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Passages Sustainable Food and Farming Systems Newsletter of the Pennsylvania A ssociation for Sustainable Agriculture

Passages

Sustainable Food and Farming Systems

Newsletter of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

Number 44 Summer 2003
Number 44
Summer 2003

By Brian Snyder It has become increasingly clear in recent years that if family farms are to flourish once again across the American country- side, farmers must reconnect in a meaning- ful way with their closest neighbors and with the rural communities in their region. In fact, a growing chasm between farms and communities has led to a sometimes brutal public debate over such issues as land use, property taxes, waste disposal, urban sprawl, and funding for schools and other public services. Fortunately, at the same time that many farmers are rediscovering the enduring value of their neighbors, average consumers are showing increased interest in the quality and safety of their food supply. Increasingly they are expressing a preference to buy food that is grown on nearby farms, by farmers who they know and can visit, using meth- ods that assure accountability and high quality Farmers and consumers, it would seem, are yearning to find each other. They are like two highway crews tunneling through a mountain from opposite sides. The moun- tain in this illustration represents all the complexities of today’s marketplace, includ- ing issues of processing, transportation, marketing, and government regulation of the food supply chain. What they need in order to succeed is some kind of navigation system to guide their efforts. Such a system is now becom- ing available in southeastern Pennsylvania, with promise for every region of the state in coming years.

with promise for every region of the state in coming years. Buy Fresh/Buy Local Shows the

Buy Fresh/Buy Local Shows the Way Recently in downtown Philadelphia, PASA joined the Philadelphia Fair Food Project and Farm to City to unveil a mar- keting campaign called “Buy Fresh/Buy Local,” which aims to connect farmers and consumers through a network of farmers’ markets, CSAs, restaurants, caterers, and other market venues, focusing specifically on Philadelphia for the first stage of the campaign. The campaign will utilize a Local Food Guide (already in its first printed edition), a

website (www.buylocalpa.org), plus numer- ous point-of purchase materials and tradi- tional advertising to get the word out to consumers on where they can encounter the agricultural bounty of the region. Already, huge banners with the Buy Fresh/Buy Local logo adorn the outside of the Reading Terminal Market (one of our most notable campaign participants), and materials inside the market indicate which vendors feature local fare. “Philadelphia is an exciting city for Continued on page 3

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture 114 West Main Street P.O. Box 419 Millheim PA 16854

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

114 West Main Street P.O. Box 419 Millheim PA 16854 Phone: (814) 349-9856 • Fax: (814) 349-9840 Website: www.pasafarming.org

Passages STAFF & OFFICE Guest Editor: Dan Brannen Jr.

Layout: C Factor

Advertising Sales: Lauren Smith, PASA office, lauren@pasafarming.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS President: Kim Miller,Westmoreland County Vice President: Kim Tait, Centre County Secretary: Lyn Garling, Centre County Treasurer: Chris Fullerton, Huntingdon County

Mary Barbercheck, Centre County David Bingaman, Dauphin County George DeVault, Lehigh County Mena Hautau, Berks County John Hopkins, Columbia County John Jamison,Westmoreland County Dave Johnson,Tioga County Don Kretschmann, Beaver County Brian Moyer, Berks County Anthony Rodale, Berks County Kim Seeley, Bradford County

PASA STAFF

Headquarters

Brian Snyder

Executive Director

brian@pasafarming.org

Lauren Smith Director of Development & Membership Programs

lauren@pasafarming.org

Heather House Farm-to-School Program Coordinator

heather@pasafarming.org

Brandi Marks Office Coordinator/Bookkeeper

brandi@pasafarming.org

Regional Offices Ruth Sullivan Director of Southeast Programs Phone: 717-917-3731

ruth@pasafarming.org

David Eson Director of Southwest Programs Phone: 412-997-2343

david@pasafarming.org

Southwest Programs Phone: 412-997-2343 david@pasafarming.org Passages is printed with soy inks on recycled, chlorine-free

Passages is printed with soy inks on recycled, chlorine-free paper

Contents

Summer 2003

1

Pennsylvania Goes Local!

4

Director’s Corner: Wakeup Call on Raw Milk Products

5

PASA-tively Speaking: Board President’s Corner

6

Wanted: Farmers and Schools to Build Local Food Systems

8

Regional Marketing—Southeast

10

Regional Marketing—Southwest

11

A September Harvest Dinner

12

PASA Welcomes New and Returning Board Members

13

Board Opening Reminder Sustainable Ag Leadership Award Reminder Volunteer Acknowledgment

14

Waterkeeper Alliance Brings Third Hog Summit to Gettysburg

16

Pasture Monitoring on Provident Farm

20

Business Member Profile: Barry Denk, Director of The Center for Rural Pennsylvania

21

Business Members

22

The Compost Heap: Editor’s Corner

24

Opportunities and Classified Ads Conference Opportunities

25

The Junior PASA Page

26

Calendar of Events

28

Don’t Grow Corn!

34

PASA Membership/Contribution Form

Passages Summer 2003 Contributors

WRITERS: Mary Barbercheck, Dan Brannen Jr., Gene Chenoweth, George DeVault, David Eson, Chris Fullerton, Kim Miller, Gayle Morrow,Virginia Phillips, Sally Roe, Lauren Smith, Brian Snyder, Ruth Sullivan.

PHOTOGRAPHERS: Pat Little, Lauren Smith, Brian Snyder.

PASA’s Mission is…

Promoting profitable farms which produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment. PASA is an organization as diverse as the Penn- sylvania landscape. We are seasoned farmers who know that sustainability is not only a con- cept, but a way of life.We are new farmers look- ing for the fulfillment of land stewardship.We are students and other consumers, anxious to understand our food systems and the choices that must be made.We are families and children, who hold the future of farming in our hands.This is an organization that is growing in its voice on behalf of farmers in Pennsylvania and beyond. Our mission is achieved, one voice, one farm, one strengthened community at a time.

PASA in the News

Have you seen articles about PASA in your local newspapers or other media? PASA is active across the state, and we’d love to know what coverage we are getting in your area. Please clip any articles you see on PASA and mail them to our Millheim headquarters to the attention of Office Coordinator Brandi Marks.

Do you have a great article idea for Passages?

Want to share a farming practice with members? We’d love to hear from you. Please contact the newsletter staff at newsletter@pasafarming.org.

Deadline for Fall Issue: September 19, 2003.

2

PA Goes Local!

Continued from page 1 food,” notes Bridget Croke of the Philadelphia Fair Food Project. “Restau- rants participating in the Buy Fresh/Buy Local campaign make special dishes fea- turing locally raised ingredients. For instance, Django Gypsy Café serves a deli- cious Atlantic Bluefish and creamy mush- room polenta made with locally grown black forest mushrooms, and a smoked tomato broth made with locally grown tomatoes and bacon from locally raised pork.” “We are blessed to have a tremendous variety of farm-fresh products available from southeastern Pennsylvania,” says Bob Pierson, Queen Village resident and manager of Farm to City farmers’ markets in seven Philadelphia communities. “The farmers’ markets in Philadelphia sell everything from strawberries, tomatoes and sweet corn, to naturally raised beef, aged cheeses, locally made breads, and mouthwatering BBQ chicken and ribs cooked right at the markets.” Bob also manages a Winter Harvest program that extends the availability of seasonally diverse farm products year-round.

It’s a Regional Effort…

By next year, PASA plans to expand this buy local campaign to a growing net- work of market venues throughout the target region, and to make materials avail- able to individual farmers in southeast Pennsylvania who wish to label their prod- ucts as locally grown. A similar program will be launched to promote farm prod- ucts in southwestern Pennsylvania by next year as well. What is local food? The current cam- paign focuses on Pennsylvania food grown within a 75-mile radius of Philadelphia, reaching as far as the areas around Lan- caster, Reading, and Allentown. PASA and its partners will identify other buy local regions similarly, paying close atten- tion, as in Philadelphia, to designations and boundaries that farmers and con- sumers in the area find meaningful In fact, consumer research has been a key to this campaign right from the begin- ning. Our eventual aim is to make sure that consumers anywhere in the Com- monwealth have a reliable method of

anywhere in the Com- monwealth have a reliable method of The three heroes of Buy Fresh/Buy

The three heroes of Buy Fresh/Buy Local Southeast share a moment of levity at the June 15th campaign launch. From left to right, Bob Pierson (Farm to City), Bridget Croke (Philadelphia Fair Food Project) and Ruth Sullivan (PASA).

identifying farm-fresh products grown in their region by farmers who know the value of their local customers. In many cases this will mean partner- ing with private food retailers and distrib- utors to properly designate the local products they carry. Current examples include partnerships with the Natural Dairy Products Corporation (Natural by Nature), Kimberton Whole Foods, and the Swarthmore Co-op in the southeast, and the McGinnis sisters Special Food

3

Stores in the southwest.

…That’s Happening Statewide and Nationwide The Buy Fresh/Buy Local campaign in Pennsylvania is part of an even larger, nationwide Buy Local Initiative organized by the FoodRoutes Network, our neigh- bor in Millheim, which provides technical support to community-based groups working to strengthen regional markets for locally grown foods. FoodRoutes pro- vides communications tools, networking Continued on page 30

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Director’s Corner

By Brian Snyder, Executive Director

Wakeup Call on Raw Milk Products

Dozens of phone calls from concerned raw milk producers this spring indicated to me that something was afoot. They were getting the message, by word or deed, from some state inspectors and other sources that enforcement of dairy sanitation standards would increase soon, followed by the possible elimination of legal raw milk sales in Pennsylvania later this year. The issue caught me by surprise, as nearly every producer of raw milk and cheese I know seems to be expanding facilities for processing and marketing in order to handle increasing demand. Sales of raw milk and milk products are quick- ly generating a genuine family-farm suc- cess story in this state. Still, the callers were insistent that storm clouds were brewing, so a meeting was scheduled to share information and plan a strategy. Then things got really crazy. Within 24 hours of the meeting, which included a couple dozen farmers and sev- eral others involved with food marketing and agricultural issues in general, one of the participating farmers had his raw milk cheese permit unexpectedly revoked. The facts behind the decision to revoke the permit on that particular day remain murky at best. But the most important fact of the moment was that these farmers were told to expect trouble, and trouble showed up right on schedule. My subsequent call to Harrisburg revealed that, for the first time in two decades, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture had plans to “open up” the Dairy Sanitation Code for possible revi-

sion, beginning sometime this fall. Fur- thermore, I was told by a department offi- cial that, sometime next year, the legislature is likely to approve new stan- dards that will eliminate legal sales of raw milk and raw milk products, partly in response to pressure from the FDA. The call also yielded the information that the revoked cheese permit was immi- nently being returned to the farmer in question, as due process had been neglect- ed, and in any case the farmer had done nothing wrong with respect to selling his cheese. All of this drama was followed by an opportunity in early July for me and other members of PASA’s staff to sit down and discuss the raw milk issue with our new state Secretary of Agriculture, Dennis Wolff. The meeting had originally been arranged for other purposes, but the Sec- retary seemed quite comfortable raising the issue of raw milk, even before we would have. Secretary Wolff, a dairy farmer himself, recounted his own family’s experience as a holder of a raw milk permit some years ago, and gave us his personal assurance that the department had no intention of eliminating the permitting process now. I explained to him that we are interest- ed in working with PDA to find accept- able ways for farmers to market other byproducts of raw milk, including yogurt, butter, and cottage cheese, all banned by current law, as many farmers are experi- encing strong demand for such products. He indicated his willingness to explore creative strategies with us. Needless to say, we were grateful for

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our time with Secretary Wolff, and appre- ciated his candor. But that does not mean the issue has gone away as suddenly as it arose. You see, many consumers put consid- erable pressure on certified raw milk and cheese producers to stretch the rules a lit- tle and sell butter, yogurt, and other non- sanctioned products. Such farmers are feeling a squeeze, as much from their cus- tomers as from governmental regulation. So it would seem the timing for review of the state code, if it is to happen, is ideal for helping these farmers expand their markets in a rational way. That would be the case, were it not for powerful forces working in the opposite direction. It would seem that three emo- tionally charged arguments may be com- ing together to the detriment of small dairy farmers who have found success with raw milk, as follows:

1) Safety and security—People have long-held, outdated concerns about raw milk safety. Now add to that the security frenzy of the last two years. Proponents of industrialized agriculture have not hesitat- ed to take full advantage of both. 2) Budgetary concerns—Wouldn’t it be cheaper for the state not to inspect all those small farms and issue so many indi- vidual permits? 3) Dairy industry pressure—Dairy farmers across the country continue to be in a massive crisis over prices, and indus- try reps find it easier to worry about the little guy taking away bits and pieces of the market than to focus on the real cul- prit—gigantic confinement operations out west. Now is the time for every sustainable farmer and consumer to WAKE UP and realize that these same arguments can be applied to any direct marketing or value- added farming strategy. For instance, if they prevail in shutting down raw milk sales, then why not other small pasteur- ized bottling plants later, or any small dairy operation for that matter? Purveyors and consumers of pastured poultry that is processed on small farms had better take note as well. Correspond- Continued on page 7

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yogurt, we would have a victory for eaters and the economic viability of family dairy farms. So far this story has a happy ending. But it points out where industry wants to take us as consumers. Believe this: there is no claim so far fetched that industry will not make it if it perceives that it will either boost sales or limit competition. So we can expect, given the current confusion in this country over the differ- ence between safety and security, to see many more claims by industry that unprocessed foods are unsafe. Industry will continue to claim that they should be the guardians of public safety and that leg- islatures should create laws prohibiting the sale of fresh and raw foods on the grounds of protecting the safety of the American public. They will continue to lobby for the irradiation of food and call it cold pasteurization. They will try to force all food production through this funnel, eliminating, along with nutrition, the right of us as farmers to sell directly to our customers. Even though their methods have caused the death of several consumers from tainted meat over the last couple of years, the industrial spin masters will con- tinue to insist that it is the small, the mod- est, and the conscientious family farmer that is the safety problem. We cannot, we must not, be suckered by these false claims. Farmers and eaters must unite to demand the freedom to choose the nutritious, the local, and the fresh over the falsely safe and nutritionally impaired products being foisted upon us by industry.

