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PA Young Farmers Launch Party

PA Young Farmers Launch Party

Posted by at Oct 11, 2013 05:40 AM |

To be held at: Everblossom Farm
6363 Carlisle Pike, East Berlin, PA 17316
Saturday, October 26th
Beginning at 6:00pm

Come socialize, network, mingle and enjoy an evening with other young farmers in south-central PA at the beautiful Everblossom Farm. We hope this event serves as the launchpad for a regional chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC), bringing together young and beginning farmers from our region and beyond.

PLUS: Our event will be participating in the NYFC/National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition National Day of Action to Save Local Farms! The FDA has recently released draft rules to the new food safety law, and we want to make sure our voices are heard! Join us in a discussion about these new rules, then write and send in your comments.

We'll be providing some beer and a jam/bluegrass band composed of local farmers. You provide a potluck dish to share, and your ideas about connecting with other farmers and strengthening our community.

We'll have some time to discuss our ideas about a local chapter, go over the results of our survey conducted over the summer, and to look forward to future events.

Plus, NYFC will be facilitating a brief discussion and letter writing event to send comments to the FDA in response to the recently released new draft rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act! Make your voice be heard!

6:00 - 7:00 pm - Mingle, eat, band's 1st set, write letters
7:00 - 8:00 pm - Discuss survey results + forming chapter + next steps
8:00 - ?? - 2nd set, more eating, drinking, party

Do I have to be a YOUNG FARMER to attend?

NO! All ages and occupations welcome, as long as you are eager to join a coalition of farmers and food advocates working to support young and beginning farmers!

For more information, click here!
Contact Emily Best, 724-679-3479

PASA North Central Region - 2nd Annual Barter Fair

PASA North Central Region - 2nd Annual Barter Fair

Posted by at Oct 08, 2013 09:32 AM |

PASA members Leah Tewksbury and Phylleri Ball are coordinating the 2nd Annual North Central Region Barter Fair. The barter event will be held Saturday, November 2nd from 12:00pm-2:00pm in the Professional Development Center at the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus in Williamsport (Lycoming County).

2nd Annual Barter Fair
Saturday, November 2
12:00pm - 2:00pm
Professional Development Center

Pennsylvania College of Technology

1 College Ave
Williamsport, PA 17701

The event room is located on a first floor of the Professional Development Center, near easily accessible parking in the Le Jeune Chef parking lot; there will be signs posted to direct participants. Bring a wagon to pull items inside, if that is easier. Each participant will have a 6-foot table space to display their wares for trade. Produce, meat, bakery items, cheese, soaps, canned goods, fiber products, and other farm produced products are welcome. The number of similar goods will be restricted, so variety is encouraged. RSVP early to improve your chances of participation. Please be prompt to set up your space so that as many participants as possible can view your products before the barter commences.

To reserve your space, contact:
Leah Tewksbury or 570-437-2620.

Your RSVP should include the following information:
- Identify your name, farm name, and contact information.

- List the main products you will bring for barter.

Requirements of Participation:
- Items need to be producer raised or handcrafted.
- Current member of PASA, residing in the North Central Region.

- Products grouped in $5 or $10 increments, to facilitate making trade agreements.

- Participants are asked to barter and avoid the use of cash.

Questions regarding the Barter Fair can be directed to Leah Tewksbury at 570-437-2620 or Phylleri Ball at 570-998-2221.

Greater Lehigh Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local® Chapter To Host Harvest Event

Greater Lehigh Valley Buy Fresh Buy Local® Chapter To Host Harvest Event

Posted by at Oct 07, 2013 12:07 PM |

Sunday, October 27th
Allentown Brew Works
812 W Hamilton St, Allentown
1 - 4 PM; 12 - 1 PM VIP Hour

Join us for the sixth annual Lehigh Valley Harvest fundraiser! Over 30 restaurants, farms, wineries, breweries, and other local food providers will give participants the opportunity to taste the Valley’s most imaginative cuisine from its finest chefs, most dedicated farmers, and freshest locally grown ingredients.

“We are inviting people to come out and taste the wonderful flavors of fresh, locally grown food,” says Lynn Prior, Director of the Greater Lehigh Valley chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local®.  Each restaurant will offer a menu item containing at least two ingredients sourced from farms within the Lehigh Valley. Local farmers, wineries, breweries, and specialty food producers will also be present providing samples of their distinctive products.

