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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

March 26, 2015 |

seedstock1  UC Davis: Sustainable Farming and Pesticides Reduction Research Underway (Patch)

Excerpt: ‘We have developed a freely available phone app to optimize pesticide spray applications based on weather and spray settings.

2  Pitt law students tackle urban agriculture and food policy issues (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Excerpt:  Realizing it may be hard to find inspiring legal jobs when they graduate in May, Marlene van Es and Jaclyn Clifford decided to create their own. Read More

A Sustainable Food One-stop Shop: New Orleans Business Combines Urban Farm and Grocery Store

March 25, 2015 |
Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Hollygrove Market & Farm.

Photo courtesy of Courtesy of Hollygrove Market & Farm.

Hollygrove Market & Farm (HM&F) has shortened the food distribution chain to zero by combining an urban farm with a grocery store.

For many area residents in New Orleans’ 17th Ward, HM&F is their only source of affordable, local fresh food. HM&F goes out of its way to provide healthy food choices by letting customers choose from purchasing  single items or CSA-style food boxes.

HM&F began as part of the Carrollton-Hollygrove Community Development Corporation. In the past they have enjoyed support from area organizations including the New Orleans Food & Farm Network and the Master Gardeners of New Orleans. Read More

10 Places to Learn to Be A Farmer Across the Nation

March 24, 2015 |
Students at the Merry Lea sustainable farm in Indiana are seen working at the “kitchen farm”. (photo courtesy of Jon Zirkle/Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center)

Students at the Merry Lea sustainable farm in Indiana are seen working at the “kitchen farm”. (photo courtesy of Jon Zirkle/Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center)

The average age of American farmers is 58.3 years, according to the U.S. Census of Agriculture. Young farmers are needed, and those who are inexperienced have a variety of farmer training programs (many of them focusing on sustainability) to choose from.

  • Oregon’s Rogue Farm Corps runs an internship program for beginning farmers called FarmsNext. This full-season offering trains new farmers and ranchers in sustainable agriculture. Those enrolled in the program gain up to 1,500 hours of hands-on training from a mentor, 75 hours of classroom time, local farm tours and independent study opportunities. Rogue Farm Corps runs four chapters across the state: Rogue Valley, South Willamette, Portland and Central Oregon. The organization was founded in 2003 by farmers in the southern part of the state who saw the need to provide education to those new to agriculture.

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Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

March 19, 2015 |

seedstock1  Farmers Put Down the Plow for More Productive Soil (New York Times)

Excerpt: Soil-conservation farming, a movement that promotes not tilling fields and using “green” manures, is gaining converts in tough environments and markets.             Read More

Missouri Council Finds Strengths, Weaknesses in Ozarks Local Food System

March 17, 2015 |
Photo courtesy of Ozarks Regional Food Policy Council.

Photo courtesy of Ozarks Regional Food Policy Council.

What makes a local food system?

That’s what the Ozarks Regional Food Policy Council set out to discover through their food system assessment for the 20 counties surrounding Springfield, Missouri.

Their findings show the strengths and weaknesses of the local food economy. The process also, brought together stakeholders from across the state to move the local food system forward.  They determined a need to build more food hub facilities, while giving small growers the business resources to move their company forward. Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

March 13, 2015 |

seedstock1  The Case for Vertical Farming in Small-Town Wyoming (CityLab)

Excerpt: With harsh winters and a remote location, Jackson, Wyoming, has been unusually dependent on food trucked in from far away. Here’s how one company hopes to change that. Read More

Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup

March 6, 2015 |

seedstock1  Partnership Aims to Advance Sustainable Agriculture Reporting (Environmental Leader)

Excerpt: The Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC) and The Sustainability Consortium (TSC) have partnered to align measurement and reporting of sustainable agriculture throughout the food industry. Read More

Toronto Aquaponics Startup Works Toward a ‘New Normal’ in Local Food Production

March 2, 2015 |
Photo courtesy of Aqua Greens.

Photo courtesy of Aqua Greens.

Pablo Alvarez and Craig Petten are Toronto natives with a combined 40 years of experience in the food industry. By starting  a new aquaponic farm in their home city, the co-founders hope to both increase Toronto’s food stability and increase people’s connection with their food.

Alvarez and Petten first discovered aquaponics during their time at Humber College, where they majored in Sustainable Energy and Building Technology. After 20 years working in the hospitality industry in Toronto, the pair founded Aqua Greens. As Petten explains, their work in hospitality allowed them to see first hand the lack of connection between food and its source. Read More