NOFA Notes Spring 2012

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The Quarterly Newsletter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont In This Issue Policy & Advocacy Updates 4 A Trip Through Vermont’s Agricultural Past 6 New Farm to Community Mentors 9 NOFA-VT’s Journey Farmer Program 10 Conventional Crop Farmer Says Goodbye to Agribusiness By Cheryl Cesario, UVM Extension B oyden Farm is nestled in the Lamoille Valley, along the river, with mountains rising in the distance. e farm buildings and houses are immaculately maintained – not a blade of grass out of place. ere are crops and beef cows, a winery, and a banquet hall. Mark Boyden is the 4th genera- tion farming this land, growing the crops and raising beef cows under the name Boyden Farm. His wife Lauri is in charge of “e Barn,” handling weddings and various events and festivals throughout the year. Mark’s brother David is the owner and manager of the Boyden Winery. In 2009, Mark began the process of transitioning his crop- land to organic production. For land to qualify for organic certification, it must not have applied “prohibited” materi- als, such as synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, for three years prior to harvest of the organic crop. e first year Mark entered the certification program, he was able to cer- tify approximately 100 acres of land that already qualified. Each year, as fields have finished their three year transition, he has added onto that acreage significantly. is season, Mark will have successfully converted close to 800 acres to organic production. History of the Farm Mark’s great-grandfather purchased the original farmstead in 1914, and it ran as a dairy farm for over 80 years. In the 1970s Mark’s father purchased two neighboring farms, expanding the home farm signifi- cantly. Another farm was purchased at the other end of town to add to the acreage, and the Boydens also rent additional parcels throughout the valley. Mark Boyden in front of the renovated barn used for weddings and events - Photo by Cheryl Cesario Mark describes the 1990s as “a crossroads” for the farm. Mark explains, “We were at a turning point. Having 130 animals is just too much for a pipeline [milking system].” ey figured out the cash flow of expanding to a 500-cow free-stall dairy system while looking at current milk prices. He says, “You’re looking at a million dollars before you put a cow in the barn. It wasn’t worth doing. at’s when we decided to sell the cows.” Mark also entertained the idea of selling the entire farm and purchasing a farm in the Midwest. He looked at farms in northern Missouri and North Dakota where the acreages for growing row crops are much larger. Mark says, “e thing about North Dakota is that you can run 20,000 acres, but you have to live in North Dakota.” He decided to stay in Vermont because “home is home.” e farm was too much to walk away from. e family continued to raise dairy heifers and sell horse hay, but Mark says, “We always wanted something where Continued on page 3 »

description

The Spring 2012 issue of NOFA Notes

Transcript of NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Page 1: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

The Quarterly Newsletter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont

In This IssuePolicy & Advocacy Updates . . 4A Trip Through Vermont’s Agricultural Past . . . . . . . . . . 6New Farm to Community Mentors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9NOFA-VT’s Journey Farmer Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

Conventional Crop Farmer Says Goodbye to AgribusinessBy Cheryl Cesario, UVM Extension

Boyden Farm is nestled in the Lamoille Valley, along the river, with mountains rising in the distance. The farm

buildings and houses are immaculately maintained – not a blade of grass out of place. There are crops and beef cows, a winery, and a banquet hall. Mark Boyden is the 4th genera-tion farming this land, growing the crops and raising beef cows under the name Boyden Farm. His wife Lauri is in charge of “The Barn,” handling weddings and various events and festivals throughout the year. Mark’s brother David is the owner and manager of the Boyden Winery.

In 2009, Mark began the process of transitioning his crop-land to organic production. For land to qualify for organic certification, it must not have applied “prohibited” materi-als, such as synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, for three years prior to harvest of the organic crop. The first year Mark entered the certification program, he was able to cer-tify approximately 100 acres of land that already qualified. Each year, as fields have finished their three year transition, he has added onto that acreage significantly. This season, Mark will have successfully converted close to 800 acres to organic production.

History of the FarmMark’s great-grandfather purchased the original farmstead in 1914, and it ran as a dairy farm for over 80 years. In the 1970s Mark’s father purchased two neighboring farms, expanding the home farm signifi-cantly. Another farm was purchased at the other end of town to add to the acreage, and the Boydens also rent additional parcels throughout the valley.

Mark Boyden in front of the renovated barn used for weddings and events - Photo by Cheryl Cesario

Mark describes the 1990s as “a crossroads” for the farm. Mark explains, “We were at a turning point. Having 130 animals is just too much for a pipeline [milking system].” They figured out the cash flow of expanding to a 500-cow free-stall dairy system while looking at current milk prices. He says, “You’re looking at a million dollars before you put a cow in the barn. It wasn’t worth doing. That’s when we decided to sell the cows.”

Mark also entertained the idea of selling the entire farm and purchasing a farm in the Midwest. He looked at farms in northern Missouri and North Dakota where the acreages for growing row crops are much larger. Mark says, “The thing about North Dakota is that you can run 20,000 acres, but you have to live in North Dakota.” He decided to stay in Vermont because “home is home.” The farm was too much to walk away from.

