the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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twenty best college farms

20FarmsHeader

From small student-run organic farms, to large agribusiness training centers and entrepreneurial programs, farming plays a central role in many American higher ed institutions. To highlight this unique offering, Best College Reviews surveyed over 50 schools to come up with a list of the best university farms in America.

Using this Ranking Criteria:

  • Farm Size
  • Integration with the Main Campus
  • Sustainability
  • Are courses taught at the farm?
  • Do students use the farm?
  • Integration with the community

A list of twenty colleges was compiled with beautiful photos. See the full story here.


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work for the rabblers

Who protect the organic industry from besmirchment and collusive bad boy behaviors by watchdogging mercilessly.
Good for the small start-ups among us, really.  Though sometimes hard to like it.

Connect Your Career and Your Heart — Organic Farming Champions Wanted (locations: virtually-officed/national and Wisconsin)

The Cornucopia Institute is a farm policy research group focused on research and education. We are one of the most preeminent and aggressive organic and sustainable food and farming watchdogs. Continue reading


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beginning farmer and rancher opportunity act

this is the cluster of bills I keep talking about.

Young would-be farmers have a tough row to hoe
by By GABRIEL SILVERMAN in the News Observer

ASHINGTON — The average age of the American farmer has been rising for decades and now is edging toward 60, as rural youth traded work in soil for work in offices. But even as interest in operating farms has returned, the next generation of food producers faces severe economic hurdles to breaking ground.

High crop prices have pushed land values up 42 percent since 2007, and the economic downturn has limited the availability of credit.

Without significant help from family, neighbors or the government, it’s nearly impossible to begin farming, according to Brandon Riffey, U.S. Department of Agriculture farm loan officer for Pratt County, Kan.

 


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farm financing webinars

FARM FINANCING: Helping New Farmers Scale the Capital Access Barriers
Monday, May 9 from 12pm – 1pm
Dorothy Suput, founder and executive director of The Carrot Project, will summarize the findings and recommendations of a national working group on farm financing, whose report Farm Financing: Opportunities to Improve the Financial and Business Environment for Small and Mid-Sized Farms Through Strategic Financing was published in July 2010
and
Angela Hanson, Loan Officer with the USDA Farm Services Agency, will outline the FSA’s loan programs for beginning farmers, and how these loans fit into the overall landscape of loan options for new farmers. Continue reading


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grain situations

lots of times people wonder how this local food movement is going to ‘Feed the masses’

Those of you here likely have your own favorite answer to this question, but recently mine has had to do with Succession.
the succession of local farm operations, that grow more sophisticated, more logisticated, more formalized and diversified with each passing year.
And local grain growing is a huge part of that.
My friend Dorn recently told me he did the math.  Continue reading


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changing roles

Greenhorn Olivia Sargent just wrote this piece for Civil Eats.  How do you fit into our food economy?

Changing Roles in the Local Food Economy
The DIY craze has shacked up with the local food movement to produce some inspiring examples of entrepreneurialism: Mason jar magic made by suburban fruit salvagers powered by pedals; workshops on wild-crafting, axe-making, rooftop bees and city-living chickens; lecture series that focus on the how-to rather than just why, when and where; and more.

But we can’t just take pictures of these ingenious innovators for the glossies and call our work finished. We have so much creativity (and cabbage) fermenting at the intersection of craft, food, and agriculture–now we need to connect the dots. Continue reading

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