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CT NOFA Online Learning: Loving and Cooking with your CSA

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Sept 9, 2021, 6-7:15 PM. Cost $15: CT NOFA Online Learning: Loving and Cooking with your CSA, from Cherry Grove Farm

NOFA-NJ, The Suppers Program, and Jammin’ Crepes are working together to offer a Cooking class which celebrates the NJ Organic CSA and seven NJ farms who have a CSA program.  Every second Thursday of the month, Tony Kennette will introduce you to another NJ Organic farm, and Kim Rizk of Jammin’ Crepes will cook from the farms CSA box. The charge for this event is $15 for one class or $60 for the whole series.

Click here to register.

More Pain Ahead for Dairy Farmers, May 24, 2016

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More Pain Ahead for Dairy Farmers, May 24, 2016

Farmers across the country have been operating below the cost of production for quite some time. Unfortunately, the pain is likely to continue, according University of Wisconsin’s Bob Cropp. He says Class III milk prices are on their way to levels not seen since the 2009 dairy crisis. Cropp is forecasting the May Class III price to be $12.75/cwt. In 2015 the May Class III price was $16.00/cwt. Cropp says exports aren’t currently significant enough to make up for the increasing supplies.

To learn more watch video in link below

Milk Business

Northeast 2015 Dairy Farm Discussion & Current Situation -5/9/2016

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Northeast 2015 Dairy Farm Discussion & Current Situation  -5/9/2016

Webinar from 5/9/2016

Northeast dairy farmers are facing challenging times. In this webinar, Chris Laughton, Farm Credit East’s Director of Knowledge Exchange, presented the results of the 2015 Northeast Dairy Farm Summary. A panel discussion about the current economic situation facing Northeast dairy producers and some strategies for working through it followed in the second half of the webinar.

To view Chris Laughton’s presentation, click here.

To view the 2015 Northeast Dairy Farm Summary, click here.

For more information, contact chris.laughton@farmcrediteast.com

Northeast Agriculture Insights & Perspectives 2016 Report

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Northeast Agriculture Insights & Perspectives 2016 Report

Recently released report from Farm Credit East. The report includes outlooks on several farming industries and provides economic outlooks from Chris Laughton, Farm Credit East Director of Knowledge, insights from Bill Lipinski, Farm Credit East CEO, and several industry.

The report can be viewed here.

 

New Milford Farmland & Forest Preservation Committee 2016 Meeting Calendar

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New Milford Farmland & Forest Preservation Committee

2016 Meeting Calendar

All meeting to be held at Town Hall , Loretta Brickley Room at 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted

 Wednesday, January 20

Wednesday, February 24

Wednesday, March 30

Wednesday, April 27

Wednesday, May 25

Wednesday, June 29

Wednesday, July 27

Wednesday. August 31

Wednesday, September 28

Wednesday, October 26

Wednesday, November 30

Wednesday, December 28

Communicating the Message of Local Agriculture

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The Big Picture: Communicating the Message of Local Agriculture

 Kathy Smith, marketing director of The Farmer’s Cow, and Amanda Freund of BuyCTGrown, share advice on communicating the message of local agriculture.

cowz

BuyCTGrown  is campaign to enlist business and institutions to pledge to buy 10% locally grown products to support Connecticut food, farmers and businesses.

The Farmer’s Cow is a group of six Connecticut family dairy farms working for the future of our families and dairy businesses. Together, they produce milk, half and half, eggs, coffee, cider, summer beverages, ice cream sandwiches and ice cream.

A List of Must-Haves

Have an online presence: While it’s difficult for many farmers to maintain an active website, they can connect with other organizations such as BuyCTGrown, which has  an active website. Farmers can submit profiles stories and videos, and list an event. Establishing a Facebook page is easy, effective and critical; link it to a Twitter account.

Cross pollinate: By becoming a promotional partner with buyctgrown.com you can use their logo on your website, at your farm stand, or at your CSA to further promote locally grown and add value to your product.

Tell Your Story:  Farm profiles are especially popular with consumers; they are extremely curious about who their farmers are an what they do. Create a compelling brochure, or an online story or blog, that chronicles your farm. People are interested what your do. Being a farmer to some people is like running away with the circus. Share that excitement. Enlist someone to get your story out.

