10 CENTS A MEAL FOR MICHIGAN'S KIDS & FARMS
Michigan’s innovative 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan's Kids & Farms program has released its 2018-2019 Evaluation Results. The 57 former grantees purchased 93 different fruits, vegetables, and beans, grown by 143 farms located in 38 Michigan counties, and involved 20 additional businesses such as processors, distributors, and food hubs.
A Call to Build Trust and Center Values in Foods Systems Work
In September of 2019, 70 people from across the U.S. came together to learn from each other about the work of coordinating state level food system plans. The initial intention for this gathering was to surface promising practices of developing and implementing food systems plans—meaning guiding documents, such as the Michigan Good Food Charter or the Vermont Farm to Plate Strategic Plan, that are developed with public input, set out a vision for the food system of a particular place, and identify high priority policies and strategies.
A Guide to Water Quality, Climate, Social, and Economic Outcomes Estimation Tools: Quantifying Outcomes to Accelerate Farm Conservation Practice Adoption
This guide by American Farmland Trust provides outcomes quantification information that could be useful to managers of projects funded by NRCS, the USEPA, state and local programs, and corporations with supply chain sustainability goals. The guide features seven water quality tools, three climate tools, one social tool, and three economic tools that can be used without requiring project managers to have computer modeling experience.
Agribusiness Resources for Novel Coronavirus
Michigan State University Extension has compiled a list of financial resources for Michigan farmers. The list includes a list of programs and their descriptions, along with MSU Extension contact information, eligibility and where and how to apply.
Agroecology Now! Transformations Towards More Just and Sustainable Food Systems
This new open access book develops a framework for advancing agroecology in transformations towards more just and sustainable food systems focusing on power, politics and governance. It explores the potential of agroecology as a sustainable and socially just alternative to today’s dominant food regime.
An Evaluation of the Farmers to Families Food Box Program
The Farmers to Families Food Box Program is unique in its role to support both farmers and people who lack the resources to access the food they need,” said Professor Emily Broad Leib, Faculty Director for the Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC). “However, there is tremendous potential for USDA to make changes to support more small- and mid-size farms and farms owned by women and people of color; better alleviate hunger; and mitigate senseless food waste. Our report offers recommendations to strengthen the Program accordingly. It is critical for USDA to address these issues as our economy struggles amid COVID-19; further, with changes, this Program also could serve as the model for a long-term food system solution.
An updated edition of the Funding Sources for Food-Related Businesses directory is now available from the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems.
Farmers, food producers, distributors, food hubs, and other food-related businesses can use this resource to identify national and Michigan opportunities for financial support.
Bee Better Certification
The Xerces Society developed Bee Better Certified to promote pollinator conservation in agriculture. The Bee Better production standards are science-based and field-tested, guaranteeing that the actions farmers take actually improve pollinator well-being.
Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities
A Guide to Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation, Food Systems and Community Development
CONVERSATIONS FROM THE FIELD: CROP INSURANCE FOR ORGANIC OPERATIONS
This resource contains 14 individual case studies—or snapshots—of our conversations with each farmer and agent. You are invited to read through the entire series, or focus on the case studies that are most relevant to you. For example, you may consider finding a farmer whose operation looks similar to yours. Short biographies are included with every case study. Or, maybe you want to learn more about a specific topic.
Certification Review Essentials
This course is for organic certification reviewers and describes how effective reviews of the Organic System Plan (OSP) and inspection report support organic compliance. This course guides certification reviewers through OSP requirements and critical control points, OSP assessment, inspection report review, and applying skills using case scenarios. This course helps reviewers gain confidence in completing effective and efficient reviews that lead to appropriate and defensible certification decisions.
Cleaning and Sanitizing: Scrub Before You Spray!
It's important to remember cleaning and sanitizing are two different things. Cleaning is the physical removal of dirt and filth, whereas sanitizing is the treatment of a surface to reduce the microbes living on a surface. What does the FSMA Produce Safety Rule require in regards to cleaning and sanitizing?
Closing the Loop - Marketing Your Food Safety Certification Slides from Webinar
Food safety certification is no easy undertaking. While there are many reasons to go the certification route, a central reason is market access. Whether you already have a buyer asking for it, hope to gain a new buyer through it, or just want to get ahead of the curve, food safety certification is a useful tool in moving your produce from farm to table. There is a lot more to using this tool than just passing an audit. Once your certification is in hand, how do you communicate it to existing or potential buyers? What types of buyers ask for it? While many guides reference food safety certification, they typically only describe how to get certified, not what happens after.