The family continued to raise dairy heifers and sell horse hay, but Mark says, “We always wanted something where

Continued on page 3 »

Page 2: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Page 2 NOFA Notes Spring 2012

NOFA Vermont PO Box 697,14 Pleasant St

Richmond, VT 05477 NOFA: 802-434-4122 VOF: 802-434-3821

[email protected] www.nofavt.org

Board of Directors Mimi ArnsteinRegina Beidler

Josh BrownJennifer Colby

Sona DesaiDebra HelebaAndrew Knafel

Jack ManixRoss ThurberKate Turcotte

Helen Whybrow

Staff Enid Wonnacott Executive Director

Kirsten Bower Financial Manager

Erin Buckwalter Food Security &

Marketing Coordinator

Nicole Dehne VOF Coordinator

Sam Fuller Technical Assistance Program

Administrator

Willie Gibson Dairy & Livestock Advisor

Caitlin Gildrien Outreach Coordinator

Caitlin Jenness VOF Office Assistant and Summer

Workshop Coordinator

Abbie Nelson Agricultural Education Coordinator

Laura Nunziata VOF Certification Specialist

Lynda PrimFruit and Vegetable Advisor

Barbara Richardson Office Manager

Dave Rogers Dairy & Livestock Advisor

& Policy Advisor

Gregg Stevens VOF Certification Specialist

Becca Weiss Office Assistant

NOFA Vermont is an organization of farmers, gardeners, & consumers working to promote an economically viable and ecologically sound Vermont food system for the benefit of current and future generations.

Spring Thoughts from Enid

Remembering CaroleSeventeen years ago, I received a pack-age from a lifetime NOFA-VT member, Carole, congratulating us on moving to our first official office, above a café in downtown Richmond. Prior to that, NOFA was a desk and a mailbox, in an office in Montpelier we shared with Rural Vermont. The present was a pinecone owl with moveable eyes glued on that Carole said would watch over us in our new space.

I sent a thank you card back, with a pic-ture of my then new baby daughter, and henceforth started a 17 year pen pal rela-tionship – Carole sent me seeds she saved from her garden, I sent her postcards from my travels, and then discovered we both share a love of Carl Larsson’s artwork. Writing, and then receiving notes from Carole, was something I looked forward to throughout the year. I especially ap-preciated her program suggestions or thoughts from an article she read that she thought I would enjoy.

When Carole died last year, she left NOFA-VT a portion of her estate, her house, and its remaining contents, after family and friends took remembrances. I have spent the last few weeks cleaning out Carole’s house, finding our correspon-dence that she saved, including a picture of my children in her office. I never met Carole in person, nor talked with her on the phone; the relationship we shared was in writing only. Given that, I am enjoying the process of getting to know Carole in a different way, see the perennials she wrote about each year emerge and walk the paths she scythed.

Due to Carole’s generosity, we have been able to close our capital campaign early and pay off the mortgage on the new office we purchased last August, pictured at right. Many of the items from Carole’s home have been incorporated into our

new office, her gardening tools are being used to create new gardens at our site, and the wood from her garage will fuel our mobile oven this summer.

I have really missed writing letters to Carole, but will continue to work on the issues she cared about – environmental health, seed saving, land conservation and food access. My relationship with Carole is another reminder of the power of relationships, and the many I have de-veloped throughout my 25 years of work at NOFA.

I hope to build on those relationships this summer, as I see many of you at our summer workshops or NOFAvore socials – especially important gatherings this year as we are seeking member input on our 2013-2018 strategic plan. Although Carole was not able to travel to attend events like our socials or member focus groups, she always communicated her ideas post-event.

If you are not able to attend, we will also be sending out an on-line survey and including a written survey in the summer edition of NOFA Notes. Thank you in advance for your input, and please stop by our new office home anytime; we love visitors!

Page 3: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

NOFA Notes Spring 2012 Page 3

we could sell our own products.” Beef seemed like a good fit. Although now Boyden Farm beef is sold in many local food co-ops, grocery stores, and restaurants, it started out small. In the early days, Mark rode around in an old Jeep with the air condition-ing running to keep the meat cool, knocking on the doors of various businesses trying to sell his product.

Looking back he says, “I got into the right places at the right time.” He now brings 8 beef animals to market each week. At this point, the beef operation is not certified organic, as Mark purchases most of his animals as feeder calves from various farms and raises them to market weight, and the supply of organic animals currently available does not meet his demand.

Organic Management In 2009, Mark felt the time was right to begin the process of transitioning his cropland to organic. Mark saw that the organic marketplace was growing. He says, “I used to be very conven-tional.” However, as he saw agribusi-ness corporations’ profits going up while the farmer was tied to purchas-ing all of their seed, fertilizer, and herbicide from them, he decided, “I’m done. I did not want to be at Dupont and Monsanto’s mercy.”

Mark names Jack Lazor of Butter-works Farm as a mentor when he began thinking about his transition to organic production. He had known Jack for years and despite their differ-ent management techniques, he says, “We’d banter back and forth about what we were doing.”

Mark explains the challenge of or-ganic management as “a very compli-cated jigsaw puzzle.” He adds, “It’s no longer just corn, corn, corn, get your fertilizer, you’re done. You really have to think about the whole plan long

term.” He has found crop rotation between the grass and legume crops to be key when thinking about the nutrient cycling of nitrogen, for ex-ample. He also puts a lot of thought into the timing of cultivation. “I enjoy that part of it,” he says.

