Farmer-to-farmer mentorship programs offered
ALBANY — Applications for the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York Mentorship Program and NOFA-NY/Stone Barns Center Technical Consultancy Program are due by noon on Oct. 26. Beginning and experienced farmers must complete a brief sign-up form, which can be accessed at www.nofany.org/mentorship_signup.
The NOFA-NY Mentorship Program (www.nofany.org/mentorship) assists beginning or transitioning-to-organic farmers in finding a farmer mentor who will help them develop their career and farming practices. Following the Oct. 26 deadline, new farmers (“mentees”) will select potential farmers to contact in hopes of formalizing a mentorship agreement to fit both farmers’ needs and communication styles.
The Technical Consultancy Program (www.nofany.org/technicalconsultancy) distributes a roster of experienced farmers, listed by areas of expertise to participating beginning farmers. Beginning farmers can contact the experienced farmers for short-term guidance within the farmer’s defined area of technical expertise.
Experienced farmers can be compensated on an hourly basis for the first six hours they spend with a new farmer (either as the start of their formal longer-term mentorship or as a stand-alone technical consultation).
These programs are supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA.
NOFA NY Inc. is an organization of farmers, gardeners and consumers working together to create a sustainable regional food system which is ecologically sound and economically viable. Through demonstration and educational opportunities, they promote land stewardship, organic food production and local marketing. NOFA NY brings consumers and farmers closer together to make high quality food available to all people.
Owens urges dairy, poultry be part of trade talks
PLATTSBURGH — Rep. Bill Owens and Congressman Reid Ribble of Wisconsin recently led a bi-partisan group of colleagues in writing to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk calling for Canadian tariffs against U.S. dairy and poultry products to be eliminated as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations, a proposed trade deal.