Sustainable Food and Farming Systems

Passages
commence. Examine your role as a citizen in a democracy and learn the history of people’s movements, corporate power, and the dramatic recent organizing in Pennsylvania by communities confronting agribusiness, sewage sludge, and quarry corporations. This is a crash course in how to take local political action. Choosing from the eight Thursday preconference tracks on February 7th is no easy task! From two hands-on tracks to comprehensive livestock and nutrition tracks, each one will leave you with an in-depth knowledge of the topic.
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Newsletter of the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture

Serving the Community of Sustainable Farmers, Consumers and Businesses Throughout Pennsylvania and Beyond Number 69 November/December 2007

PASA’s 17th Annual Farming for the Future Conference
Ready to Grow: Sharing the Sustainable Story
February 7–9, 2008 • State College, PA
I The Art of Cheese featuring Peter Dixon, Anne Saxelby, Krista Dittman and Charuth Van Beuzekom, Holly Foster, Jason Turner and more! I New & Beginning Farmers with Sarah Flack, Jim Crawford, David Ober, Karma Glos, and many more. I The Link Between Nutrition and Agriculture with Doctors Michael Fox, Richard Olree, Gregory Pais and special appearance by Mark McAfee! I

row Ready to Ginable :Story
Sharing the Susta
PA SA’s 17th Annual the Future Conference Farming for
February 7 ¬ 9, 2008 Center Hotel Penn Stater Conference nia State College, Pennsylva

n Pennsylvania Associatio for Sustainable Agriculture

CONFERENCE PREVIEW

By Allison Shauger

Pre-Conference Program
This year we’re offering ten pre-conference tracks including two hands-on Thursday tracks and two multi-day in-depth courses. Beginning on Tuesday, February 5, PASA will host Neal Kinsey for his Advanced Soil Fertility Seminar, which will continue through Thursday, February 7th. Following the Albrecht Methods for soil testing and soil nutrient use, this advanced course is appropriate for those who have completed Mr. Kinsey’s introductory soil fertility course or have a strong working knowledge of the terminology and principles set forth in Hands-On Agronomy. On Wednesday, February 6th, the twoday Democracy School (see page 5) will

I Hands-On Pastured Poultry at the Poultry Man, Eli Reiff ’s farm and processing barn. Build a pastured poultry pen with Tom Colbaugh and Jean Nick and learn how to process birds with the Reiffs.

Farm Scale Bio-Diesel Production: An Advanced Intensive to be held at the Ag Arena Equipment Garage with seven instructors including Vern Grubinger, Maria ‘Girl Mark’ Alovert, Frankie Abralind, Dave Rosenstraus, Matt Steiman and more!

Surviving the 21st Century: The New Victory Garden for the self-sufficient modern homesteader featuring Harvey Ussery, Harlan Holmes, Susan Beal, Mindy Schwartz and many more!

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Grass-fed, Grass-finished Beef with Jim Gerrish, Gearld Fry & Ridge Shinn, Mike Debach, and four experienced pastured-beef farmers.

Small Ruminants Comprehensive featuring Steve Hart, Kathy Voth, tatiana Stanton, Karl North, Linda Singley & Phylleri Ball.

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Main Conference Preview
After the all day intensives on Thursday, it’s nice to have the pick-and-choose options of the Friday and Saturday workshop sessions. The volunteer conference planning committee worked tirelessly to find speakers on thirteen sustainable agriculture and related themes. We offer workshops on livestock, vegetables, marketing, policy, energy, and much more! For a quick glimpse at the full conference offerings: I Livestock Production Jim Gerrish will teach optimal pasture management, Kathy Voth and Troy Bishopp will help you optimize your grazing potential, and Steve Hart and David Pugh will speak about parasite lifecycles and solutions. There are even workshops on vet care and raising alpacas! continued page 3 I Fruit/Vegetable Production Learn the low-input methods of

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 Staff Editor: Michele Gauger Layout: C Factor Advertising Sales: Michele Gauger, PASA office, michele@pasafarming.org BOARD OF DIRECTORS President: Kim Seeley, Bradford County Vice President: Brian Moyer, Berks County Secretary: Mary Barbercheck, Centre County Treasurer: Louise Schorn Smith, Chester County David Bingaman, Dauphin County Jennifer Halpin, Cumberland County Mena Hautau, Berks County John Hopkins, Columbia County John Jamison, Westmoreland County Don Kretschmann, Beaver County Jeff Mattocks, Dauphin County Rita Resick, Somerset County Anthony Rodale, Berks County Jim Travis, Adams County At-Large Board Member Jamie Moore, Allegheny County PASA STAFF Brian Snyder Executive Director brian@pasafarming.org Lauren Smith Director of Development lauren@pasafarming.org Chris Fullerton Director of Consumer Division chris@pasafarming.org Allison Shauger Educational Outreach Director allison@pasafarming.org Michele Gauger Director of Membership & Research Assistant michele@pasafarming.org Brandi Marks Office Coordinator/Bookkeeper brandi@pasafarming.org Carrie Gillespie Bookkeeping Assistant carrie@pasafarming.org Southeast Regional Office Phone: 610-458-5700 x305 Marilyn Anthony Director of Southeast Programs marilyn@pasafarming.org Western Regional Office Phone: 412-697-0411 David Eson Director of Western Programs david@pasafarming.org Julie Speicher Marketing Manager julie@pasafarming.org Sarah Young Program Assistant sarah@pasafarming.org

Nov/Dec 2007
1 3 6 7 8 PASA’s 17th Annual Farming for the Future Conference 2008 Conference News Director’s Corner Board Perspective Regional Marketing
2008 Conference, begins on page 1

10 Bee Researchers Close in on Colony Collapse Disorder 12 Farmer Profile 13 Membership Update

14 In Search of Sustainable Livestock Systems in Rural Guyana 16 Fundraising Update 18 Michigan State University Receives $3.5 million Kellog Grant to Develop Psture-based Animal Program 19 Using Compost in Vegetable Crop Production 23 Editor’s Corner: The Grapevine 24 Calendar 25 Classified Ads 27 Membership Form

Regional Marketing, page 8 Farmer Profile, page 12

Passages November/December 2007 Contributors
Contributing writers & photographers: Emily Cook, Mena Hautau, Frank Higdon, Pat Little, Susan Richards, Stacey Schmader, Rhonda Schuldt, Kim Seeley, Allison Shauger, Lauren Smith, Brian Snyder, Woody Woodruff, Leslie Zuck.

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 Pennsylvania landscape. We are seasoned farmers who know that sustainability is not only a concept, but a way of life. We are new farmers looking 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 January/February 2008 Issue: January 7, 2008

PASA is an Equal Opportunity Service Provider and Employer. Some grant funding comes from the USDA and complaints of discrimination should be sent to: USDA Office of Civil Rights, Washington, DC 20250-9410.
Passages is printed on recycled, chlorine-free paper

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Conference News

PASA’s 17th Annual Farming for the Future Conference
Ready to Grow: Sharing the Sustainable Story
February 7–9, 2008 • State College, PA Main Conference Preview
continued from page 1
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viticulture from Bryan Hed and Andy Muza. Ike & Lisa Kerschner will explain fruit crop diversification, Mike & Terra Brownback will offer CSA building tips and Steve Moore will teach year-round production in unheated greenhouses. I Marketing Randy & Chris Treichler will teach how to use the internet to boost sales, Clifford Hawbaker will help you start a business plan, and the Weltons are back with savvy sales lessons.
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Engaged Citizens & Consumers Dr. Michael Fox will discuss the bioethics of food and agriculture. Claire & Rusty Orner will show how to design and eat an herb garden and Bill Russel will teach how to choose wild mushrooms. This lineup is just the tip of the iceberg. With over 100 workshops, 150 presenters and a total of five days of learning, networking, and inspiration, the Farming for the Future conference will ready you for another season of growth and sustainability! I
CONFERENCE STAFF Many staff, board and volunteers are involved with organizing the conference. If you have specific conference related questions, please contact the below staffers at PASA headquarters for answers or referrals. We hope to make your conference dealings efficient and pleasurable!
Michele Gauger Charity Auctions Kristin Leitzel Exhibiting, Advertising, and Food Donations Volunteering and Work-Share Program Allison Shauger Speakers & Workshops Kate Sigler Registration and Future Farmers Program Lauren Smith Sponsorship and Donations Conference Coordination Full conference information is posted at www.pasafarming.org

CONFERENCE BROCHURES
Full conference brochures have been mailed to the membership and are available for the asking. Call the PASA office or go online to request the 2008 brochure. You can request multiple copies for sharing with friends, family and community groups or businesses.

Community Supported Agriculture This year, a special string of workshops devoted to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) will run throughout the main program. These CSA workshops will cover: growing your CSA to include workplace and faith-based communities, using the internet to manage your CSA, and how to maximize the potential of your community of subscribers and more. I Policy Kathy Lawrence and Liana Hoodes detail the Farm Bill, CR Lawn describes Fedco Seed’s decision not to offer genetically modified seeds and Catherine Smith teaches you how to write public policy at the local level. I Crops, Soils and Compost Mac Mead will share the Biodynamic story, Dawn Shiner will teach permaculture, the Martens will help you expand profitable small grain production and Francis Thicke will teach us how to increase organic matter.

PASA invites you to participate in our FREE Ride and Room Share program for the Farming for the Future conference
Have room for an extra passenger in your car? Or are you looking for a ride to the conference? Help make Farming for the Future greener by traveling with your neighbors. What a great way to build community and conserve gasoline! You can also be more efficient with your lodging. Find a roommate to share a hotel room or be a local hero and offer a guest room in your nearby home. Visit the PASA website to save money, share space, and conserve fuel. PASA is excited to make this network available, creating one more way to be sustainable.

www.pasafarming.org

Welcome APPPA!
We are proud to welcome the American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) to join us at the conference. APPPA holds their annual meeting in conjunction with other national conferences, and we are proud to welcome them to Farming for the Future for 2008. Their members will add a wonderful energy to the conference. In respect to APPPA folks joining us, a special poultry track and multiple workshops have been organized for this year’s conference that will benefit ALL interested in starting or improving pastured poultry operations. Be sure to visit the APPPA booth at the TradeShow, and welcome this national organization to Pennsylvania!

Technology for Communities *Nonprofit membership networking* *Custom database & web devel.* *Community websites* Tell us your technology dreams or woes and we may be able to help Join us! Tell event organizers about us! www.SpaceShare.org/newsletter

Encourage Green Travel *Conference ride, room & flight match* *Carpools to cultural events & rallies* *College rideshare systems* Your nonprofit can use our tools to recruit at festivals

Farming for the Future Carpools!

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Conference News
PASA’s 17th Annual Farming for the Future Conference How Can You Be More Involved?for the Future Conference PASA’s 17th Annual Farming How Can You Be More Involved?
Arias M. Brownback Scholarship Fund
The scholarship expresses PASA’s commitment to providing educational opportunities for those wishing to learn sustainable agriculture techniques and methods regardless of financial circumstances. Please consider donating to this worthy cause on the Membership Form or online at www.pasafarming.org. Those who wish to apply for a scholarship, should contact Kate Sigler at PASA headquarters or visit the website for additional information. als who, by becoming Friends, enable the PASA conference to be accessible and to flourish. Please contact Kristin Leitzel at PASA headquarters for more information or to become a Friend. our Silent, Bag and Live Auctions. We are seeking a variety of items from all prices ranges. All three auctions are an integral part of PASA’s annual fundraising each year and last year we were able to raise close to $27,000. Right now we are in search of unique and useful items that all conference goers will be interested in. For more information, contact Michele Gauger at PASA headquarters. I

Charity Auction
A great way to contribute to the PASA conference and gain exposure for your farm or business is to donate to the auction! This year we will continue offering

People Remember Good Food!
The Farming for the Future conference is renowned for its extraordinary meals, made possible by farmers and producers, manufacturers and distributors throughout the region. High-quality, regionally produced products are in the spotlight at each and every meal. Please consider joining PASA in this unique venture in community — food contributions are important for Farming for the Future and help demonstrate the PASA mission in a very special way. If you are interested in getting involved in the meal program at the conference, please call Lauren Smith at PASA headquarters.
Chefs Ken Stout and Mike Ditchfield will once again help create gourmet meals from regionally produced products for all the meals at the conference.