PASA-TIVELY SPEAKING: Board President’s Corner

By Kim Miller

Freedom of Choice

Madison Avenue would have us believe that we are lucky to live in this time, a time in which we are fortunate to have such a plethora of choices. And yet, the more I travel around, the more things look the same. I still recall the first time I visited a large toy store franchise shortly after it opened near our home; I naively thought they might have toys available that I had not seen before. In fact, there was nothing new or unusual, unless you are impressed with a huge inventory. I find large supermarkets to be the same. Tractor-trailer loads of tomatoes, now in different shapes, all unpalatable. Apples that are green in color, but taste as bad as the red ones they are meant to improve upon. And don’t even get me started on the nectarines. Then there is the drudgery of nation- wide franchise restaurants. They are the same wherever you go—awful. Get in, get out, feel sick. Such a deal. “Would you like the super size formerly known as the family of six size?” This is choice? They are still French Fries, as dull one place as the next, and just as devoid of nutrition. The bad news for industry, and our consumption based economy, is that we are starting to figure out that size alone does not a choice make. Some of us like our apple cider unpasteurized (anything else is just juice) and our milk raw. Gener- ations of red-blooded Americans have been raised on these products, but now comes industry with the helpful informa- tion that these products are unsafe. Noth- ing self-serving here, mind you, just trying to point out, in a helpful sort of way, that these uncooked products could, no will, jeopardize our health. Further, those of us who choose to consume these products before the nutrition is cooked out of them should be prohibited from so doing, pre-

sumably to lower the national health care burden. We might then be free to choose

a product that has been processed by

industry and presumably made safe, if less nutritious and less palatable. Well, I’m not buying it, and neither are a number of family dairy farmers around Pennsylvania and their customers. Over the last couple of months, some of these good farmers have prepared themselves to do battle over their right to sell raw milk to their happy customers. The federal Food and Drug Administration, not sur- prisingly taking the side of industrial ag interests, wishes to end the right of license-holding farmers to sell raw milk in Pennsylvania, one of the few remaining states to resist their edicts. Fortunately we now have a Secretary of Agriculture in this state who is a family farmer and a dairyman too boot. In a

recent meeting with PASA staff, Secretary Dennis Wolff set the record straight, indi- cating that the licensed farm sale of raw milk to the public would continue. The family farmers of Pennsylvania and their customers thank you, Mr. Secretary. Now,

if we could increase consumer choices by

providing for the farmstead production of

raw milk cottage cheese, butter, and

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5

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specs, arranging delivery schedules, and writing grant applications to pay for trucks, salad washers, and other equip- ment.

Where it Goes The school end of “Farm-to-School” presents its own set of challenges, and House’s experience at SRU has prepared her well to meet them too. “The key at the universities is consen- sus building,” says House. “You need an innovative dining services program and a network of staff, faculty, and students committed to the project.” Through trial-and-error, House learn- ed that dining hall table tents and flyers are not the way to build consensus. Instead, if you want to get people excited about local foods, feed them local foods.

Wanted: Farmers and Schools to Build Local Food Systems

By Dan Brannen Jr. “We’re gonna change the world,” laughs Heather House, PASA’s new Farm- to-School Program Coordinator. “At least Meadville, Pa.!” House came to PASA in May after earning a graduate degree from the Sus- tainable Systems Program at Slippery Rock University (SRU), where she created and managed a farm-to-school project from scratch. (See “Food for Thought,” Passages # 41, fall 2002, p. 1.). Now she is running PASA’s new Farm-to-School pro- gram to help farmers and school cafeterias form supplier relationships that thrive. Thanks to a two-year grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environ- mental Protection (DEP), Farm-to-School is already working on projects at Alleghe- ny College in Meadville, plus Pennsylva- nia College of Technology, Wilson College, and SRU. “If we connect farmers with large insti- tutions like schools and universities,” says House, “the farmers get predictable, sub- stantial markets and fair prices, and the schools get fresh food, improved town and gown relations, and educational opportu- nities for a variety of departments.”

What it Takes The SRU program provides good examples of the qualities farmers need to make a farm-to-school project succeed. Pittsburgh area farmers interested in sup- plying SRU had formed a cooperative called Pennsylvania Local Organics Works (PLOW). By spreading the growing risks over many farms, cooperatives help farm- ers attain a consistent, reliable supply, which House says is essential.

So is persistence. After PLOW’s first season with SRU in 2002, the university changed food services companies. PLOW is supplying SRU for a second season thanks in large part to farmer Jack Duff ’s efforts to cultivate a relationship with the new company, AVI. Those efforts includ- ed an organized presentation containing

It’s not that they’re anxious to eat kale or spinach, local or otherwise, but even my daughters wonder why their diet at school is different from ours at home. The answers—convenience and cost—are not good enough from the point of view of the kids.

—Brian Snyder, Executive Director

minimum order requirements, prices, and plans to fax AVI weekly lists of available products. In addition to providing consistent quality, farmers who want to supply uni- versities probably should consider season extension. “You really need product through Thanksgiving,” advises House. “And you need alternative markets during the sum- mer, when university demand could be lower because most of the students are gone.” For farmers prepared to meet these challenges, House can provide assistance and guidance on forming cooperatives (for which seed money is available through organizations such as Keystone Development Center), meeting insurance

“We held several Good Food and Organic Lunches at Slippery Rock and distributed a Good Foods Cookbook,” says House. The simple yet attractive cookbook gave attendees information on the benefits of local food systems, plus recipes ranging from pasture-raised “Roasted Rosemary Chicken” to the vegan “Soba Noodle Salad with Vegetables and Tofu.” According to House, visible sup- port from the turnout at such events gave the SRU project momentum. Interactive events could also feature local foods cooking demonstrations, Iron Chef competitions, and picnic tours of local farmers’ markets. House plans to work with neighboring FoodRoutes Net- work in Millheim to develop innovative Continued on next page

6

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Continued from previous page farm-to-school campaigns. House can also help develop graduate assistantship pro- grams (as she did at SRU) and organize faculty and student petition drives to get farm-to-school projects off the ground. She emphasizes that the projects are great opportunities for education and for build- ing interdisciplinary partnerships on cam- pus. “Almost all universities have programs and departments that can benefit from a farm-to-school project,” says House, “whether it be agro-economics, environ- mental economics, or sustainable agricul- ture.” Indeed, the grant that PASA received came from DEP’s Office of Pollution Pre- vention and Compliance Assistance, which highlights the opportunity to explore how local food systems reduce the petroleum, CFC, and other pollution that comes with our society’s current system of long-distance food transportation.

The Three R’s Education, in fact, is one of the main reasons that Executive Director Brian Sny-

der wanted to launch PASA’s Farm-to- School program. “At the Future Issues Forum at my first PASA conference, some impassioned peo- ple asked, ‘why can’t we get our good food into schools for kids to eat?’” remembers Snyder. “Even my daughters wonder why their diet at school is different from ours at home. The answers—convenience and cost—are not good enough from the point of view of the kids.” To that end, PASA is in the prelimi- nary stages of working with a secondary school system in Centre County to explore a farm-to-school project for school lunches. According to House, the USDA Farm Bill has a Farm-to-Cafeteria pro- gram that encourages K–12 schools to purchase from local farmers. Schools that are part of the Department of Defense’s “National School Lunch Program” pro- gram may even be eligible for money for a farm-to-school project. “My main concern,” says Snyder, “is that mealtime in schools not be treated as something separate from the curriculum. Lunch is a tremendous opportunity to inspire our kids to engage in an important

opportunity to inspire our kids to engage in an important Farm-to-School Program Coordinator, Heather House area

Farm-to-School Program Coordinator, Heather House

area of investigation.” As for House, her main concern is hearing from Pennsylvanians who need help with a farm-to-school project. House may be reached at 814-349-9856 or heather@pasafarming.org.

Wakeup Call on Raw Milk Products

Continued from page 4 ing to the raw milk situation, there are legitimate health concerns with any poul- try products, and we are in the vicinity of a powerful and struggling poultry indus- try. One easily forgets that on-farm poul- try processing is already disallowed in many other parts of the country. Almost no marketing strategy, regard- less of product or profitably, that now flourishes on sustainable farms is safe from the power of the notorious, agri-industrial triumvirate of maximized security, eco- nomic efficiency, and commodity compli- ance. So it behooves us all to pay attention before it is too late. Don’t think twice; farmers could loose their local markets almost overnight in response to a crisis. After all, concerns like these certainly do not come out of thin air, nor are they

merely fabricated by activists looking to boost their own reputations. Take a look at the following comments made in the press recently, “in their own words” as they say:

Much of the sustainable production on smaller farms cannot produce the desired end-product. Free range access can increase the animals’ risks of being exposed to diseases, safety hazards are eminent since biosecurity is often over- looked, and there is a greatly increased threat of environmental endangerment due to relaxed management practices.

— attributed to Bob Gueldner, presi- dent of PennAg Industries Association

Pasteurization, the final safeguard in the production and processing of milk, is the single most important food processing

7

procedure that has ever been developed for public health and safety…. We are fortunate that we have access to the safest food supply the world has seen. — Gary Heckman, president of the Pennsylvania Dairy Stakeholders

Such statements show that hyperbole and deliberate misinformation, now staple commodities in the public discourse of our society, are certainly being employed by the agribusiness industry to gradually paint both traditional and innovative sus- tainable farmers out of the American landscape. We will need everyone’s help to resist this insidious effort to control the food and farming systems of our future. We will need your presence as well. Please stay tuned regarding potential information ses- sions, action alerts, and probably even a gathering in Harrisburg this fall to sup- port raw milk production in Pennsylvania. We’ll be in touch.

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Regional Marketing —Southeast

Three Southeast Potlucks a Success!

By Ruth Sullivan Early this spring, PASA held three potlucks in Berks, Chester, and Lehigh Counties. The potlucks were a chance for me to meet PASA members in the region and for members to socialize with others in their counties. The first potluck filled David and Joy Stutzman’s house in Kutztown to bursting on March 13. We had about thirty peo- ple—all PASA members—who brought delicious dishes featuring ingredients from their farms. Offerings included a savory mushroom and onion bread pudding from Angela Evans of Oley Valley Mush- room Farm(see recipe in sidebar), Hawai- ian chicken from Linda Bird, and a chicken pot pie from Holley and Brian Moyer of Green Haven Farm. Neighbors met neighbors for the first time and

exclaimed that this needed to be an annu- al event. A picture-perfect day—sunny and sev- enty-five degrees—brought a crowd of seventy-five Chester County PASA mem- bers, CSA customers, and friends to Hugh Lofting and Claire Murray’s place in West Grove on March 22. This potluck had delicious food too, including a seemingly giant turkey from the Loftings, a much coveted nut pate from Janna Weil, and the legendary yogurt drink from Seven Stars dairy farm. Thanks to Claire’s efforts, we even had press coverage by several local papers. On March 26, George and Melanie DeVault opened their Emmaus home to a group of over sixty Lehigh County folks, including PASA members, friends, and interested newcomers. It was a good thing

the DeVaults were well equipped to han- dle guests because the chilly rain meant folks stayed inside. While the food was delicious—including fresh greens, a gor- geous frittata, and heaps of desserts— what made the evening memorable were the interesting connections made by folks from a variety of organizations, such as the Emmaus Farmers Market, Wildlands Conservancy, Sierra Club, Muhlenberg College, and Organic Gardening Maga- zine. Besides serving up good food and com- pany, the potlucks proved beneficial to PASA and its programs. We received good press coverage in the West Chester and Continued on next page

Upcoming Potlucks This fall and winter, PASA will be look- ing to host potlucks in the remaining regional counties of Philadelphia, Mont- gomer y, Bucks, Lebanon, Lancaster, and Northampton. If you would like to host such an event, please call Ruth at (717) 917-3731 or email to ruth@pasafarm- ing.org.

Ruth at (717) 917-3731 or email to ruth@pasafarm- ing.org. 8 PASA members enjoy good food, sunshine,

8

Ruth at (717) 917-3731 or email to ruth@pasafarm- ing.org. 8 PASA members enjoy good food, sunshine,
Ruth at (717) 917-3731 or email to ruth@pasafarm- ing.org. 8 PASA members enjoy good food, sunshine,

PASA members enjoy good food, sunshine, and fellowship at Chester county Potluck Party at Inverbrook Farm.

ing.org. 8 PASA members enjoy good food, sunshine, and fellowship at Chester county Potluck Party at
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Regional Marketing —Southeast

SOUTHEAST “IN THE WORKS”

Replies or inquiries about any of these items should be directed to: Ruth Sullivan, Director of Southeast Pro- grams, (717) 917-3731, ruth@pasa- farming.org.

Farmer-to-Chef Network in Chester County: With the help of the Chester County Economic Develop- ment Authority (PASA Member Gary Smith) and Chester County Coopera- tive Extension, PASA is spearheading the development of a Farmer-to-Chef Network in Chester County. We are planning a training session for farmers who are considering selling to chefs at the next Keep Farming First conference, and an event to bring together farmers and chefs in February or March of 2004. In the meantime, if you are a farmer interested in selling to restau- rants, or a chef looking to buy from local farmers, give me a call.

Pastured Products Directory: I am still collecting names for the pas- tured products directory for southeast PA. If you haven’t already given me your

name (through the sign-up sheet at the 2003 conference or by giving me a call or email), I encourage you to do so. I am looking for folks within my region (counties of Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton, and Philadelphia) who are selling meat, poultry, or dairy products raised on grass. (Depending on demand, I might

fudge the regional outlines a bit.) Call, email, or drop me a note with a copy of your brochure or product list at: Ruth Sullivan, Pastured Products Directory, PASA-SE, P.O. Box 419, Millheim, PA,

16854.

Photos for Southeast CSA Net- work: This summer I will be pulling together press kits for CSAs involved in the Southeast CSA Network. I am look- ing for good pictures of your CSA to go on a CD. The Southeast CSA Network maintains a list-serve and has two or three informal meetings a year to share information, cooperate on buying sup- plies, etc. The meetings are on hold

until the late fall, but the list-serve is active all year round. If you have photos to share, or want more information about getting involved in this informal network, let me know.

New Restaurant Wants to Buy

Local: Chef Jim Coleman’s new restau- rant will be opening as part of the Nor- mandy Farm conference center in Bluebell (Montgomery County) in late July. Coleman is looking for local farm- ers interested in supplying product. If you want to participate, please contact me as soon as possible.

Phoenixville Farmers’ Market

and CSA Looking for Meat Producers:

The Phoenixville Farmers’ Market, a Saturday morning market in northern Chester County, is looking for fresh and smoked meats and poultry. In conjunc- tion, the Charlestown Cooperative Farm, a nearby CSA, is looking to offer beef, pork, and poultry to their 85 member families. The intention is for a producer to take advantage of both opportunities simultaneously, ensuring good sales volume. If you are interested, contact me immediately.

