NOFA-NH E-Newsletter: October 2020
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Final Virtual CRAFT Tour Tonight!
Join us tonight at 7:00 p.m. for the last virtual tour of our CRAFT Program series, “Managing Soil Health: Grazing & Specialty Crops” with Stonewall Farm! Learn about the benefits of soil management techniques like preventing water erosion, easing compaction, producing nutrient dense products, and more. The tour will be followed by a live Q&A.
Why Organic Now? Linking Social Justice to Personal and Planetary Health: A Virtual Panel Discussion
We are proud to present a free, virtual panel event this fall: a discussion titled "Why Organic Now? Linking Social Justice to Personal and Planetary Health.” The many challenges currently facing our food system have highlighted the importance of organic growing and eating as practical steps for countering unfair labor practices, unhealthy and inaccessible food supplies, and climate change. People in New Hampshire and the Northeast are working together to build an equitable food system that strives to improve economic vitality, resilience, biodiversity, and health for all.
We invite you to join us on November 18th from 7 to 8:30 pm for this virtual discussion with leaders from around the state and region to explore specific ways that localized, organic, regenerative growing and eating can contribute to the repair of unjust social structures, personal health, and the environment that sustains us.
Save the Date for Our Winter Conference: February 13-14, 2021
NOFA-NH is excited to announce our 19th annual Winter Conference on Saturday and Sunday, February 13 – 14, 2021! This year’s conference will feature 10+ online workshops addressing the theme of Cultivating Stewardship: Health, Harmony and Resilience. Registration coming soon!
Learn more about sponsoring, exhibiting and advertising here.
Join NOFA-NH or Renew Your Membership in November!
Our work would not be possible without the vision of our members! This November, you can support NOFA-NH by becoming a new member or renewing your membership. Your membership is vital as we continue to expand our programs and workshops. If you value our mission, events and programming, including our monthly e-newsletter, we encourage you to become a member in November.
Join us in creating a healthier, sustainable food system for all. A Standard Membership is just $45/year, and a Student/Senior Membership is $30/year. Sustaining memberships and gift memberships are also available. Read more about the benefits of membership here.
It's Official: A "Real Organic Project" Label
Real Organic Project (ROP) announced the official release of their new label. ROP is a farmer-led movement that was created in response to, in their words, "lack of enforcement"” of vital USDA Organic Standards, to distinguish soil-grown and pasture-raised products under the USDA Organic label. Today, nearly 500 farms have been approved for certification.
Microplastics in Farm Soils?
Microplastics in the ocean have received quite a bit of media attention in recent years. These tiny pieces of plastic (about the size of a grain of rice) are accumulating on land, too. One estimate suggested that 107,000 to 730,000 tons of microplastics could be dumped onto agricultural soils in the U.S. and Europe every year. Does this affect us? A plant physiologist at Kansas State University found that wheat plants became contaminated with toxic trace elements when microplastics were present.
Proposed Changes to Meat Processing Legislation and Labeling Standards
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) recently introduced legislation to expand processing options for small meat and poultry producers, and to help smaller facilities as they adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic and expand to meet increased demand.
On a larger scale, the Federal Trade Commission has proposed a rule to rein in inaccurate labeling of meat products. Currently, beef and pork that was born, raised, and slaughtered in another country can be labeled as a "Product of the U.S.A." as long as it is processed in the United States. The National Farmers Union, a longtime advocate of clear and accurate labeling, recently weighed in.
Community Conversations About Resilience & Local Food Production
The importance of local farms and working lands has been highlighted by the pandemic. Join Vital Communities, Land for Good, and other partners for a series of three virtual forums titled “Community Resilience Through Local Food Security.” Connect with your community and farmers to talk about the nuts and bolts of increasing productive farmland in the region, how to increase resilience through local food security, and how farms are adapting to climate change. Hear from your neighbors about their land challenges and successes, and learn about land access tools from Land For Good.
Pollinator Habitat Design Project at NH Farm
Agrarian Trust and Patagonia are funding two pollinator habitat projects that aim to show how Regenerative Agriculture creates a balanced habitat that benefits both the farm and the environment. Vernon Family Farm in Newfields is one of the locations, and they’re working with a professional horticulturalist, entomologist and conservationist to implement a pollinator habitat enhancement plan that will include planting hedgerows, meadows, and pastures composed of New Hampshire native wildflowers, shrubs, and grasses.
Addressing Social Justice in the Farming Community
In 2018, the Agricultural Justice Project (AJP) and NOFA started the “Fair from Farm to Retail” project to help organic farmers realize and strengthen their social justice practices, as social justice concerns were not included in the National Organic Program (NOP) standards. AJP has provided free technical assistance and resources to farms to help them become Food Justice Certified. Another aspect of the project aimed to encourage co-ops to buy from local farms and to even give preference to farms who practice social justice values. AJP and NOFA plan to release a final report including findings and recommendations for the kinds of training that would enable more farms to put their social justice values into practice on their farms. In the meantime, you can support their work by making a financial contribution to AJP’s Annual Fund today.
For Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, Massachusetts, farming itself is an act of social justice. Owners Jen and Pete Salinetti are committed to the "people-first ethos” of the farm: they’re deeply involved in their community, they treat their farm crew like family, they’ve created a land stewardship program for students ages 2-13, they donate CSAs to vulnerable community members, and more.
BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund Provided 223 Grants to Producers
This summer, a coalition of food and farm groups across the Northeast worked together to provide financial assistance to Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers and fisherfolk who were impacted by Covid-19. The Northeast BIPOC Farmer Relief Fund, funded by Farm Aid, provided grants of $500 each to a total of 223 producers. Priority was given to producers using sustainable, regenerative or environmentally sound practices who demonstrate a connectedness to their community. Because of the USDA's narrow definition of a farmer, the coalition decided to define "farmer" more broadly, to ensure that applicants need not own farmland or a farm business or generate a profit, so long as they are growing or raising food in some capacity for their communities, in order to qualify.
This effort was a collaborative initiative of several Northeast and national farm and food systems organizations, including Black Farmer Fund, Black Urban Growers and Farmers of Pittsburgh Cooperative (BUGFPC), Farm Fresh Rhode Island, Just Food, Land For Good, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), National Young Farmers Coalition, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust (NEFOC), Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (NESAWG), Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ), Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), Pasa Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Vermont, The Carrot Project, and Urban Tree Connection. Thank you to everyone who spread the word about this funding.
Surveys for Farmers/Producers
NOFA Farmers Healthy Soils Survey — Your responses will directly inform our advocacy on behalf of farmers & soils and will inform our work on committees, commissions, and grant programs benefiting the farming community!
Northeast BIPOC Farmers Survey — Help Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, Soul Fire Farm, and the Black Farmer Fund better understand and serve the needs of Northeastern BIPOC land stewards, align their goals and activities, and celebrate their collective impact by filling out this survey.
Syrup Production Survey — UNH is investigating sap extraction and syrup production of non-maple tree species and looking to gain a better understanding of sap flow dynamics. Syrup producers are invited to complete this short survey. Deadline: October 20th
Northeast SARE Grants — Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education is accepting applications for the following grants:
Farmer Grant, due November 17
Research and Education, due October 20
Research for Novel Approaches, due October 20
Professional Development Grant, due October 20
FarmRaise — Use this free digital platform, which connects farmers with funding opportunities, to find other grants you may be eligible for.
Work With Us: NOFA-NH Is Hiring a Finance Coordinator
We are seeking a Finance Coordinator to join our team! In addition to supporting organizational decision-making by ensuring that financial, insurance and tax records are collected, recorded and reported accurately, the Coordinator will provide basic office support and generate reports as requested for the Treasurer and the Board of Directors.
The position is part-time, 12-16 hours per week, with some flexibility in work hours.
Welcome to the NOFA-NH Team, Chadley!
Last month, Chadley Kolb joined NOFA-NH as our new Education Coordinator. Chadley first started working with NOFA-NH as a videographer and filmmaker, producing all of the videos on our growing YouTube channel. He has a professional background in wildlife conservation and event management, and is also an accomplished musician and composer. Now in the role of Education Coordinator, Chadley is focused on our annual Winter Conference, and further developing educational programs and materials. Welcome, Chadley!
Invitation to Join NOFA-NH's Board Committees
Passionate and enthusiastic volunteers are invited to join our Board Committees! You do not have to be a Board Member to join. Prospective committee members are welcome to join a meeting — contact us for more information.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: *New Committee, Time TBD
Education & Outreach: Please inquire about the next meeting
Finance: 4th Thursdays of the month, 4-5 pm
Governance: 3rd Tuesdays of the month, 10-11 am
Fundraising & Marketing: 3rd Thursdays of the month, 1-2:30 pm
Membership: 4th Thursdays of the month, 1:30-2:30 pm
Policy: 4th Wednesdays of the month, 8-9 am
Quality Assurance: 1st Thursdays of the month, 4:15 pm
Welcome New & Renewing Members
Thank you to our NOFA-NH Members who became new members or renewed their memberships in September 2020.
Andrew Charbonneau, David Cushing, Kathy Higgins
Dara Gall, Peggy Ueda
NOFA-NH Members may post 1 free Classified per month on our Classifieds page and in this newsletter. Not yet members may post a Classified in the e-news and on our website for $45 per Classified per month. To inquire about this program and to share your Classified with our community, please contact email@example.com.
Please Note: The views and opinions expressed in these classifieds are those of our members and sponsors, and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NOFA-NH, its staff, or Board of Directors. We reserve the right to reject content deemed unsuitable or inappropriate for our readership and distribution.
October 15: NOFA-NH's CRAFT of Farming Virtual Tour of Stonewall Farm
October 15, 21, 28: The Carrot Project's Ready for Resilience Virtual Gatherings
October 16: NH Food Alliance Network Café: Gearing Up for Cooling Down
October 18: Soil Health Field Day at Freedom Food Farm (NOFA/Mass)
October 19: Open Forum for NH Farmers with UNH Extension
October 20: “Community Resilience through Local Food Security” Forum (Lebanon/Mascoma Valley)
October 20, 22, 28-30: USDA National Organic Standards Board Meeting
October 27: “Community Resilience through Local Food Security” Forum (Kearsarge Region)
October 28: Iron Bound Cider Field Day hosted by Alec Gioseffi (NOFA-NJ)
November 2: NOFA/Mass Min Till Monthly Farmer Call. All calls at 7 – 8 pm. Dial 413-259-8022 to join. Future calls: Mon Dec 7
November 2: “Community Resilience through Local Food Security” Forum (Clarement/Newport area)
November 2, 4, 6: Farmer to Farmer Conference (MOFGA)
November 4-8: 2020 National FIELD School - NIFTI and AgALN
November 9 & 16: UNH Extension's NH Direct Marketing Conference: Marketing Your Agriculture Business In the New Normal
November 9: Open Forum for NH Farmers with UNH Extension
November 18: "Why Organic Now? Linking Social Justice to Personal and Planetary Health," A Virtual Panel Discussion
Sundays in January 2021: Real Organic Project Virtual Symposium
February 13-14, 2021: NOFA-NH Winter Conference
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