Podcasts

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 website Bear Paw Meats Facebook Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture questions at 1-800-346-9140...

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 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. ATTRA publications: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects Companion...

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...

In this episode, NCAT community foods outreach specialist Daniel Prial, and Andy Pressman, director of NCAT’s Northeast Region office in Keene, New Hampshire, talk to Atina Diffley, author of Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, a 2013 Minnesota Book Award winner. Both Andy and Daniel work with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Atina is a Minnesota organic farmer and public speaker. Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works is a memoir based on Atina’s life running the Gardens of Eagan organic vegetable farm. Her advocacy has addressed the pressures of suburban development, and she successfully led a legal and citizen campaign...

In this podcast, Robert Maggiani, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Juan Raygoza about his farm in South Texas. Juan moved to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas in 2007 with little money. His goal was to farm vegetables for his family. At first he borrowed land to farm, and then was able to purchase seven acres with the help of a USDA loan and is now owner of Terra Preta Farm in Edinburg, Texas. NCAT has worked with him on several projects over the past five years and helped...

In this episode, Sue Beckwith and Mike Morris, co-authors of the new book Beyond Fresh: a Food Processing Guide for Texas Farmers, discuss the book and the issues it addresses. The book, a workbook, is focused mostly on Texas farmers, helping them decide whether they should move beyond just selling fresh and whole fruits and vegetables by trying to create and sell value-added food products. Beyond Fresh isn’t a how-to book for creating particular products. Rather, it looks at product development, storage and distribution, regulations, labeling, market trends and more – as part of determining whether a product will be profitable for...

In this episode, we hear a conversation between Rockiell Woods, director of NCAT’s Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson, Mississippi, and Sam Humphrey, director of the NCAT Demonstration Farm at Piney Woods School near Jackson. The purpose of the farm is to give hands-on training to farmers and producers in the region, as well as to the students of Piney Woods. This Demonstration Farm is part of Mississippi Food Justice Collaborative, NCAT’s multifaceted food-justice project, which is working to improve access to healthy, culturally appropriate food for historically disadvantaged communities throughout Mississippi. It’s funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Rockiell, a sustainable agriculture...

In this podcast, Tammy Howard, a horticulture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with Anna Elbon and Kim Gilchrist about their low-income local-food access work with farms and farmers markets in Montana. Anna Elbon owns Glacier Tilth Farm in Dixon, Montana, with her husband Matthew Whyatt. They started accepting SNAP cards for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program last year. Kim Gilchrist is a food access program manager at the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition in Missoula, Montana. She helped start the Double SNAP Dollar program which is a SNAP incentive program for farms, farmers markets, and some retail locations throughout Montana. Tammy works at...

In this episode, Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with the NCAT ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Kate Greenberg – who at the time was the acting Western program director of the National Young Farmers Coalition and chair of the board of the Quivira Coalition. Kate has since left those positions to become the Colorado Agriculture Commissioner. Kara works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. Their discussion was recorded during the recent “Regenerate” Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was sponsored by the Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and the American Grass-Fed Association. Kara and Kate have a wide-ranging...

In this episode, Felicia Bell, an agricultural specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Dr. Ayanava Mujamdar, an entomology and plant pathology Extension Service specialist at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Felicia works out of the NCAT Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi. Dr. A, as he’s known, talks about creating an Integrated Pest Management plan for organic operations that takes into account conditions in the southern states. He talks about a three-step method of organic pest control – cultural practices, exclusion methods, and finally organic bio-insecticides – as well as specific strategies for each. He also emphasizes proper management,...

In this episode, Margo Hale, NCAT's Southeast Regional Director, has a conversation with farmer Terrell “Spence” Spencer about his poultry-processing facility. Margo is a livestock specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program at NCAT’s Southeast office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Spence is a pastured-poultry producer in northwest Arkansas, raising nearly 12,000 broilers on pasture each year. He shares the challenges he has faced in regard to finding a reliable processor for his chickens and how that led to him opening a poultry-processing facility. For more information on this topic, you can contact Margo Hale directly at margoh@ncat.org Resources Mentioned in the Podcast Across the Creek Farm Facebook...

