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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 78 May/June 2009
Left to right: Lori Sollenberger, son Bradley, husband Rex Knepp and daughter Morgan. Below: The Jersey dairy cow breed has called Hidden Hills Dairy home since 1955.
Lori Sollenberger • Hidden Hills Dairy/Jerseys
mong the rolling hills of Bedford County you will ﬁnd the family farm of Lori Sollenberger. Lori grew up on the farm, and returned to form a farming partnership with her brother and parents after she earned a dairy science degree from Penn State in 1981. Lori’s family developed a herd of Jersey cows that were nationally recognized for high production and superior genetics. “Jerseys have called this farm home since 1955,” Lori mentioned. “Our ﬁrst attempt at cheesemaking was back in 2000 when we bought a Pladot system, an Israeli-produced dairy system, which offered training and design of a cheese facility. It unfortunately didn’t really work for us and the market for the fresh cheeses we were producing didn’t exist in this area,” Lori continued. In 2005 there were a lot of changes on the farm, the main barn was destroyed after the original structure and the addition separated causing a ﬂoor to collapse. “It was also a very dry year,” mentioned Lori, “so we were already feeding hay early in the season.”
So to recoup some percentage of the losses, the herd was dispersed at public auction. “Today I milk 8–10 cows instead of 50,” remarked Lori. “From April through October, our cows enjoy the wide open spaces and superb nutrition made possible by intensive grazing. During the winter months, the ration is based on our own homegrown grass and alfalfa hay. We do not feed any fermented feeds or use rBST. The quality of our cheese begins with quality milk from contented, stress free cows.” With 225 acres at Hidden Hills, there is no ﬂat acreage, “I thought it was important to keep the rolling hills on the farm covered, so we aren’t growing any row crops, instead it is all planted in hay for the Jerseys and to earn additional income,” she said. “I will admit I still have a lot to learn about pasturing, and we are not certiﬁed organic. I do use some sprays on the forages. But I am a big advocate that agriculture in general needs to be more aware of how much is being used and limit use of chemicals.” The same care and attention that, for years, went into developing the cow genetics
is now focused on making quality cheese. With the milk from eight cows, Lori and husband Rex Knepp are making ﬁne cheeses in an on farm facility licensed and inspected by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA). Lori generally only uses 45% of the milk the Jersey herd produces for cheese, so instead of dumping the rest, she is experimenting with raising veal calves and is considering custom calf-raising, since the left over milk quantity isn’t enough for a co-op to pick up. “Currently, all of our cheeses are made with raw milk. As such we are required to age them for a minimum of sixty days. (Research has determined that cheeses aged for 60 days will not contain harmful pathogens.) Our milk is tested routinely and meets all of the standards set for licensing requirements. Small batches and careful processing create a ﬂavorful cheese that we can offer with pride,” said Lori. “Producing raw milk cheeses is just simpler,” said Lori. “It is great to skip a step [pasteurization] and I think we end up with a better tasting product. I am learning more about all the opinions out there about raw milk and we think this may be another niche
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Passages STAFF & OFFICE Editor: Michele Gauger 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 Jerry Brunetti, Northampton County Melanie Dietrich Cochran, Cumberland County Jennifer Halpin, Cumberland County John Hopkins, Columbia County John Jamison, Westmoreland County Don Kretschmann, Beaver County Christopher Lent, Luzerne County Jeff Mattocks, Dauphin County Sandra Miller, Cumberland County Susan Miller, Chester County Rita Resick, Somerset County At-Large Board Members David Bingaman, Dauphin County Jamie Moore, Allegheny County PASA STAFF PASA Headquarters Phone: 814-349-9856 Brian Snyder Executive Director email@example.com Matt Soccio Director of Operations firstname.lastname@example.org Lauren Smith Director of Development email@example.com Carrie Gillespie Development Program Assistant firstname.lastname@example.org Allison Shauger Educational Outreach Director email@example.com Rachel Schaal Educational Outreach Associate firstname.lastname@example.org Michele Gauger Director of Membership email@example.com Brandi Marks Ofﬁce Coordinator/Bookkeeper firstname.lastname@example.org Teresa McFeely Ofﬁce Manager email@example.com Consumer Outreach Phone: 412-246-0990 Chris Fullerton Director of Consumer Outreach firstname.lastname@example.org Southeast Regional Ofﬁce Phone: 610-458-5700 Marilyn Anthony Southeast Regional Director email@example.com Kendra Anderson Assistant Program Director firstname.lastname@example.org Western Regional Ofﬁce Phone: 412-697-0411 Greg Boulos Western Regional Director email@example.com Mia Farber Outreach Associate firstname.lastname@example.org
1 4 6 7 8 9
Farmer Proﬁle Buy Fresh Buy Local® Update Director’s Corner PASA Board Perspective PASA News Conference Update
27 Membership Form 28 Classiﬁed Ads/Employment 30 Calendar 31 A Few Scenes from Summer Farm Start 32 2009 Educational Outreach Calendar
10 Draw Them In, Keep Them Engaged and Get Them to Come Back 12 Educational Outreach 14 Regional Marketing 16 Business Member Proﬁle 18 Fundraising Update 21 Founder’s Fund 22 Confronting Issues in Farm and Ranch Land Access, Succession, Tenure and Stewardship 23 Penn State Launches Community Garden 24 Prosperous Partnership: Two young farmers share their inroduction to farming 26 The Grapevine
Page 24 Page 10
Contributing Writers & Photographers
Marilyn Anthony, Liz Carollo, Lisa Diefenbach, Chris Fullerton, Kristen & Nate Johanson, Chris Lent, Jeff Mattocks, Dana Morrison, Gayle Morrow, Kim Seeley, Allison Shauger, Lori Sollenberger, Brian Snyder, Lauren Smith, Elaine Tweedy, Kelly & Sean Weinberg, Dreamstime (back cover photos) Note to our Readers — If you are moving, please contact PASA to update your mailing address. Several of our publications are sent via bulk mail service, which is not forwarded via the USPS. Contact email@example.com or call 814-349-9856 to make an update. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for July/August 2009 Issue: July 6, 2009 Advertising Sales: Michele Gauger, PASA ofﬁce, email@example.com Layout: C Factor
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture
P.O. Box 419 Millheim PA 16854 Phone: (814) 349-9856 Fax: (814) 349-9840 www.pasafarming.org
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.
Passages is printed on recycled paper
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.
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market for us. We recently qualiﬁed for a raw milk permit to sell ﬂuid milk. Our inspector from PDA has been good, and we keep that relationship on good terms by keeping things extremely clean and following the guidelines.” “We currently sell our cheeses at a farmers’ market in Somerset; in addition to mail order from individuals and restaurants; local grocery and natural food stores; a distributor in the Baltimore, Maryland area that sells to restaurants; and Penns Corner Farm Alliance,”
Lori commented. A favorite cheese at the farmers’ market includes the Allegheny, which is based on a recipe for an Italian style cheese traditionally made in the summer in the plateau region of the Dolomites. Hidden Hills’ version is adapted to their wintertime whole milk in the rolling foothills of the Alleghenies. Others include the Havarti-style Ivory Lace; Boltonfeta, a Greek-style feta (which won a bronze medal at the 2008 World Jersey Cheese Awards); Gouda Gold; Old Gold; Temptation, a smooth, creamy cheese recommended to be enjoyed with a gingersnap; and Tye, a Romano style cheese. I
For more information contact: Lori Sollenberger 1980 Ritchey Road Everett PA 15537 814-652-5672 firstname.lastname@example.org www.hiddenhillsdairy.com
Editor’s Note: On Tuesday–Thursday, August 18–20, PASA & Hidden Hills Dairy will be hosting an Intensive Learning Program on Advanced Cheesemaking with Peter Dixon. Visit www.pasafarming.org for details on how to register or look in your copy of the Field Day calendar, which was mailed to members in May.
All cheeses are made with raw milk and aged for a minimum of 60 days.
Hidden Hills currently sells their cheeses at the farmers market in Somerset, mail order, local grocery and natural food stores, a Baltimore distributor and Penns Corner Farm Alliance.
INTERVIEW WITH LORI SOLLENBERGER
What is unique about your farm? Actually it doesn’t feel as though we are very unique among the PASA circles! I don’t think of things we do that are different or inspiring, probably because so many of the things we do came from hearing about other PASA members. We are unique among neighborhood farms in that we grow only hay (no row crops) and sell value added products. We likely have the smallest dairy herd in several counties and are the only cheesemaker in Bedford County. How has your operation evolved? Until 2005 the farm was a typical smallscale commercial dairy farm raising corn and hay and breeding nationally recog-
nized, high indexing registered Jerseys — while leaning towards the fringes of sustainable agriculture. The farm has been in continuous no-till since the 70’s and we began pasturing in the early 90’s.We tried cheesemaking in 2000 but, for a variety of reasons, that venture failed. Then in 2005 several things happened the necessitated selling the herd and it seemed like an opportune time to try cheeses again on a very small scale. Since then we have converted the entire acreage to hay production and have also begun to experiment with raising veal calves. Marketing continues to be our greatest challenge and the goal is still to ﬁnd a combination of products that will make the farm proﬁtable. Why did you join PASA? I joined PASA for very pragmatic reasons — I wanted to attend the conference
and it simply made sense to join! But I have stayed because of the wealth of information, support, networking and friendships that come with the territory. What do you see as some of the critical issues concerning agriculture today? I think the whole umbrella of economics is the most critical issue facing agriculture today. Too many farms of all types are looking at red ink. We need to ﬁnd ways to make farming proﬁtable that go beyond niche markets and specialty foods. It’s easy to see that industrialized agriculture is not sustainable, but we need to also develop viable alternatives that will recognize the need for affordable food in mainstream markets along with protecting our health and environment and providing a reasonable income for our farmers.
Buy Fresh Buy Local Update
PA Buy Fresh Buy Local® Chapters are Ready to Celebrate Another Great Local Foods Season
Compiled by PA Chapter Coordinators The “buzz” about local foods is getting louder every day! Lucky for Pennsylvania consumers, there are ten active Buy Fresh Buy Local® chapters serving nearly every corner of the Commonwealth. Here are some updates on our chapters as well as highlights of what lies ahead for the rest of 2009:
I Our Newest Chapter:
Northeast Region The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Scranton is hosting the newest addition
to our Buy Fresh Buy Local® network. This SBDC has earned a reputation for delivering great business advice to local growers, so starting a BFBL chapter was a natural complement to their existing work. Even before they were ofﬁcially approved, staff members and local volunteers were tabling at local events to spread the gospel on locally grown foods. They plan to work with the SBDC at Wilkes University to cover their seven-county territory (see sidebar for details). The new chapter has already developed a unique version of the Buy Fresh Buy Local® label, customized to feature
products indicative of their regional home. They are helping manage regional information on the BuyLocalPA.org website and launching an e-newsletter. They plan on having a regular presence at the Scranton Farmer’s Market. In August the chapter will host an event at Miller’s Farm Orchard in Lackawanna County, featuring chicken BBQ from Miller’s farm-raised poultry, vegetables provided by local farmers, music and education. Check the Events Calendar at www.BuyLocalPA.org/Northeast for more details as they come together.
I Greater Lehigh Valley
This chapter has been busy lately with several projects. Besides the regular updating and distribution of a local foods guide, the chapter is collaborating with three local universities on a study of the local food economy in Lehigh Valley.
PENNSYLVANIA BUY FRESH BUY LOCAL® — How to Plug In
The Pennsylvania Buy Fresh Buy Local® program has been celebrating the abundance found in our Commonwealth for the past seven years, with the aim of making it easier for Pennsylvania consumers to find, choose and appreciate great local foods…and to support the farmers and lands which produce them. Currently there are 10 active chapters in Pennsylvania. We create local food guides (both in print and online) and organize events (such as farms tours or tastings), among other activities. To explore your region’s food system further, hear about upcoming events and find more ways to get involved, please visit www.BuyLocalPA.org or contact one of the folks listed below.
I Centre County Kristin Leitzel (Chapter Coordinator) email@example.com or 814-349-9856 I Chester County Claire Murray (Chapter Coordinator) Inverbrook Farm firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-563-3116 I Greater Lehigh Valley Lynn Prior (Chapter Coordinator) email@example.com or 610-438-3950 Serving Berks, Lehigh and Northampton Counties I Lancaster County Janna Weil 717-380-7280 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Linda Aleci 717-291-4293 or email@example.com I Northeast Region Elaine Tweedy (Chapter Coordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org or 570-941-7588 Serving Carbon, Lackawanna, Luzerne, Monroe, Pike, Schuylkill and Wayne Counties I Northern Tier Ruth Tonachel (Chapter Coordinator) Northern Tier Cultural Alliance email@example.com or 570-268-5055 Serving Bradford, Potter, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Tioga, Wyoming Counties I Philadelphia Fair Food at White Dog Community Enterprises Ann Karlen/Joanne Pernick (Chapter Coordinators) firstname.lastname@example.org, 215-386-5211 x101 or email@example.com I South Central PA Susan Richards (Chapter Coordinator) Capital RC&D firstname.lastname@example.org or 717-724-009 Serving Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lebanon, Juniata, Perry & York Counties I Southeastern Pennsylvania Kendra Anderson 610-458-5700 x317 or email@example.com Or Marilyn Anthony 610-458-5700 x305 or firstname.lastname@example.org Serving Bucks, Delaware and Montgomery Counties I Valleys of the Susquehanna (including Centre County’s Chapter) Kristin Leitzel (Chapter Coordinator) email@example.com or 814-349-9856 Serving Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifﬂin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union Counties I Western Pennsylvania Mia Farber (Chapter Coordinator) firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-697-0411 Serving Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington and Westmoreland Counties I Statewide BFBL Coordination Chris Fullerton, PASA Consumer Outreach email@example.com or 412-246-0990 PASA coordinates Buy Fresh Buy Local® programming in Pennsylvania on behalf of our national partner, FoodRoutes Network. For regions not covered by a local chapter, contact PASA’s Director of Consumer Outreach, Chris Fullerton: 412-246-0990 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about or assistance with the BuyLocalPA.org website, send an email to: email@example.com. For information on Buy Fresh Buy Local® Chapters and Activities outside of PA, visit www.FoodRoutes.org. Our work is made possible in part by funding from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and by contributions from individuals and businesses throughout the state.
They were also awarded a grant earlier this year to reproduce Buy Fresh Buy Local® outreach materials in Spanish. On Sunday, September 13th, the chapter will hold its second annual Taste of the Lehigh Valley. Chefs from the Lehigh Valley’s finest restaurants will gather at MELT to offer tasty creations featuring locally-grown foods. Chapter coordinator Lynn Prior is looking for help with this event. If you would like to volunteer or get more information, contact her (see sidebar for contact info).
