ATTRA's COVID-19 statement

Spring Update: You can now download any of our technical materials for FREE!

Author: NCAT IT

In this episode, Margo Hale, Director of NCAT’s Southeast Regional in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Linda Coffey, Livestock Specialist with NCAT also located in Fayetteville, discuss ruminant health: how to encourage health, prevent illness, work with a veterinarian, and manage so that your flock or herd is mostly trouble-free. They discuss tools and supplies they like to have on hand. They also share the contents of the first-aid kit of Dave and Jenny Scott, owners of Montana Highland Lamb. Dave is a Livestock Specialist in NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West Regional office in Butte, Montana. For more information on this topic,...

While we never have a problem selling what we have available, we also don’t usually have an overwhelming demand. As soon as COVID-19 hit, though, people who have never bought meat from us before began reaching out to see if we had any meat available for sale. They wanted to stock their freezers!
By Margo Hale, NCAT Southeast Regional Director and NCAT Livestock Specialist...

In this episode, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Colin Mitchell interviews Chad Ellis, CEO of the Texas Agriculture Land Trust (TALT) and a board member of the Ecosystem Service Marketplace Consortium (ESMC). Colin works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, and among other projects works with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Colin and Chad discuss the role of TALT in the creation and monitoring of conservation easements for working farms and ranches. Chad also explains conservation and mitigation banking and how TALT helps facilitate those opportunities. Chad and Colin then move on to talk about ecosystem service markets, especially carbon...

This virtual listening session aims to help shape agricultural research priorities for the next three decades. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the biggest challenges and opportunities for optimizing agricultural productivity and resilience, strengthening economic viability, and decreasing the environmental impact of our nation's farms and ranches. The listening session was co-hosted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology and Organic Seed Alliance in partnership with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Input will be shared with the USDA to directly influence the department’s Agricultural Innovation Agenda, including objectives for public - and private-sector research and development. NCAT also helped...

Like all plants, avocados have secrets to share; understanding the plants we grow can unlock their potential and bring a deeper understanding of the ecology in our own back yards. Here are a few considerations for your backyard avocados, as well as a propagation technique that can be used on a number of plants. By Omar Rodriguez
NCAT Agriculture Specialist
...

In this episode, Martin Guerena, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s Western Regional office in Davis, California, speaks with Hope Sippola and Shane Zurilgen of Fiery Ginger Farm in West Sacramento. Among other duties, Martin works with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program. Their conversation includes a description of the operation, as well as some of the challenges they’ve faced and the opportunities they’ve found due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They provide ideas to help producers adapt to the changes in their markets. For more information on this topic, contact Martin Guerena directly via email at marting@ncat.org Related ATTRA Resources: ATTRA COVID-19 Resources Local Food Systems Marketing and...

I don't grow peaches. That unhappy confession is despite the fact that I grow peach trees. And rot. I grow a lot of brown rot.
By Guy Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist...

This week, I will be sending a young dairy goat named Caramel to a lovely family. The seven-year-old girl who will be in charge of the goat is so excited; she and her parents have planned for shelter, pasture, and feed....

Layered upon the pandemic and a national economic freefall, the murder of George Floyd and so many other Black Americans has sparked frustration, anger and sorrow across the country, not least here at NCAT....

In this episode, NCAT agriculture specialist Felicia Bell talks with Carolyn Jones of the Mississippi Minority Farmers Alliance. Felicia works in the NCAT Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, including work with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Felicia and Carolyn talk about engaging young people in agriculture and the importance of involving the entire community in the effort to secure the future of minority farmers and land owners. For more information on this topic, contact Felicia Bell directly via email at feliciab@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Economic Development - MS Food Justice Collaborative Education - MS Food Justice Collaborative Local Food Access - MS Food Justice Collaborative Other...

In this new video from NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale, we learn about options for selling meat on a small scale directly to customers. Margo shares how she and her husband sell their beef and pork and how their sales strategy fits their farm goals....

En este episodio, Martin Guerena, un especialista en agricultura sostenible con el programa ATTRA del Centro Nacional de Tecnologia Apropiada (NCAT), habla con Brett Melone, el Director de Préstamos de California FarmLink. California FarmLink, que comenzó en 1999, ayuda a los agricultores principiantes, de recursos limitados, inmigrantes y otros desatendidos que intentan acceder tierra o financiamiento. Se enfoca particularmente en las regiones de la Costa Central, Valle Central y Costa Norte de California. Martin, quien trabaja en la Oficina Regional Occidental del NCAT en Davis, California, habló con Brett durante la reciente Conferencia EcoFarm de la Asociación de Agricultura Ecológica en Pacific...

Value-added enterprises are one way to increase the profitability of growing those vegetables. And, in fact, in a recent survey of 400 ATTRA clients, the number one topic they wanted to see covered in more detail on our website was value-added products.
By Mike Morris, Director of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office...

I developed a love of plants as a young boy, helping my father in his yard-of-the-month winning front yard. I hated pruning roses, but everything else was so amazing to me. I think the thing that really hooked me was propagation, although I didn’t know the word for it back then. When I realized I could make a whole new plant from just a piece of another, it did something permanent to my little mind that is still with me today.
By Justin Duncan, NCAT Agriculture Specialist...

In this episode, NCAT's Rex Dufour interviews organic walnut farmer and processor, Russ Lester, at Dixon Ridge Farms in Winters, California. Russ shares some very practical thoughts about why he uses cover crops and explains how multi-functional cover crops are to his orchards. Rex Dufour has been a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT/ATTRA since 1994, and opened NCAT's Western Regional Office in California in 2001. For more information on this topic, you can contact Rex Dufour directly at rexd@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Managing Soils for Water: How Five Principles of Soil Health Support Water Infiltration and Storage Tipsheet: Assessing the Soil Resource for Beginning Organic...

We are all used to popping down to the local supermarket or garden center to buy potted plants or flowers to liven up the house, and to a certain degree, we still can. But as we are spending more time at home than we could have imagined a few months ago, why not also consider buying plant starts or seeds and growing your own food?
By Andrew Coggins, NCAT Rocky Mountain West Regional Director...

In this episode, NCAT Southeast Regional Director and ATTRA Livestock Specialist, Margo Hale, talks with Rebecca Thistlethwaite. Rebecca is the director of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) and works with livestock producers, processors, and marketers all across the country. Their discussion covers some of the opportunities and challenges livestock producers are seeing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss ideas and resources to help producers adapt to the changes in their markets. For more information on this topic, contact Margo Hale directly via email at margoh@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: ATTRA COVID-10 Resources Working with Your Meat Processor Working with your Meat Processor podcast Direct...

On Memorial Day, Joel Hasting, Editor & Publisher of DairyBusiness News is happy to tell you about a special program to help veterans of the armed services start farming or improve their farming operations. It's called "Armed to Farm" and has reached over 560 vets in 41 states. Telling DairyBusiness about it is Margo Hale based in Fayetteville, Ark., the southeast director for the parent organization, NCAT (National Center for Appropriate Technology). If you would like to attend one of the training sessions or support this valuable program, here's the website: www.ncat.org/armedtofarm. Margo can be contacted at margoh@ncat.org or phone 479.442.9824. Margo was...

We have a livestock farm in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, but we’re always looking for ways to diversify our operation. Mushrooms seemed like a good fit. We manage over 100 acres of forest, a ready source of both material and shady land for mushroom production.
Photos and text by Nina Prater, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist...

Montana State University’s three-year research project, Impacts of Integrating Livestock into Cropping Systems on Soil Health and Crop Production, has uncovered some interesting findings. Funded by Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE), and led by Research Associate Devon Ragen and her master's student, Trestin Benson, this research explored the benefits and challenges of incorporating sheep into a five-year dryland cropping rotation and a diverse vegetable production system. Here, Devon Ragen gives a summary of the research for a group of area producers in Hamilton, Montana. ...

Today’s episode is the first in an occasional series from Rockiell Woods, Director of NCAT’s Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson, Mississippi, and Bill Evans, Director of Horticulture at Up in Farms Food Hub in Jackson. This series is all about starting a farm. Today’s conversation is focused on how many acres are needed and what crops to choose. For more information on this topic, you can contact Rockiell Woods directly at rockw@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Evaluating a Farm Enterprise Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers Planning for Profit in Sustainable Farming Basic Accounting: Guidance for Beginning Farmers Other Resources: Farm Answers Up in Farms Food Hub Please call ATTRA...

No, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) is not food for the nation’s hungry, but rather assistance for the nation’s food producers. Details of how U.S. farmers can apply for this assistance are still scarce, but the most important message is to begin the process ASAP if you are a farmer who has experienced a loss due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
By Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist...

Earlier this spring, my wife and I got a 12x16 foot greenhouse for our small farm to use for starting vegetable and flower transplants for our garden. The greenhouse arrived just in time, before COVID-19 restrictions went into place in our state. We have been able to start our tomatoes, peppers, basil, zinnias, cosmos, and other garden transplants in the greenhouse and I wanted to share some of our techniques for growing quality plants at home or on a small farm.
By Luke Freeman, NCAT Horticulture Specialist...

Please join NCAT's Soil for Water initiative, in collaboration with The City of San Antonio and The Edwards Aquifer Authority, for a webinar on the five soil health principles. Application of these principles can lay the foundation for improved ecosystem health and aquifer recharge. In this webinar, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialists, Kara Kroeger and Colin Mitchell, will present to the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program easement landowners how to practically apply the five soil health principles. You will learn relevant approaches you can put in place to start improving soil health, including how to take soil samples and monitor how your progress over time. We will also...

