Monthly Archives: January 2014

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Agri-Marketing News ~ FarmsReach Launches Online Platform for Non-GMO Seeds

External link

FarmsReach, the Berkeley-based social enterprise for farmers and ranchers, announced a pilot e-commerce platform for non-GMO, sustainable seeds at the Organic Seed Alliance Conference in Corvallis, Ore.

When it debuts later this year, FarmsReach’s Sustainable Seed Marketplace will be the first online source of its kind, an e-marketplace for non-GMO seeds from a mix of seed distributors, enhanced with anecdotal seed performance data from North American farmers. With the Marketplace, farmers can comparison-shop and make wish lists and annotations, viewable only by them, as they strategize for upcoming crops.

Continue Reading →

Agri-Marketing News ~ FarmsReach Launches Online Platform for Non-GMO Seeds

External link

FarmsReach, the Berkeley-based social enterprise for farmers and ranchers, announced a pilot e-commerce platform for non-GMO, sustainable seeds at the Organic Seed Alliance Conference in Corvallis, Ore.

When it debuts later this year, FarmsReach’s Sustainable Seed Marketplace will be the first online source of its kind, an e-marketplace for non-GMO seeds from a mix of seed distributors, enhanced with anecdotal seed performance data from North American farmers. With the Marketplace, farmers can comparison-shop and make wish lists and annotations, viewable only by them, as they strategize for upcoming crops.

Continue Reading →

House Approves Farm Bill, Ending a 2-Year Impasse

1FarmBillPOST-thumb-615x300-81426

The following article appeared on the New York Times (NYT) website on January 29, 2014. The NYT has been regularly reporting on the farm bill debate for the last two years. 

Written by Ron Nixon.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill authorizing nearly $1 trillion in spending on farm subsidies and nutrition programs, setting the stage for final passage of a new five-year farm bill that has been stalled for more than two years.

Negotiators from the House and Senate spent several weeks working out their differences on issues in the legislation, including cuts to food stamps, income caps on farm subsidies and a price support program for dairy farmers. The bill is expected to save about $16.6 billion over the next 10 years.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 251 to 166. The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this week.

Continue Reading →

House Approves Farm Bill, Ending a 2-Year Impasse

1FarmBillPOST-thumb-615x300-81426

The following article appeared on the New York Times (NYT) website on January 29, 2014. The NYT has been regularly reporting on the farm bill debate for the last two years. 

Written by Ron Nixon.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill authorizing nearly $1 trillion in spending on farm subsidies and nutrition programs, setting the stage for final passage of a new five-year farm bill that has been stalled for more than two years.

Negotiators from the House and Senate spent several weeks working out their differences on issues in the legislation, including cuts to food stamps, income caps on farm subsidies and a price support program for dairy farmers. The bill is expected to save about $16.6 billion over the next 10 years.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 251 to 166. The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this week.

Continue Reading →

Stack ’em High, Watch ’em Fly ~ 10 Tips for Farmers Market Sales, Part 2

farmers

Here is Part 2 of my farmers market blog, including the second round of tips for achieving a well-managed, high-sale market stall. See Part 1 for the first five tips!

Two weeks ago I visited three farmers markets in the Bay Area to answer the questions:

  • How can farmers adjust to the slower winter months?
  • How can farmers make their stalls look inviting, abundant and eye-catching this time of year, when stocks are seemingly low?
  • What are the tricks of the trade to maintain sales?

Having come from Vermont, I started my casual research with the assumption that winter means fewer sales and greatly diminished product variety. I was surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. In California, there is almost the same amount of variety all year long.

What actually changes the most this time of year is the color palette, which can give a customer like me the sense that there is less to choose from. In the winter months, out go the baskets of red and pink tomatoes, and in come the dark leafy greens – and many different varieties of them!

So, with some of my initial assumption of less to choose from disproven pretty quickly, I then asked the vendors what tricks they use, and would suggest to other farmers, to best manage their stalls, and lure people in. The tricks and tips were endless!

Continue Reading →

Stack ’em High, Watch ’em Fly ~ 10 Tips for Farmers Market Sales, Part 2

farmers

Here is Part 2 of my farmers market blog, including the second round of tips for achieving a well-managed, high-sale market stall. See Part 1 for the first five tips!

