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CFSA's Grower's Toolbox
Dear Nahid,

With the passing of the solstice in June, we know the days are getting shorter, but it feels as if summer is dragging on. A heat dome created temperatures on the West Coast that are beyond even Carolinian comprehension. A Gulf of Mexico fire was an eye-catching reminder of the dangers of fossil fuels transported via the ocean. Courts are blocking progressive measures by the USDA to forgive debts for Black farmers, a group that the USDA has long denied access to funds. 

Despite the heat and policy-related calamities of early summer, we're lucky to be emerging from COVID lockdowns.

As we do, farm businesses might need to reevaluate their sales outlets once again. Pandemic-related changes in the market changed how many farms were doing business. Food boxes, whether via sales to food hubs or through the more traditional CSA program, boomed throughout the pandemic. Will this continue to be a strong outlet for farmers? Below, our new market access coordinator reviews the marketing possibilities and helps farmers see the pros and cons of potential marketing choices. 


Cheers,
Chloe


Chloe Johnson, Local Produce Safety Manager
Considering organic certification?

Expert Tip: What Market Is Right for Me?
by Geoff Seelen, CFSA Market Access Coordinator 
Post-Harvest Station at Central Carolina Community College Student Farm (a CFSA member)

Starting a farm is one of the hardest things you will ever do. In addition to being responsible for producing many varieties of fruits and vegetables, you will need business acumen to market and sell your products successfully. Deciding where to sell is as important as deciding what to sell.  Continue reading.
Debt Relief for BIPOC Farmers
 
Two recent federal court rulings (WI, FL) have blocked the USDA debt relief for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) farmers that was promised in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP). 

ARP’s loan forgiveness provisions are an important step in making amends to BIPOC farmers and communities for USDA’s well-documented history of racial discrimination. Hundreds of organizations, including CFSA, signed on to this statement urging USDA to continue fighting these cases in court strongly and be ready to issue relief awards immediately when these legal objections are overruled.

We are watching this issue closely and will provide updates in this newsletter and our monthly policy newsletter, The Buzz.

 
It's CFSA Membership Month!
 
Did you know CFSA is a farmer-driven, membership-based organization? Our work—from advocating for policy to consulting with farmers in their fields—is based on the needs of our members. If you're a farmer who cares about creating sustainable food systems in the Carolinas centered on local and organic agriculture, CFSA membership is for you!

Our farmer members get:
  • Free one-on-one technical assistance on food safety and Good Agricultural Practices certification, organic certification, high tunnel production, Conservation Activity Plans, and market access. 
  • Increase exposure for your farm by posting to our event calendar, job board, and crowdfunding board.
  • Network & crowdsource 24/7 with other members through listservs.
  • Discounts to our trainings and conferences ($50+ savings on the Sustainable Agriculture Conference!).
Special discount code for new members: NEWMEMBER2021

What Are Your Experiences with IPM?
 
Jeremy Levinson, a graduate student and researcher at Clemson University, is researching Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and the teaching and learning methods used between producers and extension agents, and consultants.

He seeks input from vegetable producers, agricultural extension agents and specialists, and agricultural consultants in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and North Carolina.  If you are interested in providing feedback on your experiences with IPM and your opinions on how you prefer to learn about IPM principles and practices, please complete this 15-minute survey.


UPCOMING EVENTS

Managing Soil Health in a High Tunnel
Jul. 20 | Virtual

Carolina Regional High Tunnel Meetup
Aug. 10 | Virtual

High Tunnel Production Series 
Starts Sept. 7 | Virtual and on-farm in Spartanburg, SC

Navigating the Wholesale Market: Food Safety & Buyer Relationships
Oct. 7 | Pembroke, NC

2021 Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Nov. 13-15 | In-person in Durham, NC, with a virtual component too!


 
Thinking about food safety certification for the farm?
CFSA logo

The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is on a mission to bring local, organic food to your table from a farmer who shares your values – and we can’t do it without you. Together we are building a regional food system that is good for consumers, growers, and the land.
 
Copyright © 2021 Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, All rights reserved.


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