In addition to great food, attendees will be invited to watch demonstrations on preparing and preserving the harvest. And a silent auction will offer the chance to win one of many food-related and locally made prizes. VIP attendees will receive limited early admission, a special welcome cocktail, guided wine and beer pairings, and entry in an exclusive VIP raffle.

Tickets are available for purchase online or at participating locations ($25 in advance / $30 at door; Students, Seniors:  $20 (must provide ID at door); VIP Tickets:  $75).

Proceeds will benefit both the Greater Lehigh Valley chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local® and the Seed Farm, along with their programs to improve the Lehigh Valley local food economy. Call BFBL-GLV at 610-703-6954 or visit

Food Safety Reform a Burden to Small Farms

Posted by at Oct 07, 2013 10:58 AM |

PASA's own Jim Crawford, Nick Maravell & Brian Snyder are included in this article featured by the Red Bluff Daily News. Read the full article here.

Two Upcoming Webinar Opportunities to Learn More About Proposed Food Safety Regulations

Posted by at Oct 04, 2013 01:36 PM |

PASA's partners at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) will be hosting a webinar entitled: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): Learn More and Speak Out! - Thursday, October 10th; 4:30-6:00pm EST. They will walk folks through FSMA, the issues & how to take action. Registration is limited for this webinar, so please register today! For those unable to attend this session will be recorded, and available for later viewing.

PASA's partners at the Farmers Market Coalition, will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, October 15th at 4:00pm EST. This session will explain how proposed food safety regulations will affect farmers markets and direct marketing farmers, as well as how to submit comments to make your voice heard. Sarah Hackney, Grassroots Director of NSAC will be presenting. This webinar is open to everyone, so please invite people in your network, especially farmers. Register here for this webinar.

PASA Member, Thomas Calvert, Enshrined in KILE Hall of Fame

Posted by at Oct 04, 2013 12:35 PM |

PASA Member, Tom Calvert of Berlin, Somerset County, was inducted into the Pennsylvania Livestock Association Hall of Fame Oct. 3 during the 57th Keystone International Livestock Exposition in Harrisburg.


Now is the Time for Farmers and Concerned Consumers to Comment on Massive New Food Safety Regulations

Now is the Time for Farmers and Concerned Consumers to Comment on Massive New Food Safety Regulations

Posted by at Oct 03, 2013 11:34 AM |

For Immediate Release

October 3, 2013
For more information: Ariane Lotti, 202-547-5754

Washington, DC, October 3, 2013 – Today, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) launched a campaign to improve deeply flawed federal food safety regulations that will have a huge impact on farmers and the availability of high-quality local food products.  The NSAC campaign provides farmers, concerned consumers, and farm, food, and public health organizations with information and resources to be able to effectively comment on the proposed regulations.

The deadline for public comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the proposed rules is November 15 – just over six weeks away.

The regulations are part of the implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) passed by Congress in 2010.  The regulations set new standards for produce farms and new requirements for food facilities – including farms – that handle or process food for human consumption.  FDA is proposing standards that undermine sustainable and organic production practices, subject many farms to regulations designed for industrial facilities, and may well prove too costly for farmers to implement and stay in business.  Given the magnitude of the problems with the rules, NSAC is calling on FDA to issue a new, heavily revised set of proposed rules for both produce farms and preventive controls in facilities.

“FDA’s food safety regulations will impact the agricultural landscape for decades to come,” said Brian Snyder, Executive Director of NSAC member-organization Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and co-chair of NSAC’s Food System Integrity Committee.  “At stake in these regulations is nothing less than the ability of family farmers and local food businesses to supply burgeoning consumer demand for fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as value-added products like artisan cheese and other preserved farm products.”

Information about the proposed regulations, who is affected, and what the top issues are, as well as instructions for how to submit comments to FDA are available at NSAC’s FSMA Action Center (

“Wading through hundreds of pages of detailed and complex regulations can be intimidating, and understanding how the rules will affect farmers can be very confusing,” noted Sarah Hackney, NSAC’s Grassroots Director.  “To help, we are sharing resources that explain the regulations in plain language and highlight top issues for farmers and consumers so that everyone can weigh in with FDA during this critical time.”

FDA released the proposed regulations in January of this year and has extended the public comment deadline twice.  The deadline for public comments on the proposed regulations for produce safety and for food facilities is November 15, 2013. FDA must respond to all public comments properly submitted by the deadline.   