In today’s episode, we hear from Kara Kroeger, Sustainable Agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. She interviews Mollie Walton, Land and Water Program Director for the Quivira Coalition in New Mexico. The Quivira Coalition works on biodiversity, building soil and resilience on western working landscapes. Mollie has a Texas ranching background and holds a PhD in biology from the University of Dayton in Ohio. She has been working in northern New Mexico since 2006. Kara and Mollie discuss methods of slowing and sinking water on hillsides, slowing erosion, building soil, mitigating floods, enhancing groundwater replenishment, and...

In this episode, Jeff Schahczenski, an agricultural and natural resource economist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, discusses recent shipments of organic wheat and durum from Montana that were determined to be contaminated with glyphosate. That caused European Union buyers to reject the shipments. The situation has created a significant economic hardship for producers in Montana and elsewhere. Joining Jeff in the discussion are Dr. William E. Dyer, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology at Montana State University; Lilianna Bento, an undergraduate researcher at Montana State University; and Bob Quinn, Montana Organic farmer, founder of Kamut International, and...

Adaptive grazing improves forage availability and ecosystem functioning, and strengthens grazing landscapes with diversity and resilience. ATTRA has brought together a suite of resources for farmers and ranchers, of all scales and for all species of grazing animals, who are interested in transitioning to an adaptive grazing system.
By Lee Rinehart, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist...

I’m seeing peach leaf curl in my orchard. It’s April, but the calendar date is not as important as the growth stage of the peaches.
By Guy K. Ames
NCAT Horticulture Specialist In Northwest Arkansas
...

In today's episode, we will learn about Carbon Sponge, an interdisciplinary collaboration in New York City that explores the potential for urban soils to sequester carbon as a means to reduce greenhouse gases and build healthy soil. Justin Duncan, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist at NCAT’s Southwestern Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, interviews Katharhy G., a plant and soil science researcher with Carbon Sponge. Katharhy talks about how they are engineering their own soil and researching the use of cover crops in urban areas for carbon sequestration. Originally from South America, Katharhy's background is in agroecosystem health, ethnobiology, regenerative food production...

On Tuesday, April 14, NCAT hosted an online listening session focused on farmer veterans. The aim of the listening session was to create a space for farmer veterans where they could share their challenges and strategies for resiliency. Most important, we wanted to give farmer veterans a chance to connect with each other....

In this episode, NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale talks with Linda Coffey, an NCAT livestock specialist, about springtime on their farms.  Both Margo and Linda are specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, among other duties, out of NCAT’s office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and they both farm in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. Their discussion includes grazing, kidding, watching for parasites, dairy goats, and Linda's new livestock guardian dog puppy. Margo also points listeners to ATTRA resources, including the page dedicated to COVID-19 resources on NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture website. For more information on this topic, you can contact Margo Hale directly via email margoh@ncat.org...

When I am faced with a less than ideal growing situation, rather than fight with Nature, I'll build a raised bed. I've built many of them over the years to suit different purposes.
By Justin C. Duncan
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
...

Please join Sustainable Agriculture Specialists, Colin Mitchell and Kara Kroeger, for an introductory webinar on tools you can use to improve ecosystem function on your land. This will be the first of a series of workshops and webinars designed specifically to help landowners in the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program manage their land in a regenerative way. Focus will be placed on how these management tools can foster economic viability regardless of whether you are an ag. producer or using your land for recreational enjoyment. Colin and Kara will introduce themselves and broadly cover the following topics, which will be covered...

Javier Zamora es agricultor orgánico productor de fresas, moras, flores y vegetales en Watsonville, California. Narra su historia personal y cómo desarrolló su negocio en el éxito que es hoy. También habla sobre su educación y experiencia con ALBA la incubadora de agricultores orgánicos en Salinas California, acceso a tierra, establecimiento de mercados, detalles sobre la producción de fresa, extensión de temporada por medio de túneles. Describe los desafíos de producción orgánica, control de plagas, fertilización y termina con su consejo a agricultores principiantes. Para obtener más información sobre este tema, puede contactar a Martin Guerena directamente: marting@ncat.org. Llame a la línea de...

NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Colin Mitchell discusses how his local farmers market in San Antonio, TX has adapted to a drive-thru farmers market format to provide local, sustainable food to the public under a shelter in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Colin Mitchell
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist
...

In this episode, Devona Bell, NCAT director of sustainable agriculture and NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Dr. Sunjya Schweig about the treatment of Lyme disease. Dr. Schweig works with the California Center for Functional Medicine. This episode is the second of a two-part series on the effect of Lyme Disease on farmers and ranchers. In the first part of the series, Devona, who has contracted Lyme Disease twice, spoke with farmers from New Hampshire and Minnesota about how Lyme Disease has affected their families and their farming operations. Be sure to listen to the first part of the series. A link is...

In this video, Tammy Howard, an NCAT horticulture specialist, shares her recipe for potting mix from her cut flower operation, Nana Louie Farm, in Belgrade, Montana....

In this episode, Devona Bell, NCAT director of sustainable agriculture and NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with two farmers about the impact of Lyme Disease on agriculture. Christine Pressman and her husband, Andy Pressman, own and operate Foggy Hill Farm, a sustainable produce operation near Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Dayna Burtness and her husband, Nick Nguyen, own and operate Nettle Valley Farm, a 70-acre farmstead near Spring Grove, Minnesota. Her main focus is finishing heritage breed hogs on pasture. Christine, Dayna, and Devona all have contracted Lyme Disease, and they talk about the battle to overcome the disease, how it affects their families...

In this video, Dave Scott, a livestock specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA program and co-owner of Montana Highland Lamb in Whitehall, Montana, discusses how the business is adjusting after having lost markets because of the COVID 19 pandemic....

In this episode, Tammy Howard, an agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with Heather Folls of the Folls Flower Farm, which is based in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Tammy also has a flower operation, which is located in Belgrade, Montana. She works out of NCAT's national headquarters in Butte, Montana. Heather and her mother, Thea, have been operating Folls Flower Farm for nearly two decades. Tammy and Heather talk about the evolution of the farm over the years. Heather also has some tips for flower farmers just getting started. For more information on this topic, you can...

In this video, Devona Bell, NCAT’s director of sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities, shares her seed starting system – which is based in the sun room of her Virginia home and features homemade grow tables. Devona also discusses potting mix and her choice of seed varieties....

Here on my farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, I am extremely eager to get my garden started. Due to the uncertain times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am motivated to achieve greater self-sufficiency and resilience for my family.
By Devona Bell, Director of Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Communities & Local Foods...

I can hardly think of a perennial fruit easier to grow than elderberries. And I can hardly think of a food item with a stronger claim to health benefits. Coupling the ease of growing with this fruit’s new popularity as an effective medicine, this could be an opportune time for growers to consider establishing an elderberry planting for their family, or perhaps, more ambitiously, a commercial venture.
By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist...

Replacing a tractor fuel filter doesn’t have to be hard. Plus, making sure that your engine is burning good, clean fuel helps to extend the lifespan of your machine. Let ATTRA Specialist Andy Pressman and Farm and Equipment Educator Shane LaBrake walk you through everything you need to change your tractor’s fuel filter. The tractor that Andy and Shane are working on is a 35 horsepower Ford 1910 from 1985. They go through the whole process of identifying the fuel filter, shutting off the fuel line, replacing the fuel filter, and bleeding the system. Along the way, they drops the tips...

Do you know how to change the oil and oil filter on your tractor? Making sure that your engine is well lubricated helps extend the lifespan of your machine. Let ATTRA Specialist Andy Pressman and Farm and Equipment Educator Shane LaBrake walk you through everything you need to change your tractor’s oil. The tractor that Andy and Shane are working on is a 35 horsepower Ford 1910 from 1985. They go through the whole process of draining the tractor of the old oil, replacing the oil filter, and adding back in the clean oil. Along the way, they drops the tips...

Do you know how to replace your tractor air filter? Making sure that good, clean air is part of the burn in your engine helps extend the lifespan of your machine. Let ATTRA Specialist Andy Pressman and Farm and Equipment Educator Shane LaBrake walk you through everything you need to change your air filter. The tractor that Andy and Shane are working on is a 35 horsepower Ford 1910 from 1985. In this video, they review the simple process of swapping out an air filter. They also discuss the different types of air filters on the market. Being able to perform...

What do you to do before getting under the tractor and doing your own maintenance? Let ATTRA Specialist Andy Pressman and Farm and Equipment Educator Shane LaBrake walk you through the process of identifying the maintainable parts of your tractor and what you need to do to get ready. The tractor that Andy and Shane are working on is a 35 horsepower Ford 1910 from 1985. In this video, they get to know the tractor and perform a walk-around assessment before doing maintenance. Being able to perform the routine maintenance on their tractor helps farmers save money in the long run....

What tools do you need to do your own tractor maintenance? Let ATTRA Specialist Andy Pressman and Farm and Equipment Educator Shane LaBrake walk you through everything you need to build up a complete toolbox. The tractor that Andy and Shane are working on is a 35 horsepower Ford 1910 from 1985. In this video, they review the tools that Shane uses when maintaining tractors. These are not the tools for major tractor repair, but rather everything a farmer or tractor owner would need to change filters and fluids. Being able to perform routine maintenance helps the farmer keep their financial...

