goat with baby

Risk Management in the Real World

It is always challenging to be a farmer, with so many things outside our control: the weather, of course, but customers, markets, and supply chains can also shift as unpredictably as the summer rain.
By Nina Prater, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

Ready for the Future? Climate Disruption and Crop Insurance

Craig Schmitt, a long-time organic grain farmer from Wolf Point, Montana, has some problems doing the right thing. Having just recently recovered from a bout with COVID-19, he feels lucky to be well again. However, being ill put him behind on seeding and he is almost always worried about enough rain to bring his crops to fruition. Montana is a semi-arid dryland farming area, and that means that using cover cropping (or green manures), minimizing tillage, and optimizing soil moisture is tricky.
By Jeff Schahczenski, NCAT Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist

Safety Nets and the Polar Vortex

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the polar vortex that hit the United States in mid-February: leaving people in Texas without power for up to two weeks, coming within five minutes of crashing the entire Texas power grid, and devastating farms and ranches across the state, including some good friends of mine. It was a “teachable moment” for sure, offering lessons about climate disruption and power industry deregulation among other things. As someone who spent several years working on improving crop insurance for organic farms, the storm also got me thinking about safety nets: who has them and why some people don’t.
By Mike Morris, NCAT Southwest Regional Director

Episode 196. Beekeeping and Agritourism

Multiple income streams can help farmers creatively overcome…

Connecting with the Customer

Before I get into another blog post on farm marketing, I need to tell you that I am a dreamer. I was the high school kid who participated in mock government and wrote bills to solve all the county’s issues. I went into the Peace Corps. I’ve only ever held a job working with and for the public and nonprofit sectors. Somewhere, deep inside of me, hidden beneath veneers of humor and rational thinking, is an optimist.
By Daniel Prial, NCAT Community Food Specialist
tomatoesUSDA photo by Lance Cheung

The Science and Art of Product Pricing

In this webinar, Gail Nickel-Kailing, an experienced food marketing…

Episode 190. Alderspring Ranch. Part 2

This episode of Voices from the Field is the second in a two-part…

Episode 189. Alderspring Ranch. Part 1

This episode of Voices from the Field is the first in a two-part…

Looking for Federal Assistance? We’ve Got a One-Stop Shop for You!

I’ve been on staff for decades at the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), which has, over the years, managed a wealth of projects related to sustainable agriculture, sustainable energy, and sustainable communities. Throughout that time, one of the most common questions we consistently receive from our clients is some version of “Is federal assistance available for my project?” And the simple answer is “Yes, lots!”
By Cathy Svejkovsky, NCAT Publications Director

Techniques for Selling the Farm Story

Because our farm brand is your farm story, here are some ways that will spice up your farm brand and give you new ways to connect to your customers that you can explore. The point of all this is to better understand how to connect a story with its audience.
By Daniel Prial, NCAT Community Food Specialist