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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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From Gardener to Organic Grower, New Jersey Farmer Finds Sustainability in Embracing the Local Community

January 8, 2013 |

Al Esposito of Poplar Wood Farm. Photo Credit: Al Esposito.

Al Esposito of Poplar Wood Farm does it all: from growing and selling organic produce and cut flowers to garden landscaping, as well as raising free-range chickens and goats. As if that doesn’t keep him busy enough, Al is currently the President of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey, leading the non-profit organization with a goal to make healthy food an abundant possibility.

I recently spoke with Al to learn more about what inspired him to become a farmer, his involvement in NOFA and the future goals of his farm. Read More

Farm Aid’s 2012 Grants Focus On Growing Family Farm Agriculture and a New Generation of Farmers

December 13, 2012 |

News Release – CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Farm Aid announced that 67 family farm and rural service organizations received $532,300 from its grant program during 2012. These organizations work to strengthen family farm agriculture nationwide.

“These grants empower grassroots organizations to put new farmers on the land and amplify the voices of family farmers,” said Farm Aid President Willie Nelson. “Farm Aid funds create opportunities for all of us who seek good, healthful food, and stronger economies and communities across America.” Read More

USDA Awards $9 Million in Grants to Orgs Working to Connect Farmers and Ranchers to Local Consumers

September 21, 2012 |

USDA National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef CattleCLEVELAND, Sept. 21, 2012 – Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced over $9 million in grants to organizations across 39 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to initiatives that bolster the connection between agricultural producers and their consumers while improving access to healthy food and strengthening local economies. Merrigan made the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) awards announcement while speaking at the Project for Public Spaces Annual Public Market Conference. Read More

Making Most of Vacant Building, Urban Farming Org Hopes to Create Viable Indoor Food Production Model

September 21, 2012 |

With the increasing rise in popularity of the local food movement in cities across the country, many people are getting creative about the spaces they use in order to bring fresh food to urban communities. Rooftop and community gardens have become major trends in recent years, but some people are thinking beyond outdoor spaces to include buildings that might otherwise continue to sit vacant.

FoodChain is one such organization that is thinking outside of the box, or garden plot, bringing an educational and demonstration facility—that will be teaching aquaponics, food processing and more—to the diverse downtown community of Lexington, Ky. The organization makes its home in the former Rainbo Bread Factory building, which operated downtown as early as the late 1800s and stayed in business for about 100 years. Read More

UC Davis Receives $1 Million Grant to Develop Sustainable Agricultural Businesses

September 19, 2012 |

News Release – UC Davis is one of six recipients nationwide, and the only one in California, to receive a $1 million award in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration’s 2012 i6 Challenge Grant competition. The university will use the grant to establish the Clean AgTech Innovation Center.

Reps. Doris Matsui and Mike Thompson, whose districts take in parts of UC Davis, announced the grant on Sept. 13. Read More