Podcasts

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.

In this episode, award-winning cheesemaker Veronica Baetje of Baetje Farms LLC in Missouri talks with NCAT Specialists Linda Coffey and Daniel Prial about the history of the operation -- which started with a goat named Cookie -- and marketing small-ruminant dairy products. Some Related ATTRA resources: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products. Dairy Sheep.

In this episode, NCAT sustainable agriculture specialist Kevin Ellis sits in the cab of a farm truck with Mike Marchand of Whitehurst Heritage Farms to talk about farming livestock in Texas and having to prepare for and deal with the damage caused by hurricane Harvey in the fall of 2017.

In this episode, Daniel Prial of the National Center for Appropriate Technology talks with Abby Ferris, Member Services Coordinator with the National Farmers Union, about the role of her organization and the importance of educating consumers about how the agriculture industry works.

In this episode, NCAT Specialist Linda Coffey talks with Courtney Ross and Audrey Hollis of the United People’s Community Organization Market and Farm in North St. Louis City, Missouri. The mother and daughter discuss how their organization came to be after they observed how getting involved with gardening created interest in food among neighborhood children and how much the children enjoyed taking part in gardening tasks.

In this episode, Rich Myers of the National Center for Appropriate Technology talks with Austin Harley, a second-generation blueberry farmer near Covert, Michigan. Harley talks about changing market strategies as producers in more states choose blueberries as a crop; the labor market, and the challenges of dealing with plant-specific insect pests.

In this episode, NCAT's Daniel Prial has a conversation with Cary Junior of the Southeast Michigan Producers Association. SEMPA is a cooperative of black, rural farmers outside Detroit. Its focus is getting the cooperative's produce into urban areas, especially areas with high food insecurity.

In this episode, we talk with Mike Andreas of Andreas Homestead near Raleigh, N.C. Mike, who has had a successful career in the entertainment industry, and his wife, Lynn, moved to North Carolina. After beginning to raise their own poultry, with help from neighbors, they have begun a small poultry meat business, sustainable raising around 300 to 500 birds each year, as well as 10 to 20 goats, on 10 acres. Mike talks about how after just a few years, others in the area have begun asking them for advice, the challenges of processing in North Carolina, and regenerating the tobacco-depleted land the operation is on.

In this episode NCAT Soil Specialist Nina Prater has a wide ranging discussion with Hannah Smith-Brubaker. Hannah is an organic farmer and co-operator of Village Acres Farm near Mifflintown, PA. She is also a farmer representative on the Northeast SARE Administrative Council and former Pennsylvania Deputy Secretary of Agriculture. Hannah talks about the economic benefits of organic and sustainable agriculture and the importance of including all producers in the conversation regardless of their current practices. She notes the strides being made by organic agriculture in Pennsylvania, including high rates of cover cropping and commitment by state government. She also describes her family's long history of organic farming.

Interview with Aldo Andres Marega organic farmer from El Gauchito Hill Farm in Yolo County California. The interview includes: biography, first years of experience, farmer's markets and restaurant sales, challenges or challenges of fertilization and pest control, and advice for beginning farmers. With Martin Guerena, NCAT program specialist.

Entrevista con Aldo Andres Marega agricultor orgánico de El Gauchito Hill Farm en Yolo County California. La entrevista incluye: biografía, primeros años de experiencia, mercados de agricultor y ventas a restaurantes, retos o desafíos de fertilización y control de plagas, y consejos para agricultores principiantes. Con Martin Guerena, NCAT especialista del programa.

In this episode, Luke Freeman, horticulture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, talks with Hannah Hemmelgarn, the education program coordinator at The Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri. The conversation focuses on the wide-ranging possibilities of agroforestry and how producers can determine which may work for their operation. Hannah also lists some available resources; also check out NCAT horticultural specialist Guy Ames' publication Fruit Trees, Bushes, and Vines for Natural Growing in the Ozarks.

In this episode, NCAT Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey talks with Tessa McCormick about dairying with Nigerian Dwarf Goats and the process of developing a value-added cheese-making operation. Tessa and her husband Scott own the White River Creamery in Arkansas, where they milk 52 Nigerian Dwarf goats.

In this episode, National Center for Appropriate Technology Poultry Specialist Kevin Ellis discusses the importance of biosecurity measures for pastured and organic poultry flocks.

In this series of podcasts, Thomas Schroeder, Sustainable Ag Specialist in the NCAT Southwest office sat down with Pedro Schambon, owner/operator of My Father's Farm to talk about food safety and scaling up to wholesale markets. My Father's Farm is a certified organic farm situated on 52 acres in Seguin, Texas, growing year round both in-field and in greenhouse settings. Pedro talks in depth about the changes that they needed to make to their facilities, practices and overall approach to food safety, GAP and FSMA as they made the transition from CSA/Farmer's Market grower to Wholesale producer. In this episode, he talks about changes the farm made to safely transport, package, and trace its produce as well as advice for new farmers.

In this series of podcasts, Thomas Schroeder, Sustainable Ag Specialist in the NCAT Southwest office sat down with Pedro Schambon, owner/operator of My Father's Farm to talk about food safety and scaling up to wholesale markets. My Father's Farm is a certified organic farm situated on 52 acres in Seguin, Texas, growing year round both in-field and in greenhouse settings. Pedro talks in depth about the changes that they needed to make to their facilities, practices and overall approach to food safety, GAP and FSMA as they made the transition from CSA/Farmer's Market grower to Wholesale producer. In this episode, he talks about changes the farm make in how it packs produce.