The Philly chapter is managed by the Fair Food Project of White Dog Community Enterprises, one of the founding members of the national Buy Fresh Buy Local® movement. They’ve been busy pulling together their annual Philadelphia Local Food Guide, which is published as an insert in the Philadelphia City Paper. The guide is a consumer handbook containing over 150 listings of farmers markets, CSA opportunities, restaurants, cafes, stores, and institutions. This guide has a circulation of 70,000 throughout Philadelphia and is an invaluable resource for consumers, as well as an important place of advertising for all of the businesses that are listed. The guide was scheduled to be out by midMay, so copies should be available now!
I Chester County
nesses, restaurants, markets, and more, produced with support from Lancaster LIVE and ﬁnanced by a grant from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development. This guide, along with the movie they produced last season (“Buy Fresh, Buy Local, by Lancaster”) are part of the launch of Lancaster’s 21Day Challenge, an initiative to raise consumer awareness and promote greater consumption of locally grown foods. Events and related activities can be found at www.lancasterbfbl.org. This chapter is also pleased to welcome Janna Weil as its outreach coordinator. Janna has been coordinating the production of the Local Food Guide, and will be handling partnerships (see sidebar for contact info).
I South Central Pennsylvania
events. In addition to an outreach presence at many local events, they also plan to hold a “matchmaker” event for growers and buyers on Monday October 26 at Penn Tech College’s Wellsboro campus.
I Western Pennsylvania
This chapter aims to hold a bigger, better “Bike Fresh Bike Local” ride in 2009 (after getting rained out in 2008), continue distribution of their Local Food Guide, and work with area newspapers to feature weekly stories on local food providers. They worked with Dickinson College to support another successful Local Foods Dinner on April 4th.
I Centre County
As of the beginning of May, the Western PA chapter had signed up over 40 local food providers as BFBL Partners, well on they way towards their goal of 50. Partners receive signs, window clings, sourcing support and promotion in a monthly e-newsletter currently going out to over 5,000 subscribers. The chapter has plans to update and re-publish a local food guide for Western Pennsylvania, along with speciﬁc brochures covering local farmers’ markets and farms with CSA programs. Along with numerous tabling events and presentations, they’re hard at work planning their Third Annual Summer Farm Tour on July 18, featuring 22 farms across the Western region. They are also looking forward to expanding their annual Local Food Week in September to a whole Local Food MONTH, and helping support the development of a new local chapter within their region, focused on Fayette County. Covering the Commonwealth There are still two regions of Pennsylvania without an ofﬁcial Buy Fresh Buy Local® chapter: An area we’ve dubbed “Southern Mountains” includes the following counties: Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset. Another piece of the map, comprised of Cameron, Clearﬁeld, Elk, Jefferson and McKean counties, is designated “Pennsylvania Wilds” on BuyLocalPA.org (not to be confused with the “ofﬁcial” Pennsylvania Wilds region as deﬁned by the Pennsylvania Wilds Tourism Marketing Corporation, which covers more territory). If you’re located in either area, and know of a local organization or agency that might want to host a Buy Fresh Buy Local® chapter, please contact Chris Fullerton, PASA’s Director of Consumer Outreach (see sidebar for contact info). To successfully host a local chapter, an organization needs to have the capacity to run a program of public outreach and
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This chapter, led by volunteer coordinator Claire Murray, will begin distributing over 20,000 copies of its new Chester County “Feed Ability Guide,” a combined local food directory and farm map in June. This project was completed in collaboration with FoodRoutes (the national organization behind the Buy Fresh Buy Local® brand) and the Chester County Agricultural Development Council. They also hope to roll out a BFBL Partner program this year, celebrate a buy fresh buy local food week in mid-July, and help promote PASA’s second annual southeast region “Bike Fresh Bike Local” ride in Chester County in September.
I Lancaster County
The Centre County group will hold its sixth annual Local Foods Week from August 3rd through 8th. The week will feature fun events at local markets, and conclude with the fourth annual Farm Tour on Saturday August 8th.
I Valleys of the Susquehanna
This is a transition year for the Valleys chapter, with the reins being passed from long-time coordinator SEDA-Council of Governments back to PASA. Staff member Kristin Leitzel (also coordinating Centre County Buy Fresh Buy Local® activities) is looking for any fresh faces who want to be a part of the Valleys Chapter Steering Committee.
I Northern Tier
June 6th is the ofﬁcial release of the Local Food Guide for Lancaster County, a listing of nearly 100 farmers, retail busi-
This chapter continues to distribute local food guides (with a plan for an update in early 2010) and manages a www.northerntierbfbl.com, website, which is continually updated with info about regional farmers markets and
A Message to Public Ofﬁcials on Food Safety
By Brian Snyder, Executive Director
t seems everyone in elected ofﬁce these days wants to do something about food safety. Who can blame them, given that the headlines on any particular day might carry news of the latest food poisoning scare? It is supreme paradox that, while all of us must eat in order to survive, food can also become an instrument of death. As a community of farmers, we must also come to terms with the fact that harmful pathogens occasionally present in food can originate on farms in various ways that at times defy easy explanation. However, before anyone moves ahead too fast with regulations that could have far-reaching, unintended consequences for farmers of all stripes, a little additional perspective may be in order. While the Center for Disease Control estimates that as many as 5,000 deaths in this country are caused by food-borne pathogens each year, the National Highway Trafﬁc Safety Administration is ecstatic to report that highway deaths last year dipped to a forty-eight year low — “only” 37,313 were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2008. Since many more of our citizens eat every day, as compared to the numbers who travel on the highways, there is clearly some reason to be proud of “food safety” in this country in the broadest sense. I mean, if one wanted to reduce
preventable deaths by 5,000 annually, which of the above statistics should garner the most attention? But it is another positive sign to note that few farmers or food processors wish to rest on their laurels, and most would agree that any deaths whatsoever from eating food should be avoided if at all possible. Now let us consider the desire folks in government have to devise a legislative solution for the problems of food safety. This is a legitimate, albeit politically expedient concern. It is the acknowledged job of government to protect us to the extent possible from negligence and preventable forms of injury and/or death. But it is distinctly NOT the job of government to attempt to eliminate risk in life altogether, nor to impose expectations that may impinge unnecessarily on the free enterprise activities of the citizenry without a clearly understood beneﬁt. More than anything else right now, we need some plain talk on the real issues involving the safety of our food supply. With good science available on all sides, there is widespread disagreement about what matters most and why any of us should care. We at PASA believe quite simply that the most important thing anyone can do to reduce risk in the food system is to make it as locally-based as possible. A safe food system is built on trust, and trust is built on actual human relationships. Such relationships are harder to maintain the larger and more diffuse the food system becomes. Furthermore, we contend that the greatest risks to food safety occur when two systemic factors are combined: a) “food anonymity” and b) geographically broad distribution patterns. The most basic strategies for achieving a safe food supply, therefore, are not only to keep the distribution patterns as local and/or regional as possible, but also to put the farmers’ faces back on the food. In an ideal scenario, both strategies would occur. Whatever else is said about specific practices on a farm or in a food processing facility, these two factors should be acknowledged as priorities and properly rewarded by the regulatory authorities right up front. With this in mind, the following three-tiered structure seems both to be the current reality in food production
and marketing systems, and a necessary framework for any successful effort to further regulate food safety and security: Farm-direct — This includes farm stands, farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs (e.g. subscription farms) and other innovative strategies where the relationship between individual farmers and consumers is immediate and understood. Identity-preserved — This involves distribution patterns on a regional scale where the farmer and consumer do not necessarily meet, but the identity of the farm is preserved on products all the way through the system, from ﬁeld to fork. Commodity stream — This represents sales where no direct relationship between farms and consumers exists. The farm identity is vague or lost altogether, sources are aggregated and distribution tends to be widespread, including food exported to other countries. Taking them one at a time, we believe there should be minimal intervention by the government in regulating practices in the ﬁrst tier, with respect to private transactions occurring between individual farms and consumers. This means neither that food safety issues are irrelevant at that level, nor that regulatory ofﬁcials should be prohibited from taking action and even shutting down farm-direct operations demonstrated to be making people sick. It just means that problems arising here can quite naturally be traced quickly and addressed effectively without associated threats to any broad segment of the population. With the second tier, it is most important to understand that the government has a tremendous opportunity to take advantage of the good things currently happening out there. The goodwill and positive business practices of farmers, processors and retailers who are already participating in local and regional food system initiatives are ensuring a signiﬁcant degree of traceability that should be supported in any way possible. Let me say this as plainly as possible. The government has every right to set reasonable standards for food quality and safe production practices. Nonetheless, farmers with their names — and reputations — listed on every package of food should have options to work on a voluncontinued on page 9
PASA Board Perspective
enough to be allowed to go to the barn at about the age of 6, enabled me to understand and appreciate my cows. Our oldest cow Blackie (17), like my father is strong and smart, and walks and works every day as hard as she can. Coincidentally the ﬁrst cow to leave the paddock and show the way to the barn was a daughter of the oldest. In the middle of the long line of cows, were
communities around us. In the days following his passing, my family has heard from hundreds of people who have been inspired and touched in some way by his life’s work. Many would say the same thing, ”Your father always took time to have an interest in my life.” A local dentist closed his ofﬁce for an hour because all of his employees wanted to come to the church with him to pay
By Kim Seeley, Board President
You and I, at some time in our lives, are both the student and then the teacher.
many grandchildren and a grandson, each with their own individuality, but ultimately with the same persona. A young cow had calved in the night and Blackie stood guard beside the young mother and was pleased. As the 70 cows ﬁled out of the pasture, Blackie ﬁnally decided she could leave, and followed the procession. This oldest cow has kept the herd in check and shown the way to many young herd mates. Blackie as a youngster was the most likely not to succeed. I saw something in her back then, and she has since taught me many things about sustainable animal husbandry and survival. Her work ethic and strength remind me of my father. She has always been smarter than the average cow. She eats stinging nettles when she feels a need, as the younger animals look at her, wondering how she got so smart. She has been a teacher to all who have wanted to learn — the sustainability of the animal kingdom at its very ﬁnest. In life we can have good teachers, but we also need good students, to pass on sustainable practices. You and I, at some time in our lives, are both the student and then the teacher. Our lives proudly matter if we live and die for the PASA mission. Why do PASA members understand when so many today don’t? That question, is why our work is not ﬁnished. The life we choose, like my father before me, is about working hard to produce healthy food to nurture our families and our
rue sustainabilty isn’t politically correct talk, it must be our life’s daily walk. No matter the obstacles, if we work hard enough and honest enough it is life’s path to forever. This reﬂection came to me in a pasture on May 3, 2009. That Sunday I lost my father. Really, I have concluded, I have not lost him but he has completed his earthly walk and now is allowed to rest. The many memories he left behind are the strength and guidance for the living. His teachings and mentorship are now sustaining me — and others I would ﬁnd out in the coming days. I don’t think he knew how much his community had paid attention. That Sunday, before going to the hospital, I arose earlier than normal to gather the milking herd from a faraway pasture and drive them the mile long walk from one of our furthest pastures to be milked. While observing the sun rising on a stellar spring morning and trying to pull myself together to face the sadness that had a grip on me I was consoled by the cows. You see our herd is an extended family. The grass was especially good so the cows were not excited to leave and walk to the barn. Only the farmer would know which ones were the leaders and which ones would finally follow. Working together with my dad since I was old
tribute and to tell me this story. “I want you to know that your father inspired me to take the risk and start my own dentistry practice. Your father told me when he started selling milk at the farm, how everyone tried to talk them out of it. He dared to follow his heart and had the courage to work as hard as it took to succeed. He convinced me that I could also be my own man and I treasure having known your father. He was my mentor. The community is a better place because of him.” Are our communities a better place because of the work and courage the PASA family has? Don’t all of you follow your heart and do the hard work to teach sustainability? Will we work together to defend right from wrong? Do we all matter in the ecosystem of life? You know the answers. My father proudly hung the PASA Pioneer award plaque we received behind the counter where he spent 47 years talking to his community. He never realized how many people would remember all the little things that were his life’s work. He wasn’t proud of how our society has lost its way. At 88 he had traveled from the horse age to the jet age. My dad had practiced sustainability without needing a deﬁnition. He survived as a farmer when so many haven’t. As his days waned he told us how important his family was to him. He had, like Blackie on May 3, taught and watched over his family and was pleased. I
PASA Staff Changes
By Lisa Diefenbach PASA Staff Departure PASA’s Director of Educational Outreach, Allison Shauger announced her departure effective in May. Allison started with the organization over 4 years ago as a volunteer for the Farming for the Future Conference, then as seasonal staff for the conference registration team. For the past two years, Allison’s hard work and dedication as Director has resulted in phenomenal Field Day and Conference programs and incredible outreach throughout Pennsylvania and beyond. Allison has decided that it is time to explore other interests, but will remain part of the PASA community. The staff, board, and members will all miss Allison, but look forward to crossing paths in the future. Allison wanted to pass on this message, “After four rewarding years of working with PASA in various capacities, I have moved on from my position as Director of Educational Outreach to explore other interests. I’ve found my work to be fulﬁlling and I am grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work with such dedicated members, colleagues, and board of directors. I thank the membership for teaching and inspiring me the past few years and I look forward to remaining a part of the vibrant PASA community in the future.” PASA Hires Director of Operations PASA would like to welcome Director of Operations, Matt Soccio. This new position, based in our Millheim ofﬁce, will work with our Membership, Educational Outreach, and Bookkeeping Departments and coordinate all of the work that they do that is so vital to our members. Among his other skills, Matt’s technical prowess will help PASA manage the vast amount of information, communication, and internal operations that have developed over the past 19 years. Matt’s business acumen and passion for spreading the sustainable message will help PASA continue to grow and thrive in a rapidly changing world. Join us in welcoming Matt to the PASA family at firstname.lastname@example.org. Stay tuned for a proﬁle of Matt in a future newsletter. Two New Faces at PASA Headquarters This Season — Welcome our Interns! We are pleased to welcome Kirstin Miller to the Educational Outreach Department and Katie Poppiti to the Membership Department as interns this season. One or both of them will likely be present at ﬁeld days this season, so be sure to say hello and thank them for their contributions to member services and programming.
I Kirstin Miller grew up on her family’s Wolf Lake Farm in Western PA and attended many PASA conferences in her youth with her parents Kim and Dianne Miller. A recent graduate of Colby College with a major in Psychology, Kirstin will bring to the ﬁeld day season her
experience coordinating educational events for all ages and in many different ﬁelds from American Sign Language to mathematics to environmental education. Kirstin will be working with Rachel Schaal to execute ﬁeld days.