Photos, Photos, Photos: A picture is worth a thousand words. Great photos are the holy grail, and they shared the most on social media.

But even photos of everyday farm activities posted on Facebook page are likely to be shared, thus building your audience of potential customers. The most popular posts shared are: good looking farmers (!!), baby animals and tractors, tractors, tractors.

Invite People, or Partner on a Farm Tour: Partner with a local 4-H group to be part of a farm tour and invite people out to your farm to educate them about agriculture.

Demo Your Products: Bring your products or produce to stores and to consumers and demonstrate how to prepare them, and give out samples. Pick an underserved vegetable like Kohlrabi and showcase how it can be prepared.

•Adopt a Chef: Invite a restaurant chef and his staff to visit the farm; it gives them an emotional connection to the food.

Branding: Develop a logo or image for your farm that says what and who you are. This may be one area where the cost of hiring a graphic designer may be worthwhile.

Be the Face of the Farmer:  Be an advocate in your community for all agriculture. Be knowledgable about other farms and what they offer. Be an expert in your field or specialty.

Value-added branding: Be the farmer who can provide consumers information on how to plant, how to make butter out of cream, and other useful information.

Push the Message: 98 per cent of the eggs that consumers eat are from factory farms so push the message that local eggs are better by providing interesting backup data. Have a blog about your product and why they are better and why they might cost more using statistics.

Develop a Cooperative: Meet with other farmers in the community to share ideas and net venture by sharing equipment and resources.

Celebrate Agriculture: Partner with an agricultural commission or park and recreation commission to sponsor an event such as Harvest Day or Heritage Day that includes activities  centered around locally grown food and agriculture legacy.

 

 

CT Farming: Past and Future feat. Kip Kolesinskas

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Kip Kolesinskas, Consulting Conservation Scientist, talks about CT Farming: Past and Future

sheps

Despite being the fourth most densely populated states in the country, Connecticut is well suited for agriculture.

 •Agriculture in Connecticut has always been diversified and innovative.  The state was famous for growing red onions, for growing tobacco, and at one point the state raised more sheep than any other northeast state.  We were the first commercial fruit growers, the first to plant corn hybrids, the first to establish an agricultural society and the first to create an extension service.

•How we planted: Seventy-five per cent of the land in Connecticut was cleared for farming and pasturing by the 1800s. By 2007, it was down to 2 million acres. Today, the state has 284,100 acres in cropland and pasture, almost as much as Vermont. Thirty-nine per cent of that is forested; 34 percent is agricultural fields and grass; 22 percent is developed with small farms within developments.

•Farmland is more than soil: It supports agricultural products, local economies, sustainability, habitat, biodiversity, flood storage and protection, scenic beauty, cultural resources and quality of life. Twenty-eight percent of the northeast’s food producer are beginner farmers; 14 percent of the nation’s food is generated in the Northeast. 

•Complex soil landscape: Some of the state’s best soils are in flood plain areas. Our diversified climate is also good for growing different types of crops, this combination of soils and climates make our agriculture special and gives our food  “terroir” – the flavor of the region. 

  • Recent Climate Changes: Warmer temperatures mean changes in plant hardiness, along with a longer growing season and more precipitation. All good indicators for Connecticut farmers.
  • New England Production Capacity: Less than 10 percent of our fruits and veggies are produced here; and barely 50 per cent of milk and cheese. We can do better.
  • We’re at the heart of the marketplace:  Within 2 hours of Connecticut is New York and Boston. Local food is a trend, not a fad. The state is well positioned for this because historically our agriculture land has been expected to do so much beyond just growing one crop.
  • The state’s farmers will excel: By using innovations, understanding the market for local foods, and using the support systems like those listed below:

                     CT Dept of Agriculture, Governor, Legislature, CT  Congressional Delegation
                     CT Ag Experiment Station
                     UConn, UMASS, URI, UVM, UNH, Cornell, Yale
                     Agriscience programs, magnet/charter schools
                     USDA NRCS, FSA, RD as partners
                     S&W Conservation Districts, Eastern CT RC&D
                     Ag organizations, CTFB, CTNOFA, NEW CT Farmers Alliance
                     Land Trusts, National and State Conservation organizations
                     Ag Commissions, some municipal officials
                     Growing public interest and support