News From the Wild Side August 2018

Stay up to date on the latest news from Wild Farm Alliance!


Soil Not Oil Conference

Join us at the Soil Not Oil Conference September 9-11 in San Francisco! We are excited to participate in this conference and present on how assessing biodiversity can help to address the effects of climate change on the farm. WFA’s Jo Ann Baumgartner’s talk will be on Monday, September 10th at 1pm.

Others in the lineup are scientists, farmers, elected officials and environmental activists including: Dr. Vandana Shiva, Dr. Rattan Lal, Andrew Kimbrell, Wenonah Hauter, Miguel Altieri, David Zuckerman, Adelita San Vicente Tello, Wenonah LaDuke, Miguel Altieri, Starhawk, John Jeavons, Tim LaSalle, Penny Livingston, Paul Kaiser, and hundreds more.

This year the conference will showcase agro-ecological practices –regenerative agriculture, no-till/bio-intensive farming, permaculture solutions-, as well as community powered solutions that people in the global south have creatively implemented to adapt and prevent the ecological and social impacts of climate change.

Soil Not Oil is an educational event in which attendees learn the root causes, effects and solutions to climate change.

Learn more and register


TAKE ACTION: Speak Out in Support of Resources for California's "Climate Smart" Farmers and Ranchers! 

If you live in California, call your Senator today! 

This week, the California Senate will vote on a bill that will improve farmer access to the state's Climate Smart Agriculture programs. 

Legislators pay attention to phone calls from their constituents. You can make a difference.  Please make your call today!
AB 2377 provides a source of secure and ongoing funding for these technical services and will unleash the potential of farms across California for delivering climate solutions. Hear José Roblesstory here.
Can you call your state Senator today? It will only take a minute each to leave a message like this:

“My name is _________ and I am calling from [town/city]. I’m calling to urge the Senator to vote for AB 2377. The bill improves technical assistance for farmers doing Climate Smart Agricultural practices.”
Click here to find your Senator and the phone number for their Capitol office.

Let us know what you hear — drop us a line: [email protected].

What Does AB 2377 Do?

AB 2377 requires that 5 percent, or no more than $5 million, of the annual budgets for three Climate Smart Agriculture Programs—the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), Alternative Manure Management Program (AMMP), and Healthy Soils Program—be used to establish a Technical Assistance Fund. Eligible applicants to the fund include Resource Conservation Districts, Cooperative Extension and nonprofits. They can receive up to $100,000 annually for up to three years to support farmer applicants to the programs with outreach, project design, application assistance, and project implementation.

Importantly, AB 2377 prioritizes technical assistance for small and moderately-scaled farms and ranches and requires at least 25 percent of the technical assistance funds be provided to socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, as defined by the Farmer Equity Act.

California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs provide important financial resources to encourage farmers and ranchers to adopt farm management practices that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase carbon sequestration to help meet the state’s 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

For more information see: 

TAKE ACTION: Farm Bill 2018


The Senate and House have both passed their versions of the Farm Bill, now they have to come together and reconcile the differences for a final bill. It is going to be a lot of work because the two couldn't be any more different. 

This is our opportunity to ensure conservation programs survive and thrive in the upcoming Farm Bill. In the House version, the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) was eliminated. CSP not only offers farmers and ranchers financial incentives to establish whole farm conservation efforts, but also provides a myriad of significant, complementary benefits to the environment.

We need to beef up this program, not eliminate it.

Check out our special issue brief that outlines how some farmers who use CSP benefit from this important program. 

Then call your members of Congress and urge them to fund CSP and keep it going strong! 

Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121, ask to be connected to your Representative/Senator's office.

Ask to speak with the staffer who works on agriculture or leave a message with whoever answers the phone. Use these talking points:

  • I’m calling as a constituent and as a representative from x business/organization (describe size of farm or business, annual sales, or # of members if appropriate). 
  • I am calling to urge Senator XX/Representative XX to support conservation programs, specifically CSP, in the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill. CSP is an important program that our farmers and ranchers and environment cannot afford to lose.
After you call, please email [email protected] and let us know you called! Thank you!

OrganicMeansMore.jpgProtecting Native Ecosystems 

WFA's work to protect native ecosystems from being converted overnight to organic agriculture was recently highlighted in the National Wildlife Federation's member magazine. NWF is an important ally in this work and helped to garner a lot of public support and comments submitted to the NOSB on this issue. 

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), a federal advisory committee that advises the USDA on organic issues, brought up their concern for conversion of native ecosystems in their “Implementation of Biodiversity Conservation in Organic Agriculture Systems” 2009 document, and again in their 2012 Discussion Document with the same name. Upon our encouragement, in 2016 the NOSB put this topic on their work agenda and earlier this year passed the recommendation for a new rule to protect native ecosystems. Now that the NOSB supports this new rule, there is a need to create Draft Guidance that the NOP will implement so that organic consumers will continue to have faith in the USDA label.

Click here to read more

echinacea-purpurea-2.jpegApply for a Scholarship to Attend Fall NOSB Meeting

The National Organic Coalition (NOC) is offering a limited number of scholarships to farmers wishing to attend the NOC Pre-NOSB meeting (October 23, 2018) & NOSB meeting (October 24 - 26, 2018) in St. Paul, MN. 

If you are a farmer and want to have your voice heard at the meeting please apply today!

The following important topics will be discussed during the NOC Pre-NOSB and NOSB meetings: DC organic policy update, oversight and enforcement for imports and dairy sector, strengthening the use of organic seed, packaging substances (including use of BPA in organic), plastic mulch and covers, marine materials, excluded methods/prohibitions for genetic engineering in organic, research priorities, and others.

These scholarships are available to farmer participants from NOC member organizations, which includes Wild Farm Alliance. 

If you are interested, please fill out this online application:

Priority will be given to applications submitted by Friday, September 7.

Scholarship amounts will vary depending on how many applicants, and what their specific needs are.  We ask that scholarship recipients attend the NOC Pre-NOSB meeting if possible. We are also hoping farmers will make comments -- written and/or oral to the NOSB. Participants should sign up to give oral comments. You can give in person comments or comments via webinar. Online sign up information will be available soon. Participants may also submit written comments. More details will be available soon regarding the comment deadline and submission website.

Applicants who apply by September 7 will be notified of the award amount around Friday, September 14, but the scholarships will not be reimbursed until after the meeting. Please direct any questions about the scholarship application process to: [email protected]

9.Hor_bumblebee_Bob_Hammon__Colorado_State_University__Bugwood.org_copy.jpgProtect Conservation Programs

Donate to Wild Farm Alliance and ensure critical programs like the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) are protected and funded in the upcoming Farm Bill. 

Your support will ensure farmers across the country have access to CSP, the largest, most effective program for conservation agriculture. CSP rewards farmers and ranchers for using practices that enhance the sustainability of agricultural landscapes. To earn these green payments, farmers take a whole-farm approach to conservation and adopt ecologically-sound practices.

Add your voice with thousands of others with a donation to WFA today! Join us in pushing for a Farm Bill that does not gut our critical conservation programs. Our food system, agricultural economy, and natural heritage are on the line.

Please make a donation to WFA today to support this important work!




For the Wild,