Friends of the Conference
Let’s make friends! At the Farming for the Future conference we learn, laugh, talk with and listen to interesting people, eat well, and gather new ideas for implementing in the field whether on a farm or in other arenas. The 2008 event will foster an extensive network of friends and continue the tradition of supplying the PASA membership with a high quality program. We want to ensure that those who want to join in this friendship can, by keeping the registration fees affordable. Please consider becoming a Friend of the Conference with your tax-deductible gift of $100. You will be gratefully acknowledged at the conference and in the PASA newsletter. We are fortunate to have a grassroots community of individu-

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Conference News

Take Local Political Action — Join Us in the Democracy School
A Pre-Conference Track Wednesday & Thursday, February 6 & 7, 2008
By Stacey Schmader When mining corporations proposed to bring longwall coal mining to rural Blaine Township in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Mike Vacca, the Vice-Chairman of the Township’s Planning Commission, told residents of how longwall mining had destroyed homes, rivers, and farmland in nearby areas over the past decade. When communities had tried to protect their homes, he recalled how those corporations had wielded state and federal mining laws to preempt local, community control. Realizing that the fight was not just against the corporations, but also against the enabling of those corporations by state and federal law, the township turned to the Pennsylvania-based Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) for help. Building upon the work of a hundred other municipalities in Pennsylvania who had adopted local laws banning agribusiness and sewage sludge-hauling corporations from operating within those municipalities, the CELDF offered to teach a Daniel Pennock Democracy School to Blaine Township residents. The schools were established in March of 2003 at Wilson College in Carlisle and are now taught across the U.S. They are based on an understanding that communities will be unable to attain their visions for economically and environmentally sustainable futures while continuing to work within a structure of law that divests them of decision-making authority at the local level. As a result of this understanding and a determination to govern themselves, in October of 2006, Blaine Township became the first municipality in the United States to ban corporations from mining, the third municipality in the country to recognize that natural ecosystems independently possess certain enforceable rights within the community, and the fifth to strip corporations of legal and constitutional protections. In February, PASA is sponsoring a two-day Democracy School, taught by Thomas Linzey and Ben Price of the CELDF, as a pre-conference track at the 17th annual conference. Thomas and Ben have been instrumental in working with community activists and Pennsylvania municipal governments to pass binding laws banning deadly and rights-denying corporate activities that are unwanted by those communities. The school will consist of four components: 1) attendees engage in a critical examination of how the regulatory system has failed to protect the environment and rural communities; 2) attendees review the history of the United States and critically review the U.S. Constitution and the structure of law that it has created — tracing the development of English law that supported the expansion of the British Empire, and how that system of law was embedded into the fundamental governing structure of this

country; 3) attendees review the history of people’s movements; and 4) attendees learn how the lessons of those people’s movements are now being driven into new campaigns in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The two-day school will conclude with a session in which participants use the Legal Defense Fund’s organizing models to “reframe” an issue of importance to the group. The school is supported by a 365-page curriculum, which is circulated to attendees prior to their arrival. By the end of 2007, the Legal Defense Fund will have hosted 150 Democracy Schools across the country, graduating over 2,000 students in seventeen different States and the District of Columbia. Schools have been taught in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C. Join us to explore why corporations wield so much power and how we, too, can assert our right to govern ourselves. I

Don’t Forget Our Keynoter Line-Up
The theme for the 2008 conference, Ready to Grow: Sharing the Sustainable Story, provides a perfect platform for our two keynote speakers Diane Wilson and Mark McAfee (a full description was printed in Passages #68). Diane Wilson is a 4th generation shrimper who has been working the last several years to combat environmental threats people and aquatic life of Seadrift, Texas. Wilson’s book, An Unreasonable Woman: A True Story of Shrimpers, Politicos, Polluters and the Fight for Seadrift, Texas, chronicles her campaign Diane Wilson from the courts, to the gates of the chemical plant FRIDAY KEYNOTER to the halls of power in Austin. Mark McAfee founded Organic Pastures Dairy, California’s first raw milk dairy with certified organic pasture land and one of the few remaining family-owned and operated dairies in California, on a simple principle: care for our cows and the environment, and our milk will be of the highest quality. He is recognized as an expert in raw milk production and has created the first international Mark McAfee SATURDAY KEYNOTER raw milk safety standards at www.rawusa.org.

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Director’s Corner

What’s Wrong with Our Food?
By Brian Snyder, Executive Director The recent decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to crack down on food labels with so-called “absence claims” raises questions about the quality of food in America and the proper way to communicate about it. Their stated aim has been to avoid labels like “no pesticides” or “hormone free” because they might mislead consumers into believing that food without these labels is loaded with such substances. However, most absence labeling is trying to say little about the physical contents of the food, and a whole lot regarding the system by which it is produced. The above examples become “I do not use nonorganic pesticides on my farm” and “The only hormones used in producing this product are the ones put there by nature” respectively. Both of these statements have a bearing on the quality of the food for many consumers. Our counterparts on the industrial side of agriculture like to use hyperbole to hide the fact that food quality might otherwise be an issue, reminding us repeatedly that we have the “safest, most abundant and cheapest supply of food available in the world today.” Of course, if the quality is sufficiently low, the features of safety, abundance and lower cost can all be at least as misleading as any absence label.

So once all the mudslinging over labels is past, we’ll still be left with the need to talk openly about food quality, the farming systems that can affect differences in quality and the question of how to let consumers know which food is better in one way or another. Obviously, good impartial research will be needed to help us in this task. Fortunately, much of the research we will need is already underway and will be helping us make the case for more sustainable food systems in the future. One groundbreaking compilation study was recently published by The Organic Center and authored by Brian Halweil of the Worldwatch Institute. The report is entitled Still No Free Lunch: Nutrient levels in U.S. food supply eroded by pursuit of high yields, and can be accessed in its entirety (48 pages) at the center’s website, www.organic-center.org. This is certainly worth a read on some upcoming, cold winter night! As the very descriptive title indicates, Halweil’s study details how decisions made over several decades, when most farmers worked to attain larger crop yields, have also led to lower quality food in terms of nutrient content. As he points out, this results in a situation where human beings must consume more calories in pursuit of the nutrition our bodies crave, which also helps to explain the current epidemic of obesity in this country. While most of the data Halweil uses is from studies involving grain and vegetables (including from the landmark systems trials at The Rodale Institute), he hints that we will probably find a similar dynamic involved with livestock production. With regard to dairy farming, he states that “Remarkable increases in milk production per cow in the last century have come at a cost to consumers and cows. Modern milk contains reduced nutrient levels and more water per serving or ounce.” Aside from this study, it is well known that one way to increase milk production is simply to get the cows to drink more water. While on the subject of milk, another recently published report caught my attention a few months ago. Mongolian physician Ganmaa Davaasambuu, who is a resident fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been studying fluctuations
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in naturally occurring hormones in milk, with particular attention to comparing “modern milk” coming from farms in the U.S. with milk produced on the more traditional farms of her native Mongolia. Results of Ganmaa’s study are astounding and should serve as a wakeup call to the dairy industry in North America. She found significantly higher natural estrogen levels in commercially produced milk, which is quite troubling because of the correlation of these substances with occurrence of cancer of the prostate, testes, ovaries, breasts and uterus. The cause of these higher levels is simple to understand — commercial farms in the westernized world routinely milk cows longer, well into their next pregnancy, unlike more traditional farming systems in Mongolia and elsewhere. You can read the whole story at www.harvardmagazine.com, search for the article entitled “Modern Milk.” Interestingly, Ganmaa eliminated from her study any cows that had been injected with artificial growth hormones (rBST/rBGH) in order to focus on the length of lactation as the sole variable. However, it is well known that Monsanto’s product is meant to extend high productivity late into the lactation cycle, so it’s reasonable to assume that the situation would be even worse if this drug is used. Just the simple fact that natural hormones fluctuate so greatly dispenses completely with the notion that “milk is milk” as the company is wont to argue anyway. So it is becoming abundantly clear, as we knew it would once science returned to its roots of serving the public interest, that not all food is created equal. Farming systems matter, and in that regard, we all have a great deal to learn from traditional farming systems when it comes to balancing the quality of our food with our modern day penchant to attain the highest yields possible. This is really the goal of any sustainable farming system, which can be understood as the quest to maintain a dynamic balance between new and old techniques in a way that produces the highest quality food and environment possible. If we maintain that balance well, the issues of abundance, safety and cost will take care of themselves. I

PASA Board Perspective

When it Comes to Milk, Truth is Truth
By Kim Seeley, Board President When I first got notice that Milky Way Dairy Farm’s labels were being called to Harrisburg for scrutiny, I optimistically mused about what was going on. I thought, “There must have been some attack on Pennsylvania from outer space, and the newcomers are going to have us print them in a new language so they will know what they are buying!” All joking aside, this is just how “alien” the instructions seemed to me at the time, as we have always committed ourselves to telling the truth on all our product labels. Maybe the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA) was just responding to the fact that what sometimes passes for milk these days would never have qualified as such over forty-five years ago when we started in this business. As the press releases appeared, however I found out this was a different kind of alien force at work. Several years ago, two men from a large multinational corporation came to our farm store and pretended to be customers but were really only snooping. Because we had advertised truthful statements about our milk production methods, these two men wanted to see how our milk label referred to “synthetic hormones.” I knew that day we would have to deal with our uninvited guests more directly in the future.

As the snooping went on, an optometrist friend and customer of ours told the good gentlemen from Monsanto to leave us alone…that we were simply following a type of farming we believed in and we should be able to tell the truth about our farm practices on the labels. My local veterinarian said he would testify if necessary that it is a democratic freedom to tell the truth on a label. I just recently had another conversation with him concerning this topic. He agreed there was nothing out of line or misleading about our labels. The list of medical doctors, lawyers and others who are our customers would most likely testify as well. It truly saddens me that our government these days is so much influenced by special interest groups, weighing their “rights” against those held by us folks who work the land and make service to our customers, our neighbors really, a top priority. I wonder how many of the folks who enjoy our milk, or that of other farmers who do not feel compelled to buy-in to all the latest scientific advances, were represented on the labeling advisory committee assembled by PDA. Please tell me, was that group well rounded and all encompassing? Do you suppose there was any mention of the fact that antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria are threatening the health of our children? Did anyone stand up for dairy farmers who need every extra dollar of income they can scrape together to save their family farms? How about farmers who have determined their survival depends on the quality of milk they produce, with standards higher than our government requires? These considerations are all aside from the concern I have for what we tell our children…that we can tolerate artificial growth hormones in cows but not in athletes? How come it is illegal to dope horses during races? How come we can’t know how our food is produced? Does “Just say no” apply only to our kids, but not to the food they eat in school? Is milk really all the same, or are we just turning a blind eye to the diversity all around us, while it is slowly destroyed? Why doesn’t PDA enlighten all of us as to why we don’t have a test to differentiate milk that is produced without performance enhancing drugs?
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Today on our farm, we are producing dairy and meat products very differently than in the past. I once used almost every product that came out, as the eager, college-trained farmer that I was. When we started to question why our farm and our animals were not thriving, we dared to venture off the modern, pro-pharm farming path. Let me assure you this was a very scary journey some days as we rehabilitated our soils, animals and ourselves! So today at our store when we label our products we simply tell the truth about how we produce the food we sell. The brave new world we all were taught about in grade school is slowly slipping away. Truth, ethics, and democracy are the basics I learned in American history. They are values I treasure and believe in. Where is the truth, ethics and democracy in our government’s decision to restrict my dairy farm from fair and honest labeling? The current national dairy crisis is totally out of our hands, and is otherwise known as a “restructuring” by the few players who have achieved almost total control over the milk supply. Increasingly I am hearing from real farmers who want to do something about this situation. The time is now, and this latest infringement on personal freedoms must not be allowed to quietly be shoved down our throats. The turmoil of this labeling emergency will surely pass, just as it always does in these situations. But this time I feel something has changed permanently. At Milky Way Farm we are resolved to provide the products our customers want, which includes not only high quality food but also a good dose of truth, ethics and democracy along the way. We now understand that these values will remain, and sustain us, long after the alien forces of “milk is milk” have receded. I

Stay connected!
Visit PASA online at www.pasafarming.org

Regional Marketing

Montrose for the first of several “Harvest Meetings” to discuss plans for next year and review this past season (see photo below). Additional Northern Tier meetings were held in Tunkhannock, Wellsboro, Burlington and Dushore in October. Applications for the Northern Tier chapter are available online at: www.ntculturalalliance.org/bfbl.html

I The Steering Committee for the Valleys of the Susquehanna Buy Fresh, Buy Local chapter is holding meetings to plan chapter activities for the coming year. If you would like more information or to volunteer on the committee, contact Valleys Buy Fresh, Buy Local Coordinator, Trish Carothers, tcarothers@seda-cog.org or 570-522-7259.

