News From the Wild Side - March 2017

Spring is just around the corner; warming weather, planted fields, birds heading north, and buds emerging from branches. While most people are thrilled to see the seasons change, spring is arriving across the country 2-3 weeks earlier than normal in certain areas. Not surprising since 2016 was the hottest year on record, right after 2015 and 2014. 

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"You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming." - Pablo Neruda

But these early flowers, while something we humans might enjoy, are not a great sign for wildlife and agriculture. Off sync blooms and buds can be disastrous for pollinators that feast on pollen and nectar, and for birds requiring insects as food sources. Uncertain weather can also disrupt traditional migratory patterns. And even though a longer growing season can be considered advantageous for farmers, it comes with a risk of unpredictable weather including early frosts and drought. 

In 2017, the work of Wild Farm Alliance could not be more important. In the first months of the new administration, it is clear we will need to work hard to protect the future of our conservation and environmental programs that address issues like climate change, clean water, and sustainable agriculture.

At this moment in time, we may not affect change in the halls of Congress, but we can and will affect change in our fields. Farmers have always been leaders in our communities and today is no different. Our work is helping farmers make choices for their operation that will help improve resiliency in our ever-changing world. 

Thank you for your commitment to wild farming, a healthy environment, and for inspiring a necessary change in the way we farm. 

For the wild, 

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               Shelly_pic.jpg

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Jo Ann Baumgartner            Shelly Connor
Executive Director               Assistant Director


BBEE-SPE.jpegUpcoming Action Alert: Protecting Native Ecosystems

Our work to protect native ecosystems from going under the plow is moving forward and we need your help. In the coming days we will be sending an action alert asking for you to provide valuable feedback and support. Please be on the lookout for this action alert!

Protecting native ecosystems is critical for wildlife and the future of our agricultural systems. The National Organic Program’s (NOP) three-year waiting period for land to be free of prohibited substances unintentionally incentivizes producers to convert native ecosystems since this land is instantly ready for organic certification. While organic agriculture is an ecological management system that promotes and enhances biodiversity, it offers no environmental protections prior to certification.


BDGuideImage.jpgOrganic Certifiers Protecting Biodiversity

Since the National Organic Program published its final Biodiversity Guidance in January 2016, Wild Farm Alliance has worked with several certifiers updating their Organic System Plans (farm plans) to incorporate more biodiversity questions. These farm plans are ways to help farmers measure on-the-ground success of how practices are actually protecting and improving biodiversity on the farm. We are continuing to work with certifiers across the country as they update their OSPs. 

Our recent publication, Biodiversity Conservation: An Organic Farmers' and Certifiers' Handbook is a comprehensive guide to help farmers and certifiers clarify NOP's Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance. Since the release of this publication in October, we have distributed more than 500 copies to inspectors and certification staff nationwide. Initial feedback has been great. Inspectors, certifiers, and farmers have all mentioned just how valuable this guide has been to them as they embark on practices to improve biodiversity conservation. 

Click here to get a free copy of our Biodiversity Conservation Guide!


Thanks to Wild Farm Alliance Business Sponsors

We are so grateful for our Business Sponsors who are partnering with us to rewild our farms. If you are a business owner or know of a business that is interested in joining our work, please contact us at shellyconnor@wildfarmalliance.org.  

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WFA_Ad_1.pngTwo Ways to Support the Wild

Wild Farms are more than just valuable habitat for birds, pollinators, and other wildlife; they are the foundation for our future, protecting the integrity of our agricultural lands for generations to come. 

Your donation to Wild Farm Alliance will help farmers implement conservation practices that promote and protect biodiversity. 

Click here to protect the future of our food and wild and make a tax-deductible donation to Wild Farm Alliance.

Thank you for joining us with a donation today to make sure our wildlands and native species do not pay the price for the food on our plates.

Another way to support our work is through The Fund for Wild Naturean important funder of Wild Farm Alliance. This year, the Fund for Wild Nature has been given a $20,000 challenge to match new donors, raising much needed money to support organizations with grassroots grants across the country. We are so grateful for their support. Please consider making a donation for the wild through this important fund. Click here to learn more.



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www.wildfarmalliance.org


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