I Katie Poppiti will be supplement-
ing her summer research in the Dept. of Ag Economics and Rural Sociology with an internship with Michele Gauger to assist with Passages newsletter, maintaining the PASA website, archiving photos and articles, and coordinating event outreach activities. Katie will finish her degree in Community, Environment, and Development in the College of Ag Sciences in December. Her experience with horses, the mushroom industry, and mobile 4-H educational programs lend great perspective to the jobs she’ll be doing.
PASA Staff and Board Would Like to Welcome Our Newest Business Members as of May 4, 2009
Bella Sera & Greco’s Gourmet Canonsburg PA www.grecos-bellasera.com Northwest PA Growers Cooperative Harrisville PA www.nwpagrowers.com Steel City Soils LLC Pittsburgh, PA www.steelcitysoils.com Indian Valley Farmers’ Market Telford PA Good Eatz Green Café West Reading PA Camp Hill Gardens Laughlintown PA Persun & Heim, P.C. Mechanicsburg PA www.persunheim.com
PASA Staff and Board Would Like to Thank the Following Volunteers as of May 4, 2009
Nitya Akeroyd Andy Andrews Teena Bailey Ashley Brister Eileen Clark Amy Crystle Dan Dalton Steve DeBroux Aaron DeLong Fred DeLong Sara Eisenfeld Mena Hautau Lyla Kaplan Shannon Knepper Warren Leitzel Claire Murray Patti Olenick Andy Porter Jack Ray Kelly & Sean Weinberg Tarrah Young
19th Annual Farming for the Future Conference
February 4, 5 & 6, 2010 • State College, PA
PLANNING — We are already planning for the 19th Annual Farming for the Future Conference! We began our volunteer conference planning committee meetings in late May. This group of conference program organizers is comprised of approximately 30 volunteers, board members, and staff. We will continue to meet throughout the summer to develop and eventually ﬁnalize the conference theme, keynote speakers, kids programming, preconference tracks, and workshops. Anyone who has been to the conference can attest that this volunteer committee does a phenomenal job creating diverse educational programming and inviting high quality speakers. We are eager to be on track for 2010 thanks to the committee’s efforts. SPONSORSHIPS — Our conference sponsors are a very special part of Farming for the Future. Not only do these generous and valuable companies and agencies provide the necessary revenue to bring our membership a cutting edge program, but they also stand proudly by PASA’s side in presenting this nationally recognized event. Sponsorship materials and information for the 2010 conference are currently being developed and will be mailed to our business partners in August. If you are not currently on the mailing list to receive these materials but would like to be, please contact Lauren Smith at PASA headquarters.
Conference CDs and DVDs are available!
Farming for the Future Keynotes and Workshops are audio recorded courtesy of Cocalico Audio Order form for Cds & DVDs is available at www.pasafarming.org
Cocalico Audio 187 East Church Street • Stevens, PA 17578 Phone: (717) 336-4179
continued from page 6
tary basis with independent, third-party entities of their choosing in meeting such standards. Such partnering entities might include certiﬁers of organic, sustainable or natural products, farm cooperatives, breed associations and other trade organizations with a direct interest in supporting best management practices on the farms they serve. The third tier represents the vast majority of food product consumed in this country and almost all that is exported to others. The need here for clearly stated and enforced quality and safety standards is obvious and should be a central priority of any foodrelated legislative agenda in the immediate future. A majority of folks involved with our nation’s food system would, I believe, acknowledge this point, so I will not go on about it at length. Sufﬁce it to say that trace-
ability and accountability must either be built right into the core of a farming operation from the start, or these principles must be imposed from the outside. The essential element here is not that there is some theoretical distinction between “good” and “bad” farmers, but a firm acknowledgement that SOME farmers have chosen to stand behind their products, by name and reputation, all the way to the point of ﬁnal consumption. This is also not fundamentally an issue of “big farms” vs. “small farms,” though it appears unavoidable that vocal contingents on both sides of that divide will try to make it so. The most pressing concern right now is that, in the rush to do something productive on the most public aspects of safety and security in the food supply, our public ofﬁcials might take action that will a) do too little, for fear of offending some of the powerful interests involved, or b) do too much and thereby inﬂict real damage onto one of the most promising trends in agricul9
ture to come along in at least half a century. Taking these basic considerations into account right now can assist elected ofﬁcials in focusing on the real issues involved in maintaining the safety and security of our food supply. They can thereby avoid excessive government intrusion and expense that might negatively affect the entire American food system, including farmers, eaters and taxpayers alike. Such consideration could also go a long way in helping to ensure that many of us do not take unnecessary risks on our nation’s highways this year just to get to more hearings and listening sessions aimed at reducing the danger of an inherently less risky activity, eating food. But if we can really get this right, a visionary and “fresh” approach concerning food safety at local, state and federal levels of government might lead to an agricultural renaissance in this country that will do as much for the economic health of our rural communities as it will for the physical health of our people. I
Draw Them In, Keep Them Engaged and Get Them to Come Back:
Get Customers Shopping and Returning to Your Farmers Market
By Liz Carollo, Greenmarket Editor’s Note: Greenmarket, a Program of the Council on the Environment of New York City, operates 49 diverse and thriving farmers markets in all ﬁve boroughs of New York City. Their mission is to promote regional agriculture by connecting local farmers with city residents ensuring that all New Yorkers have access to locally grown, foraged, caught and baked products. This article was developed after a presentation at the 2009 PASA conference. helpful tips from our experience will help you to promote yours! Draw Them In First thing is letting people know that your market is opening. Although Greenmarket has 16 year-round markets and many opening in early spring, most markets in the Northeast operate from JulyThanksgiving, leaving May and June for getting the word out. Over the winter you can design (competition can help and be fun) a fun poster that includes pictures of happy market-goers, delicious produce, farm shots, and a fun quote. Posters can hang in neighborhood shops, on buses and in train stations, in schools and health/senior centers. You can also speak at neighborhood and local government meetings about the markets and the beneﬁts of eating locally, and attend community events like health fairs and spring ﬂings where you can perform cooking demonstrations and hand out literature. This gives you an opportunity not only to talk to event-goers, but also to connect with the other organizations tabling, usually a mix of like-minded organizations who you can partner with for cross-promotion. Whether it’s a bicycling advocacy group who can teach about bike safety or a neighborhood association with a mile-long mailing list of residents living near your market, there is always some-
uds are opening, farmers are busy planting, asparagus has finally made an appearance at market, and 19 Market Managers start training in a week…that must mean that farmers market season is right around the corner! Our markets are as diverse as the city we live in; they range from 7 to 120 stands, are in wealthy neighborhoods, lowerincome communities, and everything in between. You can hear Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin and about a dozen other languages sometimes just at one market! As a successful market needs to reﬂect the neighborhood it is in, it’s crucial to have individual strategies for promoting each market. Good thing we have the winter months to plan outreach, events and activities for the upcoming season before the twelve-hour day kicks in and markets are in full swing. We hope sharing a few
one there to collaborate with to make your market better. During this time you should start contacting neighborhood papers and bloggers, sending them a short blurb about your market, a list of the farmers/producers who will be attending, and other details like nearby public transportation. Having a reporter write a story about your market provides much better coverage than simply sending a press release. Pitch them stories about a special new producer with unusual product, about upcoming events, talk about fundraisers you have planned, changes to the market like a location move, or that EBT is now accepted. In smaller markets, radio is often one of the best outlets for getting the word out, whether it’s a regular morning show where you announce what’s in and what events are happening, or a paid ad or Public Service Announcement with a catchy slogan or music that captures the feel of your market. A radio spot can reach thousands of potential shoppers during your market day when you want them to stop what they are doing and head to the market. Ok, you’ve succeeded with your promotions, and it’s late June, everyone knows when and where, but what’s going to make them come? Of course the farmers and the taste and quality of the food are huge draws, but how are you going to make your customers feel like the farmers market isn’t just a place where they buy food, but is an integral part of their community where family and friends gather, neighbors mingle and where they look forward to going each week?
Making your market come alive with fun, educational events and activities is a great way to get your customers talking to their friends and family about their experience at the farmers’ market. And, most importantly, will make them want to come back!
Keep Them Engaged Ask yourself, what are the other reasons why people visit your market? Maybe they need to drop off compost at a collection site you’ve organized with community gardens, or old clothes they don’t want because you’re recycling textiles. Both are great incentives that are not only good for the planet, but can be used to make money for your market— sell the ﬁnished compost or connect with a textile collector who pays by the pound. Maybe they’ve registered for a special event at your market, like a market tour with a local chef or a bake-off. Although many of your customers might have an established relationship with the farmers already, some need encouragement and it’s always a treat to get a behind-thescenes look with a seasoned pro like a chef (always be sure to ask the farmers ahead of time if you can pull them away from their stands for a few minutes to talk about beekeeping, maple syrup, or to tell a funny anecdote.) Once your customers are there it’s time to get them to shop. Start with an enthusiastic and knowledgeable Market Manager who can articulately explain why all your farmers aren’t certified organic or why you can’t ﬁnd cherries in October. Someone who can help the farmers get situated, make sure the market is safe at all times, plan and implement an event or activity, perform a cooking demonstration featuring seasonal produce, and happily answer the same 5 questions, rain or shine, with a smile all day long. The Market Manager’s table should have maps of the market layout, literature about the importance of sustainable agriculture, recipes featuring the products at market that day, and other items like reusable bags for sale. Farmers have to do their part also — that’s right, planting, growing, harvesting and driving the food to the market isn’t enough! Clear and attractive signage, and having the farmer or a knowledgeable staff person working the stand are key, but a little personality goes a long way. Include fun and informative descriptions of the food on your price signs (what it tastes like and how you should cook it), think about creating a distinctive logo and putting it on everything from bags to trucks to staff t-shirts. Partner with the
market to create colorful signage which explains where your farm is, what your growing practices are, and includes a photo of your farm and a quote about why you love farming. Keeping up with trends is important, too. What are restaurants buying or looking for? What new varieties could liven up your farm stand? Has the demographic of the neighborhood changed? If younger folks are moving in, get a college student to work for you. If there’s a large Latino community nearby make sure someone at your stand speaks Spanish and that you have culturally appropriate products for sale. The best way to remain competitive at your market is to distinguish yourself from others—don’t be afraid to get creative! Get Them To Come Back Making your market come alive with fun and educational events and activities is a great way to get your customers talking to their friends and family about their experience. And, most importantly, will make them want to come back! Here are just a few of our favorites…
I Sheep to Shawl Day: Complete with
I Bake-offs: Have customers sign up weeks in advance to ensure you have enough entrants and ﬁnd a “celebrity” judge (local government ofﬁcials are perfect for judging). I Recipe/Jam/Pickle Swaps: Make sure I Conduct a “Question of the Day”:
I Farmer Tan Competition: An end-ofthe-summer favorite, simply take ambiguous photographs of the farmers tan lines and let customers vote on whose is the “best.”
I Seasonal Festivals: A strawberry shortcake eating competition in the spring (a great Father’s Day activity, encourage the dads to bring their kids to cheer them on), a Summer Solstice celebration teaching about solar energy (this works best if you have a solar oven to cook some popcorn), and a harvest festival with cider pressing and farm animals.
information table to see what is happening week-to-week.
customers sign up prior to ensure lively swapping. With a big piece of paper and some stickers you can easily take the temperature of your market. Find out where your customers are coming from, what they’re buying, how much they’re spending, why they shop at the farmers market, etc.
I Music: Stick with jazz, folk, kids songs, sing-a-longs or a good country or bluegrass band. No ampliﬁcation is always best in a crowded or small market area. I Meet Your Farmer Series: Get your
wool, spinning wheels and generations of knitters lining the market.
I Cooking Demonstrations and Fea-
honey producer to bring in a bee suit and demonstration hive and talk at your information table all day; your cheesemaker to make fresh ricotta; a ﬁsherman to demonstrate ﬁlleting a whole ﬁsh; or a baker making individual pizzas on grills with locally grown toppings.
I Rafﬂes: A great way to collect email addresses for your e-newsletter is to hold a rafﬂe every week or month, with the winner collecting a basket or tote bag full of donations from the farmers. Be sure to take a photo of your ﬁrst winner (with their winnings) to have on display for future rafﬂes.
tured Items: Each week highlight a different item and explain how it is grown, harvested, and what varieties are available.can also spend entire market days teaching about other items like labeling descriptions (most people are very confused when it comes to terms like naturally-grown, biodynamic, pasture-raised, etc), composting, or gardening at home (have a local expert gardener answer questions and plant basil seeds with kids for them to take home). Customers are receptive to learning about these topics and will regularly stop by the market
In addition to the at-market events, be sure to stay in touch with your customers with a monthly or bi-monthly e-newsletter that lists what products are coming in, upcoming events, product features and recipes. Liven it up with guest columnists, book/movie/magazine article recommendations, and farmer and customer proﬁles. Have a way to sign up for your newsletter on your website and a sign-up sheet at the market information table. Hopefully this information is helpful to you and will make your market thrive. Just remember, when all else fails, HAVE FUN, BE CREATIVE, AND KEEP SMILING. I
Business Planning, Recordkeeping, Marketing, Pricing & Thinking Strategically
By Elaine Tweedy
n April and May 2009, the Agribusiness and Food Specialty Center of The University of Scranton Small Business Development Center (SBDC), set out to share some insight on farm proﬁtability. The Center developed a fullday training program geared to small and mid-sized farms covering farm business planning, recordkeeping, marketing, pricing and thinking strategically. Farming proﬁtability business skills programs were held in Butler, Chester and Centre counties as a part of PASA’s Intensive-Learning Program series. The intensives provided the opportunity to learn more about what a farm enterprise needed to do to increase its ability to spot trends, track operations, and use various recordkeeping forms, and also provided the opportunity for attendees to network and learn from each other. The program was designed around one key fact: farmers, who are busy producing what they do best, often don’t put aside enough time to track what they did best, and how their practices affect their bottom line.
