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Janet Bachmann, updated by Tammy Hinman NCAT Agriculture Specialists Published 2008 IP320 Abstract Garlic is a cool-season crop grown in most regions of...

NCAT’s ATTRA Agriculture Specialists are producing short videos to share what they are doing on our farms and homesteads, in hopes of giving people ideas for building food security and resiliency at home and in their communities. In this video, Devona Bell, NCAT’s director of sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities, shares her seed starting system – which is based in the sun room of her Virginia home and features homemade grow tables. Devona also discusses potting mix and her choice of seed varieties. We also hear from Eric Sharp, operations manager at Seven Springs Farm, where Devona buys her potting soil....

Here on my farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, I am extremely eager to get my garden started. Due to the uncertain times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, I am motivated to achieve greater self-sufficiency and resilience for my family.
By Devona Bell, Director of Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Communities & Local Foods...

I can hardly think of a perennial fruit easier to grow than elderberries. And I can hardly think of a food item with a stronger claim to health benefits. Coupling the ease of growing with this fruit’s new popularity as an effective medicine, this could be an opportune time for growers to consider establishing an elderberry planting for their family, or perhaps, more ambitiously, a commercial venture.
By Guy K. Ames, NCAT Horticulture Specialist...

This publication provides a foundation and tools for farmers looking to begin a CSA operation. It also explores many variations to the traditional model that have developed over the last generation and looks into what the future might hold for CSA.
By Daniel Prial, NCAT Agriculture Specialist ...

This webinar discusses conservation practices available to cotton farmers. It outlines weed control benefits, water use efficiency, and reduction of chemical fertilizers. If you are interested in reducing costs while maintaining yields, this webinar is for you....

This is a recording of the Electric Deer Fence Workshop that NCAT led on November 15, 2019 at Cobblestone Farms in Fayetteville, AR. In this video Kenny Simon from the Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service discusses the components of an electric deer fence and demonstrates how to set up a 3-strand deer fence configuration. You will learn how to select an appropriate energizer, properly set ground rods, select fence posts, choose the right poly-wire, and test your fence. You can find more information on electric fencing for livestock at our Fencing and Watering Systems topic area. This workshop was supported by Assistance Agreement...

Well-managed soils infiltrate and store water (and nutrients) more effectively and help protect water quality above and below ground. Without sufficient organic matter, soil function, including water infiltration and storage, can be severely impaired. Our soils aren’t ready for the stresses, extreme rainfall events, and the droughts that climate change will bring. This webinar will help you understand how to protect against these stressors....

In this first part of a two-part series, Felicia Bell, sustainable agricultural specialist at NCAT’s Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, interviews Wendell Paris about the history of food cooperatives in the South and his involvement in this movement, specifically in the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Mr. Paris is the Chairman of the Board for Panola Land Buyers Association and has been involved in the Federation of Southern Cooperatives since its inception, which took place during the Civil Rights movement. In this episode, he describes the connections between the Civil Rights movement and the beginning of the food cooperative model in...

This episode is the second of two featuring a conversation between Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, and Fred Provenza. Fred is a well-known author and expert on animal health, human health, plant health, and how they are related – as well as their role in the care of ecosystems. Kara works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. The conversation took place at the recent 2019 Regenerate Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hosted by the Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and the American Grassfed Association. There may be a bit of background...

In this video, Colin Mitchell and Lindsey Richards from the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative lay out how to plant, maintain, and terminate Sunn Hemp in the hot subtropical climate of the Texas Rio Grande Valley. Sunn Hemp (Crotalaria juncea) is a warm season nitrogen fixing species that can reach over six feet tall. This upright legume creates substantial biomass that can outcompete weeds, can be grazed as a high protein forage, and is resistant to root rot nematodes. It can be terminated with a crimper-roller, making it a good option for organic systems that are not allowed to use herbicides....

In this video, Colin Mitchell and Lindsey Richards from the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative discuss using Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan) as a cover crop option for hot and humid areas. Pigeon pea is grown around the world as a protein-rich food source. In the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and other subtropical areas, it can be used as a nitrogen-fixing cover crop that stands up well to extreme heat once established. Pigeon pea does a fantastic job of shading the soil in hot summers, provides bioavailable nitrogen for the next cash crop, and reduces both wind and water erosion. While...

In the hot and humid subtropics of the Texas Rio Grande Valley, Iron and Clay Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) can be used to cover the soil during the spring, summer, and fall. Cowpeas fix nitrogen, provide habitat for beneficial insects, reduce wind and water erosion, and more. In this video, Colin Mitchell and Lindsey Richards from the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative discuss the benefits of Iron and Clay Cowpea and lay out the process for inoculating legume cover crops and checking to see if they are creating active nodules--putting nitrogen into soils that will be bioavailable for the next cash crop....

This episode is the first of two featuring a conversation between Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, and Fred Provenza. Fred is a well-known author and expert on animal health, human health, plant health, and how they are related – as well as their role in the care of ecosystems. Kara works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. The conversation took place at the recent 2019 Regenerate Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hosted by the Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and the American Grassfed Association. There may be a bit of...

Hemp can now be sold legally across the country. For the 2020 crop year, the only way to insure hemp is through a unique federally-subsidized Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy. This policy protects the value of the whole farm's revenue rather than any specific product a farmer grows. For 2020, industrial hemp in seed, flower, or fiber form can be one of the products insured by a WFRP policy. Jeff Schahczenski, Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist, with NCAT gives an introduction on this whole-farm approach to insuring hemp in 2020....

In this podcast, Jeff Schahczenski, agricultural and natural resource specialist with NCAT, has a conversation with Marty Mesh of Mesh & Associates of Gainesville, Florida about the current and future development of organic production in the South. While certified organic farming and ranching has been expanding nationwide, its growth in the southern United States has been much slower. In this episode, Jeff and Marty explore many reasons for this slower growth. Marty Mesh is a leader in organic agriculture in the south and nationwide. A pioneer, visionary, and expert in organic agriculture and food systems, Marty began organic production in 1972. Four...

