This page is regularly updated with opportunities of interest to our members. If you have something of interest to share with our members, please send the announcement to the VABF Administrator. There is no charge to VABF members.

Organic Seed Alliance – Seed Internship Program

This is your chance to participate in addressing one of the most pressing needs in organic agriculture – and to develop a new enterprise for your farm.

Organic Seed Alliance ( https://www.seedalliance.org) is seeking to match the organic seed growers of tomorrow with the experienced growers of today.

The Seed Internship Program combines online and classroom learning, farm-based independent study, and real-world experience through a diverse network of family farms. Hosted by Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), the Seed Internship Program matches individuals who want to learn about seed production with experienced growers.

Learn more and apply today

Become an Intern
The Seed Internship Program matches interns with host farms that provide on-farm experience and formal training in seed production. The six-month internships offer interns:
        Online, class, and field-based education
         Independent studies on the host farm
        Experience with the organic seed trade

Become a Host
Are you experienced seed producer looking for interns? We need you to train the next generation of seed producers! Host farms receive:
        Assistance with matching the right intern for your farm
         Educational materials, webinars, and other support


Farmer Survey with Gift Card

Are you a fruit or vegetable farmer in the Mid-Atlantic region (PA, NJ, DE, MD, VA, WV, and DC)?  Have you participated in or considered participating in: 1) Farm to School sales or activities OR 2) Farmers’ Market Nutrition Incentive programs (like FMNP & SNAP matching programs)?
Megan Lehnerd, a PhD student at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition, is conducting a study to learn more about why farmers choose to participate or not participate in these programs. The survey will take between 20 and 30 minutes to complete, and if you complete the survey, you can choose a $25 gift card to either Amazon or Johnny’s Selected Seeds.  For more information or to take the survey, visit: http://sites.tufts.edu/farmersurvey/ or contact Megan at megan.lehnerd@tufts.edu.

Organic Certification Cost Share – now more readily accessible.

Visit your Farm Services Agency (FSA) office anytime after March 20 to apply for the 2017 season

From Alyssa Charney, Policy Specialist at NSAC:
On December 21 of 2016, USDA announced the transfer of the organic certification cost share program to FSA.  National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) published a press release and blog, which you can read below, as well as USDA’s press release and the NOFA in public inspection (to be published in Federal Register tomorrow).USDA Press Release
NSAC Press Release
NSAC Blog
NOFA for the Organic Certification Cost Share ProgramIt’s important to note that State agencies now have the chance to “opt in” to directly administer the program as well.  In states where the department does opt in, applicants can either go through their county FSA office or State Department of Agriculture to enroll.  State Agencies that participate will continue to be able to contract with NGOs to deliver the program in a particular state.In order to ensure maximum options for producers, and in states were the program was run well, we strongly encourage folks to urge your States to continue to offer the program.FSA plans to partner and work closely with the states that choose to also administer the program.  They also will hold a stakeholder call, including NOC and NSAC members, early in the year, so we will keep you posted with details as soon as that gets scheduled.

National Young Farmers’ Survey

The National Young Farmers Union is conducting a survey to bring your collective voice to decision makers on Capitol Hill.

Help us tell Congress that #FarmersCount by taking the 2017 National Young Farmer Survey:

Your participation will help us understand and elevate the issues that matter most to young farmers. It is crucial that the survey results represent all young farmers and aspiring farmers, no matter where they live or what they grow.

Here are a few things you should know about the survey:

  • All personal data is completely confidential.
  • The survey only happens every five years.
  • NYFC is partnering with George Washington University and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Dr. Kathleen Merrigan on survey design and analysis.
  • Esta encuesta está disponible en español.
  • Taking the survey is one of the most important things you can do to advance our movement.   To show our appreciation for your time, survey takers will receive a bundle of coupons from our partners, including Harney & Sons, Chobani, and Kashi. Coupons are optional and offered while supplies last.

Allegheny Mountain Institute now hiring Village Manager

Passionate about changing our food system? Join the Allegheny Mountain Institute leadership team! We seek a sustainable farming-savvy Village and Garden Manager for the 2017 season to serve as mentor for our Phase I Farm Fellows and manage our campus gardens located on a beautiful historic homestead in the mountains of Virginia.

The AMI Village Manager & Lead Gardener (VG) leads garden planning and activities on the farm while serving as residential advisor, mentor, and cohort manager. The VG reports directly to the Education Director and works closely with her on farm planning and management as well as curriculum development and instruction. The ideal candidate will have at least three seasons of experience working on a vegetable farm, one season of market garden management, experience living in intentional community, and be comfortable mentoring and teaching peers.

