New President for World Farmers’ Organisation

Kendall copyPeter Kendall of the National Farmers’ Union UK was elected as the new President of the World Farmers’ Organisation. After the US national Robert Carlson, he will be at the guide of the WFO for the next two years with a board of six members from six different continents: Mr. Ismail Ab Rahman Bin (Asia), Dr Evelyn Nguleka (Africa), Mr. Brent Finlay, (Oceania), Mr Luis Miguel Etchevehere (Latin America), Mr Piet Vanthemsche (Europe), Mr Ron Bonnet (North America).

Peter Kendall, Former President of the National Farmers’ Union in England and Wales, took a degree in Agricultural Economics at Nottingham University, before returning to the family business in 1984. He was NFU President for eight years from 2006 to February 2014.

“Feeding the world’s rapidly growing population is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today, and it is vital that the world farmers have a strong and united voice as we seek the best solutions to meeting this demand,” said WFO president Peter Kendall. “As President of the World Farmers Organization (WFO) I look forward to continuing the excellent work of Robert Carlson and inclusive who has led the organization since its formation three years ago in August in that time has agriculture continued to climb the political agenda around the world and with the realization that increasing climate change and extreme weather events make our futures uncertain, the WFO has a vital and central role to play. My priority will be to continue to raise the profile of the WFO so it is seen as the lead and most respected organization for global agriculture. To be elected at this critical time is both a great honor and responsibility.”

The vote for the new president and the board has involved all the confederations member of the World Farmers’ Organisation during the General Assembly in Buenos Aires. The event that is going to end brought together about 100 agricultural confederations, coming from 80 different countries in Buenos Aires at the Sociedad Rural Argentina (SRA) from March 26 to 29.

Outstanding Young Farmer at Ag Day Lunch

Greg WegisA member of the Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity, Greg Wegis, Bakersfield, CA, was a mix & mingle lunch speaker during National Ag Day activities this week. He was introduced by Orion Samuelson. There were several other members in attendance too. Greg and his wife Gina were part of the 2013 Outstanding Young Farmers Program group. You can see who is in the 2014 group on their website.

The Outstanding Farmers of America Fraternity is made up of past nominees of the Outstanding Young Farmer Program. The fraternity is designed to facilitate an exchange of ideas and friendship that encourages excellence and involvement in agriculture and the local, state, and national community.

There are approximately 1,500 members of the fraternity across the nation who utilize their connections with each other in a strong networking format to assist farmers and promote the importance of America’s farming community.

You can listen to Greg’s remarks here:Greg Wegis Remarks

2014 Ag Day Photo Album

Coverage of National Ag Day is sponsored by BCS Communications

“Down to Earth” Examines Sustainable Farming

Indiana’s “Down to Earth” documentary examines the world of sustainable farming. Small-farm issues in a big-farm world are the central theme of a new documentary created by students at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. The film is focused on promoting a more sustainable and locally based food system for our country.

Fourteen students spent the fall creating “Down to Earth” as part of a semester-long immersive learning experience at the university’s Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry. The 35-minute film spotlights an east central Indiana farmer, Kyle Becker, and his passion to implement sustainable farming methods to help heal his land in Mooreland, Ind., while providing healthy food to people throughout the region. Included in the film are dozens of interviews the students conducted with prominent players in the national sustainability movement, including Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, Juli Obudzinski of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Joel Saltain, whose Polyface Farms was featured in both Michael Pollan’s best-selling book “Omnivore’s Dilemma” and the 2008 documentary “Food Inc.”

Down to Earth: Small Farm Issues In a Big Farm World from Down to Earth on Vimeo.

Gators Luv Pork!

This is breaking news!

The Pork Checkoff has just released
the results of a nationwide competition to discover which state has the most #PorkLUV – and Florida wins!

After sharing more than 2,400 declarations, 30,000 fresh pork meals will be donated and divided among food banks within the state. North Carolina and New York were close behind, and with more than 17,400 total shares from coast to coast, it’s obvious that America’s passion for pork is hot.

Where did your state rank?

pork-luv

Celebrate National Ag Day

AgDay Logo365 sunrises and 7 billion mouths to feed!