Mark used to fertilize his crops with urea. Now he says, “I take nitrogen out of the air.” He plants red clover, which as a legume fixes nitrogen in the soil. After three years, the clover is plowed down and the field planted to corn. Mark says of the fertility, the first year he plows down the green sod, “It just kicks butt.”

The legume helps with weed pressure as well. After one year of corn, he goes to another legume such as soy, which also has nitrogen-fixing abili-ties. Manure is spread in the spring on the corn land and potash is ap-plied to clover and soy crops. Wood ash and cow manure are alternated as the crops are rotated through the system.

Crop rotation plays an important part in Mark’s weed control, but another key piece is the timing of cultivation. Yields will drop if weeds are not kept under control. One of the biggest les-

sons he’s learned is “get on [the weeds] early, and don’t fall behind. Once you fall behind, you’re done,” he explains.

Mark sells his corn and soybean crops to Morrison’s Custom Feeds in Barnet, a livestock feed company also certified by Vermont Organic Farmers, which supplies organic grain to many organic livestock producers in Vermont and beyond. Mark is also a large supplier of hay for organic livestock producers in the state.

In 2012, all of Mark’s crops will qualify for organic certification. About the transition, Mark says, “I should have done it years ago.” He explains that the fear of “screwing up and hav-ing a bad year” held him back initially, but once he took the leap he has had great success, even in a year as chal-lenging as 2011.

Now he’s only looking forward. For yields, Mark says, “I’m convinced we can do just as well with organic as long as we keep the weeds under control and the fertility there.”

For more about Boyden Farm, visit www.boydenbeef.com and www.boydenfarm.com. 1

Boyden Farm, continued from cover

Boyden Farm sign at the intersection of Routes 104 and 15 in Cambridge - photo by Cheryl Cesario

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Page 4 NOFA Notes Spring 2012

By Dave Rogers, NOFA Vermont Policy Advisor

Most readers of NOFA Notes are aware of NOFA Vermont’s

collaborative efforts in recent months to pass the Vermont Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (H.722). The bill called for all food sold at retail outlets in Vermont to be labeled if it was genetically engineered (GE) or contained ingredients that were produced using genetic engineer-ing technology. It also prohibited foods from being labeled as “natural” if they contained such ingredients. H.722’s passage and enactment would have made Vermont the first state in the nation to require the labeling of GE foods.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Kate Webb (Shelburne) in Vermont’s House of Representatives on February 1st. The House Agriculture Committee began hearing testimony on the bill in mid-March, and after weeks of wide-ranging testimony by scientists, legal consultants, regulators, food manufacturers, and approxi-mately 150 Vermonters, it was voted out of the Committee on April 20th by a vote of 9-1.

Then it languished in the House Judiciary Committee, and when the legislature adjourned in early May, it died – a victim of timidity on the part of the Shumlin administration in the face of threats of a lawsuit against the state by powerful corporate interests and unresolved questions about how the bill would affect Vermont’s spe-cialty food producers.

Weeks before H.722 was introduced, a coalition of organizations – NOFA-VT, Rural Vermont and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group – organized the Vermont Right to Know GMOs Campaign to rally grassroots support. A website, petition, and social media efforts were launched.

NOFA Policy & Advocacy Updates

By mid-April over 5000 people had signed on to the campaign, along with more than 60 organizations and businesses; literally hundreds of thousands of people in Vermont and across the country were following and discussing the Campaign through Facebook, Twitter, blogs and stories in the national press. A number of Vermont Representatives stated that they had rarely, if ever, received so many messages from constituents expressing strong support for a piece of legislation.

So, what now?There is strong support in the coali-tion and among campaign supporters throughout the state to continue our efforts. We and other organizations are already working to address and overcome the hurdles faced by H.722. With the continuing support of thousands of Vermonters, we will be back next January, when the legisla-ture reconvenes, with a stronger GE labeling bill. As with so many issues, Vermonters will take the lead and keep working until this job is done.

For more information visit the VT Right to Know GMOs Campaign webpage at www.vtrighttoknow.org.

Monsanto Patents Lawsuit UpdateOn March 28th, in Federal District Court in Manhattan, NOFA Vermont joined nearly sixty other farm or-ganizations and farmers in filing an appeal of a federal judge’s decision to dismiss their suit against Monsanto.

The suit challenged the corporation’s patents on GE crops and its practice of taking legal action against non-GE and organic farmers whose crops have been inadvertently contaminated via pollination by Monsanto’s GE crops. NOFA joined the original case in March 2011. The appeal process will likely take six months or more. The suit and its appeal were prepared and filed by the Public Patent Foundation of New York.

It’s Farm Bill TimeThe U.S. Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee passed the Farms, Food, and Jobs Act of 2012 (aka The Farm Bill) in April. It will now be debated, amended, and voted upon by the full Senate and, ultimately, reconciled with the House Farm Bill.

Thanks to Senator Leahy, the senior member of the Committee, the bill strengthens a number of national programs affecting Vermont’s natural resources, local food production and marketing, and organic agriculture. Funding levels for nutrition and other programs will continue to be debated, and we expect Senator Sanders to join the fight for programs important to Vermont. NOFA will continue to be in contact with our congressional del-egation as the process continues. 1

Please contact Dave Rogers with policy and advocacy questions at [email protected] or (802) 434-4122.

