News from the Wild Side - June 2015

joannpic6.9.15.jpgIt is an exciting time for Wild Farm Alliance – we are growing with new staff and new board members, our work on drafting and advocating for stronger biodiversity guidance in the National Organic Program is almost finalized, we are fully immersed in the revision of our epic Biodiversity Guide for farmers and certifiers, and everyday we continue to learn about the amazing and inspiring work of farmers increasing biodiversity on their farms.






These are just a few examples of how your support of Wild Farm Alliance is being put to work.  Thank you so much for partnering with us to reconnect food systems with ecosystems - we couldn’t do our work without you. 

I want to take a minute to thank three important supporters of Wild Farm Alliance.  Dana Jackson, Becky Weed, and Paula McKay. All three have just stepped off the board of directors after serving for an impressive 14 years.  They have been instrumental in the development and growth of Wild Farm Alliance and will be missed. We are lucky that Dana is continuing to guide our work as a WFA Advisor.
Our focus for the next year is to build a powerful network of supporters.  You can help – just forward this newsletter to friends and family who care about biodiversity and agriculture. 
Thank you!  Enjoy the news from the wild side!

All my best,

Jo Ann Baumgartner
Executive Director

Wild Farm Alliance is Growing!

WFA is pleased to introduce you to several new members of the team. 

shellypic6.9.15.jpgShelly Connor is WFA’s new assistant director helping to raise funds to support WFA’s work as well as developing and implementing programs. She is based in Minneapolis, MN. Shelly earned her BA degree in biology and MS degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana. For the last six years she served as the associate director of the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides. Prior to that she worked for Appalachian Voices and Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture in North Carolina. 
In addition to the new staff member, WFA also added two new board members.  Laura Jackson, Ph.D., is Director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center and Professor of Biology at the University of Northern Iowa.  She received a bachelor's degree in Biology from Grinnell College, and a Ph.D. in Ecology (minor in Agronomy) from Cornell University. In 2002 she and coeditor Dana Jackson published The Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems.

Catherine Badgley is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Residential College at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on landscape history and biodiversity, as well as on sustainable agriculture. She teaches courses about environmental science, the food system, and biogeography. She lives on an organic farm near Chelsea, Michigan.

California's Agriculture Climate Benefits Act SB (367)

SB 367 promotes ‘climate-friendly’ agricultural practices to improve soil health and create wildlife habitat that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or store carbon. With our partners, CalCAN and CAFF, and many others (see image below) we are encouraging farmers and others to educate California’s leaders about the importance of this bill in incentivizing farmers and ranchers to adopt ciimate-friendly growing practices. Since California is the first state to have cap and trade funds, we want to make sure the funds are spent to serve as a model for other states. On June 3rd, the Senate voted overwhelmingly to support SB 367, and the bill is now headed to the Assembly.


Support Biodiversity on the Farm

Wild Farm Alliance works hard every day to promote a healthy, viable agriculture that helps protect and restore wild nature. 

birds6.9.15.jpgBut we can’t do this without your help.  

Your tax-deductible gift today will help us:
  • Demonstrate the best ways to increase biodiversity on the farm
  • Assist beginning farmers implement biodiversity farming plans and practices
  • Develop innovative tools for farmers to protect and create bird habitat on the farm
  • Advocate for policies that promote biodiversity agriculture and help farmers build resiliency in our warming world
Click here to donate to Wild Farm Alliance. By making the most generous donation you can make today, you will help food systems support ecosystems. Thank you!

Farmers from the Wild Side


Last month Wild Farm Alliance completed two three-year habitat restoration projects at Monkeyflower Ranch and Hain Ranch Organics. This work involved the installation of native plants and the removal of invasive species to improve the ecological function of these operations and provide valuable ecosystem services. Funding for this project came from the State of California Wildlife Conservation Board and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)




Put Your Name in the Biodiversity Guide

We are currently preparing for the release of the revised publication – Biodiversity Conservation: An Organic Farmer’s and Certifier’s Guide. The guide gives farmers a comprehensive understanding of core biodiversity principles and how they fit into the context of the farm.
Please consider sponsoring this guide and supporting the most foundational principle in organic agriculture—biodiversity conservation.
This year, organic farmers and certifiers will be looking for ideas, training and resources to ensure compliance with NOP’s mandates because the National Organic Program’s (NOP) Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance is being published. Click here to see discussions on the NOP’s draft.
The NOP regulations have always required the conservation of biodiversity and the maintenance or improvement of natural resources, including soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. Organic farmers integrate biodiversity into their organic systems, depending on their situations, with such practices as the use of native plant buffers, cover crops, compost and natural pest control. What’s new is that the NOP is now requiring that these types of activities occur.
Sponsors will receive tremendous exposure and marketing benefits. Thanks to sponsorships, this important work will help to ensure that best practices on biodiversity conservation are the ones being implemented. By becoming a sponsor, your business will get your logo/name on the professionally printed guides and be thanked on all print and online promotional materials. Click here to see the original guide published 10 years ago.


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