In this episode, Andrew Coggins, the Sustainable Agriculture Project Coordinator with NCAT ATTRA’s SIFT -- Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training program -- talks with John Wallace, who manages NCAT’s SIFT farm. Andrew and John are both specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – and work at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, where the SIFT farm is located. Butte is in a USDA zone 3 area, and its cold climate and short growing season can be … let’s just say challenging. Starting in 2017, the SIFT farm began growing fruit bushes to see which would thrive best in Butte, including...

In this episode, Colin Mitchell, an agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – talks with Daniel Reyes, the founder of the Myco Alliance in Austin, Texas. Colin works out of the NCAT Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. Mycology is the study of fungi, an important topic in agriculture and soil science. Myco Alliance is a science and education company focusing on mycology in the central Texas area. In this podcast, Colin and Daniel cover a range of topics, from raising mushrooms – a type of fungi – to the role of fungi in soil health...

In this episode, Martin Guerana, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – talks with Brett Melone, the Director of Lending with California FarmLink. California FarmLink, which began in 1999, helps beginning, limited-resource, immigrant, and other underserved farmers who are trying to get access to land or financing. It is particularly focused on the Central Coast, Central Valley, and North Coast regions of California. Martin, who works out of the NCAT Western Regional Office in Davis, California, spoke with Brett during the Ecological Farming Association’s recent EcoFarm Conference in Pacific Grove, California. Brett gives advice for...

In this episode, Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, at NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks with Ken Coffey, a Ruminant Nutritionist at the University of Arkansas about strategies for winter ruminant feeding. Linda and Ken, who are married, have raised sheep since 1986. They talk about a number of subjects, including feeding strategies; managing hay waste; assessing hay quality; protecting hay from winter weather; and nutrition and nutrition supplementation. For more information on this topic, you can contact Linda Coffey directly at lindac@ncat.org Related ATTRA Resources: Small Ruminant Resource Manual Ruminant Nutrition for Graziers Sheep: Sustainable...

In this episode, Nina Prater, a soil specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – sits down for a conversation with NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale to talk about Margo’s recent soil test results for her 20-acre livestock farm. Margo and Nina both work out of NCAT’s regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Margo and her family graze cattle and meat goats, and while they have been happy with forage productivity, they wanted to do soil tests to see if there was any room for improvement. Nina and Margo discuss the many, sometimes mystifying, numbers reported on a...

In this episode, Nina Prater, a Soil Specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA – National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – at NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, sits down with Dr. Buz Kloot of the University of South Carolina to talk about a new composting system developed by Dr. David Johnson and Hui-Chen Su Johnson, dubbed the Johnson-Su Composting Bioreactor, which allows for beneficial-fungal growth. The conversation, which took place during the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) 2019 Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, also includes discussion of fungi-to-bacteria ratios as a soil health indicator, the five “Soil Health Principles,” and...

In this episode, Al Kurki, a specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks about growing oilseed and oilseed production with Bob Quinn of Big Sandy, Montana. Bob operates Quinn Farms and the Oil Barn in Big Sandy, Montana. The Oil Barn is a processing plant that produces 100% organic, high-oleic safflower oil that is grown and pressed in Montana. Al and Bob discuss growing oilseeds, processing them on the farm, and marketing the oil to institutional and retail markets – along with some sound advice for producers who might be interested in...

In this episode, Jeff Schahczenski, agricultural and natural resource economist for NCAT’s ATTRA -- the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service -- who works at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks about the current and future development of organic field-crop markets with Jessie Bovay and Ryan Koory. Jessie and Ryan work with Mercaris, a national data service company that explores organic, transitional organic, and non-GMO field-crop prices and performs market analytics and trade identity preserved field-crop production studies. Ryan is a senior economist with Mercaris, and Jessie is director of business development. Organic field-crop markets are often referred to as “thin” markets, which...