Hundreds of Vermonters convened at the Statehouse on April 12 to voice their support of H.722.

Page 5: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

NOFA Notes Spring 2012 Page 5

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Page 6: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Page 6 NOFA Notes Spring 2012

There is an old saying that you have to understand the past to appreci-

ate the present and better understand the future. That applies to the history of agricultural production and mar-keting by farmers in our state.

After the French and Indian War, many new settlements sprang up in the region now known as Vermont. Subsistence agriculture was the main source of the early settlers’ liveli-hoods. Over the years many events and economic influences brought about changes in agriculture and land use in our state.

Early settlers came to Vermont pri-marily from Southern New England where soils had been depleted. They were searching for new produc-tive soils and opportunities. While they were subsistence farmers with many skills, in the beginning they also benefited from commercial sales of potash and pearlash (from the clearing of the forests), which were in demand in England at the time. As cities and towns grew, these same farmers supplied nearby communi-ties with many products from their farms. They did this in exchange for goods they needed and could not produce on their own land.

The changing means and capabilities of transportation have had a signifi-cant impact on Vermont’s agricul-tural community and its landscape. Waterpower and the growth of waterborne transportation first trans-formed Vermont agriculture. While it created new markets in nearby cities like Boston, New York, Albany, and Montreal, it opened up competi-tion from products being brought into Vermont. It also made Vermont more dependent upon importing products that had formerly been

A Trip Through Vermont’s Agricultural Past, And Its Meaning For TodayRoger N. Allbee, former Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture

produced within the state. With the growth of the railroads in the 1850s and the Interstate highway system in the 1960s, new markets were again created, and again Vermont farmers faced increased competition from goods and products brought in from other regions.

As farmers adapted to these changes, Vermont’s commercial agriculture evolved; from producing grain in the early 1800s, to becoming the sheep capital of the world, then the butter capital, and finally a supplier of fluid milk to regional markets. As national and international transportation of goods became ever easier, Vermont farmers repeatedly found that they could not compete with the lower cost of production that western farms enjoyed. This happened with sheep, grains, beef, butter, hops, apples, and other products.

When farmers began specializing in fluid milk production to meet demand from the nearby cities like Boston, farmer cooperatives emerged to bargain for fair pricing for their members. Federal actions relative to dairy price supports and parity pric-ing could not forestall the pressure for change, and the deregulation of the dairy industry began in the early 1980s.

Once again, larger farms with longer growing seasons in the western United States were able to produce milk at lower cost than farmers could in Vermont. This, combined with pricing deregulation and increased connections to fluctuating world markets, resulted in deep and pro-longed pricing cycles that continue to put Vermont and other Northeast conventional dairy farmers at finan-cial risk.

Even in the 1800s, Vermont’s agri-cultural strengths lay in diversifica-tion and the reputation of quality and purity that we now think of as the Vermont “brand.” In the 1872 Report of what was then the State Board of Agriculture, the Rev. G. F. Wright of Bakersfield stated, “The Vermont farmer has a substantial hold on the future. His soil, climate, his abundance of pure water, his proximity to markets of the growing cities and villages, give him unrivaled facilities for success…. Only those will prosper who use their minds in studying how to cater to demands of this growing market and this chang-ing state of things.”

Others expressed similar views. M.O. Howe of Fayetteville stated to the Board in 1876, “It is the value of the

Continued next page »

Woodcut by Mary Azarian

Page 7: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

NOFA Notes Spring 2012 Page 7

products, not the quantity, that indi-cates the profits of agriculture. There will continue to be the difference of freight and commissions between the markets of the East and the West.”

The Vermont Commissioner of Agriculture, E.S. Brigham, in his annual report in 1913, stated, “The products that belong in the East are those that are adapted to our soil and climate and are needed in large mar-ket centers.” For example, in 1870 Vermont farmers produced more but-ter, cheese, maple sugar, and potatoes than any other state. It has excelled in other products as well to include apples, meats, grains, specialty fruits, and vegetables, to name but a few.

Vermont’s farms have concentrated over time to the more productive soils; today only thirteen percent of the state’s land area is devoted to ag-riculture as opposed to approximately seventy-five percent after the first set-

tlers cleared the forests. In 1900 there were one hundred and eighty dairy co-operatives and sixty-six cheese plants within the state. In 1974 the majority of farms in Vermont were conventional dairy farms, whereas today the majority are non-dairy, and the number of conventional dairy farms continues to decline. Even within the dairy sector there has been a growing movement to or-ganic production. It is clear there is a fundamental transformational change taking place within our farm sector.

Today there is a renewed interest by consumers in local and regional foods, and Vermont farmers again have a reputation for quality, including being known for organic and sustainably produced food. This renewed interest in local foods has resulted in the growth of farm-ers’ markets, food hubs, Community

Supported Agriculture, farmstead cheese production, farm raised beef, new maple products, new vineyards, pick-your-own fruit operations and other products from the farm.

