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Business Planning and Management

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...

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?"...

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...

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...

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...

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

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, Sue Beckwith and Mike Morris, co-authors of the new workbook 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, Martin Guerena, 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, 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, we talk with Mike Andreas of Andreas Homestead near Raleigh, North Carolina. 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.
This episode features an Interview with Aldo Andres Marega, organic farmer from El Gauchito Hill Farm in Yolo County, California. The interview includes: biography, first years of experience, farmers markets and restaurant sales, challenges or challenges of fertilization and pest control, and advice for beginning farmers. With Martin Guerena, NCAT program specialist.
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 series of podcasts, Thomas Schroeder, Sustainable Ag Specialist in NCAT's Southwest reginal 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 NCAT's Southwest regional 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.
In this series of podcasts, Thomas Schroeder, Sustainable Ag Specialist in NCAT's Southwest regional 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 addresses changes the farm made in how it harvests its crops and the value of GAP and FSMA audits in determining practices to make their produce safer.

In this episode, NCAT specialist Martin Guenera interviews Aldo Andres Marega, an organic farmer from El Gauchito Hill Farm in Yolo County California. The interview includes: biography, first years of experience, farmers markets and restaurant sales, challenges or challenges of fertilization and pest control, and advice for beginning farmers....

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. Martin Guenera dirige la entrevista....

In this episode, NCAT Regional Office Director Rex Dufour talks with California farmer Chris Hay about crop planning, including pricing and labor costs....

In this episode, NCAT Program Specialist Martin Guerena interviews organic famer Luis Guevara of Rancho La Familia from Santa Maria California. It includes his biography; 38 years of farming experience; early years and markets; reasons for diversification; current markets; production challenges; climate change challenges; pest control techniques; fertilization practices; compost; cover crops; rotations and advice to new and beginning farmers....

In this episode, NCAT Program Specialist Martin Guerena interviews Martin Barnes of Capy Organics in Yolo County, California. The interview touches on the farm's early years and starting the Davis farmers market; its first crops; diversification of crops; the transition from markets to CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture); the expansion to Southern California and the Pacific Northwest; technological innovation; expanding its CSA to 50,000 customers; its pest challenges then and now; its fertilization program with compost and foliar applications; and Martin's advice to beginning farmers on land and markets....

Entrevista con Luis Guevara agricultor orgánico del Rancho La Familia de Santa María California. La Entrevista incluye: biografía, experiencia de 38 años como agricultor, principios, mercados, diversificación de productos, expansión de mercados, desafíos de producción, cambio climático, control de plagas, fertilización, rotación de cultivos y consejos para agricultores principiantes....

Robert Maggiani, a horticulture specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, talks with Larry Butler, co-owner of Boggy Creek Farm in Austin, Texas. They talk about the farm and the value added products it has sold over the years. The farm's website is available here. There is a short description of the farm here. The conversation is part of the Beyond Fresh project, a SSARE-funded project with the following objectives: 1. Research opportunities for value-added processing of sustainably grown fruits and vegetables in Texas, with special attention to the appropriate scale of production. 2. Increase the sales and profitability of value-added products...

You've gone to great effort to raise a nice set of finished lambs and have them processed. Now what? It's great if you can sell them all as wholes or halves. But maybe you can't. How do you go about pricing individual cuts for profit? What is the smallest lamb that you should have in your direct-market program? How do you price high-demand cuts to cover the lower pricing of lesser-demand cuts? In the maze of cuts and cut prices, what is your profit per lamb? An interview with ATTRA Livestock specialist Dave Scott will answer these questions and more....

For Texas growers who want to sell to grocery retailers and major distributors, a written farm food-safety plan is mandatory. This webinar, "Food Safety for Organic Growers in Texas," addresses the basics of a farm safety plan and how to get GAP certified. It also provides an update on revisions to the Food Safety Modernization Act. Presenters are Susie Marshall, President of the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA) and Dr. Juan Anciso, Extension Specialist in Vegetables and Citrus, Texas A & M University. The webinar was being funded by USDA-Rural Development....

Mike Morris discusses his work on farm energy audits and the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) at the first Energy Training for Agriculture Professionals (ENTAP) held in 2009....

This video follows a farm family as they grow hydroponic tomatoes from seed all the way to selling at the Fayetteville Farmers' Market....