National Ag Day Activities are just around the corner starting next Monday in Washington, DC. Cindy and I will be in town for them. Actually, I’ll be covering Ag Day activities while she’s covering the American Coalition for Ethanol’s annual DC Fly-in. I’ll be starting out on Monday with Agri-Pulse and their Farm-to-Fork Politics session and reception. Then it’s a full day on Tuesday. You can find some good stories on the Ag Day Blog btw.

So how are you planning to celebrate the day? Take our latest ZimmPoll to let us know.

The Ag Council of America has some digital resources you can use to help promote Ag Day in their media kit. Here are a couple of examples.

You can listen to one of the radio spots here: AgDay Radio Spot

Agri-Women Launch ‘Call to Power’ Campaign

Rosie Poster 2014aAmerican Agri-Women (AAW) will kick off its membership campaign, “Call to Power,” on National Agriculture Day, March 25. The campaign theme urges women to join the nation’s largest coalition of farm, ranch and agribusiness women, which includes more than 50 state, commodity and agribusiness affiliates.

“Since 1974, women across the country have banded together to network with each other, educate consumers and policy makers about agriculture and participate in leadership development opportunities. Our combined power has made a difference and we invite others to join us,” says Sue McCrum, AAW president.

The campaign runs through May 31 and includes these benefits:
– Three new members will be selected to receive free second-year memberships.
– The affiliate that signs up the most new members will receive an award to go toward their own advocacy efforts.

Go here to learn more: www.americanagriwomen.org. Members of all segments of agriculture, agri-business and consumers interested in food production are encouraged to join their state or commodity affiliate as well as the national association. Dues for the national association are just $30 and affiliates also have affordable memberships.

The “Call to Power” theme is based on a paper developed by Sr. Thomas More Bertels (1918-2000). Sr. Bertels was a long-time advocate for women in agriculture. Sr. Bertels wrote, “The most important task facing farm entrepreneurs today is capturing a significant degree of influence over the policy-making function as it relates to food, feed, fiber, forest products and flora.”

Farmers Present Case for Immigration Reform

The Partnership for a New American Economy and the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform released a report Tuesday entitled “No Longer Home Grown: How Labor Shortages are Increasing America’s Reliance on Imported Fresh Produce and Slowing U.S. Economic Growth.”

The report found that the share of fresh fruits and vegetables imported and consumed by American families has grown by almost 80 percent in recent years and that while fresh produce consumption in the United States has grown, production levels have been near stagnant or declining.

pnae“American consumers want fresh U.S grown fruits and vegetables, but our farmers don’t have the labor force available to meet that demand,” said John Feinblatt, Chairman of the Partnership for a New American Economy. “We need to pass immigration reform now, so our food remains homegrown and our economy strong.”

American Farm Bureau FederationThe report is part of the #iFarmImmigration campaign launched last month by the American Farm Bureau Federation and more than 70 other agriculture organizations. “On the issue of farm labor, we have a growing amount of evidence that all points in the same direction: Farmers and consumers both need responsible immigration reform,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman.

Four farmers representing different areas of the country appeared at the National Press Club Tuesday morning to talk about the report’s findings and present the “Farmers’ Case for Immigration Reform.”

immigration-farmThe panel included (left to right) Chalmers Carr from South Carolina, Mary Kraft of Colorado, Russell Boening of Texas, and Carlos Castaneda from California.

Russell, who is a state director with the Texas Farm Bureau, says the current H2A system doesn’t work. “On our operation – a full time farm, dairy, beef operation – it hasn’t worked for us at all because of needing full time workers,” he said. “We need some type of new worker visa program that would work for us who need full time people.”

Listen to or download comments each farmer made after the Press Club appearance:
Chalmers Carr – Titan Farms, South Carolina
Mary Kraft - Badger Creek Farm and Quail Ridge Dairy, Colorado
Russell Boening - Loma Vista Farms & Boening Brothers Dairy, Texas
Carlos Castaneda – Castaneda & Sons, California

Photo album from Press Club event

Best Food Facts Web Widget Available

The Center for Food Integrity has created a new widget that can be used on any website to help people get answers to food questions. You can see how one version of the widget looks at the bottom of this post. I just submitted one about roast beef and got this immediate answer. I’ll update this post when I get the final answer.