University of Scranton students, faculty, and staff enjoy local fare at their first local food dinner coordinated by student Becky Prial.
NORTHCENTRAL REGION I

(Seated L to R) Sue Abbott of Abbott’s Garden, New Milford; Dada Vimi, Quest Center, Hop Bottom; Ruth Tonachel, Program Specialist with the Northern Tier Cultural Alliance & Northern Tier Buy Fresh Buy Local, Towanda; Barbara Coyle, Northern Tier Buy Fresh Buy Local Assistant, East Smithfield; Catherine Hyne, beekeeper/soap maker, Nicholson (Standing L to R): Ann Whynmann,Whynmann’s Farm, New Milford; Paul Hails, His Kids Dairy, Wyalusing; Leif Winter, Franklin Hill Farm, Hallstead; Lisa Schmidt, Skoloff Valley Organic Farm in Susquehanna and Pete Comly, Clodhopper Farm, Springville (with his daughter on his shoulders).

Becky Prial, a student at the University of Scranton, recently coordinated the University’s first local food dinner. According to Becky “The dinner was a huge success! The food was great and we fed about 215 people.” She said the best part was that many of the area farmers who supplied the food attended the gathering and were able to talk with the students, faculty and staff from the University. Guest speaker and PASA member Janie Quinn, spoke about the benefits of “real food.” “I wanted to thank PASA for the initial inspiration for the dinner” said Becky.

Northern Tier farmers and growers with their regional Buy Fresh, Buy Local chapter met at the Summerhouse Grill in

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REGIONAL CONTACTS & DISCUSSION GROUP ADDRESSES
Discussion groups are open to PASA members only to join and discuss issues related to sustainable agriculture. To join the group in your region, send an email to the appropriate address provided. Western PASAWestern-subscribe@yahoogroups.com David Eson 412-697-0411 • david@pasafarming.org Southeastern PASAsoutheast-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Marilyn Anthony 610-458-5700 x305 • marilyn@pasafarming.org Southcentral PASAsouthcentral-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Julie Hurst 717-734-2082 • royjulie@pa.net NorthCentral/Eastern PASAnorthcentralEast-subscribe@yahoogroups.com Leah Tewksbury 570-437-2620 • tewks1@aol.com

NorthCentral/Eastern

Western Southeastern Southcentral

Out of State discussion group addresses: States North and East of Pennsylvania PASAOutofStateNortheast-subscribe@yahoogroups.com States South and West of Pennsylvania PASASouthandWest-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

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SOUTHCENTRAL REGION

The South Central Buy Fresh Buy Local Campaign with support from Capital RC&D Area Council successfully completed its first annual Buy Fresh Buy Local Week in September. The week’s well attended events celebrated agriculture in the region and also provided opportunities for area residents to obtain copies of the newly released “Buy Fresh Buy Local Consumer’s Guide to Farm Markets and Farm Stands in South Central Pennsylvania.” The Campaign is finalizing its producer/farmers market membership materials and will be actively seeking members in November. For additional information about the South Central PA Buy Fresh Buy Local Campaign contact Capital RC&D at 717948-6633 or susan.richards@rcdnet.net
SOUTHEAST REGION

Marilyn Anthony was recently hired by PASA to fill the Southeast Regional Program Director position. PASA has
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partnered with Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) to support this position and Marilyn’s office will be at CCEDC’s Exton location. Here is a short note from her: “There’s a large and lively group of PASA members in the southeast region. As your new Regional Program Director, my first goal is to get to know all of you. The southeastern region has a strong tradition of PASA volunteerism, and a long list of accomplishments thanks to these passionate and entrepreneurial people — lively Buy Fresh, Buy Local initiatives such as the “Down to Earth” events (www.downtoearthexhibit.org), vigorous growth of farmers’ markets, and valuable farm-based education programs (6 in 2007 alone). As the southeast regional program director, I’ll work to provide additional support and resources for your existing efforts. I’ll join our region’s members to develop new initiatives and to recruit new members. Together we’ll further our

shared mission — to strengthen profitability of local farms, to raise awareness of the critical importance of family farming, and to build bridges connecting farmers with consumers. The January/February newsletter will include a profile with more details about me. But the short version, the fast fact I want you to know is that I love to eat delicious food. And I am deeply grateful to all the local farmers who feed my passion. Please drop me an email at marilyn@pasafarming.org or give me a call at 610-458-5700 x305 and let me know what you’re thinking, what I can help you with, and how we can get acquainted.”
WESTERN REGION

Staff in the western region recently coordinated two potluck membership meetings. PASA would like to thank our hosts Bobbi Hineline & Tom Ljungman as well as Mike & Cindy Latchaw for opening their residences to staff and fellow regional members.
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Bee Researchers Close in on Colony Collapse Disorder Wild for Salmon
By Andrea Messer & Vicki Fong, Penn State University Science & Research Information Office Across the nation, beekeepers have seen hives succumb to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD); a team of entomologists and infectious disease researchers now report a strong correlation between the occupancy of CCD and a virus, Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus (IVAP). “We have not proven a causal relationship between any infectious agent and CCD,” the researchers report in the September 6 issue of Science Express online. They note the prevalence of IAPV genetic material in bees suffering from CCD, timing of the outbreaks and geographical circumstances “indicate that IAPV is a significant marker for CCD.” Many researchers are investigating CCD because domestic honeybees are vital to a variety of agricultural crops in the U.S. Beekeepers truck their hives cross country to pollinate almond groves in California, field crops and forages in the Midwest, apples and blueberries in the Northeast and citrus in Florida. Unlike other diseases that have plagued bees in the past, CCD leaves a hive with a few newly hatched adults, a queen and plenty of food. Researchers suspect a pathogen because while bees will not recolonize a CCD hive, once the hive is irradiated and therefore sterile, bees are happy to live there. The disease was recognized in 2006, but beekeepers reported hive declines similar to CCD as early as 2004. An estimated 23 percent of all beekeeping operations in the U.S. suffered from CCD during the winter of 2006-2007. After looking at other methods of identifying the cause of the disease, the researchers decided to sequence the genetic material in bees to try to find a potential pathogen. “The genome of the honeybee had just been completed,” said Diana CoxFoster, professor of entomology, Penn State. “So it was possible to do the sequencing and then eliminate the genetic material of the bees.” W. Ian Lipkin, M.D., professor of epidemiology, neurology and pathology at Columbia University and director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and his team prepared samples for 454 Life Science — the company that developed the array-based pyrosequencer — to sequence cDNA from the RNA of the bees. Researchers analyzed data using a unique set of algorithms generated at Columbia, did a large amount of viral sequence comparison, developed real time PCR assays and cloned the full length IAPV genome, among other things. The samples sequenced included bees from four geographically separated CCD suffering operations, apparently healthy bees imported from Australia, non-diseased samples from Pennsylvania and Hawaii, and samples of royal jelly imported from China. Royal jelly is secreted by bees and used to feed all larvae, but those fed only with royal jelly become queens. “We chose bees from Hawaii because at that time, those populations were free of varroa mites, a problem in all mainland hives,” says Cox-Foster. “The royal jelly was not intended for bees, but for human consumption and cosmetics, but some beekeepers use it to create new queens.” The researchers grouped material for sequencing as presumed CCD positive, presumed CCD negative and royal jelly. The pooled RNA sequences were analyzed for bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses matches. Lipkin played a key role in the search for new or reemerging pathogens, contributing unique methods. The genetic sequences, minus that of the domestic honeybee, were eventually matched against GenBank, a database of genetic sequences maintained by the U.S. National Center for Biology Information, National Institutes of Health. Ninety-six percent of the genetic material matched that previously found in bees. The bacterial sequences were those normally found in bees worldwide, analyzed by Nancy A. Moran, the Regents’ professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, University of Arizona, and colleagues and Jay Evans, research entomologist, Bee Research Laboratory, U.S.
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Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service and colleagues. “The bacteria found were the same as those found previous studies from two different parts of the world at two different times,” says Cox-Foster. “They represent symbiotic relationships with the bees, similar to those of humans and the bacteria found in the human gut.” Protozoans and fungi analyzed by Liwang Cui, associate professor of entomology, and David M. Geiser, associate professor of plant pathology, Penn State respectively, were associated with both CCD and non-CCD populations. “We knew before we started that we would find a boatload of viruses in the bees given our preliminary research,” says Cox-Foster. “Eighteen different types are known from serology and antibody work in England.” Cox-Foster’s and Lipkin’s groups analyzed the viruses. They found the expected viruses, and they found one that, while identified by researchers at Hebrew University in 2004, has just now appeared in scientific publication. This virus, IAPV, along with Kashmir bee virus (KBV), was found only in CCD populations. In the initial experiments, the researchers report that “IAPV was found in all four affected operations sampled, in two of four royal jelly samples and in the Australian sample. KBV was present in three of four CCD operations, but not in the royal jelly.” Other viruses and Nosema parasites had been suggested as the cause of CCD, but the researchers found that those pathogens appear in both CCD and nonCCD samples. Only KBV and IAPV correlated with CCD in the genetic survey. In a recently published study, Jeffery S. Pettis, research leader, Bee Reseach Laboratory, and colleagues reported that Nosema ceranae had been in the U.S. for at least 10 years, along with Nosema apis. Researchers then analyzed samples collected from 30 CCD colonies and 21 healthy colonies in the past three years for four pathogens: KBV, IAPV and Nosema apis and Nosema ceranae — both fungi that infect bees. They found all samples with IAPV had KBV, but KBV occurred in both sick and healthy samples.