Today’s episode is the second in an ATTRA: Voices from the Field ongoing series on Direct Marketing Meat. Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, follows up on a listener’s question by interviewing her colleague, NCAT ATTRA Livestock Specialist Dave Scott and his wife and partner, Jenny, about their direct-marketing meat business, Montana Highland Lamb. Linda works out of NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Dave works out of NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana. In the previous episode, Dave and Jenny shared their farm story, and we focused on the marketing aspect of their business. In this episode,...

ATTRA: Voices from the Field is taking a bit of a holiday break this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family. We sincerely hope that everyone has a terrific holiday. Next week, we’ll be back with the second in the Direct Marketing Meat series. In it, Linda Coffey and Dave Scott, both livestock specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, along with Dave’s wife, Jenny, will talk about the always important issue of processing. In the meantime, don’t miss the chance to register for the inaugural Soil Health Innovations Conference, March 30-31 in Bozeman, Montana, on the campus of Montana...

This episode is the first of an occasional ATTRA: Voices from the Field series on Direct Marketing Meat. Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, follows up on a listener’s question by interviewing fellow NCAT ATTRA livestock specialist Dave Scott and his wife, Jenny, about their direct-marketing meat business, Montana Highland Lamb. Linda works out of NCAT’s Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Dave is on the staff at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana. Although the listener was asking about lamb, and both Dave and Jenny produce lamb, this series will be useful for anyone direct marketing meat. Dave...

In this episode, Lee Rinehart, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with world renowned rancher and grazing educator Allen Williams. Lee, who works out of NCAT’s Northeast Regional Office in Keene, N.H., and Allen talk about what Allen calls adaptive stewardship management grazing and how it could increase the supply of livestock on the market as it helps solve many issues currently associated with animal agriculture. For more information on this topic, you can contact Lee Rinehart directly at lee@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources Nutrient Cycling in Pastures Building Healthy Pasture Soils Soils and Compost Grazing Resources Livestock and Pasture Other Resources Understanding Ag website Please call ATTRA...

In this episode, Margo Hale, director of NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, interviews Lauren Stine, a beginning farmer in Northwest Arkansas. Lauren shares how she went from being a lawyer in California to raising goats in Arkansas. She talks about the keys to her success, obstacles she has faced, and the resources that have helped her. Lauren also explains the ways she is educating others about pastured-based livestock production. For more information on this topic, you can contact Margo Hale directly at margoh@ncat.org. ATTRA Resources ATTRA Farm Start-Up resources ATTRA Internship Database Farm Business Start-Up Checksheet Getting Started in Farming Tutorial Using Social Media to...

This podcast is part of a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education project for integrating livestock with crops. In this episode, Dave Scott, livestock specialist at NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West Office in Butte, Montana, has a conversation with Roy Benjamin, a farmer of nearly 20,000 acres in Devon, Montana. For the past few years, Roy has been integrating livestock with his crops. In this episode, you’ll hear about his experience with his operation and lessons he has learned. Before we get started, I’d like to point out that towards the end of the podcast, when Roy is talking about his water sources, he...

In this episode, Andrew Coggins, NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West Regional Director and a specialist based in Butte, Montana, with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with Alexis Bonogofsky, Northern Coordinator of the Quivira Coalition’s New Agrarian program. Alexis discusses the New Agrarian program, which supports apprenticeships and mentors in agriculture. The Quivira Coalition recently brought the program to Montana for the first time. For more information on this topic, you can contact Andrew Coggins directly at andrewc@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources List of Internships Beginning Farmer Other Resources Quivira Coalition website Quivira Coalition Facebook page Mannix Brothers Ranch website Vilicus Farms website Please call ATTRA with any and all of your sustainable agriculture...

In this episode of “Scaling Up,” an occasional series at ATTRA, Rockiell Woods, director of NCAT’s Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson, Mississippi, talks with Dr. Bill Evans, Director of Horticulture at Up in Farms Food Hub in Jackson, Mississippi. Rockiell and Bill discuss land and water considerations when scaling up a farm. You’ll hear about how to determine the best use for land and the economic feasibility of scaling up. They also talk about the importance of the source and quality of water for your operation. For more information on this topic, you can contact Rockiell Woods directly at rockw@ncat.org. ATTRA Resources: Scaling...

In this episode, we introduce Texas Sized Sustainable Pasture Operations, a new occasional series on ATTRA: Voices from the Field. Colin Mitchell, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, hosts Cameron Molberg, owner and operator of a larger-scale organic and pastured chicken operation, Greener Pastures Chicken, located in Elgin, Texas. Colin works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. Cameron and Colin discuss Cameron’s experiences and what he’s learned that has allowed him to create a sustainable and efficient system that produces healthy chickens and a quality meat product at a large scale. Cameron gives the listener an idea...

In this podcast, Justin Duncan, agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, has a conversation with Lois Kim, Vice President of Public Relations and On-Farm Research Coordinator for Plantation Produce Company (PPC) Farms in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. In this episode, you’ll hear how PPC Farms is transitioning its 1,500-acre operation from conventional to organic farming.  Lois talks about some of the new practices they have adopted, such as the use of cover crops, companion planting, crop rotation, and the many benefits these practices bring. It’s worth pointing out that there are melons that Lois...

In this episode from NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Regional Director Margo Hale and Livestock Specialist Linda Coffey talk about Linda’s recent trip to attend an international meeting about internal parasite management, and some of the lessons she learned there. They then discuss what’s happening on their farms in the fall: breeding season, and considerations about selecting and caring for the males; assessing male temperament and safety; and assessing the condition of the females. They also briefly discuss fall pasture management and stockpiling for winter. E-mail Margo and Linda with feedback or questions or suggestions for future topics at margoh@ncat.org...

In this podcast, Al Kurki, agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West Regional Office in Butte, Montana, has a conversation with Rachel Jones, Executive Director of Farm to School of Park County. With a USDA Farm to School grant, Rachel turned one of the school’s greenhouses into an aquaponics laboratory. Middle- and high-school students of Park County now raise trout and vegetables for food for their schools. In this episode, you’ll hear about the challenges and triumphs using an aquaponics system in a school setting. For more information on this topic, you can contact Al Kurki directly at akurki@ncat.org. ATTRA Resources: Aquaponics -...

