Family Farmers and Ranchers Want Updated Packers and Stockyards Act Rules

March 1, 2024Blog

This opinion piece originally ran on Agri-Pulse on March 1st, 2024. By: Jeff Kippley, Vice President, National Farmers Union The recent opinion piece by the President of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) on USDA efforts to bring fair rules to livestock markets was not just inaccurate but also dangerously misleading. As a cattle producer … Read More

Key Information to Strengthen your Co-op

October 15, 2023Blog

Co-ops are often central pieces in their communities, especially in rural areas. But a healthy co-op community can only form when members fully understand the basic structures of the co-op, the purpose, and how they themselves can benefit. Let’s explore some key information to provide your members to strengthen your co-op. 1. Inclusivity Co-ops often … Read More

Staying Informed with Co-op Legislation

October 1, 2023Blog

It is important to stay up to date with legislative changes that may affect the operations and success of your co-op. Let’s explore a few resources and tips to ensure you are ready to inform your members of important legislative updates. 1. Stay Engaged and Create a Network Co-ops thrive off the support of their … Read More

Three Years of SCRUB

September 18, 2023Blog, Food Safety

By: Vern Grubinger, Billy Mitchell, and LFSC editor After three years, the SCRUB project – formally known as Sanitization and Cleaning Resources for your Business – project has wrapped up. The project, funded by a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP) grant, was … Read More

Recap from IAFP 2023: Diversity, Design, & Discussion

September 7, 2023Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell, edited by Hayley Wood The  International Association for Food Protection, a member-based association of more than 4,500 food safety professionals, hosted its annual meeting this past July in Toronto. The conference is a chance for food safety professionals, students, industry members, and enthusiasts to immerse themselves in current food safety issues and information. … Read More

Reflecting on their first year: advice for new farmers

August 25, 2023Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell and Kathryn Kavanagh   “Being outside and working with my hands – it’s the best thing.” The first year working on a farm is always going to be hard, but Katherine – a farmer who just wrapped up her first season – shared during a recent farmers market that, despite all the hard … Read More

Small scale in a small town: market farming in a rural area

August 18, 2023Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell If you think about small-scale farming, you may think of tiny plots in large cities, like the half  acre farms of Seattle, Houston, Chicago, or Atlanta.  Perhaps you picture the small farms in peri-urban areas that help supply big city farmers’ markets —farms that exist close enough to the city to access … Read More

Nicolas Cage, Risk Assessments, and You

August 10, 2023Blog, Food Safety

Photo acquired from Deposit Photos, Photo ID #47064127.   By: Billy Mitchell Sometimes, two great things go together incredibly well.  Like Dolly Parton and roller coasters, puffins and rocky shorelines, or Wall Drug and homemade doughnuts. Personally, I find  the duo of Good Agricultural Practices and Nicolas Cage movies to be a perfect fit. When … Read More

Farmer, Educator, Drummer (not always in that order)

August 3, 2023Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell; edited by Hayley Wood Justin “MasterPeace” Nickelson is an Atlanta based farmer, educator, and drummer who currently works as the AgLanta Grown Local Foods Promotion Program Coordinator for the city of Atlanta’s Department of City Planning Office of Housing and Community Development.   The AgLanta Grown program works to meet the City of … Read More

Lessons Learned at Market

July 13, 2023Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell and Kathryn Kavanagh As spring turns to summer in 2023, we wanted to reflect back on a conversation we had with farmer market farmers on the first day in 2022 at the Wednesday night farmers market at Creature Comforts Brewery in Athens, GA. With psychedelic music wafting through the air – this … Read More

Community-Focused Aerated Static Composting

June 8, 2023Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell and Hayley Wood Maria and Michael of Code of Return (COR) Compost turn food scraps from businesses and homes into compost that feed the soils of the local farms that in turn feed their communities. On a peaceful afternoon out at their operation, Maria looked out over a beautiful pile of composted … Read More

Solar Energy on Farmland: Finding a balanced approach

February 10, 2023Blog

By Aaron Shier, NFU Government Relations Director Solar energy is the fastest-growing source of new electricity generation in the United States. Due to multiple factors, including declining costs of solar energy systems and major new federal investment and tax incentives, significantly more solar deployment is expected over the next several decades. Increased solar deployment creates … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Take 5 with Iowa Farmers Union

July 19, 2022Blog, Food Safety, Member Spotlight

By Kathryn Kavanagh, Food Safety Project Coordinator Since 1915, Iowa Farmers Union (IFU) members have worked together to strengthen Iowa independent family farms through education, legislation, and cooperation by supporting sustainable production, safe food, a clean environment, and healthy communities. Among the grassroots producers and advocates is Christina Dexter, Communications and Outreach Director at IFU. … Read More

Another Year of Local Food Safety on the Horizon

July 12, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By Kathryn Kavanagh A global pandemic, fragile supply chains, and rising food prices may sound all doom and gloom, but they’ve also sparked a new wave of interest in local food, with small-scale growers and processors busier than ever growing and providing food for their communities. Food safety is a top priority, as integrating best … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Take 5 with Minnesota Farmers Union

May 23, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By: Kathryn Kavanagh, Food Safety Project Coordinator Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) works to protect and enhance the economic interests and quality of life of family farmers, ranchers, and rural residents, incorporating legislative advocacy, education, and cooperation into all they do. Their work ranges from programs like Minnesota Foodshed, Minnesota Cooks, and youth summer camps all … Read More

Food Safety for All Types of Learners

April 27, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By: Katherine Olvera, NFU Intern How do you learn best? Some of us turn to workshops hosted by experts where we can see things firsthand and ask questions. Others like to do some learning from the comfort of our own home (or farm!), turning to online resources. As the Local Food Safety Collaborative (LFSC), a … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Bins, Brushes, and Brains

February 8, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell Totes, fish baskets, buckets, RPCs, and more – harvest bins on a farm go by many names.  At the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association conference, TOFGA for short, farmers Lorig of Middle Ground Farm and Finnegan of Steelbow Farm presented about the bins they love, how and why they use them, … Read More

Hot Reads for Cool Nights

January 6, 2022Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell & Tricia Wancko Y’all, it is cold outside. Sure, colder in some places than others—how Montana Farmers Union members survive the winter without their eyebrows freezing off, I’ll never know—but we’re all feeling the chill of winter and looking for some warmth and coziness. If you’re like us, nothing gives you the … Read More

Compost – the Gift That Keeps on Giving

December 14, 2021Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell Soil gives us so much. It feeds us physically by providing incredible local food to eat. It feeds us emotionally as a medium for beautiful flowers that are feasts for our eyes and hearts. It even feeds us spiritually, giving us soft grass to picnic on with loved ones and trees perfect … Read More

Food Safety Coast to Coast

November 30, 2021Blog, Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell and Tricia Wancko Although miles apart, the East and West coasts of the US share a lot of things like beautiful views and amazing wildlife. Another thing they share? Both coasts have communities of small-scale growers who care about improving their food safety and food quality practices. Over the past few weeks, … Read More

Food Safety Spotlight: Introducing the Montana Farmers Union & Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center

October 28, 2021Food Safety

By: Billy Mitchell & Tricia Wancko Montana Farmers Union took root in their state as homesteaders—a classic way to say local food producers—who discovered the necessity of working collaboratively to create a regional and sustainable food system. With a similar purpose, the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center (MMFEC) works to grow Montana’s local food economy … Read More