In today's episode, we learn about a program in Texas that connects refugees with sustainable agriculture. Colin Mitchell, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist at NCAT's Southwestern Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, visits with New Leaf Agriculture's Director, Matt Simon, and a New Leaf Agriculture farm apprentice Doli Wikongo. New Leaf Agriculture is a social enterprise of the Multicultural Refugee Coalition based in Elgin, Texas, near Austin. It connects refugees to sustainable farming opportunities by operating community gardens and a commercial farm. Matt discusses New Leaf’s mission, farm practices, and community partners. Doli, a refugee, describes her experiences from her home country...

This publication provides a foundation and tools for farmers looking to begin a CSA operation. It also explores many variations to the traditional model that have developed over the last generation and looks into what the future might hold for CSA.
By Daniel Prial, NCAT Agriculture Specialist...

Today's episode focuses on soil considerations for fruit and nut trees. Rex Dufour, the director of NCAT's Western Regional Office in Davis, California, talks with Guy Ames, Horticulture Specialist at NCAT's Southeastern Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, about the differences between soils in the western United States versus the soils in the East. For more information on this topic, you can contact Rex Dufour directly at rexd@ncat.org or Guy Ames at guya@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production Fruit Trees, Bushes, and Vines for Natural Growing in the Ozarks Soils and Sites for Organic Orchards and Vineyards Other Resources: Web Soil Survey Please...

This webinar discusses conservation practices available to cotton farmers. It outlines weed control benefits, water use efficiency, and reduction of chemical fertilizers. If you are interested in reducing costs while maintaining yields, this webinar is for you....

In this episode, Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with soil specialist Lance Gunderson about the PLFA soil test. The conversation is the second of two that Kara and Lance have had on ATTRA: Voices from the Field concerning soil tests – last week's podcast featured Lance’s take on the Haney test. You can find the link to that podcast in the notes below. This week, they discuss the scientific basis of the PLFA, when it's appropriate, and a number of the ways in which it’s scored. Kara works out of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office in San...

In this episode, Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with soil specialist Lance Gunderson about the Haney soil test. They discuss the history of the Haney test, how it's scored, its effectiveness on both cropland and pasture and range land; the management practices it can suggest, and more. The conversation is the first of two that Kara and Lance will have concerning soil tests – next week's podcast will feature Lance’s take on the phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) test. Be sure to listen to that discussion, as well. Kara works out of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office in...

This is a recording of the Electric Deer Fence Workshop that NCAT led on November 15, 2019 at Cobblestone Farms in Fayetteville, AR. In this video Kenny Simon from the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service discusses the components of an electric deer fence and demonstrates how to set up a 3-strand deer fence configuration. You will learn how to select an appropriate energizer, properly set ground rods, select fence posts, choose the right poly-wire, and test your fence. You can find more information on electric fencing for livestock at our Fencing and Watering Systems topic area. This workshop was supported by Assistance Agreement...

This episode explores community gardening and its relationship to sustainable agriculture. Daniel Prial, sustainable agriculture specialist from NCAT's Northeast Regional Office in Keene, New Hampshire, has a conversation with folks from Antioch University New England’s Community Gardens Connections program. This episode looks at the importance of community gardening as part of the greater food system. Students from Antioch University New England's Environmental Studies Department, who are also coordinators of the Community Gardens Connections program, give advice on how to establish and maintain community gardens. They even touch on the role that farmers can play in community gardening initiatives. In this podcast, we'll hear...

Well-managed soils infiltrate and store water (and nutrients) more effectively and help protect water quality above and below ground. Without sufficient organic matter, soil function, including water infiltration and storage, can be severely impaired. Our soils aren’t ready for the stresses, extreme rainfall events, and the droughts that climate change will bring. This webinar will help you understand how to protect against these stressors....

In this episode, Martin Guerena, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation with Tom Willey, one of the pioneers of organic agriculture in the Central Valley of California. Martin works out of the NCAT Western Regional Office in Davis, California. Tom – "farmer emeritus" at T and D Willey Farms, the operation he co-founded in Madera, California – discusses his entry into agriculture and the organic movement, the importance of finding mentors, what the past can teach us going forward, and some of the challenges he sees in the future of organic agriculture. For more information on...

Today's episode – Part 4 of our "Direct Marketing Meat" series – features a question-and-answer session with Dave and Jenny Scott. Linda Coffey asks questions submitted by listeners, and Dave and Jenny provide great answers. You will hear some innovative marketing ideas, as well as more information about production practices and nutrition. Dave and Linda are livestock specialists with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Dave works out of NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana, and Linda is on the staff of NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dave and Jenny are co-owners of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana. Be sure to check...

In this episode – part 3 of our "Direct Marketing Meat" series – Dave Scott and his wife, Jenny, join Linda Coffey to talk about aspects of working with customers, planning pricing, assessing profitability, and deciding on the scale of the enterprise. Dave and Linda are livestock specialists with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Dave works out of NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, and Linda is on the staff of NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dave and Jenny also are co-owners of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana. During the discussion, Dave and Jenny emphasize the challenges and rewards of...

In this episode, we feature a conversation with Kurt Myllymaki, a Montana farmer and rancher who, with his family, raises crops and beef cattle on 10,000 acres of leased and deeded land in north central Montana near the town of Stanford. He talks about the profound changes the operation is making, including diversifying cash crops raised on the farm and adding cover crops to reduce the use of summer fallow. The interview was conducted in collaboration with Western SARE, and Stacie Cleary of Western SARE acted as this week’s guest host. Al Kurki, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture...

In this episode, Nina Prater, an agriculture specialist in NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks with Jay Randolph about prairie restoration. Jay is the Ben Geren Golf Course Superintendent and Sebastian County Park Administrator in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They discuss the prairie restoration work Jay has undertaken at the golf course since 2016. The conversation covers all the improvements Jay has seen at the park since starting this work, and the benefits any landowner can enjoy from re-establishing diverse prairie ecosystems. For more information on this topic, contact Nina Prater via email at ninap@ncat.org Related ATTRA Resources: Converting Cropland to Perennial...

In this episode, Felicia Bell, sustainable agricultural specialist at NCAT's Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, interviews Wendell Paris about the history of food cooperatives in the South and his involvement in this movement, specifically in the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Mr. Paris is the Chairman of the Board for Panola Land Buyers Association and has been involved in the Federation of Southern Cooperatives since its inception, which took place during the Civil Rights movement. In this episode, he describes the connections between the Civil Rights movement and the beginning of the food cooperative model in the South. For more information on...

This episode is the second of two featuring a conversation between Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, and Fred Provenza. Fred is a well-known author and expert on animal health, human health, plant health, and how they are related – as well as their role in the care of ecosystems. Kara works out of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. The conversation took place at the recent 2019 Regenerate Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hosted by the Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and the American Grassfed Association. There may be a bit of background...

In this video, Colin Mitchell and Lindsey Richards from the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative lay out how to plant, maintain, and terminate Sunn Hemp in the hot subtropical climate of the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Sunn Hemp (Crotalaria juncea) is a warm season nitrogen fixing species that can reach over six feet tall. This upright legume creates substantial biomass that can outcompete weeds, can be grazed as a high protein forage, and is resistant to root rot nematodes. It can be terminated with a crimper-roller, making it a good option for organic systems that are not allowed to use herbicides....

In this video, Colin Mitchell and Lindsey Richards from the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative discuss using Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan) as a cover crop option for hot and humid areas. Pigeon pea is grown around the world as a protein-rich food source. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and other subtropical areas, it can be used as a nitrogen-fixing cover crop that stands up well to extreme heat once established. Pigeon pea does a fantastic job of shading the soil in hot summers, provides bioavailable nitrogen for the next cash crop, and reduces both wind and water erosion. While...

In the hot and humid subtropics of the Texas Rio Grande Valley, Iron and Clay Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) can be used to cover the soil during the spring, summer, and fall. Cowpeas fix nitrogen, provide habitat for beneficial insects, reduce wind and water erosion, and more. In this video, Colin Mitchell and Lindsey Richards from the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative discuss the benefits of Iron and Clay Cowpea and lay out the process for inoculating legume cover crops and checking to see if they are creating active nodules--putting nitrogen into soils that will be bioavailable for the next cash crop....

This episode is the first of two featuring a conversation between Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, and Fred Provenza. Fred is a well-known author and expert on animal health, human health, plant health, and how they are related – as well as their role in the care of ecosystems. Kara works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. The conversation took place at the recent 2019 Regenerate Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hosted by the Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and the American Grassfed Association. There may be a bit of...

Hemp can now be sold legally across the country. For the 2020 crop year, the only way to insure hemp is through a unique federally-subsidized Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy. This policy protects the value of the whole farm's revenue rather than any specific product a farmer grows. For 2020, industrial hemp in seed, flower, or fiber form can be one of the products insured by a WFRP policy. Jeff Schahczenski, Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist, with NCAT gives an introduction on this whole-farm approach to insuring hemp in 2020....

In this podcast, Jeff Schahczenski, agricultural and natural resource specialist with NCAT, has a conversation with Marty Mesh of Mesh & Associates of Gainesville, Florida, about the current and future development of organic production in the South. While certified organic farming and ranching has been expanding nationwide, its growth in the southern United States has been much slower. In this episode, Jeff and Marty explore many reasons for this slower growth. Marty Mesh is a leader in organic agriculture in the south and nationwide. A pioneer, visionary, and expert in organic agriculture and food systems, Marty began organic production in 1972. Four...