Some have referred to this renewed interest in local and regional food production as a “renaissance of the past.” Early farm leaders who argued that Vermont farmers should grow products of the highest quality that cannot be readily produced in the West, but are needed in the nearby growing markets of the East, would applaud this renewed interest and direction. 1

Vermont’s Agricultural Past,continued from page 6

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Page 8: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Page 8 NOFA Notes Spring 2012

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Page 9: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

NOFA Notes Spring 2012 Page 9

New Farm to Community MentorsBy Abbie Nelson, NOFA Vermont

The NOFA-VT Farm to Community Mentor Program

(formerly Farm to School Mentors) is saying “goodbye” to 2 mentors and “hello” to 3 new ones.

Suzanne Young, former mentor for Addison County, is pursuing nutrition education and cooking for Mary Hogan Childcare Center, and Andrea Scott of Champlain Orchards will take her place, covering Southern Chittenden as well.

Andrea is a part of the team (along with husband Bill, son Rupert, and a mighty crew!) that runs Champlain Orchards - a diversified orchard of ecologically & organically grown fruits in Shoreham, VT. In addition to highlighting educational opportu-nities on her own farm, Andrea has also worked for several years as a pub-lic school teacher in the classroom.

Melissa Bridges will be taking Molly Willard’s place as the mentor for Caledonia and Northern Orleans Counties as Molly begins farming near Pomfret.

Melissa is a local foods activist in the St. Johnsbury area, spending lots of time as Education and Outreach Director for the St J Food Co-op, as a director for the St. Johnsbury Local Food Alliance, and starting school and community gardens.

John Connell will be covering Central and Northern Chittenden County. Over the years, John’s farm in Underhill Center has included a dairy sheep operation, a dairy heifer opera-tion, pigs, goats, chickens, a large gar-den, a hops experiment, and currently, beef with the Lang Farm in Underhill Center. John has also taught grades 1-3 and worked as a school administrator.

There are nine Farm to Community Mentors who promote the critical role of farmers as both agricultural producers and agricultural educators throughout Vermont. They work in their regions to build partnerships between farmers, educators, and community members.

If you are interested in finding out more or contacting the mentor in your area, visit www.nofavt.org and look under “Programs” or contact Abbie Nelson at [email protected]. 1

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Page 10: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Page 10 NOFA Notes Spring 2012

The Journey Farmer Program is a two-year program for farmers

who are in the first few years of run-ning their own farming enterprise in Vermont. Since its inception two years ago, there have been over 50 applica-tions from aspiring farmers looking or additional support in making their farm business a success.

The program is largely shaped by the farming interests and goals of the Journey Farmers, and enables aspiring new farmers to advance their farming skills and experiences, along with being part of a learning com-munity of other aspiring farmers and farmer mentors. Services and oppor-tunities available to Journey Farmers include:

• Farmer-to-farmer mentoring and access to technical assistance by NOFA-VT staff

• Free admission to NOFA-VT educational offerings

• Tailored business planning support

•A $500 educational stipend

•Access to NOFA-VT’s Revolving Loan Fund

• Journey Farmer Network

After a competitive application pro-cess, we are proud to announce our five newest Journey Farms:

• Tangled Roots Farm in Shrewsbury, where Maeve Mangine and Lucas Jackson cul-tivate shiitake mushrooms along with pastured chickens, pigs and milking goats

• The Lazy Dog Farm in Orwell, where Jesse Wilbur runs a pasture-based certified organic dairy farm

• Lorenzo’s Urban Greens in Burlington, where Annette Lorenzo grows winter microgreens

and baby greens with intentions of expanding into full season mixed greens

•Timeless Wisdom Farm in Stockbridge, where Ken and Amanda Carter produce vegeta-bles along with eggs and goat milk

• Lewis Farm in Waterbury Center, where Nate Lewis grows heirloom peppers and tomatoes for seed production, expanding into garlic and small fruits

These farmers will join the ten other Journey Farmers from Vermont along with a larger network of Journey Farmers in the Northeast.

If you are a beginning farmer inter-

ested in the Journey Farmer program please contact us for more informa-tion. The next round of applications will be in winter 2012. If you are an experienced farmer interested in mentoring aspiring farmers please contact us as well. You can learn more at www.nofavt.org/mentor.

The initial pilot of the Journey Farmer Program was funded through the Agricultural Innovation Center. NOFA Vermont in collaboration with a NOFA interstate coalition has secured three years of fund-ing through the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program to support Journey Farmers in the region. 1

NOFA-VT’s Journey Farmer ProgramBy Sam Fuller, Technical Assistance Program Coordinator

New Journey Farmers Maeve Mangine and Lucas Jackson of Tangled Roots Farm

Page 11: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

NOFA Notes Spring 2012 Page 11

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Page 12: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Page 12 NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Thank you to all the members and friends of NOFA who generously donated to our annual appeal. As of the end of March over $54,600 was raised for our annual fund and capital campaign.

We would like to acknowledge all the individuals and businesses who have donated to our Farmer Emergency Fund. Since January, an additional $9,248.65 was raised, enabling us to offer more grant support to farms impacted by Tropical Storm Irene.

Thanks to our recent donors:• Jerusalem Gathering, $100, for Farm

Share Program• Lawrence & Linda Hamilton, $1,000, for

Farm Share Program• The Seattle Foundation, $5,000, for

annual fund• The Skinny Pancake, $374.60, for Winter

Conference support• Vermont Community Foundation,

Nouvelle Fund, $3,709, for general support

Program Grants:• Northeast SARE Sustainable Communities

Grant: The Community Market Project, $14,369, 2 year grant, for professional development training for farmers’ market managers and board members.

