News From the Wild Side-November 2016

Many things have changed over the last week. And while we prioritize our work for the next year, I have to be honest, there is a lot of uncertainty right now.

The incoming administration is not likely to prioritize conservation or organic agriculture. Our progress will be under intense scrutiny and attack.

But even in this time of uncertainty, I am confident of a few things: the importance of our work and you!

Right now, it is more important then ever to stand together and fight for wild nature. In the coming year, your voice and support is more critical than ever before.

We are so grateful for you. Supporting Wild Farm Alliance is a conscious choice you made, thank you. You have helped to make biodiversity conservation a priority for farmers across the country.

But let's face it, next year there will be challenges. We need to double down on our efforts to protect our native species and ecosystem processes. We need to assist farmers in implementing biodiversity conservation. We need to keep our wildlands wild.

Thank you for standing with Wild Farm Alliance over the last 16 years. In the coming year, your support is imperative. So in advance, thanks for continuing to stand with us, promoting agriculture that protects and restores wild nature.

For the wild, 

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Jo Ann Baumgartner            Shelly Connor
Executive Director               Assistant Director


FU-Conference-Alternate-Online.jpgGrowing for the Future, Online Conference for Beginning Farmers

Wild Farm Alliance is pleased to join with National Farmers Union in their first Beginner Farmer and Rancher Online Virtual Conference December 5-8, 2016. The conference is geared towards issues beginning farmers face: mentorship, business planning, USDA programs, women and veterans in farming, conservation and more. 

Wild Farm Alliance is excited to be one of the presenters on conservation. Our presentation will cover the Biodiversity Continuum Chart and how beginning farmers can take advantage of the natural areas on their farm from the start. For more information or to register for the conference, click here


Asclepias_speciosa.J.AndersonCredit.pngNew Study: Weeds May Not Be So Bad After All

A new study from Cornell University published in Weed Science Society of America, shows real evidence that weeds are actually not bad actors on the farm. Weeds are part of the natural ecosystem and play an important role in providing habitat or food for all sorts of species. While farmers may see these weeds as threats to their crops, according to this research, they might actually be helping. 

One example they pointed out was lone milkweed plants in the middle of a cornfield. They reported that these milkweed plants often are home to aphids, which produce a food source for parasitic wasps. These wasps, it turns out, are beneficial insects for the corn farmer. The wasps lay their eggs inside of the problematic European corn borer, killing the eggs and keeping them at bay from damaging the crop. 

This research is validating the position long held by Wild Farm Alliance and our allies - nature holds the answers to many of the problems our agricultural systems face and that every species plays a role. Biodiversity is made up of many species and processes - we can't alienate a few species as problematic without disrupting the entire system. Read more here. 


 

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Update From The National Organic Standards Board Meeting

Currently, native ecosystems can be converted overnight to organic production, while conventional land must be transitioned over three years.

At last week’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting in St. Louis, MO, Wild Farm Alliance urged the Board to change that. We shared stories such as this one from an organic inspector who had witnessed the tilling of native short grass prairie in the Colorado Plains to grow grains. In most cases, the farmers are conventional who are trying their hand at organic agriculture since they don't have to go through a conversion period. He estimated 1,000 acres were converted.

The NOSB is currently working on a Discussion Document to resolve this issue, and we are there to support them with this process.


IMG_4840.jpegUpcoming Talks by the Wild Farm Alliance

If you are attending any of these events, please find us and say hello!

NRCS Science and Technology Webinar
January 24, 2017, 11am Pacific (2pm Eastern)
We are partnering with the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation to present Layering Conservation Benefits: Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects, Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration.

37th EcoFarm Conference in Pacific Grove, CA 
January 25-28, 2017
WFA will be presenting in workshops on the biodiversity continuum of practices farmers can use, and on birds in agriculture, and will be facilitating biodiversity farmer stories in a third workshop.

Organicology in Portland, OR
February 2-4, 2017
Organicology happens every other year. This year we are pleased to be back and participating in this conference’s natural resources and biodiversity farm tour.

MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, WI
February 23-25, 2017
This is one of the largest events in the country focused on organic agriculture. WFA is excited to be presenting on practical information for organic farmers and certifiers on how to comply with the NOP’s Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance.


WFA_Ad_1.pngAdd Your Voice

It takes a lot of people using the same voice to push for better policies and to make change. In the coming year, your voice is more important than ever.

Please help us rewild our farms and protect the integrity of our agricultural lands for future generations.

Click here to take action and make a tax-deductible donation to Wild Farm Alliance today. 

Wild Farm Alliance is making sure our wildlands and native species do not pay the price for the food on our plates. Your year-end donation will help farmers put biodiversity conservation practices to work protecting nature.


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