Continued from previous page Kennett Square newspapers in Chester County. Many new folks who attended the potlucks vowed to become PASA members. Current members learned about my role as Regional Director and got to network with each other on local projects such as the Emmaus Farmers Market, Farm-to-School projects, and the Seem Seed Farm project in Lehigh Coun- ty. Finally, PASA farmers requested that the association prepare lists or maps of PASA farms organized by county so that farmers can refer customers to other PASA farms. Thanks to all three host families for their hospitality, and to all of the attendees for the great food and fellowship. Once again, I feel privileged to be part of such a warm, generous, dedicated, and inspiring group of folks.

RECIPE

 
 

MUSHROOM BREAD PUDDING

 

This recipe, courtesy of Angela Evans, was one of the yummy dishes at the Berks County potluck on March 13.

2

cups milk

2

cups stale bread (I like to use nice crusty white bread)

2

eggs

cups mixed mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, etc.) salt & pepper to taste herbs optional (parsley, chives, etc.) canola oil

2

Mix milk, eggs, and broken pieces of bread together and let stand at least 1/2 hr.

Chop onion and mushrooms and saute in canola oil. Mix all ingredients together.

Pour into baking dish, and bake at 375°F. for about 1 hr. or until knife comes out of center clean.

9

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Regional Marketing —Southwest

Teachers of the Grass-Fed Gospel Come to Armstrong County

By Virginia Phillips More than thirty grass ranchers and would-be grass ranchers converged on host David Collier’s Hill Farm in Arm- strong County May 3 to learn about tech- niques, both startlingly new and reassuringly old, for assessing the mar- ketability of grass-fed beef. Collier, who has honed intensive rota- tional grazing for sixteen years, was eager to volunteer his exclusively grass-fed cows for the two-part demonstration. Tests were performed by Ridgeway Shinn and Gerald Frye, the principal spokespersons for the New England Live- stock Association, a nonprofit marketing effort for producers of top-grade grass-fed beef. The NELA visit was coordinated by Laurel Hoffman of the Armstrong Coun- ty Conservation District. For the first test, each animal stood as Shinn waved an ultra-sound wand along the length of its long back muscle. A miniscreen image reflected the amount of intramuscular fat, to a degree precise enough to determine which animals qual- ified on the tenderness scale to become choice or even prime quality steaks, and thus candidates for an upscale mail order market. No high tech was required for the sec- ond test, only the ability to perform sim- ple linear measurements and to observe sharply. Based on decades-old theories refined by Frye, farmers learned to com- pare ratios of body length and girth, to note patterns of hair growth, and other diverse details of conformation. The seem- ingly unrelated elements add up to a use- ful picture. They predict with a high degree of accuracy, says Frye, three things:

how likely an animal is to thrive on pas- ture, to produce tender meat required for an excellent “eating experience,” and to perform well in its reproductive life. For raising profitable pastured beef, all

three are essential, according to Shinn and Frye. Shinn, former NELA executive direc- tor, works closely with Frye, who heads his own bovine genetics firm. The two have elected to pursue an independent partner- ship, working and teaching on their own. Their educational tours through north- eastern states have included several stops in Pennsylvania, where they have present- ed the “grass-fed gospel” and tested grass farmers’ cattle. Their message concerns improved health for people, animals, and environ- ment, and improved economics as well. They say:

People who eat pastured beef receive multiple health benefits, derived from the beef’s fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) are believed to boost cardiovascular, immune- system, and developmental health.

Pastured animals are healthy and

unstressed. They never see a feedlot, graz- ing calmly instead on the diet nature intended them to eat.

Grass ranch operations nourish the

land. Ecological benefits are undisputed. Meantime, Ridge observes, the market for truly high quality grass-fed beef is far from satisfied. Suppliers, such as Pasture- Perfect, the for-profit arm of NELA, find themselves posting “sold-out” website messages a few months after announcing supply. Still, there is a learning curve, covering aspects like genetics, quality of grass, humane care, skillful processing, and aging of the beef, all of which affect whether grass-fed beef will have what Shinn calls the “dead-tender” prime meat quality essential for consumer acceptance. Shinn and Frye intend to make anoth-

Continued on page 31

SOUTHWEST “IN THE WORKS”

PASA’s Southwest Regional Market- ing program includes the following counties: Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Wash- ington, and Westmoreland. Check this listing quarterly for projects ‘in-the- works’! Farmer to Chef Networks: There are now thirty businesses interested in purchasing locally produced food prod- ucts. If you are interested in either buy- ing or selling local products, please call or email me. Buy Local Campaign: PASA Southwest is in the initial stages of developing its own “Buy Fresh, Buy Local” campaign. The Buy Local label will be tested this summer, so look for it at your local farmers’ market.

Farmers’ Market: From mid-July to October, PASA will be working with Focus on Renewal and the Greater Pittsburgh Food Bank to manage the new McKees Rocks Farmers’ Market.

Grass-Based Networks: After Gerald Frye’s successful first trip to western Pennsylvania, Armstrong County Conservation District is inter- ested in hosting him again this fall. I will keep us posted on this upcoming field day, which will address grass-fed beef genetics.

Let’s Work Together We’re eager to hear from you. Please contact:

David Eson, Director of Southwest Programs 412-997-2343 • david@pasafarming.org

10

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What’s up with your organization?

A September Harvest Dinner

By Chris Fullerton Perhaps Wendell Berry’s most quot- ed line is “eating is an agricultural act.” It comes from a short essay by the farmer- poet entitled “The Pleasures of Eating,” in which he notes, “Eating with the fullest pleasure—pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance—is per- haps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world.” His argument is that one cannot truly enjoy food that is anonymous, that is produced through industrial practices that are beyond our knowledge and consent. A good meal, a pleasurable meal, is not only tasty and healthy, but one in which the ingredients are pro- duced locally and in a responsible man- ner, by ourselves or by people we know. Many PASA members have experi- enced this kind of pleasurable eating at our winter conferences, where the pleasure is heightened by eating in com- munity with so many of our friends and colleagues. Last summer, PASA members and Slow Food members sat down to a great meal featuring local ingredients and prepared by local talent at the Gam- ble Mill restaurant in Bellefonte (Centre County). Now, another opportunity is approaching to experience the pleas- ures of the table with other PASA com- munity members. On the evening of September 20th, in the beautiful Mountain Laurel Room on the grounds of the Penn College of Technology in Williamsport, there will be a wonderful ‘Harvest Dinner Cele- bration’ of local farms and local flavors. This “strolling feast” will feature that evening’s food producers and their sus- tainably raised foods, while benefiting PASA.

Chef Mike Ditchfield (right) is planning the menu featuring local foods for the Harvest Dinner
Chef Mike Ditchfield (right) is planning the menu
featuring local foods for the Harvest Dinner
Celebration, which will be prepared by student
chefs from the School of Hospitality.

This is a continuation of a great part- nership between Penn College of Tech- nology and PASA. Not only does the college buy from local farmers, but its chefs and students have helped create the special meals at our last several PASA conferences. Chefs at Penn College of Technology are working right now with PASA staff to develop a menu for the Harvest Din- ner that will feature as many items as possible grown or made by PASA mem- bers. The dinner will also include local beer and wines. If Williamsport (Lycoming County) is a little too far to travel for you, take heart; PASA hopes that we’re just in the

11

beginning stages of a tradition that will continue for years to come and take place in communities all over the Com- monwealth. Invitations to PASA’s 2003 Harvest Din- ner will be mailed to all PASA members in August.

PASA Harvest Dinner Celebration Date: Saturday, September 20 Time: 5:00 pm Where: Mountain Laurel Room, Penn College of Technology, Williamsport For more details: Contact Lauren Smith at the PASA office,

814-349-9856

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PASA Welcomes New and Returning Board Members

By Dan Brannen Jr. In PASA’s great traditions of sustain- ability and diversity, members at the Annual Meeting last February elected three new Directors and re-elected two incumbents, giving the Board connections to academia and government while main- taining its strong farmer makeup. We recently spoke with the new members about their visions for PASA

Dr. Mary Barbercheck

Barbercheck is a professor in the Department of Entomology at Penn State University and works with Cooperative Extension in forage and pasture manage- ment. In her research, Barbercheck studies the soil level connections between diversi- ty, stability, and productivity. She’s also taught courses on women’s studies and ethics in agriculture. Asked to name PASA’s top three chal- lenges today, Barbercheck replies, “Finances, finances, finances. I think we need to work on creating a more stable financial base so that PASA can continue to offer and improve on all the great work that it does to help farmers and promote sustainable agriculture.” Barbercheck invites PASA farmers to share their research and Extension needs with her so she may convey them to the university.

Dave Bingaman

Bingaman brings to PASA’s Board the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, where he has worked for thirty years, cur- rently as Chief of the Division of Conser- vation and Ag Technology. His post gives him responsibility for PDA activities in Nutrient Management, Integrated Pest

Management, Sustainable Agriculture, and Biomass Energy. Bingaman also has real farm experience. “Growing up on a small diversified farm in Dauphin County was good to pre- pare me and help me identify with PASA,” says Bingaman. “Our operation direct- marketed poultry, beef, fruits, and vegeta- bles from this location for five generations. Our markets included ped- dling door-to-door and selling at the old Chestnut Street market. I fondly remem- ber bus trips with my mother when I was five or six so she could help at the sales counter. Later, to foster responsibility, I received chores on the farm that included raising animals and vegetables.” As a PASA Board member, Bingaman wants to increase direct-marketing through better animal processing regula- tions, improve relations between large and small producers so both can focus on eco- nomic viability, and create more local markets to reach the 54 million people who live within 200 miles of Pennsylva- nia. When asked what members can do to help him in his role with PASA, Binga- man says, “Provide input on all of the above issues, especially any that you dis- agree with. We all benefit from the per- spective of others and need to be open to new and opposing ideas.”

Brian Moyer

Brian Moyer operates Green Haven Farm in Berks County with his wife Hol- ley, raising pastured poultry, sheep, and dairy goats. The Moyers market through two CSA’s plus farmers’ markets, restau- rants, and on-farm sales. Building on their

12

belief that good communities start with good food, they founded the Skippack Farmers’ Market and helped open the Indian Valley Farmers’ Market in Telford. Moyer agrees with Barbercheck that fundraising is one of PASA’s top chal- lenges today. He also cautions, “As PASA’s membership continues to grow, and we become involved in many different things, we need to always keep in mind what PASA is all about: healthy farms, healthy food, healthy communities.” As for support, Moyer urges members to contact him. “Let me know who you are. What do you like about PASA? What don’t you like. How can we help you with your farm or community? I am your vol- unteer representative. Use me.”

John Jamison

Jamison joined the Board last summer when he was appointed to fill a mid-term vacancy. For 25 years, John and wife Sukey have been raising and marketing what the Chicago Tribune has called “the best lamb in America.” Their marketing efforts include mail and Internet orders for retail cuts as well as lamb stew and pasta sauces. Jamison thinks that development of an infrastructure for marketing Pennsylvania sustainable ag products throughout the northeast is one of PASA’s challenges. He urges PASA farmers to realize that market- ing, in whatever form it takes, is as impor- tant to sustainable ag as production.

Kim Seeley and Kim Tait

PASA members re-elected Kim Seeley and Kim Tait to the Board in February, leading Board President Kim Miller to applaud “the return of the three Kims.” Seeley and his family run Milky Way Farms, which grazes 170 cows and has one of the oldest on-farm bottling operations in the state. Tait is President of Tait Farm Foods, which manufactures over 40 spe- cialty food products and has a 150-mem- ber CSA in Centre County. On July 9, Tait and her company were featured in a CBS Evening News segment on women in agriculture. (See “The Compost Heap,” this issue, p. 22)

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Board Opening Reminder

As always, five seats on PASA’s board of directors are up for election at the Farm- ing for the Future conference in February 2004. If you or a member you know

would like to do PASA the valuable favor of board service, please send a nomination suggestion with brief biographical infor- mation to Nominating Committee Chair Kim Seeley (570-673-5690) or to the PASA headquarters by November 7,

2003.

Sustainable Ag Leadership Award Reminder

Know someone who stands out in the promotion of sustainable agriculture? Someone whose day-to-day work gives exceptional lifeblood and energy to our movement, or someone who quietly leads by example using new and innovative methods to produce and market their commodities. PASA Award Committee Chair David Bingaman is accepting nominations for the Sustainable Ag Leadership Award until December 15, 2003. Please contact David at the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 2301 North Cameron Street, #G-13, Harrisburg, PA 17110, phone 717-772-5208, email dbinga- man@state.pa.us. As always, PASA will present the award at the Farming for the Future conference in State College, February 2004.

SPECIAL THANKS TO THESE RECENT PASA VOLUNTEERS

Doug Ayres

Mark Besterman

Jackie Bonomo

Carl Callenbach

Sam Cantrell

Sabine Carey

Tom Carey

Gene Chenoweth

Kelly Coleman

Eileen Clark

Chef Mike

Ditchfield

Bill Deitrick

Jack Duff

Isabella Eson

Wendy Eson

William Eson

Elody Gyekis

Joe Gyekis

Bernie Hoffnar

Kelle Kersten

Art King

Kathy King

Larry King

Laura King

Tim Lillis

Jeff Mattocks

Tom Maurer

Tara Merenda

Gayle Morrow

Anne Nordell

Eric Nordell

Patti Olenick

Virginia Phillips

Craig Richards

Louise Schorn

Smith

Ian Smith

Ron Stanely

Amy Trauger

Mary G.Whittam

Alma Wynne

Shown “playing around” are some of the volunteers that met recently from the 2004 Conference Planning Committee.

met recently from the 2004 Conference Planning Committee. 13 Fall Volunteer Opportunities ■ Volunteer at a

13

Fall Volunteer

Opportunities

Volunteer at a PASA Field Day. Contact Kate Gatski at 570-387-

6327.

Volunteer to represent PASA at a community event in your region. Contact Lauren Smith at PASA Headquarters.

Help with office work. Contact Brandi Marks at PASA head- quarters.

Get involved with the Regional Marketing Programs. Contact David Eson in the southwest regional office, or Ruth Sullivan in the southeast regional office.

Help sell tickets to the Harvest Celebration Dinner. Contact Chris Fullerton at chris@tog. coop, 814-448-2173

Assist with soliciting items for the Silent Auction in February. Contact Lauren Smith at PASA Headquarters.

Clip articles in your local news- paper that feature PASA or sus- tainable ag. Send them to Brandi Marks at PASA headquarters.