This is a seasonal position, managing the day-to-day operations of the Gardens, Village Campus, Kitchen and Fellowship schedule, at our Highland County Campus. Work hours may fluctuate and are dependent on the time of year and organizational needs. AMI’s work is rooted in organic, regenerative agricultural practices, so the Village Manager & Lead Gardener should have a deep philosophical agreement with such methods.

This is a non-exempt, 40 hours per week, part time position, available now through to November 30, 2017. Base salary is $2,000 per month.  Benefit package includes: lodging, meals during Fellowship season with AMI Cohort, workers’ compensation coverage, earned vacation/sick leave, plus holidays (according to AMI Personnel Policy Manual).

TO APPLY:

Please apply at www.alleghenymountaininstitute.org, or email jessa@alleghenymountainschool.org for more information.


Allegheny Mountain Institute now hiring Farm Manager

The AMI Farm Manager is responsible for most operational aspects of the AMI Farm and Facilities at our Highland County, Virginia Campus. Education of the broader community is a key component of the Allegheny Mountain Institute, and a competitive applicant will have an interest in this area. All of our work is rooted in organic, regenerative agricultural practices, and the AMI Farm Manager should have a deep philosophical and operational agreement with such methods. This role is responsible for the organic, sustainable management of operational aspects of the AMI agricultural and meat production including: plant propagation, cultivation, succession planting, pest and nutrient management, harvesting, processing, distribution, quality and quantity control, organic orchard management, and animal husbandry including poultry, bees, and possible future bovine, swine, caprine, sheep, and dairy operations. This position reports to the AMI Executive Director. Work hours may fluctuate and are dependent on the time of year and organizational needs (preparation at the beginning of the season and end of season, for instance). 

Please see the complete job description at www.alleghenymountainsinstitute.org.  You may also download this PDF.

TO APPLY: Please send a single compiled .pdf file including a cover letter, resume, AMI application form, and list of at least 3 professional references to: EDSearch@alleghenymountainschool.org No phone calls or mailed applications, please. 


Allegheny Mountain Institute now hiring Urban Farm Manager at VSDB

Allegheny Mountain Institute (AMI) seeks an Urban Farm Manager to oversee the operations of a 3-acre farm site at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind in Staunton, VA. The 3-acre site consists of a 1-acre vegetable farm, educational gardens, outdoor classroom and kitchen, orchard, and diverse native habitat plantings. AMI manages and operates the Urban Farm at VSDB, which provides students of all ages a place to learn, play, and grow outdoors.

The farm hosts community work days, teacher trainings, as well as workshops for our surrounding communities. The incumbent will plan and carry out the continued development of the farm site based on the goals of the project, and work closely with the VSDB horticulture teaching staff to carry out garden-based education curriculum at the farm. The Urban Farm Manager is responsible for the organic, sustainable management of all operational aspects of farm production including: plant propagation, cultivation, succession planting, pest and nutrient management, harvesting, processing, distribution, quality and quantity control for all vegetative plantings, both perennial and annual.

Please visit AMI’s website at http://www.alleghenymountaininstitute.org/ to view the complete Urban Farm Manager position description, download the AMI application form, and follow instructions to apply. 

When applying, please email a single compiled .pdf file that includes a cover letter, resume, AMI Application Form, and at least 3 professional references to: edsearch@alleghenymountainschool.org.


 BRAVO 400 SPRAYER – $3,500


Tank Capacity: 400 Liters
Totally Rounded.
Not wetting the driver.
Low center of gravity = stability also in slope condition.
Tank content meter by large index and scale.
Optimal mixing of the spraying mixture. No sediment.
Total utilization of the tank content.
Fresh water tank with selector valve for a quick circuit flushing.
Chassis with impact-resistant belt, peripheral.
Steel keel for protection to ground.
Filling hole of tank on the left side.
Constant pressure regulator, micro adjusting.
Auto-filter: the pressure filter continuously flushed clear.
Never clogged. Never to be cleaned.
Anti-drift Propeller: Air Volume and Penetration Power adjusted in seconds.
Dosing Probe: Fast and safe. instantly sucking and mixing powders, granules and liquid chemicals.
The Air sprayers of BRAVO line are suitable for the spraying of the most various Trees Plantations: Vineyards, Orchards, Nurseries and Greenhouses, etc.