Economic Landscape, a monthly publication of USDA AMS Agricultural Analytics
The Agricultural Analytics Division (AAD) provides economic, statistical, analytic, and scientific expertise in support of both Agency and industry stakeholders functions consistent with USDA’s scientific integrity policy.
FAQs on American Rescue Plan Debt Relief for Socially Disadvantaged Borrowers
The American Rescue Plan includes provisions for USDA to pay up to 120% of loan balances, as of January 1, 2021, for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Direct and Guaranteed Farm Loans and Farm Storage Facility Loans (FSFL).
FSMA Water Testing Labs in Michigan
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) tasks vegetable and fruit growers with testing their well water and surface water sources for generic E. coli. Enforcement of this water-testing will begin in 2022.
FTC Episode 116: Health Insurance Options – What to Consider During Open Enrollment
For many families, having health insurance is a key factor in determining if a member of the family may take an off-farm job simply for the benefits. Do those benefits outweigh the potential cost of child care? What factors should you consider to matter what your stage of life? We talk about the options to consider during open enrollment.
Face Mask Requirements and the Americans with Disabilities Act: What should farmers markets do to comply with the ADA during the COVID-19 pandemic?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, farmers markets across the country have had questions about how to ensure the health and safety of market vendors and customers by requiring the use of masks at markets. In general, markets have a duty to take reasonable steps necessary to protect the health and safety of market participants. Having a mask policy can help markets mitigate public health risks. However, markets must respect the rights of individuals who are not able to wear a mask due to a disability. Markets can protect themselves from legal risks by assessing their ability to provide reasonable modifications and keeping thorough records of ADA requests.
Farm Commons is a nonprofit organization providing farmers with the proactive legal counsel they need to become the resilient base of a healthy food system
Farm Loan Discovery Tool
Farmers and ranchers can use the Farm Loan Discovery Tool on farmers.gov to find information on USDA farm loans that may best fit their operations. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers a variety of loan options to help farmers finance their operations.
Farmer to Farmer eCommerce Platforms Report
This report synthesizes input from 170 respondents on 23 different platforms and highlights the nine most popular platforms used by the participating farmers.
Farmers Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program
With interest growing nationwide in farming practices that can protect natural resources and reduce the impacts of climate change, this is a key time for producers to explore CSP. This guide is a resource for farmers who want to learn more about CSP or who are thinking about enrolling in the program.
Farmers' Guide to In-Kind Wages
Small, diversified farms may not always have abundant cash available to pay workers, but boy, do they have broccoli! This guide will provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the rules and regulations that apply when paying farm workers "in kind" wages. In-kind wages includes paying farm employees with meals, farm products like meat and vegetables, lodging/housing and other non-cash items of value. From understanding when in-kind wages are allowed, to how to value them, to the tax implications of paying in broccoli, we explore it all. The Appendices provide detailed information about specific issues including the OSHA, migrant/seasonal worker law implications, and tax rulings. The Appendices also provide selected state-specific information. (77 pages)
Farmers’ Guide to Business Structures
Establishing and maintaining the right business structure for your farm operation lays the foundation for a stable, resilient farm business. Forming a business structure can help manage risk by protecting the owners’ assets from the business’ liabilities; promote good business practices through accounting and decision-making protocols; raise funds from outside investors; and ease the ownership transition process. For most farmers and ranchers, choosing a structure is straightforward. Complexity arises when drafting organizing documents to support your structure of choice, or, determining how it will operate.
Farmers’ Guide to the Value-Added Producer Grant Program
This guide includes everything farmers and ranchers need to know about the program to determine if it is a good fit for their operation. Note that the application deadline has been extended until May 4, 2021.
Farmland Access Legal Toolkit
This toolkit explains legal arrangements that provide farmers more affordable and equitable farmland access and help landowners balance earning income for retirement with making their land affordable to the next generation of farmers, and makes useful information available to farmer and landowner advocates.
Financial Risk Management for Specialty Crop Producers
Financial Risk Management for Specialty Crop Producers was developed to provide an in-depth exploration of maintaining, refining, and growing a farm business. It is designed specifically for specialty crop producers with a few years of experience running a farm business, though the information is applicable to farmers at many stages of development. Written by experienced farmers and professionals serving farmers, the text explores the tools for budgeting and financial planning; skills and strategies for accessing capital; structures and considerations for accessing land; crop insurance products; foundational business management practices; and strategic planning for ongoing success. Each chapter includes relevant examples of forms and calculations.