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Waterkeeper Alliance Brings Third Hog Summit to Gettysburg

By Gene Chenoweth Warriors on the frontlines of CAFO battles, and hog farmers providing sus- tainable solutions, convened for the third annual “Hog Summit” at the Eisenhower Conference Center in Gettysburg on June 7. The event was sponsored by Water- keeper Alliance in partnership with organ- izations whose names suggest diverse concerns about modern day pork produc- tion: PASA, PennFuture, White Dog Café Foundation, GRACE Factory Farm Pro- ject, Animal Welfare Institute, and Delaware Riverkeeper Network. PASA even added a second day to the event with its June 6 Field Day on rota- tional pastured hog raising, held on the Alvin Stolzfus family farm in Lancaster County. History of Hog Summits North Carolina’s farmers were never major marketers of hogs. Yet, to that state went the distinction of hosting the first Hog Summit. Why? Conditions for devel- oping concentrated animal feeding opera- tions—CAFOs or CAOs—were ideal in North Carolina during the1980s. By 2000, hog production in NC had increased five-fold, while the numbers of independent hog farmers dropped more than 75%. Feed merchant and venture capitalist Wendell H. Murphy did all he could to make NC a welcoming venue. While serv- ing in the NC General Assembly and Sen- ate (1983-1992), Murphy pioneered CAFOs and sponsored laws worth mil- lions of dollars to his company, treating hog and poultry CAFOs like diversified family farms by exempting them from tax, zoning, and environmental statutes that normally apply to such capital intensive operations. The policies and practices not only devastated NC’s environment, prop- erty values, quality of health and life, but also sparked a great divisiveness that con-

and life, but also sparked a great divisiveness that con- Helen Browning, of Eastbrook Farm in

Helen Browning, of Eastbrook Farm in Great Britain, talks to participants at the pastured-pork field day. Helen also spoke at the Hog Summit the next day…her inform- ative descriptions of the organic hog operation she owns and operates were a highlight of the Summit.

tinues to mount across the US. The achievements of Wendell Murphy and associates spurred Waterkeeper Alliance and its Board president, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., to initiate the “Annual Sus- tainable Hog Farming Summit” in 2001. Joining in was the “NC Hog Round- table,” a number of national organizations concerned about the issues, including ani- mal friendly, healthy, and sustainable agri- culture practices. Kennedy and Waterkeeper were depicted in NC as New York trial-lawyers and other bottom

feeders requiring high profile litigation to support flagrant lifestyles. The second Summit convened in Clear Lake, Iowa on April 5, 2002. Summit 2 emphasized innovations in producing and marketing sustainable pastured pork. It had an international flavor thanks to a report on hog farming in Sweden, which has a national prohibition on the routine use of antibiotics. It also sparked contro- versy with the thought, attributed to Kennedy, that CAFOs pose greater threats Continued on next page

14

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What’s up with your organization?

Overheard at the Third Annual Hog Summit:

“The problem is not hogs, chickens, cows, or dairy. The problem is the social, environmental, and economic problems resulting from concentration of anything. Nature abhors concentration, and will react to it.” Jim Brown, Hog Summit panelist and concentrated hog farmer turned factory farm opponent.

Continued from previous page to the nation than Osama bin Laden.

Bringing the Battle to Gettysburg Hog Summit 3 at Gettysburg this June 7 carried over the energy and controversy from earlier summits. The format was similar to the annual PASA conferences, with two morning plenaries, one on “shortcomings of industrial agriculture,” the other on “creating meaningful solu- tions.” A new voice at the Summit was Helen Browning, who spoke on operations at Eastbook Farm in southern England. In a similar vein, the Stolzfus family’s Spring Water Farm bespoke the success and enthusiasm of the increasing numbers of modest-sized, low-tech, imaginatively managed sustainable units. These immac- ulate facilities permit enjoyment of sweet, clean country air in the midst of energetic and responsive animals on lush, managed pastures. Lunch was delicious, sandwiched between networking, browsing packed stalls, and attending two afternoon break- out sessions, each featuring six panels of speakers. The first session I chose was the “Roundtable Forum on Citizen Activism and Options: Responding to Factory Farms.” Moderated by Bill Weida of the GRACE Factory Farm Project and Rick Dove from Waterkeeper, the session fea- tured participation by people from across this nation who have struggled—are struggling—with CAFOs. It was both chilling and moving to hear details of

activism stretching from Utah, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, and else- where to here in Pennsylvania. Local par- ticipants included the Concerned Citizens of Nippenose Valley, a year-old group try- ing to protect Limestone Township, Lycoming County, from factory farms. Old hands moved to comfort and person- ally reassure anxious, frightened, angry individuals from York County, where a showcase CAFO is being funded by USDA’s Young Farmer Program. In April, the National Pork Producers Council announced that NPPC, PA Pork

Producers Council, and Penn Ag Indus- tries Association would have representa- tives on hand to provide an alternate point of view to Summit attendees. CAO oper- ators were incensed by characterizations of their enterprises. An assistant to PA Sena- tor Mike Waugh (R-28) said, “I’m con- cerned that the driving movement behind this (Summit) is a national movement against progressive agriculture. I contend that we will remain free as a country only so far as we are able to feed our- selves.” One wishes he and Senator Waugh had joined us on the Stolzfus farm to see a viable, prosperous example of sus- tainable pork production. Well, maybe next year? It is true Senate Bill 1413 (a Pennsyl- vania legislative effort to end local regula- tion of factory farms) died in committee last year, but the issue has not gone away. High-density hog operations are here and, as activist organization Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future pointed out, they are on the increase. Struggles over the economic, environmental, and social haz- ards posed by factory farms are apt to dominate Hog Summits for the foresee- able future.

apt to dominate Hog Summits for the foresee- able future. The crowd at PASA’s pre-Summit field

The crowd at PASA’s pre-Summit field day observe these handsome Tamworth sows at Alvin Stoltzfus’ farm.The hut behind the hogs is used for farrowing.

15

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Farm Based Education

Pasture Monitoring on Provident Farm

Continued from previous page

By Mary Barbercheck, PASA Board Member Dave and Maggie Johnson and family were the hosts for a pasture monitoring field day at their organic dair y, Provident Farm, near Liberty, PA, on June 25. The focus of the day was management of pas- tures and soils to maximize the capture of sunlight to provide energy for vegetation that will be converted to milk production that goes to market. Various monitoring tools were demon- strated. Jim Weaver (PSU cooperative extension in Tioga County) discussed the philosophy behind monitoring methods developed through Holistic Management. Paul Shaffer (NRCS) and Kris Ribble (NRCS and the Project Grass coordinator for NE Pennsylvania) demonstrated some of the tests in the NRCS Soil Quality Test Kit. Other less technical methods of assessing soil quality and forage condition were demonstrated: the soil quality test card developed by producers, grazing yard stick, and a forage plate meter.

Provident Farm Provident Farm is located on approxi-

mately 160 acres at 1800 ft elevation on moderately drained Wellsboro soil. Dave and his family have a deep commitment to stewardship of the land. Dave explained:

I see farming as just one part of life’s stew- ardship. It is the noble legacy we received from Adam and Eve. All we have and enjoy is a gift from God and we are here to be caretakers of the creation. Our man- agement should nurture and enhance whatever we set our hands to do. When we farm, we should enhance the natural systems to function even better, and the land should look better than when we started. If we seek short term gain and exploit the ecosystem through chemicals or monoculture, we have missed the foun- dations of stewardship, of husbandr y. Stewardship is a long term commitment, an eternal commitment. Immediate prob- lems are far less important than where things are heading. These things help clar- ify what sustainable agriculture is all about.

The Johnsons, who are full-time farm- ers, bought the farm in 1993 and practice

intensively-managed rotational grazing as an alternative to crop production. The Johnsons milk 40–60 cows and raise stock on the farm with the help of a Normandy bull. The cows are milked, eight at a time, twice a day in an airy New Zealand swing parlor. It takes Dave about 45 minutes to milk the herd. The cows are moved to a new paddock after milking. Each paddock has 40–50 cows and is one-half to two acres in size, depending on the condition of the grass. The Johnsons also direct mar- ket beef and chicken raised on the farm. The farm has been producing milk for the last five years, is PCO certified, and mar- kets through Organic Valley. “Monitoring fields is critical to getting where you want to be,” explained Dave, who built up the lush pastures from weedy meadowland that had been out of produc- tion for eight years in a government set- aside program. “We overseeded the fields with a perennial rye/clover mix into the meadow in April with a no-till drill, frost- seeded alice clover every three years, and fertilized with lime and two tons of broil- er litter to the acre to bring up fertility.” The cows are outside year-round, with the barn being used as a holding area and for feeding grain. The Johnsons recently invested in three tractors because there are no custom harvesters available in the area and organic hay is too expensive to buy. In addition to the 160 acres on the farm, 140 additional rented acres are used to pro- Continued on next page

Participants at the Provident Farm field day have close encounters with cows of many different kinds.

on next page Participants at the Provident Farm field day have close encounters with cows of

16

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Farm Based Education

Continued from previous page duce hay and forage. Dave makes large round bales and has a bale tuber for wrap- ping baleage. He considers this a good investment, especially in a year as wet as this one has been. With all the rain, the cows had a hard time keeping up with the growth on the pastures. Dave estimates it costs $.02/lb to produce forage as pasture in comparison to $.04–.05/lb to produce baleage. Full grazing starts in spring around mid-April. Dave limits earlier grazing because some of the land is wetland with fairly heavy clay soils that are damaged by traffic. Perennial grasses come on first and grow late into fall. The rest period for the paddocks ranges from about 15 days in spring to 45–60 days in summer. Grass is stockpiled to graze into November and early December. To rejuvenate and increase fertility, Dave chooses a paddock for use as a winter feedlot in which round bales are placed, then gives that paddock a rest the following year. With the farm situated at the headwa- ters of Pine Creek, Dave would like to put in more permanent lanes to protect water quality. Thistle has become a weed prob- lem in an area where drain tile was installed because of soil disturbance, and he is not able to control the weeds there with clipping because of wetness, so he plans to try vinegar (10%) as an organic herbicide. Dave recently started a collabo- rative research project with Ron Hoover, a Penn State University on-farm research coordinator, to investigate organic weed management through different practices such as clipping, adjusting soil fertility, and aeration.

Holistic Management Jim Weaver, a member of the Northern Penn Holistic Management Network, presented a pasture monitoring method that was developed by Alan Savory (www.holisticmanagement.org/). Jim explained, “Holistic Management is a decision-making framework through which people can make decisions that are environmentally, socially, and financially sound in both the short and long term.” Holistic Management has its roots in

land, agriculture, and wildlife manage- ment. Decision-making revolves around a holistic goal. All decisions are tested against the goal and made in the context of available tools and information gath- ered through monitoring procedures. Jim’s approach to Holistic Management has been influenced by John Ikerd and the idea of the new American farmer, one who engages in environmentally-conscious land stewardship on appropriately scaled family farms; builds relationships that cre- ate value-added direct marketing so that a greater proportion of profits are kept by the farmer rather than by processors and other middlemen; and nurtures a high quality of life through family and com- munity. Holistic management is based on the idea that the whole chain of the farm enterprise is only as strong as its weakest link. The holistic manager finds the weak link in the production chain, pays atten- tion to it by applying resources to strengthen it, and continuously monitors the chain to identify weakest links. Wealth is generated by the allocation of expenses and the elimination of expenses, because once an expense is eliminated, it can’t rise. Management of grazing animals and monitoring for early-warning biological indicators is central to holistic manage- ment. Livestock are used to help create the landscape that is envisioned. Periodic dis- turbance (grazing and/or clipping) is needed to maintain soil cover and to keep plants fresh and high in nutritional quali- ty. In this system, livestock are used as land reclamation tools, but are also man- aged to take into account other functions of the ecosystem, such as wildlife habitat. This enables the use of the herd to benefit the whole environment and, ultimately, to create the landscape that will sustain the production and quality of life described in the holistic goal. The outcomes of this type of grazing management are several: 1) in the growing months, the land can produce the maxi- mum amount of high quality forage on an increasing or sustained basis; 2) in the non-growing months, there is adequate forage and/or cover for livestock and wildlife; 3) droughts can be dealt with

17

effectively; 4) the nutritional requirements of the livestock and wildlife are adequate- ly met; 5) there is minimal stress on the animals, as well as on the people, from physical handling; 6) there is maximum coordination with cropping, wildlife needs, and other land uses, as well as with the personal schedules of those who will operate the plan; and 7) the manager is constantly moving toward the holistic goal.

Monitoring Procedure Jim Weaver demonstrated a simple monitoring procedure that has been used and improved by holistic managers for over 25 years to detect change on land grazed by livestock. The purpose of this monitoring is not just to record change, but also to steer all changes in the direc- tion of the holistic goal. Indicators of resource condition monitored include water, minerals, energy, and community dynamics. The measurements of the indi- cators are used to produce an ecograph, where progress is measured based on goals for the farm. Ideally, for ease of calculation, 100 points on the farm are monitored and converted to percentages. The monitoring points are selected randomly along a tran- sect that crosses as many different types of systems on the farm as possible (for exam- ple, hay fields, pastures, and woodlot). To help keep the choice of sample points ran- dom so that the manager is not biased by appearance of an area, Jim suggests using a marker (in this case, a flagged dart). Jim used the “throw the dart over the shoul- der” method to randomly choose moni- toring points. At each of the 100 monitoring points, the manager measures indicators of ecosystem function: the closest plant or plant type (grass, broadleaf, forage, weed); amount of plant cover; soil condition (wet, dry, eroded); evidence of worm or insect activity within six inches of the point; and other animal activity (manure, ground-nesting birds) within six feet of the point. Soil condition measurements are best made when soil biological activity is high Continued on page 18

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Farm Based Education

Continued from page 17 and with adequate soil moisture; for example, two days after a good rain or irri- g ation. To determine how well a soil takes in water, about a pint of water is poured on the soil from a distance of about one inch. You pour the water within five sec- onds, slow enough so that the soil surface

is not disrupted, but fast enough to deter-

mine how long it takes the water to soak into the ground. Upon observation, a small wet spot indicates rapid infiltration and is usually due to a well-aggregated surface condi-

tion. A soil aggregate is a cluster or crumb

of soil particles stuck together with a com-

bination of weak electrical forces from the soil particles and from substances pro- duced during the decomposition of organ- ic matter. A well-aggregated soil accepts

water easily, provides room for vigorous root systems, and for aeration of the soil.