• Organic Consumers Association, $5,000 to support GMO advocacy work in Vermont

Winter Conference SponsorsBenefactor • Ben & Jerry’s Foundation• City Market• Hanover Coop• The High Meadows Fund• Organic Valley• Extension/Risk Management Agency• Sodexo• UVM Department of Continuing

Education

Sustainer • Alltech• Chelsea Green• Green Mountain Compost• Healthy Living Market and Café• High Mowing Organic Seeds• Hunger Mountain Coop• Neighboring Food Co-op Association• Stonyfield Farm• Strafford Organic Creamery• TD Bank• Tierra Farm• UNFI/Albert’s Organics• Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and

Markets• Vermont Compost Company• VHCB VT Farm Viability Program• Yankee Farm Credit, ACA

Contributor • Clean Yield Asset Management• Coop Insurance Company• eOrganic• Gardener’s Supply Company• Johnny’s Selected Seeds• Lintilhac Foundation• Red Wagon Plants• Resource Management, Inc.• Sugarsnap

• UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture• Vermont Bread Company• Vermont Community Loan Fund• Wellscroft Fence Systems, LLC

Supporter • Cabot Creamery Cooperative• Cedar Circle Farm• Center for Whole Communities• Champlain Valley Printing/Reprodigital• Coombs Family Farms• Drip Works• Efficiency Vermont• FEDCO• Get Real Taste The Truth• Harris Seeds• North Country Organics• Upper Valley Coop• UVM Plant & Soil Science Department

Friend• Albert Lea Seed• Cooperative Fund of New England• Dairy Farmers of America• Deep Root Organic Cooperative• Drew’s, LLC• Farm Plate• Intervale Center• Maine Potato Lady• North American Kelp• Nourse Farms, Inc.• Rural Vermont• Shelburne Farms• UVM Extension Rural & Ag VocRehab & VT

Agribility• UVM Sociology Department• The Vermont Community Foundation

Children’s Conference• Johnson Family Foundation• King Arthur Flour

January – March 2012 Program Supporters

Adding Organic Dairy Farmers now, and for the future.

© C

ROPP

Coo

pera

tive

2012

-090

24

CALL THE FARMER HOTLINE TODAY! 1-888-809-9297 • www.farmers.coop

Page 13: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

NOFA Notes Spring 2012 Page 13

New & Renewing Business Members• 3 Seasons Gardening, Chelsea• Acker Arts, Burlington• American Flatbread,

Burlington• Anjali Farms LLC, So.

Londonderry• Arethusa Farm, Burlington• Aurora Farm, Charlotte• Brattleboro Area Farmers’

Market, Brattleboro• Brattleboro Food Coop,

Brattleboro• Brown Boar Farm, Wells• Butternut Mountain Farm,

Morrisville• Capitol Grounds, Montpelier• Cedar Circle Farm, East

Thetford• Champlain Valley Compost

Co., Charlotte• Cobb Hill Cheese, Hartland• Cooperative Insurance Co.,

Middlebury• Craftsbury Outdoor Center,

Craftsbury• Drew’s LLC, Chester• Dwight Miller & Son Orchards,

East Dummerston• Eastview Farm, East Hardwick• EnSave, Richmond• Evergreen Gardens of

Vermont, Waterbury Center• Farm & Wilderness

Foundation, Plymouth• Fire Hill Enterprises, Florence• Foggy Meadow Farm, Benson• Full Circle Farm, Wells River• Gagne Maple, LLC, Swanton• Gorhamtown Farm, Poultney• Green Mountain Coffee

Roasters, Waterbury• Green Mountain Distillers,

Stowe• Green Mountain Inn, Stowe• Green Mountain Spinnery,

Putney• Highland Sugarworks,

Websterville• Hillcrest Foods, Inc., NY

• Hoof N Hay Ranch, Johnson• Hord Family Farm, West

Brookfield• King Arthur Flour, White River

Jct.• Layne’s Garden Design,

Montpelier• Mad River Food Hub L3C,

Waitsfield• Maggie Brook Sugarworks,

Bristol• Merck Forest & Farmland

Center, Rupert• Metta Earth Institute, Lincoln• GotWeeds?, Royalton• Minor Family Maple,

Cambridge• Miskell’s Farm LLC, Charlotte• Mountain Meadows Farm,

Cornwall• Nourse Farms, MA• O Bread, Shelburne• On Farm Focus, South

Royalton• Plainfield Coop, Plainfield• Progressive Asset

Management, Wells• Putney Farmers’ Market,

Putney• Putney Food Coop, Putney• Rhapsody Natural Foods,

Cabot• Rural Vermont, Montpelier• Ruth Dennis LLC, Burlington• Rutland Area Food Coop,

Rutland• Sandbhreagh Farm, Vershire• Sauerkraut Vermont, NH• Second Nature Herb Farm &

Horticultural Services, Wells• Sumptuous Syrups, Hardwick• The Corse Family Dairy LLC,