Findings of the 2019 National Food Hub Survey
The 2019 survey builds on results from 2013, 2015, and 2017 to identify trends in food hub operations, economic growth and viability, social mission, and opportunities and challenges faced by food hubs nationwide.
Food Safety Outreach Program
The Food Safety Outreach Program will complement and expand the national infrastructure of the National Food Safety Training, Education, Extension, Outreach, and Technical Assistance Competitive Grants Program. The Food Safety Outreach Program will build upon that national infrastructure, with a sustained focus on delivery of customized training to members of the target audiences. Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially-disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Grant applications will be solicited directly from those in local communities to include those from community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups.
GRASSROOTS GUIDE TO FEDERAL FARM AND FOOD PROGRAMS
Welcome to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs! This guide provides an in-depth look at dozens of federal programs and policies most important to sustainable agriculture, and details how they can be accessed by farmers, ranchers, and grassroots organizations nationwide.
Heirs’ property is property passed to family members by inheritance, usually without a will, or without an estate planning strategy. Typically, it is created when land is passed from someone who dies “intestate,” meaning without a will, to their spouse, children, or others who may be legally entitled to the property. However, even if the person who died had a will, they may still create heirs’ property by leaving the property to multiple heirs. In both instances, the heirs own the property as “tenants in common,” which means they each own an interest in the undivided land. In other words, rather than each heir owning their own individual lot, they all own the whole property. Finally, unless the heirs go to the appropriate administrative agency or court in their locality, and have the title or deed to the land changed to reflect their ownership, the land remains in the name of the person who died. For the heirs, owning property as tenants in common without clear title leads to many problems.
Interpreting Water Test Results
Water testing is an important part of ensuring food safety. The results from these water tests can be confusing. This guidance document addresses how to read and understand water testing results and what to do about them.
Land Reuse and Redevelopment: Creating Healthy Communities. Resource for Urban Agriculture
Land Reuse and Redevelopment: Creating Healthy Communities is a free textbook and community resource providing guidance on reusing land safely. Each section of the book is written by land reuse stakeholders highlighting how ATSDR’s 5-step Land Reuse Strategy is implemented in best practices. It also highlights how safe land reuse can contribute to community resilience, partnerships, and sustainability.
MANRRS Job Hub
Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS) is a national society that welcomes membership of people of all racial and ethnic group participation in agricultural and related science careers. MANRRS members are encouraged to be full participants in other professional societies for their basic disciplinary and career interests. However, MANRRS attempts to provide networks to support professional development of minorities.
Mental Health Resource Promotional Toolkit
This social media toolkit contains season specific content regarding mental health resources for workers in Ag. Be sure to share the winter & spring content through your various social media channels!
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute Farmers or rural entrepreneur in the Midwest are invited to use a free Grants Advising service of the Institute. Grants Advisers help you decide whether a grant would be the best way to achieve your goals.
Michigan Agricultural Mediation Program
Michigan farmers can now mediate a wide range of disputes at no cost through the Michigan Agricultural Mediation Program (MAMP). The 2018 Farm Bill enables the MAMP to mediate agricultural issues involving leases, farm transitions, organic certification, next-door neighbors and more. To request free mediation or for more information, call (800) 616-7863 or go online at www.agmediation.org. All calls are confidential.
Michigan On-Farm Produce Safety Team
Did you know that Michigan produce growers enjoy more on-farm produce safety support than growers in other states? The Michigan On-Farm Produce Safety Team provides FREE educational programs and farm visits through a collaboration between the Michigan Produce Safety Technician Program and members of Michigan State University Extension.
Michigan State University Extension's Farm Business Management programming
Connection to listserv for MSU farm business management event notices, updates to the materials shared during the webinar, answers to common questions, and other useful educational materials.
Midwest Grazing Exchange
A new tool for connecting land with grazers is available that encompasses MN and surrounding states to make crossing state lines easier called the Midwest Grazing Exchange.
Municipal Policy Options for Healthy Food Access in Stores and Restaurants
Municipal Policy Options for Healthy Food Access in Stores and Restaurants. This resource focuses on ordinances and other formalized municipal policies across tax, zoning, licensing and other areas that have been used throughout the country to improve healthy food access and offerings in restaurants and food stores such as grocery stores, corner markets, and bodegas.