Without a valuable measuring tool or a starting point, such as a farm business plan, it can be nearly impossible to judge how the farm is doing, how it has grown, and what it needs to change/examine in order to become more proﬁtable. Many farm owners know exactly what systems (production, livestock, etc.) they
tion in how the farm operates in case something should happen to the owner. To develop effective pricing, a successful farm operation needs to track the hours spent in certain farm operations, the labor dedicated to them and the prices associated with obtaining materials for these processes. Examining the “core” products and services of the farm is also important. Realizing that a farm may have a competitive advantage (what they do better than anyone else), expertise or market niche, aids in looking at the key strengths and
The Agribusiness and Food Specialty Center training sought to help farm enterprises understand what was most important to the menu of running a proﬁtable establishment.
use and how their operations run, but may not have put this into a written format. Getting your systems on paper, so that you might share this information with employees, family members, and even lenders if you need additional ﬁnancing is important to the process of examining how well the farm is doing. It’s also important from the standpoint of knowing that others have a good foundaweaknesses of the farm operation, and building a growth plan based on capitalizing on these strengths and overcoming weaknesses. Some farms get off the beaten path of their “core” activities, losing sight of the advantages to being “the best” in these areas, instead trying to be all things to all people. Without a written plan, it’s almost impossible to measure which farm enterprises contribute the most to the big picture — typically core activities — and which may need to be rethought or relinquished. The Agribusiness and Food Specialty Center training sought to help farm enterprises understand what was most important to the menu of running a profitable establishment. Is the farm’s pricing point a competitive one (one that simply mirrors what others in the same market are asking for similar items)? Or is the farm differentiating its products, describing the uniqueness and benefits of those products, giving the enterprise the ability to place a value on that unique identity which may be above a competitive price? Currently the SBDC is working on developing Excel spreadsheets that can be used by anyone who wants to do some pricing scenarios, which they plan to offer on their website in the near future. To ﬁnd
models of pricing through case studies, the ATTRA website is helpful. Just do a search using the word “pricing.” (For useful web links and other suggested SBDC resources see sidebar). The SBDC developed a partnership with The University of Minnesota’s Farm Financial Management operation, and obtained an on-line Ag-Plan tool for PASA’s Intensive Learning Program attendees to utilize to help them begin to put descriptions of their operations and current activities into a business plan format. SBDC staff can utilize the webbased program to monitor the plans of those who submit them. Through the Farm Financial Management Center in Minnesota, attendees were also given a ﬁnancing planning and scenario (what if ) development tool called FinPACK. FinPACK acts as a supplement to current recordkeeping activities, allowing a farm to project out growth plans, changes in operation, transitions, and other activities, and to see how such activities might
affect the costs of doing business on the farm. (How to obtain FinPACK is detailed in the suggested SBDC resources listed in the sidebar). The SBDC always advises that farm enterprises have a good working relationship with an accountant and an attorney. Discussing what form of organization
works (sole proprietorship, partnership — general or limited, corporation — regular or Subchapter S, LLC) with your accountant is a wise strategy, not only in terms of selecting the correct structure for the type of enterprise you operate, but also for assisting you down the road when it comes to tax time. I
ATTRA link: http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/directmkt.html#pricing. For recordkeeping information: http://cropins.aers.psu.edu/Recordkeeping/ProdRecordMgmtSystem.pdf http://agecon.okstate.edu/farmbook/table_of_contents.asp www.cffm.umn.edu/Software/FINPACK/index.aspx www.toolkit.com/small_business_guide/sbg.aspx?nid=P01_4710 The SBDC highly recommends two books for small farm and business planning. The Center purchased the books at a PASA conference (one in 2008 and one in 2009). One is Making Your Small Farm Proﬁtable by Ron Macher, the publisher of Small Farm Today. The other is Building a Sustainable Business: A Guide to Developing a Business Plan for Farms and Rural Businesses, which is easily accessible through Amazon.com.
SARE Grant on Small Ruminant Programming Comes to a Close
For the past three years, the Educational Outreach Department has offered programming on Diversifying with Small Ruminants for Proﬁtability, a project funded through a grant from Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE). Our work on this project ofﬁcially ended March 31, 2009 and we are pleased to have achieved our goals resulting in at least 25 farmers successfully introducing small ruminants to diversify their farm operations or implementing a change to significantly improve proﬁtability of their existing operation and/or decrease dependence on chemical treatments to animals or ﬁelds. A small ruminant producers directory including participants in the three years of programming and presenters involved is available online at www.pasafarming. org. Over the course of the grant period, PASA offered approximately 10 ﬁeld days, 20 conference workshops, a pre-conference track, 5 intensive learning programs, and several regional producers meetings focused on raising small ruminants for proﬁtability. Thanks to NE SARE and the many PASA members who lent their farms, animals, expertise, and suggestions for the beneﬁt of this programming. Just because the grant is over, doesn’t mean the programming on small ruminants is over. Check out the intensive learning program Hands-On Care for Small Ruminants offered October 23 and 24 in Mifﬂin County. Penn State Veterinarians Drs. Van Saun, DVM and Wolfgang, VMD will instruct the class on hoof care and trimming, kidding & lambing, necropsy, nutrition, herd management, and preventing parasites and worms. More information available in the 2009 ﬁeld day calendar or at www.pasafarming.org.
Dr. Dave Wolfgang, VMD of Penn State University leads a hoof care and trimming workshop.
SOUTH CENTRAL REGION
Thanks to PASA members Chris & Randy Treichler for recently hosting a regional potluck gathering at their farm on June 7th. The South Central Regional Advisory Committee is busy coordinating various regional events and gatherings in the coming months, so members in the region should stay tuned for details to come!
NORTH CENTRAL REGION
Save the Date for these Events
Registration details are available at www.pasafarming.org
I Sunday, August 2 Second Annual 100% Grassfed Beef Cook-off Glasbern Inn, Fogelsville, Lehigh Co. Cost: $25 Contestant registration is due by July 1 & event tickets available at www.pasafarming.org I Sunday, September 27 Bike Fresh Bike Local Chester County Cost: $35 advance registration (includes free t-shirt) / $40 day of event registration
I Saturday, October 10 Longwood Harvest Celebration Dinner Longwood Gardens Kennett Square, Chester Co. Event reservations and tickets will be available at www.pasafarming.org
The newly formed North Central Regional Advisory Committee recently met in mid-May, and we want to announce a networking/educational event coming up on Sunday, July 19th at Owens Farm in Sunbury (Snyder Co.) from 3–6pm. The farm is owned and operated by David and Caroline Owens with their three children Kyle, Kevin, and Melissa. The farm boasts 112 acres of rolling pasture, a traditional red Pennsylvania bank barn, pond, and classic white farmhouse complete the picture. To learn more about their sheep camp, feltmaking classes and more visit www.owensfarm .com. The farm tour will be followed by a potluck dinner. Regional members are invited and bring a friend along to introduce them to the PASA family. Directions and further details will be sent soon.
Save the Date for this Event I Saturday, July 18th Annual Summer Farm Tour 10am-4pm Various farms in southwestern PA Details will be available at www.pasafarming.org and www.buylocalpa.org
Attention Grass-fed Beef Farmers and Eaters
It’s time to plan for the 2nd Annual 100% Grass-fed Beef Cook Off! This year’s date is Sunday August 2, and the location is once again at Glasbern Inn in Fogelsville, Lehigh County. Farmers, we encourage you to submit your wonderful beef for this friendly competition and give last year’s winner, Harvest Home Meats, a run for the championship trophy! Eaters, reserve your tickets for this delightful afternoon savoring grass-fed burgers fresh from the grill, beef stew braised in Stoudts’ beer, farm made ice cream, live music by the Britton Brothers, and a chance to mingle with the farmers. In case you missed it, Edible Chesapeake magazine devoted much of their spring issue to covering grass fed beef and gave prominent placement to the PASA Beef Cook Off (BCO). Their Summer issue will continue the coverage with a
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 PASAWesternemail@example.com Greg Boulos 412-697-0411 • firstname.lastname@example.org Southeastern PASAsoutheastemail@example.com Marilyn Anthony 610-458-5700 x305 • firstname.lastname@example.org Southcentral PASAsouthcentralemail@example.com Jenn Halpin 717-243-5996 • firstname.lastname@example.org NorthCentral/Eastern PASAnorthcentralEastemail@example.com Leah Tewksbury 570-437-2620 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Western Southeast Southcentral
Out of State discussion group addresses: States North and East of Pennsylvania PASAOutofStateNortheastemail@example.com States South and West of Pennsylvania PASASouthandWestfirstname.lastname@example.org
different pasture mixes. They will be on hand to discuss the plots. • Presentations on Animal Genetics by Ridge Shinn and on Soil Health by Jerry Brunetti of AgriDynamics. At the time of this printing, we thank early event sponsors Last year’s cook-off judging corps of Diane Stoneback, Food Editor including Glasbern Morning Call; Renee Catacalos, Editor, Edible Chesapeake; Sean Weinberg, Chef/Owner, Restaurant Alba; Tom Sherman, Philadelphia Slow Inn, King’s Agriseeds, The Fertrell CompaFood; and Royer Smith, Executive Chef, LaSalle University. ny, Agri-Dynamics, discussion of the actual tastings they con- Leona Meats and Stoudts’ Brewery. ducted, beginning with the PASA event. We hope to have even more media attention for this year’s festivities. In 2009 we are introducing a number of innovations to the BCO such as: • Farmers’ Tasting Table. Contestants will be seated together during the judging and have the opportunity to take part in their own blind tasting of all the grilled steaks and rate each entry. • Judges Results. We’ll provide some social time after the judging for farmers and the panel of judges to talk about their tastings and ratings. • Pasture Walk of Experimental Plots. King’s Agri-seeds has planted a series of small plots at Glasbern demonstrating
Returning as competitors from last year’s BCO are Breakaway Farm, Cressbrook Farm, Forks Farm, Natural Meadows, and BCO Grand Champion Harvest Home Meats. Registration is limited to 14 farms. To ﬁnd out if you qualify, please visit our website for contestant guidelines and requirements. Contestant registration closes Wednesday July 1st. Eaters, tickets are limited and very inexpensive ($15 for PASA members) so reserve yours early. The BCO goes off on time rain or shine. We hope you’ll join us for a fun, informative, delicious celebration of grass fed beef. For additional information, call Marilyn or Kendra at 610-458-5700 ext 305 or ext 317.
PASA’s ﬁrst grass-fed, grass-ﬁnished beef cook-off Grand Champion Harvest Home Meats, operated by Richard DiFebo and family.
Business Member Proﬁle
By Gayle Morrow Ah, spring — when our collective fancies turn to thoughts of love. Or to thoughts of asparagus and arugula. Maybe risotto of leeks. Even new peas. At Restaurant Alba, lovers and others can celebrate spring, or any season, with “contemporary cuisine” featuring fresh, locally produced food. Husband and wife team Sean and Kelly Weinberg, owners and operators of the Malvern (Chester County) eatery, believe in “food of the area for people of the area” and in working the menu around what is available. “Prepare it simply, let it shine, and people will walk away happy,” says Sean Weinberg (he is the chef; she handles front-of-the-house duties). “There is such potential for us to help local farmers. I have an obligation as a chef in a restaurant to support local farmers. It is really up to us.” The couple is “both into the idea of local food,” Weinberg says, and has an extensive and
eclectic history of experience in the restaurant business. Kelly Weinberg has worked in restaurants for nearly 20 years, including a stint as general manager of Rose Tattoo Cafe in Philadelphia, a facility owned by Weinberg’s parents. He had spent some time in Italy after graduating
Chef Sean Weinberg
INTERVIEW WITH SEAN AND KELLY
1. What is unique about your business?
We really do deal with a lot of different farms. At the height of the season we are dealing with up to 12. Buying locally has become a trendy thing amongst restaurants, and that is good, but, as with any trend, there are those who use the label to promote themselves without actually being that committed to it. We are one of a handful of restaurants in the Philadelphia area at which you can dine knowing you are being offered as much local product as possible. And, we bring home the concept of the European restaurant. We try to stay true to traditional techniques; we really try to transport people.
2. Why did you join PASA?
We joined because, honestly, I feel like it’s one of the best organizations we’ve come across. And we joined to support them. We feel like it is an awesome organization! Another reason is for the contacts and to network with like-minded people.
3. How has your membership been a beneﬁt to your business?
Suburban sprawl is deﬁnitely one, especially for our area. Although it brings customers and restaurants to one’s area, it drives up the price of land, etc. for the farmers. It wears on the landscape when you take 30 acres and put 80 homes on it. You can look at the way the economy has tanked and see so much growth and wearing on local resources. It feels like farmers are really being pushed out. Also, government interference makes it difficult for small-scale farms to maintain traditional artisan techniques such as cheese making. [The number of ] Quality butchers who care about customers and livestock are shrinking to the point where you might say it is a dying art. Consumer support is also an issue. How many times have you seen promotional materials for businesses and homes that claim to be “nestled in the rolling hills of Chester County”? Well, if you want to maintain that aesthetic, you need to support the farms that make it so, because it is disappearing fast.
6. What do you see as the connection between sustainable ag and the consumer?
We’ve actually had a lot of people seek us out and become customers through our membership. PASA members are going to search out people doing the right thing.
4. What does the term “sustainable” mean to you and how do you incorporate that into your business?
For me, ultimately, it’s one nice little local circle. It’s the idea of doing a restaurant in Chester County, having people living here, working here and eating here. There is less environmental impact, and not needing outside sources to keep things moving.
5. What do you see as some of the critical issues facing ag and ag-related businesses today?
Consumers hold the key to making sustainable ag the norm. Buying local should be an obligation! It beneﬁts us all in so many ways. The consumer needs to be educated and the ag community is doing their part. We hope to help that effort by raising awareness and getting people to taste local food and recognize how much better it can be than food that’s been trucked in from so far away. There is a good feeling about eating meat that you know was raised humanely and treated with great care all the way from farm to table. It’s amazing how people are willing to ignore the truth about the origins and path their food generally takes. People are so discerning with so many aspects of their lives, yet they don’t get picky when it comes to food they feed their families. Maybe we could get Fast Food Nation or one of Michael Pollan’s books added to high school curriculums!