“FDA is actively seeking input from farmers about how to improve the regulations before the agency makes them final,” explained Dave Runsten, Policy Director with NSAC member-group Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the other co-chair of NSAC’s Food System Integrity Committee.  “It is paramount that farmers and people who care about how and where their food is grown comment on the draft rules by the November 15 deadline.”

“The agency needs to listen carefully to the concerns of farmers and fix the regulations so that they allow farmers to use sustainable farming practices, ensure that local food and farms can grow and thrive, and provide options that treat family farmers fairly,” said Ariane Lotti, NSAC’s Assistant Policy Director.  “Given the substantial problems in the proposed regulations and the lasting impacts these regulations will have, we join the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture and the United Fresh Produce Association in urging FDA to issue a set of second proposed rules so the public can meaningfully comment on what we hope will be a major overhaul of their initial drafts.”



The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is a grassroots alliance that advocates for federal policy reform supporting the long-term social, economic, and environmental sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and rural communities.

PASA is Hiring! View & Share the Eastern Region Member Services Job Posting

Posted by at Oct 03, 2013 04:49 AM |

PASA is seeking a Member Services Manager for our Easter Region. This position is based from our Chester County, PA office location.

Read the full job description here.

Brian's Latest Blog Post - FSMA Rules Unfair to Farmers, Bad for Public Health

Posted by at Oct 02, 2013 11:01 AM |

The following list of talking points with respect to the newly proposed FSMA rules was developed by my colleague Roland McReynolds at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, and is meant to be helpful to anyone who will be talking about the rules or making official comments to the FDA by the November 15 deadline. For more information, please see other posts on this blog, or go to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition website.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has proposed regulations for farms and food businesses under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  Everything from salad and salsas to cheese and u-pick fruit will be affected, and the costs will force thousands of American farmers and local food makers out of business, destroying job growth in agriculture.  The rules are unscientific, and will damage public health by reducing consumers’ access to fresh, healthy produce and minimally processed foods, and by discouraging soil and water conservation practices on farms.


PASAbilities Award Nominations Due Sept 30

Posted by at Sep 30, 2013 05:31 AM |
PASAbilities - Nominations Needed for Sustainable Ag Leadership Awards for 2014
Deadline is today!

One of the highlights of our annual Farming for the Future Conference is the presentation of the Sustainable Ag Leadership Awards exemplifying the spirit of sustainability in agriculture and food systems.

The PASA Board of Directors is currently accepting nominations for two leadership awards, one to an individual farmer (or farming couple) and another to a business proprietor. Award winners will each be asked to prepare a 18 to 20-minute presentation for one of the plenary sessions at our conference in February 2014 and will receive a plaque and modest cash prize.

The PASAbilities series is designed with three distinct objectives in mind:
•    To hear the stories of our successful leaders and innovators in the sustainable ag community.
•    To inspire farmers and business owners in the audience to improve their operations and/or begin transitioning to more sustainable management.
•    To provide outreach to the public in promoting sustainable agriculture.
Announcements of awards will be made approximately one month in advance of the conference. 

The Organizational Leadership Committee of the Board of Directors will be receiving and reviewing the nominations for awards.

Nominations are being accepted for either category (farm or business) via this web form. All nominations should be received by September 30, 2013.

Thanks for your nominations!

Past Sustainable Ag Leadership Award Winners
Preston Boop
Tim Bowser
Terra & Mike Brownback
Hope & Roy Brubaker
Jerry Brunetti
Herbert Cole
Mary Seton Corboy
Moie & Jim Crawford
Ron Gargasz
Sheri & Steve Groff
Paul Keene
Mary-Howell & Klaas Martens
Kim Miller
Anne & Eric Nordell
Cass Peterson & Ward Sinclair
Robert Rodale
Joel Salatin
Lucy & Roman Stoltzfoos
Kim Tait
Linda & Don Weaver

Past Sustainable Ag Business Award Winners
East End Food Cooperative
The Fertrell Company
Frankferd Farms Foods
Kimberton Whole Foods
Lady Moon Farms
Natural by Nature
White Dog Café

Brian's Latest Blog Post - Moment of Truth for Farmers with Food Safety

Brian's Latest Blog Post - Moment of Truth for Farmers with Food Safety

Posted by at Sep 26, 2013 05:25 AM |

It’s hard to believe, but many of my colleagues and I have now been working on food safety issues for well over four years, at least since the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) began to move through Congress in early 2009.  Throughout that time the road has been twisting and bumpy, with victories and losses...READ THE FULL POST HERE.