In this podcast Nina Prater, agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has a conversation with her NCAT colleague Guy Ames, horticulture specialist and owner-operator of Ames Orchard and Nursery in Elkins, Arkansas. Guy has been farming in Arkansas since 1971, but became interested in heirloom apples in 1980. In this episode, discover things you might not have known, such as, what qualifies as an heirloom. What’s in a name? How do you decide what variety to grow? Guy and Nina also talks about the history of heirloom apples, some pros and cons, and the role heirloom apples...

In this episode, NCAT’s Tammy Howard has a conversation with her colleague, Adrian Card, about his 15-year career as an extension agent in Boulder County, an increasingly urban area of Colorado. Adrian talks about his experiences with developing useful tools and programming for farmers in the front range of Colorado. Tammy Howard is an agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West office in Butte, Montana. Adrian Card is the founder of the Colorado Building Farmers Program and co-founder of the Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. For more information on this topic, you can contact Tammy Howard directly at tammyh@ncat.org. ATTRA Resources: Getting Started...

In this podcast NCAT horticulture specialists Luke Freeman and Guy Ames discuss the joys and trials of growing grapes in the humid Southeast. The conversation touches on organic grape production; diseases and pests; trellising and pruning grapes; organic grape management; and cultivars of table grapes, wine grapes, and muscadines suited for organic production. Luke and Guy both work as horticulture specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program out of NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Luke shares research findings from the University of Arkansas high tunnel grape project, led by Dr. Elena Garcia, and Guy shares his personal experience growing grapes and...

In this episode, Colin Mitchell, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, discusses regenerative rangeland management with Travis and Mandy Krause of Parker Creek Ranch in D’hanis, Texas. Travis and Mandy are taking part in NCAT’s Soil for Water Project. Colin works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. Travis describes three of the regenerative practices they use on their ranch: holistic multipaddock grazing, pasture cropping, and contour subsoil ripping. He then discusses the changes they’ve seen from 2010-2019 in the ranch’s soil and ecological health while using these practices. Mandy then passes off their two...

In this episode, Lee Rinehart, an agriculture specialist with NCAT's ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Jill Pegnataro of GreenWave, a nonprofit focused on expanding opportunities for fisherman and farmers to start sustainable shellfish and aquatic plant farming enterprises. Jill works as a farm manager and instructor with GreenWave in New Haven, Connecticut. Lee works out of NCAT’s Northeast Regional Office in Keene, New Hampshire. Jill and Lee talk about how Jill got into vertical ocean farming, how vertical ocean farming works, the skills and resources some needs to begin ocean farming, and how to get started. For more information on this...

In this episode, airing on National Farmers Market week (August 4 -10), Tammy Howard, agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West office in Butte, Montana, talks with Ben Feldman, interim director of the Farmers Market Coalition, a national organization representing farmers markets. Tammy and Ben discuss the important role that farmers markets play as business incubators and their economic impact in rural and urban communities. They also discuss some of the resources available to help farmers and farmers markets be successful. For more information on this topic, you can contact Tammy Howard directly at tammyh@ncat.org. ATTRA resources: Tips for Selling at Farmers Markets Farmers...

Today, we hear from Martin Guerena, agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Western Regional Office in Davis, California, and Jo Ann Baumgartner, Executive Director of the Wild Farm Alliance. In this episode, they talk about birds on farms: are they friend or foe? Well, you might be surprised to know that birds can be very beneficial to your farm. In fact, birds are being used as agrosystem providers. Learn how you can integrate the benefits of birds into your farm. Jo Ann is the author of many publications on the intersection between biodiversity conservation and agriculture, including beneficial birds. For more information on this...

Being mindful of who you allow to to come in contact with your birds is a crucial aspect of biosecurity. However, limiting contact is an easy tactic to implement on-farm. In this video, we talk with Ty Burk of Westfold Farm in Texas about how he reduces contact between his breeding flock and visitors and the steps the operation takes to prevent disease transmission....

Doug Crabtree and Anna Jones-Crabtree, owners of Vilicus Farms near Havre, Montana, discuss their internship program. Nathan Austin Powell and Laurel Johnson, the farm's first interns, learned about the opportunity on the ATTRA website's Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships database at https://attra.ncat.org/internships/...

What do Energy Corps members do? Watch this video to find out! Energy Corps members and staff describe the events that take place during a service year, what host sites they serve at, and what they love about living in Montana....

In this video, Michael McCormick, executive director of the Food Resource Center in Livingston, Montana, talks about the center's philosophy of focusing on hunger as a part of poverty; supporting local growers by using the center's commercial kitchen to prepare and preserve food; offering culinary classes; focusing on traceability of local foods and more. With the center's philosophy, the food bank becomes a central force in the community to address positive social change on a local level....

Dave Scott, a livestock specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and co-owner of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana, discusses the operation's intensive grazing set-up....

Learn how to Cover, Push, Pull, Pop! That is the FAMACHA scoring technique that determines the degree of Barber Pole Worm (Haemonchus contortus) infection in sheep, goats and camelids. This how to video emphasizes FAMACHA scoring Out West with large flocks of small ruminants. Discover how it is easy and financially rewarding to ascertain the degree of infection in your flock- FAMACHA scoring saves you money in deworming only the lambs and ewes that are actually infected (often 80 percent of the infection is concentrated in 20 percent of the flock). It also allows you to set up a refugia...

Shearing Day! Shearing requires attention to a few details before the shearers arrive, as they shear your sheep, and long after the shearing crew is gone. In this video, NCAT Livestock Specialist Dave Scott discusses factors to take into account before, during, and after shearing: tips for encouraging sheep to go into the shearing race, the responsibilities of the shepherd, and the ewes’ needs post shearing. There is much more to it than just “getting the wool off.” The video takes place during shearing at Dave's Montana Highland Lamb operation near Whitehall, MT....

