Join us October 25th at 6:00 pm at the home of NWFBAG Coordinator, Ariana Taylor-Stanley, for an evening of savory and sweet pies, delicious local beverages, and good company. Each slice of pie or drink you buy supports our farm bill advocacy work for a more healthy, sustainable, and just food system. RSVP on Facebook here. Online pie and drink ticket purchasing link coming soon!
Last April, Tilth Producers of Washington and the Northwest Farm Bill Action Group, in partnership with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition, hosted Congresswoman Suzan DelBene for a listening session and tour of Local Roots Farm. She liked it so much that she sent her D.C.-based agriculture staffer, Ben Barasky, to the district for his own tour this month.
The tour, in pictures:
Siri Erickson-Brown and Sam Bowhay, owner and manager, respectively, of Local Roots, welcomed Ben and a few other local farmers.
We headed to the fields to talk about the farm’s growing practices, including pest management. Field Manager Sam is considering applying for support from a farm bill research program like the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Extension (SARE) grant program or the new Crop Protection and Pest Management (CPPM) program’s Integrated Pest Management funding to find an organic control for wireworms.
In the farm’s processing area, Sam showed Ben the farm’s Food Safety Manual, a response to the forthcoming food safety regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration in compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act. Adjusting to new food safety regulations is expensive and time consuming – Sam spent over 40 hours this winter learning about food safety regulations and creating the manual – so we are glad to see funding in the latest federal budget for the new Food Safety Outreach Program.
This season-extending greenhouse was funded by a Specialty Crop Block Grant administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Ben was impressed to see the impacts of this program, which he worked on farm bill language for, in person.
The full diversity of Local Roots’ crops is on display in the starts greenhouse. We discussed how diversification acts as a form of risk management for farms, talked about the need for more projects like that at Hearty Roots Farm in New York to make farm bill programs work better for diversified farms, and the pros and cons of Whole Farm Revenue Insurance.
The tour wrapped up with some local bounty for refreshments and casual conversation on the farm pad.
Thanks to Local Roots Farm, Sam, and Siri for hosting, to Ben Barasky for lending us your afternoon, and to Congresswoman DelBene for supporting sustainable faming!
Support the Northwest Farm Bill Action Group and eat delicious, organic, vegan food!
When: June 7, 2014, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm
Where: Plum Cafe, 324 15th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112
Why: 20% of proceeds all day go to support NWFBAG's work for a more healthy, sustainable, and equitable food system!
RSVP: On Facebook or by emailing Coordinator Ariana - firstname.lastname@example.org
A New Way of Doing Business for a New Generation (USDA, March 11, 2014)
When Lindsey and Ben Shute contacted their local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office looking for loan assistance to build a new cold storage facility for their farm, they had no idea what was in store for them.
Farm Bill Reflects Shifting American Menu and a Senator’s Persistent Tilling (New York Times, March 8, 2014) The farm bill signed by President Obama last month was at first glance the usual boon for soybean growers, catfish farmers and their ilk. But closer examination reveals that the nation’s agriculture policy is increasingly more whole grain than white bread.
What Does the President’s 2015 Budget Mean for Sustainable Agriculture? (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, March 5th, 2014) President Obama sent his budget proposal for 2015 to Capitol Hill yesterday. A full review of positive signs and also some disappointments for NSAC priorities in the budget request.
Farm Bill 2014: This Is Not Reform (Center for Rural Affairs, February 25, 2014) President Obama signed the Farm Bill into law on February 7, 2014 in East Lansing, Michigan. Some refer to the bill as a mixed bag. While there are some good provisions, many of which you helped us advocate for over the past few years, the Center for Rural Affairs opposed the final Farm Bill.
Farm bill: Why don’t taxpayers subsidize the foods that are better for us?(Washington Post, February 18, 2014) Read the farm bill, and a big problem jumps right out at you: Taxpayers heavily subsidize corn and soy, two crops that facilitate the meat and processed food we’re supposed to eat less of, and do almost nothing for the fruits and vegetables we’re supposed to eat more of.
We have a farm bill at last, for better or worse (Marion Nestle, February 10, 2014) The new farm bill has twelve sections or titles. Provided here are some short synopses of some positive and negative details of the 4th Title: Nutrition.
Do Farm Bills Drive or Deter Change? (WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, February 5, 2014) Farm bills over the last forty years have shaped today’s agriculture systems and technology. They have done so by setting the “rules of the road” and defining or shaping research and investment priorities. The new farm bill provides farmers, agribusiness, rural communities, and the food industry a more stable policy framework in which to make investment and planting decisions. But my sense is this farm bill could mark a historically significant inflection point.