PASA's Annual Meeting To Include GMOs in Pennsylvania Presentation

Posted by at Sep 23, 2013 12:20 PM |

PASA's Annual Meeting is coming up Saturday, September 28th at Dickinson College Farm in Boiling Springs (Cumberland County), PA.

All current PASA members are invited to attend this meeting, newly added to the agenda will be a presentation by PASA Board Member, David Mortensen, entitled "GMOs in Pennsylvania: Poised at a Critical Juncture".

Registration begins at 3:30pm.

The agenda will include:

  • PASA Board Member, David Mortensen, will present "GMO's in Pennsylvania: Poised at a Critical Juncture"
  • Review of the past year's financial report & activities
  • Presentation of PASA's strategic plan
  • Introduction of Board of Director candidates
  • Acknowledgment of departing Board Members - John Jamison, Louise Schorn Smith & Rita Resick
  • Open question-and-answer period

Farm tours will be available for those interested and will occur between the business meeting and dinner.

Dinner will be a potluck. Please bring a dish to share. PASA will provide non-alcoholic beverages. We encourage you to bring your own table service ware to reduce waste.

Further details & RSVP information is available here.

Contact Michele Spencer, 814-349-9856 x17 for questions.

York County Buy Fresh Buy Local® Hosting Farm to City Dinner

Posted by at Sep 23, 2013 11:43 AM |

Sun, October 6, 2013
2:30 PM

Register now for the collaborative Farm to City dinner and silent auction on Sunday, October 6 to benefit Healthy World Cafe, Buy Fresh Buy Local and Horn Farm Center.


Three extraordinary non-profits offer an unforgettable dining experience.

Drawing from the rich and diverse abundance of regional farm, fresh foods, the Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education, the local chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local and Healthy World Café will host the first ever Farm to City Dinner

Friends and families will gather together to embrace, celebrate and ensure ongoing access to York County’s rich agricultural heritage and healthy foods.

Tables topped with the finest fall harvest from local farms, wineries and pastures will be the backdrop to this historic event. Music and laughter will fill the city as the community gathers to enjoy the feast. This is an event you really can’t miss.

Join us on Beaver street, just outside of our beloved Central Market House, on Sunday October 6 at 2:30 pm. Tickets are available on a first come, first serve basis for $65. Proceeds from the event will be evenly divided between the sponsoring organizations.

The Horn Farm Center for Agricultural Education showcases and interprets the rich heritage, viable present and exciting future of York County agriculture
York County Buy Fresh Buy Local connects consumers with locally grown food and farm products to make it easier to find, choose, and appreciate great local foods while supporting the farmers and lands that produce them.
• York’s Healthy World Café is dedicated to providing fresh, locally sourced meals, in a welcoming, non-stigmatized environment where once pays what they are able. If one is unable to pay, they are able to exchange work in lieu of payment

Art on the Farm - This Sunday At Dickinson College Farm

Posted by at Sep 19, 2013 12:55 PM |

Tickets are still available for the Art on the Farm event coming up Sunday, September 22nd at Dickinson College Farm.

Local Food + Local Art + Educational Programs = CELEBRATION!

This unique event raises funds and awareness for two local initiatives that support sustainable food systems and celebrate the arts in our region.  Come and enjoy an afternoon outdoors meandering farm fields and seeing 2D, 3D and performance art in action while learning about sustainable land management practices.

Art on the Farm includes a robust dinner menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, wines and craft beer.

Art on the Farm is a collaboration between Dickinson College Farm, Carlisle Arts Learning Center (CALC) and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA). All proceeds will be donated to CALC and PASA.


Tickets are $40 per person or $20 for college students.

Tickets are available for purchase online at Carlisle Arts Learning Center (CALC) or by calling 717-249-6973.


  • En Plein Air Farm Tours start at 3pm
  • Locally Sourced Menu with dinner starting at 5:30pm
  • Local wines and craft beer
  • Live and Silent Auction
  • Performance Art
  • 3 & 2-D Art
  • Educational Programs


For more information about the artists, menu, contributing local farms, and event program, please see Art on the Farm.

Join PASA at the Mother Earth News Fair this Friday - Sunday

Posted by at Sep 19, 2013 05:58 AM |

PASA will once again be participating in the Mother Earth News Fair at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, PA (Somerset County).