Thank you for submitting a question to Best Food Facts! Rest assured, we’re working on finding the right expert to answer your question. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
In the meantime, see what others are asking:

Got Protein?
Partaking in the Power of Protein
Future of food – 3-D Printing

Post Update: The answer to my question.

Good morning, Chuck,

Thanks for the inquiry on Best Food Facts! When cooking roast beef, be sure to heat to an internal temperature of 145°F (don’t forget to use your meat thermometer). And since grilling season is just around the corner (we hope!), check out these grilling tips as well: How do I Grill It Safely?

If there are additional questions, please let us know – we’re happy to help!

Best regards and healthy eating,
Roxi

Here’s more information about the widget.

Websites looking to help answer consumers’ questions about food now have access to a new widget from www.BestFoodFacts.org that allows readers to submit questions from their sites directly to experts who provide credible and balanced information. BestFoodFacts.org features more than 150 university-based food system experts who have done the research and serve up unbiased answers in blogs, infographics, podcasts and videos on all things food.

“Today’s consumers are asking more questions about food: Is organic healthier? Should I eat GM foods? Are there antibiotics in my meat?” said Roxi Beck with Best Food Facts. “They want balanced information to make informed choices. With the new widget, we’re providing organizations, companies, associations, bloggers and others with a tool their readers can use to access quality information.”

Created by The Center for Food Integrity, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to build consumer trust and confidence in today’s food system, Best Food Facts aggressively tracks trending topics and solicits questions from readers – providing prompt expert feedback on issues in the news. Anyone can submit questions and receive expert responses within as few as 24 hours.

The new Best Food Facts widget can be embedded on websites in both horizontal and vertical formats allowing readers to submit questions directly to www.BestFoodFact.org. Instructions to embed the widget can be found at www.bestfoodfacts.org/ask-an-expert. For additional information, contact Roxi Beck at roxi.beck@bestfoodfacts.org.

Randy Krotz Appointed CEO of USFRA

USFRACongratulations to our good friend Randy Krotz.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance® (USFRA®) announced that its board of directors has appointed Randy Krotz as chief executive officer, effective immediately. A recognized leader in the agribusiness community and active on his family farm in Kansas, Krotz joined USFRA as vice president of development in 2013 and most recently served as executive director.

classic14-krotz“U.S. agriculture is at an important crossroads, and with Randy’s decades of experience and relationships across the agricultural industry, he is the right person to cement USFRA’s role as the unifying voice of farmers and ranchers to consumer audiences,” Bob Stallman, chairman of USFRA and president of the American Farm Bureau Federation, said. “Randy’s deep background in food, farming and agribusiness will play a key role in further establishing USFRA as a thought leader on food issues and a guidepost for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.”

In 2013, the USFRA board set to create a long-term vision for the movement including structuring the alliance for new leadership. After a national search, USFRA board of directors decided to hire the organization’s first chief executive officer in its three-year history from within its own ranks. Since joining the organization, Krotz has helped build the national prominence of USFRA, with specific focus on consumer-facing initiatives such as its signature series The Food Dialogues® that provides a forum for open conversation around some of the most important food issues today. He has overseen day-to-day management and performance of USFRA focusing on organizational and staff management, as well as outreach to the agricultural industry.

AgChat Foundation Searching for Executive Director

AgChat FoundationThe AgChat Foundation is looking for a new Executive Director. Interested? Better know your agricultural social media stuff! “Retiring” from the position is the first AgChat Foundation ED, Emily Zweber.

“Since her hiring in 2011, Emily Zweber has been a crucial member of our team here at AgChat, serving as our Executive Director. During her tenure, she has been a tremendous asset in successfully steering ACF to become the leader in educating and equipping farmers, ranchers, agribusiness professionals and educators with the tools needed to effectively tell their stories of agriculture through social media platforms,” Foundation President Jeff VanderWerff said, “We are saddened by the loss of Emily and wish her well in her future endeavors.”

The new Executive Director will oversee the general administration of the organization including fundraising, execution of major goals, management of the organization’s structure and personnel and facilitation of all major activities and meetings including board and committee members, among other responsibilities. For a complete description, please visit the job announcement located at AgChat.org.

Interested parties may submit their resume to hiring@agchat.org by April 15. ACF expects the new Executive Director to join by mid-2014.