“IAPV was found to increase the risk of CCD with a trend for increased CCD risk in samples positive for Nosema apis,” the researchers said. “Neither KBV nor N. ceranae contributed significantly to the risk for CCD nor did they alter the influence of IAPV on CCD.” However, while IAPV may be a marker for CCD, proving that any organism is the cause of IAPV is somewhat more difficult. The researchers will now try to infect bee colonies with CCD. Beside general health stress from the heavy load of pathogens normally carried by bees, other suggested contributors to CCD include pesticides, drought and nutritional stress. Timing also may be the key to pinpointing the cause. The United States began allowing importation of bees from Australia in 2004, which coincides with early reports of CCD. The same year, IAPV, described by Israeli researchers with symptoms of shivering wings, progressed paralysis and bees dying outside
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the hive appeared. While CCD does not seem to have the same symptoms, this may reflect a different strain of the virus, co-infection with another pathogen or the presence of other stressors. The researchers note that “the varroa mite, for example, absent in Australia, immunosuppresses bees making them more susceptible to infection by other organisms.” Beekeepers used mitocides, chemicals used to control varroa, on both CCD and healthy colonies. Edward C. Holmes, professor of biology, Penn State and Gustavo Palacios, Columbia University, were instrumental in determining the evolutionary relationships of the viruses found in CCD colonies compared to previously known viruses and isolates from Australia. While unquestionably it is important to identify the cause of CCD, this total genetic study of bees and their fellow travelers also may lead to a better understanding of other disease causing agents in the population and to an understand-

ing of the beneficial organisms that reside within the bee. Other researchers on the Penn State team include Dennis vanEngelsdorp, senior extension associate and State Apiarist for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and Abby Kalkstein, research technologist. Other researchers at Columbia University include Sean Conlan, Phenix-Lan Quan, Thomas Briese, Mady Hornig, Andrew Drysdale, Jeffrey Hui and Junhui Zhai. Vince Martinson, University of Arizona and Stephen K. Hutchison, Jan Fredrik Simons and Michael Eghom, at 454 Life Sciences, also contributed. The National Institutes of Health, National Honey Board and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture supported this work. Images from Cox-Foster’s laboratory is available at http://live.psu.edu/stilllife/1425 online. I

Dairyland Sales and Service
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Your supplier for: Winkler Structures • Harnois Greenhouses • Distributor for poly roof replacements, shadecloth, & many ground cover fabrics • Heatmaster Stainless Steel & St. Croix Alternative Heating Systems • Large Selection of Sustainable Agricultural & Gardening Books, Childrens’ Classics, History, Christian/Inspirational, Americana, Railroading, Photography, Nature, Travel • Book discount for PRE-ORDERS to be delivered to the Feb ‘08 PASA conference

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Farmer Profile

Woody Woodroof Red Wiggler Community Farm

Our growers are adults with developmental disabilities who plant, care for, harvest our crops and meet the customers who buy their produce.
to 80 this past year. “We’re also piloting a ‘Farm to Group Home’ program that introduces CSA to low-income adults with developmental disabilities” he says. “Our growers are adults with developmental disabilities who plant, care for, harvest our crops and meet the customers who buy their produce. For many of our growers their relationship with Red Wiggler provides them with life skills and vocational satisfactions they might not otherwise enjoy” says Woodroof. “We also maintain a commitment to youth education and ‘service-learning’.” In 2007 we enjoyed the support of 313 youth and 165 adult volunteers. Our growers enjoy a shared sense of accomplishment working alongside others towards common goals of producing the healthiest, most delicious vegetables in the area” Woodroof continued. Visit www.redwiggler.org, email info@redwiggler.org, or phone 301-9162216 for more information on Red Wiggler Community Farm. I

By Michele Gauger In the early ‘90s Woody Woodroof was a struggling artist who was working at a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities. “A co-worker of mine who had recently returned from a trip to Australia educated me about Biodynamic farming, Camphill communities and Johnny’s Selected Seeds” says Woodroof. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Woodroof set out on a mission to find land and begin a farm where people with developmental disabilities could work. In 1995 Woodroof first visited the land that would become Red Wiggler Community Farm in Clarksburg, MD. Woodroof formed a board of directors for what would become Red Wiggler Community Farm, who served as his mentors in learning how to go from the “farm fields to the board room” as Woodroof noted. Red Wiggler Farm was officially founded in 1996 as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization to create meaningful, fully included jobs for adults with developmental disabilities through the business of growing and selling high quality, locally-grown vegetables. “We sought out public land that was underutilized by the local park authority. It took a real commitment of time to develop a long-term contract with the Park & Planning office of Montgomery Co. (Maryland), but we have secured a twenty-year lease for 12 acres of farm

land” continues Woodroof. Woodroof farmed days and developed the nonprofit at night from 1996 to 2000, but has since moved into an administrative role allowing the hire of a farm manager and a service learning coordinator. According to Woodroof, the foundation of the farm is providing local food security through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program that first started with twelve shares and has grown

Interview with Woody Woodroof
What do you see as some of the critical issues concerning agriculture today? We’re fortunate to be farming in Montgomery County, Maryland’s “Agriculture Reserve,” which covers about 93,000 acres and is positioned in the middle of Washington DC’s affluent suburbs. Farmers converting from grain crops to row crops in the “Ag Reserve” are troubled by the lack of affordable housing for farm workers. This is a significant barrier to our ability to meet the exploding demand for fresh and local vegetables. What is unique about your farm? As a “community farm” we add value to our produce by weaving a multidimensional social mission with diversified food production. How has your operation evolved over the years? We began with a small 12 share CSA and 3 farmers markets. Over the years, as we gained confidence in our ability to grow a wide range of crops in succession, we have built the CSA to 80 shares and reduced participation in farmers markets to one market during peak tomato season. With our CSA we make more money per harvest than we would if we attended multiple farmers markets which tend to be dependant on good weather and steady customer attendance. CSA growth over time is the backbone of our success. Why did you join PASA? The PASA Conference is an educational and inspiring event that we all look forward to each winter.

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Membership Update

Make Holiday Gift Giving a Little Easier How About a PASA Membership?
By Michele Gauger By the time this newsletter reaches you, we all likely will be finalizing plans for the holiday season. Are you still looking for a last minute gift for a special neighbor, friend or loved one? Why not give the gift of a PASA membership this year? As PASA continues to work to increase our family of members, we rely on our current members and friends to help spread the word about the organization. Do you know someone who would like reading our bimonthly newsletter? How about your neighbor down the road that always asks which cover crops you are using — wouldn’t he or she be interested in a discount to come to a field day next year? Or the 2008 conference is coming up, wouldn’t your friend love discounted registration fees (greater than the cost of a membership)? By purchasing a PASA gift membership this year, you are not only giving a gift to someone you know but also to your organization by adding to the PASA family. If you contact the PASA membership department today, we will be sure to have a welcome packet ready for you to give as the perfect gift this holiday season.

PASA STAFF AND BOARD WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING BUSINESS MEMBERS

Advancing Eco Agriculture Middlefield, OH Boyertown Farmers’ Market Boyertown, PA Northern Tier Solid Waste Authority Burlington, PA Nutiva Sebastopol, CA The Organic Mechanics West Chester, PA Passionate Food Sewickley, PA Seven Springs Farm Check, VA Eat Well Guide New York, NY University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA Vermont Compost Company Montpelier, VT

PASA STAFF AND BOARD WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME OUR NEWEST PERMANENT BUSINESS PARTNER

Harvest Market Hockessin, DE

PASA STAFF AND BOARD WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE FOLLOWING VOLUNTEERS

Beth Buchwach Terri Fetterolf Chef Brandon Fischer Lyla Kaplan Laurie Lynch Chef Adam Minicucci Devin Misour Ben Pilcher Jo-an Rechtin Susan & Erik Selby Katie Snyder Rose Stepnick Jenna Webster

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In Search of Sustainable Livestock Systems in Rural Guyana
By Frank X. Higdon, PASA Member As a professional student I have enjoyed many international volunteer opportunities. My most recent assignment took me to Guyana, a small nation in South America. Our team of experts was asked to evaluate beef and dairy industries, and in particular to help chart the development of a “sustainable” export beef sector. Sustainable agriculture and beef exports don’t normally get mentioned in the same sentence — I was there to explore the possibilities. A dilemma facing many third world nations: how to develop a stable agricultural sector and an ecotourism industry side by side. In Guyana, the rural countryside is emptying out while land ownership and wealth continue to concentrate in the hands of a few large farmers. Beyond the densely settled coastal plains is a veritable eco-wonderland ready for the coming eco-tourism boom. But wait, that is also the land needed to expand the cattle herd needed to build a viable export cattle sector. You get the picture; Guyana has important land use choices to make, and every decision influences the long-term health of the ecosystem and the farm economy. Sustainable farming is a challenge anywhere, but it is especially hard in a tropical climate when you don’t have access to adequate land for crops or livestock. You can only raise so many cattle on an acre of land. My first lesson in Guyana was that rapidly expanding cattle herds are causing conflict in rural communities. There is increasing conflict between cattle owners and field crop producers. Rice and cattle have traditionally occupied the same space. As the number of cattle increases, disruption to field crop systems approaches a critical threshold. Grain farmers are shooting or poisoning their neighbor’s cattle to prevent them from damaging their rice crops. From any vantage point, this is not good, especially when you learn how deeply Guyanese love their free-range cows. Like many frontier societies, cattle are integral to Guyanese culture. Cattle are a measure of personal status, family savings, and collective social security at the village level. Cattle and other small ruminants are a way for busy farmers to take advantage of lush seasonal vegetation with little risk. In the absence of commercial fertilizers and herbicides, the cattle suppress weed growth and convert unused vegetation into organic fertilizer. Not long ago, most communities had a semi-communal cattle herd. Most cattle were free to wander the community in search of food and water during the day. Farmers could lay claim to cattle based on their ability to catch, brand, nurse, and protect their small herd. Everyone had a piece of the village herd, but some had more than others. Few went hungry. Fast forwarding to present day, cattlemen have divided into three groups: poor cattle owners (land-poor farmers with animals), commercial cattle farmers (raising animals for meat and milk) and wealthy cattle ranchers (who own cattle for status and investment). Labels can deceive, but in this case there is a real difference between cattle owners and cattle farmers. Cattle owners have small
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acreages of field crops and a few freerange cattle. Cattle farmers are committed to animal agriculture, and are moving aggressively to increase their land holdings and animal numbers. In some cases, cattle owners are landless — or use communal pastures located near the village. For them, cattle are a “backup” source of income and generate funds from the sale of raw milk or meat animals to local middlemen. Farmers want to see their cattle numbers and financial resources increase without a great deal of investment. The farm management goals of cattle “owners” and cattle “farmers” are essentially like comparing apples and oranges. You can eat both, but they are very different fruit. To understand motivations of Guyanese cattle farmers, I had to learn the history of their country since independence. Small farms and food security have been a major focus of successive post-colonial administrations. The complexity of policies and programs has profoundly impacted lives of small farmers and ordinary Guyanese. The past twenty years haven’t been easy. As one Guyanese explained “There was a time [in Guyana] when you could be locked up for having certain kinds of food; you could be locked up for having a can of sardines, a sack of flour or a bag of potatoes.” Ideology and ethnicity have shaped the goals and scale of farming. Today, “market reform” is the new policy mantra, and the lure of selling beef in lucrative international markets is reshaping animal agriculture. Ethnic politics in Guyana is complicated but oddly familiar. European plantations run with African slaves, followed by emancipation, and a wave of indentured servants from India, has resulted in an ethnic and cultural tapestry that is fraying at the seams. There were serious problems in most of the communities we visited including crime, rampant cattle rustling, and a widening gap between the haves and have not’s. While beyond the scope of my volunteer assignment, I had to wonder: what comes first, a sustainable political body or farm economy? During my experience there were a number of questions swirling around my head about the environmental impact of expanding cattle herds for lucrative export markets in the Caribbean and