A poorly aggregated soil crusts and erodes

easily, and will not accept water very rap- idly, leading to water runoff. To maintain the aggregated state, a healthy population of soil organisms is necessary to provide the glue that holds the soil particles together. The organisms that decompose crop residues and cycle nutrients need organic matter and mois- ture. A well-aggregated soil is loose and crumbles easily through your fingers. A poorly aggregated soil is cloddy and crust- ed. Adequate ground cover for long peri-

ods of the year fosters higher water infiltration, and provides food for the soil organisms that drive nutrient cycles. Ground cover also helps reduce soil ero- sion and water runoff by giving the water more time to infiltrate the soil. To determine the soil organisms pres- ent, move aside surface residue and look for ants, millipedes, beetles, snails, or other small animals on the soil surface. Two or more within a two-foot circle is considered a desirable amount. These organisms help break down coarse crop residue into smaller particles and make it more available for nutrient cycling. Look for earthworm holes or casts at the surface and then turn over a shovelful of soil and count the number of earthworms. Two or more earthworms per shovelful is consid-

ered a good population. Healthy soil smells good. A rich earthy smell indicates high biological activity. No smell indicates an intermediate condition, and a bad or chemical smell indicates a poor condition. Ecographs for recording the indicator values are available at the Holistic Man- agement website, www.holisticmanage- ment.org/. To check progress toward the holistic goal, the farm should be moni- tored annually at the same time of year. The ideal monitoring time is at the peak of the forage growing season around the summer solstice. However, consistency is critical, so it is important to be aware of time limitations on a particular farm and choose a time of the year that consistency is possible.

Soil Quality Test Kit Farmers generally have a sense of what good soil does: it takes in water rapidly, holds moisture well, resists erosion, drains well, remains uncrusted, decomposes crop residue rapidly, and produces healthy plants. Soil scientists from the USDA have developed a kit that ag professionals and farmers can use to help monitor their soil quality—the soil’s ability to perform its critical functions of supporting plant and animal productivity, contributing to clean surface and ground water supplies, and enhancing human health. Paul Shaffer and Kris Ribble demon- strated some of the measurements possible with the Soil Quality Test Kit (available from Gempler’s www.gemplers.com), including soil pH, electrical conductivity (as a measure of salinity), and water infil- tration rate. The Kit also includes supplies to assess soil respiration (a measure of microbial activity), bulk density, soil nitrate, aggregate stability, earthworms, compaction, soil structure, and soil tex- ture. A DEP Growing Greener Grant pro- vided funds to test the Kit on 17 farms with grazing plans. NRCS and Project Grass personnel are also testing a tool developed by Dr. Ray Weil in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Maryland to measure biologically active carbon in the soil as an indicator of organic matter. Soil organic matter (SOM) is a key to soil fertility and

18

drought management, and the pastures and fields at Provident Farm have an SOM content of about 5–6%. SOM improves water-holding capacity, and reducing runoff is especially important on clay soils like the moderately drained Wellsboro soil at Provident Farm. The take home message for the day was this—to get your pastures to sustain ani- mal nutrition and environmental quality needs, it is important to monitor the changes that accompany management.

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Continued on page 24
Continued on page 24
Continued on page 24 1919 POULTR Y MAN Eli M. Reiff 570-966-0769 922 Conley Road •

1919

POULTR Y MAN Eli M. Reiff 570-966-0769 922 Conley Road • Mifflinburg, PA 17844 Scalder
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PASA Business Member Profile

An Interview with Barry Denk, Director of The Center for Rural Pennsylvania

Barry Denk, Director of The Center for Rural Pennsylvania By Gayle Morrow In the most recent

By Gayle Morrow In the most recent issue of The Center for Rural Pennsyl- vania’s newsletter, state Rep. Sheila Miller, who is the Center’s chairman of the board, touches on a variety of topics, includ- ing agriculture. “While some of our farmland has been blessed with corn that lived up to the ‘knee-high by the Fourth of July’ meas- uring stick, other areas see crop fields that are at least a month behind in maturity,” Miller writes. “All of us in rural Pennsylvania who are linked to the agricultural land are hold- ing our breath and hoping that this year’s harvest brings bet- ter yields for our farm community than has been experienced during the past several cycles.” As a cattle farmer, Miller is “in the business,” says Barry Denk, Center director. “She’s committed to this industry. She experiences the issues affecting small farms, and she has helped educate other members [of the legislature] on agricul- ture issues.” The Center is fortunate to have Miller as its chair; rural Pennsylvania is fortunate to have the Center. This “legislative service agency” was formed in 1987 as part of the Rural Revi- talization Act of 1986, Denk explains. The Center is part of

state government, a “line item appropriation” that provides research and data to Harrisburg as well as making it all avail- able to the private sector, academia, and others. “We have an extremely broad-based audience,” notes Denk, who has served as director since 1996. As a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency, the Center awards grants for applied research and model projects (including PASA proj- ects in the southwest region), maintains and disseminates information on rural trends and conditions, publishes research and project results, and sponsors forums on rural issues. The Center has been a PASA member since 1993 and has sponsored the conference annually since 1994. Think about “all of us in rural Pennsylvania who are linked to the agricultural land….” That is all of us; we are all inextricably linked to the land. And as Miller encourages, “be sure to purchase some of Pennsylvania’s great direct-from- the-farm fruits and vegetables as your travels take you through the Keystone State’s bountiful and beautiful rural areas.” To find out more about rural Pennsylvania and the Cen- ter, visit www.ruralpa.org or call 717-787-9555.

What is unique about your business? We are unique on the national scene in that we are a legislative service agency. Pennsylvania is the only state with a research agency that is dedicated to rural issues and housed under the general assembly. Why did you join PASA? It was a natural connection, given what PASA is all about. It helps us in terms of research. We get to hear about issues that may affect our membership. PASA serves an audience we believe we need to hear from, and a sector that is critical to the state’s economy. How has your membership been a

benefit to your business? The conference is obviously a great forum. With our booth there, we get to provide our literature and hear and share information. The Center is currently looking at getting locally grown food into our schools, so membership has been helpful there, too. What does the term “sustainable” mean to you and how do you incorporate that into your business? One definition is to endure and with- stand. We work to help rural Pennsylvania endure and withstand, and maintain a quality of life that sets Pennsylvania apart. We help the government help rural Penn-

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sylvania to endure and withstand change—to understand it and to act and not just react, whether specifically in agri- culture or in other sectors. What do you see as some of the criti- cal issues facing agriculture and ag-relat- ed businesses today? There is a whole host of them! It is an ever-changing and diverse industry. One simple definition doesn’t really describe agriculture, so that’s a challenge. One voice doesn’t necessarily speak for it. Then there are Jane and Joe Consumer who have no concept of the agriculture indus- try and don’t know any of the behind-the- Continued on next page

Continued from previous page scenes things that go on. What do you see as the connection between sus- tainable agriculture and the consumer? I think there is a great opportunity for all of us who support Pennsylvania agriculture to develop a strong educational program geared toward that Jane and Joe Consumer. There is a need to understand what’s going on as it relates to them and their decisions as consumers and their personal choices. There is a connection between sustaining and keeping agriculture, in all the shapes it has, as a viable industry in Pennsylvania, and consumers will play an increasingly important role.

Business Members Are Important To PASA!

Membership plays a vital role at PASA— member support, interest, and involvement build the foundation for our mission. Business Mem- bers play a key role in that vitality. These farms and businesses are committed to working with other progressive members of the business com- munity in the struggle to protect and preserve Pennsylvania farmers and farmland. They know this crusade will not be won without our collec- tive effort. The strength these companies con- tribute is deeply appreciated, and we look forward to an ongoing partnership in furthering the vision of “promoting profitable farms which produce healthy food for all people while respect- ing the natural environment.” PASA needs and appreciates the member- ship support of the business community, and extends an enthusiastic invitation to all interested in becoming a Business Member. Join other lead- ers in sustaining Pennsylvania agriculture while enjoying extra PASA member benefits. Contact the PASA membership office in Millheim for more details.

NEW BUSINESS MEMBERS SUMMER 2003

Future Harvest/CASA

Stevensville, MD

Slow Food Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA

Watershed Agricultural Council

Walton, NY

Omitted from the full list/Spring 2003

big Burrito Group

Pittsburgh, PA

Agricultural Council Walton, NY Omitted from the full list/Spring 2003 big Burrito Group Pittsburgh, PA 21

21

The Compost Heap:

The Compost Heap: Editor’s Corner By Dan Brannen Jr. CBS Evening News Features Tait Farm Foods

Editor’s Corner

By Dan Brannen Jr.

CBS Evening News Features Tait Farm Foods

Kim Tait,Vice-President of PASA’s Board of Directors, appeared in a July 9 CBS Evening News “Eye on America” segment, the third in a series entitled “Making Ends Meet.” Reporter Wyatt Andrews said of Tait, “She represents the fresh new face of agri- culture—women who own, manage, and market the American farm.” Tait attributed the success of Tait Farm Foods to her will- ingness to create a year-round, seasonal retail store on the farm. The report also featured PASA member and former Director Carolyn Sachs, whose university research on women in agriculture reveals, “women who own farms tend to have smaller farms, to carry less debt, to use fewer pesticides, and to have smaller niche markets for what they produce.” Summariz- ing her research, Sachs concluded that the new image of the American farmer is “not a guy in overalls.” To see the report and accompanying article online, visit www.cbs-

news.com/stories/2003/07/09/eveningnews/

main562415.shtml.

Rodale Institute Launches Organic Initiative

Announcing “the single-most ambitious agricultural initiative of this century” at the Organic Trade Association (OTA) meeting in Austin, Texas, this May, Anthony Rodale, chairman of Rodale Institute, called for at least 5% of America’s remaining 2 million farmers to transition to organic farming by 2013. According to a Rodale Institute press release, 12,200 farmers—just over half of one percent of all U.S. farms—are certified

organic. The release says the market for organic food and products is growing at an estimated 20–30% per year and currently accounts for more than $11 billion in annual sales. Rodale, whose grandfather, J.I. Rodale, coined the term organic in 1942, said in the release, “Are we willing to sit back and wit- ness the degeneration of our environment, and quietly lose control of the quality of food we eat every day?” Instead, he “called on leaders to pool resources and work together towards a common, quantifiable vision.” Rodale received OTA’s Organic Leadership Award at the May meeting. See the press release at www.newfarm.org/

pressroom/pressreleases/press052203.shtml

Potluck News from the Susquehanna Valley

By Leah Tewksbury The annual PASA Conference provides excellent learning opportunities, cama- raderie, cuisine, and business resources.Yet it can be difficult to find time to meet PASA members who may be neighbors down the road or in the local area. So to learn more about local PASA people, a good crowd of folks from the Susquehanna Valley region (north-central Pa.) gathered together this spring and then again in early summer to share potluck and get acquainted. The potlucks provided a friendly environ- ment for exploring sustainable living and business concepts, such as developing local cooperative relationships between produc- ers and buyers, using various marketing strategies, and compiling a list of local pro- ducers for consumer use. Of course, we

22

were all delighted (and sated) by a buffet of savory, healthful foods, such as chevon stew, sweet strawberries, spring salads, moussaka, organic milk and cheeses, hearth-baked breads, and oven-roasted vegetables. Just crumbs and casserole scraps were left over by the end of each gathering. Exchanging ideas and sharing laughter and fundamental beliefs about sustainable farming and com- munities are just some of the possibilities when dynamic, hardworking PASA folks con- verge for fine socializing and dining. Perhaps you can form a regional group in your area.

Women Helping Women in Farming

Some of Pennsylvania’s leaders in sustain- able agriculture met in July to promote the Pennsylvania Women in Agriculture Network (WagN), which provides women with a space that responds to their unique needs as female members of the state’s farming com- munity.Amy Trauger, a doctoral candidate at Penn State University (PSU) who specializes in gender roles in farming, leads the group through emails and face-to-face monthly meetings.“Because of the persistence of gen- dered occupations, women in agriculture tend to be excluded from certain spaces of knowledge and authority about farming, and are often reluctantly let into the ‘farmer club’ as an ‘honorary man,’” Trauger explains. Participants in WAgN-Pennsylvania include farmers, agricultural extension agents, trainers, researchers, legislators, and brokers. Organizations represented include Pennsylvania Certified Organic, The Rodale Institute, PSU, and PASA. To get involved, contact Trauger at 814-422-0634 or

akt122@psu.edu.

BOOK REVIEW:

Bringing the Food Economy Home:

Local Alternatives to Global Agribusiness, by Helena Norberg Hodge,Todd Merrifield, and Steven Gorelick, Kumarian Press, 2002. (Reviewed by Ruth Sullivan) Bringing the Food Economy Home was an engrossing, absorbing, and quick read. And boy did it open my eyes. Full of memorable quotes and useful facts, the book highlights the social, ecological, and economic impacts of the global food system. It takes you through the landmarks of the global food system, from consolidation in feed, seed, chemical, production, and processing sectors to the structure of globalized trade. The authors simply and elegantly describe the basics of the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the General Agree-

ment on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the World Trade Organization (WTO). If your eyes normally glaze over when you hear these names, this book will do an excellent job of showing you, succinctly and startlingly, why you should care.To wrap up, the authors focus on how communities around the world have succeeded in regenerating their local food system. Put out by the International Society for Ecology and Culture, this book takes a broad, international view, with many exam- ples from both north and south of the equa- tor. I highly recommend Bringing the Food Economy Home for anyone interested in understanding the impact of globalized trade and industry consolidation, and learning about solutions yet to be implemented. Available from Kumarian Press in Bloomfield, CT, at (860) 243-2098 or www.kpbooks.com for $18.95.

Snyder Gives Cuban Agriculture Slide Show

On July 10 at West Chester University, PASA Executive Director Brian Snyder gave

a 1.5-hour presentation on sustainable agri-

culture in Cuba, complete with slide photo- graphs that he took during his recent trip there with the Food First/Institute for Food and Development Policy. (See “An Excursion through Cuba: A Clue to Our Future?” Pas- sages #43, spring 2003, p.1.) Over fifty peo- ple attended. Anyone interested in scheduling a presentation may contact Sny- der at 814-349-9856 or brian@pasafarm- ing.org.

Forget rBGH! Try Bach Instead.

Research psychologists at the University of Leicester, UK, played loud, soft, and no music to a herd of 1,000 Friesian cattle from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. over a course of nine weeks. According to a report by the Organic Con- sumers Association, the researchers found that milk yield rose 3% when the cows lis- tened to slow music instead of fast music. Favorite pieces included Beethoven’s “Pas- toral Symphony” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.”