Today’s episode is the second in an ATTRA: Voices from the Field ongoing series on Direct Marketing Meat. Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, follows up on a listener’s question by interviewing her colleague, NCAT ATTRA Livestock Specialist Dave Scott and his wife and partner, Jenny, about their direct-marketing meat business, Montana Highland Lamb. Linda works out of NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Dave works out of NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana. In the previous episode, Dave and Jenny shared their farm story, and we focused on the marketing aspect of their business. In this episode,...

ATTRA: Voices from the Field is taking a bit of a holiday break this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. We sincerely hope that everyone has a terrific holiday. Next week, we’ll be back with the second in the Direct Marketing Meat series. In it, Linda Coffey and Dave Scott, both livestock specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, along with Dave’s wife, Jenny, will talk about the always important issue of processing. In the meantime, don’t miss the chance to register for the inaugural Soil Health Innovations Conference, March 30-31, 2020, in Bozeman, Montana, on the campus of...

  This playlist contains a series of videos from the Integrated Parasite Management: Train the Trainer Workshop conducted at Sharon Johnson's Longview Farm in Stevensville, Montana. In this Western Sustainability Agricultural Research and Education (WSARE) funded project, National Center for Appropriate Technology’s (NCAT) Dave Scott presents the principles of small ruminant integrated parasite management to control the Barber Pole Worm, a major sheep internal parasite. It contains the following videos: • Introduction • Refugia, Dewormers, McMasters Flotation • Fecal Egg Count • Dewormers, Grazing, and Paddocks • FAMACHA • Genetics ...

This episode is the first of an occasional ATTRA: Voices from the Field series on Direct Marketing Meat. Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, follows up on a listener’s question by interviewing fellow NCAT ATTRA livestock specialist Dave Scott and his wife, Jenny, about their direct-marketing meat business, Montana Highland Lamb. Linda works out of NCAT's Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Dave is on the staff at NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana. Although the listener was asking about lamb, and both Dave and Jenny produce lamb, this series will be useful for anyone direct marketing meat. Dave...

In this episode, Lee Rinehart, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with world renowned rancher and grazing educator Allen Williams. Lee, who works out of NCAT's Northeast Regional Office in Keene, N.H., and Allen talk about what Allen calls adaptive stewardship management grazing and how it could increase the supply of livestock on the market as it helps solve many issues currently associated with animal agriculture. For more information on this topic, you can contact Lee Rinehart directly at lee@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Nutrient Cycling in Pastures Building Healthy Pasture Soils Soils and Compost Grazing Resources Livestock and Pasture Other Resources: Understanding Ag Please call ATTRA with...

In this episode, Margo Hale, director of NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, interviews Lauren Stine, a beginning farmer in Northwest Arkansas. Lauren shares how she went from being a lawyer in California to raising goats in Arkansas. She talks about the keys to her success, obstacles she has faced, and the resources that have helped her. Lauren also explains the ways she is educating others about pastured-based livestock production. For more information on this topic, you can contact Margo Hale directly at margoh@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: ATTRA Farm Start-Up resources ATTRA Internship Database Farm Business Start-Up Checksheet Getting Started in Farming Tutorial Using Social Media...

This podcast is part of a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education project for integrating livestock with crops. In this episode, Dave Scott, livestock specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West Office in Butte, Montana, has a conversation with Roy Benjamin, a farmer of nearly 20,000 acres in Devon, Montana. For the past few years, Roy has been integrating livestock with his crops. In this episode, you'll hear about his experience with his operation and lessons he has learned. Before we get started, I’d like to point out that towards the end of the podcast, when Roy is talking about his water sources, he...

In this episode, Andrew Coggins, NCAT's Rocky Mountain West Regional Director and a specialist based in Butte, Montana, with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with Alexis Bonogofsky, Northern Coordinator of the Quivira Coalition's New Agrarian program. Alexis discusses the New Agrarian program, which supports apprenticeships and mentors in agriculture. The Quivira Coalition recently brought the program to Montana for the first time. For more information on this topic, you can contact Andrew Coggins directly at andrewc@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: List of Internships Beginning Farmer Other Resources: Quivira Coalition Quivira Coalition Facebook Mannix Brothers Ranch Vilicus Farms Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140...

In this episode of "Scaling Up," an occasional series at ATTRA, Rockiell Woods, director of NCAT's Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson, Mississippi, talks with Dr. Bill Evans, Director of Horticulture at Up in Farms Food Hub in Jackson, Mississippi. Rockiell and Bill discuss land and water considerations when scaling up a farm. You'll hear about how to determine the best use for land and the economic feasibility of scaling up. They also talk about the importance of the source and quality of water for your operation. For more information on this topic, you can contact Rockiell Woods directly at rockw@ncat.org. ATTRA Resources: Scaling...

In this episode, we introduce Texas Sized Sustainable Pasture Operations, a new occasional series on ATTRA: Voices from the Field. Colin Mitchell, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, hosts Cameron Molberg, owner and operator of a larger-scale organic and pastured chicken operation, Greener Pastures Chicken, located in Elgin, Texas. Colin works out of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. Cameron and Colin discuss Cameron's experiences and what he's learned that has allowed him to create a sustainable and efficient system that produces healthy chickens and a quality meat product at a large scale. Cameron gives the listener an...

In this podcast, Justin Duncan, agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, has a conversation with Lois Kim, Vice President of Public Relations and On-Farm Research Coordinator for Plantation Produce Company (PPC) Farms in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. In this episode, you'll hear how PPC Farms is transitioning its 1,500-acre operation from conventional to organic farming.  Lois talks about some of the new practices they have adopted, such as the use of cover crops, companion planting, crop rotation, and the many benefits these practices bring. It’s worth pointing out that there are melons that Lois...

In this episode from NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Regional Director Margo Hale and Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey talk about Linda's recent trip to attend an international meeting about internal parasite management, and some of the lessons she learned there. They then discuss what's happening on their farms in the fall: breeding season, and considerations about selecting and caring for the males; assessing male temperament and safety; and assessing the condition of the females. They also briefly discuss fall pasture management and stockpiling for winter. E-mail Margo and Linda with feedback or questions or suggestions for future topics at margoh@ncat.org...

In this podcast, Al Kurki, agriculture specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West Regional Office in Butte, Montana, has a conversation with Rachel Jones, Executive Director of Farm to School of Park County. With a USDA Farm to School grant, Rachel turned one of the school's greenhouses into an aquaponics laboratory. Middle- and high-school students of Park County now raise trout and vegetables for food for their schools. In this episode, you'll hear about the challenges and triumphs using an aquaponics system in a school setting. For more information on this topic, you can contact Al Kurki directly at akurki@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Aquaponics...

In this podcast Nina Prater, agriculture specialist at NCAT's Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has a conversation with her NCAT colleague Guy Ames, horticulture specialist and owner-operator of Ames Orchard and Nursery in Elkins, Arkansas. Guy has been farming in Arkansas since 1971, but became interested in heirloom apples in 1980. In this episode, discover things you might not have known, such as: What qualifies as an heirloom? What’s in a name? How do you decide what variety to grow? Guy and Nina also talks about the history of heirloom apples, some pros and cons, and the role heirloom apples...

In this episode, NCAT's Tammy Howard has a conversation with her colleague, Adrian Card, about his 15-year career as an extension agent in Boulder County, an increasingly urban area of Colorado. Adrian talks about his experiences with developing useful tools and programming for farmers in the front range of Colorado. Tammy Howard is an agriculture specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West office in Butte, Montana. Adrian Card is the founder of the Colorado Building Farmers Program and co-founder of the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. For more information on this topic, you can contact Tammy Howard directly at tammyh@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Getting...

In this episode, NCAT horticulture specialists Luke Freeman and Guy Ames discuss the joys and trials of growing grapes in the humid Southeast. The conversation touches on organic grape production; diseases and pests; trellising and pruning grapes; organic grape management; and cultivars of table grapes, wine grapes, and muscadines suited for organic production. Luke and Guy both work as horticulture specialists with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program out of NCAT's Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Luke shares research findings from the University of Arkansas high tunnel grape project, led by Dr. Elena Garcia, and Guy shares his personal experience growing grapes and...

In this episode, Colin Mitchell, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, discusses regenerative rangeland management with Travis and Mandy Krause of Parker Creek Ranch in D'hanis, Texas. Travis and Mandy are taking part in NCAT's Soil for Water Project. Colin works out of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. Travis describes three of the regenerative practices they use on their ranch: holistic multipaddock grazing, pasture cropping, and contour subsoil ripping. He then discusses the changes they've seen from 2010-2019 in the ranch's soil and ecological health while using these practices. Mandy then passes off their two...

In this episode, Lee Rinehart, an agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Jill Pegnataro of GreenWave, a nonprofit focused on expanding opportunities for fisherman and farmers to start sustainable shellfish and aquatic plant farming enterprises. Jill works as a farm manager and instructor with GreenWave in New Haven, Connecticut. Lee works out of NCAT's Northeast Regional Office in Keene, New Hampshire. Jill and Lee talk about how Jill got into vertical ocean farming, how vertical ocean farming works, the skills and resources some needs to begin ocean farming, and how to get started. For more information on this...