North America. There is little doubt about the mounting pressure to expand cattle production in sensitive ecological zones — something that is happening right now at an alarming rate. At one point, we visited a large ranch where the rancher recently cleared 800 acres. Land clearing consisted of draining and then burning the forest cover once dried sufficiently. The forest species were not valuable or mature enough for conventional logging so there was no salvaging of timber on these tracts. Farmers burn, bulldoze, then move in the cattle. While talking at the edge of the clearing, a troop of Black Howler monkeys were screaming a short distance away in the undergrowth. It was a reminder this ranch once supported a diversity of flora and fauna. What happens to these ecosystems during the coming “cattle rush?” Species in these ecologically sensitive areas might be forever lost without increased public awareness and oversight by national and international authorities. Of course, life is never quite this simple. The Guyanese government is desperate for revenue, and the specter of rural
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poverty and social conflict appears to be driving policy makers toward the international export market. While cattle have long been a traditional form of wealth creation in Guyana, the rapid expansion of beef production for export could fuel social unrest in the rural countryside. When farmers start poisoning each other’s livestock because of land disputes, it’s time to reevaluate development strategy. Environmental and social problems are not the only reasons to reevaluate current export strategy. It appears most small farmers won’t be able to benefit from new export markets because of low quality animals, poor animal health, a chronic lack of animal health services and meat processing facilities that cannot meet international standards. In the end, a viable beef export sector will take years to develop. It will cost millions to improve the national herd and make necessary changes in land management (fertility, drainage and irrigation). Beef exports might help boost rural incomes someday, but the question is, for who and how long? As volunteers, we were being asked to help policy-makers

design an export production system that met local food needs, increased farmer income, and protected fragile ecosystems. Is all this possible in the current economic and political context? As I left Guyana, I felt a real kinship with the farmers I met, especially those small farmers doing their best to feed their families and communities on land they might never own. I also felt an appreciation for those working toward positive change in U.S. farming systems. For over two hundred years we have exploited our natural resources, pushed small farmers to the margins, and labeled it “progress.” Our farming system has been very productive. So productive, that we began exporting our farming “miracle” to the rest of the world. It’s not always a good fit. Many developing nations are facing the prospect of squandering natural resources to compete in competitive global commodity markets. The stakes are high. Tough decisions need to be made. There are no easy answers, but one thing is clear. We need to get our own agricultural house in order first. I

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Fundraising Update

Fall Harvest Celebration Dinners Add to PASA Annual Fundraising Campaign

Since 2002, PASA’s Fall Harvest Celebration Dinners have been a creative (and delicious!) way to raise revenue for PASA programs, while celebrating amazing local food. Over the past six years these fall galas have been held at eight locations throughout the state, including; Carnegie Science Center in Allegheny County, Gamble Mill in

Centre County, Glasburn Inn in Lehigh County, Harrison’s Wine Country Grill in Centre County, Hilton Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania College of Technology in Lycoming County, Westmoreland Country Club in Westmoreland County, and Washington & Jefferson College in Washington County. We gratefully

acknowledge our host venues, as well as the sponsoring companies that have made these events possible. At all of our dinners held over the years, sponsors, table partners, patrons and volunteers have contributed greatly, making these events fundraising successes. Over 1,500 dinner guests have celebrated with us; all were nourished while contributing to the annual fund through their ticket purchase. Outrageous menus featured at these feasts are a tribute to the fantastically fresh, wholesome and sustainably raised food and drink produced in our region.The vital efforts of our family farmers make these events possible. Hardwick Beef, a collaboration of farmers from the Northeast, provided the 100% grass-fed and finished beef for the dinner (pictured above). These premium steamship rounds boasted flavor, tenderness, and good nutrition. We will be featuring this beef at the 2008 PASA conference meals. If anyone has ideas for locations that might be suitable for Harvest Dinners in the future, please contact Lauren Smith at PASA headquarters. In the meantime, we hope you enjoy the article, picture and acknowledgement lists on these two pages, detailing the two successful dinners held this past September in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. These two benefits combined raised over $40,000 in net proceeds for your organization!`

Harvest Fundraising Dinner a Success in Pittsburgh By Rhonda Schuldt, PASA Member The Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh was again the scenic venue for the Western Region Fall Harvest Fundraising Dinner held in late September. The Center’s patio overlooking the convergence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers set the stage for an evening of “eating well.” Before us was a bountiful Mediterranean-inspired spread, which teased our appetites for the incredible dinner to follow. Guests gathered, while sampling a selection of regional wines from Mazza Vineyards, Penn Shore Winery and Presque Isle Wine Cellars, along with beer from Penn Brewery and apple cider from Sally’s Cider Press. As the crowd of 130 filled the dining room, a line quickly grew around the

feast prepared by Executive Chef Lee Keener and his staff from Parkhurst Dining Services. Entrees included pan-seared ISIS Arctic char; roasted steamship round of beef; orange glazed ham; Jamison Farm lamb shepherd’s pie and incredible roasted game birds from Eberly Poultry. Accompanying the entrée choices were perfectly roasted potatoes, farm-fresh ratatouille, and creamy corn pudding (a favorite at our table). The room buzzed with conversation, laughter and compliments to the Parkhurst staff for the wonderful food. It was an ideal example of eating well — eating locally raised, seasonal food, beautifully prepared in its simplicity, savored in the company of friends and family. A point perfectly articulated by the evening’s guest speaker, Dr. Will Clower, author of The Fat Fallacy: Applying the
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French Diet to the American Lifestyle and The French Don’t Diet Plan. The dinner concluded with an array of homemade desserts with locally roasted coffee from the Coffee Tree and dessert wine from La Casa Narcissi. Since hosting their first Harvest Dinner in 2005, Parkhurst Dining Services/Eat ’n Park Hospitality Group has continually increased its commitment to sourcing local ingredients, featuring seasonal foods and offering us healthy opportunities to eat well in all of their service locations. They continued to delight and impress at this year’s expertly prepared and presented Harvest Dinner, garnering a standing ovation from a group of very satisfied guests. I Rhonda Schuldt is the founder of Passionate Food and host of Local Goodness. www.passionatefood.com and www.localgoodness.com.

HARRISBURG HARVEST DINNER SPONSORS & TABLE PARTNERS I LEAD SPONSORS Glasbern Inn Lady Moon Farms Wegmans Food Markets I SUPPORTERS & PARTNERS Agri-Dynamics Chesapeake Bay Foundation CURA Hospitality Dickinson College Eberly Poultry Fertrell Company Harrisburg Dairies Kimberton Whole Foods Natural By Nature Organic Unlimited Phillips Mushroom Farms Energy Opportunities Paso Ligero Alpacas & Leadership Horizons Perry County Land & Cattle HARRISBURG PROVIDING FARMS,VINEYARDS, BREWERIES & BUSINESSES Andrews Orchard
Edenville, Franklin County

Eberly Poultry Farms
Stevens, Lancaster County

Moon Dancer Vineyard & Winery
Wrightsville, York County

Twin Brook Winery
Gap, Lancaster County

FireFly Farms
Bittinger, Maryland

Fallsdale Farm
Tyler Hill, Wayne County

Mother Earth Mushrooms
West Grove, Chester County

Village Acres
Mifflintown, Juniata County

Friendship Farms Inc.
Pleasant Unity, Westmoreland County

Farmstead Fresh
Winfield, Snyder County

Natural By Nature
West Grove, Chester County

Vollmecke Orchards & CSA
Coatesville, Chester County

Harvest Valley Farms
Valencia, Butler County

Four Seasons Produce
Ephrata, Lancaster County

Naturally at Holben Valley Farm
New Tripoli, Lehigh County

Windy Knolls Farm
Doylesburg, Franklin County

Heilman Family Farm
Sarver, Butler County

Grandpa Dan’s Apiary
Palmyra, Lebanon County

New Morning Farm
Hustontown, Huntingdon County

Whispering Brook
Chambersburg, Franklin County

ISIS Artic Char
Logan, West Virginia

Green Haven Farm
Fleetwood, Berks County

Otterbein Acres
Newburg, Cumberland County

Woodchoppertown Chevre
Boyertown, Berks County

Jamison Farm
Latrobe, Westmoreland County

Hardwick Beef
Troy, Bradford County

Painted Hand Farm
Newburg, Cumberland County

PITTSBURGH HARVEST DINNER SPONSORS & TABLE PARTNERS Carnegie Science Center Parkhurst Dining Services Kohser Farm Kretschmann Farm Laurel Vista Farm McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Richard King Mellon Foundation U.S. Department of Agriculture Whole Foods Market Wolfe Design, Ltd. PITTSBURGH PROVIDING FARMS,VINEYARDS, BREWERIES & BUSINESSES Beccari Farms
Oakdale, Allegheny County

Kretschmann Farm
Rochester, Beaver County

Harrisburg Dairies
Harrisburg, Dauphin County

Phillips Mushroom Farms
Kennett Square, Chester County

Marburger Farm Dairy
Evans City, Butler County

Help From Above Farm
Three Springs, Huntingdon County

Pipe Dreams
Greencastle, Franklin County

La Casa Narcisi Winery
Gibsonia, Allegheny County

Hendricks Farm & Dairy
Telford, Montgomery County

Rippling Brook Farm
Sligo, Clarion County

Mazza Vineyards
North East, Erie County

Jamison Farm
Latrobe, Westmoreland County

Shoestring Acres
Clearville, Bedford County

McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores
Pittsburgh and Monroeville, Allegheny County

Jared Mast Farm
Mt. Pleasant Mills, Snyder County

Smith’s Organic Farm
Bedford, Bedford County

Jubilee Organic Farm
Martinsburg, West Virginia

Spiral Path Farm
Loysville, Perry County

Paragon Monteverde
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County

Backyard Bison
Coopersburg, Bucks County

Keswick Creamery
Newburg, Cumberland County

Stone Meadow Farm
Woodward, Centre County

Parma Sausage Products, Inc.
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County

Birchrun Hills Farm
Chester Springs, Chester County

Klein Farms Dairy & Creamery
Easton, Northampton County

Sunny Ridge Farm
Spring Run, Franklin County

Penn Brewery
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County

Chaddsford Winery
Chadds Ford, Delaware County

Lady Moon Farms
Chambersburg, Franklin County

Tait Farm Foods
Centre Hall, Centre County

Brenkle Farm
Zelienople, Beaver County

Penn Shore Winery
North East, Erie County

Clover Creek
Williamsburg, Blair County

Landisdale Farm
Jonestown, Lebanon County

Three Belle Cheese
Mifflinburg, Union County

C.T. Miller Vineyards
Avella, Washington County

Presque Isle Wine Cellars
North East, Erie County

Country Acre Cider Mill
Chambersburg, Franklin County

Lehman’s Eggs
Greencastle, Franklin County

Trickling Springs Creamery
Chambersburg, Franklin County

Coffee Tree Roasters
Pittsburgh, Allegheny County

Sally’s Cider Press
Harmony, Butler County

Country Time Pork
Hamburg, Berks County

Lil Pond Farm
Doylesburg, Franklin County

Tröegs Brewing Company
Harrisburg, Dauphin County

Collier Hill Farm
Templeton, Armstrong County

Sand Hill Berries
Mt. Pleasant, Westmoreland County

Dancing Creek Farm
Port Royal, Juniata County

Macneal Orchard and Sugar Bush
Rebersburg, Centre County

Tuscarora Organic Growers Coop
Hustontown, Huntingdon County

Eberly Poultry
Stevens, Lancaster County

Soergel Orchards
Wexford, Allegheny County

Our Winter Stores
By Mena Hautau, PASA Board Fundraising Chair Last spring, I began imagining our abundant haymow, full of quality nourishment for animals. I am returning to that vision of a full barn, fragrant with the smell of dried hay. Our September Harvest Celebration Dinners gave a big boost to our healthful hay! Thanks to all who participated, volunteered, sponsored, attended, and provided THAT luscious nourishment. We can be satisfied in these accomplishments, knowing it took a lot of hard work. Now onto our last phase of 2007 annual fundraising and a bit more hard work. At present, our haymow is at $153,047 — close to our $185,000 goal. An endof-year appeal letter has been sent out, and calls are being made by board and staff members to follow up with many of you who’ll generously give.This is a crucial time for all of us to step up to the plate. As the year moves into this traditional time of giving thanks for all the abundance in our lives, I want to express my appreciation on behalf of the PASA Board, to all our friends who participate in strengthening PASA — thank you for “putting up the hay.”