Whitingham• The Farm at South Village,

Inc., Burlington• Thistle Hill Farm, North

Pomfret• Vermont Assn. of

Conservation Districts, Waitsfield

• Vermont Bread Company, Brattleboro

• Vermont Center for Independent Living, Montpelier

• Vermont Community Loan Fund, Montpelier

• Vermont Compost Company, Montpelier

• Vermont Edible Landscapes, West Bolton

• Vermont Fresh Foods, Proctorsville

• Vermont Soy, Hardwick• Vermont Tea & Trading Co.,

Inc., Middlebury• Vermont’s Local Banquet

Magazine, Saxtons River• Well Dressed Greens,

Burlington• Wellscroft Fence Systems, NH• Weston A. Price Foundation,

DC• Wilbur Farms LLC, Whiting• Willow Bee Farm, North

Chittenden• Woods Edge Farm,

Greensboro Bend

New Members• Deborahlee Adams, Gran-

Debra Farms, West Haven• Dale & Tina Aines, Pawlet• Jeanny & Richard Aldrich, NH• Joseph Alstat, Williamstown• Caroline Alves, USDA/NRCS,

Williston• Timothy Bailey, MA• Chris Behr, Burlington• Lily Belisle, Charlotte• Ed Benham, NH• Mike & Gloria Benson,

Cuttingsville• Deborah Berryere, Cardinal

Hill Farm, Vernon• Janice Blair, Vermont Kale

Chips, Johnson• Cindy Blakeslee, Bradford• Mark Boisvert, NH• Bethany Bond, Bloomfield• Jane Booth, Dummerston• Idalia Borges, Rochester• Jennifer Boucher, Cabot• Adriana Boulanger, So.

Woodstock• Tami Carboni-Branchaud &

Leo Branchaud, Branchaud Farm, Middletown Springs

• Marcia Brewster, Brewster Farm, East Fairfield

• Tara Brown, Hinesburg• Audra Brown, Montpelier• Nate Brownlee, Burlington• Peter & Jake Burke, Calais• Sally Burrell, Bristol• Tyler Buswell, Milton• Jacqueline Call, Burlington• Bill Chidsey & Mary Ellen

Cannon, W.L. Chidsey Farms, Lyndon Ctr.

• Heidi Chapman-Renaud, Richmond

• Melanie Christner, FL• Lynn Clohessy, Shallow Rock

Farm, Bridport• Sarah Coonrod, Burlington• Dee Copley, Hartford• Jim Corven, MA• Peter Cousineau, Whiting• Michael Croce, Mystic

Morning Farm, Greensboro Bend

• Elizabeth Cullen, Burlington• Steven Davis, Chester• Anne Dean, Woodstock• Brooke Decker, Andover• Bob & Annie DeCoteau,

Putney• Katherine Desmond, MA• David Dickson, Burlington• Alyssa Doolittle, East Burke• Michael & Cynthia Ehlenfeldt,

NH• Stella Ehrich, North

Bennington• DeeDee Erb, Hinesburg• Carin Ewing, Barnard• Joan Falcao, VA• Joann Ference, Barnard• Jacqueline Fischer, Woodstock• Luis & Lisa Garcia, VT• Johanna Gardner, Newfane• Carl Gargulio, Skyberry,

Putney• Karen Garvey, White River Jct.• Eric Garza, Burlington• Andrew Gilbert, Marshfield• Peter Gile, Shrewsbury• Katherine Gillespie,

Brattleboro• Meghan Giroux, VT Edible

Landscapes, West Bolton• Will Young & Carrie Glessner,

Barefoot Farm, Westfield• S’ra DeSantis & Joe Golden,

Burlington• Linda Goodwin, NC• Alexandra Gross, CT

Spring 2012 New Members

NOFA welcomes the following members who recently joined through the NOFA Winter Conference, Direct Marketing Conference, NOFA Bulk Order, website, VOF certification applications, and other events. Thank you for supporting Vermont organic agriculture!

Continued page 15 »

Page 14: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Page 14 NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Looking for Opportunities? Our classifieds are now web-only . Please visit www .nofavt .org/resources/classifieds to see them all .

HELPING FARMERS

SAVE MONEY

www.efficiencyvermont.com

“We’ve hit a huge

home run with the energy

efficiency upgrades on

our farm. The new long-

day lighting has increased

milk production and

improved breeding.”

— Walt Gladstone Newmont Farm, Bradford, VT

Newmont Farm completed several projects on their dairy

farm, including installing a heat recovery unit and new,

energy-efficient lighting. Now, they are saving an estimated

$12,000 in energy costs each year.

To learn how you can save money and energy on your farm,

call Efficiency Vermont toll-free today at 888-921-5990.

Vermont Farm Viability Program

Now accepting applications from farmers and ag-related businesses for in-depth, one-on-one business planning and technical assistance. More than 97% of farmers surveyed report their business and financial analysis skills have improved since enrolling in the program! More information at: www.vhcb.org/viability.html or call Liz Gleason at 802 828 3370A program of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board

building relationships that last generations

For generations, we’ve been helping all types of ag businesses grow. Loans Leases Tax Services

Record Keeping Services Credit Life Insurance Crop Insurance Payroll Services

Middlebury, VTNewport, VT

St. Albans, VTWhite River Jct., VT

Williston, VTChazy, NY

www.YankeeACA.com800/545-1169

The Future Is In His Hands

The Future Is In His Hands

YankeeFarm Credit

Yankee Farm Credit

Page 15: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

NOFA Notes Spring 2012 Page 15

Yes! I want to support NOFA Vermont!Name:

Business/Farm:

Address:

Town: State: Zip:

Maya and Camille Bower model t-shirts T-shirts & bags have our vivid color logo!

