the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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the shortage of livestock veterinarians is reaching “crisis levels”

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Even after the lamb comes, the ewe continues to strain. Sticky with afterbirth, the ram lamb calls to his mother in quavering tenor, but though she lifts her head in his direction and lets out a low moan of response, her heaving sides won’t let her rise and go to him.

In the compounded darkness of the manger—it’s well after sunset—it’s hard to see what’s happening. The ewe stretches a hind leg in effort, and then again, and again, pushing. She stops her rhythmic movement, breath ragged. Someone shines a light: there is something there, behind her hind legs, on the straw. A second lamb? The thing is dark, darker than the first lamb. A black lamb? But no, it glistens too strangely in the odd glare/shadow contrast of the flashlight.

“I—I think that’s part of her body.” What? “I think those are her organs.” 

The stillness breaks. The livestock manager is called. “Prolapse,” “iodine,” “warm water,” “towels.” There is a flurry of activity in service to these words. The rumble of a truck announces the arrival of Josh, the livestock manager, from down the road. He clicks his headlamp on to peer at the lumpen tangle between the prostrate ewe’s legs. “That’s her uterus,” he says, and walks away to call the vet.

He returns shaking his head. The vet can’t come for two hours—there’s another emergency, over the border in Vermont. “I guess I’ll try to put it back, but I’ve never had much luck.”

Josh instructs someone to fetch sugar, someone to fetch a better light, someone to prepare a bottle of colostrum for the new lamb (“He’s huge, look how huge he is! That must be what did it”). He sloshes iodine up to his elbows while two people hold the ewe still. Gingerly, he lifts the uterus from ground, pulling off bits of straw and hay. He pours sugar over it. “The vet says this will make it shrink, so that it will fit,” he tells us. Then in a low mutter, to himself, “This was my favorite sheep.”

After a few moments, he begins trying to push the uterus back into the ewe. But even gritty with sugar, reverse-osmosis starting to drain the fluid, it’s slippery and swollen, bulging any place where Josh’s hands can’t stretch, the task like trying to fit a water ballon into the tap from which it was filled. “She’s pushing against me,” he says. “Her body thinks she’s having a lamb.”

He keeps trying: adding more sugar, repositioning, applying prolonged pressure, but it won’t go. Josh sits back on his heels. There’s nothing to do but wait for the vet.
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the future of pecans (and more) in southern Arizona

Water rights are a hot topic lately, especially in the arid Southwest. It’s even harder for small farmers who often can’t afford the increasing cost of water to irrigate their crops. Pair that with urban growth and developers with money to spend and it can be difficult to imagine an easy path forward for sustainable agriculture in these areas. Check out an excerpt from this article in the Arizona Sonora News and find a link to the full piece below.

As cities grow, agriculture is sacrificed, because the water and land available for development is in farming areas….

Phoenix is poised to become the fourth largest city in the United States by 2020, Burgess said. It is now sixth. This population growth is pushing the metropolis farther south, replacing farms with homes along the way.

And water is part of the reason why, though it’s not the cost of water that’s prompting famers to sell.

Farmland often comes in a package deal with water rights, and developers make offers that most farmers can’t refuse.

Future of S. Arizona desert farming and development floats on water
Elizabeth S. Eaton, Arizona Sonora News, Dec. 9, 2016
Read the full article HERE.


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head farmer job in patagonia, az

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Native Seeds/SEARCH Conservation Farm in Patagonia, AZ is looking for an operation technician to work as part of a professional team to create a sustainable farm for conserving precious seeds. This position is responsible for overseeing field preparation, cultivation, irrigation, and similar activities as needed, as well as the maintaining all farm equipment and structures.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Prepare the fields and assist in field plot placement, planting, and harvesting of annual grow outs.
  • Maintain and operate the irrigation systems. Monitor irrigation to assure adequate water availability for seed production and for perennial plantings.
  • Cultivate and mow fields and non-field areas for weed management.
  • Maintain records of cultivation, irrigation, weeding, and equipment maintenance and repairs.
  • Oversee the installation, repair, and removal of materials and structures used on the farm for our annual seed grow out needs.
  • Work with interns and volunteers as appropriate.
  • Collaborate in the plan, design, and implementation of sustainable systems and practices on the farm.
  • Represent NS/S in workshops and on farm tours as appropriate.
  • Support the Farm Manager with supervision and training of interns and other staff.