This video explores one of the profit-oriented benefits of regenerative grazing: winter grazing of a greatly increased winter stockpile of grass. A summer long regimen of tall grass grazing with high stock densities results in a passive winter grazing season almost as long as its summer sister—in cold Montana yet. Those are regenerative dollars in your pocket. We will show how to inventory winter stockpile, moving sheep to different winter paddocks, how much residual to leave behind, and a simple stock water system winterized for zero temperatures. Join NCAT’s Dave Scott in this first episode on Regenerative Grazing at Montana...

The Barber Pole Worm represents an increasing threat to sheep and goat producers, especially those on Western irrigated pastures. This webinar, led by Dave Scott, NCAT Livestock Specialist, focuses on holistic management of the Barber Pole Worm in irrigated settings in the Inter Mountain West. FAMACHA scoring to create refugia, strategic grazing techniques, and simple genetic strategies to increase host resistance will be highlighted....

So You are Lambing for the First Time! Good for you! And welcome to the sheep community! Here is a quick video that will tell you what to look for when your ewes get close to lambing and how to deal with two of the most common dystocia, or abnormal lambing presentations. In this live video, backwards and front lambs with a leg back are shown along with how to rectify the problems. The result is a contented mother and two happy lambs....

Energy Corps member Michael Daniel explains how to build a Biochar Retort Kiln. He presents the benefits to using biochar as a soil amendment in a garden as well as various materials you can obtain on a budget....

Organic farmers and ranchers conserve biodiversity and natural resources because their agricultural production systems depend upon healthy ecosystems. In this webinar, conservation professionals and landowners can learn how Natural Resources Conservation Service conservation practices and enhancements can provide high-value production and biodiversity benefits while at the same time aiding producers in obtaining or maintaining their USDA organic status. The webinar’s presenters are Jo Ann Baumgartner, director of the Wild Farm Alliance, and Harriet Behan, an organic specialist with Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service....

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...

NCAT Sustainable Agriculture specialist Justin Duncan shows step-by-step how to use cultivation techniques to turn land overrun with grass and weeds into a field ready for planting. Learn more about the SOAR Partnership: http://portal.utpa.edhttps://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/daa_home/cose_home/biology_home/biology_research/agroecology_home/soaru/utpa_main/daa_...

In this video Jose Hernandez will show you how to cluster thin table grapes in the high tunnel. Cluster thinning supports the development of larger grape clusters and improved berry quality by balancing the number of clusters to shoot length. All the grape clusters are removed from shoots that are less than 8 inches long. One grape cluster is left on shoots that are 8 to 20 inches long. And two clusters are left on shoots that are over 20 inches long. This video was produced by NCAT and is part of the High Tunnel Grape Project funded by Southern...

In this video Dr. Any Allen will show you how to winter prune table grapes using the balanced pruning method. The balanced pruning formula used is 30+10, leaving 30 buds for the first pound of prunings removed plus 10 buds for each pound of prunings after that. This video was produced by NCAT and is part of the High Tunnel Grape Project funded by Southern SARE and led by the University of Arkansas in collaboration with Cooperative Extension, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and the Arkansas Association of Grape Growers. Future videos will discuss pruning, harvest, and pest management...

In this video we show you how to prune and train young grape vines to a trellis system in a high tunnel with Horticulture Professor Dr. Elena Garcia from the University of Arkansas. For this demonstration we are using the Geneva Double Curtain trellis system and a Modified Double High Cordon system in a Haygrove high tunnel at Barnhill Orchards in Lonoke, Arkansas. There are many advantages to growing grapes in a high tunnel in the Southeast, including higher yield, better fruit quality, and decreased disease pressure. This video was produced by NCAT and is part of the High Tunnel...

In this video we show you how to plant dormant, bare-root grape vines in a high tunnel with Viticulture Professor Dr. Andy Allen from Arkansas Tech University. There are many advantages to growing grapes in a high tunnel in the Southeast, including higher yield, better fruit quality, and decreased disease pressure. This video was produced by NCAT and is part of the High Tunnel Grape Project funded by Southern SARE and led by the University of Arkansas in collaboration with Cooperative Extension, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, and the Arkansas Association of Grape Growers. Future videos in the series...

In this video, Tracy Potter Finns and Margaret DeBona from County Rail Farm near Huson, Montana, talk about why they became GAP certified and the process of developing their food safety plan. This is the first in a series of farm based food safety videos that feature farmer's approaches to food safety compliance. Keep watching for more....

Farm Safety Water Testing Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. These videos will show farmers approaches to implementing their food safety plans. Regular water testing is required for both Food Safety Modernization and GAP compliance. It depends on the source of the irrigation water. In this video Traci and...

Packing Shed Set Up and Wash Procedures Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. These videos will show farmers approaches to implementing their food safety plans. The packing shed and wash area is a critical area to practice food safety. See some simple and effective strategies for sanitizing and...

Field and Harvest PRocedures Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. These videos will show farmers approaches to implementing their food safety plans. This video features the pre-harvest safety procedures and food-safety considerations taken by County Rail Farm near Missoula, MT. This video is one of a series....

Food Safety -- Hand Washing Hand washing is a crucial part of any farm's food safety plan. This video shows the simple but effective hand-washing routine Tracy Potter Finns and Margaret DeBona have developed at County Rail Farm near Huson, Montana. Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food safety risks on your own farm and apply simple food safety measures. These videos...

Farm-based Food Safety Recordkeeping One of the more difficult aspects of implementing a food safety plan is the logs and recordkeeping. If you are certified organic there will be some overlap. See how Tracy and Margaret of County Rail Farm near Huson, MT, have developed a system that works for them and their farm. Now that the food safety regulations are being implemented under the Food Safety Modernization Act, many growers are confused about how the regulations apply to their farms. Regardless of whether a farm is exempt from the regulations or not, it is important to have an understanding of food...

Food Safety - A Farmer's Perspective In this video, Tracy Potter Finns and Margaret DeBona from County Rail Farm near Huson, Montana, talk about why they became GAP certified and the process of developing their food safety plan. This is the first in a series of farm based food safety videos that feature farmer's approaches to food safety compliance. Keep watching for more. Due to a rise in major outbreaks of foodborne illnesses from produce farms and facilities that process produce, Congress enacted a bill that expands food safety regulations to the farm level called the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA....