NOFA Store___ Adult organic cotton t-shirt with NOFA’s color logo (Women’s S, Unisex S M L XL) $15 + $3.50 s/h

___ Organic cotton tote bag with NOFA’s color logo! $10 +$3.50 s/h + 6% VT Sales Tax

Membership Options

___ Individual $30___ Farm/Family $40___ Business $50___ Sponsor $100___ Sustainer $250___ Basic* $15-25*The Natural Farmer not included

Complete this form & mail to: NOFA, PO Box 697, Richmond, VT 05477 - or join online at nofavt .org!

• Leslie Haines, Worcester• Mar Harrison, Ripton• Denise Hartman, Golden

Heart Farm, West Brookfield• Scott Hewitt, Ira• Roberta Horowitz, Waterford• Brian & Cari Howrigan, Cream

& Sugar Spread, Fairfield• Tom Hudspeth, Burlington• Valerie Johnson, Topsham• Pamela Johnston, Hyde Park• Christa Kemp, Richmond• Robert Kesner, Vermont

Organic Gardens, Vergennes• Lisa Kiley, Charlotte• Nicole Kirby, NY• Erica Koch, Montpelier• Thomas Kontos, Jeffersonville• Ellen Kreitmeier, Putney• Mary Lake, Waitsfield• Chet Briggs & Karen Lane, East

Calais• Shawn Lenihan, Rochester• Ronald Leone, Bennington• Brittany Lewis, Montpelier• Zoe Loomis, Rupert• Merrily Lovell, Hinesburg

• Eve MacNeill, Warren• Annie Mailloux, NH• Monika Markus, CT• Nolan McClay, Bellows Falls• Brian McMaster, Canada• Karin McNeil, East Calais• Tom McQuade, West View

Farm & Orchard, New Haven• Kelsie Mehan, Burlington• Ron Miller, Woodstock• Daryl Gustafson & Elizabeth

Moulton, Andover• Mary Mullaney, Montpelier• Tor Nelkin, Poultney• Jane Neroni, So. Burlington• Judy Newman, So. Burlington• Amber O’Reilly Hood, West

Townshend• Nicholas Parrish, Burlington• Janet Pelletier, Cuttingsville• Patricia Petell, Derby Line• Paul Pinka, So. Burlington• Erin Post, Castleton• Amy Powers, Richmond• Kerri Rainville, So. Royalton• Peter Reed, CT• Simon & Dana Renault, Sun

Ledge Farm, Putney• William Robb, Burlington• Becca Robbins, Elmore• Elizabeth Roma, Amee Farm,

Rochester• Charlotte Roozekrans,

Burlington• David Breen & Irene Rubbins,

Goshen• Dave Ruggiero, PA• Beth Ruman, River Moon

Farm, Craftsbury Common• Joe Russo, Green Mtn. Maple

Sugar Refining Co., Inc., Belvidere

• Eero Ruuttila, CT• Jennifer Schomp, Bethel• Mark Schultz, NH• Barry Simpson, Warren• Mary & Eric Skovsted, St.

Johnsbury• Kristin Smith, Brandon• Andrea Solazzo, Burlington• Greg Soll, Sol Fresh Farm,

Charlotte• R.J. Steinert, Waterford• Hadley Stock, West Pawlet

• Kelly Stone, Fairfield• Melissa Streicher, Fortsville

Creek Farm, NY• Bill Sullivan, Riverfront

Gardens, Vergennes• Curtis & Kristin

Swartzentruber, Bristol• Dorothy Tod, Warren• Katherine Tolman, NH• Cathy Townsend, Shelburne• Nick Tramontozzi, CT• Katherine von Stackelberg,

MA• Joe Weaver, Williston• Danny Weiss, Burlington• Cathy Wells, Shelburne• Alicia Werner, So. Royalton• Kelsey Wilson, Burlington• Jill Wolcott, Charlotte• Richard McAlister & Cheryl

Wolf, Brookfield• Dino Zampini, Bellows Falls• Ali Zipparo, MA

New Members, continued from page 13

Page 16: NOFA Notes Spring 2012

Ad sizes and rates:1/8 pg - $30 (3”w x 2.25”h)

1/6 pg. - $40 (2.25”w x 4.75”h)1/4 pg - $50 (3”w x 4.75”h)1/2 pg - $85 (7”w x 4.75”h)

Advertise in NOFA Notes and Support NOFA Vermont!

Want to avoid GMOs? Choose organic!The National Organic Program standards prohibit the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) .

No certified organic product can contain or be made with GMO ingredients; organic meat, milk, and eggs come from animals fed a diet free of GMOs. Without mandatory labeling of GMOs in food, choosing certified organic is one way to ensure that you know what is - and what is not - in the food you eat and feed your family.

Look for the new Vermont Organic Farmers certification logo when shopping for local, organic food!