Business Member Proﬁle
from the Culinary Institute of America; it was there he became involved with the Slow Food movement and became enamored with the “live ﬁre” method of cooking. Restaurant Alba, with its small, open kitchen and its live hickory and mesquite wood ﬁre, takes its name from a Slow Food facility in Alba, Italy, where Wein-
berg worked. About four years ago, he continues, they came to Chester County to open their own restaurant “because we wanted to be close to our farmers.” “We thought this would be a great area to be a sustainable restaurant,” he says, adding, “in the city, farmers are coming in only once a week.” But now “we can pick up every day.” When it’s asparagus time, for instance, that much-anticipated seasonal delight comes to Restaurant Alba daily rather than languishing in a cooler somewhere. “It’s never seen a refrigerator. We’ve
got three farms within four to ﬁve miles of the restaurant, and new farms are popping up every year.” Some of those farms also provide the Weinbergs with the freshest meat available and, again, the customer beneﬁts from the chef ’s dedication to sustainable practices and his creative bent (e.g. a slow roasted pork, escarole and Amish cheddar sandwich). “We purchase the animal whole and use it all,” he says. “That shows respect for the animal and helps the farmer.” For a country and a culture starved for healthy, regional, delicious food, Restaurant Alba sounds almost too good to be true. You can ﬁnd out for yourself by visiting Restaurant Alba in Malvern at 7 West King Street. Call 610-644-4009 or go to www.restaurantalba.com for more information. I
PASA Celebrates Summer’s Farm Start with a Local Food Feast
Rob Amsterdam acknowledged the important work being done by the South Central Buy Fresh Buy Local ® Volunteer Committee. Their Local Food Guide features over 150 local food entries this year. More info is at www.buylocalpa.org
Memorial Day weekend is the ofﬁcial start of summer and to kick it off in style this year over 300 guests strolled the grounds of Milestone Inn along the beautiful Susquehanna River in Harrisburg, and enjoyed our regional farm’s first bounties prepared fresh by top chefs. PA Preferred Chef James Woltman of Stock’s on Second was the creative genius behind PASA’s ﬁrst annual Summer Farm Start. He began with an exact list of what would be in season during the third week of May to create the custom menu of fourteen dishes premiered that night. “PASA has been holding Harvest Celebration Dinners at the end of the farm season for over six years” stated Lauren Smith, PASA Director of Development. “Creating a special evening to celebrate the beginning of our fabulous farm season seemed like a natural ﬁt! And Chef Woltman’s passion for local food and genuine interest in preserving our state’s agriculture made coordinating the event a real pleasure.” From Grilled Lamb Sliders with Rosemary Chevre Spread to Kennett Square Mushroom Wellington, all of the evening’s ingredients were sourced from thirty regional producers. A trio of Patisserie Desserts were provided by Wegmans. “PASA’s local food feasts continue to provide locavores a meeting place to share great food and company,” exclaimed Patti Olenick, volunteer chairperson. “We are
so pleased that these events are effective at demonstrating the importance and relevance of supporting local farms…in a most delicious way! And it’s a great way to raise money for PASA’s Annual Fund.” The evening had a special treat for the guests, which PASA was very proud to present. A premier auction item — Dinner in Your Home by Chef James Woltman, went to the highest bidder!
Well, to the two highest bidders actually, as Chef James Woltman graciously offered his award winning talents to both. That “evening to remember” will be enjoyed by auction bidder State Representative David Kessler, and also PASA Board President Kim Seeley of Milky Way Farms, who accepted the gift of this auction item. (An anonymous group, represented by Louise Schorn Smith, bid with the hopes of wining the dinner as a surprise for the Seeley family.) These two winning bids brought in over $4,300 for the PASA Annual Fund. PASA’s ﬁrst Summer Farm Start was a wonderful success in many regards. The delicious food and drink set to the beautiful ambiance of the riverfront location was a real treat. Thanks to those who contributed and participated! I (See photos of the event on page 31 of this newsletter.)
Four Seasons Offers Earth Week Gift to PASA
For the second year running, Four Seasons Produce brought PASA an exceptional gift during Earth Week. Their promotion to help support sustainability donated a percentage of sales from each case of organic produce sold that week in April, to PASA. Their retail, wholesale, and foodservice customers participated in this promotion in honor of Earth Day. Four Seasons Produce, of Ephrata, Lancaster County, is one of the largest independent produce wholesalers in the country, and they are a very special friend of PASA. Mix that with PASA supporter extraordinaire Tom Beddard of Lady Moon Farms, and you have a recipe for patronage that is hard to match! But match is exactly what Lady Moon Farms did, and they too offered a percentage of sales for every Lady Moon brand case sold that week. As many PASA members know, Tom Beddard runs the largest certiﬁed organic vegetable operation on the East Coast. His farm in Chambersburg, Franklin County is coupled with southern farms to meet winter demand, in Fort Myers, Florida and Bainbridge, Georgia. “We had such a great time with the Earth Week promotion last year,” explained Jonathan Steffy, Four Seasons retail and foodservice sales manager, “that it felt like a really great thing to do again this April. Then to have Tom Beddard of Lady Moon Farms bring in his match, we were thrilled!” The Four Seasons gift totaled $9,945.75 and the Lady Moon Farm gift totaled
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Celebrate these Providing Farms, Producers, Breweries & Vineyards
Adams County Winery Orrtanna, Adams County www.adamscountywinery.com Varietal Wines Harrisburg Dairies Inc. Harrisburg, Dauphin County www.harrisburgdairies.com Natural Teas Journey’s End Farm Newfoundland, Wayne County www.journeysendfarm.org Maple Syrup Kelchner’s Horseradish Products Dublin, Bucks County www.kelchnershorseradish.com Horseradish & Whole Grain Mustard Keswick Creamery at Carrock Farm Newburg, Cumberland County www.keswickcreamerycheese.com Yogurt, Feta & Ricotta Cheese Laurel Vista Farm Somerset, Somerset County www.laurelvistafarm.com Potatoes Limestone Springs Richland, Lebanon County www.limestonespringspreserve.com Trout Long Lane Farm Coburn, Centre County www.buylocalpa.org Natural Floral & Vegetable Arrangements Natural Acres Millersburg, Dauphin County www.naturalacres.com Grass fed Beef Tenderloins New Morning Farm Hustontown, Huntingdon County www.newmorningfarm.net Celeriac & Rhubarb Otterbein Acres Newburg, Cumberland County Pecorino Sheep’s Milk Cheese Perrydell Farm & Dairy York, York County www.perrydellfarm.com Creamery Fresh Ice Cream Phillips Mushroom Farms Kennett Square, Chester County www.phillipsmushroomfarms.com Button, Crimini, Shiitake, Oyster, & Portabella Mushrooms Pipe Dreams Greencastle, Franklin County Goat’s Milk Chevre Prescott’s Patch Hellam, York County www.buylocalpa.org Strawberries Rice Fruit Company Gardners, Adams County www.ricefruit.com Apples Shady Acres Elizabethtown, Lancaster County Beets Snyder’s of Hanover Hanover, York County www.snydersofhanover.com Pretzels Spiral Path Farm Loysville, Perry County www.spiralpathfarm.com Spinach & Spring Onions Susquehanna Aquacultures York Haven, York County Hybrid Striped Bass Tait Farm Foods Centre Hall, Centre County www.taitfarmfoods.com Balsamic Vinaigrette & Fruit Shrubs Tröegs Brewing Company Harrisburg, Dauphin County www.troegs.com Locally Brewed Beer Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative Hustontown, Huntingdon County www.tog.coop Yellow Onions Village Acres Mifflintown, Juniata County www.villageacresfarm.com Asparagus & Farm Fresh Eggs Wegmans Food Markets Mechanicsburg, Dauphin County www.wegmans.com Patisserie Desserts
SPONSORS & SUPPORTERS
Allegro Vineyards Brogue, York County www.allegrowines.com Varietal Wines Appalachian Brewing Company Harrisburg, Dauphin County www.abcbrew.com Locally Brewed Beer, Root Beer & Organic Beer Birchrun Hills Farm Chester Springs, Chester County www.birchrunhillsfarm.com Birchrun Blue (cheese) Blue Rooster Farm East Waterford, Juniata County www.blueroosterfarm.com Ground Lamb Brok-N-Bit Acres Punxsutawney, Jefferson County www.buylocalpa.org Whole Hog Sausage Buffalo Valley Spice Co. Lewisburg, Union County Hot Garlic Pickles Cow-A-Hen Farm Mifflinburg, Union County www.buylocalpa.org Bacon Creekside Farm Marysville, Perry County www.creeksidegrown.com Arugula, Chervil, Rosemary, Thyme & Microgreens Daisy Flour by McGeary Organics Lancaster, Lancaster County www.daisyflour.com Flour Dickinson College Farm Boiling Springs, Cumberland County www.dickinson.edu/storg/sisa Baby Arugula & Cooking Greens Eberly Poultry Stevens, Lancaster County www.eberlypoultry.com Chicken Thighs Groff’s Meats Elizabethtown, Lancaster County Pork Belly
Summer Farm Start Dinner Partners
Sarah & Mark Brabson Peach Bottom, Lancaster County Terra & Mike Brownback Loysville, Perry County Lura & Al Granger (4 guests) Fogelsville, Lehigh County Jim Haigh Emmaus, Lehigh County Jan Jarrett Mechanicsburg, Cumberland Co. Sinan Koont Carlisle, Cumberland County Andrea & Daren McCormick Harrisburg, Dauphin County Sandra Miller Newburg, Cumberland County Fitness Fusion — Personal Training Studio (4 guests) Middletown, Dauphin County Susan Richards & Rob Amsterdam Mechanicsburg, Cumberland Co. Ann & Kim Seeley Troy, Bradford County Catherine & John Smith Spring Mills, Centre County Jessie Smith & George Parr Harrisburg, Dauphin County Lauren & Ian Smith Aaronsburg, Centre County Paula & Brian Snyder Centre Hall, Centre County Judy & Jonas Stoltzfus Loysville, Perry County Sysco Central PA, LLC (3 guests) Harrisburg, Dauphin County Lucy & Rob Wood Glen Rock, York County
For Everything a Season
By Chris Lent, PASA Fundraising Committee Member For those who eat according to the cycles of the farming season, there is no better time than late spring into early summer. We’ve already indulged in the early greens, asparagus, lettuce, spring onions, and much more. What’s more exciting is knowing that this is just a hint of what’s to come! The farm crates in our Annual Fund meter have also been ﬁlled with that early season goodness. The Annual Fund is already up to $55,908. With your help and the many fund raising efforts across the state, we’ll be able to ﬁll these crates with a mid-season bounty. Then top them off with a wonderful fall harvest. A lot of work goes into ﬁlling farm crates with good food. Four Seasons Produce and Lady Moon Farms put a value on that hard work and made a donation recently to PASA for each crate of produce they sold during the week of Earth Day (see accompanying article). This Earth Day project added over $11,000 to the annual fund. Thank you Four Seasons Produce and Lady Moon Farms for this tremendous boost to our spring efforts! The PASA board and staff would also like to thank those who have responded to the spring appeal. With the thought of what good food is yet to be harvested on our Passages Farm, lets all work together to reach our $250,000 goal.
— $250,000 — — — — — $200,000 — — — — — $150,000 — — — — — $100,000 — — — —
— April 30 —
— $ 30,901
This year our Annual Fund growth is being tracked in a new way. We’ve created our Passages Farm, and we’ll unveil a bit more of the seasonal operation with each issue of the newsletter. Our Annual Fund meter is a stack of farm crates, which will ﬁll with the abundance of gifts from the land as we reach for the $250,000 goal!
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MORE COMMUNITY GIVING
Lady Moon Farms and Four Seasons Produce have been working together for over ten years and to celebrate this fruitful relationship, Four Seasons recently invited Tom Beddard to their plant to enjoy “Lady Moon Day.” Tom and his operation were honored with a special dinner and unbeknownst to Tom, he was presented with their ﬁrst Exceptional Partnership Award. Tom arrived with a surprise gift of his own, and presented Four Seasons Chairman David Hollinger and his wife Debbie with a generous contribution of $12,000 to HOME International. Debbie Hollinger founded HOME International after visiting India and seeing the need for better living conditions for orphaned and homeless girls. She worked diligently to ﬁnd a way to provide these young people opportunities to learn, develop, and mature into responsible individuals by giving them a childhood in a loving family setting, which is more favorable for the care and nurture of all children. Tom’s generous donation to HOME International was motivated by his desire and commitment to help those who are less fortunate. For those interested in this noble cause to help orphaned girls in India, visit www.homeinternational.org for more information.
$1,255.25. These gifts combined give a great boost to the PASA Annual Fund! Four Seasons has proven that their interest in sustainability is company wide. Their state-of-the-art plant in Ephrata employs numerous green fundamentals. They have found significant ways to reduce pollutants and water usage, save electricity and fuel, and decrease their carbon footprint. A commitment to conserving resources and achieving sustainability is how Four Seasons organizes their business and they have set a shining example. PASA is proud to be associated with Four Seasons Produce and Lady Moon Farms, and extends its gratitude for their generous donations and for being champions of sustainable agriculture. Learn more about these companies by visiting www.fsproduce.com and www.ladymoonfarms.com. I
A Lifelong Commitment to Sustainability
All of us at PASA are proud of the growing roster of lifetime members, whose contributions are managed with care as part of our Founder’s Fund. There are few things a member could do to symbolize their lifelong commitment to sustainability than to place conﬁdence in the value and availability of PASA itself.