This video will describe scope four in the GAP audit process. This scope can be included in an audit if a farmer chooses to do so or if a buyer requests it. This section includes many duplicates to scope 3. The video will show how an internal auditor will look at the farmer’s containers and pallets, pest control, refrigeration units, condition of transportation vehicles, worker health and hygiene, and traceability. It will also show how farmers are addressing these issues on their farms. The Internal Gap Audit: Scope Four, Storage and Transportation This video is part of a series made possible through...

This video covers Scope Three of the GAP audit, which addresses steps that take place in the packing facility. This video also will show how the internal auditor considers questions in this section. Questions will include subjects like washing/packing line procedures, packing house worker health and hygiene, general housekeeping, pest control, and traceability. Farmers will describe their packing processes and how they relate to the GAP program. This video is part of a series made possible through funding from from the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services. The full list of videos in the series is here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

This video will describe and demonstrate the second scope of a GAP audit. This includes pre-harvest risk assessments, sanitation and hygiene in the field, and harvesting and transportation activities. Farmer describe their pre harvest food safety processes and how they address the area in this scope. The Internal GAP Audit: Field Harvest and Field Packing Activities This video is part of a series made possible through funding from from the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services. The full list of videos in the series is here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list...

This video will address the components of the first scope of the GAP audit called the “Farm Review”. This section will look specifically at how farmers are approaching assessing water quality, sewage treatment, animals/wildlife/livestock, manure and biosolid management, soil content, and traceability and how this is handled by the internal auditor. Farmers will describe how they approach water testing, animal manure application and traceability on their farms. The Internal GAP Audit: Scope One, The Farm Review This video is part of a series made possible through funding from from the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services. The full list of videos in the series is...

Every GAP audit will have a section on general questions that relate to the food safety practices on a farm. This is the first set of questions in the audit. The general questions will be both broad and specific with questions like “are employees and visitors following good hygiene/sanitation practices?” and “are readily understandable signs posted instructing employees to wash hands?” Although farms may choose which scopes of a GAP audit they want to include (this may be based on their buyer’s specifications) the general questions will always be part of an audit. The Internal GAP Audit: General Questions This video is...

In this video, our narrator, David Wise, will fill us in on the Food Safety Modernization Act, or FSMA, its history and the different compliance levels for farmers. He will also talk about the USDA GAP program and the difference between GAP and FSMA. David will also outline the GAP audit process and the function of an internal GAP audit. This video is part of a series made possible through funding from from the USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Services....

Dave Scott, a livestock specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and co-owner of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana, discusses the operation's composting system....

Gabe Brown: Farming in Nature's Image Gabe Brown speaking at the Connecting Soils and Profits: No-till, Cover Crops, Soil Health, & Grazing Conference held in Danville, PA, March 18, 2015. *Featuring Gabe Brown, A Local Producer Panel, NCAT & Extension Specialists* Gabe is a nationally renowned speaker and pioneer in the soil health movement that is currently creating quite a buzz among producers. Gabe & his family operate a 5000 acre diversified operation, near Bismarck, ND, that includes crops, pasture, and beef cattle. His operation focuses on regeneration of soils and farm resources using a systems approach which includes no-till, diverse crop rotations, diverse species...

En esta presentación, vamos a revisar la información esencial que requieren las regulaciones de producción orgánica de cultivos, y los componentes claves de un sistema de mantención de registros en producción orgánica. Cada rancho es único, y sus registros deben adaptarse a cada operación. Un sistema de registros eficaz necesita incluir los requerimientos que las normas exigen para la certificación, organizar su sistema de archivos para cada tipo de información necesaria, y una práctica dedicada que permita utilizar los sistemas para rastrear los insumos, actividades y producción agrícola. Se provee enlaces a fuentes de plantillas para facilitar el mantenimiento adecuado...

Granjero orgánico Saul Padilla muestra como un mantillo de paja mantuvo la humedad para las matas de calabaza durante un periódo de temperaturas máximas en el sur de Tejas. Aprenda más sobre NCAT: https://www.ncat.org Aprenda más sobre la asociación de SOAR: http://portal.utpa.edu/utpa_main/daa_...

Esta historieta ilustrada trata de un nuevo mercado para los agricultores de pequeña escala. Explica como pueden vender sus productos a las instituciones locales, tal como hospitales, colegios de comunidad, universidades, escuelas, asilos de ancianos, centros comunitarios para adultos mayores, guarderías infantiles, prisiones, y cárceles. Incluye información sobre organizaciones que ayudan a agricultores Latinos vender sus productos a instituciones....

Agregados de Suelo Este breve video muestra diferencias dramáticas en la estabilidad de los agregados de suelo que resultan por diferentes prácticas de labranza del mismo tipo de suelo. La narración explica por qué la estabilidad de los agregados es importante como indicador de la salud del suelo y cómo se puede renovar la salud del suelo....

In this episode, Nina Prater, an agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program talks with farmer Janet Bachmann about Janet’s production practices at Riverbend Gardens in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Nina works out of NCAT’s Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, where Janet, who also is a former NCAT agriculture specialist, has been farming since 1989. They talk about specialty cut flower production and marketing and how Janet makes it all work as a one-woman operation. For more information on this topic, you can contact Nina Prater directly at ninap@ncat.org Related ATTRA Resources: Specialty Cut Flower Production and Marketing Market Gardening: A Start-Up Guide Farmers Markets: Marketing and...

With support from the USDA, NCAT Agriculture Specialists Marisa Alcorta and Rex Dufour have helped Spanish-speaking farmers in California's Central Valley experiment with cover crops to improve soil quality and provide habitat for beneficial insects and pollinators. This video documents Elias Cosio, an almond grower from near Modesto who has been collaborating with NCAT and NRCS as he plants the first cover crop in his orchard...

If you market lamb directly to your customers, the way the carcass is aged, broken down, cut, and packaged is very important in making your product stand out. Once your lamb is properly finished, (finishing video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbBrR3...