NCAT's Beekeeping for Beginners - YouTube
Are you interested in keeping honeybees, or just learning more about them? Or are you a beginning beekeeper who would like to deepen your understanding of honeybees? In this virtual workshop held on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, master beekeeper Ed Levi provided an introduction to beekeeping. Ed served as the Arkansas State Apiary Specialist for over 25 years and has taught beekeepers around the world while also managing his own honeybee hives.
NSAC CFAP 101 for Producers
Starting September 21, 2020, USDA’s Farm Service Agency is accepting applications through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2) for direct aid (payments, not loans) to agricultural producers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Entry Sustainable Farming Project Online Mentor Training Toolkit
Apprenticeship training programs that support mentors with professional development opportunities are in an excellent position to introduce new tools and resources to their mentors. Mentors will benefit from new resources and skills to address the many and nuanced aspects of running an agricultural business while providing a quality educational experience for their trainees.
New Frameworks Guide Conservation Action on America’s Working Rangelands
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is unveiling new action-based frameworks to increase conservation work to address threats facing America’s working rangelands. These frameworks are designed to benefit both agriculture and wildlife in sagebrush and grassland landscapes of the western United States.
Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program
The Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA), provides financial assistance to producers of non-insurable crops to protect against natural disasters that result in lower yields or crop losses, or prevents crop planting.
Ohio State University: Meat Processing Business Tool Kit
This toolkit is a set of resources for entrepreneurs interested in starting or expanding a meat processing facility or those interested in exploring the industry. These resources are tools that entrepreneurs can use as aids in their decision-making processes. The tools in this kit are focused on Ohio, but can be replicated for other geographies. All these tools are meant to be individualized based on an entrepreneur’s unique circumstances and goals. Using these tools does not guarantee success.
Organic System Plans
The Organic System Plan (OSP) is a document that serves as the basis for communication between an organic business, the certifier and the inspector. It is the foundation of the organic certification process. This course teaches requirements related to OSPs in the USDA organic regulations, examines the different functions of the OSP, discusses critical organic control points, and provides OSP evaluation and design considerations for certifiers.
PSA Grower Training Courses
The PSA team fast-tracked an Online PSA Grower Training course option and a Temporary Remote Delivery course option.
PSA Short Videos Available with Spanish Narration
The PSA released three additional short animated videos on handwashing, biofilms, and the On-Farm Readiness Review (OFRR) with Spanish narration. These videos are great for use during PSA Grower Trainings to reinforce the curriculum content and provide a quick brain-break for participant engagement.
Quality Management Systems - A Guide for Food & Farm Businesses
This guide is designed to help food and farm businesses, food hubs, and USDA GroupGAP administrators develop a basic Quality Management Systems to identify and meet customer requirements, and to create systems for continuous improvement.
Quantifying Economic and Environmental Benefits of Soil Health
AFT used partial budget analysis to estimate the net economic benefits eight farmers have experienced from investing in soil health practices (e.g., no-till, strip-till, cover crops, nutrient management, conservation cover, compost application, and mulching). We also used USDA’s Nutrient Tracking Tool and USDA’s COMET-Farm Tool to quantify the water quality and climate benefits of these practices.
Recordkeeping by certified operations and certifiers is a key requirement of organic certification. This course introduces certifiers and inspectors to a variety of recordkeeping systems encountered across the range of certified operations. It also examines challenges created by different operational activities and complexity levels. Finally, this course helps certifiers structure internal and collaborative recordkeeping reviews across operations.
Rural Resilience: Farm Stress Training
In response to a growing rural mental health crisis, National Farmers Union (NFU), Farm Credit, the American and Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) announced a free online training program to help farmers, their families and neighbors identify and cope with stress.
Seven Workforce Questions that Are Top of Mind During COVID-19: A Resource for Small Businesses
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, small businesses and their employees have endured unprecedented challenges. For small business owners, it has become increasingly clear that the safety and stability of their employees is essential for business survival. The Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program interviewed small business owners, business advisors, workforce intermediaries, and small business lenders to learn what kinds of support would be helpful to small business owners and their employees in this extraordinary time.
Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch
Smart Water Use on Your Farm or Ranch spotlights innovative, SARE-funded research into a range of conservation options including soil management, such as using compost, conservation tillage and cover crops; plant management, featuring crop rotation, water-conserving plants and rangeland drought mitigation; and water management strategies such as low-volume irrigation and water recycling.