Several regional PASA members will also be presenting on the PASA stage, sharing their homesteading and farming knowledge.

We hope you can join us, and if you do attend be sure to stop by the PASA information booth!

Northern Tier Buy Fresh Buy Local® Chapter Releases New Local Food Guide

Northern Tier Buy Fresh Buy Local® Chapter Releases New Local Food Guide

Posted by at Sep 12, 2013 11:41 AM |

PA's Northern Tier Buy Fresh Buy Local® chapter is pleased to announce publication of a new Local Food Guide as well as a brochure listing 2013 Northern Tier Region Farmers Markets.  Both can be downloaded at

Upcoming Food Justice Certified Training In NY

Posted by at Sep 11, 2013 10:32 AM |

Farmers and businesses in the northeast:Food Justice Certified logo

The Agricultural Justice Project is hosting a Food Justice Certified training in upstate NY from October 30th to November 1st.  See below for more information.

The Food Justice Certified label was created to unite a standard for farms, processors, and retailers. The goal is to take a holistic view of working conditions for employees, business practices and fair pay for farmers.

The label is managed by the Agricultural Justice Project, which brought together farmers, farmworkers, retail workers and consumers to analyze the social justice element to agricultural work and to codify certain standards. These standards include:

  • Workers’ rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining
  • Fair wages and benefits for workers
  • Fair and equitable contracts for farmers and buyers
  • Fair pricing for farmers
  • Clear conflict resolution policies for farmers or food business owners/managers and workers
  • The rights of indigenous peoples
  • Workplace health and safety

The label is only just taking off, but it’s a great place for the beginning or sustainable farmer to jump in and take part in a growing movement!


PASA Business Member Turner Dairy Wins National Awards

Posted by at Sep 11, 2013 09:45 AM |

Turner Dairy recently took home 7 Gold Medals (for all 7 products entered) for their Skim Milk, 1% Milk, 2% Milk, Whole Milk, Fat-Free Chocolate Milk, Whole Chocolate Milk and Charlie's Old Time Buttermilk at the 2013 Los Angeles International Dairy Competition.

They also took home four "Top 3" Awards at the World Dairy Expo in Madison, Wisconsin including 1st Place for Charlie's Old Time Buttermilk (a perfect "100" score), 2nd Plan for Fat Free Chocolate Milk, 2nd Place for Whole Milk, and 3rd Place for Lowfat Cottage Cheese.

Local Food Bash to Benefit Arias M. Brownback Memorial Scholarship Fund

Posted by at Sep 11, 2013 06:44 AM |

PASA Business Member, The Supper Club at the Greensburg Train Station is hosting a Local Foods Bash coming up on Thursday, September 19th in recognition of Local Food Month in Western PA.

This unique dining event will showcase the best of the region's local foods, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit PASA's Arias M. Brownback Memorial Scholarship fund. Call 724-691-0536 for tickets and details!

Rob L Johnston Jr, Founder & Chairman of PASA Business Member, Johnny Selected Seeds Receives AAS Breeders Cup Award

Rob L Johnston Jr, Founder & Chairman of PASA Business Member, Johnny Selected Seeds Receives AAS Breeders Cup Award

Posted by at Sep 09, 2013 02:12 PM |

All-America Selections (AAS) hosted their annual Summer Summit August 12-14 this year in Ontario, Canada. Rob L. Johnston, Jr., Founder and Chairman of Johnny’s Selected Seeds, was selected by the AAS Board of Directors to receive the 2013 Breeders’ Cup. The AAS Breeders Cup Award recognizes someone who has had a significant impact in horticulture by breeding stand-out varieties.

Rob’s contribution to the world of horticulture includes helping produce varieties that in diverse climates have outstanding flavor, disease resistance, and garden performance. Under Rob’s leadership, the Johnny’s breeding team has introduced more than 50 varieties. Seven of these Johnny’s-bred varieties have been honored with the prestigious All-America Selections award.

All-America Selections is an independent, nonprofit organization that trials new varieties alongside two or three similar varieties currently on the market, and then introduces only outstanding garden performers as AAS Winners. Johnny's Selected Seeds’ research farm is an official trial ground for AAS.

About Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Established in 1973, Johnny’s Selected Seeds is a 100% employee-owned company. Johnny’s mission is to help families, friends, and communities to feed one another by supplying superior seeds, tools, information, and service.

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