In this episode, airing on National Farmers Market week (August 4 -10), Tammy Howard, agriculture specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West office in Butte, Montana, talks with Ben Feldman, interim director of the Farmers Market Coalition, a national organization representing farmers markets. Tammy and Ben discuss the important role that farmers markets play as business incubators and their economic impact in rural and urban communities. They also discuss some of the resources available to help farmers and farmers markets be successful. For more information on this topic, you can contact Tammy Howard directly at tammyh@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Tips for Selling at Farmers...

In this episode, we hear from Martin Guerena, agriculture specialist at NCAT's Western Regional Office in Davis, California, and Jo Ann Baumgartner, Executive Director of the Wild Farm Alliance. They talk about birds on farms: are they friend or foe? Well, you might be surprised to know that birds can be very beneficial to your farm. In fact, birds are being used as agrosystem providers. Learn how you can integrate the benefits of birds into your farm. Jo Ann is the author of many publications on the intersection between biodiversity conservation and agriculture, including beneficial birds. For more information on this topic,...

Being mindful of who you allow to to come in contact with your birds is a crucial aspect of biosecurity. However, limiting contact is an easy tactic to implement on-farm. In this video, we talk with Ty Burk of Westfold Farm in Texas about how he reduces contact between his breeding flock and visitors and the steps the operation takes to prevent disease transmission....

Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones-Crabtree, owners of Vilicus Farms near Havre, Montana, discuss their internship program. Nathan Austin Powell and Laurel Johnson, the farm's first interns, learned about the opportunity on the ATTRA website's Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships database at https://attra.ncat.org/internships/...

What do Energy Corps members do? Watch this video to find out! Energy Corps members and staff describe the events that take place during a service year, what host sites they serve at, and what they love about living in Montana....

In this video, Michael McCormick, executive director of the Food Resource Center in Livingston, Montana, talks about the center's philosophy of focusing on hunger as a part of poverty; supporting local growers by using the center's commercial kitchen to prepare and preserve food; offering culinary classes; focusing on traceability of local foods and more. With the center's philosophy, the food bank becomes a central force in the community to address positive social change on a local level....

Dave Scott, a livestock specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and co-owner of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana, discusses the operation's intensive grazing set-up....

Learn how to Cover, Push, Pull, Pop! That is the FAMACHA scoring technique that determines the degree of Barber Pole Worm (Haemonchus contortus) infection in sheep, goats and camelids. This how to video emphasizes FAMACHA scoring Out West with large flocks of small ruminants. Discover how it is easy and financially rewarding to ascertain the degree of infection in your flock- FAMACHA scoring saves you money in deworming only the lambs and ewes that are actually infected (often 80 percent of the infection is concentrated in 20 percent of the flock). It also allows you to set up a refugia...

Shearing Day! Shearing requires attention to a few details before the shearers arrive, as they shear your sheep, and long after the shearing crew is gone. In this video, NCAT Livestock Specialist Dave Scott discusses factors to take into account before, during, and after shearing: tips for encouraging sheep to go into the shearing race, the responsibilities of the shepherd, and the ewes’ needs post shearing. There is much more to it than just “getting the wool off.” The video takes place during shearing at Dave's Montana Highland Lamb operation near Whitehall, MT....

This video explores one of the profit-oriented benefits of regenerative grazing: winter grazing of a greatly increased winter stockpile of grass. A summer long regimen of tall grass grazing with high stock densities results in a passive winter grazing season almost as long as its summer sister—in cold Montana yet. Those are regenerative dollars in your pocket. We will show how to inventory winter stockpile, moving sheep to different winter paddocks, how much residual to leave behind, and a simple stock water system winterized for zero temperatures. Join NCAT’s Dave Scott in this first episode on Regenerative Grazing at Montana...

The Barber Pole Worm represents an increasing threat to sheep and goat producers, especially those on Western irrigated pastures. This webinar, led by Dave Scott, NCAT Livestock Specialist, focuses on holistic management of the Barber Pole Worm in irrigated settings in the Inter Mountain West. FAMACHA scoring to create refugia, strategic grazing techniques, and simple genetic strategies to increase host resistance will be highlighted....

So You are Lambing for the First Time! Good for you! And welcome to the sheep community! Here is a quick video that will tell you what to look for when your ewes get close to lambing and how to deal with two of the most common dystocia, or abnormal lambing presentations. In this live video, backwards and front lambs with a leg back are shown along with how to rectify the problems. The result is a contented mother and two happy lambs....

Energy Corps member Michael Daniel explains how to build a Biochar Retort Kiln. He presents the benefits to using biochar as a soil amendment in a garden as well as various materials you can obtain on a budget....

Organic farmers and ranchers conserve biodiversity and natural resources because their agricultural production systems depend upon healthy ecosystems. In this webinar, conservation professionals and landowners can learn how Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation practices and enhancements can provide high-value production and biodiversity benefits while at the same time aiding producers in obtaining or maintaining their USDA organic status. The webinar’s presenters are Jo Ann Baumgartner, director of the Wild Farm Alliance, and Harriet Behan, an organic specialist with Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service....

NCAT Agricultural Specialists Luke Freeman and Margo Hale introduce the topic of crop planning for vegetable growers wanting to scale up into wholesale or institutional markets. A resources and links PDF you can use to further your crop planning knowledge is available for download here: https://attra.ncat.org/downloads/Crop-Planning-for-Vegetable-Growers-Webinar-Resources.pdf...

NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialist Justin Duncan shows step-by-step how to use cultivation techniques to turn land overrun with grass and weeds into a field ready for planting. Learn more about the SOAR Partnership: http://portal.utpa.edhttps://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/daa_home/cose_home/biology_home/biology_research/agroecology_home/soaru/utpa_main/daa_...

In this video Jose Hernandez will show you how to cluster thin table grapes in the high tunnel. Cluster thinning supports the development of larger grape clusters and improved berry quality by balancing the number of clusters to shoot length. All the grape clusters are removed from shoots that are less than 8 inches long. One grape cluster is left on shoots that are 8 to 20 inches long. And two clusters are left on shoots that are over 20 inches long. This video was produced by NCAT and is part of the High Tunnel Grape Project funded by Southern...

In this video Dr. Any Allen will show you how to winter prune table grapes using the balanced pruning method. The balanced pruning formula used is 30+10, leaving 30 buds for the first pound of prunings removed plus 10 buds for each pound of prunings after that. This video was produced by NCAT and is part of the High Tunnel Grape Project funded by Southern SARE and led by the University of Arkansas in collaboration with Cooperative Extension, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and the Arkansas Association of Grape Growers. Future videos will discuss pruning, harvest, and pest management...

In this video we show you how to prune and train young grape vines to a trellis system in a high tunnel with Horticulture Professor Dr. Elena Garcia from the University of Arkansas. For this demonstration we are using the Geneva Double Curtain trellis system and a Modified Double High Cordon system in a Haygrove high tunnel at Barnhill Orchards in Lonoke, Arkansas. There are many advantages to growing grapes in a high tunnel in the Southeast, including higher yield, better fruit quality, and decreased disease pressure. This video was produced by NCAT and is part of the High Tunnel...

In this video we show you how to plant dormant, bare-root grape vines in a high tunnel with Viticulture Professor Dr. Andy Allen from Arkansas Tech University. There are many advantages to growing grapes in a high tunnel in the Southeast, including higher yield, better fruit quality, and decreased disease pressure. This video was produced by NCAT and is part of the High Tunnel Grape Project funded by Southern SARE and led by the University of Arkansas in collaboration with Cooperative Extension, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and the Arkansas Association of Grape Growers. Future videos in the series...

In this video, Tracy Potter Finns and Margaret DeBona from County Rail Farm near Huson, Montana, talk about why they became GAP certified and the process of developing their food safety plan. This is the first in a series of farm based food safety videos that feature farmer's approaches to food safety compliance. Keep watching for more....

Farm Safety Water Testing Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. These videos will show farmers approaches to implementing their food safety plans. Regular water testing is required for both Food Safety Modernization and GAP compliance. It depends on the source of the irrigation water. In this video Traci and...

Packing Shed Set Up and Wash Procedures Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. These videos will show farmers approaches to implementing their food safety plans. The packing shed and wash area is a critical area to practice food safety. See some simple and effective strategies for sanitizing and...

Field and Harvest PRocedures Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. These videos will show farmers approaches to implementing their food safety plans. This video features the pre-harvest safety procedures and food-safety considerations taken by County Rail Farm near Missoula, MT. This video is one of a series....

Food Safety -- Hand Washing Hand washing is a crucial part of any farm's food safety plan. This video shows the simple but effective hand-washing routine Tracy Potter Finns and Margaret DeBona have developed at County Rail Farm near Huson, Montana. Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. These videos...

Farm-based Food Safety Recordkeeping One of the more difficult aspects of implementing a food safety plan is the logs and recordkeeping. If you are certified organic there will be some overlap. See how Tracy and Margaret of County Rail Farm near Huson, MT, have developed a system that works for them and their farm. Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food...

Food Safety - A Farmer's Perspective In this video, Tracy Potter Finns and Margaret DeBona from County Rail Farm near Huson, Montana, talk about why they became GAP certified and the process of developing their food safety plan. This is the first in a series of farm based food safety videos that feature farmer's approaches to food safety compliance. Keep watching for more. Due to a rise in major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses from produce farms and facilities that process produce, Congress enacted a bill that expands food safety regulations to the farm level called the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA....

