American Vegetable Grower. 22 July 2010. Organic Production in The Central Valley is the title of an all day seminar being sponsored by The California Certified Crop Adviser Program (CCA) and the Organic Fertilizer Association of California (OFAC) on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at International-Agri Center’s Social Hall in Tulare. The seminar will focus on organic production issues and the role of crop advisers in providing advice and products to growers producing certified organic crops. It will feature expert speakers on various organic production topics and panel of organic growers discussing the role of crop advisers in their operations
The program is aimed at crop consultants, organic input suppliers/retailers, and organic growers. CEU hours will be offered for PCAs and CCAs. Subjects to be covered include: Organic and Weed Control, Food Safety for Organic Farmers, Organic Sources of Fertilizer, Soil and Cover Crop Management, Micronutrient Use in Disease Control, and other topics. A special feature will be a grower panel with Tom Willey – T & D Willey Farms, Vernon Peterson – The Peterson Family and Gerry Davis – Crystal Organics/Grimmway discussing the challenges of fertility and pest control in certified organic production. “We are pleased to continue our successful seminar series in Tulare and present practical organic production information for both farmers and consultants”, said Doug Graham, Chairman of OFAC and a CCA.
LINCOLN, Neb. —While American Farm Bureau Federation president Bob Stallman didn’t outright denounce sustainable agriculture in his January address, it was apparent that the 150 producers who attended the 2010 Healthy Farms Conference this month — Nebraska’s annual sustainable agriculture convention — were still feeling the sting of Stallman’s well-publicized “extremists who want to drag agriculture back to the day of 40 acres and a mule” comment.
This made Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s keynote address at the conference all the more welcome, and his support of the local foods movement, both in Nebraska and nationwide, brought a standing ovation. “Much has changed the last few years in the local foods movement that was young exotic not too long ago,” Fortenberry said. Sustainable agriculture, the force behind the local foods movement, has captured consumer interest, both in their food and the people who produce their food. “Indeed, there is a veritable tradition and high esteem for agriculture today,” he said.
This connection between farmers and consumers, while threatening to some in conventional agriculture, provides a great opportunity for improved public policy — one where consumers show that they care about their food supply by getting involved in the lawmaking process — specifically more emphasis on the importance of the Farm Bill. While the Farm Bill isn’t perfect, sustainable agriculture made progress with this last one put in place, Fortenberry said. In fact, what began on local farms — the concept of economic, environmental and social sustainability — has now spread not only to government but to industries far removed from agriculture and to consumers’ homes in the middle of the city, said Fortenberry who himself is a gardener and a wannabe beekeeper. Sustainability — and the connection between people that it promotes — is now the hot new trend.
More and more people are also realizing that it can be more than a fad; that it’s a practical, long-term solution to the problems that plague America. [as reported in the Yankton Press & Dakotan, Saturday 20 February]
Note: It is both obvious and sad that president Bob Stallman doesn’t understand the concept, definition nor vital importance of sustainability to American farmers, our nation, and the world. Perhaps Mr. Stallman is confused with the differences between “organic farming” and “sustainable agriculture.” Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals: (1) environmental stewardship, (2) farm profitability, and (3) prosperous farming communities. These goals have been defined by a variety of philosophies, policies and practices, from the vision of both farmers and consumers. In production terms, sustainable agriculture refers to the abilityof a farm to continue producing indefinitely, with a minimum of outside inputs.
Without argument, our soil and irrigation water are America’s most precious and valuable natural resources. And without sustainability, agriculture has no future…period. Fertile Soil Solutions, LLC will always promote and proudly stand up for everything sustainable pertaining to global and domestic agriculture. –Brent Rouppet, Ph.D.