$185,000 — — — — $150,000 — — —
$109,747

Our goal

$153,047 — November 16

— —

Sept 27

$100,000 — $92,000 —
July 15
$84,691

— —
Illustration courtesy of Phyllis Kipp

May 15
$58,467

March 15

— — — — — 0—

$50,000 —

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Michigan State University Receives $3.5 million Kellogg Grant to Develop Pasture-based Animal Program
A “field-to-fork” approach to farming may ultimately offer consumers greater access to environmentally friendly food choices while enhancing the vitality of rural communities. With a three-year, $3.5 million development grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Michigan State University (MSU) will establish a pasture-based dairy facility and composting program at the W.K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS) in Hickory Corners and develop supply chains and markets for pasturebased dairy products. The dairy facility will be a focal point for research, education and outreach programs that provide farmers with information on management options for moderate to small operations focusing on sustainability from production through consumption. The program will support sustainable and productive food and farming systems by engaging diverse food system participants — from those who produce, process and market foods to those who consume them. The initiative will help determine best practices for raising animals on pasture and also work to develop an improved supply chain — processing, distribution and marketing programs — for pasture-raised animals. In addition, two new faculty members will be hired in animal grazing ecology and human ecology in rural development as a result of Kellogg’s Food Systems and Rural Development programming. “To ensure the vitality of rural communities, it is important that we create better market opportunities for small and midsized farms,” said Mike Hamm, C.S. Mott Chair for Sustainable Food Systems at MSU. “These farms are the backbone of communities — as food providers, purchasers of local goods and services, employers, taxpayers and stewards of the landscape. Expanding production options that improve the viability of these farms will help strengthen healthy rural economies and communities.” The project team hopes to strengthen distribution networks and demand for locally grown animal products raised on pasture. Developing markets based on the place and method of production will help small and medium-scale farms in Michigan maintain an added-value advantage for which consumers are willing to pay a premium. “This program will provide an opportunity to evaluate how an animal production system operates in the context of other aspects of the landscape — agricultural, managed and natural,” said Kay Gross, director of KBS. “KBS is suited for this type of work because of the strong programs in ecology and sustainable row crop agriculture that we have here.” The conventional dairy operation currently operated at KBS will be converted to a pasture-based program over the next

two years. A 120-cow milking herd will be maintained on an intensively managed rotational grazing system and on a replicated plot-based pasture system. A portion of the milk produced at KBS will be used for production of cheese at the MSU Dairy Plant. The pasture-based dairy facility at KBS will connect MSU’s Department of Animal Science and College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members with faculty and staff members with expertise and interests in agricultural and cropping system ecology, animal health and welfare, and community development. “The development of a pasture-based dairy at KBS allows us to expand our portfolio of production alternatives for farmers and to develop new research and outreach programs that fit with interests and needs of diverse farm stakeholders,” said Karen Plaut, chairwoman of the Department of Animal Science. In addition to the development of a pasturing program at KBS, the initiative will support connections to farm-based and high school-based satellite sites across Michigan focusing on sustainable crop and animal production. Education and outreach programs will extend to MSU undergraduate and veterinary medicine curricula as well as to primary and secondary school programs, farmers, consumers and public officials. KBS, administered by the MSU colleges of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Natural Science, is suited to be the focal point for this initiative because of its long history of integrated research in agriculture, natural resource
continued page 21

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18

Using Compost in Vegetable Crop Production
Research evaluates three composts and different rates of application
By Emily Cook, PASA member My first encounter with compost was overwhelming. Literally. I was covered head to toe with stinky bits of not entirely mature chicken manure compost after spreading a field with a cranky manure spreader. Over the next 5 years that I worked on this organic vegetable farm in Hustontown, PA, I saw all kinds of compost: chicken manure compost, spent mushroom compost, horse manure compost, vegetable compost, and my halfhearted, backyard ‘kitchen-scrap and stuff ’ compost. Fields were spread with compost fall or spring as a source of nutrients. Later, I managed a small farm in New Jersey, and had to contemplate my own nutrient management scheme. The farms around me all used spent mushroom compost, and that was what I opted for as well because the source was close by. The compost was delivered, and as I stood by my towering pile with a receipt that said “Compost: $400.00,” I realized I had only a vague sense of what was in the compost, and even less of an idea of how much to apply. Inquiries of my farming neighbors produced a variety of responses: “Oh, you know, about an inch thick,” or “just a sprinkle” were two common answers. “About 20 tons per acre” was the most scientific answer I heard. It seemed I was not alone in my uncertainty. Fertility management is challenging in all farm systems, but particularly so on farms using organic materials, like compost, as a main source of nutrients. Certified organic growers are prohibited from using synthetic fertilizers which leaves them with few options for increasing nutrients during the growing season. Applying enough compost to meet the nutritional requirements of crops becomes critical. A direct comparison to current fertilizer application recommendations is questionable because those rates are based on synthetic fertilizers with immediately available nutrients. Application rates for compost are more difficult to identify because of the variable release rate of nutrients due to their source material, various soil properties, were measured and the results were striking. In 2002, 31% of fields tested were above optimum, while 18% were deficient in P. Only 18% of fields were in the optimum range for extractable P. A similar trend was found in 2003. Over half, 53%, of fields were above optimum for P concentration; 25% were below optimum; and only 22% had P concentrations in the optimum range. Nitrate concentrations also indicated nutrient imbalances. Summer sampling in 2002 showed 14% of fields had optimum nitrate concentrations while 58% were below optimum, and 28% above optimum. In 2003, 17% were optimum while 34% were below optimum and 49% were above optimum. Researchers believe these numbers to be low because rainy weather both summers is thought to have reduced nitrate levels. This study, as well as several others (Kotcon, 2004 and Drinkwater 2005) indicates a need for better information about nutrient management when using compost. In 2004, Penn State extension researches met with organic growers to identify information needs. On the top of the growers’ needs list was nutrient management information. Out of this meeting, a project studying the effects of three composts on soil chemical properties, plant nutrient levels, and plant yield was designed (see Table 1). Three composts of different source material were chosen based on availability to growers in Pennsylvania. Leaf based compost, dairy manure/ food waste compost, and spent mushroom compost were acquired and spread on research plots at
continued page 20

Green bell pepper crop at the field research site at the Penn State University Horticulture farm. and the notoriously hard to control weather. These same factors raise concerns about surpluses of nutrients as well as deficiencies. Conventional agriculture receives much criticism for pollution stemming from fertilizer runoff and leaching. Reducing this hazard is a primary principle of sustainable and organic growers, and many people believe that the slow release rate of compost eliminates the chance of nutrient runoff and leaching. Recently, however, research has shown that nutrient imbalances are cropping up on organic farms as well. A NESARE funded research project studied soils on 176 organically managed fields across 30 farms in five states. Soil nitrate and extractable P concentrations

TABLE 1. Three composts of differing source material used in the research, while considering impact on soil chemical properties, plant nutrient levels & plant yield. Each compost type was spread at a rate to meet 100% of the nitrogen need for the green bell pepper crop.

19

Using Compost
continued from page 19

different rates. A green bell pepper crop was then grown on the field in a plasticulture system. Compost analysis is essential (see Table 2) to determine the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus the compost will provide per ton applied. To calculate the amount of nitrogen being released, the rate of nitrogen mineralization needs to be factored in. Estimates of this rate range from 10%–50%. (Mineralization rates of 10% or 20% were used in this study). Each compost type was spread at a rate determined to meet 100% of the nitrogen requirement for a green bell pepper crop. Two additional treatments varied the rate at which the dairy manure/food waste compost was applied: 20 tons per acre (a rate commonly used by growers), and a rate calculated to meet 100% of the phosphorus requirement of a green bell pepper crop, as determined by compost and soil analysis. The final treatment had no soil amendment. Results of the Study Nutrients — Phosphorus levels of all plots in all treatments were within the optimum level (120–310 parts per million P) at the end of the season. However, phosphorus levels increased in all treatments by 43 ppm (control treatments) up to a change of 107 ppm P in the spent mushroom compost. With yearly application, phosphorus levels may soon be excessive. Soil nitrate levels taken in July, revealed that 50% of all plots in the experiment were above optimum levels (25–30 ppm) while 37.5% were below optimum nitrate levels, and only 12.5%

were within the optimum range. Plots amended with leaf compost had the greatest proportion of above optimum levels, while plots amended with dairy manure/ food waste compost spread to meet phosphorus requirements had the greatest proportion of below optimum levels. Yields — First year results of the study showed significant differences in yields between treatments. Spent mushroom compost, leaf compost, and dairy manure/ food waste compost provided sufficient nutrients to produce average and above average pepper yields. Yields from plots amended with spent mushroom compost were higher than the control and all plots treated with dairy manure/food waste compost. Plots amended with leaf compost were significantly higher than the control and had statistically similar yields to those treated with spent mushroom compost. However, while yields from leaf compost amended plots were numerically greater than yields from the dairy manure/ food waste plots; this difference was not found to be statistically significant. Plots amended with dairy manure/ food waste were numerically higher than the control, but this difference was not found to be statistically significant. Interestingly, while leaf compost had the lowest amount of total nitrogen (1.29%), it had high yields. This may be explained by the total amount of compost applied: 53 tons/acre. The NESARE researchers of the report mentioned above theorize that large additions of compost increase the mineralization rate, and allow faster release of nutrients (Morris et al., 2004.) This is also supported by the high nitrate levels in the leaf compost amended plots.

Results of changes in pH and salinity indicate that substantial changes can occur over a single growing season. With annual additions of compost pH levels may become so high that nutrient deficiencies occur, while increasing salinity may become toxic to crops. The need for soil and compost testing before application is underscored by this study. Better yet, growers might consider requesting a sample of the compost to test before purchase. Test results of the actual compost delivered may vary from the sample slightly, but a general knowledge may prevent potential problems (such as high salts). If growers have a choice between several composts, they could choose the compost best suited to work well with the combination of chemical factors in their fields, and least likely to compound any existing problems. Should Compost be Used Every Year? First year results suggest that compost should not be used every year because of the potential nutrient loading of nitrogen and phosphorus in particular. Additionally, over time other soil chemical properties, such as pH, salinity, and the balance of calcium and magnesium, might be negatively affected by yearly compost additions. Nitrogen fixing cover crops, and fertilizers (applied at the time of crop requirement), and catch crops to retrieve excess nutrients from the soil after a cash crop, should be incorporated into nutrient management plans. I
References: Drinkwater et al., 2005. On-Farm Nutrient Budgets in Organic Cropping Systems: A Tool for Soil Fertility Management. Final Report submitted to: Organic Farming Research Foundation, Santa Cruz, CA. Kotcon, J. 2004. Comparison of Organic Farming Systems Using Off- Farm Nitrogen with and without Animals. NESARE LNE02-158. Annual Report 2004. Morris et al., Survey of Nutrient Status of Organic Vegetable Farms. NESARE LNE01-144. 2004 Final Report. Swaider and Ware, 2002. Producing Vegetable Crops. Interstate Publishers, Inc. Danville, IL, p. 444.

TABLE 2. Analysis of the three compost types.

Editor’s Note: Emily Cook is a graduate student in horticulture at Penn State University. This article originally appeared in the September 2007 edition of the Sustainable Ag Working Group Newsletter.
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Calendar
January 2008
Jan 5–12 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Farm Show Building, Harrisburg, PA. Call 717-787-5373 or visit www.agriculture.state.pa.us Jan 8–10 Keystone Farm Show, York Fairgrounds, York PA. Visit www.keystonefarmshow.com. Jan 25–27 26th Annual Organic Farming & Gardening Conference, sponsored by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA–NY). Saratoga Hotel & Conference Center, Saratoga Springs, NY. Visit www.nofany.org or call 607-652-NOFA (6632). Jan 29–31 Mid-Atlantic Fruit & Vegetable Convention & North American Berry Conference. Hershey Lodge & Convention Center, Hershey PA. Contact www.mafvc.org or call 717-694-3596.

