News from the Wild Side -November 2019


In this Issue

WFA’s Recently Released Bird Resources

How to Attract Bug-eating Birds to Farms

Growers Tell It Like It Is with Food Safety

New Publication about Agriculture and Climate Change

FACT’s 2019 Fund-a-Farmer Grants

With New Perennial Grain, a Step Forward for Eco-Friendly Agriculture

Growing for the Future Conference

WFA's Recently Released Bird Resources

Did you miss our previous emails about our new bird materials?

We launched our Beneficial Birds Multimedia Story Platform, an online scroll of beautiful images, inspiring stories and practical tools for supporting birds on farms. Within this platform lie video stories from farmers Duane Chamberlain and Julie Johnson: 

Duane's field edges have habitat, some of which supports the rare Swainson's Hawks and songbirds that eat the alfalfa weevil. Watch Chamberlain Farms Video.

Julie's Tres Sabores sports bird nest boxes, a hedgerow, and oak woodlands, all to the benefit of avian natural enemies, pollinators and other wildlife. Watch Tres Sabores Video.

Jo Ann Baumgartner and Rachael Long at WFA's recent presentation at the Yolo County Agricultural Commissioner meeting.


You can find a link to our recorded eOrganic webinar about beneficial birds on our website. Alternatively, read about what it covered in this great article in Lancaster Farming!

We have a lot more in store - showcasing more farmers on our Story Platform, and more field days and presentations at Agricultural Commissioner meetings. Your support makes this all possible, thank you!


How to Attract Bug-eating Birds to Farms

Originally printed on the Green Blog, November 19, 2019. Photo credit: S. Heath

Hedgerows bordering farmland ‚Äď plantings with native trees, shrubs, bunch grasses and wildflowers ‚Äď support bug-eating birds, which helps with on-farm pest control, according to research by recent UC Davis graduate¬†Sacha Heath¬†and UC Cooperative Extension advisor¬†Rachael Long. The study was published in October 2019.¬†

Read More and see a clip of a woodpecker eating.

Growers Tell It Like It Is With Food Safety

And Authors Advocate for More Support and Protections for Growers and More Ecologically-based Pathogen Management

Based on interviews with 55 growers in California’s Central Coast, a newly published article examines how growers are responding to food safety reforms, and evaluates the implications for regional sustainability. Elissa Olimpi, Patrick Baur and colleagues found several areas of troubling disconnect between the stated intentions and actual outcomes on the ground. Three outstanding recommendations would make food safety more equitable, less fearful (subject to lawsuits) and better integrated with ecosystems.

Read More

New Publication about Agriculture and Climate Change

New report from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition highlights new research to help farmers and ranchers meet the growing challenges of the climate crisis

For American farmers, the writing is on the wall: climate crisis is no longer a distant threat, it is here. From record-breaking floods across the Midwest to intense land-falling hurricanes on our coasts to historic droughts in California, farmers across the country have been on the frontlines of extreme weather due to climate change. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has been helping farmers adopt climate-smart practices for decades, and today released a new report of policy and practice recommendations based on the latest climate science: Agriculture and Climate Change: Policy Imperatives and Opportunities to Help Producers Meet the Challenge.

Read the Report

FACT’s 2019 Fund-a-Farmer Grants

Grants Available for Livestock & Poultry Farmers

Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) is accepting applications for three types of grants for livestock and poultry farmers who wish to attain humane certification, build capacity, or improve pasture for their animals. Funding is available for projects that improve farm animal welfare, such as building mobile housing, constructing fences, laying water lines on pasture, and much more. Independent family farmers located in the continental U.S. who raise beef cattle, broiler chickens, dairy cows, goats, laying hens, pigs, turkeys, and/or sheep may be eligible to apply.

For more information about FACT's Fund-a-Farmer Grants and to apply online.  Applications are due by December 2, 2019.

Read More

With New Perennial Grain, a Step Forward for Eco-Friendly Agriculture

Article originally printed in Yale Environment 360, August 14, 2019. Photo credit: The Land Institute

Some 40 years ago, Wes Jackson, a plant geneticist, founded¬†The Land Institute¬†on the prairie near Salina, Kansas. Concerned that modern agriculture destroyed native grasslands, he asked a question that came to define his life: How can we harness the inherent strengths of the prairie ecosystem ‚ÄĒ the natural resistance of native plants to insects and weeds, the ability of those plants to grow perennially, and their evolved resistance to cold and drought ‚ÄĒ and marry those traits to the task of growing domesticated crops for food?

Read Article

Growing for the Future Conference

Growing for the Future is a free online conference for farmers and ranchers! Through farmer-to-farmer webinars, live Q&A sessions, and an online resource center, the conference provides the tools and skills you need to run a successful operation.

Learn More and Register

For the Wild,