CALL BRISCOE WHITE 804-651-9469


Haygrove High Tunnels – $25,000

1 acre- 9 Bays 28’x 250’

Smart door frames

PTO Removing Tool

Standing- Buyer must disassemble and haul

CALL BRISCOE WHITE 804-651-9469


Farm position: Livestock manager and general homesteading

In association with the Harvest Table Restaurant and with the continuing Animal Vegetable Miracle project

The job has two main components:  roughly half of the time taking care of livestock, cattle and sheep, and the other half helping with more general homesteading type work: gardening, weeding, clearing new land, building projects, tractor work, etc.

The main role of the job is livestock management, with the person being primarily in charge of a small starter herd of Dexter cattle, which we currently building (we started with 6 heifers, now have 13, probably will double that number at a stable end point). The person will oversee management of about 40 acres and work toward improving the pastures, for which we do rotational grazing and grass finishing. The person would be in charge of all of these aspects– cattle routine health, rotations, pasture management, hay in winter, breeding protocol, etc. The ideal candidate would have experience with cattle and possibly rotational grazing systems. Secondarily, we have a herd of Icelandic sheep, and the person would be partially responsible for them as well. Third, we would like to have someone who would help with yard/garden/homestead duties for our home and garden, basic things like planting, weeding, harvesting, pruning, weed-eating, etc.

The job includes housing and household utilities. It would have to be someone who is independent, a self-starter, and enjoys solitude (the housing site is near the animals).

Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, resume and contacts for references to: Steven Hopp at: Info@harvesttablerestaurant.com


Compact Raised Bed Layer For Sale

Bed Layer was purchased from Martin Produce Supply, PA https://www.martinsproducesupplies.com/equipmentmachines/nolts-compact-raised-bed-layer RB448 Lays 3’ or 4’ plastic with 4’ high and 20 or 30” wide bed. 30-35 HP required. Also have the RBA1 -Drip Attachment, RBA2 -Double Drip Attachment, and Rba41 -Adjustable row markers. The Bed Layer has only been lightly used for 3 seasons. It has been kept in an equipment shed. The layer can be disassembled for transporting.  I am asking $1200. Gary Scott Twin Springs Farm, Shipman, VA 22971 Contact via email twinspringsfarmva@gmail.com Cell 434-964-6911.


Request for Proposals – Community Food Systems Conference

We are soliciting proposals for workshop sessions at our Community Food Systems Conference. We will be accepting proposals until April 3, 2017 at 11:59pm. We seek submissions from leaders in food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture.

What: Community Food Systems Conference
When: 12/5/17 – 12/7/17
Where: Boston Park Plaza Hotel
About: The Community Food Systems Conference will explore the intersection of food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture. This conference will address a variety of community food system topics. There are certain cross-cutting issues we believe are fundamental in community food systems and in building a strong, equitable food future.

Skill Building across cultures and sectors
Diversity of presenters
Racial, social and economic equity

Submit Proposal

We expect 500-600 attendees. Be a part of this historical event. Visit our website for more information. Please contact Kristen (kristen.aldrich@tufts.edu) with questions. View a PDF of the RFP here.


Virginia Farm Business Development Grants

The Virginia Farm Business Development Program is now available.  Some of you might already be familiar with this new opportunity.  Please see below and attached for more information and how you can help share the word with the farmers you work with.  This program may help new farmers who have been in operation for at least 3 years.

The Governor’s press release is available here: https://governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/newsarticle?articleId=18398.

For more information, please visit the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services website: http://www.vdacs.virginia.gov/agriculture-virginia-farm-business-development-program%20.shtml

For more information, please have your farmers contact:

Maggie Beal Longest
Coordinator, Farm Business Development Program
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
(804) 786-1241
margaret.longest@vdacs.virginia.gov


Help in a statewide effort to make nutrient management planning more useful to farmers throughout Virginia!

The Virginia Nutrient Management Leadership Team, which is a collaborative effort comprised of 18 agricultural and conservation organizations and state agencies, is reaching out to farmers and ag industry professionals as part of a periodic assessment, to learn about challenges and opportunities relating to nutrient management plan development and implementation.

While Virginia farmers use and implement nutrient management plans to improve yields and reduce input costs, we are seeking to further expand farmer participation. Our goal is to understand the barriers to participation in nutrient management planning, and find ways to make it more useful to farmers without additional regulations.

