Access to Efficiency: Seed Treatment

February 14, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Beginning farmers who grow grains know that the time between planting and emergence in the field can be perilous for their crops. Pathogens in the soil or on seeds can overtake or impair the growth of a seedling, damaging yields and – ultimately – profitability. … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Meeting Paris Agreement Goals

February 13, 2018Climate Column

By Janan Lenzy, NFU Intern The Paris Climate Agreement was constructed within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December of 2015. Adopted by consensus, the agreement aims to maintain “a global temperature rise” of less than 2 degrees Celsius or 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and improving … Read More

There is Power in Numbers: A New Day for Indiana Farmers Union

February 8, 2018Blog

By Sherri Dugger, Indiana Farmers Union’s Media and Outreach Director, Co-Owner and Operator of Dugger Family Farm “There is power in numbers.” It was a simple concept, and it was cliché. But it was the truth, and it was the only way I knew to explain how Indiana Farmers Union (INFU) and National Farmers Union (NFU) … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Learning How to Farm

February 6, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Liz Brownlee, Co-Owner & Operator of Nightfall Farm My husband, Nate, knew one thing as a high schooler: he would never, ever work as a farmer. His high school summer job was on a grain farm near Franklin, Indiana, and while his bosses treated him well, the work was not, in his opinion, the … Read More

Access To Markets: Grain Futures

January 31, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Every farm and every farm family is unique. Beginning intergenerational farmers generally do not learn everything they need to be successful in a uniform or linear way. On different farms, the established generation may or may not be willing to share fieldwork responsibility, or be … Read More

Access to Markets: Farmers Market Legal Toolkit

January 23, 2018Beginning Farmers, Blog

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy No volume restrictions, no need for brick and mortar investments, and the chance to learn about customers want directly. Participating in a farmers market is often the most immediate access to market available to beginning farmers. But for as quickly and easily as beginning farmers … Read More

Access to Efficiency: CSP at Green Fire Farm

January 9, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Over the past few weeks, we have discussed the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) at length here on the Beginning Farmer Forum (BFF). CSP provides technical assistance and incentive payments to help beginning farmers establish installations or enhance practices that can reduce input costs or provide a … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Anticipating More Extreme Weather Related to El Nino

January 8, 2018Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Climate change is likely to impact or exacerbate extreme weather events related to El Nino/Southern Oscillation (ENSO). According to The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “ENSO is a periodic fluctuation in sea surface temperature (El Niño) and the air pressure of the overlying atmosphere … Read More

NFU Women’s Conference:  Ten Reasons to Attend in 2018!

January 3, 2018Blog

By Lisa Kivirist Just as we farmers care for our soil, we also need to nurture our minds and plant new idea seeds to shape a healthy business vision. That’s exactly what’s on the menu for women farmers at this year’s National Farmers Union Women’s Conference, January 15-18, 2018, at the Catamaran Report in San … Read More

Access to Efficiency: CSP Bundles and Regional Initiatives

January 2, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy As discussions on the next farm bill challenge us to think about how the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) can best assist farmers and landowners in reaching conservation goals, here on the Beginning Farmer Column, we’ve been focusing on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). CSP … Read More

Access to Efficiency: CSP Bundles and Soil Health

December 19, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy For the past few weeks on the Beginning Farmer Forum, as discussions on the next farm bill challenge us to think about how the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) can best assist farmers and landowners in reaching conservation goals, we have focused on the Conservation … Read More

Access to Efficiency: CSP Bundles and Water Quality

December 12, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy In our previous post on the Beginning Farmer Forum, we introduced the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). CSP can help beginning farmers achieve efficiencies in their business by providing technical assistance and incentive payments to establish installations or enhance practices that can reduce input costs or … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Soil Health and Drainage

December 11, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy Extreme precipitation is a serious concern for farmers as the climate continues to change. In many areas, downpours will be concentrated earlier in the year. Standing water and moist soil will work against farmers trying to get into the fields in time for crop insurance … Read More

Growing for the Future Prepares Beginning Farmers for a Career in Agriculture

November 28, 2017Blog

By Sophie Neems, NFU Intern ‘Tis the season. . . for agricultural conferences! The harvest is done and the cows have been moved to winter pasture, which means that educational opportunities for farmers and ranchers abound. However, here at National Farmers Union, we understand that it’s not always possible to leave the farm unattended and … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Conservation Stewardship Program

November 28, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy NFU’s Climate Column has covered a number of farming practices, including conservation tillage and rotational grazing, that can help farmers increase profits by saving money on inputs, energy, and labor. Beginning farmers can receive assistance to implement such practices, as well as incentive payments for the environmental benefits … Read More

What Can Farmers Do About Climate Change? Adapted Seeds

November 27, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of Conservation Policy and NFU Foundation As we’ve noted on the  Climate Column, climate change will disturb the precipitation patterns and temperatures on which farmers rely to grow crops. Farmers will need to adapt to these changes by implementing new practices and readjusting old ones. One option is selecting seeds for staple crops – … Read More

Access to Markets: Rural Development Grants

November 14, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy As we discussed last week on the Beginning Farmer Forum, the business infrastructure – such as federally-inspected livestock processing facilities for smaller orders and mills that service demand for local feed or flour – that would help beginning farmers connect with emerging markets often doesn’t exist … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? California Air Resources Board Cap-and-Trade Program

November 13, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of Conservation Policy and NFU Foundation Farming is one of the few professions with the ability to not only reduce ongoing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but to also remove existing GHGs from the atmosphere. National Farmers Union supports policies and programs that maximize agriculture’s GHG elimination potential by offering value to farmers … Read More

Access To Markets: Business & Industry Loan Guarantees  

November 7, 2017Beginning Farmers

By Tom Driscoll, Director of NFU Foundation and Conservation Policy As we’ve discussed here on the Beginning Farmer Forum, access to markets is among the greatest challenges for new producers. Oftentimes, beginning farmers face fewer obstacles in emerging markets than in well-established ones. For example, beginning farmers may be able to grow products appropriate for local and … Read More

What Do Farmers Need to Know About Climate Change? Credit Stacking and Water Quality Trading

November 6, 2017Climate Column

By Tom Driscoll, Director of Conservation Policy and NFU Foundation Environmental markets, in addition to being science based, quantifiable, innovative, and permanent, will have to offer farmers adequate incentives to adopt new conservation practices. Cases in which a single practice achieves more than one quantifiable environmental benefit, verifiably reducing more than one pollutant, payments for credits … Read More