February
Feb 2 Beginning Farmer Workshop, sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Contact Rebecca Hargrave, 607-334-5841. Feb 6–8 25th Mid-Atlantic Direct Marketing Conference & Trade Show, Sheraton Inn, Dover DE. Visit www.madmc.com for more information. Feb 7–9 PASA’s 17th annual Farming for the Future Conference, Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, PA. See details in this newsletter, visit www.pasafarming.org or call 814-349-9856. Feb 21 Exploring the Small Farm Dream, sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Contact 315-331-8415. Feb 21–22 Agricultural Outlook Forum 2008, sponsored by the USDA. Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, Arlington, VA. 877-572-6043, www.usda.gov/oce/forum/ Feb 22–23 2008 Keystone Coldwater Conference, Penn Stater Conference Center, State College PA. Headwater Ecosystems: Protection, Management & Research. For registration information contact 814-863-5100 or visit www.outreach.psu.edu /C&I/coldwaterconservation.

March
Mar 8 Cooking for Life: a natural whole foods cooking workshop with Paul & Elizabeth Sustick. 9–5pm. Pfeiffer Center, Chestnut Ridge, NY. Cost $95. Contact Carol Rosenberg, 845-352-5020 x20, info@pfeiffercenter.org, www.pfeiffercenter.org. Mar 15 So, You Bought the Farm…Now What? Sponsored by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Contact Rebecca Hargrave, 607-334-5841 Mar 28 & 29 Northeast Grasstravaganza 2008. The Holiday Inn, Binghamton, NY. Hosted by Central New York RC&D.

June
Jun 5–8 National Barn Alliance Annual Conference in partnership with the PA Historic Barn & Farmstead Foundation. Info: Rod Scott, 641-648-4570.
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Our Organic Transition Team will help you navigate the certification process.
Contact us for a free info pack or to connect with our weekly organic marketplace newsletter.

21

MSU Receives Kellog Grant
continued from page 18

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conservation and ecology. The station began from a series of donations to the university by W.K. Kellogg in 1927 and 1928 for use as a model farm and bird sanctuary. Today, KBS houses 11 resident faculty members, who work in modern research laboratories and conduct field research on the more than 4,000 acres of land that are used for research, teaching and outreach. The station supports both graduate and undergraduate teaching programs and extensive community outreach programming. KBS houses long-established research programs focused on cropping systems, including KBS Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) in row crop agriculture, established in 1988 as one of a national network of National Science Foundation LTER sites. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations. To achieve the greatest impact, the foundation targets its grants toward specific areas: health, food systems and rural development, youth and education, and philanthropy and volunteerism. For more infomation visit www.wkkf.org. I
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Natural Dairy Products Corporation P.O. Box 464 West Grove, PA 19390 (610) 268-6962 ph • (610) 268-4172 fx www.natural-by-nature.com

Fresh...from the meadow to the market!
22

Editor’s Corner

The Grapevine
by Michele Gauger
Coming Soon: A Local Food Distribution Center for SE PA
The Common Market, a local food distribution center located in Philadelphia, will begin operations in the spring of this year. The distribution center will offer produce to a select number of Philadelphia area universities and hospitals in its first year and later add meat, poultry and dairy products. Restaurants and grocery stores will also be added to its customer base in future years. The Common Market seeks certified organic, low input, IPM fruit and vegetable growers to supply the growing demand for locally produced food. Contact info@commonmarketphila.org for more information or call 215-275-3435. The feasibility study and planning for the Common Market was funded by Pennsylvania’s First Industries Agricultural Grant Program. policy makers, the private sector and the general public. They are also in the process of adding SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education) reports to the National Agriculture Library collections. Visit AFSIC at http://afsic.nal.usda.gov; or contact at afsic@nal.usda.gov, 301-504-6559.

Database of Books, Films, Documentaries Available
This new database compiled by Phil Howard of Michigan State University, includes media and books related to food and agriculture (mostly from the last 7–8 years). Visit www.msu.edu/~howardp/ booksfilms.html

Plants Absorb Antibiotics
from Acres USA Scientists from the University of Minnesota evaluated the uptake of antibiotics by plants in a greenhouse study involving three food crops: corn, lettuce and potatoes. The plants were grown in soil fertilized with hog manure containing sulfamethazine, a common veterinary antibiotic. All three crops had concentrations of the drug in their leaves.The higher the drug content in the manure, the higher the concentration in the leaves. Holly Dolliver, who headed the study, noted that antibiotics consumed by plants should be of particular concern to the organic farming community. And to intelligent people everywhere, one might add.

Voluntary Standard for Grass-fed Livestock Marketing Claim
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has established a voluntary standard for a grassfed livestock marketing claim. The standard incorporates revisions resulting from comments received from an earlier proposal. With the establishment of this voluntary standard, livestock producers may request USDA to verify a grass (forage)-fed claim through an audit of the production process in accordance with procedures that are contained in Part 62 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 CFR part 62), and the meat sold from these approved programs can carry a claim verified by USDA. The standard went into effect November 15, 2007 and can read online at: http://a257.g.akamaitech.net /7/257/2422/01jan20071800/edocket.access. gpo.gov/2007/pdf/E7-20328.pdf

Note to Readers
In the reprinted article entitled “Compost Tea Production, Application and Benefits” (Passages 69), a PASA business member was omitted from the resource list. Natural Science Organics in Water Mill, NY offers compost tea brewers and an array of products. PASA regrets this omission. Be sure to visit www.naturalscienceorganics.com or call 631-726-9783 for details.

A Resource for Information on Alternative Farming Systems
Looking for more resources on marketing organic products? The Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) has the answers. AFSIC has been part of the National Agricultural Library since 1985, and is a collection and distribution center of information related to sustainable food systems and practices. AFSIC is staffed by a service-oriented group of librarians and subject specialists who can perform custom searches to help identify and distribute information on alternative agriculture practices and markets. AFSIC works collaboratively with other organizations such as ATTRA (Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas) and SAN (Sustainable Agriculture Network) on outreach and information dispersal, as well as engaging in special projects such as the creation of the “Organic Roots” database. Staff also developed and maintain a website with publications, databases and links. AFSIC also produces resources information on specific topics, they recently completed “Organic Marketing,” which has over 1,000 live links and is being distributed on mini-CD. AFSIC serves a wide range of customers including governmental and academic researchers, growers, students/educators,

New Documentary from Bullfrog Films
Where does our food come from? Does the traditional farmer still exist? Who are the profit makers in the genetic food industry? And who is paying the price? What does world hunger have to do with us? We Feed the World is a film about food and globalization, the flow of goods and cash flow — a film about scarcity amid plenty. Interviewed are not only fishermen, farmers, agronomists, biologists and the UN’s Jean Ziegler, but also the director of production at Pioneer, the world’s largest seed company, as well as Peter Brabeck, Chairman and CEO of Nestle International, the largest food company in the world. For more information, contact Bullfrog Films at 610-779-8226 or visit www.bullfrogfilms.com/catalog /wftw .html.

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Special Conference Entertainment
The Farming for the Future conference will also host Nashville based singer-songwriter Adrienne Young and her band. Adrienne’s award winning music blends elements of bluegrass, country, old-time music, and American folk music with a pop sensibility. She is a staunch supporter of sustainable agriculture and has forged relationships with FoodRoutes Network and the American Community Gardening Association. Recently featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, Young and her band are sure to impress and entertain us with their energy and talent. Consider coming to the Winter Picnic to be held Thursday evening, February 7 during the PASA conference to enjoy this special musical treat!

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24

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Employment
WINTER CONSULT AVAILABLE — 25 years of organic growing & successful restaurant marketing experience in Philadelphia — NY area. Any grower, any location, guaranteed to make you more money than consult costs; 10% of cost donated to PASA. Call for details. 215-257-8491 or 267-664-6217. ASSISTANT FARM MANAGER — for Red Fire Farm, an established certified organic produce farm, the largest CSA serving the Boston area and the Pioneer Valley, and a provider in local wholesale and retail markets. The position is a year-round, long-term position with opportunity for advancement. Salary range $20–40K, commensurate with experience. Contact Ryan or Sarah: 413-467-7645, redfirefarm@gmail.com. www.redfirefarm.com. VEGETABLE GROWERS — for the 2008 season, Red Fire Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm in Western Massachusetts, has several positions for experienced vegetable growers to join our production team. We seek individuals who have a minimum of 1 season of experience as a vegetable farm apprentice or the equivalent. Competitive wages, housing may be available. Contact Ryan or Sarah: 413-467-7645, redfirefarm@gmail.com. www.redfirefarm.com. APPRENTICE POSITIONS — Red Fire Farm, a certified organic produce farm and CSA in Western Mass, has three apprentice positions open for the 2008 season. Compensation includes housing, food, stipend ($800/month), and health insurance. Contact Ryan or Sarah: 413-467-7645, redfirefarm@ gmail.com. www.redfirefarm.com. CHEF FOOD EDUCATOR – position open at Red Fire Farm, a certified organic vegetable farm in Western Massachusetts. The position involves developing recipes with seasonal produce for publication in our CSA newsletter, cooking demonstrations at CSA/ Farmers Markets, preparing meals for the farm crew on weekdays, researching & developing new processed products, & working with the farm crew part of each day. Compensation includes housing, food, stipend ($800/month), and health insurance. Contact Ryan or Sarah: 413-467-7645, redfirefarm@gmail.com. www.redfirefarm.com. AGRICULTURAL ASSISTANT — Accokeek Foundation. Under the guidance of the Horticulturist, this position will assist in the planning and implementation of all Museum Garden activities in a manner conducive to sustainable agricultural practices. The Agricultural Assistant may also assist in other projects on the National Colonial Farm, Ecosystem Farm, and Livestock areas as needed. 10–15 hrs/wk Nov–Mar and 20–30 hrs/wk Apr–Oct. $10 per hour. View full job description at www.accokeek.org. Send resume and cover letter to Patti Canter Norment at pattinorment@accokeek.org. FARM MANAGER — Pennypack Farm Education Center (www.pennypackfarm.org) is a 24-acre community farm in suburban Philadelphia with a CSA member base of 250 and growing.We are seeking an experienced, mature farmer/farm manager to oversee CSA farm operations including all aspects of growing and harvesting crops, administration and other farm activties. To apply, send a cover letter indicating your interest in the position and a resume to pennypackfarm@gmail.com.

PT EMPLOYEE — Lancaster Farm Fresh (LFFC), an organic farmers’ cooperative, is seeking a part-time employee to organize orders and make deliveries. LFFC is a farmer-owned cooperative, located in Quarryville, PA distributing farm products raised on small, sustainable farms in Lancaster County. If interested please contact Amy Bruning at 717-786-5424. ANIMAL HUSBANDRY & PRACTICAL FARM SKILLS INSTRUCTOR — The Farm School — teaching the craft of farming — is looking for qualified candidates to manage and thoroughly teach all aspects of animal husbandry and other practical farm skills integral to the curriculum for student-farmers participating in our Practical Farm Training Program. Looking for farmers with 3–5 years experience raising beef, pork and lamb. For more information or to submit a resume contact Jennifer Core at jennifer@farmschool.org or call 978-249-2656. PT POSITION — Jack’s Farm a non-certified organic, small farm is seeking to fill a permanent, year ‘round, part-time position. Ability to operate small farm machinery, lift 70 lbs. work independently required. Prefer 2 full days end of week. E-mail us at jacksfarm@gmail.com or call Dan H. 610-326-1802. APPRENTICESHIP — Experienced farmer setting up a new operation marketing to 2 small college towns; Mansfield PA and Elmira NY. Over a dozen farmer’s markets in the area. Apprenticeship program details and farm plan sent to applicant prior to farm visit. Start on a path to world class food production and world class husbandry of natural resources. Andy Lyon 570-537-2128 do_what_works@yahoo.com. DAIRY FARMER WANTED — Experienced cheesemaker is looking for a farmer to partner with for small-scale handmade value-added project. Need high quality milk. Please call Kristie at 484-302-6643 or email kristiemcgarry@yahoo.com. FARMER WANTED — Glynwood Center, in Putnam County, NY, is seeking a hard-working person to work on our growing mixed species pasture-based livestock operation. Responsibilities include: care of cattle, chickens, goats, sheep, and horses as well as fencing, carpentry work, land maintenance and general farm maintenance. Contact Ken Kleinpeter at 845-265-3338, ext 128, or 914-403-0171. E-mail: kkleinpeter@glynwood.org