Nutrient management plans recommend fertilizer or manure application rates designed to achieve crop production yield goals while at the same time minimizing fertilizer inputs and costs.   According to Kristen Evans, with Sustainable Chesapeake,

“Nutrient management plans help farmers maximize their return on fertilizer investments – and in doing so, they also protect water quality, as fertilizer applied in excess of crop requirements can be lost to air and water resources.  Because nutrient management plans support agricultural production, farm profits, and water quality, they are a high priority conservation practice.”

Darryl Glover is with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, which oversees the Commonwealth’s nutrient management planning program. He stated that:

“DCR hopes the results of the assessments will provide information that will help us find ways to encourage more farmers to obtain nutrient management plans.” 

Wilmer Stoneman with the Virginia Farm Bureau, also noted that:

 “it is important to do a periodic check-up of Virginia’s nutrient management program.”

We very much need you to weigh in, sharing your experience, ideas and suggestions. We would be extremely grateful if you would please complete the assessment, either in hardcopy or online.  If you can, please help us reach as many people in Virginia’s ag community by sharing this with your colleagues and constituencies, now through mid-February.

Results of the assessment will be released in late Spring 2017.

Participate now!

Virginia Nutrient Management Team Members Include:

  • Chesapeake Bay Foundation
  • Headwaters LLC
  • James River Association
  • James Riverkeeper
  • Sustainable Chesapeake
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Agribusiness Council
  • Virginia Association of Conservation Districts
  • Virginia Biosolids Council
  • Virginia Cattlemen’s Association
  • Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service
  • Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreatio
  • Virginia Department of Environmental Qualit
  • Virginia Farm Bureau
  • Virginia Grain Producers Association
  • Virginia Poultry Federation
  • Virginia Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Virginia State Dairymen’s Association
  • Virginia Tech

The Virginia Environmental Endowment is providing funding for this important effort through a grant to Sustainable Chesapeake.

For more information:  Contact Kristen Hughes Evans, Executive Director, Sustainable Chesapeake at Kristen@susches.org or 415-730-7503.


Farm Operations Manager – Kretschmann Organic Farm in Rochester, PA

Interviewing now in January; plan to fill position in February 2017

Pennsylvania organic farmer Don Kretschmann is seeking to hire a Farm Operations Manager to help him and his family run their mid-size organic vegetable and fruit farm in Rochester, PA, about an hour from Pittsburg.  Duties include planning and helping to manage soil fertility, crop production, and packing house for a large CSA.

For more information, visit http://www.kretschmannfarm.com/employment-information and click on “Farm Operations Manager” near bottom of the web page for the job description.


Radical Roots Farm is currently accepting apprentice applications for the 2017 season

If you are serious about taking your farming to the next level, please consider this amazing opportunity.

Radical Roots Farm grows high quality, certified organic vegetables and herbs in a sustainable way.

The Radical Roots Farm Apprenticeship is an exchange of time and learning between experienced and new farmers.  Apprentices’ learn the art and craft of organic farming through hard work in the fields, observation of successful farm ecosystems and participating in a mentoring relationship with experienced farmers.  This immersion into all aspects of organic vegetable production gives new farmers valuable skills and experience to begin their career in organic agriculture.  Whether they start their own farm or go on to work in public gardens, landscaping, school gardens or farm to table restaurants, apprentices gain a firm foundation and confidence to succeed.

Goals of the Apprenticeship

  • To share the skills involved in organic farming and the tools of the trade.
  • To offer apprentices an example of a successful organic farm so that they can learn the cycles of the growing season.
  • To give apprentices first hand working knowledge with specific crops, so that they can have a solid foundation of farming experience.
  • To support the hands on learning that comes through hard work in the fields with educational resources, garden reading, classes and field trips.

To apply, check out our website.


The Center for Rural Affairs – Whole Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP)

What is it? WFRP is a new crop insurance product that rewards on-farm diversity. It makes crop insurance available for farms and crops where it hasn’t been available before, because it insures the revenue of the operation. It’s available in every county in the U.S.

Check out our webinars! The Center for Rural Affairs, in partnership with two crop insurance experts, developed six webinars for different audiences on how WFRP works and how it can benefit them.  Find the right webinar for you on the list below!  These include webinars for producers and for insurance agents on each of the following three topics:

  • Insuring diversified fruit and vegetable production under Whole Farm Revenue Protection
  • Insuring commodity production under Whole Farm Revenue Protection
  • Insuring livestock under Whole Farm Revenue Protection

What other resources are available to help me sign up for WFRP?