Patenting Nature

(From Organic Bytes, #15, June 11, 2003) Thanks to the World Trade Organization (WTO) and a host of “free trade” agree- ments, it is completely legal for a large cor- poration to patent and own the genes of individual plants, animals, indigenous medi- cines, and even humans.The WTO states that

all member countries must honor all patents

filed in the U.S. or face economic sanctions, also known as cross retaliation. In other words, the U.S. can legally impose economic sanctions on Mexico if the Mayan people use their traditional herbal medicines without paying royalties to transnational corpora- tions like Dow Chemical, which now owns patents on some of these thousand-year-old remedies. Heck, it’s even legal to patent the genes of the shaman who gives you that medicine. Since the mid-90s, there has been a deluge of U.S. patent applications on human genes of tribal peoples all over the world. Thanks to the WTO, even your genes can be legally owned by corporations or individuals. And now the Bush Administration plans to use a secret trade tribunal of the WTO to force Frankenfoods down the throats of Euro- peans and consumers worldwide. Ticked off? Do something about it! Join the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) on an escorted OCA delegation to attend the historic teach-ins and protests at the next international WTO Ministerial meeting in Cancun Mexico (Sept. 4–11) www.organ- icconsumers.org/wto_cancun.htm.

(Sept. 4–11) www.organ- icconsumers.org/wto_cancun.htm. Farm Aid Coming to Ohio Willie Nelson and company will bring

Farm Aid Coming to Ohio

Willie Nelson and company will bring FarmAid 2003 to the Germain Amphitheater in Columbus, Ohio, on September 7. Nelson and fellow FarmAid Board members Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews will perform as usual, joined by artists Sheryl Crow, Brooks & Dunn, Trick Pony, and oth- ers.The concert comes as the Ohio Farmers Union and dozens of organizations urge Ohio Governor Bob Taft to veto Ohio House Bill 142, which makes it illegal for local governments to regulate large livestock operations. While the concert is currently sold out, the website invites people to regis-

23

ter for email updates at www.farmaid.com/

event/misc/enroll.asp in case more tickets are released.

New! Farm-Fresh Recipes:

Ready-to-Copy Recipes Cards for Produce Marketers

Farmers who sell direct to the public agree that recipes increase sales. Most cus- tomers just need a little inspiration to get them cooking with fresh ingredients. A new

book, Farm-Fresh Recipes, is packed with easy, enticing recipes that use a lot of fresh pro- duce. Nearly 300 recipes are printed three

on a page, all focused on one major ingredi-

ent. The book is designed so that you can take it to the copy shop, make all the copies you want, and have them cut down into recipe cards. Copyright permission is specif- ically granted in the front of the book, and

the book is spiral bound so it lays flat on the copy machine, with trim marks for accurate cutting.You can either stamp the back of the cards with your farm’s name, or you can use one of three templates included in the book

to design your own message that can be

photocopied on the back of the recipe pages. Farm-Fresh Recipes was written by Janet

Majure, a food writer and cookbook author.

A comprehensive index lists recipes by

ingredients, which comprise every major type of produce grown in North America. Although most recipes use only produce, some recipes include fish, chicken, and beef. The book costs $20 plus $4 shipping from Growing for Market, PO Box 3747, Lawrence, KS 66046; 800-307-8949. Or order online at www.growingformarket .com. Wholesale orders get a 40% discount for 12–49 copies, and a 50% discount for 50- plus copies.

Yes,We’ll Have No Bananas

By Robert Alison The banana is about to disappear from store shelves around the globe. Experts say the world’s favourite fruit will pass into oblivion within a decade. No more fresh bananas. No more banana bread. No more banana muffins or banana cream pie. Why? Because the banana is the victim of centuries

of genetic tampering. Scientists say they will

be unable to prevent the extirpation of the

banana as an edible commercial crop.And its demise may be one more powerful argument in the hands of those who are concerned about genetic modification of foods. (For the full article, see www.commondreams.org

/views03/0719-02.htm)

Opportunities & Classified Ads

OPPORTUNITIES

Learn the Basic Principles of Biodynam- ic Farming & Gardening, September 13, 2003–Summer 2004. A part-time, one- year program presented by the Pfeiffer Center in Chestnut Ridge, NY, consisting of eight Saturday workshops and a final one-week intensive. Taught by leading practitioners including Will Brinton, Stef- fen Schneider, Jennifer Greene, Craig Holdrege, Mac Mead and Pfeiffer Center Director Gunther Hauk. For information contact The Pfeiffer Center at 845-352- 5020 ext. 20.

Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Pro- gram Applications. The Pa. Dept. of Environmental Protection announces the availability of $5 million of grant funding through the new Pennsylvania Energy Harvest Grant Program. Grants will fund projects that promote awareness and build markets for cleaner or renewable energy technologies. Proposals should manage the Commonwealth’s energy resources in a way that also improves the environment, supports economic development, and enhances quality of life. Eligible proposals include biomass energy projects. Special consideration will be given to proposals that assist farmers. Applications are avail- able from the Grants Center at 717-705- 5400 or www.dep.state.pa.us at the directLINK “2003 Energy Harvest Grant.” Applications must be postmarked or received by 4:30 p.m. on September 19, 2003, at the Department Grants Cen- ter, 15th Floor, Rachel Carson State Office Building, 400 Market Street, PO Box 8776, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8776.

Rent-Free Land in Centre County. PASA members Claire and Dan Brannen Sr. live on a seven acre parcel of farmland near Centre Hall (Centre County). They would like to see up to six acres farmed sustainably and organically (though not necessarily certified as such). Farmers interested in rent-free land should call them at 814-364-2004 or e-mail Dan_Brannen@yahoo .com.

Experienced farmer needed to manage and operate 100+ family sustainable Community Supported Agriculture oper- ation at Heifer International’s educational ranch in central Arkansas. 3+ years experi- ence in a wide range of vegetable, herb,

and flower production (preferably in a CSA), production and marketing experi- ence, management, leadership, and ability to work with youth a must. Complete infrastructure of 20 acres certified organic land, heated greenhouse, barns, tractors, and all equipment needed for daily opera- tion. Housing, noon meal, stipend/profit sharing possibilities. Contact Chuck Crimmins at 501-889-5124 x3650 or chuck.crimmins@heifer.org

CLASSIFIED ADS

Grass Finished Beef. Limited supply of quarters, halves, or whole available November 2003. No grain — ever. No hormones. From old-fashioned grass- based herd. Mike or Barb Wahler, (717)

899-6934.

Organic Layer houses wanted. Interested in areas north of Harrisburg, south of Route 192. For more information call Keith Fleetwood or Dale Smeltz at Kreamer Feed 800-767-4537.

Passages

Ad Rates and Policy

Advertising Inquiries: Please call or write the PASA office for a full advertising package and rate card. Special rates avail- able for PASA Business Members and mul- tiple advertising packages. Contact the PASA office.

Display Ads Rates: Full page $150; Half page $90; Quarter page $60; Eighth page (business card) $40. All rates based on camera-ready copy. Contact PASA office for complete rate card.

Classified Ads: $5 for first 30 words, and $.20 per word over 30. PASA members receive one free 30-word ad per year.

Opportunities & Calendar Listings:

PASA is pleased to offer these listings at no charge as a service to our members. Please limit entries to no more than one paragraph.

Advertising Disclaimer: PASA cannot investigate the products or claims of advertisers and we don’t necessarily endorse any products advertised in Pas- sages. However, we encourage you to sup- port the companies that support PASA. We reserve the right to accept or reject any ad.

Back Issues: Are available from PASA.

Opportunities…to support PASA’s Farming for the Future Conference!

SPONSORS PASA’s commitment to convening Farming for the Future remains strong, and sponsorship support is key to its success. Sponsorship carries wonderful ben- efits and demonstrates your support for strengthening farming in our com- munities while increasing the visibility of your business.

LOCAL FOOD It means a lot to the PASA membership, to bring responsibly grown and local- ly raised foods to the table for conference meals. Consider becoming involved in providing these healthy foods and beverages for the conference.

SILENT AUCTION ITEMS Great excitement was generated at the auction tables in 2003, and we’re excit- ed to top last year! We are assembling some terrific items to be auctioned off and invite you to contribute to the mix! Do you have a weekend stay at your Inn or Farm? Perhaps a piece of art or antique farm equipment? Something handmade or unique to Pennsylvania? We are looking for items of all sorts and would love to hear from you.

For more information or to become involved in the above opportunities, contact Lauren Smith at PASA headquarters (814) 349-9856 or lauren@pasafarming.org

24

Summer vacation is almost over, so I hope you have enjoyed a much deserved break

Summer vacation is almost over, so I hope you have enjoyed a much deserved break from tests, homework, and assign- ments. If the pool, summer trips, soccer, reading, seeing friends, and simply relax- ing are getting too boring, here is some- thing to think about and perhaps to do! Last year, most of the people in our part of Pennsylvania suffered through a very dry summer. Up until June, 2002 was a moderately wet year, but farmers and gardeners were desperate for rain the rest of the year. So far, 2003 has been very wet. As a matter of fact, a local radio station reported that there were only six sunny days in all of May. This has meant that flowers and yards have grown and flour- ished. However, this could change quickly. Since summers are usually dry, a dry spell would be more likely. Here are some ideas for helping your family conserve water. It’s a good thing, whether or not there’s a drought!

1. Are you a gardener? Water your plants early in the morning or in the

evening so that the water doesn’t evapo-

rate as quickly.

2. Water your plants thoroughly once a week (or more if it is very dry)

rather than lightly a few times a week.This

actually helps your plants to develop nice deep roots that help them survive.

5. Protect your drinking water. Find out about your local watershed. (It’s

not a building where water is kept!) East- ern Pennsylvania is part of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which means that the water that falls here drains into the Atlantic Ocean by way of the Cheasapeake Bay. Call your local conservation agency (check the Yellow Pages or ask your parents) to learn more about your area’s watershed. In a watershed, all the rain and other water goes through the soil to the water table, the place where water is stored under- ground. This is usually where your family’s well gets its water. If any pesticides or fer- tilizers are used in this region they end up going downstream to the Atlantic or they go down into the water table that is the source of the drinking water for many of the families in that region. Keep your water clean by not pouring harmful substances down the drain or on the ground outside.

6. Tr y a new way of gar dening. Xeriscaping uses plants well adapt-

ed to the amount of rain in a given region.

Since summers can be dry, it is wise to select drought resistant plants, for looks and to conserve water. Some beautiful choices are echinacea (purple cone flower), yarrow, sedum, and rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan).

flower), yarrow, sedum, and rudbeckia (black-eyed Susan). 3. Use mulch—bark, leaves, even old newspapers—in your

3.

Use mulch—bark, leaves, even old newspapers—in

your garden. Laying this around the plants on top of the soil helps to hold in the moisture.

4.

When your par- ents turn on the garden hose,

take a walk along the length of it to check for any holes. If you see a fountain coming from the hose at the wrong place, let your parents know.

from the hose at the wrong place, let your parents know. Since we have been talking

Since we have been talking about water this month, here are some ques- tions you might want to research. Try using an atlas or other reference book, or ask your parents!

1. What is the longest river in the

world?

2. What is the longest river in North

America?

3. Which is the largest ocean?

4. Is

that ocean growing or is

it

shrinking? Do you know why?

5. The surface (top) of one body of

water on earth is actually more than 400 feet below sea level. Do you know which one?

6. Which country is home to the

wettest (rainiest) place on earth?

Write and let me know if you can find the answers to these questions. (Send to the Junior PASA Page, care of the PASA main office.) Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Here are the answers to the matching game in the last issue:

Ovine — relating to sheep Bovine — relating to cows Canine — relating to dogs Equine — relating to horses Caprine — relating to goats Porcine — relating to pigs

Send your gardening and Junior Page ideas to:The Junior PASA Page, c/o Sally Roe, RD3 Box 44,Troy, PA 16947.

Calendar of Events

AUGUST

Aug 20 Food as Medicine: A Personal Story of Healing, Trinity Methodist Church, Montpelier, VT. Come learn Jerry Brunetti’s remarkable story of surviving Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and hear how human health practices relate to agricultural health practices. Jerry is the founder of Agri-Dynamics, a consulting firm, and lives in PA. Cost is $5 for NOFA-VT members and $8 for nonmembers. Call 802-434- 4122 to register.

Aug 21 Organic Fertilization and Irri- gation of Pastures, Forgues Family Farm, Alburg Springs, VT. The Forgues and Bill Murphy are starting a three-year experi- ment to study pasture yield with organic nitrogen fertilizer and soil amendments under irrigation.This workshop is free. Call NOFA-VT at 802-434-4122 to register.

Aug 22–23 Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance (NODPA) 3rd Annual Producer Meeting and Field Day, Albion, Maine. Anne Lazor and Henri- etta Beaufait will focus on methods of dry off and reproductive problems. Jerry Brunetti will follow with information per- taining to soil quality.The afternoon session with Jack Lazor will focus on alternative forage systems. Contact Lisa McCrory, 802-728-4416, or Stephanie Meyers at the NOFA-VT office, 802-434-4122.

Aug 22–24 The 16th Annual Women’s Herb Conference, Hyde Park, 802-479-

9825.

Aug 27 Oak Shade Cheesemaking Workshop, Kirkwood (Lancaster Coun- ty). Israel Kinsinger will demonstrate the cheesemaking process from start to finish. Standard PASA Field Day fees apply. See your PASA Field Day Calendar, or call Kate Gatski at 814-349-9856, ext. 6.

Aug 27 Seed Cleaning and Processing Techniques, Harmony Essentials, Spring Grove (York County). Get hands-on expe- rience by joining this demonstration of seed cleaning with the Public Seed Initia- tive’s mobile seed cleaning unit. Free event. See your PASA Field Day Calendar, or call Kate Gatski at 814-349-9856, ext. 6.

Aug 27 Drought Management in a Grazing System Pasture Walk, Mans- field, PA. What can we do to maintain our pastures through the summer slump? By following our grazing plan, we develop strategies for timing livestock moves, plus

allocation and budgeting of forages.Will be held at KTS Farms from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (lunch provided). Sponsored by Northern Penn Holistic Management Network. Con- tact Jim Weaver at 570-724-7788.

SEPTEMBER

Sept 6 Diversified Mushroom Produc- tion Techniques, The Intervale Founda- tion, Burlington, VT. Erik Wells and David Demarest will give a tour of their facility and a presentation about cultivation tech- niques for a variety of mushroom species. After lunch there will be a hands-on demonstration of the use of bag culture for indoor production of oyster mushrooms and log culture for outdoor production of shiitake mushrooms. Bring a bagged lunch. Cost is $5 for NOFA-VT members and $8 for nonmembers, plus a supplies cost of $25. Call 802-434-4122.

Sept 6 Family Farm Fall Festival, High Falls, NY. Dina Falconi, 845-687-8938; Jen Prosser, 845-657-6059.

Sept 9 Grazing Demonstration Pro- ject: Organic Fertilizer Applications to Crop and Grazing Land, Randolph Center. Gwyneth Harris, 802-656-3834, Gwyneth.Harris@uvm.edu.

Sept 12–14 Three-Day Cheesemaking Course. Linda Faillace, 802-496-4559.