Rosie & Daniel Nagel Family Ottsville PA Johanna & Brett Nichols Floyd VA Anne & Eric Nordell Trout Run PA Joan & Drew Norman White Hall MD Claire & Rusty Orner Brookville PA Cass Peterson Flanders NJ Michael Phillips Family Kennett Square PA Suella Pipal Pittsburgh PA Greg Reineke Salima Adelstein Family Warfordsburg PA Dan Reinhold Mill Hall PA Rita Resick Richard Stafford Somerset PA Susan Richards Robert Amsterdam Mechanicsburg PA Rolanda Ritzman Gary Kendall New Berlin PA Ardath Rodale Allentown PA Florence & Anthony Rodale Allentown PA Jo Rytter Robert West Saluda NC Carolyn Sachs University Park PA Susan & Don Sauter Bruceton Mills WV Jackie & Tim Schlitzer Family Arnot PA Louise Schorn Smith Exton PA Peggy & Joseph Schott Lebanon PA Heidi Secord & Gary Bloss Stroudsburg PA Ann & Kim Seeley Family Troy PA Jessica & Shon Seeley Troy PA Gail & Marcus Sheffer Family Wellsville PA Liz & Chuck Shenko Family Moscow PA Daniel Shimp Woodward PA Sondra & Ben Simmons Hershey PA
Roy & Hammer Sletson Madisonburg PA Lauren & Ian Smith Aaronsburg PA Lilly & David R. Smith Valerie & Doug Lafferty Sparks MD Melissa & Andrew Smith Collegeville PA Paula & Brian Snyder Centre Hall PA Sandy & Gary Sojka Middleburg PA Barbara Songer Clarion PA John A. Stellmack State College PA Dana Stuchul State College PA Genelle Sweetser Gene Chenoweth Mifﬂinburg PA Debbie Swettenam Linda Humphreys Sarver PA Helen Tangires Dennis McDaniel Washington DC Phyllis & Mark Terwilliger Honesdale PA Leah & John Tewksbury Muncy PA Joan S. & Dennis W. Thomson Warriors Mark PA Ruth Tonachel Towanda PA Genevieve Uhl Woodward PA Karen & Jan Vollmecke Coatesville PA Althea & William Wagman Fort Littleton PA Christopher Wahlberg Pittsburgh PA Barbara & Michael Wahler Family McVeytown PA Sandie & John Walker Bloomsburg PA Melanie & Fred Wertz Newport PA Beth Whiteman Boalsburg PA Lucy & Rob Wood Glen Rock PA Roz & James Yannaccone Turbotville PA In Memoriam Alan Bullock Mary Anne & Dale W. Eson Robert A.‘Gus’ Gent
Nitya Akeroyd Jeff Zehr Boyertown PA Claudia Albertin Glenn Vernon Loganton PA Kat Alden Bill Torretti Spring Mills PA Linda & Eugene Aleci Lancaster PA Val & Scott Alexander McConnellsburg PA Mary Barbercheck University Park PA Jean & Lee B. Bentz Gettysburg PA Judy & Tinka Berger Huntingdon PA Katherine Bigler John Kramb Orrtanna PA Linda & Tim Blakeley Eglon WV Anne & Timothy Bock Kutztown PA Jackie Bonomo Duncan Hayes Lemont PA Wanda & Preston Boop Mifﬂinburg PA Timothy Bowser Millheim PA Michele Briggs & Family David Fetterolf Centre Hall PA Debby & Larry Bright Floyd VA Terra & Michael Brownback Family Loysville PA Hope & Roy Brubaker Mifﬂintown PA Roy D. Brubaker Julie Hurst East Waterford PA Susan Bullock Rome PA Jane & Dick Burlingame Russell PA Virginia & Mike Byers Spring Mills PA Mary Ann Byrne Pottstown PA Sabine & Tom Carey Spring Mills PA Daniel & Lou Ann Collier Berlin PA Catherine & Gary Cox Family Newtown Square PA Moie & Jim Crawford Hustontown PA Barbara Crosby Portageville NY
Jonda Crosby Helena MT Andrew Crowley Glendale OH Kristin Curtis Family Newfoundland PA Mike Debach Troy PA Bill Deitrick Family New Columbia PA Dan Desmond Harrisburg PA Melanie & George DeVault Decorah IA David Dietz York PA R. Elizabeth Dropp Wesley W. Ramsey Youngsville PA Dale & Jack Duff Arlee MT Chris Fullerton Pittsburgh PA Brian Futhey Woodward PA Nancy Gabriel Ithaca NY Martha B. Gallagher Boalsburg PA Lamonte Garber Lancaster PA Lyn Garling Rebersburg PA Mel Gehman Annville PA Helen Jean Gent Oakmont PA Janet Goloub Martin Boksenbaum Treichlers PA Jeanie & Bill Hass Bear Creek PA Mena Hautau Steve DeBroux Barto PA Bill Heasom Quakertown PA William B. Heffner III Lawrence von Barann Steelton PA John Heinz Upper Black Eddy PA Bobbie Hineline Tom Ljungman Family Greensburg PA Ingrid & Bernie Hoffnar Six Mile Run PA Todd & John Hopkins Family Orangeville PA Susan & Joel Hubler Slatington PA Kate Hunter Tom Abell Allentown PA
John Ikerd Columbia MO Sarah & Jason Ingle Newtown Square PA Cindy & John Irwin Pequea PA Wes Jackson Salina KS Sukey & John Jamison Latrobe PA Rose Marie Kendall Hookstown PA Amos King Family Lititz PA Barbara Kline Randa Shannon Pittsburgh PA Becky & Don Kretschmann Family Rochester PA Kelli Lambert A.J. Bashore II Danville PA Jo-Ping Lee Steven Gaskey Ambler PA David Lembeck State College PA Don Levan Dawn Hasenauer-Levan Temple PA Charis Lindrooth Michael Ahlert Orwigsburg PA Thomas Littleﬁeld Bruce Cappel Mifﬂin PA Albert Lusk Miami FL Becky & Steve Marks Bloomsburg PA Beth & Ken Marshall Homer City PA Martha & Allen Matthews Family Burlington VT Tracy & Jeff Mattocks Middletown PA Margaret & Dave Mattocks Bainbridge PA Sue & Tom Maurer Annville PA Margery McIver Leo Horrigan Baltimore MD Sandra Miller Jessica & Ralph Jones Newburg PA Dianne & Kim Miller Family New Alexandria PA Suzanne Milshaw Boyertown PA Ted W. Mitchell Levittown PA Babs Mumma Lemoyne PA
Permanent Business Partners
PASA is also proud of our growing list of Permanent Business Partners, who have made a long-term commitment to support the organization and our programs. Agri-Dynamics Inc Martins Creek PA
Harvest Market Hockessin DE
Blackberry Meadows Farm Natrona Heights PA
Kimberton Whole Foods Kimberton PA
East End Food Cooperative Pittsburgh PA
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort Farmington PA
Confronting Issues in Farm and Ranch Land Access, Succession, Tenure and Stewardship
The future of U.S. agriculture depends upon the ability of new generations to establish farms and ranches. For small- and medium-sized farms and ranches — comprising 80% of U.S. agricultural land — how land is acquired, stewarded and transferred are critical issues. One of the biggest challenges to farm entry is access to affordable, secure agricultural land. Young people in particular often cite this as their biggest obstacle. At the same time, retiring farmers are failing to address succession. Governmental programs are not sufﬁcient to help farmers and ranchers obtain secure and affordable tenure, or to help exiting farm families plan for a meaningful legacy. Innovative policy and program responses are necessary to deal with these challenges. These include nontraditional land tenure arrangements, for example, long-term leases, farming on public land, and incubator set-ups for new farmers. New partners such as land trusts, intentional communities, and municipal commissions can provide opportunities to improve access, affordability, and profitability for beginning farmers. Exiting farmers need more assistance on retirement and estate planning, business entity selection, and transfer of management. Too often, older farmers feel they must decide between having enough money to retire and seeing their farms remain viable. Even more, they need trusted advisors who can walk them through the “soft issues” — goal setting, family dynamics and communication. With nearly half of U.S. farmers renting some or all of their land, landlords are an increasingly important part of the picture. Almost 90% of farm landlords are not farmers. Absentee landowners are on the rise, and more of them are living further away from their farm property. This has consequences for farm tenants, and for the land. Farmland tenure is closely intertwined with land management. The conservation behaviors of farmers impact the nation’s soil, water, and air quality. A variety of factors inﬂuence farm operators’ decisions to adopt conservation practices; among them are economic incentives, farm operator attitudes, and
tenure status. Renting land can be a disincentive to adopting certain conservation practices. Both tenants and landlords need improved policies and assistance to encourage conservation practices on rented land. Landlord education, conservation easements, and incentives for longer-term rentals and share-leasing could improve land stewardship and reward both landowner and tenant. FarmLASTS Project These issues are being addressed by the FarmLand Access, Succession, Tenure and Stewardship (FarmLASTS) Project. FarmLASTS is a national research, education and outreach project supported by a grant from the USDA to the University of Vermont. The project focuses on new and successful approaches that foster farm entry, succession and stewardship. Project partners include academics, agency staff and nonproﬁt practitioners from across the country. They are exploring best practices and new ideas for acquiring, holding, and passing on agricultural lands. Learnings from project will be shared through published reports and an online Extension manual. FarmLASTS will host a national conference in Denver, June 10–11, 2009. For more information visit www.farmlasts.org or contact Kathy Ruhf, project co-director at email@example.com. I
Buy Fresh Buy Local® Chapters
continued from page 5
marketing. Responsibilities include: operating a BFBL Partner program for local farms and other local food providers; verifying new listings, posting events and managing other content on BuyLocalPA.org; promoting local food through a printed guide, e-newsletter, local press releases and/or local events; and securing the necessary ﬁnancial and personnel resources to get all of this work done. As coordinator of the Buy Fresh Buy Local® program in Pennsylvania, PASA provides many resources to help a local chapter succeed, with perhaps the most important assistance being access to the network of existing chapters already doing this work in their own regions. Why Help Start a New Chapter (or get involved with an Existing Chapter?) There are still millions of eaters in our state who haven’t thought much about where their food was grown, who grew it, or how it was grown. But more and more people are beginning to ask these questions, whether prompted by a food recall, a family medical problem, another Michael Pollan article, or a colleague eating something
“unusual” (but delicious!) for lunch. Our Buy Fresh Buy Local® chapters do the crucial “on the ground” outreach work to help consumers understand what eating local can mean — for their palates, their health, their communities and their quality of life. And they eat well while they’re at it! Won’t you get involved with a local chapter this year? I
Penn State Launches Community Garden with 98 Garden Members!
Penn State University in State College, PA recently opened a Community Garden. The plots are rented by community members, as well as Penn State students and staff.
By Allison Shauger On Saturday, April 18 just over the hill from the Center for Sustainability on Penn State’s campus in State College, the Penn State Community Garden had its kick-off event for the 98 garden plot members. With student leadership and faculty support, the garden was organized to enable students and community members to join for only a $30 membership fee (including a $10 security deposit) for one year of plot access complete with cooperatively shared tools, a water source, and workshops on growing organically. The community garden plots were advertised through Penn State list serves, tabling, ﬂyers around town, and on a few websites. Within one week, all 98 slots were reserved and there is currently at least a 30-person waiting list! 40% of the plots were designated to students and the remaining 60% were open for community members. Plots were assigned ﬁrst come, ﬁrst serve, but in order to conﬁrm membership in the community garden, participants had to ﬁll out a short application that served as a gardener agreement. The University has generously funded a stipend for a summer intern, Seth Bomgardner, treasurer of the Sustainable Ag
Club, so that garden members will have a go-to person holding about 10 hours/week of “ofﬁce” hours. Seth will be keeping the water buffalo ﬁlled, assisting with questions, and coordinating summer workshops on transplanting, Integrative Pest Management, etc. The well-organized kick-off event included a session on rules and guidelines, planning and planting your garden plot, and introduction to organic gardening. With collaboration between commu-
nity members, undergraduate and graduate students, and College of Ag Sciences faculty and administration, this garden can’t fail! Plans for the future include getting a bike rack installed, a proper tool shed, a fence around the perimeter to keep ground-hogs and the like out, access to compost, and another water buffalo with an improved irrigation system (as opposed to the hand watering that will be necessary this ﬁrst season). I
The community garden was begun to enable students and community members to join for a $30 membership fee for one year of plot access complete with shared tools, a water source and workshops on growing organically.
The farmers, Kristen and Nate Johanson.
Two young farmers share their introduction to farming
By Kristen & Nate Johanson, PASA members Nate and Kristen Johanson of Wolf Lake Farm are new farmers entering their second season raising pastured poultry. This is their story, which they shared at the 2009 PASA conference, detailing how they formed a unique arrangement with existing farmers that enabled them to start farming without buying a farm. Both Pittsburgh natives, we were living in England for a couple of years where Nate was designing toys for children with special needs. We had chosen a vegetarian lifestyle after learning about the horrors of factory farming. For health reasons we began to consider adding meat into our diets again but were unsatisﬁed with the selection of naturallyraised meat available. We visited Pittsburgh in the fall of 2007, and discovered Kristen’s mother, Jeannette, and her partner, Gerry had become involved in the local food movement in the region. Gerry had just visited Joel Salatin’s farm in Virginia and shared a copy of his book, “You Can Farm.” We were becoming increasingly unhappy in England and Gerry made a suggestion that we should start farming. At the time, we knew nothing about farming and thought he was joking. Little did we know that he had planted a seed. After returning to England, we did a lot of thinking. We began to research alternative farming methods and ordered all of Joel Salatin’s books. We found Joel’s description of the symbiotic nature of raising animals together on pasture so inspiring. Within a few weeks we decided to return to Pittsburgh to start a farm. We had several ideas of things we’d like to raise/grow on our farm, but decided to start with pasture-raised poultry. In reading Salatin’s books we learned that poultry was good for beginners who want to make a living farming. This was important to us since we didn’t have a lot of the necessary farming skills and we wanted to start with something that had the potential for success during our ﬁrst season. We moved back to Pittsburgh in December 2007 and began to share our plans with friends and family. We learned about PASA and saw that the annual PASA conference was coming up and thought it would be a great place for us to
start. We attended the conference in February and learned a lot all the while making great contacts. We attended a pre-conference track titled “Hands on Pastured Poultry” which was held at Eli Reiff ’s farm in Mifﬂinburg. We learned how to slaughter and process chickens with Eli and spent time building a pasture pen with Jean Nick and Tom Colbaugh. Our ﬁrst PASA experience was amazing and we left inspired and motivated to make our dream a reality. We knew that we were unable to buy a farm and honestly, were not ready to make that kind of a commitment. We had heard the story of the young folks at Blackberry Meadows Farm in Natrona Heights, who purchased the farm from the owners who were ready to retire. They spent a season working alongside the owners while transitioning to owning and running the farm themselves. We found their story to be very inspirational as it made us feel like we might really have a chance at making this happen. Our hope was to ﬁnd a farm owner in need of some help and who would be willing to let us use a small portion of their land in exchange. We composed an ad stating that we were a young couple looking for small acreage to start our own natural, pastured poultry operation. We posted the ad on PASA’s Western region discussion group, as well as on Craigslist and in the Horse Trader. To our surprise, we immediately got a call from Kim Miller, past president of the PASA board of directors. He invited us to come to his farm in New Alexandria (Westmoreland Co.) and meet with he and his wife, Dianne. They gave us a tour and then we sat down together and shared our stories. The Millers had been raising grass-fed beef as well as small batches of pastureraised chicken. They explained their commitment to helping new farmers and invited us to use their land, tools, equipment, poultry experience and even their existing customer base. Our jaws almost hit the ﬂoor. We really felt as though this was meant to be and were incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Dianne suggested we begin by composing a letter of understanding outlining the terms of our
arrangement. The four of us then bounced it back and forth until it was something we were all in agreement with. Our poultry operation was to be our sole responsibility. We had use of any tools and equipment but were responsible for maintenance and upkeep as well as replacing fuel, etc. We also made a point of stating that our education as beginning farmers would not rely on a shoulder-toshoulder learning arrangement but rather a more independent process of “limited mentoring”. We didn’t want to be too much of a burden on the Millers and were prepared to make our own mistakes and learn our own lessons. And that we did! And so we began our ﬁrst season of farming. We were really lucky to ﬁnd that a house just 400 feet from the farm was available for rent. This meant that we would be close to the farm and able to walk back and forth throughout the day. We received our ﬁrst batch of baby chicks as nervous new parents. Of course we were extra careful and attentive with our ﬁrst batch, spending every minute with them. That quickly changed with the following batches as our workload increased and our spare time decreased. We raised over 1,200 broilers, 100 laying hens and 26 turkeys our ﬁrst season. We learned much and our mistakes were many. We learned quickly about the true meaning of being a farmer. Stress, worry, exhaustion and the weight of responsibility were all experienced heavily. We got to know Mother Nature on a very close and raw basis. The Millers often joke about the fact that in our ﬁrst season we experienced almost every extreme weather-related occurrence. We had a wet spell resulting in several late night heavy rainstorms with ﬂooding where we had to run out and put straw down in the pens to keep the broilers dry. We had a dry spell where there was hardly a blade of green grass to be seen. We had two major windstorms with 70-90 mph winds, which had their way with our mobile henhouse forcing us to repair and rebuild, twice. In addition to gleaning from the Millers’ experience, there were farmers like Tom Colbaugh from Happy Farm who were generous enough to take our frantic phone calls and offer their advice. And we really cannot say enough about
Kristen Johanson with their ﬁrst batch of broilers and laying hens.