Josh Slotnick, Director of PEAS Farm in Missoula, MT, made us think about the effects of a global food system in which the cost is cheap but the price is high and spoke about the culturally regenerative power of creating local alternatives. 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. http://farmtocafeteria.ncat.org/ The 2013 Growing Leaders Youth Summit...

Bob Marshall, owner of Biga Pizza in Missoula, MT, award-winning chef, and in this clip at least, comedian, cracked us up after serving up delicious pizzas featuring veggie toppings grown at PEAS Farm and spoke about the 3 reasons he sources locally grown foods for his restaurant. 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. http://farmtocafeteria.ncat.org/ The...

Three guest speakers from across the U.S. talked about the work they are doing to create more just and accessible food systems in their communities: Scarlett Kaplan, S.A.V.E. Club at Hellgate High School in Missoula, MT; Ayisah Yusef, Rural Coalition in Washington, DC; Phil Nguyen, The Food Project in Boston, MA. 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...

Gerardo Marin, co-director of Rooted in Community from Berkeley, CA, spoke about the role of art in the youth food movement and about the power that beauty and culture can bring to activism. 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 Summit was produced by NCAT and...

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?"...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) hosted a national webinar on January 23, 2014, to discuss the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) recent efforts to assure greater uniformity and clarity on its policy related to farmers who currently grow cover crops or may grow them in the future. The webinar was funded in part by the USDA Risk Management Agency through the Risk Management Education Partnership Program and brought together cover crop policy experts: Rob Myers, Regional Director of Extension Programs for the North Central Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program. Tim Hoffmann, Director...

Dr. Michel Cavigelli, a soil scientist at the Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab at the USDA Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC) in Maryland, talks on "Organic Research and Needs: Cover Crops, Crop Rotation, and Soil Health" at the 2013 Montana Organic Association meeting at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana. He is lead scientist of a long-term cropping systems project evaluating the sustainability of organic and conventional methods....

Doug Crabtree and partner Anna Jones-Crabtree operate Vilicus Farms, a diverse dryland crop farm based 36 miles northwest of Havre. Growing certified organic heirloom and specialty crops within a 5-year rotation of small grains, oilseeds, broadleaf, and legume crops, Vilicus Farms practices advanced land stewardship at a scale that matters. Doug and intern Nathan Austin-Powell spoke about the operation during the 2013 Montana Farmers Union annual meeting in Great Falls, Montana....

This calculator provides a simple and prompt means of analyzing your grazing program as your work your way through the grazing season. It will make management decisions much easier and give you confidence that you are on track with your grazing plan....

During the October 2013 Montana Farmers Union state meeting in Great Falls, Montana, Dr. Clain Jones of Montana State University discusses past and ongoing research projects in the state on the effectiveness of cover crops....

A thank you message from the National Center for Appropriate Technology. (NCAT)...

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...

Janie Burns raises grass-fed lamb and pastured poultry on her 10 - acre Meadowlark Farm south of Nampa, Idaho. Over the past 24 years, she also has raised a wide variety of crops and sold to restaurants CSDs and retail stores. In 2003, she and a business partner began HomeGrown Poultry, LLC, a poultry-processing business in New Plymouth, Idaho. In addition to her faming and business ventures, Janie is on the board of the Treasure Valley Food Coalition and the advisory committee of the University of Idaho's Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. She has previously served on the board...

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...

"Pastured Poultry Production and Profitability" covers the basics of pastured poultry production as well as common advantages and pitfalls of getting started in the business and keys to keeping operations profitable. It was offered by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Montana Mission Mountain Food and Cooperative Development Center, and Salish Kootenai College as part of the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) education and community outreach program. It also announced a Montana-based pastured poultry production and marketing workshop series set to begin in March. NCAT Sustainable Poultry Specialist Terrell "Spence" Spencer will be the webinar presenter. While this webinar will kick off the...

This webinar is presented by Harriet Behar, organic specialist with Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES, organic inspector, and approved Technical Service Provider (TSP) with the NRCS. She takes participants on a virtual tour of a farm, identifying conservation concerns and possible mitigation strategies to address those concerns as well as areas that affect organic certification. In addition, she covers the manner in which these issues will be incorporated into the written NRCS Conservation Activity Plan 138 for the transition to organic. The webinar will be the third in a four-part series providing aid to those who might want to become...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, with funding from the National Network of Public Health Institutes, held a statewide meeting on October 12, 2012, to discuss the obstacles and opportunities of having more fresh, nutritious, locally grown food in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-care institutions. Farmers, ranchers, health institution officials, and others gathered at the NCAT headquarters in Butte, Montana, to take part. Dave Prather, General Manager of Western Montana Growers Cooperative, delivered one of the keynote addresses....

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, with funding from the National Network of Public Health Institutes, held a statewide meeting on October 12, 2012, to discuss the obstacles and opportunities of having more fresh, nutritious, locally grown food in hospitals, nursing homes, and other health-care institutions. Farmers, ranchers, health institution officials, and others gathered at the NCAT headquarters in Butte, Montana, to take part. Mark Branovan, Hospitality Services Director at St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth, Minnesota, delivered one of the keynote addresses....

This webinar explains insurance options for specialized, diversified, and organic farms, including Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-Lite)— a unique type of federally subsided crop insurance that holds great promise to serve the needs of smaller, diverse, specialty crop, organic, and direct-market farmers. While most insurance products are tied to a specific crop or commodity, AGR-Lite is based on whole-farm revenue and allows farmers who grow several specialty crops, high value crops (including organic), or diverse crops and livestock products, to insure their production based on the farm's historic revenue. The webinar will explain how AGR-Lite works, and will also demonstrate NCAT's new...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) with 10 partners are offering a webinar series on how to become a Technical Service Provider (TSP) for the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and assist transitioning and certified organic producers. The webinars are part of an NRCS National Conservation Innovation Project. "Doing NRCS Conservation Activity Planning for Organic Farmers and Ranchers" is presented by Katy Green, who is perhaps the most experienced TSP working with NRCS and organic producers in the United States. Katy will share her efforts at developing conservation activity plans in compliance with NRCS standards (known in NRCS lingo as...

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...

