Scaling up for institutional markets

CEW-MR-2-Institutional 967by Tamara Scully

Opportunities for scaling up small farms to serve a growing wholesale institutional demand for locally-sourced foods are knocking at the door. But farmers who choose to answer the call are advised to become GAP (Good Agricultural Pratices) certified, will need to implement washing and packing efficiencies, learn to manage labor, and have adequate storage facilities.

“People want what we are doing. Do not be afraid to scale up your farm,” farmer Tom Murtha, of Blooming Glen Farm in Perkasie, PA, said. [Read more…]

The Great American Milk Drive ~ helping families thrive

CE-MR-2-Milk Drive1by Elizabeth A. Tomlin

It’s a fact. Ninety-five percent of food banks report that they do not receive milk in their donations.

“New York is one of the nation’s top milk producers,” stated Beth Meyer, Vice President of Communications with the ADADC. “Yet, on average, the state’s food banks are only able to provide about one gallon of milk each year to the families they serve.”

Meyer said it has been a challenge for Feeding America to meet food banks demand for milk because of the lack of donations, since people usually donate non-perishable items. [Read more…]

New York State farmland to benefit from $17.6 million

CE-MR-1-NYS Farmland3by Katie Navarra

More than 6,400 acres of New York farmland will remain dedicated to agricultural purposes and will be protected from future development thanks $17.6 million made available through the Farmland Protection Implementation Program.

Across New York State, the funds will help preserve 21 farms in 12 counties including Saratoga, Washington, Rensselaer, Columbia, Madison, Cortland, Onondaga, Ontario, Livingston, Suffolk, Dutchess, and Orange Counties. [Read more…]

PA Center for Dairy Excellence hosts Financial & Risk Management Conference

CEW-MR-2-CDE7by Jon M. Casey

While it might seem tedious and boring to some, for others, the desire to excel at financial risk management for dairy producers is becoming an essential component of a well-rounded farm management plan. Because the world of Ag finance is constantly changing, Pennsylvania’s Center for Dairy Excellence (CDE) has recognized the need for keeping the Ag finance and banking community informed of the latest in state and federal pricing policies. Accordingly, they have worked to help develop risk management strategies to help producers plan more effectively for unforeseen changes in the forces that affect dairy producers. [Read more…]

USDA extends Dairy Margin Protection Program deadlines  Enrollment continues through Dec. 5; comments accepted until Dec. 15

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, speaking at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting, announced extended deadlines for the dairy Margin Protection Program. Farmers now have until Dec. 5, 2014, to enroll in the voluntary program, established by the 2014 Farm Bill. The program provides financial assistance to participating farmers when the margin — the difference between the price of milk and feed costs — falls below the coverage level selected by the farmer. [Read more…]