the Fertell Company’s products as well as their employees. Both Jeff Mattocks and Don Brubaker have been very giving of their time and always have answers and suggestions for every question we throw their way. Our arrangement with the Millers worked well. They were there to answer questions and offer advice as well as offering their time and hands when it came time for the hard work of butchering. They were always mindful not to step in unless we asked their opinion enabling us to learn on our own. Kim and Dianne often had jobs that needed completed around the farm, which allowed us to earn extra money when time allowed. Nate is particularly handy and great at repairs and we were available to look after things when they went away. The Millers had access to all of the chicken, turkey and eggs they desired and even helped us out by selling some at church. By far, we made out the best in all of this. We had access to a beautiful farm where we were free to learn and enjoy our experiences. We couldn’t have asked for better ‘mentors’ or for a better situation. We were fortunate to have a variety of outlets for selling our chicken. We sold a large percentage off the farm. The advantage to chickens sold off the farm is that they don’t require special bagging and freezing. The rest were shrink wrapped using Cryo-vac bags and frozen. We also sold our chickens through connections
with other PASA members like Don Kretschmann’s CSA as well as a buying club run by Carrie Hahn. The rest of our chickens were sold though friends and family. By the time the season was almost over our freezers were full of chickens and we knew we had some marketing to do. We searched for farmers’ markets that continued late in the season and found opportunities at the Ligonier Farmers’ Market and the Farmers@Firehouse market in the Strip District of Pittsburgh. This time around, we spent the winter lining up additional selling opportunities for this season including Blackberry Meadows’ CSA and a new farmers’ market at Phipps Conservatory. The farm is currently for sale, as the Millers have purchased a larger farm in Ligonier to better accommodate their cattle. We will spend our second season here while shopping for farms and contemplating our next move. This season, however, we made an amendment to the agreement that for every $5,000 we make, we’ll pay them $100 to help defray costs of electricity, wear and tear on tools, etc. As we enter our second season we can’t help but think of how far we’ve come and how much we’ve learned and accomplished in one year. We are in a better place in that we have some experience now and we’re sure that we want to continue as farmers. Financially, we are not. We are incredibly lucky that we have some family members who deeply believe in what we’re trying to achieve and may be interested in investing in farmland. Our hope in telling our story at the PASA conference (and now in the newsletter) was to inspire and encourage others. We wanted those who had an interest in farming to see that there are options. During our presentation several people stood up stating that they had farms, which they were willing to share and several people there were looking for arrangements similar to ours. We want people to know that you don’t have to make a huge investment to get started. There are many opportunities out there — you just need to ask. For more information contact Kristen and Nate Johanson at 724-668-8772 or wolﬂakefarm@gmail.com. I
by Michele Gauger
I USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer Grant The Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) announces the availability of approximately $18 million in competitive grant funds for ﬁscal year (FY) 2009 to help independent agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. Awards may be made for planning activities or for working capital expenses, but not for both. The maximum grant amount for a planning grant is $100,000 and the maximum grant amount for a working capital grant is $300,000. You can check rural eligibility for business programs at the following website: http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do For further information about this program, please contact Bernard Linn, USDA Rural Development, Bernard. Linn@pa.usda.gov or 717-237-2182 or Dane Bowerman, USDA Rural Development, Dane.Bowerman@pa. usda.gov or 717-237-2283. NEW BOOK AVAILABLE
Deeply Rooted: Unconventional Farmers in the Age of Agribusiness
A century of industrialization has left our food system riddled with problems, yet for solutions we look to nutritionists and government agencies, scientists and chefs. Author Lisa Hamilton asks: Why not look the people who grow our food? In the book she proﬁles three unconventional farming families in rural America who represent a change in the way we should think about food and agriculture. She explores how farmers have been pushed to the margins of agriculture and transformed from leaders to laborers. The case is made that in order to correct what is wrong with the food system we must ﬁrst bring farmers back to the table. “The food revolution taking place in this country cannot be truly successful without an agricultural revolution. We must inspire our farmers and create millions more of them. The extraordinary farmers Lisa Hamilton proﬁles Deeply Rooted embody the future of American agriculture,” according to Alice Waters. Stay tuned to a future issue of Passages for a book review by PASA Intern Katie Poppiti about this new book!
Harvest Handbook Eliot Coleman, author of The New Organic Grower and Four Season Harvest has a new book, The Winter Harvest Handbook. This book provides an update to his ongoing efforts to extend the growing season. Visit your local bookseller to get your copy.
I Path to Organic Program
nuts; mushrooms; honey products; and forest products. The application deadline is July 31 and more information can be found at the PA Department of Agriculture’s website — www.agriculture.state.pa.us or by calling Jared Grissinger at 1-888PAGrows.
I Conservation Assistance —
The program offers funding to eligible for-proﬁt enterprises that produce farm commodities, including agricultural, horticultural, aquaculture, vegetable, fruit and ﬂoricultural products; livestock and meats; poultry and eggs; dairy products;
Helping People Help the Land Are you thinking about developing or improving the grazing system on your farm? Would you like to establish more pollinator habitat on your land? Are you interested in transitioning your farm to organic production? If you are thinking about any of these things the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) is available to assist you. The NRCS is a branch of the USDA that has a long history of working with producers to address their speciﬁc concerns or improve the overall condition of their land. Free
technical assistance is available to help you apply conservation practices like cover crops, buffers, crop rotations, compost facilities, field borders, pasture planting, and numerous other conservation activities. Financial assistance is available to help reduce the cost of implementing the conservation practices for both organic and non-organic producers through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) and Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) programs. For 2009, farmers interested in transitioning to organic farming, or who are already certiﬁed organic, can apply to a special EQIP organic farming option. Farmers should apply immediately to be considered for funding in 2009. For more information about NRCS assistance, contact your local NRCS ofﬁce at http://ofﬁces.sc. egov.usda.gov/locator/ or go directly to the PA NRCS webpage www.pa.nrcs. usda.gov/Farmers/index.html.
PASA Membership & Contribution Form
As a member you will receive these beneﬁts:
Please clip this application and return with payment to: PASA Membership, PO Box 419, Millheim, PA 16854 or join online at pasafarming.org
• A subscription to our bimonthly, Passages newsletter • Discounted admission to our annual conference, ﬁeld day & intensive learning programs • Invitations to other special events, such as membership potlucks & Harvest Celebration dinners • Free classiﬁed ad and discounted display advertising in Passages • Voting privileges for board of director elections & bylaws • Membership networking opportunities regionally & via PASA discussion groups • Annual membership in the Good Food Neighborhood™ program for consumers (separate online registration required) • Discounts on Buy Fresh Buy Local® partner fees (coordinated through local chapters) • Assistance with Food Alliance sustainable certiﬁcation (if applicable) • Act 48 credits are available for educational events • Event promotion via our website & newsletter • The satisfaction of knowing that you are helping to sustain agriculture in your region
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 $ 1,200
Permanent Business Partner
Please complete the Nonproﬁt/Business Membership ﬁeld at lower left
Become a PASA Member
Name Company/Farm Address City ZIP+4 Home Phone E-mail Web Address State County
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 SUBTOTAL $
Work Phone Name(s) Address City State ZIP+4 E-mail
$ 15 $ 45 $ 60 $ 1,200
Are you farming:
YES — how many acres:
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.
$ 15 $ 45 $ 60
Annual Fund Arias M. Brownback Scholarship Fund Check Make check payable to PASA Credit Card Complete below
$ ............................. $ .............................
Total amount due $
Please complete ﬁeld below Please complete ﬁeld below
$ 100 $ 150
Please list up to two additional people associated with your business to receive individual membership privileges.
Cardholder Name Signature PASA is a registered 501 (C) 3 organization and contributions are tax exempt. The ofﬁcial registration and ﬁnancial information of Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture may be obtained from the Pennsylvania Department of State by calling tollfree, within Pennsylvania, 800-732-0999. Registration does not imply endorsement.
FOR SALE — Automatic coop door. Installs on existing coops. Keeps nighttime predators away. Opens when the sun rises, closes at sunset. Operates on 110 VDC or 12VDC. $129.95 www.poultrybutler.com. FOR SALE — Michelle is a Jersey cow bred to an Angus to calve in August — pregnancy conﬁrmed by our vet last week. She was our family milk cow for several years, then this year raised 6 foster calves for us. She has perfect manners, a quiet disposition, no health problems whatsoever, thrives on pasture. Stays behind electric rope. Leads, ties. Machine or hand milks. Has never had milk fever, calving trouble, or mastitis. Knows how to mother and nurse her own calves (a rare talent in modern dairy cows!) She originally came from Butterworks Organic Farm in VT, and is now 12 years old. $1100. Caroline and David Owens, Owens Farm, Sunbury PA caroline@owensfarm. com 570-286-5309 570 898 6060. FOR SALE — dairy cows, we have a milking Shorthorn cross, a registered Jersey & 3 Holsteins. Call David Rice 814-832-3755. FOR SALE — 2 Registered Scottish Highland Bulls for Sale (1) 3 year old Bull — Proven breeder — great bloodline and conformation, produces lots of heifers — $2500 (1) Yearling Bull — Great bloodlines, great conformation — $1,800. If interested please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Located in Rhode Island. FOR SALE — Alpacas!!! Great foundation herd of 6 alpacas: 3 bred females—2 white (Hemingway line), 1 medium brown (bred to an El Nino son!); 1-year old silver-grey female; 2-year old rose-grey male; 1 black gelded guard/friend. All have great personalities and wonderful ﬁber. Start your farm or add some new lines to an existing herd. E-mail Debbie Rozelledebbie32065@hotmail.com or call 570-539-4074. FOR SALE — cheeses. Berkshire Farmstead Creamery, LLC CSA and Market Seasons are coming! PCO certiﬁed farmstead cheese- seven varieties available including Cheddar, Colby, Jack, Farmers, Gouda, Mozzarella, Swiss, Muenster, and Feta. All varieties available both as raw milk and pasteurized. Specialty ﬂavored varieties including smoked cheddar, smoked mozzarella, Hot pepper Jack, garlic Colby, vegetable Colby, and others available as well. Special wholesale pricing starts at $5.00 per pound for bulk blocks on orders over 100 pounds, free delivery to most areas available. Have your own cows? Custom processing of your milk is our specialty! Contact Michelle at Berkshire Farmstead Creamery for additional information phone (888) 6-CHEESE or email email@example.com
FOR SALE — Navajo-Churro sheep for sale. 10 total, 2 rams 8 ewes. 1 ram and 2 ewes are registered, the rest can be once they are 18 months old. Completely grass fed. Call Jeffrey @ 570-5957748 if interested. FOR SALE — WVO & ﬁltration unit. Approximately 165 gallons of unﬁltered WVO included with a new (still in the box) ﬁltration unit with transfer pump unit $350 for the 2 units. (Over $450 new) and pick up the WVO for free with purchase of ﬁltration/pump system. Call 814-577-2707. FOR SALE — Potatoes. Rippling Brook Farm in Sligo, PA, has certiﬁed organic ﬁngerling potatoes available for CSAs looking to diversify early boxes. Two varieties, French and Russian Banana. $2.50/3 lb bag. Delivery available. Call Zeb at 814603-1022. FOR SALE — 2009 Dairy Kids for sale Jefferson County — Alpine, Toggenburg, LaMancha kids with Nubian sire. Grazing on organic pastures. From licensed, inspected dairy farm. Great doelings for dairy. The wethers (ﬁxed males) make great pets or weed-cleaners or can be carttrained. All kids disbudded, C&D/T-vaccinated, and wormed. All kids are handled daily, sweet and friendly. One intact buckling should be as proliﬁc as his sire and he’s a beauty. Buy siblings — get a deal! $125 doelings $150 buckling $100 wethers. For info and pictures: http://ParadiseGardensandFarm.com. Email: ParadiseGardensandFarm@comcast.net. FOR SALE — High quality compost. $30/cubic yard. Contact Preston Boop, Briar Patch Organic Farms — 570-966-1658 or firstname.lastname@example.org. FOR SALE — Penns Valley Farmette in Centre County for sale. 3000 sq. ft. farmhouse with fully equipped in-law apartment. 22 acres. Hay ﬁelds, pond, barn, warehouse, shop, etc. A rare ﬁnd! Pristine, scenic views. Additional hay ﬁelds available for rent. $569,000. 814-349-4484. For pics www.ﬂickr.com, keyword, wcfarmette. FOR SALE — Farmette in Tioga County. Beautiful restored 4-5 bedroom home with two ﬁreplaces, open ﬂoor plan, hardwood ﬂoors, huge kitchen, one bedroom attached apartment for additional income. Large barn for horses, goats or cows, milk house, retail store (high tourist area). Large out buildings for heifer shed, or machinery, 2 car garage, etc. 570-439-6904. FOR SALE — Sustainable living in Hawley, PA, Pocono mountains one mile from Lake Wallenpaupack. Great private location, in town with almost 1/2 acre to grow your own vegetables, ﬂowers and herbs. Root cellar in basement. One BR with an open ﬂoor plan, custom kitchen with granite counter tops, hardwood ﬂoor, lots of sun in the winter and shade in the summer. One car garage and small garden shed. Taxes under $500 per year for a permanent resident. $150,000 ﬁrm
607-657-8644 or email Roberta Holcomb email@example.com SUBJECT: Hawley House
FOR LEASE — Horse Facilities for Lease on 200 acre Farm in Stockton, New Jersey (45 minutes from Philly, 75 NYC) Includes: 2 horsebarns; one with 11 large box stalls, tackroom, wash stalls and attached one bedroom apartment; one with 5 stalls, washstall and laundry/bathroom facilities. Outdoor and indoor arenas (indoor is 200’ x 71’ with automatic sprinkler system). Eight paddocks and hay storage. Owner lives on premises and is starting a Grass-fed beef operation, I also grow our own hay. I would love to lease this facility to a rehabilitative operation/organization, but would also be happy to have horse people who are likeminded and support Sustainable Agriculture. I have been running the farm for eight years.There is other housing on the farm subject to availability. (Currently, one cottage and possibly a ﬂat available in May). Please send inquiries to: Jeanmarie, firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANTED — Young milking or about to freshen doe. Prefer purebred Saanen, Alpine or Toggenberg. Contact Annemarie Yoder DVM, 610-6833882. WANTED — We are looking for feeder pigs. Open to several different breeds. Email me with that you have and how many are available. John Place, Keepsake Farm & Dairy — email@example.com. WANTED — Looking to purchase a registered Large Black gilt and two registered Large Black feeder pigs in early August. If anyone will have Large Blacks ready at that time please email Heather Wargo at hsshall@yahoo .com to discuss. I will travel from Potter County to pick up. WANTED — Looking to rent between 20-30 acres of pasture in the Broadway/Timberville/ Singers Glen/New Market area of Shenandoah Valley for cow/calf pairs. Shade and water source needed. Will pay between $50-$75/acre for the right situation. Call Tad Williams 540-810-8648. WANTED — To lease or long term rent 40200acres of land for pasture, house or living quarters preferred. Anywhere in Eastern PA/New Jersey. Leave message at 570-730-0083. WANTED — cabinet style used chicken egg incubator/hatcher. Contact J. Reisinger 717-582-2101. WANTED — Looking for small apartment/cottage/cabin to rent (will consider buying) in Lancaster County, PA area. Will consider other areas of PA. Single person with no children and no pets. Please reply to Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GOAT DAIRY FARM HELP — Shellbark Hollow Farm, two positions available weekdays & weekends. Daily care of Nubian goats; feeding, cleaning stalls, pastures, barn areas. Milking operator; assist with duties of milking operation, prep & set-up, milk by machine (at time by hand), clean, sanitize & maintain milking equipment. As needed tasks include cheese delivery, pick-up supplies & perform general farm maintenance. Contact Pete Demchur, 610-431-0786 or email@example.com. DAIRY FARMER — The Kimberton Hills Dairy is looking for an experienced dairy farmer to run our organic grass fed dairy operation. The dairy currently sells organic raw milk to local families, health food stores, and the Seven Stars yogurt company. Our farm is situated in the rolling hills of Chester County, PA and is part of Camphill Village Kimberton Hills, a 432-acre farming and craft community that includes adults with developmental disabilities. In addition to our dairy we tend a 200 member CSA, orchard, apiary, woodlands, wood ﬁred bakery, coffee shop, craft workshops and 17 life-sharing households. For more information, please visit our website at www.camphillkimberton.org or call us at 610935-3963.
