy cattle using conventional confinement methods while watching their milk sales and herd health diminish. Then they attended PASA's annual conference.

"This was the beginning of many wonderful changes on our farm," says Ann. Since then they have implemented farming methods that resemble those once used by Kim's grandfather, halting the use of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, and hormones, and returning their cattle to a grass-based diet.

"Our organic matter levels have soared and our soils are biologically thriving. Our milk and meat flavors are greatly appreciated by our customers," says Kim. "Going back to our roots was worth it."
Ron Barchet & Bill Covaleski
of Victory Brewing Company
based in Chester County.

While the Seeleys were attending their first PASA conference, childhood friends Ron Barchet and Bill Covaleski, winners of the Sustainable Ag Business Leadership Award, were opening Victory Brewing Company in an abandoned factory in Downington, PA. When their beers were met with enthusiastic local response, Covaleski says, they saw it as an opportunity "to demonstrate the positives of local production, energy conservation, watershed stewardship and a whole host of practices that better sustain our environment."

Victory Brewing Company brews in fermenters powered by photovoltaic panels, feeds spent grains to local farm animals, and donates a portion of all sales of Headwaters Pale Ale--named out of reverence for Brandywine Creek, a nearby stream which supplies the brewery with its water--to local environmental advocacy groups.

While their ideas for beers continue to be "boundless," says Barchet, so does their passion for sustainability. "We have done great things over the years to decrease our environmental footprint, but when I look around our plant, our restaurant, I see still more opportunities for improvement in sustainability. So, as honored as I am to receive this reward, I feel as much obligation to improve as ever."

While reflecting on the award, the Seeleys also look to the future. "We have seen so much change in the sustainable landscape over the past 25 years," they say. "We both look forward to witnessing even more. We look forward to producing food fit for our children."

The recipients will address the PASAbilities Plenary session in addition to keynoter Miguel Altieri, internationally acclaimed Professor of Agroecology at UC Berkeley in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management and author of numerous books, including Agroecology: The Science of Sustainable Agriculture.
Farming for the Future Conference registration continues through Tuesday, January 28.

 

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PASA thanks our Permanent Business Partner, Kimberton Whole Foods for their sponsorship of the PASAbilities Award Series. Their dedication to sustainability and community involvement has had a tremendous impact on the foodshed.
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