This webinar, broadcast October 25, 2012, focuses on tools and techniques for small-scale crop production. National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) Agriculture Specialist Andy Pressman discusses the importance of investing in good quality and well-designed tools, their different purposes, and how to use them to properly plant and maintain crops....

From a conservation perspective, biodiversity and protection of natural resources are covered in the National Organic Program's (NOP) regulations. Biodiversity conservation is part of the definition of organic farming, and the NOP requires that farmers and ranchers maintain or improve their soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. In addition, seven other NOP regulations relate to biodiversity and natural resource conservation. This webinar explores NRCS Conservation Practice Standards that help operators meet these NOP requirements, including those protecting resources, providing conservation buffers, and supporting wildlife habitat. It includes a discussion of the Live Earth Farm's conservation efforts near Watsonville, California. The...

The USDA Organic Rules require a soil-building crop rotation that controls erosion, maintains or improves soil organic matter content, manages deficient or excess plant nutrients, and provides for crop pest management. Sod, cover crops, green manure crops, catch crops, and various mulches are included in the rotation to perform these functions, which correspond to the purposes for NRCS Conservation Practices such as Conservation Crop Rotation, Cover Crop, Strip Cropping, and Nutrient Management. Because organic producers do not use synthetic fertilizers and can use only a very limited list of pesticides or fungicides, they depend to a greater degree on crop rotation...

Florida Organic Growers (FOG)lead NRCS staff on short virtual tours of three certified organic operations in Florida and Puerto Rico. Each organic grower touches on the philosophical and practical aspects of growing organic crops in semi tropical and tropical regions -- including their main production challenges and successes. They also discuss the ways they manage their soils, water, crops, wildlife, and other resources. The growers point out the ways they conserve natural resources in their farms while also identifying areas in they need support to increase their resource conservation. The webinar is being presented by NCAT with funding through the...

This webinar addresses multi-species cover crops that can be used to improve soil health, increase biological diversity, and benefit the bottom line in no-till grain operations. An increasing number of grain farmers are experimenting with these "cocktails" of cover crops such as legumes, grasses, and companion crops to keep the soil covered year-round. During this webinar, Jay Fuhrer, District Conservationist with the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) in Bismarck, North Dakota, shared his experience with this innovative no-till approach. Fuhrer presented four on-farm case studies to illustrate how to successfully use cover crop "cocktails" to enhance crop production and livestock forage...

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food is a USDA initiative to promote sustainable local and regional food systems that will support small and mid-sized farms and ranches, promote healthy communities and protect our natural resources....

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 podcast, we hear from Tammy Howard, agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West office in Butte, Montana, and David Wise, certified Produce Safety trainer and consultant. They talk about a new tool to help farmers navigate the complicated food safety regulatory environment. The Farmer Regulatory Toolkit helps farmers understand the different regulations that might apply to them based on their size and markets. It also provides an additional tool to conduct a quick food safety self-assessment. This innovative tool will create a document that can be used to present to buyers or any markets that may be requiring...

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, Martin Guerena, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program talks with “Amigo Bob” Cantisano. Bob is a pioneer in California organic agriculture, and he is well known as the founding organizer of the annual Ecological Farming Conference, which will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2020. It is one of the largest sustainable agriculture gatherings in the western United States. Martin works at NCAT’s Western Regional office in Davis, California. Martin and Bob discuss the history of organic agriculture and what Bob sees as its challenges and opportunities going forward, including regulatory practices, labor challenges, and increased demand. You...

In this podcast Margo Hale, Regional Director of NCAT’s Southeast Regional office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks with Dr. Anne Fanatico about ecological poultry production and alternative feeds for poultry diets. Anne teaches and conducts research at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. They talk about poultry feed and alternatives to the standard corn and soybean diet, including insects, worms, and potatoes. They also discuss practical tips for ecological poultry production. For more information on this topic, you can contact Margo Hale directly at margoh@ncat.org ATTRA Resources: Pastured Poultry Nutrition and Forages Pastured-Raised Poultry Nutrition Poultry Production: Providing Adequate Methionine Integrating Livestock and Crops Vermicomposting: The Basics Other...

In this podcast, Felicia Bell, agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation with Tracy Galloway, of Galloway Family Farm near Ocean Springs, Mississippi. In this episode, Felicia and Tracy talk about how to add value to an existing farm through agritourism. Tracy is a third-generation family farmer who began to transition his farm to a tourist destination three years go with tours, education, special events, and products for sale. Felicia Bell is located at NCAT’s Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi. ATTRA Resources: Entertainment Farming and Agritourism Agritourism Promotes Local-Goods Purchasing Tips for Selling With: Agritourism and “Pick-Your-Own” Other Resources: Iowa State University resources and...

In this episode, Omar Rodriguez, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation about biostimulants with Meerae Park, a master’s degree student in the Plant Sciences Department at the University of California Davis. Omar, who works out of NCAT’s Western Regional Office in Davis, California, and Meerae give an overview of biostimulants – which are generally described as substances that aren’t fertilizers, pesticides, or growth regulators but can affect plants’ yield, quality, and vigor. They discuss categories of biostimulants, how they may affect plants, the sometimes difficult task of defining which substances are biostimulants, how farmers can...

In this episode, Margo Hale, director of NCAT Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Linda Coffey, a livestock specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, discuss some timely spring topics that are impacting their own farms: pastures, parasites, and predators. Margo and Linda, whose farms are both in the Fayetteville area, talk about handling excess forage, electronet tips and warnings, weeds and poisonous plants, and grazing recordkeeping. They also touch on pasture management to minimize internal parasite problems and the use of livestock guardian animals to protect stock from predation.  They refer to a number of resources and invite listeners to...

In this episode, Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Nicole Masters, a New Zealand agroecologist and director of Integrity Soils. Kara, who works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, caught up with Nicole via telephone while Nicole was visiting a client in Big Timber, Montana. They talk about ways in which the “soil microbiome” system that acts as a plant’s digestive system mirrors the microbiome of the human digestive system. They discuss how to understand the health of an agricultural operation’s soil microbiome, and they talk about ways regenerative agriculture with...

