News From the Wild Side - September 2017

While some think of the fall equinox as the end of the growing season, warm weather, or summer vacation; I like to think of the fall equinox as the beginning; planning for the next growing season, experiencing the beginning of a new season, and for Wild Farm Alliance, the launch of new work.

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It is an exciting and busy time.

We are thrilled to tell you about a new report we authored that will be released in the next few weeks and also about a brand new resource we are working on with university researchers. Read below to learn more. We need your help to move both of these important projects forward.  

In addition to our new publications, we are also excited to announce that the NOSB heard our voices about eliminating the incentive for conversion of native ecosystems to organic production. See our discussion below and stay tuned for an action alert in your email inbox next week. We are one step closer to maintaining the integrity of organic agriculture and protecting our wild. 

As always, your support is what keeps us going. We are so grateful for your continued partnership and look forward to the beginning of the new season! Thank you!

For the Wild,

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Jo Ann Baumgartner            Shelly Connor
Executive Director               Assistant Director


Cover-Pest_Control_by_Birds_(1).pngA Look Ahead for Wild Farm Alliance

As we mentioned above, Wild Farm Alliance has new work we are embarking on and we need your help!

Please make a donation today to help us launch our new work
to bring wild nature back to our farms.

First, we are in the final stages of completing our report showing how organic certifiers and farmers are meeting the biodiversity standard in the National Organic Program. We looked at most of the US based certifiers' Organic System Plans (the plan a farmer completes in order to get certified) to see how biodiversity protection and conservation are integrated into the plan. We have some interesting results to share, along with recommendations on how to continue to improve biodiversity protection on organic farms.

Help us get this report published and into the hands of certifiers, farmers, and decision makers!

Second, we have started our next technical resource, Building Resiliency on Your Farm: Pest Control by Birds. We are working with bird researchers to publish this guide. This publication will show farmers and agricultural professionals how farms can both be resilient to climate change and reduce pest problems. Inspirational stories and practical information will help farmers be prepared for the challenges ahead. We will describe in farmer-friendly terms how a multitude of birds are beneficial to specific fruit, vegetable and livestock farms (based on journal articles), and outline what kind of steps farmers can take in order to make their farms resilient.

But we can't do this work without you.

Please support this work with a financial donation today. Your support will improve biodiversity conservation on organic farms and help farmers build resiliency. 

Thank you for your support! 


Sodbusting_USDA_NRSC.jpegWFA Program Update

We have some good news to share!

Our voices were heard. Just this week, the NOSB released the public docket for their upcoming meeting and in it is a proposed rule change on this issue. See the public document here (pp 1-5).

First, we want to compliment the NOSB on tackling the serious unintended consequences of the current three-year waiting period for land with prohibited materials that encouraged the conversion of native ecosystems overnight! They put a lot of hard work into this issue and we are so thankful they are moving ahead.

While we are getting closer to what is needed, the recommended rule language requires some adjustment, otherwise the intent the Board is seeking will not addressed.

Next week, we will be publishing a blog post with our thoughts and comments on this proposed rule. We will be asking you and others to sign onto our comments. Thanks again for your help on advancing this issue. We are making a big step towards protecting native ecosystems both nationally and internationally. 


9.Hor_bumblebee_Bob_Hammon__Colorado_State_University__Bugwood.org_copy.jpgWorkshops to Help Make Your Farm Wild

We are helping to spread the word about these two upcoming events geared towards farmers.

The first is a one-day Carbon Farming Intensive Workshop, October 23rd, hosted by the Marin Carbon Project and Bioneers. Spend the day at the beautiful Stemple Creek Ranch in West Marin, a thousand acres protected in perpetuity in an agricultural land trust, which raises grass-fed beef and lamb using strict animal welfare practices, and which has protected three miles of riparian area and planted 1,000 trees to help control erosion, provide shade, and create habitat for wildlife. You will discover firsthand how carbon farming practices work and their enormous potential. 

For more information, click here.

The second event is the EcoFarm: Fall Fundamentals CourseOctober 20-24, hosted by Haliburton Farms in Victoria, B.C. This course demonstrates the critical interconnections among organic agriculture, biodiversity, and human nutrition through presentations, demonstrations and practical training. A hands-on learning experience in aspects of plant propagation, ecosystem restoration enhancement, harvesting, and preservation (canning) illustrates the benefits of ecofarming for people, planet, and profit.

For more information, click here. 


unnamed.jpgProtecting Water = Protecting Salmon

We all know about the importance of protecting water. Water is a fundamental of life, supporting a wide range of diversity in plant and animal species. Water is also critical for agriculture, but oftentimes agriculture is leading to unfortunate cases of depletion of water sources and pesticide contamination. 

A new publication, Water is the Connection: Managing Pesticide Risk for Salmon Recovery, A Guide for Willamette Valley Farmers, published by Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, is designed to help pesticide applicators, including farmers, learn about salmon in the Willamette
Basin and the pesticides that are harmful to salmon or their food sources. The publication is a great resource on the alternatives available for pesticides that are causing the most damage to Salmon populations in the Pacific Northwest. 

Click here for more information. 


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Order a Full Color Biodiversity Guide

WFA's Biodiversity Conservation: An Organic Farmer's and Certifier's Guide is now available for purchase. The 100-page full color guide costs $15.00 (includes shipping). Please allow 2-4 weeks for shipping. Click here to order.

About the Guide:  The Guide clarifies the National Organic Program’s (NOP) Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance (released January 2016). The Guide will also increase organic farmers’ and certifiers’ understanding of the myriad of benefits provided by biodiversity conservation.

Outcomes ranging from enhanced pollination and improved pest control, to cleaner water sources can help an organic operation perform optimally. WFA’s Guide gives farmers and certifiers practical and effective information to not only be in compliance but also to take advantage of the ecosystem benefits related to biodiversity.

Organic operations that use the USDA National Organic Program label are obligated to conserve biodiversity and maintain or improve the natural resources, including soil, water, wetlands, woodlands, and wildlife. The Natural Resources and Biodiversity Conservation Guidance was published to ensure uniform compliance of these regulations that have been in place since the NOP’s inception.

Order your copy here!


 

 

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