APPRENTICESHIP SOUGHT — I am currently a foundation grant-writer at American Farmland Trust in Washington, DC. I grew up working on a small family farm/vineyard in the Connecticut River Valley, and am hoping for the opportunity to grow my skills as a farmer and land steward as agriculture is a career I’d like to pursue long-term. My experience ranges from coordinating plantings of tomatoes, peppers, ﬂowers, cucumbers and other row crops, to tending rows of both table and wine grapes, to wheel harrowing ﬁelds of sweet corn. Although I do not have experience in livestock farming, I am interested in learning about it and would welcome both the opportunity and the challenge of learning a set of new skills. The one caveat is that it is necessary that I stay in Washington, DC until August 2009. I am looking for a one or two year apprenticeship starting in mid-August or early September 2009. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-997-3320 with any questions you may have. I have references available and can provide you with a resume if you’d like. FARMER WANTED — The Farm School at Snipes. We are an 80 member CSA in Morrisville PA looking for a farmer for the 2009 season. Experience is not necessary but interest in farming is. Write to Brad at email@example.com.
BIODYNAMIC APPRENTICESHIPS — Biodynamic Agricultural Apprenticeships: The Sankanac CSA is a 200 member Demeter Certiﬁed farm located in Chester County, PA. We grow over 40 crops and tend a herd of mixed livestock. Now accepting applications for our 1–2 year Apprenticeship Program that integrates hands-on practical training with a solid theoretical study of Biodynamic Agriculture. We can also accommodate 1–3 month summer interns or 1-year interns. For info, visit our website at www.camphillkimberton.org or call us at 610 935 3963. ESTATE GARDENER — Senior Estate Gardener needed for large certified organic farm in Loudoun County, Virginia. Specialist skills and training in organic fruit tree husbandry, propagation and apiculture essential. Responsible for the maintenance of extensive landscape gardens and a few houseplants. Send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 540-592-7093. POSITION SOUGHT — Able to be an Apprentice, Farm Laborer or Farm Hand on an Organic or Natural Farm. I live in Montclair NJ, but want to move to PA. I am a low voltage electrician, am good with hand tools and speak some Spanish. Looking for room, board and a stipend. Email Neil Lori at email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
JUL 14 — PASA Field Day, Successful Restaurant Sales: Custom-Tailoring Your Product, Shipping & Service. Bethlehem, Lehigh Co. 10am-3pm. Register online at www.pasafarming.org/ourwork/educational-outreach. JUL 14–16 — Plasticulture 2009, Ramada Inn and Penn State University, State College, PA. Visit www.plasticulture.org. JUL 15 — Spoutwood Farm Center, Inc.’s Backyard Farming Series. Backyard Beekeeping with Dave Papke, Master Beekeeper, YCBK. For details visit www.spoutwood.org or email email@example.com, 717-235-6610. JUL 18 — PASA’s Western PA Annual Summer Farm Tour. 10am-4pm. Details will be coming, contact Mia Farber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-697-0411. JUL 21 — PASA Field Day, Diversifying Your Farm with Small Grains. Washingtonville, Montour Co. 10am-3pm. Register online at www.pasafarming.org/our-work/educational-outreach. JUL 28 — PASA Field Day, Controlling Cucurbit Pests on a Diversiﬁed Farm. Muncy, Montour Co. 6–8:30pm. RSVP by contacting Michele Gauger at email@example.com. JUL 29 — Professional Recyclers of PA (PROP) Program, Recycling 415 – Youth Education. Contact Amy Carlotto Zuckett, firstname.lastname@example.org, 814-742-7777. JUL 29 — 19th Annual PROP Recycling & Organ-
ics Conference, Scranton Hilton. Visit www.proprecycles.org or contact Amy Carlotto Zuckett, email@example.com or 814-742-7777. JUL 30 — Vermicomposting Goes to School, PROP’s 19th Annual Recycling & Organics Conference, Scranton Hilton. Visit www.proprecycles.org or contact Amy Carlotto Zuckett, firstname.lastname@example.org or 814-742-7777. JUL 30 — Kneading Conference. For more information & to register visit www.kneadingconference.com JUL 31 — PASA Field Day, Sunﬂower Oil: NonGMO Alternative Energy for Sustainable Farming. Kutztown, Berks Co. 10am-3pm. Register online at www.pasafarming.org/our-work/educational-outreach.
ty with Heather Woodward of Spoutwood CSA. For details visit www.spoutwood.org or email@example.com, 717-235-6610. AUG 26 — Women in Agriculture Event, Tractor Maintenance Workshop. Josie Porter Farm, Stroudsburg, PA. 10am-2pm, $15 includes lunch & materials.Visit http://wagn.cas.psu.edu/Calendar.html for a full listing of events & to register.
SEPT 12 — PASA Field Day, Plant Your Own Ginseng Patch, Brookville, Jefferson Co., 10am – 4pm. Register online at www.pasafarming.org/our-work/educationaloutreach. SEPT 25 — PASA Field Day, Transitions: Coming Full Circle on a Third Generation Diversiﬁed Fruit Farm. Boyertown, Berks Co. 10am-3pm. Register online at www.pasafarming.org/our-work/educational-outreach.
AUG 2 — PASA’s Second Ever 100% Grass Fed Beef Cook-off Challenge at the Glasbern Inn, Fogelsville PA (Lehigh Co.). Does your beef make the cut? To register visit www.pasafarming.org. AUG 18–20 — PASA Intensive Learning Program: Advanced Cheesemaking with Peter Dixon. Everett, Bedford Co. Register online at www.pasafarming.org/our-work/educationaloutreach. AUG 18–20 — Ag Progress Days sponsored by Penn State University College of Ag Sciences.Visit http://apd.psu.edu. AUG 20 — Spoutwood Farm Center, Inc’s Backyard Farming Series, Preserving Summer’s Boun-
Feb 4–6 — PASA’s 19th Annual Farming for the Future Conference, Penn Stater Conference Center, State College, PA.
PASA Educational Outreach Events
Visit www.pasafarming.org and watch your mailboxes for the print calendar mailed in April for up to date details on our summer & fall events.
• Materials reviews • Quarterly Organic Matters Newsletter • Workshops and ﬁeld days
Contact us for a free info pack or to speak to one of our certiﬁcation specialists.
ASSURING the INTEGRITY of ORGANIC PRODUCTS
106 School Street, Suite 201 • Spring Mills PA 16875 814-422-0251 • firstname.lastname@example.org • www.paorganic.org
A Few Scenes from Summer Farm Start
Four Seasons Sells!
1. Patisserie Desserts by our friends at Wegmans Food Market provided a sweet ending to the evening. 2. A wonderful surprise for the guests was State Representative Mark Keller taking over as guest auctioneer for the Dinner in Your Home by Chef James Woltman auction item. 3. Guests enjoyed posters proﬁling many of the farms that provided the evening's local food. 4. One of fourteen expertly prepared dished was a warm potato salad made with Laurel Vista Farms Somerset Spuds. 5. Dinner in Your Home by Chef James Woltman was such a popular item, we had two winners! Pictured here are winners State Representative David Kessler (left) and PASA Board President Kim Seeley (right). 6. The phrase “stack ‘em high and watch ‘em ﬂy!” comes to mind at the many pallets of Lady Moon Farms organic produce on hand in the Four Seasons Produce warehouse for the Earth Week promotion. See articles on page 18.
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
2OO9 Educational Outreach Calendar
The 2009 Educational Outreach season is well underway, included is a listing of the Field Day and Intensive Learning Programs still to come. Compete details of each event, directions and registration information is available at www.pasafarming.org.
Field Day Reporters — Do you listen carefully, take good notes and enjoy writing? Perhaps you would be interested in serving as a reporter for a ﬁeld day and receiving a free registration in exchange (does not apply to intensive learning programs). We seek to have each ﬁeld day summarized by an attendee in order to provide a possible article for the Passages newsletter or for posting on www.pasafarming.org corresponding to the event. Past reporters have told us that their role encouraged them to be more focused on the details offered during the program, and therefore they found the experience very informative and rewarding. If you are interested in, please contact Rachel Schaal at PASA to make arrangements.We allow one ﬁeld day per reporter, one reporter per ﬁeld day. Financial Assistance — Unlike the Farming for the Future conference, which has a well-developed scholarship program, the Farm-Based Education program does not yet have a formal scholarship fund. However, we never turn away anyone who expresses a need for ﬁnancial assistance to attend any of our programs, intensive learning programs included. If you are thinking about missing a program because it is not within your budget to attend, please contact Rachel Schaal at PASA to discuss the options available to enable your participation. Attention Educators — Act 48 professional development credit is available for qualiﬁed teachers at any PASA educational event including ﬁeld days, intensive learning programs, and the Farming for the Future conference. Teachers can ﬁnd Act 48 forms online at www.pasafarming.org or contact Rachel Schaal at PASA headquarters.
July 10 Wednesday, 10am–6pm INTENSIVE: Learning Program Hands-On Biodiesel Production Location TBD July 14 Tuesday, 10am–3pm Liberty Gardens / Jeffrey Frank Successful Restaurant Sales: Custom-Tailoring Your Product, Shipping, & Service Bethlehem, LEHIGH Co. July 21 Tuesday, 10am–3pm White Frost Farm / Cathy & Kit Kelley Diversifying Your Farm with Small Grains Washingtonville, MONTOUR Co. July 28 Tuesday, 6–8:30pm Tewksbury Grace Farm / Leah & John Tewksbury Controlling Cucurbit Pests on a Diversiﬁed Farm Muncy, MONTOUR Co. July 31 Friday, 10am–3pm Silver Maple Farm / Annemarie & Sam Yoder Sunﬂower Oil: Non-GMO Alternative Energy for Sustainable Farming Kutztown, BERKS Co.
September 12 Saturday, 10am–4pm Quiet Creek Herb Farm / Eric Burkhart Plant Your Own Ginseng Patch Brookville, JEFFERSON Co. September 25 Friday, 10am–3pm Frecon Farms Transitions: Coming Full Circle on a Third Generation Diversiﬁed Fruit Farm Boyertown, BERKS Co.
October 2 Friday, 10am–4pm Quiet Creek Herb Farm / Claire & Rusty Orner INTENSIVE: Home Cheesemaking: Hands-On Workshop for Beginners Brookville, JEFFERSON Co. October 3 Quiet Creek Herb Farm / Claire & Rusty Orner Saturday, 10am–4pm INTENSIVE: Home Cheesemaking: Hands-On Workshop for Beginners Brookville, JEFFERSON Co. October 16 Friday, 10am–3pm Kretschmann Farm / Becky & Don Kretschmann Season Extension & Post-Harvest Storage for Year-Round Proﬁtability Rochester, BEAVER Co. October 23 & 24 Friday & Saturday Mifﬂin County Youth Park INTENSIVE: Hands-On Small Ruminant Care Reedsville, MIFFLIN Co. October 30 Friday, 10am–3pm Otterbein Acres Pastured Pork: from Farrow to Finish, Forage to Charcuterie Newburg, CUMBERLAND Co.
August 2 Sunday, 1pm–4pm Grass-fed, Grass-ﬁnished Beef Challenge Cook-off Fogelsville, LEHIGH Co. August 12 Wednesday, 10am–3pm Adding Value to Dairy: Ideas for Expanding Your Markets Milky Way Farm / Seeley Family Troy, BRADFORD Co. August 18–20 Tuesday–Thursday Hidden Hills Jerseys / Lori Sollenberger & Rex Knepp INTENSIVE: Advanced Cheesemaking with Peter Dixon Everett, BEDFORD Co.
November 6 Friday, 10am–3pm Blue Rooster Farm / Julie Hurst & Roy Brubaker Woodlot Management: Maintaining Healthy, Productive Forests East Waterford, JUNIATA Co.
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