SPACE AVAILABLE ON REFRIGERATED DELIVERY TRUCK — From Lancaster/Lebanon/Elizabethtown area to Philadelphia and surrounding communities. Currently delivering organic, sustainable agriculture, CSA, etc. Experienced, courteous city delivery. Call Joe at 717-286-6995 or e-mail at jbshirk@juno.com. FOR SALE — 36” Commercial Cider Press (Bloomsburg PA). We have a 36” Powell commercial cider press. Stainless steel tanks. Sanifeed system. Pumace pump. 20+ Polyethylene racks/spacers. Large and small rolling screens. Numerous pumps and extras etc. If you were to buy this new it would cost over 40,000. I can send you pictures if you would like. MAKE AN OFFER! Call Mike at 570-784-2403 FOR SALE — Organic, 100% grassfed cows. Traders Point remains one of the only creameries in the nation to have a year round 100% organic grass-fed herd. Our cows were carefully selected & came from well known grass-based herds in the United States. USDA certified by Indiana Certified Organic. The Brown Swiss heritage is also foremost in the field of health nutrition with the highest CLA. Call or email Fritz at 317-919-6234 or jane@tpforganics.com FOR SALE – Cove Mountain Farm, 320 acre farm has an agricultural easement, according to the realtor, Judy Kelsey. For info see homes.realtor.com (enter zip code 17236 and the price range $1,500,000 to 2,000,000 as the asking price is $1,595,000) Judy Kelsey is available at 717-328-9494. FOR SALE — Full blood English Large Black sows and gilts. 7 mature sows and 13 gilts ranging in age from 16 weeks to 4 weeks. Health program includes Tetanus, Erysipelas, Parvo and Lepto vaccinations. Internal parasites controlled through selection and herbal tinctures. Contact: rthompson@sdtc.org 845417-6418 or kgrefig@sdtc.org 845-337-1225. FOR SALE — 43a Madison County, NY turnkey organic (ready to be certified) vegetable. Barn w/new roof, rootcellars, walk-in coolers, machine shop, beautiful apartment. For photos and info, visit www.greenrabbitfarm.com. Contact Suzanne Slomin or Aaron Locker at 315-893-7729 or rabbit7@frontiernet.net. FOR SALE — Restored 1880s farmhouse with restored summer kitchen, 11 acres of woods, fields, gardens, fruit trees and berries in beautiful setting on the same road as New Morning Farm and TOG in southern Huntingdon County. For information call 814-448-2029 or email jslattery@innernet.net. FOR RENT — Locust Grove Farm — Recreation/PSU Football Rental. Escape to beautiful central Pennsylvania at this 4 bedroom, modernized, historic 1865 farmhouse. Visit http://locustgrovefarm.vflyer.com or call Nancy Ferguson Desmond at 814-238-4423 or 609-967-3265. FOR SALE — several Belted Galloway/Jersey cross heifers; 4 weanlings, 3 yearlings (bred for spring), and a 2 year old cow (bred). Also two Jersey cows — very friendly! You can lead them, they stand tied, and have been both machine & hand milked. Both are bred. One is 8 years old, she is a two teater but still gives 2 gallons a day. The other is 3 years old. 40 Katahdin/Dorper cross ewes for sale; ages range form lambs to 4 years. All of the animals are grass fed only! No grain! No shots! Located in York, Pa. Email swisslandacres@msn.com or 717-227-9271.

For Sale
FOR SALE — Williams tool system flat spade cultivator. Includes 3-pt hitch, 78” tool bar, 4 side knives (flat spades), pair of gauge wheels, $550; (used only 3 hrs, purchased new for $950). Call 814-692-8432. FOR RENT — 3 story, 4 bedroom stone-cased house on three large lots w/creek. My grandfather built & ran it as a farmette.Would prefer family interested in sustainability/organic gardening. Contact Brian Fisher, 814 280-0997 or Gary at gbstss@epix.net. AVAILABLE — 8.5 acre farm in South Hill, VA. Looking for alternative arrangement, to “rent” the property for farm barter to a person who can adequetly maintain/improve the property and its structures. May also “rent to purchase” arrangement. This is a unique opportunity for a responsible, sustainably minded person(s) to get on a farm with flexible terms. Contact me if you are interested. Ed Raynie, edraynie@yahoo.co.uk, 917-945-0561

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Classified Ads

FOR SALE — Female Maremma guard dog. 3 years old. Neutered, current rabies vaccine. Good disposition. 814-757-8540. FOR SALE — 9 registered North Country Cheviot ewes, 3 yrs; 4 North Country Cheviot cross ewes, 4+ yrs; 2 Dorset cross yearling ewes; 1 registered Horned Dorset ram, 3 yrs old. These sheep have been raised in an intensive, rotational grazing system. 170% lamb crop for 2007. 814-757-8540. FOR SALE – Icelandic sheep, a hardy, triple-purpose breed (wool, milk & meat) that is feed-efficient and ideal for grass-fed operation. Perfect for small farms and homesteads. Ewes, ewe & ram lambs available for breeding this Nov/Dec. Pasture lambing in April/May means no barn required. Ewes are great mothers, often twin easily & need little intervention. Visit our website to find out more…stonemeadowicelandicsheep.com or call 814-364-2075.

goats, with at least one recently or soon to be bred. We are located near Susquehanna in NE Pennsylvania (near NY border, 35 min. from Binghamton, NY), e-mail Jerome or Lisa at skolfarm@comcast.net. WANTED — look for a partnership with a farm (min 10 acres, 20 miles from Lansdale, ideally crop land with light animal farming to provide manures). The partnership is to build a high-tech eco-farm that produces a unique product with no market competition. If interested, let’s discuss details. Contact actionjzl@yahoo.com or 215-412-4753. WANTED — Organically raised pullets — prefer ready to lay and good winter layer breed such as Buff Orpington. Will pick up. Contact dawhetzel@hotmail.com WANTED — Greensgrow Farm is looking for new or used beehive boxes for sale near the Philadelphia area. If you have any or know where some could be found, contact Ryan at ryan@greensgrow.org or 215-427-2702. LAND WANTED — Family in search of 5 to 20 acres of farmland or small farm with a fixer-upper. Reasonably priced. Within two hours from Pittsburgh. Please contact Cindy Totino @412-882-2799 or cindytotino@yahoo.com.

WANTED — Heirloom variety apple trees suitable for Appalachian climate. Contact dawhetzel@hotmail.com. WANTED — Straw, small square bales. Approx. 100–150 bales. Does not need to be organic.We can pick them up. We are looking within 50 miles of Troy, PA. Our phone number is: 570-297-4466 WANTED — Looking for small beginning flock of ewes and possibly one ram, Prefer multipurpose breed (fine wool, milk and meat) with worm resistance and suitable for grass based organic production. Contact dawhetzel@hotmail.com CARETAKER — Family seeking Caretaking or Rent to Own opportunity in Pa. Family of 5 & pets looking for an older farm (3–5 acres) w/a long term caretaking situation, or a rent to own opportunity. Currently own our home in western PA, will be able to provide a % down if rent to own will work for you. References available. Need room for 1 horse & would like to add chickens & an organic garden. Cambria Co., Bedford, Somerset or Ligonier are preferred locations, would consider further away as well. Contact us if you think we can work something out — shawfam@atlanticbb.net

Wanted
WANTED — 2–4 wool sheep (Shetland preferred) and dairy sheep (Lacaune and E. Freasian crosses) prefer some animals pregnant. Also, young (1–5 yr old) gelding or female donkey, regular size to use as guard animal. Also looking for 1–2 Brown Swiss cows, one recently bred, and 2–3 polled Oberhasli

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The area’s first natural food restaurant with an emphasis on local, seasonal foods.
Open Tuesday – Saturday 11:00am – 8:00pm

* B YO B

Emma’s Food for Life, Inc. 11 South Market Street Selinsgrove, PA 17870 570-374-0178 emmasfoodforlife@verizon.net
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PASA Membership & Contribution Form Benefits of Membership
As a member you will receive:
• • • • •

Please clip this application and return with payment to: PASA Membership, PO Box 419, Millheim, PA 16854 or join online at pasafarming.org

Lifetime Memberships & Permanent Business Partners
Contributions for Lifetime Memberships & Permanent Business Partnerships will be managed with care, sustaining both the ongoing membership as well as the long-term future of PASA. There are few things a member or business could do to symbolize their lifelong commitment to sustainability than to place such confidence in the value and viability of PASA itself. Sustaining Lifetime Member
Please complete the Family/Farm Membership field at lower left *This rate will increase December 31, 2007 $ 900*

A subscription to our bimonthly, Passages newsletter A membership directory for networking Discounted admission to our annual conference Discounted admission to our annual field day series Invitations to other special events, such as our Harvest Dinners • Free classified ad and discounted display advertising in Passages • Voting privileges • The satisfaction of knowing that you are helping sustain agriculture Become a PASA Member
Name Company/Farm Address City ZIP+4 Home Phone E-mail Web Address State County Work Phone

Permanent Business Partner
Please complete the Nonprofit/Business Membership field at lower left

$ 3,000

SUBTOTAL $

Gift Membership
In addition to your own membership, you may give PASA membership to a good friend, family member, business associate or other worthy recipient on an annual or lifetime basis…a gift that keeps on giving! Student Individual Family/Farm Lifetime Sustaining Member
*This rate will increase December 31, 2007 $ 15 $ 45 $ 60 $ 900*

SUBTOTAL $
Name(s) Address City State ZIP+4 E-mail

Are you farming:

NO

YES — how many acres:

Telephone

How did you learn about PASA:

PASA Membership Levels
Student Individual Family/Farm Please complete field below
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.

Payment
$ 15 $ 45 $ 60

SUBTOTALS $

CONTRIBUTIONS
PASA is a registered 501 (C) 3 organization and contributions are tax exempt.

Annual Fund Arias M. Brownback Scholarship Fund

$ ............................. $ .............................
Total amount due $

Nonprofit Business

Please complete field below Please complete field below

$ 100 $ 150 Card No.

Check Make check payable to PASA Credit Card Complete below

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

VISA SUBTOTAL $

MasterCard

Discover

Exp. Date

Cardholder Name Signature

Membership — Join PASA today!

e t r f e ple of oge onf onf po eoA’s familsycome t at the ecFuture c by sup P S n y ed sio th PA alwa serv for mis es. g s tor meals armin e PASA siness the the F ate th nd bu y wa onstr arms a dem ional f reg

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PASA is a network of people who care, since we all have role in strengthening ties between family farmers and concerned consumers. And don’t forget! PASA members receive a discount on conference registration fees.

Mark Your Calendars! PASA’s Farming for the Future Conference To learn more visit
February 7–9, 2008 State College, PA
PASA’s annual Farming for the Future conference has become one of the best-known ag conferences in the country. The 2007 conference attracted 1,730 participants from 33 states and 4 countries. The 2008 event will be held February 7–9 in State College, PA. www.pasafarming.org or call 814-349-9856. Be sure to check out special conference details inside this newsletter!

FarmArts
Sustainable Trade Show & Marketplace
Companies and organizations with the latest agricultural products, services, programs and ideas with be at the PASA conference as part of the Sustainable Trade Show & Marketplace. Be sure to also check out the “PASA Farm Store” — which will feature special conference merchandise and more!

be part The FarmArts program will once again rs conference activities as well. Voluntee of the live music, a photography are busy coordinating feature contest and a special showing of the interested in participatfilm, King Corn. If you are info@pasaing in any of these programs, contact farming.org.

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
PO Box 419 • Millheim, PA 16854-0419

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID State College, PA Permit No. 213

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