News

NOFA-NY Files Comments to USDA Opposing the Proposed Organic Checkoff Program

Farmington, NY—In advance of the April 19th comment period deadline, the Northeast Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) yesterday formally filed comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to oppose its proposed Organic Research, Promotion and Information Order “Checkoff program.”

In its comments, NOFA-NY states that the Checkoff is not farmer friendly, will benefit United States Organic sales, not production, and will negatively impact all organic certificate holders, whether or not they are assessed. Given its stated purposes, it is unlikely to benefit the growth, sustainability or profitability of organic farmers in the U.S., yet will require burdensome paperwork for all, and is an unfair tax. NOFA-NY's complete comments document is here

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For the sixth year, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is making a difference for inner city and low-income people in Rochester and Buffalo living in a “food desert” through its 2017 Neighborhood Farm Share program (NFS). The program gives qualified individuals and families the opportunity to receive a financial subsidy in order to participate in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for a share of fresh-picked seasonable fruits and vegetables grown without chemical pesticides. CSAs provide affordable, nutritious, locally grown food to neighborhoods from a trusted source: farmers.

NOFA-NY works with both its Certified Organic and its Farmer’s Pledge farmers as providers. Participants who qualify according to income eligibility guidelines listed on the NOFA-NY website receive up to a $100 reduction in cost for a CSA share from one of NOFA-NY’s local farms. The participant pays the remainder of the cost of the share. EBT/Food stamps are often accepted and payments can be made in increments. Each farm has a slightly different price and delivery schedule.

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NOFA-NY Launches 2017 Organic Dairy Certification Transitions Project

Interested farmers begin with complimentary registration for Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference, March 16-17 in Syracuse

Farmington, NY — With the continuing drop in conventional milk prices, more and more dairy farmers are interested in transitioning to organic. To help make this happen, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is now taking applications for its Organic Dairy Certification Transitions Project (ODCTP), thanks to sponsorship from the NY Farm Viability Institute.

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SIXTH NOFA-NY ORGANIC DAIRY & FIELD CROP CONFERENCE EXPANDS TO TWO DAYS, MARCH 16-17

Conference welcomes veteran farmers, beginning farmers, and those interested in transitioning to organic management

Farmington, NY—The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is expanding its sixth annual Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference to two days: Thursday and Friday March 16-17, with Friday’s focus on half-day intensive programs. The conference takes place at the Holiday Inn Syracuse/Liverpool, NY, 441 Electronics Parkway.

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WC Logo 2017 NoBorderFINAL

Farmington, NY—For the first time in its 35-year history, the Northeast Organic Faming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) adds a significant new dimension to its 2017 Organic Farming & Gardening Winter Conference, Long Live the Farmer: Diversity & Biodiversity. From January 20-22, this year’s event features a “conference within a conference”: the first Northeast Organic Seed Conference: Owning Our Own Seed.

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NOFA-NY encourages those with knowledge, experience, and a passion for organic farming to share their expertise by hosting one of our Organic On Farm Field Days in the Spring, Summer or Fall of 2017. Topics may reflect a broad range of interests. A Field Day event may run for two to six hours, depending on topic and practicality, and should provide substantial educational content and/or exposure and practice. 

We are now accepting submissions for our RFP for 2017 Field Days. Fill out and submit the form here

 

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Last field day at Hawthorne Valley Farm finishes out 2016 season with an eye toward the future

Farmington, NY—The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) completes its 2016 on-farm field days next month at Hawthorne Valley Farm in Columbia County.

Monday, October 17, 2-5 pm, “Opening Old Meadows for a New Generation of Farmers: Sharing the Journey in the Hudson Valley and Beyond.”For more than 40 years, Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY (Columbia County) has been a center for learning and a pioneer for generations of bio-dynamic and organic farmers. Farms of the future will need a balanced and healthy connection to their biological, ecological and social fields. This final field day celebrates the work of agriculture in a changing community. Join NOFA-NY for a farm tour and interactive discussion with Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT farmers) and leaders in regional agriculture.

Registration is $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm; to pre-register, visit http://bit.ly/2cyGHdC or call (585) 271-1979. Sponsored by NOFA-NY through funding from the New World Foundation. 

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NOFA-NY’S FINAL FALL ON-FARM FIELD DAYS

Five field days through October finish out 2016 season

Farmington, NY—The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) completes its 2016 on-farm field days this Fall in five counties: Tioga, Allegany, Ulster, Herkimer and Columbia. As always, there is a wide range of educational opportunities for farmers to learn first hand about what is working on area farms and how to stay up-to-date.