Sept 13 Boondocks Grazing: Sheep in the Woods. Gwyneth Harris, 802-656- 3834, Gwyneth.Harris@uvm.edu.

Sept 18 Stoltzfus Farm Pasture Walk, Centre County. Come to this pasture walk to see a rotational Holstein grazing opera- tion and to learn about IPM and forage management. Free event includes lunch. See your PASA Field Day Calendar, or call Kate Gatski at 814-349-9856, ext. 6.

Sept 18 Cut Flower Production Man- agement and Marketing, Lilac Ridge Farm,West Brattleboro,VT.Tour Lilac Ridge Farm, winner of the 2003 Sustainable Farm Award, with grower Amanda Thurber, who will share her tips on marketing and cover the important aspects of growing such as production techniques, planting, bed layout, weed control, and post-harvest han- dling. Cost is $5 for NOFA-VT members and $8 nonmembers. Call 802-434-4122.

Sept 18 Pasture Walk: Mixed Species Grazing. NHUNH Cooperative Exten- sion, 603-863-9200.

26

Sept 19 Carcass Composting, Foster Brothers Dairy, Middlebury,VT. Bob Foster, dairy farmer, and Brian Jerose, SARE researcher, will give this presentation. Cost is $5 for NOFA-VT members and $8 non- members. Call 802-434-4122.

Sept 19–20 Passive Solar Greenhouse Workshop. Featured topics: Design, Con- stuction andYear-Round Production. Come learn how to begin a sustainable green- house business from design to marketing. Contact Steve Moore for more informa- tion at 717-225-2489 or sandcmoore@ juno.com.

Sept 20 PASA Harvest Celebration Dinner, Penn College of Technology, Williamsport, Lycoming County. See article, page 11.

Sept 20 Pasture Walk: Established Pas- ture Management & Pasture Renova- tion. NHUNH Cooperative Extension,

603-563-9978.

Sept 22 Grazing Demonstration Pro- ject: Sheep Pasture Feed & Manage- ment Concerns for Fiber Flock. Gwyneth Harris, 802-656-3834, Gwyneth. Harris@uvm.edu.

Sept 26 High Tunnel Field Day-Fall Event, Ag Research Station, Rock Springs (Centre County). High-tunnel research to be highlighted includes Biocontrol Pest Management, use of compost, plant propa- gation, and Haygrove High Tunnel Systems. Event includes regional high tunnel bramble grower forum. Register fee $15, includes lunch. See your PASA Field Day Calendar, or call Kate Gatski at 814-349-9856, ext. 6.

Sept 29 2nd Annual Farm Fresh & Fab- ulous, Saratoga Springs, NY Regional Farm & Food Project, 518-427-6537, farm- food@capital.net.

Sept 30 Community Supported Agri- culture, Fulton Farm, Chambersburg (Franklin County). Event includes tour of Fulton Farm CSA and presentation by Eliz- abeth Henderson, co-author of Sharing the Harvest. Standard PASA Field Day fees apply. See your PASA Field Day Calendar, or call Kate Gatski at 814-349-9856, ext. 6.

OCTOBER

Oct 1 Late Harvest Planting at Village Acres Farm, Mifflintown (Juniata Coun- ty). This morning field day at Village Acres Farm, a 20-acre CSA, will highlight the

Calendar of Events

farm’s new winter shares program. Stan- dard PASA Field Day fees apply. See your PASA Field Day Calendar, or call Kate Gatski at 814-349-9856, ext. 6.

Oct 1 Retail Farm Market Tour. Join PASA and the PA Retail Farm Market Asso- ciation for a tour of premiere direct mar- kets in Elkton, MD, Wilmington, DE, Elwyn PA, and Westtown, PA. Registration fee of $30 includes lunch and bus transportation, which will pick-up participants near Harris- burg, Lancaster, and Allentown. See your PASA Field Day Calendar, or call Kate Gatski at 814-349-9856, ext. 6.

Oct 4 Organic/Biodynamic Fruit Orchard Management, Claverack, NYRegional Farm & Food Project, 518- 427-6537, farmfood@capital.net.

Oct 5 Seed Cleaning, High Mowing Seeds, North Wolcott, VT. Tour High Mowing Seeds and their new seed cleaning facility with grower Tom Stearns. Free event, pre- registration required. Call NOFA-VT at

802-434-4122.

Oct 11 ABGA Sanctioned Boer Goat Show, Ithaca, NY. John Bloomer, 607-546- 2825, bloomer@empacc.net.

Oct 13 Beech Grove Farm Field Day, Trout Run (Lycoming County).Worked by Anne and Eric Nordell, Beech Grove Farm is one of eleven “focal farms” for a North- east Organic Network study of systems management at exceptional organic farms. NEON researchers will summarize their findings at this event. Standard PASA Field Day fees apply. See your PASA Field Day Calendar, or call Kate Gatski at 814-349- 9856, ext. 6.

Oct 17–19 Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA.An event dedicated to focusing on creative social strategies that help implement solutions for environmental crises. Visit www.bioneers.org for more information.

Oct 17–19 Three-Day Cheesemaking Course. Linda Faillace, 802-496-4559.

Oct 22 What Worked & What Didn’t? Pasture Walk, Mansfield, PA. The Holistic Management perspective of farming in the Northern Tier. How can we improve the planning and monitoring of on-farm activi- ties, including financial and grazing plan- ning. Sponsored by Northern Penn Holistic Management Network. Contact Jim Weaver at 570-724-7788.

NOVEMBER

Nov 22 A Study of Rudolf Steiner’s “Agriculture” Lectures, Chestnut Ridge, NY. For the first time, Gunther Hauk, program director of The Pfeiffer Center, offers an in-depth study of the nine lectures that are the basis for the spiritual renewal of agriculture now known as “Bio- dynamics.” Participants should read the lectures in advance. Contact The Pfeiffer Center at 845-352-5020 ext. 20.

FEBRUARY 2004

FEBRUARY 5–7, 2004 — PASA’s 13th annual Farming for the Future Conference, State College, PA. “Path- ways to Prosperity:The New Face of Agriculture” Newly expanded to three days. See more detail on back page of this newsletter. Please join us! For a complete brochure, call 814- 349-9856 or sign-up at www.pasa- farming.org

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27

Don’t Grow Corn!

And other sage advice on crops and marketing for beginning farmers

By George DeVault Never mind that he is based in Des Moines, Iowa, the heart of the western Corn Belt. Never mind that 90 percent of the 440,000 people who read his magazine grow at least some corn. Never mind that the best Midwestern growers can net $95 to $175 an acre on corn, plus $30 an acre from the federal government. When it comes to getting started in farming today, Successful Farming Business Editor Dan Looker has this advice: Don’t grow corn! “That net income of roughly $200 an acre pales in comparison to what an acre of established raspberries might produce in Pennsylvania,” Looker told a crowd of about 200 at the Ninth Annual New & Beginning Farmer Workshop in Grantville, Pa., in early March. “Why you don’t need to grow corn to get started in farming” was the title of Looker’s keynote address at the popular conference sponsored by Pennsylvania Farm Link. By a show of hands, about 95 percent of the people in the audience said they wanted to become farmers. “The title of my talk today was inspired by my experience at The New Farm,” said Looker, who worked at the magazine in the early 1980s. (Although New Farm folded as a magazine in 1995, it was just revived as a webzine by the Rodale Institute at www.newfarm.org). “One of the people on the Rodale Press staff owned a small raspberry farm that was profitable. It provided some part-time income that supplemented his salary at Rodale. But what he really wanted to do was to someday have enough land and the machinery to grow a crop of corn. Even in those days, it didn’t seem like you were a real farmer unless you could grow corn.” Nothing could be further from the truth, according to Looker and all the other workshop speakers. Growing corn

Why would anyone want to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in machinery to grow corn that might net you $200 in one of those rare years when you have a good crop?

does not a farmer make. In fact, with low commodity prices and rising production costs, corn can easily break a farm. “According to Dick Funt, a small fruit specialist at Ohio State University, estab- lished raspberries can return $1,000 an acre or more over costs. His numbers make you wonder why anyone would want to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in machinery to grow corn that might net you $200 in one of those rare years when you have a good crop and most of the world doesn’t. According to Funt, raspberry farms have the potential to return about 12 percent on your invest- ment. That’s a lot more than the three to five percent that investors in Midwest corn ground might expect these days,” Looker said. Of course, raspberries are not an instant key to success. It takes a few years and maybe $6,000 to establish an acre of raspberries with trickle irrigation. So, raspberries may not be for everyone, but there are plenty of other profitable crops you can produce. “If you can rent a small plot of land, you may be able to sell vegetables in the summer and pumpkins in the fall,” Look- er said. “If that goes well and if you have long-term access to land, then Dick Funt suggests moving into pick-your-own strawberries, which reach full production in three years. And, eventually, raspberries or blueberries may fit in.” Looker knows a lot about beginning farmers. After moving from The Des

28

Moines Register to Successful Farming mag- azine, he wrote an entire book about peo- ple getting started in farming. It’s called Farmers for the Future. Even though the book was published in 1996, Looker said most of the farmers he featured are still in farming today, although maybe not exact- ly in the way they thought they would be in the beginning. That, Looker and the other speakers said, is because getting started in farming today requires flexibili- ty and a diverse mix of high-value crops that may include:

• Pastured poultry, for both meat and eggs

• Controlled grazing of any kind of live- stock to help keep capital investment and production costs low

• Organic production

• Vegetables

• Dairy goats

• Farmstead cheese

• Agritourism, or entertainment farming, as some call it.This can include every- thing from corn mazes and hayrides through you-pick pumpkin patches to fee fishing and hunting and even running a bed and breakfast on your farm.

“We need to look at living and working on farms in the broadest possible ways. Land can be used for more than producing food. Pennsylvania is blessed with a lot of beautiful farms that would appeal to city folks,” Looker observed. Having a good website for your Continued on next page

Continued from previous page farm is essential to success in any kind of agritourism, since so many city people plan their vacations with the help of the Internet. While crop and enterprise mix can and will vary greatly from farm to farm and region to region, all of the speakers said there are timeless “guiding principles” that can help any beginning farmer. Here is a sampling:

Start small and go slow.

Today, Charles Conklin produces 300,000 pounds of trout and largemouth bass a year at his Pocono Mountain Fish and Seafood Company. He started the business 31 years ago—with just 100 fish. “By starting slowly, I mean doing your homework before you ever put a seed in the ground. Chip Planck, a college profes- sor who became a vegetable farmer out- side of Washington, D.C., has put how you should do this in the right order,” Looker said, quoting Planck from Farmers for the Future:

“The best ag school of all is your own

farm. The next best, working at another farm for money. The next, working at another farm for no money. The worst, an ag school where you must pay them.”

Make sure your first customers are sat-

isfied. There is no better advertising than word-of-mouth.

Don’t try to do everything.

“A lot of these agritourism businesses are very time consuming, just as is a lot of direct marketing,” Looker cautioned. “I’ve visited some CSA farms that raise and market 40 or 50 different vegetables. That variety is part of the appeal over the bland- ness of supermarkets. But I can’t imagine doing that and then having to cook break- fast and wash bedding for tourists every day on top of that.” “Agriculture is becoming more special- ized but also a lot more diverse these days. Our system of food production includes Joel Salatin’s system of pasture poultry production and Tyson Foods. No facet of this is simple. Some of it, includ- ing pasture farrowing and organic veg- etable production, is far from simple. There are good reasons why many farmers would never try either one.”

Sell everything directly to

BEGINNING FARMER RESOURCES

Farmers for the Future by Dan Looker (ISBN #081382383 8) The book costs $21.99, plus $6 shipping. Visa, MasterCard and American Express accepted. Iowa State Press

2121 State Ave.

Ames, Iowa 50014 Call toll-free 1-800-862-6657

Pennsylvania Farm Link www.pafarmlink.org

2708 N. Colebrook Rd.

Manheim, PA 17545 Phone: (717) 664-7077 E-mail: pafarmlink@redrose.net

USDA Agritourism Website www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/RESS/altent erprise

Midwest Small Fruit and Grape Network www.ag.ohio-state.edu/sfgnet

North American Farmers Direct Marketing Assn. www.nafdma.com

Northeast Workers On Organic Farms www.smallfarm.org/newoof/newoof.html

Organic Farmers Agency for Relationship Marketing www.ofarm.org

Beginning Farmer Center Iowa State University www.extension.iastate.edu/bfc/

consumers. Eliminate middlemen and put the whole food dollar in your pocket.

Find a mentor.

Know thy enemy, even if it means

working a summer at a confinement hog operation. You’ll learn what they’re doing wrong—and what you can do better.

Join a trade group like the North

American Farmers Direct Marketing Association to meet people in the same type of farming and exchange ideas.

Don’t rush out and buy land.

“Buying land these days would be eco- nomic suicide for many young farmers,” Looker said. “Land prices have hit all-time highs in many areas. It’s probably best to start out renting. This is where the linking programs may be able to help you.” Instead of buying land, Charles Mar- shall from the federal Farm Services Agency advised beginning farmers to “put your money into income-producing things. You have to reduce the amount of money you need. Do not buy land at the outset.”

Use credit sparingly, and wisely.

Save your money.

“Don’t go out to eat, buy new cars or a lot of new clothes,” advised Brian Moyer, a Berks County pastured poultry produc- er and newly elected PASA board mem- ber. “Go to the store very little. Make do with what you have.”

2929

Add value to what you produce.

“Value-added is where farmers here in Pennsylvania and the rest of the Northeast can beat the socks off of those of us in the

Midwest who raise corn,” said Look- er. “We may have some of the best soils and flattest fields on earth, but you’ve got millions of potential customers.” Holley Moyer, Brian’s helpmate, said she does that by turning her goat milk into several different kinds of “pot cheese,” which is exempt from food pro- cessing laws. Just one gallon of milk pro- duces one pound of cheese that retails for $14, which is more than most dairy pro- ducers receive for milk by hundredweight. The Moyers first bought goats to reclaim overgrown land.

Buy crop insurance, advised John

Berry, Extension marketing specialist for

southeastern Pennsylvania. It is a good risk management tool, comparable to homeowners, health and auto insurance.

Explore the financial, land, housing

and other resources of your extended family before turning to lenders and real estate agents. Federal farm programs, the speakers said, won’t do much for beginners since they mostly help larger, established farms that are getting bigger and pushing land prices higher. That’s especially true of commodity programs. Hog production, once a traditional Continued on page 31

PA Goes Local!

