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CFSA's Grower's Toolbox
Dear Nahid,

In between what seems like never-ending rain here in the Triangle, I hope you're able to get your spring crops in the ground.

Since the forecast looks like more rain is to come, now might be a good time to check out CFSA's online resources for growers and download some great record-keeping templates, review our food safety resources, or improve your post-harvest handling practices. And remember, if you need more technical assistance, we offer FREE consulting services on conservation planning, GAP certification, high tunnel production, and organic production and certification.

We will also be relaunching our Market Access Initiative next month and will be able to provide assistance to farmers on financial recordkeeping, postharvest handling, crop budgeting, feasibility studies, business planning, and more!  


Cheers,



Karen McSwain, CFSA Associate Executive Director for Programs


P.S. Upcoming episodes and themes for "This Week at CFSA" 
  • March - Buying Local Food
    • Mar. 19 - Local Food: Myths and Facts
    • Mar. 26 - Local Agriculture Marketing Program (LAMP)
  • April - Climate Change
    • Apr. 2 - Farmer interview
    • Apr. 9 - Food waste
    • Apr. 16 - CAFOs & Community
  • May - Livestock
Want to watch live? Follow us on Facebook and tune in on Fridays at 10 a.m.
 
Considering transitioning to organic? We can help!

Apply Now for CFSA's Diversified Vegetable Farm Financial Benchmarking Study
 
  
We're looking for produce farmers that want to take their financial management skills to a higher level by joining our Diversified Vegetable Farm Financial Benchmarking Study.


We're collaborating Pasa Sustainable Agriculture (Pasa) to launch the Diversified Vegetable Financial Benchmarking Study in the Carolinas to provide intensive financial management tools and training to a select group of farmers.

See our blog post for more information on benefits and requirements. If it's a good fit, fill out our survey by April 2, so we can determine if you're a good match for the study.

Expert Tip: How an On-Farm Readiness Review Can Help Your Farm
by Chloe Johnson, CFSA Local Food System Manager 
Post-Harvest Station at Central Carolina Community College Student Farm (a CFSA member)

The world of food safety can seem like a maze of rules and regulations. If none of your buyers have demanded that you get GAP (“Good Agricultural Practices”) certified, then maybe you haven’t yet tried to untangle that maze. You may know that the law governing food safety—the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)—is different from GAP certification, but may also assume your farm is too small to have to worry about FSMA rules.

Use this tool that CFSA created to clarify whether you are really too small for FSMA rules to affect your farm.

No matter the size, it is a good idea for all farms to be familiar with FSMA’s basic produce safety rules. Remember that your status under the law can change if you sell more, or shift a significant portion of your sales to wholesale. Also, business owners have to stay on top of industry trends to protect their business investments; and FSMA outlines most of the best practices in fresh produce food safety. Keep reading
.

 
CFSA is Hiring a Communications Coordinator!

We're seeking someone who is passionate about local, sustainable food and skilled at writing, storytelling, marketing, and communications. See the job write-up for more info. The deadline to apply is April 16. 

Please share this remote position with anyone you know who may be a good fit.


Survey on Soil Health Benefits
 
The University of Minnesota is conducting a project that examines how farmers value soil health improvements and ecosystem services derived from conservation practices. 

Since implementing conservation practices costs money, while the benefits are not immediately tangible, this 15-minute survey will help determine the benefits in terms of dollars.

Results will inform agencies and policymakers on how to adapt existing programs or design a new program so that incentives for adopting conservation are more effective. And survey responders will receive a $20 gift card for project participation, funded by the USDA Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative.


We're excited to share our newest resource for farmers in North and South Carolina! 

The Financial Resources for Farmers is a one-stop page that producers in both states can find grants, cost-share, and loan programs available to them! There's a blend of on-going opportunities and time-sensitive ones, which will be updated regularly.

Here in this monthly newsletter, we'll highlight the most recently added opportunities, as well as those with upcoming deadlines.

Upcoming Deadlines:
  • 3/26: NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program (North Carolina)
  • 3/31: NRCS Conservation Stewardship Program (South Carolina)
  • 3/31: Rodale Institute BIPOC Organic Farmer Micro-Grant program
  • 3/31: Rural Energy for America Program
Learn more about the programs, or see others available, on the resources page.
   
Food Access Through a Local Food & Farming Lens
 

In February, our theme for "This Week at CFSA" was hunger and food access. We covered: growing crops for donation, food as a human right, the importance of food hubs, and the importance of food banks. Each discussion was centered around local food and farms.

Miss an episode? We’re now starting to post monthly digests on our blog.

 
Check out CFSA's Farm Jobs Board

We post jobs and internships from our members throughout the year, and the biggest influx of postings is in early spring. Check out our Farm Jobs Board for new opportunities throughout the Carolinas!

Got a job or internship to post? Review our instructions or contact membership coordinator, Marianna Spence. We'll post your opportunity and email it out to our membership listservs. CFSA Membership is required to post - join today!


UPCOMING EVENTS

20+ recorded workshops available until March 2022. Get virtual access today!

Certified SC Grower-Buyer Mash-Up
March 22 | Come visit CFSA's table!

No-Till Production for Small Farms
March 31 | Webinar

Agritourism, On-Farm Food Safety, and SC Market Opportunities 
April 7 | In-person workshop in Johns Island, SC

Carolina Regional High Tunnel Meetup
April 13 | Second Tuesdays of the month through December

GAP 101 & SC Market Opportunities
May 5 | In-person workshop in Greenville, SC

GAP 101 & SC Market Opportunities
June 16 | In-person workshop in Denmark, SC


 
Have you plateaued with your high tunnel production?
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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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