This video will describe scope four in the GAP audit process. This scope can be included in an audit if a farmer chooses to do so or if a buyer requests it. This section includes many duplicates to scope 3. The video will show how an internal auditor will look at the farmer’s containers and pallets, pest control, refrigeration units, condition of transportation vehicles, worker health and hygiene, and traceability. It will also show how farmers are addressing these issues on their farms. The Internal Gap Audit: Scope Four, Storage and Transportation This video is part of a series made possible through...

This video covers Scope Three of the GAP audit, which addresses steps that take place in the packing facility. This video also will show how the internal auditor considers questions in this section. Questions will include subjects like washing/packing line procedures, packing house worker health and hygiene, general housekeeping, pest control, and traceability. Farmers will describe their packing processes and how they relate to the GAP program. This video is part of a series made possible through funding from from the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services. The full list of videos in the series is here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

This video will describe and demonstrate the second scope of a GAP audit. This includes pre-harvest risk assessments, sanitation and hygiene in the field, and harvesting and transportation activities. Farmer describe their pre harvest food safety processes and how they address the area in this scope. The Internal GAP Audit: Field Harvest and Field Packing Activities This video is part of a series made possible through funding from from the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services. The full list of videos in the series is here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

This video will address the components of the first scope of the GAP audit called the “Farm Review”. This section will look specifically at how farmers are approaching assessing water quality, sewage treatment, animals/wildlife/livestock, manure and biosolid management, soil content, and traceability and how this is handled by the internal auditor. Farmers will describe how they approach water testing, animal manure application and traceability on their farms. The Internal GAP Audit: Scope One, The Farm Review This video is part of a series made possible through funding from from the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services. The full list of videos in the series is...

Every GAP audit will have a section on general questions that relate to the food safety practices on a farm. This is the first set of questions in the audit. The general questions will be both broad and specific with questions like “are employees and visitors following good hygiene/sanitation practices?” and “are readily understandable signs posted instructing employees to wash hands?” Although farms may choose which scopes of a GAP audit they want to include (this may be based on their buyer’s specifications) the general questions will always be part of an audit. The Internal GAP Audit: General Questions This video is...

In this video, our narrator, David Wise, will fill us in on the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, its history and the different compliance levels for farmers. He will also talk about the USDA GAP program and the difference between GAP and FSMA. David will also outline the GAP audit process and the function of an internal GAP audit. This video is part of a series made possible through funding from from the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services....

Dave Scott, a livestock specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and co-owner of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana, discusses the operation's composting system....

Gabe Brown: Farming in Nature's Image Gabe Brown speaking at the Connecting Soils and Profits: No-till, Cover Crops, Soil Health, & Grazing Conference held in Danville, PA, March 18, 2015. *Featuring Gabe Brown, A Local Producer Panel, NCAT & Extension Specialists* Gabe is a nationally renowned speaker and pioneer in the soil health movement that is currently creating quite a buzz among producers. Gabe & his family operate a 5000 acre diversified operation, near Bismarck, ND, that includes crops, pasture, and beef cattle. His operation focuses on regeneration of soils and farm resources using a systems approach which includes no-till, diverse crop rotations, diverse species...

En esta presentación, vamos a revisar la información esencial que requieren las regulaciones de producción orgánica de cultivos, y los componentes claves de un sistema de mantención de registros en producción orgánica. Cada rancho es único, y sus registros deben adaptarse a cada operación. Un sistema de registros eficaz necesita incluir los requerimientos que las normas exigen para la certificación, organizar su sistema de archivos para cada tipo de información necesaria, y una práctica dedicada que permita utilizar los sistemas para rastrear los insumos, actividades y producción agrícola. Se provee enlaces a fuentes de plantillas para facilitar el mantenimiento adecuado...

Granjero orgánico Saul Padilla muestra como un mantillo de paja mantuvo la humedad para las matas de calabaza durante un periódo de temperaturas máximas en el sur de Tejas. Aprenda más sobre NCAT: https://www.ncat.org Aprenda más sobre la asociación de SOAR: http://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/daa_...

Esta historieta ilustrada trata de un nuevo mercado para los agricultores de pequeña escala. Explica como pueden vender sus productos a las instituciones locales, tal como hospitales, colegios de comunidad, universidades, escuelas, asilos de ancianos, centros comunitarios para adultos mayores, guarderías infantiles, prisiones, y cárceles. Incluye información sobre organizaciones que ayudan a agricultores Latinos vender sus productos a instituciones....

Agregados de Suelo Este breve video muestra diferencias dramáticas en la estabilidad de los agregados de suelo que resultan por diferentes prácticas de labranza del mismo tipo de suelo. La narración explica por qué la estabilidad de los agregados es importante como indicador de la salud del suelo y cómo se puede renovar la salud del suelo....

In this episode, Nina Prater, an agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program talks with farmer Janet Bachmann about Janet's production practices at Riverbend Gardens in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Nina works out of NCAT's Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, where Janet, who also is a former NCAT agriculture specialist, has been farming since 1989. They talk about specialty cut flower production and marketing and how Janet makes it all work as a one-woman operation. For more information on this topic, you can contact Nina Prater directly at ninap@ncat.org Related ATTRA Resources: Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing Market Gardening: A Start-Up Guide Farmers Markets: Marketing and...

With support from the USDA, NCAT Agriculture Specialists Marisa Alcorta and Rex Dufour have helped Spanish-speaking farmers in California's Central Valley experiment with cover crops to improve soil quality and provide habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators. This video documents Elias Cosio, an almond grower from near Modesto who has been collaborating with NCAT and NRCS as he plants the first cover crop in his orchard...

If you market lamb directly to your customers, the way the carcass is aged, broken down, cut, and packaged is very important in making your product stand out. Once your lamb is properly finished, (finishing video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbBrR3...

Josh Slotnick, Director of PEAS Farm in Missoula, MT, made us think about the effects of a global food system in which the cost is cheap but the price is high and spoke about the culturally regenerative power of creating local alternatives. Over 100 high school students, educators, and activists converged in Missoula October 6-8, 2013 for the Growing Leaders Youth Summit to plant big ideas about how to diversify the future of food. It was the largest event of its kind in Montana and showed that a #YouthFoodRevolution is gaining momentum in Big Sky country. http://farmtocafeteria.ncat.org/ The 2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit...

Bob Marshall, owner of Biga Pizza in Missoula, MT, award-winning chef, and in this clip at least, comedian, cracked us up after serving up delicious pizzas featuring veggie toppings grown at PEAS Farm and spoke about the 3 reasons he sources locally grown foods for his restaurant. Over 100 high school students, educators, and activists converged in Missoula October 6-8, 2013 for the Growing Leaders Youth Summit to plant big ideas about how to diversify the future of food. It was the largest event of its kind in Montana and showed that a #YouthFoodRevolution is gaining momentum in Big Sky country. http://farmtocafeteria.ncat.org/ The...

Three guest speakers from across the U.S. talked about the work they are doing to create more just and accessible food systems in their communities: Scarlett Kaplan, S.A.V.E. Club at Hellgate High School in Missoula, MT; Ayisah Yusef, Rural Coalition in Washington, DC; Phil Nguyen, The Food Project in Boston, MA. Over 100 high school students, educators, and activists converged in Missoula October 6-8, 2013 for the Growing Leaders Youth Summit to plant big ideas about how to diversify the future of food. It was the largest event of its kind in Montana and showed that a #YouthFoodRevolution is gaining momentum...

Gerardo Marin, co-director of Rooted in Community from Berkeley, CA, spoke about the role of art in the youth food movement and about the power that beauty and culture can bring to activism. Over 100 high school students, educators, and activists converged in Missoula October 6-8, 2013 for the Growing Leaders Youth Summit to plant big ideas about how to diversify the future of food. It was the largest event of its kind in Montana and showed that a #YouthFoodRevolution is gaining momentum in Big Sky country. What's next? You decide. www.farmtocafeteria.ncat.org The 2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit was produced by NCAT and...

Victoria Pozos Bernal, a Food, What?! alumna from Watsonville, CA, spoke about her experience growing up the daughter of a farm worker and the role it played in her transformation from summertime raspberry picker to full-time food justice activist. Over 100 high school students, educators, and activists converged in Missoula October 6-8, 2013 for the Growing Leaders Youth Summit to plant big ideas about how to diversify the future of food. It was the largest event of its kind in Montana and showed that a #YouthFoodRevolution is gaining momentum in Big Sky country. What's next? You decide. www.farmtocafeteria.ncat.org The 2013 Growing Leaders Youth...

Do you market lamb directly to consumers? Learn to use your hands to tell when a lamb is finished! Companion fact sheet available at https://attra.ncat.org/product/putting-a-hand-on-them-how-to-tell-when-your-lamb-is-finished/ Learning to master correct live-animal evaluation of fat lambs will help you provide a superior, differentiated product to your customers. It also can reduce the overall cost of producing a premium lamb by more accurately determining when the animal is finished, thereby better controlling feed costs. Whether you're a producer or you raise lambs for your own consumption, this video will answer the question, "When is my lamb ready to be butchered?"...

Dr. Michel Cavigelli, a soil scientist at the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Maryland, talks on "Organic Research and Needs: Cover Crops, Crop Rotation, and Soil Health" at the 2013 Montana Organic Association meeting at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana. He is lead scientist of a long-term cropping systems project evaluating the sustainability of organic and conventional methods....