To read more, click HERE


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tucson arizona recognized as world city of gastronomy by unesco

Tucson has always been a city of gastronomy. Today, it was designated a World City of Gastronomy by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), becoming the first city in the United States to receive such a designation.

The designation adds Tucson to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, created in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. Tucson joins 46 other cities added to the Creative Cities Network today. The 116 cities in this network are intended to work together toward a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

To read more about this exciting news from Gary Paul Nabhan, click HERE!

 


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Arizona slow money event

insoilwetrustArizona Food, Farm and Ranch Finance Forum, January 13-15
Biosphere Two: What’s in it for YOU?

  • If you are a social impact investor or venture capitalist: Come and hear Slow Money founder Woody Tasch tell how $30 million in dollars of investing locally in 220 food and farm businesses since 2010 is creating viable options to placing all your money and trust in Wall Street.
  • If you are a beginning (or ramping-up) farmer or rancher: Come and hear Alex Young of Cornman Farm and the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses talk about double their production and planting area each year, and how he finances it. Zingerman’s has grown seventeen for-profits and non-profits in Ann Arbor to create 650 new jobs and 50 million dollars of annual sales of products and services in its community.
  • If you want to jumpstart a local food restaurant, or cooperative local food distribution network to restaurants: Come and hear Derrick Widmark, co-founder of Diablo Burger in Flagstaff and Tucson tell how he brokered financial backing and local beef and vegetable sourcing to jumpstart these independently-owned businesses.
  • If you are a food bank staffer hoping to create new jobs for the poor: Come and hear Lisa Pino, Executive Director of United Food Bank in Chandler, explain what USDA Strikeforce Programs and philanthropic initiatives can do to help you create live-able wage jobs in the food growing, processing and distribution sectors.
  • If you are a community development planner or credit union investment officer: Come and hear Michael Dimock of Roots of Change in the Bay area explain how rural and urban communities are coming together to plan the future of their food-based economies.
  • If you are an eater, a food justice activist, or student: Come and hear Kimber Lanning of Local First Arizona offer a vision of living local economies that will help Arizona communities recover their health and well-being.
  • If you are a potential donor, angel investor, stakeholder or loan-giver to such initiatives: Learn from Elizabeth U, author of Raising Dough, how to avoid legal pitfalls and financial risks to match your financial resources to match your investing capacity with your values to do the greatest possible good for your family and community.
  • If you want to start a food microenterprise from a community kitchen using local ingredients for value-added products: Listen to Ernie Rivera, Kitchen Manager of Mixing Bowl, the Kitchen for Entrepreneurs in Albuquerque, talking about helping sixty active food microenterprises each year and guiding another hundred prospective food businesses in product development and business planning.


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ranch jobs!

via the Quivera Coalition.

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Quivira Coalition – Land & Water Program Opportunity
Summer Watershed Restoration Intern: Download the PDF for full job descrption & application. The Quivira Coalition seeks a 2013 summer intern who is passionate about land health to assist with a variety of tasks linked to our Comanche Creek Watershed Restoration project. The intern will work under the direct supervision of Mollie Walton, Ph.D., Quivira’s Land & Water Program Director. This is an amazing opportunity and involves projects that will require both field work and office work. Interested? Take a look at the application – pdf attached in this email – and apply as soon as possible. Dr. Walton will be filling this position as soon as possible.
 
Other Great Opportunities:
A few of the opportunities listed below were in the April newsletter. Khalsa Greenhouses is hoping to find one additional intern who would be interested in over-wintering with them – see job description and contact info below if you’re interested. Chico Basin is good to keep in mind if you’re interested in ranching, and can plan several months ahead of time. Spur Lake has regular openings for people with horseback experience…. Zapata Ranch is listed again, but with new positions… Continue reading


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NYFC seeks a western organizer!

A great opportunity to work with the National Young Farmers’ Coalition in the Colorado River Basin.

COLORADO RIVER BASIN ORGANIZER
The National Young Farmers’ Coalition seeks a full-time Colorado River Basin Organizer to build 7 new young farmers coalition affiliates in Colorado River Basin states (AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT, WY) and promote various campaigns with partner organizations to ensure the sustainability of farming in the region.

Responsibilities

  • Organizing 7 new NYFC affiliate groups in AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT and WY with volunteers.
  • Hosting at least one event in each of these states as an introduction to the National Young Farmers’ Coalition
  • Building a highly engaged group of farmers and citizens in support of young and beginning farmers in these states Continue reading