  • Learn what the crop insurance signup deadlines are in your area by searching here. The deadline for signing up for WFRP in 2017 is either Jan. 31, Feb. 28, or March 31, depending on where you live.
  • Find a crop insurance agent by searching here.  There is some paperwork involved in setting up your policy, so don’t delay in reaching out to your crop insurance agent to get the process started.
  • USDA also has useful fact sheets, FAQs and handbooks on WFRP here on their website.

Please feel free to call me with questions, or to share your experiences with the Conservation Stewardship Program or with Whole Farm Revenue Protection.  I can be reached at (515) 329-0172 or you can email me at annaj@cfra.org.

I look forward to hearing from you!
Anna Johnson, Policy Program Associate, Center for Rural Affairs


USDA Announces $27 Million in Grants Available to Support the Local Food Sector

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) today announced the availability of $27 million in grants to fund innovative projects designed to strengthen market opportunities for local and regional food producers and businesses. Through the Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program, AMS partners with farmers and other local food stakeholders to strengthen local economies and improve community-wide access to fresh, healthy food.

Read more at https://www.ams.usda.gov/press-release/usda-announces-27-million-grants-available-support-local-food-sector


The Catawba Sustainability Center is now accepting application for its 2017 Small Farm Incubator program!

Download the program overview and application.

The Catawba Sustainability Center’s Small Farm Incubator Plots program aims to incubate and grow viable, independent farm businesses and to serve as a model new-farmer program by providing access to land and resources in a low-risk environment.

Program Goals

  • Accommodate up to 8 new growers and small farms
  • Build infrastructure necessary to fulfill mission and serve as a model agricultural development organization
  • Provide educational opportunities and skills training
  • Support the local economy and local food system

The Catawba Sustainability Center (CSC) is establishing “Land-Use Agreements” with new and established farm businesses to utilize a portion of designated farmland to grow produce. The Center is committed to developing the incubator program, facilitating learning opportunities, and ensuring that land is available annually for new participants. All participants must follow the CSC’s Land Use Protocol and new farms must participate in one of the Catawba Sustainability Center’s training programs.

For questions, please contact:

Adam Taylor
Catawba Sustainability Center Manager
540-588-0283
adamht@vt.edu


Beginning Farmer webinars – input wanted

If you have a topic you would like to speak about, know someone who may want to speak in a webinar, or just have a topic you want someone to cover, please feel free to email me with anything you wish. Some details about our webinars are included below:

  • Use the WebEx program through Virginia Tech
  • Speakers only need a working computer/internet connection and a reliable phone line (do not need to travel to Virginia Tech)
  • Presentations are given through a “screen share” option to share powerpoints, documents, pictures, and more
  • Aim for 45 minutes of material followed by a 15 minute Q&A session
  • Typically offered on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays around lunch time

We need suggestions from you all to keep these webinars interesting and relevant to beginning farmers and ranchers across Virginia. I look forward to hearing the ideas you all send my way!

Sincerely,

Allyssa Mark
Program Associate

Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition Program

Email: allys91@vt.edu


Farmer Incubator Program at Bottle Tree Farm LLC

(Waverly, VA)

Bottle Tree Farm LLC, an 18+ acre farm on the edge of Waverly Virginia, 23890, is looking to assist
young and beginning farmers to establish their own business growing and selling seasonal produce
and related agricultural products. My wife and I are in search of a few (2-4+) qualified candidates to participate in our Farmer Incubator Program.

The two of us make use of only a small fraction of the farm and have always wanted to further
opportunities for young and beginning farmers. To that end, we are willing to share our investment
in land, equipment and other resources with a small number of prospects that have either classroom and/or field experience and who are looking to start their own agricultural related business.

We are looking for sustainable farmers willing to invest in the soil and land. Growing seasonal
produce crops for direct to consumer marketing is likely the best use of this land. Livestock and fowl are logical extensions to add to the rotation of crops, for those willing to take on this responsibility.

Our Farm is conveniently located on US460 within 50-60 miles of 3 major metropolitan centers; 1)
Richmond, Petersburg, Hopewell; 2) Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and 3) Williamsburg,
Newport News, Hampton. Great marketing opportunities and potential exist for those willing to
hustle.

There is a cottage on the farm and other affordable housing available nearby. Currently (2017)
cottage is occupied If interested, please send letter of introduction to: info@bottletreefarm.com.
Include summary of experience and resources you have and the type of business you are hoping to
establish as well as any initial questions that you may have. Please include your current working
business plan.

Thank you for your interest in this opportunity.
Bob Richardson
info@bottletreefarm.com
bottletreefarm.com