In this episode, John Wallace, manager of NCAT/ATTRA’s SIFT farm –  which stands for Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training –  talks with Victorian Tilley about the farm’s shift from growing food to sell to growing food to help meet the nutritional needs of the community through donating to local charities. The SIFT farm is located at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, where John and Victorian both work. Victorian is an Energy Corps member with AmeriCorps and is currently NCAT’s Farm Energy Educator. The farm’s goals in the past were focused on proving economic viability; now it has transitioned toward donating to charitable organizations...

In this episode, Tammy Howard, a specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, has a conversation with Rebeca Nolan of Dusty Hound Farms in Tetonia, Idaho. Rebeca and her wife, Amanda, began the farm in 2016. Rebeca shares their story and the strategies they employ to develop their farm, and she also talks about what she learned during NCAT/ATTRA’s Armed to Farm sustainable agriculture training for veterans. Amanda recently attended on of the Armed to Farm workshops in Montana. You can get in touch directly with Tammy Howard via email at tammyh@ncat.org Dusty Hound...

In this episode NCAT’s Rich Myers has a conversation about Whole Farm Revenue Protection Insurance with Jeff Schahczenki, an agricultural and natural resource economist with NCAT’s ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service. Jeff has more than 30 years of experience working on issues related to sustainable and organic agriculture, with a recent interest in risk management and federal policy. He wrote and help developed a national Organic Research and Education Initiative project entitled, Is Organic Farming Risky? Overcoming and Understanding Crop Insurance Barriers to Expanding Organic Food Production and Markets. He previously worked on a four-year national research project to...

In this episode, Lee Rinehart, a specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – talks with Brian Filipowich of Anacostia Aquaponics in Washington, D.C. Lee works out of NCAT’s Northeast Regional Office in Keene, New Hampshire. Brian has extensive experience with aquaponics systems. He and Lee discuss the history of aquaponics and its integrated production system, as well as the economic factors affecting it. Brian also has some advice about how to explore whether aquaponics is right for you without diving in head first. You can get in touch directly with Lee Rinehart via email at lee@ncat.org Other links...

In this episode, Justin Duncan, a specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – talks with Noah McDonald, the Hamer-Hayes Fellow at the Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON), about efforts to preserve the heritage and lands associated with farmers in the southern regions of the country. Justin works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. Justin and Noah’s informal conversation took place between presentations during the recent Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners National Conference in Durham, North Carolina. You can get in touch directly with Justin Duncan via email at justind@ncat.org SAAFON’s website Here are...

In this episode, Rock Woods, director of the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, talks with Dr. William Evans concerning Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) standards. Dr. Evans is the director of horticulture with Up in Farms LLC. Up in Farms is a food hub located in Jackson. Up in Farms coordinates production schedules with farmers based upon the demand by regional buyers, such as grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and commercial distributors. Up in Farms also provides support and training necessary to deliver high-quality products on time and at a sustainable price. Additionally, the hub aggregates produce directly from...

In this episode Robert Maggiani, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – who works out of NCAT's Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, has a conversation with Thea O’Carroll, the founder and CEO of YieldOrganic. YieldOrganic is an online marketplace based in San Antonio for organic and non-GMO crops. Thea is a fourth-generation farmer, who along with her family, transitioned their northeast Nebraska grain farm to organic about 10 years ago. She and Robert talk about YieldOrganic – how it works and how it came about. You can get in touch directly with Robert...

In this episode, Tammy Howard, a horticulture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA program, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, who works out of NCAT's headquarters in Butte, Montana, sits down with Lawrence Rhone of Farm Retreat Rhone in Flaxville, Montana. Lawrence is a graduate of NCAT's 2017 Armed to Farm training for veterans interested in sustainable agriculture as a career. NCAT has offered numerous Armed to Farm trainings, and the one Lawrence took part in was held in Montana's Mission Valley. Since then, he has made significant progress towards his farm-based retreat center for veterans. In the podcast, he talks about...

