Organic farmers look ahead at Wisconsin conference
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Farmers from across the country recently gathered in Wisconsin to envision the future of the organic farming industry.
Missouri farmer charged in $140M organic grain fraud scheme
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Missouri farmer and businessman ripped off consumers nationwide by falsely marketing more than $140 million worth of corn, soybeans and wheat as certified organic grains, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Orchard is site of new University of Idaho organic center
SANDPOINT, Idaho (AP) — An orchard in Sandpoint will be the site of the University of Idaho's new Sandpoint Organic Agriculture Center.
The orchard was donated Aug. 1 to the university by Dennis Pence and his family, the Capital Press reported .
It is the first center in the institution's system to focus on organic farming and production systems, according to the college.
Senators want to bolster research of organic agriculture
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A pair of U.S. senators is introducing legislation designed to improve organic farming research.
Democratic Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine say their legislation would reauthorize and incrementally increase funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative.
Organic grape farming, while common on the West Coast, poses so many challenges on the East Coast that vineyards using such natural processes are few and far between.
Steamy summers, bitterly cold winters, multiple rainy seasons and the proliferation of weeds and insects all conspire against grape farmers wishing to grow their vineyards organically. For Mark Langford, business manager of DiGrazia Vineyards, the extra work is worth the effort.
Organic-food purists assail the designation for hydroponics
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Can a tomato grown in a nutrient solution instead of dirt be called "organic"? Some purists don't think so.
The National Organic Standards Board, which advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture, voted this month against a proposal to exclude hydroponics and aquaponics — the raising of plants without soil and fish using the same water — from the USDA's organic certification program.
Wisconsin still leads in organic farming despite competition
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows Wisconsin remains second in the U.S. for the number of organic farms, despite increasing competition from other states.
The number of organic farms in Wisconsin increased by 6 percent to almost 1,300 operations between 2015 and 2016, Wisconsin Public Radio reported .
Rural living festival to bring thousands to central Maine
UNITY, Maine (AP) — Some 60,000 people are expected to head to Unity, Maine, this week for the state's annual celebration of rural living and organic farming and gardening.
The 2017 Common Ground Country Fair runs from Friday through Sunday. Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners puts on the event every year. The fair presents a series of workshops and events that MOFGA says is geared at celebrating rural life.
FOG celebrates 30 years of healthful food
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Dealing with social justice issues associated with organic farming has been at the core of Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers of Gainesville's work since the group's creation.
Known as FOG, the nonprofit this month will celebrate 30 years of fighting for organic farmers, farm workers' rights and for people on the lower rung of the economic ladder to have access to healthy food.
Both the Gainesville and Alachua County commissions declared July FOG Month.
PAONIA, Colo. (AP) — To see the worst of the coal slump in Colorado, look no further than the state's North Fork Valley. Since 2013, two out of three mines have closed around Paonia. The region has seen a large exodus of miners and their families as the number of mine-related jobs dropped from 950 in January 2010 to just 220 in January 2017.
More farmers eye organic operations amid increased demand
ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — Organic farming proponents say more farmers are looking to adjust their operations to meet the growing demand for organic products.
The Aberdeen American News (http://bit.ly/2lgbfo3 ) reports that the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service says the number of certified organic operations has increased more than 250 percent in the U.S. over the last decade.
Organic farms help Thailand welcome cranes lost for 50 years
BURIRAM, Thailand (AP) — A fuzzy-headed baby sarus crane hatched on a rural farm this fall offers a glimmer of hope for wildlife conservationists, organic farming advocates and a nation grieving after the death of their beloved king. That's because this chubby chick named Rice is the first of its auspicious species to survive after hatching in the wild in Thailand in 50 years.
Agricultural Literacy Week runs Nov. 14-19
MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont is presenting Agricultural Literacy Week centered on local farming, healthy food, and strong communities.
The fifth annual event runs Monday through Saturday and includes activities around the state.
NOFA says many community libraries are participating by showing the movie, Unbroken Ground, having farmer story time, and farmers as guest speakers.
GREENWICH — The 2015 documentary “Polyfaces: A World of Many Choices,” is scheduled to air at Audubon Greenwich on Thursday.
A reception will be held from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by the film and discussion from 7 to 9 p.m.
The film, which has been reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, follows the Salatin family, fourth-generation farmers who immigrate from Australia to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and use organic farming methods that previously were not prominent there.
Report: Organic farming in New York keeps growing
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's organic farming has grown over the past several years, led by milk sales, with agricultural land federally certified organic expanding to 934 operating farms last year, according to the state comptroller's office.
The report Friday shows sales of organic farm products rose from 2008 to 2014 statewide by 56 percent to $164 million. Sales jumped another 35 percent last year to $221 million, according to another federal report.
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's organic-certification program is at risk as the Department of Agriculture faces a $125,000 budget shortfall.
Since 2011 the department has overseen the organic farming program with funds coming from fees charged to organic farmers and food processors, The Santa Fe New Mexican reported (http://bit.ly/2aDavnc). Now the program is underfunded and has just two people overseeing certifications and inspections for about 150 producers...
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