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.

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

The AMI Village Manager serves as a residential leader, mentor and mediator to the AMI Fellows. This is a seasonal position, managing the day-to-day operations of the Village Campus, Kitchen and Fellowship schedule at our Highland County Campus. Working closely with the Education Director and Farm Manager, and reporting to the Education Director, the Village Manager assists with farm planning and management, curriculum development and instruction, and in planning and facilitating educational sessions, workshops, and field trips. The ideal candidate will have at least one season of experience working on a vegetable farm, experience living in an intentional community, and be comfortable mentoring and teaching peers. Work hours may fluctuate and are dependent on the time of year and organizational needs.

For a complete Village Manager job description and AMI application, please visit www.alleghenymountaininstitute.org.

TO APPLY: Please send a single compiled .pdf file that includes a cover letter, resume, AMI application form, and at least 3 professional references to: jessa@alleghenymountainschool.org


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. 


 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.


Atelier Farm is Hiring

Atelier Farm is a small-scale, year-round, CSA ‘flora’ farm – vegetable, fruit, herb, and flower – looking for a well-comma’ed individual: one hard-working, hard-thinking, detail-oriented, positive-spirited, physically-enduring, weather-loving, go-getting, goal-setting, well-listening-but-good-speaking, empty-cupped, mad-scientist teammate for the growing season. As a member of our team, your physical power, youthful or once-young-but-still-youthful vibrance, perspective, and personal experience will be part of an exchange for the farmer’s own perspective and ear, agricultural instruction, the very fruits of your labor, and a human experience your body was born for. Participate in collaborative, open book farming: see, learn, and do it all to run a small-scale farm. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s the good kind of hard.
Vegetarianos and -anas welcome, phones not so much.
Please re-read the above, visit http://atelier.farm, then send your Resume, Lover Cetter, and Questions to Austin (austin [at] atelier.farm), subject: “What Great Weather.”

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.


Field Crew Member for the 2017 Season – Riverstone Organic Farm in Floyd, VA

Field Crew Member needed for 2017 season. Full time position from May 1st to November 1st. $8-10.00/hr. depending on experience. At least one year of commercial farming experience required. On-farm lodging available (private cabin). Food share.

Send resume to info@riverstoneorganicfarm.com
For more information on Riverstone Farm, visit http://riverstoneorganicfarm.com/.


Riverstone Organic Farm hiring Crop Manager 2017

Assistant Farm Manager needed for a certified organic GAP farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains. 12 acres in annual row crops and 2 acres in perennials. Significant farming experience and people managements skills required. Full time with benefits, $25-30k/yr.

Riverstone Organic Farm, Floyd Va.   www.riverstoneorganicfarm.com

Email inquiries directly to:  william@swva.net


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.


Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund  – Application period now open

The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching. The Fund does not give money directly to the veteran, but rather to a third party vendor for any items that make a critical difference in the launch of a young farm business.

Since it began in April, 2011, the Fund has provided more than $1,000,000 to 150 fellows in more than 35 states. We hope to award more than $300,000 this year.  Grants are awarded in the name of the foundation or corporation that has contributed to the Fund. 2016 grants are being given through support from the Bob Woodruff Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Prairie Grove Farms, Prudential Financial and Kubota Tractor Corporation.

Demand for the Fund exceeds available funding, so we have developed an application process that opens once or twice a year. There is no guarantee of funding, but we work hard to find ways to help as many of those who apply as possible. The 2017 application period is open February 1, 2017 through March 20, 2017. All applications must be received prior to 5:30 P.M. PST on March 20, 2017.

In addition to monetary awards, the Fellowship provides support in the form of guidance in production, business planning, and marketing. Awards are also made in the form of a scholarship to study for a career in agriculture at a college, university or farm-training program.

 https://www.tfaforms.com/459474

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

  • Applicants must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, currently be on active-duty, or serving in the military reserve/National Guard.
  • Applicants must be members of FVC (you can join for free at farmvetco.org)
  • Applicants must have an honorable discharge (other characters of discharge may be accepted on a case-by-case basis). Active duty or reserve members need a command support letter.
  • Applicants must have an agricultural business in operation, and submit a business plan.
  • Applicants must be willing to fully participate in the Fellowship Program, which includes reporting progress, mentoring aspiring veteran farmers, and the possibility of representing FVC at events.
  • Applicants must have a desire to continue to serve others and make a positive impact on the farmer veteran community.
  • Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in the Homegrown by Heroes program. Information on becoming HBH certified can be found here: http://www.farmvetco.org/homegrown-by-heroes/

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