The event schedule is as follows:

  • Thursday, September 1 (10 am–2:30 pm), “Our Cows Are On Grass.” At the grass-based Moore Farm in Nichols, NY (Tioga Country), this field day encompasses a farm tour and overview about the Moore’s grass-based management system. Moore Farm’s 350-acre seasonal dairy has been 100% grassfed and certified organic since 1996. Organic Valley Ruminant Nutritionist Silvia Abel-Caines discusses nutritional requirements in grass-based dairy systems to maintain energy levels to support reproduction and to maintain milk production. Registration is $15/person or $25/farm. This field day is sponsored by Organic Valley. Lunch is provided. Registration is complimentary for Organic Valley members who should use code OVmember when preregistering. To register, visit http://bit.ly/2aXPllj or call (585) 271-1979.

 

  • Monday, September 12 (10:30 am-2:30 pm), “Diversify Your Marketing: Managing Grass Dairy and Meeting Consumer Needs.” This two-part field day at Sunny Cove Farm in Alfred Station (Allegany County)—certified organic since 2002—focuses on farm product marketing. The morning addresses managing a grass-based dairy, and includes a pasture tour and discussion on maintaining a balanced diet to promote animal health and quality milk production. Lauren Tonti from NOFA-NY Certified Organic LLC provides information on transitioning to organic and grass milk certification, and a representative from the NY Crop Insurance Education Team offers crop insurance information on supporting risk management. In the afternoon, Sunny Cove’s Jerry Snyder discusses meeting market demands with his products and shares the expansion of his farm offerings to accommodate generational transfer. Registration is $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm; visit http://bit.ly/2aLGbsy or call (585) 271-1979. The event is sponsored by the New York Organic Action Plan and Maple Hill Creamery, with funding from the NYSDAM RME grant.

 

  • Wednesday, September 14 (5-7:30 pm). “Creating Learning Environments on Working Farms.” A twilight session at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub in Hurley, NY (Ulster County) explores farm and apprentice relationships that both hones apprentice skills and meets farming goals. Professional farmer trainees share their experiences as first year “ProFarmers,” while demonstrating a field-based activity showing the Farm Hub’s unique learning environment. Also included is a discussion with the NOFA-NY team about the On-Farm Skills Development Guide, a tool for farmers and apprentices to plan, monitor, and encourage the work-learn process. Registration is $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm; visit http://bit.ly/2awHM4o or call (585) 271-1979. Sponsored by NOFA-NY through the NYFVI Beginning Farmer grant.

 

  • Thursday, September 22 (1-4:00 pm). “Continuing the Organic Tradition with the Second Generation.” The Hardy Farm in Mohawk, NY (Herkimer County) welcomes participants to learn more about running a diverse dairy operation that also includes hogs, poultry, and beef. Aaron and Sarah Hardy lead a tour of their new beef facilities and explain how to manage livestock organically. Aaron and Dave Hardy share their story of building a family business that supports a generational transfer, and how they have worked to create a shared management system focused on building knowledge and profitability. There will be an opportunity to learn more about NOFA-NY”s Beginning Farmer Project and the On-Farm Skills Development Guide. Registration is $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm; visit http://bit.ly/2aymMeR or call (585) 271-1979. Sponsored by NOFA-NY through the NYFVI Beginning Farmer grant.

 

  • October date/time TBA. “Opening Old Meadows for a New Generation of Farmers: Sharing the Journey in the Hudson Valley and Beyond.” For more than 40 years, Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent, NY (Columbia County) has been a center for learning and a pioneer for generations of bio-dynamic and organic farmers. Farms of the future will need a balanced and healthy connection to their biological, ecological and social fields. This final field day celebrates the work of agriculture in a changing community. Registration is $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm; visit www.nofany.org or call (585) 271-1979. Sponsored by NOFA-NY through funding from the New World Foundation. 

 

For complete event details and registration information, please click here.

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Last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the launch of a New York State Grown & Certified Labeling program, including a $20 million food hub in the Bronx. The program aims to label NYS farm fresh food to assure residents that these foods are held to a high standard.

In his announcement, the governor said that many food labels on supermarket shelves have no legal definitions, and noted that this new certification program will be the first to inspect farms. Unfortunately, he missed that organic labels have a legal definition, meet a high standard, require annual on-farm and business inspections, and have existed in NYS and the entire country since 2002.

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Andrianna webcroppedThe Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), proudly announces Andrianna Natsoulas as its new executive director, effective August 1. Founded in 1983, NOFA-NY is a statewide organization leading a growing movement of farmers, consumers, gardeners, and businesses committed to promoting sustainable and fair local, organic food and farming,

“Andrianna brings a wealth of experience in nonprofit management and development, strategic planning, fundraising, and coalition building to NOFA-NY,” said Board of Directors Chair Phil Barbato. “In addition, she has worked with a number of food-related organizations such as the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance and Food & Water Watch, and has written the important book, “Food Voices: Stories From the People Who Feed Us.”

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