Access to Markets: Cooperatives Support Rural Communities

August 7, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Jake Stukenberg, NFU Intern Cooperatives have proven to be one of the most beneficial business models, particularly in rural areas where certain services or products would be unavailable to residents. Services, such as credit unions, cooperatively owned grocery stores, and community organized farmers markets, can provide not only services to a community, but job … Read More

Access to Markets: Member-Owner Responsibility to a Cooperative

July 25, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Jake Stukenberg, NFU Intern The most definitive aspect of the cooperative business model is that the members or producers own the business. This allows producers to drive their cooperative into the direction that benefits the producers, not private interests of outside stakeholders. With this power of directive comes the greater responsibility to stay active, … Read More

Access to Markets: Financing a Cooperative Business

July 17, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Jake Stukenberg, NFU Intern No farmer can start a cooperative alone. Cooperatives are the product of collaboration among many individuals with a shared goal of providing a needed service within an area or community. Once a group of producers comes together and creates a business plan, community members, producers, and investors provide the funds … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Harmonized GAP FSMA Alignment

June 19, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Chelsea Matzen, FSMA Project Director On June 5, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D., and U.S Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced a joint effort to simplify produce safety requirements for farmers by aligning the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Harmonized Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Audit Program with the requirements of the Food and Drug … Read More

Access to Markets: Farmer’s Share of the Food Dollar

June 12, 2018Beginning Farmers

Historical Document Curated by Tom Giessel, NFU Honorary Historian It is abundantly clear to anyone who has seen National Farmers Union’s Farmer’s Share that farmers receive only a small portion of every dollar spent on food at the grocery store. Farmers Union has been sounding the alarm about this issue throughout its entire history, as … Read More

Access to Land: Colorado Land Link

June 6, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Jake Stukenberg, NFU Intern Nationwide, farmers are beginning to age out and retire from their service to produce. Are young people turning to farming to as the established generation steps back? According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, only 5.1 percent of the 2.1 million principal owner farmers are younger than 35. This is … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Rural Towns Support Family Farms

May 23, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Lisa Everhart Myers, Demeter Farm March was an unusual month at Demeter Farm. It was a month filled with farming convention visits, spring snow storms, and, the very best part, an Indiana Class 1A boys’ basketball championship for my alma mater, the Morristown High School Yellow Jackets. For those of you who don’t know … Read More

Access to Efficiency: Managing a Farm Crew

May 15, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Michelle McKenzie, Co-Manager of Bellair Farm Farming for a season is hard work. Leading a crew all the way through a season and knowing you will do it all again next year is even harder work! Keeping your crew’s trust and respect is the best way to get through it all successfully. I’ve been co-managing … Read More

Access to Efficiency: EQIP & the Farm Bill

May 8, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Nate Brownlee, Co-Owner and Operator of Nightfall Farm Here at Nightfall Farm, Liz and I are committed to farm in ways that conserve our natural resources, having rooted our business in the model of the triple bottom line—environmental, social, and financial. When I think back to the first season of our farm, I recall … Read More

Access to Markets: Indiana Cooperative Development Center

May 2, 2018Beginning Farmers

By Hannah Ruth Tabler, NFU Intern For beginning farmers, getting a start in the agriculture industry can be difficult. Without a supportive network and educational resources, aspiring growers can find themselves at a loss for where to start in an industry where connection is key. Thankfully, organizations like the Indiana Cooperative Development Center offer support … Read More