In this episode, John Wallace, manager of NCAT's SIFT farm, talks with Robin Kelson of the Good Seed Company in Whitefish, Montana. Robin and John discuss questions that beginning seed savers often have as well as resources that are available for those who want to get into the subject in more depth.
By John Wallace, NCAT Agriculture Specialist...

In this second half of a two-part series, Steve Thompson, executive director of NCAT, sits down with Loren Birdrattler, project manager of the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan, or ARMP. They take a closer look at a new partnership between NCAT and the Blackfeet Nation to evaluate the feasibility of a multispecies meat-processing plant. This project is a key part of the Tribe’s strategy to create local markets for producers, engage youth more directly in agriculture, and provide healthy, culturally appropriate food for tribal members in this remote corner of rural Montana. In this episode, Loren and Steve have a conversation...

In this first part of a two-part series, Steve Thompson, executive director of NCAT, sits down with Loren Birdrattler, project manager of the Blackfeet Agriculture Resource Management Plan or ARMP. They talk about a new partnership between NCAT and the Blackfeet Nation to evaluate the feasibility of a multispecies meat processing plant. This project is a key part of the Tribe’s strategy to create local markets for producers, engage youth more directly in agriculture, and provide healthy, culturally appropriate food for tribal members in this remote corner of rural Montana. In this episode, Loren and Steve have a conversation about the landscape,...

In this episode, Nina Prater, a soil specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, sits down for a conversation with NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale to talk about the basics of soil health and to go over the five soil health principles that farmers and ranchers can follow to regenerate soil to a healthy, productive condition. Margo is a livestock specialist, and she earned two degrees in Animal Science without a single soil class. Nina tries to remedy this around the office on a regular basis, so they decided to record one of these conversations. Margo and Nina both...

Down in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, Hilltop Gardens Farm Manager Andy Cruz discusses using sorghum-sudangrass as a cover crop in subtropical climates. Andy explains how to plant sorghum-sudangrass, its benefits, and how it positively affects the soil health on the farm. This video is part of NCAT's Subtropical Soil Health Initiative funded by USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant #69-3A75-17-281. For more on cover crop use in subtropical climates, read the NCAT publication: Cover Crop Options for Hot and Humid Areas...

How do organic farmers feel about crop insurance? Do they need it? Do they want it? And are they happy with the choices available to them? Dr. Eric Belasco will present results from a large national survey of over 1,000 sustainable and organic growers. Dr. Belasco is Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics & Economics at Montana State University. This webinar is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2014-51300-22224....

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 1-800-346-9140...

In this episode Dave Scott, agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, sits down with Korey Fauque, a farmer of 4,500 acres and owner of KW Insurance, a crop insurance company in Sunburst, Montana. He has an Agriculture Technology degree from Montana State University Northern in Havre, Montana. Dave Scott is located at NCAT’s Rocky Mountain West Office in Butte, Montana. In this podcast, Dave and Korey talk about soil health and regenerative agriculture, which is the use of agriculture practices that mimic nature. They discuss the Five Principles of Soil Health, which are: 1) Minimum disturbance; 2) Roots in the...

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 Guy Ames, horticulture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program at NCAT’s Southeastern Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks with Jared M. Phillips, author of the new book Hipbillies: Deep Revolution in the Arkansas Ozarks. In his book, Jared writes about the back-to-the-land movement of the 1960s and 1970s and how that counterculture affected the Arkansas Ozarks. Jared holds a doctorate in American history and is assistant professor of international studies at the University of Arkansas. He lives and works on a small, traditional farm outside of Prairie Grove, Arkansas. In this podcast, Guy and Jared also talk about...

In this podcast Rex Dufour, director of NCAT’s Western Regional Office in Davis, California, talks with Omar Rodriguez, sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, about working with California farmers to establish hedgerows. Hedgerows provide many benefits to farms in addition to adding beauty. They play an important role in pest management and help prevent erosion as well as create visual and dust barriers. Omar and Rex also discuss preparing the ground for planting a hedgerow and what kinds of plants are commonly used. ATTRA publications: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts and Resources Conservation...

In this episode, Madelynn Nelson, an AmeriCorps member serving with Energy Corps as a sustainable-agriculture farm-energy educator at NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, talks with West Virginia farmer and beekeeper Eric Grandon. Eric, an alumnus of the Armed to Farm training for veterans offered by NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, runs Sugar Bottom Farm in Clay County, West Virginia. After farming for just five years, Eric and Sugar Bottom Farm won the Conservation Farm of the Year for 2018 in West Virginia’s Elk Conservation District. Eric and Madelynn talk about farm energy conservation and using solar power on the farm as well...

In this episode, Lee Rinehart, a specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, takes a break during the 2019 Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture Conference to talk with commercial fisherman Steve Kurian. Steve is the owner of Wild for Salmon, which directly markets fresh and frozen wild salmon caught in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Lee, who works out of NCAT’s Northeast Regional Office in Keene New Hampshire, introduces Steve, followed by a conversation about sustainable fishing practices and their effect on waterfront communities. They also discuss Steve’s business model, including a Community Supported Fishery, similar to the Community Supported Agriculture – or CSA...

In this episode, NCAT community foods outreach specialist Daniel Prial, and Andy Pressman, director of NCAT’s Northeast Region office in Keene, New Hampshire, talk to Atina Diffley, author of Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works, a 2013 Minnesota Book Award winner. Both Andy and Daniel work with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Atina is a Minnesota organic farmer and public speaker. Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works is a memoir based on Atina’s life running the Gardens of Eagan organic vegetable farm. Her advocacy has addressed the pressures of suburban development, and she successfully led a legal and citizen campaign...

In this podcast, Robert Maggiani, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Juan Raygoza about his farm in South Texas. Juan moved to the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas in 2007 with little money. His goal was to farm vegetables for his family. At first he borrowed land to farm, and then was able to purchase seven acres with the help of a USDA loan and is now owner of Terra Preta Farm in Edinburg, Texas. NCAT has worked with him on several projects over the past five years and helped get his farm certified...

In this episode, Sue Beckwith and Mike Morris, co-authors of the new book 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...