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.

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Agroforestry: The Next Step in Addressing Climate Change

The cultivation of trees on agricultural land helps to enrich soils, maintain soil moisture and stop erosion, provide vital habitat for wildlife, as well as store carbon. This practice, where tree and shrub cultivation is incorporated among crops or pasture, is called agroforestry and is the center of attention in a recent study looking at how to reduce the carbon footprint of agriculture. 

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News From the Wild Side-October 2016

As the days are getting shorter, leaves are changing colors and falling to the ground, and animals are looking for the winter resting spots, I think about how all of these natural, wild processes are connected. How the shorter days signal to plants to wind down photosynthesis; how the leaves falling fertilize the soil below; how hibernating animals slow their bodies' rhythms to conserve energy and make it through a food scarce season. 

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Join Wild Farm Alliance for Upcoming Webinar with eOrganic on Biodiversity Conservation in Organic Agriculture

Upcoming Webinar: How to Implement and Verify Biodiversity Conservation Activities in Organic Agricultural Systems

Click here to register for this important webinar on October 5th 2PM Eastern Time (1PM Central, 12PM Mountain, 11AM Pacific Time).

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News From the Wild Side-July 2016

A note from WFA’s Assistant Director, Shelly Connor

I grew up in the Midwest and recently moved back to the area. I remember the fields surrounding my childhood home in the country filled with thousands of milkweed plants; watching the striped monarch butterfly caterpillars slowly inching up and down the plants looking for a place to transform; and finally seeing the emerging orange and black beauties encircling the fields on their way north. It was a regular summer occurrence. I looked forward to witnessing the magic every year.

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How Biodiversity is Critical to a Fully Functioning Farm

Rt.1J.Baumgarnter.JPGArticle written by Jo Ann Baumgartner, Wild Farm Alliance and was printed in Planet Drum June 2016 newsletter. 

We support what is beautiful and what we love—songbirds singing out their names, fat bumblebees busy sampling an array of gorgeous native flowers, and the majestic oaks towering over us—these species can and do live on farms. Are they what make a farm beautiful?

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Take Action: Support Healthy Soils Initiative

HSI_Photo.jpgGood news! California's Governor Jerry Brown is staying the course and is again calling for $20 million for the new Healthy Soils Initiative. The State Legislature is taking up the Governor’s proposal. Now is the time to call your state representatives to support sustainable agricultural solutions to climate change. Phone calls are much more impactful than email and it takes only 45 seconds to leave a message.

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New Research Published on How Birds Help Farms, Especially Those Farms that Help Birds

BirdResearchImage.pngBirds reduced insect pests in conventional alfalfa by over 33%, according to a new study published in Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. Habitat is key: the reduction of pests occurs where crops are near habitat. The study found that the fields with bordering trees had a lower number of pest weevils near those field borders, indicating that birds are very important pest control operators. When farms provide habitat near food sources (in this case pest insects), they benefit more than those farms without habitat on the edges.

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