Doug Crabtree and partner Anna Jones-Crabtree operate Vilicus Farms, a diverse dryland crop farm based 36 miles northwest of Havre. Growing certified organic heirloom and specialty crops within a 5-year rotation of small grains, oilseeds, broadleaf, and legume crops, Vilicus Farms practices advanced land stewardship at a scale that matters. Doug and intern Nathan Austin-Powell spoke about the operation during the 2013 Montana Farmers Union annual meeting in Great Falls, Montana....

This calculator provides a simple and prompt means of analyzing your grazing program as your work your way through the grazing season. It will make management decisions much easier and give you confidence that you are on track with your grazing plan....

During the October 2013 Montana Farmers Union state meeting in Great Falls, Montana, Dr. Clain Jones of Montana State University discusses past and ongoing research projects in the state on the effectiveness of cover crops....

A thank you message from the National Center for Appropriate Technology. (NCAT)...

Ann Baier is an organic program specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology. She is a U.C. Davis graduate with a Master of Science degree in International Agriculture Development and Agronomy. She has experience providing training and education to minority and limited resource farmers. She also is an inspector for the California Certified Organic Farmers and was the Executive Director of Roots and Wings, a nonprofit organization that provides farm- and garden-based education and training programs to young people. Ann was keynote speaker June 5, 2013 at a pastured poultry workshop in Hamilton, Montana. The workshop was presented by the National...

Jim Adkins, founder of the International Center for Poultry (ICP), located in Old Fort, North Carolina, addresses that question and others during a March 2013 workshop in Great Falls, Montana. The workshop was presented by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, and Salish-Kootenai College. It was funded by the USDA Risk Management Agency. For the past thirty years, Jim has raised over fifty breeds and varieties of standard bred poultry (that includes chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys). In 1994, he received his poultry judging license from the American Poultry Association which has taken him to thirty...

Janie Burns raises grass-fed lamb and pastured poultry on her 10 - acre Meadowlark Farm south of Nampa, Idaho. Over the past 24 years, she also has raised a wide variety of crops and sold to restaurants CSDs and retail stores. In 2003, she and a business partner began HomeGrown Poultry, LLC, a poultry-processing business in New Plymouth, Idaho. In addition to her faming and business ventures, Janie is on the board of the Treasure Valley Food Coalition and the advisory committee of the University of Idaho's Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. She has previously served on the board...

This webinar covers how TSPs, NRCS personnel, and Conservation Planners of all types can promote sound environmental practices that enhance biodiversity conservation and improve the production capabilities of organic farm, ranch, wild crop harvest, and handling operations. National Organic Program (NOP) regulations require the conservation of soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife resources. Recently, the NOP modified its auditing of organic certification agencies, which is resulting in more scrutiny being paid to conservation by organic operations. This webinar discusses how conservation professionals can instruct existing and transitioning organic operators to maintain and improve the natural resources on their working lands through the...

"Pastured Poultry Production and Profitability" covers the basics of pastured poultry production as well as common advantages and pitfalls of getting started in the business and keys to keeping operations profitable. It was offered by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Montana Mission Mountain Food and Cooperative Development Center, and Salish Kootenai College as part of the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) education and community outreach program. It also announced a Montana-based pastured poultry production and marketing workshop series set to begin in March. NCAT Sustainable Poultry Specialist Terrell "Spence" Spencer will be the webinar presenter. While this webinar will kick off the...

This webinar is presented by Harriet Behar, organic specialist with Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES, organic inspector, and approved Technical Service Provider (TSP) with the NRCS. She takes participants on a virtual tour of a farm, identifying conservation concerns and possible mitigation strategies to address those concerns as well as areas that affect organic certification. In addition, she covers the manner in which these issues will be incorporated into the written NRCS Conservation Activity Plan 138 for the transition to organic. The webinar will be the third in a four-part series providing aid to those who might want to become...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, with funding from the National Network of Public Health Institutes, held a statewide meeting on October 12, 2012, to discuss the obstacles and opportunities of having more fresh, nutritious, locally grown food in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-care institutions. Farmers, ranchers, health institution officials, and others gathered at the NCAT headquarters in Butte, Montana, to take part. Dave Prather, General Manager of Western Montana Growers Cooperative, delivered one of the keynote addresses....

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, with funding from the National Network of Public Health Institutes, held a statewide meeting on October 12, 2012, to discuss the obstacles and opportunities of having more fresh, nutritious, locally grown food in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-care institutions. Farmers, ranchers, health institution officials, and others gathered at the NCAT headquarters in Butte, Montana, to take part. Mark Branovan, Hospitality Services Director at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, delivered one of the keynote addresses....

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) with 10 partners are offering a webinar series on how to become a Technical Service Provider (TSP) for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and assist transitioning and certified organic producers. The webinars are part of an NRCS National Conservation Innovation Project. "Doing NRCS Conservation Activity Planning for Organic Farmers and Ranchers" is presented by Katy Green, who is perhaps the most experienced TSP working with NRCS and organic producers in the United States. Katy will share her efforts at developing conservation activity plans in compliance with NRCS standards (known in NRCS lingo as...

In "Becoming a Technical Service Provider for NRCS: An Introduction," Harriet Behar with the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) begins a four-part webinar series with an introduction that will help you navigate the process to become a Technical Service Provider (TSP) to the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Technical Service Providers (TSPs) are individuals or businesses with technical expertise in conservation planning and design for a variety of conservation activities. TSPs are hired by farmers, ranchers, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, or public agencies to provide these services on behalf of the NRCS. The webinar also discusses the Conservation Activity...

This webinar, broadcast October 25, 2012, focuses on tools and techniques for small-scale crop production. National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Agriculture Specialist Andy Pressman discusses the importance of investing in good quality and well-designed tools, their different purposes, and how to use them to properly plant and maintain crops....

From a conservation perspective, biodiversity and protection of natural resources are covered in the National Organic Program's (NOP) regulations. Biodiversity conservation is part of the definition of organic farming, and the NOP requires that farmers and ranchers maintain or improve their soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. In addition, seven other NOP regulations relate to biodiversity and natural resource conservation. This webinar explores NRCS Conservation Practice Standards that help operators meet these NOP requirements, including those protecting resources, providing conservation buffers, and supporting wildlife habitat. It includes a discussion of the Live Earth Farm's conservation efforts near Watsonville, California. The...

The USDA Organic Rules require a soil-building crop rotation that controls erosion, maintains or improves soil organic matter content, manages deficient or excess plant nutrients, and provides for crop pest management. Sod, cover crops, green manure crops, catch crops, and various mulches are included in the rotation to perform these functions, which correspond to the purposes for NRCS Conservation Practices such as Conservation Crop Rotation, Cover Crop, Strip Cropping, and Nutrient Management. Because organic producers do not use synthetic fertilizers and can use only a very limited list of pesticides or fungicides, they depend to a greater degree on crop rotation...

Florida Organic Growers (FOG)lead NRCS staff on short virtual tours of three certified organic operations in Florida and Puerto Rico. Each organic grower touches on the philosophical and practical aspects of growing organic crops in semi tropical and tropical regions -- including their main production challenges and successes. They also discuss the ways they manage their soils, water, crops, wildlife, and other resources. The growers point out the ways they conserve natural resources in their farms while also identifying areas in they need support to increase their resource conservation. The webinar is being presented by NCAT with funding through the...

This webinar addresses multi-species cover crops that can be used to improve soil health, increase biological diversity, and benefit the bottom line in no-till grain operations. An increasing number of grain farmers are experimenting with these "cocktails" of cover crops such as legumes, grasses, and companion crops to keep the soil covered year-round. During this webinar, Jay Fuhrer, District Conservationist with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Bismarck, North Dakota, shared his experience with this innovative no-till approach. Fuhrer presented four on-farm case studies to illustrate how to successfully use cover crop "cocktails" to enhance crop production and livestock forage...

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food is a USDA initiative to promote sustainable local and regional food systems that will support small and mid-sized farms and ranches, promote healthy communities and protect our natural resources....

Grass-finished beef can command higher market prices and help a rancher's bottom line. During this webinar you'll learn how ranchers are using more pasture and less grain to produce high quality beef, and how ranchers who raise grass-finished beef find ways compete in the market place. Several challenges in grass-based meat production exist, especially for small-scale producers who have a hard time finding access to processing plants and penetrating local markets. Presenters for this webinar were NCAT agriculture specialists Jeff Schahczenski and Lee Rinehart. Jeff Schahczenski, an agriculture economist in NCAT's Montana office, has expertise in agricultural public policy and alternative...

In this podcast, we hear from Tammy Howard, agriculture specialist at NCAT's Rocky Mountain West office in Butte, Montana, and David Wise, certified Produce Safety trainer and consultant. They talk about a new tool to help farmers navigate the complicated food safety regulatory environment. The Farmer Regulatory Toolkit helps farmers understand the different regulations that might apply to them based on their size and markets. It also provides an additional tool to conduct a quick food safety self-assessment. This innovative tool will create a document that can be used to present to buyers or any markets that may be requiring...

In this episode, Rockiell Woods, director of NCAT's Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, begins an occasional series on scaling up agriculture operations with Bill Evans, director of horticulture with Up in Farms Food Hub in Jackson. Rockiell and Bill talk about when scaling up – increasing production or investing in ways to reduce costs – is appropriate. They also set the stage for discussing other issues a small producer considering scaling up would need to address, such as marketing, finance, and labor costs. For more information on this subject, you can contact Rockiell Woods directly via email at rockw@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Food...

