News From the Wild Side - January 2016

fs-ComanagingStewardship.jpgHappy New Year! Wild Farm Alliance is excited for 2016, and we are so grateful to begin this new year with you. 

Your support is the backbone of our work. Because of you, we are starting off 2016 stronger than ever. Last year, you helped strengthen the capacity of farmers to adapt to the impacts of climate change through regenerative agriculture. You also helped to educate consumers about the impact on biodiversity that their food choices have. And finally, your support in 2015 helped finalize the new food safety rule that encourages wildlife habitat on the farm. 


Thank you! Your commitment to this important work means a lot to us. 

This year will be even bigger. We have ambitious plans to expand our work and resources for farmers across the country and to conduct even more public outreach about the importance of farming with the wild and why it matters for all of us. In just a few weeks, we will share our new website with you that will advance our work and outreach to empower farmers, connect consumers, and protect wild nature.

We are thrilled to have your partnership and look forward to more wins in 2016 for biodiversity, farmers, and nature!

Best wishes in the new year, 



Jo Ann Baumgartner            Shelly Connor
Executive Director               Assistant Director

What do the New Food Safety Produce Rules Mean for Your Farm?

Food safety has become a prominent issue for growers, and conservationists who assist them, in planning and installing stewardship practices. With FDA's Produce Rule published in November 2015, many growers are taking steps to make changes to their management plans so they come into compliance, while others are upgrading what they have already put into place. To see highlights of how FDA’s produce rule affects diversity on the farm and the surrounding landscape, click here.

WFA created a handbook for growers and conservationists that describes many opportunities for making the farm safer by reducing pathogen presence with conservation practices, while also covering some challenges that should be managed. 
Topics include: 
  • How pathogens get on the farm
  • Prevalence of pathogens in wildlife and livestock
  • Environmental factors that influence pathogen reduction
  • Conservation practices and food safety Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) used to reduce food safety risk.  
In addition to this updated guide, WFA wrote about some of the most important points for farmers on what this new rule means for them. The rules accommodate the co-management of food safety and conservation, most notably in the sections on domesticated and wild animals, agricultural water, and biological soil amendments.

Click here to learn more about some of the practices that can still be done on the farm, what farmers can't do, and what new practices FDA requires.


Thoughts on Food Democracy in 2015

An important supporter and funder of Wild Farm Alliance, United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI), published a piece in the Huffington Post that highlights the changing tide in our food system towards a better and greater food democracy. WFA is so honored to partner with UNFI to make these reflections a reality.

As you are making your resolutions or setting your intentions for 2016, think about how you can be part of revolutionizing our food democracy. 

Read the Huffington Post piece.

Have You Registered for EcoFarm Yet?


The EcoFarm Conference is more than a conference. It’s a gathering for inspiration, renewal, and celebration. This year's conference, "Regenerating Our Lands and Water", will focus on the solutions to the major issues the world faces today, both in the food and farming system and beyond, through the ecological and organic approaches to farming and food production that EcoFarm works to champion. Climate change and drought have left the state of our water and soil in jeopardy, and following up on 2015, as the International Year of Soils, the time is now to come together and begin the process of "Regenerating Our Lands and Water". 

Registration is now open and this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Where to find Wild Farm Alliance at the Conference: 

  • We will facilitate “Insights from Farmers: Biodiversity Stories from the Field,” and hosting a Discussion group on the same subject right after that session.
  • We will present in “Go Native: Farms Reap the Benefit of Indigenous Species.”
  • We will present on biodiversity conservation in Oregon Tilth’s pre-conference - Technical Service Provider and Organic Biodiversity Training that takes place in the two days before EcoFarm.


A Tribute to Doug Tompkins

Doug Tompkins and his Foundation for Deep Ecology (FDE) were instrumental in the creation of Wild Farm Alliance in 2000. FDE brought together wildlands proponents and ecological farming advocates in a meeting that later formed WFA, and many of those experts continue to be on WFA’s Board today.

The Foundation was a major supporter in our early years. Doug’s leadership on conservation will forever impact our work. Read more - a tribute from WFA board president and Doug's son-in-law, Dan Imhoff.

Photo by Beth Wald

A Biological Control Buffet in the Salad Bowl of America

ericbrennanvideo_copy.jpgEric Brennan doesn't consider himself just a USDA agricultural researcher. He likes to think of himself as an air traffic controller for beneficial insects of the space above his organic research farm in California. 

A dozen years ago, Wild Farm Alliance worked with Eric and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) to install hedgerows and create critical habitat for biological control on his research farm. Since then, he has documented the success and created this clever and inspiring video to showcase the importance of on-farm habitat for beneficials. Check out his video!

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 [email protected]  

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