New farmers wanted, organic especially

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by ICT Bill, Oct 28, 2008.

  1. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    This just came in on the ATTRA newsletter, maybe I'll pick up stakes and move west, maybe not :)

    Some states and counties are doing their best to attract new farmers or to promote organic agriculture. In northwest Iowa, for example, a majority of farmers are past the normal age of retirement. Woodbury County has embarked on a program to bring in new farmers, especially those interested in organic production and entrepreneurship. The county is basing its economic development on the creation of small family farms, organic processing, and local food systems.

    In 2005 the county enacted an Organics Conversion Policy that rebates 100 percent of real property taxes for five years to farms that transition to organic production. The policy also commits to finding a market for local organic products, along with financing and educational resources and the counsel of experienced organic farmers. In 2006 Woodbury County adopted the first mandatory Local Food Purchase Policy in the nation.

    Marathon County in north central Wisconsin sponsors the U Can Farm program, inviting farmers and farm businesses to put down roots. The program’s Agribusiness Incubator offers technical assistance for beginning and experienced farmers who want to be part of the local grazing and dairy economy. Contact Tom Cadwallader, Lincoln/Marathon County Extension, 715-536-0304,

    Pennsylvania Center for Farm Transitions helps beginning, retiring, and relocating farmers as well as those who want to change or expand their operations. The center works to assure the future of agriculture in the state. Toll-free telephone: 877-475-2686.
  2. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115


    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    Loading up the truck and heading west
  4. dtally

    dtally LawnSite Member
    Male, from Rock Hill, SC
    Messages: 82


    I had stumbled on this a while back, very informative. How was the show? I tried last minute to get there, but 700 miles was a long drive. Next year I am there.
  5. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    The problem with farming now days is that the gov't wants absolute control over the animals. In the name of mad cow disease and sars they are sticking there nose right in the farmers face. Paying to microchip cattle, notifying the gov't when moving the herd from one farm to another or are your chickens outside in the dangerous air where they might come in contact with pigeons and get sars.

    You see in farming now you do not want free range grass fed cattle or chickens, because the meat, eggs and cheese, are good for you.
    You need to grow the animals in boxes pumped full of high energy cholesterol producing 'feeds' to increase production and save them from the scary sars and mcd.

    Did you know that if you don't feed dead cows to living cows that they won't get mcd?

    If I get time I will have to run up there a talk with Tom and see what he's got going. In the coming months or years , the Victory Garden idea may make another revival. It may not be a good idea to rely on America's Collective Farm system to feed the populous.
  6. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Smallaxe, local and sustainable is, I believe, the future of farming. I heard a great talk by a guy on National public radio about Brazil, they do a 5 years cycle of animals on the land for 3 years and then crops with no till for 2 years and back to animals. This allows the biology and soil to get in balance and then be used for crops, very few inputs as far as fertilizers go, the dung and green crops for 3 years revitalizes the soil.
    They also plant cover crops with the crop
    I am trying to remember the name for the large pens/areas that they hold cattle in, they have a 4 word name for it that escapes me right now. anyway, those large pen areas where the animals stand in one place and get fed are not a very good or sustainable story. They are so afraid of one illness wipeing them all out that they are constantly pumped with anti- whatevers

    Dtally, we had a ball at the show, on Thursday we all went downtown and watched 38 special play at 4th street live. free beer and food at the total landscapes venue, you can't beat that. Thursday was busy and a beautiful day everyone was out playing with the mowers, rideons and backhoes. Friday it rained all day so it was the busiest inside, saturday was kind of flat mostly local folks from a 100 mile radius. all in all it was great and a lot of fun, I was hoping to see you guys come through the booth. Next year
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    There are a lot of ways to improve healthy production of food, but so far 'sustainable' means starvation for huge segments of the population. Harvesting any crop w/out replacing the minerals taken is not 'sustainable' and no-till doesn't magically change that physical law. Having fungi remove every bit of P in the soil for plant availability only means that when it is gone it is even more rundown than what we did in the 'Dust Bowl Days".

    When kitchen waste and bathroom waste are separately and safely recycled into the environment and we quit burying organic waste along side the plastics, clean the eroded OM out of the lakes and streams then you will have made significant steps forward in preserving a piece of ground.

    But we have some religious aversion to cleaning out the waterways. No science backs it up and none of these great gatherings even discuss it. Its like being an infidel for not believing Chicken Little or the nightcrawlers killing the forests or any other lie that we were propagandized [I mean - educated] into believing.
  8. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    Interesting slant for sure, do you have any data on fungi running down the soil to create a "dust bowl" I don't think its possible. Mycorrhizae fungi tap the sun for its food, photosynthesis by the plant provides exudates that feed the fungi through the root. It is a symbiotic relationship

    No till practices use manures and green manures to replace nutrients it does not operate in a vacuum and excuse me for being dense but exactly what huge segment of the population is starving??:confused:

    By leaving the roots of the plants grown in the soil the decaying roots provide food and channels for the root of the next plant grown
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    I believe he is talking about when outputs exceed inputs (correct me if I am wrong Smallaxe), which is typically the case in most all agricultural (and sadly landscape) scenarios. Eventually soil reserves will run out along with the capability to support high yield plant growth.

    Certainly your not serious.

    That doesn't cut it. If you remove 100 metric tons of biomass, and leave behind 20 metric tons for future crops, how is that a balanced, sustainable system? Your mining the soil, and like any mining operation, eventually your going to run out of stuff to mine.
  10. ICT Bill

    ICT Bill LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,115

    who ever said anything about no inputs, I do believe I am being misquoted on something I never said. We are an organic fertilizer company, we like people buying inputs.

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