In this episode, Martin Guerena, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program talks with "Amigo Bob" Cantisano. Bob is a pioneer in California organic agriculture, and he is well known as the founding organizer of the annual Ecological Farming Conference, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020. It is one of the largest sustainable agriculture gatherings in the western United States. Martin works at NCAT’s Western Regional office in Davis, California. Martin and Bob discuss the history of organic agriculture and what Bob sees as its challenges and opportunities going forward, including regulatory practices, labor challenges, and increased...

In this episode, Margo Hale, Regional Director of NCAT's Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks with Dr. Anne Fanatico about ecological poultry production and alternative feeds for poultry diets. Anne teaches and conducts research at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. They talk about poultry feed and alternatives to the standard corn and soybean diet, including insects, worms, and potatoes. They also discuss practical tips for ecological poultry production. For more information on this topic, you can contact Margo Hale directly at margoh@ncat.org. ATTRA Resources: Pastured Poultry Nutrition and Forages Pastured-Raised Poultry Nutrition Poultry Production: Providing Adequate Methionine Integrating Livestock and Crops Vermicomposting: The Basics Other...

In this episode, Felicia Bell, agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation with Tracy Galloway, of Galloway Family Farm near Ocean Springs, Mississippi, about how to add value to an existing farm through agritourism. Tracy is a third-generation family farmer who began to transition his farm to a tourist destination three years go with tours, education, special events, and products for sale. Felicia Bell is located at NCAT's Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi. Related ATTRA Resources: Entertainment Farming and Agritourism Agritourism Promotes Local-Goods Purchasing Tips for Selling With: Agritourism and "Pick-Your-Own" Other Resources: Iowa State University resources and risk-management for agritourism Galloway Family...

In this episode, Omar Rodriguez, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation about biostimulants with Meerae Park, a master’s degree student in the Plant Sciences Department at the University of California Davis. Omar, who works out of NCAT’s Western Regional Office in Davis, California, and Meerae give an overview of biostimulants – which are generally described as substances that aren’t fertilizers, pesticides, or growth regulators but can affect plants’ yield, quality, and vigor. They discuss categories of biostimulants, how they may affect plants, the sometimes difficult task of defining which substances are biostimulants, how farmers can...

In this episode, Margo Hale, director of NCAT Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, discuss some timely spring topics that are impacting their own farms: pastures, parasites, and predators. Margo and Linda, whose farms are both in the Fayetteville area, talk about handling excess forage, electronet tips and warnings, weeds and poisonous plants, and grazing recordkeeping. They also touch on pasture management to minimize internal parasite problems and the use of livestock guardian animals to protect stock from predation.  They refer to a number of resources and invite listeners to...

In this episode, Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Nicole Masters, a New Zealand agroecologist and director of Integrity Soils. Kara, who works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, caught up with Nicole via telephone while Nicole was visiting a client in Big Timber, Montana. They talk about ways in which the "soil microbiome" system that acts as a plant's digestive system mirrors the microbiome of the human digestive system. They discuss how to understand the health of an agricultural operation's soil microbiome, and they talk about ways regenerative...

In this episode, John Wallace, manager of NCAT's SIFT farm, talks with Robin Kelson of the Good Seed Company in Whitefish, Montana. Robin and John discuss questions that beginning seed savers often have as well as resources that are available for those who want to get into the subject in more depth.
By John Wallace, NCAT Agriculture Specialist...

In this second half of a two-part series, Steve Thompson, executive director of NCAT, sits down with Loren Birdrattler, project manager of the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan, or ARMP. They take a closer look at a new partnership between NCAT and the Blackfeet Nation to evaluate the feasibility of a multispecies meat-processing plant. This project is a key part of the Tribe’s strategy to create local markets for producers, engage youth more directly in agriculture, and provide healthy, culturally appropriate food for tribal members in this remote corner of rural Montana. In this episode, Loren and Steve have a conversation...

In this first part of a two-part series, Steve Thompson, executive director of NCAT, sits down with Loren Birdrattler, project manager of the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan or ARMP. They talk about a new partnership between NCAT and the Blackfeet Nation to evaluate the feasibility of a multispecies meat processing plant. This project is a key part of the Tribe’s strategy to create local markets for producers, engage youth more directly in agriculture, and provide healthy, culturally appropriate food for tribal members in this remote corner of rural Montana. They also talk about the landscape, culture and history of land...

In this episode, Nina Prater, a soil specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, sits down for a conversation with NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale to talk about the basics of soil health and to go over the five soil health principles that farmers and ranchers can follow to regenerate soil to a healthy, productive condition. Margo is a livestock specialist, and she earned two degrees in Animal Science without a single soil class. Nina tries to remedy this around the office on a regular basis, so they decided to record one of these conversations. Margo and Nina both...

Down in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Hilltop Gardens Farm Manager Andy Cruz discusses using sorghum-sudangrass as a cover crop in subtropical climates. Andy explains how to plant sorghum-sudangrass, its benefits, and how it positively affects the soil health on the farm. This video is part of NCAT's Subtropical Soil Health Initiative funded by USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant #69-3A75-17-281. For more on cover crop use in subtropical climates, read the NCAT publication: Cover Crop Options for Hot and Humid Areas...

How do organic farmers feel about crop insurance? Do they need it? Do they want it? And are they happy with the choices available to them? Dr. Eric Belasco will present results from a large national survey of over 1,000 sustainable and organic growers. Dr. Belasco is Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics & Economics at Montana State University. This webinar is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2014-51300-22224....

In this episode, Ann Baier, a program specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with California pastured poultry producers Caleb Barron of Fogline Farm on the central coast of Santa Cruz and Gary Roberts of Zenter’s Fogbound Farm in Petaluma during a break at the recent Small Farm Conference at the University of California Davis. Ann, who works out of NCAT’s California office in Davis, talks with Caleb and Gary about the essential role that the availability of processing – and the processing rules that go along with operations of varying sizes – plays in pastured processing. For more information on...

In this episode, Al Kurki, a program specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, interviews Karla Buck, co-owner of Bear Paw Meats in Chinook, Montana. Al, who works out of NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks with Karla about how the Bucks raise, process, and market meat to school districts in the area surrounding their business. For more information on this topic, you can contact Al Kurki directly at akurki@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Farm to School Sales. Profiles of Ranches Making it Work Other Resources: Bear Paw Meats Bear Paw Meats Facebook Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 800-346-9140 or...

In this episode Dave Scott, agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, sits down with Korey Fauque, a farmer of 4,500 acres and owner of KW Insurance, a crop insurance company in Sunburst, Montana. He has an Agriculture Technology degree from Montana State University Northern in Havre, Montana. Dave Scott is located at NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West Office in Butte, Montana. In this podcast, Dave and Korey talk about soil health and regenerative agriculture, which is the use of agriculture practices that mimic nature. They discuss the Five Principles of Soil Health, which are: 1) Minimum disturbance; 2) Roots in the...

In this episode, Andy Pressman, director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Northeast Regional Office in Keene, New Hampshire, and a specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with two farmers with differing experiences in offering Community Support Agriculture – or CSA – subscriptions to their customers. Sam Humphrey, director of the NCAT Demonstration Farm at Piney Woods School near Jackson, Mississippi, joins in the discussion along with Christine Doherty Pressman, of the Foggy Hill Farm near Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Christine, who is married to Andy, has nearly 20 years worth of experience with CSAs. By contrast, the most recent...

In this episode Guy Ames, horticulture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program at NCAT’s Southeastern Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks with Jared M. Phillips, author of the new book Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks. In his book, Jared writes about the back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s and 1970s and how that counterculture affected the Arkansas Ozarks. Jared holds a doctorate in American history and is assistant professor of international studies at the University of Arkansas. He lives and works on a small, traditional farm outside of Prairie Grove, Arkansas. In this podcast, Guy and Jared also talk about...

In this podcast, Rex Dufour, director of NCAT’s Western Regional Office in Davis, California, talks with Omar Rodriguez, sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, about working with California farmers to establish hedgerows. Hedgerows provide many benefits to farms in addition to adding beauty. They play an important role in pest management and help prevent erosion as well as create visual and dust barriers. Omar and Rex also discuss preparing the ground for planting a hedgerow and what kinds of plants are commonly used. For more information on this topic, you can contact Rex and Omar directly at rexd@ncat.org and omarr@ncat.org. Related...

In this episode, Madelynn Nelson, an AmeriCorps member serving with Energy Corps as a sustainable-agriculture farm-energy educator at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks with West Virginia farmer and beekeeper Eric Grandon. Eric, an alumnus of the Armed to Farm training for veterans offered by NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, runs Sugar Bottom Farm in Clay County, West Virginia. After farming for just five years, Eric and Sugar Bottom Farm won the Conservation Farm of the Year for 2018 in West Virginia’s Elk Conservation District. Eric and Madelynn talk about farm energy conservation and using solar power on the farm as well...

In this episode, Lee Rinehart, a specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, takes a break during the 2019 Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Conference to talk with commercial fisherman Steve Kurian. Steve is the owner of Wild for Salmon, which directly markets fresh and frozen wild salmon caught in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Lee, who works out of NCAT's Northeast Regional Office in Keene New Hampshire, introduces Steve, followed by a conversation about sustainable fishing practices and their effect on waterfront communities. They also discuss Steve’s business model, including a Community Supported Fishery, similar to the Community Supported Agriculture – or CSA...