News From the Wild Side July 2018

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

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HeaderJuly_2018_copy.jpgNew Web Presentation Available from WFA

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As part of training course for 120 farmers, WFA gave a presentation on how to assess biodiversity for support of climate resilience. This was in partnership with the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA)

We are happy to share our recorded presentation with WFA supporters. Through this session, farmers can learn how to make both their farms and the planet more resilient to climate change. We developed a set of resilience indicators in order to help prioritize the changes farmers may need to make and to monitor those changes into the future.

Stay tuned - in the coming months we will expand upon this to provide additional resources for farmers.

Click here to view the presentation.


Image result for wildly successful farming Presentations and Upcoming Book Release 

Wild Farm Alliance had the privilege of participating in a panel at the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society's (AFHVS) annual meeting in Madison, WI in June. AFHVS is a professional organization which provides an international forum to engage in the cross-disciplinary study of food, agriculture, and health, as well as an opportunity for examining the values that underlie various visions of food and agricultural systems. 

From a base of philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists, AFHVS membership is made up of philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists, scientists, scholars and practitioners in areas ranging from agricultural production and social science to nutrition policy and the humanities. The membership meets annually to share and discuss programs, theories, and research ideas of common interest. 

WFA staff were on a panel with WFA Advisory Board and founding Member Dana Jackson and WFA Board Member Neva Hassanein. The panel presented what wild farming looks like on the ground, policies that help (or hinder) adoption of these practices, and then held a discussion with the audience on what strategies need to occur in order to help more producers create more wild farms. 

In addition, Dana shared a preview of an upcoming book by author, Brian DeVore, scheduled to be released October 2018. Wildly Successful Farming tells the stories of farmers across the American Midwest who are balancing profitability and food production with environmental sustainability and a passion for all things wild. They are using innovative techniques and strategies to develop their "wildly" successful farms as working ecosystems. Whether producing grain, vegetables, fruit, meat, or milk, these next-generation agrarians look beyond the bottom line of the spreadsheet to the biological activity on the land as key measures of success. 

Written by agricultural journalist Brian DeVore, the book is based on interviews he has conducted at farms, wildlife refuges, laboratories, test plots, and gardens over the past twenty-five years. He documents innovations in cover cropping, managed rotational grazing, perennial polyculture, and integrated pest management. His accounts provide insight into the impacts regenerative farming methods can have on wildlife, water, landscape, soils, and rural communities and suggest ways all of us can support wildly successful farmers. 

Brian DeVore is a contributor to farm and conservation magazines and an editor with the Land Stewardship Project in Minneapolis, MN. He grew up on a crop and livestock farm in southwestern Iowa and, while serving in the Peace Corps, managed a dairy cooperative in Lesotho, Africa. 


Farm Bill 2018 - Help Protect CSP!

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Repost from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition's Blog-Wild Farm Alliance is a member of this national coalition and is working with all its members to ensure the 2018 Farm Bill funds conservation for our farmers and the wild. 

The Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is the nation’s largest conservation program and the only one that tackles resource concern protection and enhancement from a comprehensive approach. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)’s member organizations work directly with the farmers and ranchers who utilize this program, and recently three NSAC member organizations helped tell the story of the CSP’s impact for farmers and ranchers, and the natural resources that the program works to protect.

We applaud the Land Stewardship Project, Center for Rural Affairs, and Wild Farm Alliance for helping to elevate the voices of the farmers and ranchers who utilize and depend on CSP. Their voices are more important now than ever, as Congress is currently working to write the next farm bill, which will have major implications for conservation programs, including CSP. There is a lot at stake for CSP, as the House and Senate bills that have been passed by their respective chambers differ significantly in how they approach working lands conservation programs, including CSP and the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

Read More


Can Agriculture and Biodiversity Co-Exist? Still an Open Question

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A diverse organic farm near San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico. Photo: Catherine Badgley

Written by WFA Advisory Board Member, Paula McKay and WFA Board Member, Catherine Badgely. This article is reposted with permission from the Wildlands Network Blog. 

In the Fall 1998 issue of Wild Earth, paleontologist Dr. Catherine Badgley addressed the far-reaching question, “Can agriculture and biodiversity coexist?” This informative essay synthesized the ecological losses and threats associated with modern farming, whose footprint has expanded to global proportions since humans began cultivating the landscape some 10,000 years ago. Badgley also proposed actions to ameliorate our current agricultural plight, advocating profound changes in farming practices and consumer habits as critical steps forward.

Badgley’s essay described a continuum of agricultural intensification and associated agroecosystem transformation.

On one end of the spectrum, she wrote, “traditional” or “indigenous” practices (e.g., family subsistence farms) give rise to “agroecosystems that bear a strong resemblance to the native, pre-agricultural ecosystems of a region.”

Continue reading on the Wildlands Network Blog


Thank you Wild Farm Alliance Business League Sponsors

We are so grateful for our Business Sponsors who are partnering us to reconnect food systems with ecosystems. If you are a business owner or know of a business that is interested in joining our work, please contact us: shellyconnor@wildfarmalliance.org.

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Help Build Habitat for Beneficial Birds

Cover-Pest_Control_by_Birds.pngDonate to Wild Farm Alliance today and help protect and build bird habitat for beneficial birds on farms. Our upcoming guide, Building Resiliency on Your Farm: Pest Control by Birds, will show farmers and agricultural professionals how farms can both be resilient to climate change and reduce pest problems. 

This resource will share farmers’ stories, describe in farmer-friendly terms how a multitude of birds are beneficial to specific fruit, vegetable and livestock farms (based on scientific journal articles), and outline what kind of steps farmers can take in order to make their farms resilient. 

With this resource, your donation will ensure that best practices on biodiversity conservation are the ones being implemented. Please make a donation to WFA today and help build a wild and resilient farm movement.

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