Vote now – Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition

Youth in Agriculture Blog CompetitionHere’s a chance to support young agricultural bloggers. It’s the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition or YoBloCo Awards. The entries are all in and it’s time for the public to vote. It’s a very simple process too. You can vote here.

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA), in collaboration with FARA, Yam-Pukri, CAFAN, AYF, ANAFE, SPC, PAFPNET and e-Agriculture is pleased to launch the 2nd Edition of the Youth in Agriculture Blog Competition (YoBloCo Awards).

This contest is organised in the framework of the ARDYIS project, which aims to raise youth awareness and improve their capacity on agricultural and rural development issues in ACP countries using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs).

The aims of this blog competition are to:

  • Put into limelight issues, successes and challenges faced by youth engaged in agriculture, in urban and rural areas
  • Encourage the production of information and the use of new information and communication technologies by young farmers groups and organisations interested in the youth in agriculture question
  • Promote the sharing of information on the issues of agriculture and rural development in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries

Florida Dairy Farmers Release New iPad App

image003Kids, adults and educators alike can now learn about dairy farming in an exciting way through the Florida Dairy Farmers new iPad app, SunnyBell’s Florida Dairy Farm Adventure. The free app that can be downloaded from iTunes, is a fun, interactive romp through a Florida dairy farm.

SunnyBell – a little calf who longs to be an important part of the dairy farm, teaches kids about nutritious milk and where it comes from. The story is interactive and immersive, while kids learn about how a dairy farm works. The app also includes sing-along “moo”sicals, word-search puzzles, coloring pages and quizzes.

SunnyBell’s Florida Dairy Farm Adventure app is not only great for kids of all ages, but is also an exceptional educational tool for parents and educators, and uses games and songs to improve cognitive abilities in kids.

“The SunnyBell app shares the experience of life on a Florida dairy farm while reinforcing the message of where our milk comes from. Children are easily engaged, via educational songs and games that boast interactive animation, while learning about the importance of dairy foods in the diet,” says Alyssa Greenstein, registered dietitian with Florida Dairy Farmers. “As a registered dietitian and mother of three, I especially enjoy the fact that the SunnyBell app helps kids and adults separate nutrition from fads and misinformation.”

To download the free app, visit www.floridamilk.com and check out our new Kids Corner where you can learn, play and grow with SunnyBell.

Grassley and Ag Reject Japan’s TPP Offer

grassley-headSenator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) took time between votes today to join with several agricultural organizations and voice strong opposition to Japan’s negotiating position in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership to exclude a number of agricultural products as part of a final agreement.

“Japan seems to believe that they’re entitled to keep five sacred agriculture products off the table,” said Grassley, who said he just spoke with US Trade Representative Michael Froman this morning about the issue, stressing that when Japan agreed to join the negotiations they knew everything had to be on the table. “We’ve got to hold their feet to the fire.”

“The third largest country in the world can’t make protectionist moves like that without it having a ripple effect,” he added.

The five broad agricultural product categories that Japan wants to exempt from the TPP agreement are pork and beef, wheat and barley, rice and starch, dairy, and sugar. Participating in a conference call with Grassley today were representatives from the National Pork Producers Council,
American Farm Bureau Federation, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Oilseed Processors Association, and the National Association of Wheat Growers Association. All of them and more are strongly urging the administration to reject Japan’s offer.

Listen to the press conference here: Ag Groups Reject Japan's TPP Offer

NCGA CEO to Retire

classic14-rickAfter 14 years of leading the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA), CEO Rick Tolman has decided it’s time to retire – so take a good look at this photo here because it was the last Commodity Classic for Rick as CEO.

The announcement was made today from NCGA that Rick told the NCGA Corn Board earlier this week that he would like to step down as chief executive officer at the end of September

“Rick has been a tireless advocate for corn farmers and our organization,” said NCGA president Martin Barbre in a statement. “However, Rick told us – as much as he loves representing our way of life – he is ready to enjoy more time with his wife, Linda, and their five children and eight grandchildren, and other pursuits. As he said it, we all put off things until ‘someday,’ and, for him, ‘someday’ has finally come, after 14 years of service to the organization and a 37-year career in agriculture.”

classic14-martinMartin added that they are sad to see Rick go but that he is “definitely riding into the sunset on a high note.”