Two weeks ago I visited three farmers markets in the Bay Area to answer the questions:

  • How can farmers adjust to the slower winter months?
  • How can farmers make their stalls look inviting, abundant and eye-catching this time of year, when stocks are seemingly low?
  • What are the tricks of the trade to maintain sales?

Having come from Vermont, I started my casual research with the assumption that winter means fewer sales and greatly diminished product variety. I was surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. In California, there is almost the same amount of variety all year long.

What actually changes the most this time of year is the color palette, which can give a customer like me the sense that there is less to choose from. In the winter months, out go the baskets of red and pink tomatoes, and in come the dark leafy greens – and many different varieties of them!

So, with some of my initial assumption of less to choose from disproven pretty quickly, I then asked the vendors what tricks they use, and would suggest to other farmers, to best manage their stalls, and lure people in. The tricks and tips were endless!

Continue Reading →

Farm Bill Fits & Starts ~ 2014 Update

farm-subsidies

The following article appeared on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) blog on January 10, 2014. NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocate for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while also protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.

Written by NSAC.

The New Year’s hopes for quick action on a new five-year farm bill in the first half of January are fading as negotiations on certain issues stall. At the beginning of January, the House and Senate lead negotiators were making progress on a compromise bill, and there were rumors of a possible meeting of the conference committee. As the week progressed, however, compromises on certain major issues eluded the negotiators, causing the completion of a new farm bill to be further delayed.

Continue Reading →

Farm Bill Fits & Starts ~ 2014 Update

farm-subsidies

The following article appeared on the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition’s (NSAC) blog on January 10, 2014. NSAC is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocate for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. NSAC’s vision of agriculture is one where a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while also protecting the environment, and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.

Written by NSAC.

The New Year’s hopes for quick action on a new five-year farm bill in the first half of January are fading as negotiations on certain issues stall. At the beginning of January, the House and Senate lead negotiators were making progress on a compromise bill, and there were rumors of a possible meeting of the conference committee. As the week progressed, however, compromises on certain major issues eluded the negotiators, causing the completion of a new farm bill to be further delayed.

Continue Reading →

Stack ’em High, Watch ’em Fly ~ 10 Tips for Farmers Market Sales, Part 1

cooking, Eva Antczak, farmers market, Marin, market-to-table, organic, Shanti ChristensenIMG_2914

This week I visited three farmers markets in the Bay Area to answer the questions:

  • How can farmers adjust to the slower winter months?
  • How can you make your stalls look inviting, abundant and eye-catching this time of year, when stocks are seemingly low?
  • What are the tricks of the trade to maintain sales?

Having come from Vermont, I started my casual research with the assumption that winter means fewer sales and greatly diminished product variety. I was surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. In California, there is almost the same amount of variety all year long.

What changes the most at the change of season, however, is the color palette. It also can give a customer like me the sense that there is less to choose from. In the winter, out go the baskets of red and pink tomatoes, and in come the dark leafy greens – and many different varieties of them!

So, with some of my initial assumption of less to chose from disproven pretty quickly, I then asked the vendors what tricks they use, and would suggest to other farmers, to best manage their stalls, and lure people in. The tricks and tips were endless!

Here are the first five tips for achieving a well-managed, high-sale market stall. (A link to part 2 is at the bottom!)

Continue Reading →

Stack ’em High, Watch ’em Fly ~ 10 Tips for Farmers Market Sales, Part 1

cooking, Eva Antczak, farmers market, Marin, market-to-table, organic, Shanti ChristensenIMG_2914

This week I visited three farmers markets in the Bay Area to answer the questions:

  • How can farmers adjust to the slower winter months?
  • How can you make your stalls look inviting, abundant and eye-catching this time of year, when stocks are seemingly low?
  • What are the tricks of the trade to maintain sales?

Having come from Vermont, I started my casual research with the assumption that winter means fewer sales and greatly diminished product variety. I was surprised to learn that that’s not exactly the case. In California, there is almost the same amount of variety all year long.

What changes the most at the change of season, however, is the color palette. It also can give a customer like me the sense that there is less to choose from. In the winter, out go the baskets of red and pink tomatoes, and in come the dark leafy greens – and many different varieties of them!

So, with some of my initial assumption of less to chose from disproven pretty quickly, I then asked the vendors what tricks they use, and would suggest to other farmers, to best manage their stalls, and lure people in. The tricks and tips were endless!

Here are the first five tips for achieving a well-managed, high-sale market stall. (A link to part 2 is at the bottom!)

Continue Reading →