Soil Health Indicators and Tests
This publication takes a brief look at conservation tillage as it may be applied to organic cropping systems. A number of the most promising strategies and technologies are described, and abstracts of recent research are provided. The focus is on annual cropping systems. Both agronomic and vegetable cropping systems are discussed.
Soil Health “How to” Video Series: How to Benefit from More Diversity
Soil Health: How To… is a video series from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and farmers.gov that features producers overcoming big obstacles in the Southwest through better soil health.
Soil Moisture Data from NASA Available Via New Tool
Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics is a new tool developed by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service in collaboration with NASA and George Mason University. The tool maps soil moisture, providing farmers and ranchers with free access to high-resolution data that can help plan spring planting, track damage after disasters, monitor crop health, and more.
State Partnerships for School Markets
Jenileigh Harris, a National Farm to School Network program associate, talks with Alma Maquitico from Anthony Youth Farm in southern New Mexico. Anthony Youth Farm is a small organic farm that provides farming and training opportunities for rural and low-income youth and sells its products to schools through a purchasing cooperative program facilitated by the New Mexico Public Education Department.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Learning Library
Search SARE-funded books, guides, videos and more.
The Local Food System Response to COVID Resource Hub
Local and regional farms and facilities tend to be more vulnerable to market disruptions as they are operated by smaller, new/beginning, historically underserved or low resourced producers and business owners. This searchable database contains insights and educational material from 16 partner organizations to help local and regional food producers and businesses adapt their market strategies in the current environment.
The Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP)
MAEAP is an innovative, proactive program that helps farms of all sizes and all commodities voluntarily prevent or minimize agricultural pollution risks.
U-Pick, U-Cut and Agri-Tourism Operations required COVID Safety Measures
MDARD has reminded fall and winter agri-tourism operators - cider mills, orchards, corn mazes and pumpkin patches, u-cut Christmas tree sales, etc. - to stay vigilant and follow specific COVID-19 guidance to ensure the safety of all employees and customers. The U-Pick Guidance document includes information on gathering sizes, wearing of face masks, employee exposure, preparedness planning, staff screening, in-person interaction, hand washing and sanitation.
USDA Service Centers Provide Free, One-on-One Help for Farmers
At USDA, we are committed to helping farmers complete loan applications, environmental reviews, and other paperwork free of charge. One-on-one support is available at more than 2,300 USDA Service Centers nationwide. USDA’s Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service staff are usually co-located at these Service Centers and can help guide farmers to the best USDA assistance based on their unique goals, whether it is loans, conservation programs, or insurance.
USDA: Soil Health: How to Use Cover Crops when Facing Many Production Challenges
Soil Health: How To… is a video series from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and farmers.gov that features producers overcoming big obstacles in the Southwest through better soil health.
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Health “How to” Video Series
Here at the Soil Health Theater, you can see and hear from some of America’s top soil health experts and innovative soil health farmers. From video demonstrations on soil health to videos featuring the men and women who are farming with Soil Health Management Systems, see for yourself why there’s a growing movement to “Unlock the Secrets in the Soil.” Producers explain how they increased the quality of their crops, increased water use efficiency, and reduced expensive inputs.
Vermont Law School and NECAFS legal resources for Food Safety Compliance
The Northeast Center to Advance Food Safety at the University of Vermont and the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School are pleased to share legal educational factsheets as an output of their joint project, the Extension Legal Services Initiative. This initiative identified, researched, and developed educational resources related to key legal questions associated with the FSMA Produce Safety Rule.
Virginia Tech Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation Resources
Our resources and partners page coonsists of our library of resources including our news archive and a list of literature that guides our work. We also list our partners on campus, in the community, and from Virginia Cooperative Extension. Our team has also compiled curricular resources for those interested in what's happening with food systems education on the Virginia Tech campus. Last we provide a samling of resources such as academic and professional organizations we participate in as well as a list of frontline organizations working at the intersection of food systems and justice and equity.
What Rules Can A Market Make Regarding Speech?
Many farmers markets have questions about free speech at markets, and in particular, what types of restrictions market rules can place on activities such as leafleting, political campaigning, or protesting. These activities can interfere with the operation of the market. Are farmers markets obligated to allow these types of activities as exercises of free speech under the First Amendment?