Continued from page 3 opportunities, and information resources to organizations working to rebuild local food systems across the countr y. “People everywhere are attracted to this issue regardless of whether they seek local food for reasons of personal health, sup- port for family farmers, concern for the environment, to strengthen their local economy, or simply because local food tastes better,” says Joani Walsh, Program Coordinator for FoodRoutes. “Food has the power to unite and reconnect people in a way that gives this movement unique potential.” A public event to celebrate and “launch” the southeastern Pennsylvania Buy Fresh/Buy Local campaign was held on June 15, Father’s Day, at Yard’s Brew- ing Company in Philadelphia, with 130 local food enthusiasts in attendance. Fare for the day included a roasted pig from Country Time Pork in Berks County, zuc- chini and eggs from Green Meadow farm, cheese from Farm Fresh for Chefs (both Lancaster County), and a variety of breads, beverages, and other foods pro- duced in the southeast region. Cheryl Cook, recently appointed deputy secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) and a featured speaker at the event, brought

“People everywhere are attracted to this issue regardless of whether they seek local food for rea- sons of personal health, support for family farm- ers, concern for the environment, to strengthen their local economy, or simply because local food tastes better,” says Joani Walsh, Program Coor- dinator for FoodRoutes Network. “Food has the power to unite and reconnect people in a way that gives this movement unique potential.

greetings from Secretary Dennis Wolff and made clear the department’s intention to promote Pennsylvania-grown products on a local basis as a priority in the future. Cook explained PDA’s plans to imple- ment a “Pennsylvania Preferred” label that can be used in a complimentary way with marketing efforts that are more locally based. With the Buy Fresh/Buy Local cam- paign, a new era of mutual appreciation and benefit between Pennsylvania family farmers and consumers may indeed have begun. If that is the case, it may have

come just in time to address the rising tide of controversy that has occupied so many municipal meeting agendas and editorial pages across rural Pennsylvania in recent years. Now more than ever, the lasting solu- tion for Pennsylvania family farmers is to be introduced to Pennsylvania consumers. As it turns out, that’s a darn good thing for the consumers involved, and the com- munities in which they live as well. Editor’s Note: An abbreviated version of this article appeared on the cover of the July 5th edition of Lancaster Farming.

on the cover of the July 5th edition of Lancaster Farming. 30 The crowd at Yard’s

30

The crowd at Yard’s Brewery for the Buy Fresh/Buy Local campaign launch listen intently to the lineup of locally produced (and mostly fresh) speakers on the program.

Farmers or consumers who are interested in the Buy Fresh/Buy Local campaign should contact our regional program directors, Ruth Sullivan in the southeastern part of the state (717-917-3731), and David Eson in the southwest (412-997-2343), for more infor- mation. If you live outside these regions, you might want to organ- ize folks where you are to form a new region for the campaign. Give us a call at the main office (814- 349-9856) when you are ready to explore the possibilities.

Grass-Fed Gospel

Continued from page 10 er visit to southwestern Pennsylvania in the fall. PASA and Slow Food Pittsburgh would like to incorporate that visit into a grass-fed beef BBQ, shaping up now for September or October. It will be a chance for SW grassfarmers to show their stuff and for Western Pennsylvania chefs, farm- ers, and enlightened eaters of all stripes to see how good grass-fed beef can be. P.S. Collier’s herd passed the tenderness tests with top honors. He expects to sell to NELA and to keep some product for his regular customers back home.

Don’t Grow Corn!

Continued from page 29 “mortgage burner,” is also risky for begin- ners, unless they specialize in pastured or organic production and direct marketing, usually to some niche market. Successfully getting started in farming today all comes down to learning to be a successful entrepreneur, not just an agron- omist or tractor driver, concluded Marion Bowlan, executive director of Pennsylva- nia Farm Link. Key personality traits include passion and persistence, good health and lots of energy, creativity and innovation, inde- pendence and self-reliance, good intu- ition, self-confidence, market awareness, lack of need for status, acceptance of chal- lenge and a strong work ethic. As what she called a “calculated risk- taker,” you’ll no doubt figure out pretty quickly on your own that corn is definite- ly not the place to start. [Editor’s note: A shorter version of this article appeared in Lancaster Farming.]

Hope to see you at the Harvest Celebration Dinner September 20, 2003 Penn College of
Hope to see you at the
Harvest Celebration Dinner
September 20, 2003
Penn College of Technology
See page 11 for details

Sincere Thanks for a Job Well Done

The staff and Board of PASA would like to extend our heart-felt thanks to Dan Brannen Jr. of Aaronsburg, Pennsylvania. As our readers know, Dan has been guest editor of Passages for the past five issues. Not only has Dan done a commendable job in continuing to bring the membership news of the organi- zation and sustainable agriculture, but he has also sustained our reputation for producing one of the best sustainable agriculture publications in the country. Internally, Dan’s dedicated efforts on Passages have allowed the Board and staff the time necessary to develop editorial policies and interview candidates to be the next permanent editor. Dan is moving to Santa Fe with his wife Jen and their two daughters Kaya and Malina, to pursue new interests. But Dan’s mark on PASA and environ- mental issues in Pennsylvania is assured, and folks in New Mexico will be lucky to have him there. We’re excited for the Brannen family and wish them food for- tune. Thanks again Dan, for being there to serve and for helping Passages get to the next level!

Show your support with a PASA FARM LANE SIGN These beautiful three-color signs have been

Show your support with a PASA FARM LANE SIGN

These beautiful three-color signs have been created exclusively for PASA members. They are a bright addition to your farm or business.

PASA member signs are available in two sizes.The large “farm lane size” measures 18” X 24”, and the smaller “farm market size,” great to post at any business, measures 10” X 14”. Both are con- structed of heavy gauge white aluminum, with a bright three-color logo in yellow, purple and green. Created in durable nylon, the image will last for many years.The signs are two-sided, so people will see your support coming and going!

Buy one today! Prices are as follows:

Small Sign — $28 + $4.00 shipping = $32.00

Large Sign — $58 + $4.00 shipping = $62.00

To order, send your check or credit card information, along with your name, mailing address and phone to PASA Merchandise, P.O. Box 419, Millheim, PA 16854

31

Certified by PCO 32 For the latest information on PASA activities, visit us at: www.pasafarming.org
Certified by PCO 32 For the latest information on PASA activities, visit us at: www.pasafarming.org
Certified by PCO
Certified by PCO

32

For the latest information on PASA activities, visit us at: www.pasafarming.org

For the latest information on PASA activities, visit us at:

www.pasafarming.org

Certified by PCO 32 For the latest information on PASA activities, visit us at: www.pasafarming.org
Certified by PCO 32 For the latest information on PASA activities, visit us at: www.pasafarming.org

PAID ADVERTISEMENT

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Patterned on successful co-housing communities in the West, Hundredfold Farm is one of a growing num- ber now developing in the mid-Atlantic region. In fact, Hundredfold is the one of the most affordable in the region with single-family homes starting at $135K. Hundredfold Farm is a multigenerational community of households who have come together from across the mid-Atlantic region. Our members are united by a vision of a more ecologically sound, cooperative pattern for living. Hundredfold Farm Community will break ground in Spring 2004 for the construction of 14 homes. Currently, eight sites are available.

80 acre property in spectacular setting, 8 miles west of Gettysburg, PA

• Site features woodlands, fields, pond, walking paths, hills.

Single-family homes offer

• Option of designing your own floor plan

• Passive solar design and southern site orientation

• Finished home cost ranging from $90-$140K

• Land and infrastructure costs of $45K per household (based on 14 households)

• 180o view of surrounding area

• Several barns and outbuildings

• Working Christmas tree farm

• Community vegetable & flower gardens

• Community Supported Agricul- ture (CSA) onsite

• Under 2 hours from Baltimore/ Washing- ton, DC metro area

Under 2 hours from Baltimore/ Washing- ton, DC metro area Houses and site plan incorporate eco-friendly

Houses and site plan incorporate eco-friendly design

• Grant funding available for photo-voltaic (solar) panels

• Superb, energy-efficient construction

• Innovative water treatment and recycling system

• Built-in water collection and conservation systems

• Planned in cooperation with the American Home Builders Research Center, and the Adams County Planning Com- mission.

Community-friendly site design

• A village concept of 14 homes, (designed for both privacy and social interaction)

• Green way between the homes

• Convenient parking at perimeter

• Existing 8-room, 2-bath common house with wrap-around porch

• Designed for both privacy and interaction.

• Vision for site includes gazebo, sauna, meditation spots, and other communal gathering spaces

sauna, meditation spots, and other communal gathering spaces You are invited for a visit to tour

You are invited for a visit to tour our site and attend our weekly meetings. To contact us or find out more go to www.hundredfoldfarm.org, e-mail rhubarb@cvn.net or call (717) 334-9426 to talk with Bill or Sandy.

Perhaps you know someone else who might like to know about Hundredfold? Please help us spread the word!

33

About You

Name

Company/Farm

Address

City

State

ZIP+4

County

Home Phone

Work Phone

E-mail

Web Address

Are you farming:

Are you farming: NO YES — how many acres:

NO

Are you farming: NO YES — how many acres:

YES — how many acres:

How did you learn about PASA:

 

Membership Category

Student Please complete Field A $ 15

Student

Please complete Field A

$ 15

Individual Please complete Field A $ 35

Individual

Please complete Field A

$ 35

Family/Farm Please complete Field B $ 55

Family/Farm

Please complete Field B

$ 55

Nonprofit Please complete Field C $ 100

Nonprofit

Please complete Field C

$ 100

Business Please complete Field C $ 150

Business

Please complete Field C

$ 150

 

SUBTOTAL $

Sustaining Lifetime Membership

Your contribution as a lifetime member will be managed with care as part of our Founder’s Fund, sustaining both your ongoing membership and the long-term future of PASA.

Sustaining Lifetime Member Please complete Field B Please complete Field B

$ 700

SUBTOTAL $

Gift Memberships

In addition to your own membership, you may give PASA membership to a good friend, family member, business associate or other worthy recip- ient on an annual or lifetime basis…a gift that keeps on giving! Please complete Field D

Student $ 15

Student

$ 15

Individual $ 35

Individual

$ 35

Family/Farm $ 55

Family/Farm

$ 55

Lifetime Sustaining Member $ 700

Lifetime Sustaining Member

$ 700

 

SUBTOTAL $

Donation

Tax-deductible donation to Annual Fund

SUBTOTAL $

Total Amount Due

$

34

A. Student or Individual Membership

Please list one name for this membership level.

Membership Please list one name for this membership level . B. Family/Farm or Sustaining Lifetime Membership

B. Family/Farm or Sustaining Lifetime Membership

Please list all names for this Family/Farm membership. You may include children between the ages of 14–22, and also multiple generations directly involved in the farm.

and also multiple generations directly involved in the farm. C. Nonprofit or Business Membership Please list
and also multiple generations directly involved in the farm. C. Nonprofit or Business Membership Please list
and also multiple generations directly involved in the farm. C. Nonprofit or Business Membership Please list

C. Nonprofit or Business Membership

Please list up to two additional people associated with your business to receive individual membership privileges.

Name

Address

City

State

ZIP+4

E-mail

Are you farming:

Are you farming: NO YES — how many acres:  

NO

YES — how many acres:

YES — how many acres:

 

Would you like to receive mailings from PASA:

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NO

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Top left: These two enthusiastic participants at the Buy Fresh/Buy Local campaign launch in Philadelphia
Top left: These two enthusiastic participants at the Buy Fresh/Buy Local campaign launch in Philadelphia

Top left: These two enthusiastic participants at the Buy Fresh/Buy Local campaign launch in Philadelphia seem insistent about where their food is produced. Top right: Local chef at the Buy Fresh/Buy Local launch serves a grass-fed hog from Coun- try Time Farm in Berks County. Bottom right: Jim Weaver explains the basics of holistic resource management (HRM) to participants at the Provident Farm field day. Bottom left: Bill Brownlee, of Wil-Den Farm, explains the function of his innovative pas- ture farrowing hut to captivated onlookers at the Fair Winds/Wil-Den field day.The Brown- lees use a wagon wheel pasture system for year-round management of hogs outdoors.

Winds/Wil-Den field day.The Brown- lees use a wagon wheel pasture system for year-round management of hogs
Winds/Wil-Den field day.The Brown- lees use a wagon wheel pasture system for year-round management of hogs

35

SAVE THE DATE!

PASA’s 13th Annual Farming for the Future Conference

Pathways to Prosperity: The New Face of Agriculture February 5, 6, and 7th , 2004

The Speakers

of Agriculture February 5, 6, and 7th , 2004 The Speakers OPENING KEYNOTE Paul Hawken ,

OPENING KEYNOTE

Paul Hawken, author of Ecology of Commerce and Natural Capitalism, serves as co-chair of The Natural Step, a non- profit educational foun- dation that assists businesses and organizations in creating a long-term commitment to environmental sustain- ability as a core part of their overall pol- icy and practices.

as a core part of their overall pol- icy and practices. CLOSING KEYNOTE Anuradha Mittal ,

CLOSING KEYNOTE

Anuradha Mittal, a native of India, is the Co-Director of the Institute for Food and Development Policy (AKA Food First), a

leading progressive think tank and edu- cation-for-action center focusing on food as a human right. Their work aims to re-shape our — global food system to make it more socially-just and environ- mentally — sustainable

Pre-Conference

New in 2004 — PASA is excited to pres- ent an additonal day (Thursday) featur- ing four all-day intensive tracks

(additional fees apply).

New and Beginning Farmers: Get the nuts and bolts from PASA’s pros!

Small Ruminants: The best in the field lecture on health, production, and marketing.

Women in Agriculture: Back and expanded by popular demand!

Timber Framing: Participants will build a corncrib in this hands-on class led by Hugh Lofting Timber Framing Inc.

“One of the great conferences of sustainable agriculture around the country”

— John Ikerd

FEBRUARY

2004

2004 Notes

PASA is dedicated to keeping regis- tration fees the same as 2003!

The Conference will feature national- ly recognized speakers, over 50 work- shops, a 45-vendor ‘Sustainable Trade Show and Marketplace’, meals featur- ing sustainably, organically, and regionally raised food, the Sustainable Ag Leadership Award Banquet & live entertainment. Look for the full con- ference brochure in early November.

Expanded Youth Program — we’re bringing back the popular K–7 pro- gram, and new this year — the teen “PASA Future Farmers” program for 8th through 12th graders.

Look for updates on the Conference on PASA’s website at www.pasafarming.org

Complete Conference information will be available mid-November.

For information on sponsorships and exhibiting space, contact Lauren Smith at PASA headquarters.

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture 114 West Main Street • PO Box 419 • Millheim,

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

114 West Main Street • PO Box 419 • Millheim, PA 16854

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