Small (Ruminant) Talk - Fall Breeding and Feeding for Sheep and Goats In this episode NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale and Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT's ATTRA the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service, discuss fall and winter production considerations for sheep and goat producers. Their conversation includes preparing your herd/flock for breeding, ewe and ram management, kidding/lambing management, and winter feeding considerations. Related ATTRA resources: Sheep and Goat FAQ's Small Ruminant Toolbox Illustrated Guide to Sheep and Goat Production ATTRA Sheep and Goat Publications Intensive Grazing: One Farm's Set Up Managed Grazing Tutorial Small Ruminant Course You can get in...

In this episode, Daniel Prial, an agricultural specialist for NCAT's ATTRA, the National Sustainable Information Service at the NCAT Northeast Office in Keene, New Hampshire, travels to Five College Farms in Hadley, Massachusetts, to learn about growing organic crops in greenhouse systems. Five College Farms grows heirloom tomatoes and Persian cucumbers in a series of greenhouses. Daniel speaks with Arthur Mulyono, the business manager of Five College Farms, about how the greenhouse operators maintain soil fertility and control pests. They also discuss the unique marketing considerations that go along with selling greenhouse vegetables directly to groceries. The interview was part of Daniel's research...

In this episode, Andrew Coggins of the National Center for Appropriate Technology's Rocky Mountain Region office in Butte, Montana, talks about the process NCAT followed to build two new high tunnels on its SIFT Demonstration farm at the Butte office. The high tunnels were supported in part by a grant from the USDA NRCS's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQUIP). Anyone with questions about applying for the EQUIP program can contact Andrew through the toll free hotline (800-346-9140 or the Spanish language hotline 800-411-3222) or email askanag@ncat.org. Visit our home page to start your search for a wide range of resources on...

In this episode, Dave Scott and Lee Rinehart, both specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA – the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service – have a conversation about regenerative grazing. In particular, Dave, who works out of NCAT headquarters in Butte, Montana, and Lee, a specialist at NCAT’s Northeast Regional Office in Keene, New Hampshire, explore Dave’s decision to move to regenerative grazing at his lamb operation near Whitehall, Montana. The in-depth conversation gets into the process of making the transition and its benefits and obstacles, as well as pest management, fence-line weaning, and other concerns. They also talk about ATTRA resources that are available...

In this episode, we talk with Dave Halpin, a young beginning farmer who, with his wife, has recently reached the “jumping-off point” and has begun planning to begin an operation in St. Charles County, Missouri. After you listen to Dave's story, be sure to check out ATTRA's extensive – and free – resources for beginning farmers. A good place to start is on our Beginning Farmer Page. ATTRA has a wide array of free resources for all aspects of sustainable farming - publications, webinars, videos, databases, and our popular Ask an Ag Expert hotline and email service....

In this episode we talk with Margaret Krome, the Policy Program Director of the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute in East Troy, New York. She is also a board member of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Margaret talks about the impact of the ATTRA program – which is managed by NCAT through a cooperative agreement with USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service – and the important sustainable-agriculture issues she sees going into the future. ATTRA resources on issues Margaret mentions in the episode – soil health, urban agriculture, cover crops, internships, and more – can be found on our website. Press the play button...

In this episode, Rich Myers of the National Center for Appropriate Technology talks with Gil Senger of Candlewick Farms in New York about his experience in the Armed to Farm agriculture-business training for veterans sponsored and hosted by NCAT/ATTRA. To ask a sustainable agriculture expert a question – for free – >go to the Ask an Ag Expert Form. Veteran Resources Press the play button to listen.

In this episode, Rich Myers of the National Center for Appropriate Technology talks with Gil Senger of Candlewick Farms in New York about how starting a Christmas tree farm led him to begin selling mushrooms.

In this episode, National Center for Appropriate Technology Poultry Specialist Kevin Ellis talks with Ty Burk of Westfold Farm in Buda, Texas. Ty talks about the value of heritage poultry breeds and why he's an advocate of fermented feed, among other topics.