“We all want to leave things better than we found them, and Rick can certainly be proud of his legacy at NCGA,” Martin said, adding that it will be a year of transition, not turmoil. Rick will remain as CEO until September 30 and the board will soon begin the somewhat reluctant process of searching for a replacement.

This post was supposed to be about some of the great news that both Rick and Martin had to share at the Commodity Classic, so that is still what it will be. I did interviews with both of them about some of NCGA’s recent success stories and new initiatives.

One brand new news item Rick announced at the NCGA banquet was that the Smithsonian Institution wants to put the Corn Farmers Coalition DC metro campaign ads in a new exhibition called “American Enterprise” scheduled to open next year in the Museum of American History. “It will last for 20 years and we anticipate about 90 million people seeing it,” Rick said.

In this interview on the final day of Classic, Rick also talks about the great corn grower response last year to commenting on the EPA proposal to gut the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and how NCGA plans to keep that momentum going. Interview with Rick Tolman, NCGA CEO

I talked with Martin specifically about a couple of recent NCGA initiatives – the Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, and the Soil Health Partnership. He also discussed two major policy issues facing NCGA this year – implementation of the farm bill and getting the water resources bill across the finish line. Interview with Martin Barbre, NCGA president

2014 Commodity Classic Photos

Fresh Produce Sales Up in 2013

unitedfresh-logoUnited Fresh Produce Association released the 2013 Year in Review edition of the FreshFacts® on Retail report, which examines overall retail trends in produce for the past year. The report shows that during 2013, the produce department averaged more than $47,000 per week per store, which was up 4.8 percent over the previous year.

The FreshFacts® on Retail report, produced in partnership with the Nielsen Perishables Group and sponsored by Del Monte Fresh Produce, measures retail price and sales trends for the top 10 fruit and vegetable commodities, as well as value-added, organic and other produce categories.

Highlights of this “Year in Review” report include:
Over the past year, all of the top 10 fruits posted volume increases
– Fruits average weekly dollar sales increased 4.5 percent versus 2012
– All of the top 10 vegetables posted increases in weekly dollar sales
– Among value-added fruit categories, value-added fruit and fresh-cut fruit both posted increases in weekly dollar sales
– Snacking value-added vegetables posted an increase of 15 percent in weekly dollar sales
– Avocados posted the highest growth in the fruit category, with dollar sales increasing 11.7 percent and volume increasing10.3 percent
– Packaged salad and tomatoes, the two top-selling vegetable categories in 2013, increased dollar sales 6.7 percent and 3.4 percent

This quarters’ FreshFacts® report also features a spotlight on organic produce. Recent trends show that even with increases in retail prices, volume sales continue to grow in all organic fruit and vegetable categories. The growing demand for organic produce resulted in dollar and volume increase, roughly 20 percent for both organic fruits and vegetables overall.

Ag Leaders Set to Speak at Indoor Ag Conf.

indoor-agThe second annual Indoor Agriculture Conference, May 14 – 15, 2014, not only highlights some of the industry’s top technological advances, it also offers attendees access to its top professionals. Speaking on subjects ranging from window farming to food security and lighting systems, the Indoor Agriculture Conference features two full days of education on controlled environment technologies, aero/hydro/aquaponic best practices and business models, automated nutrient systems, future trends, and financing options at the renowned Las Vegas Springs Preserve Desert Living Center.

Michael DiGiglio, president & CEO of Village Farms, takes the stage as part of a Farming Panel on May 14 at 8:45 a.m. Village Farms is a leading vegetable greenhouse producer and supplier in North America, boasting $130 million in annual revenues. Their produce is sold throughout the United States, Canada and select areas in Mexico. The 26-year-old company currently operates more than 262 acres and markets an additional 120 acres of greenhouse.

The first keynote speaker is Paul Lightfoot, whose company Bright Farms was recently named among “The World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies” by Fast Company. Bright Farms works with large grocers to hydroponically grow lettuce, tomatoes and herbs on-site or nearby, cutting transportation costs, increasing produce shelf life, and reducing waste. They recently raised more than $4 million from venture capitalists to expand their greenhouse operations into new cities.

Other featured speakers include Britta Riley, founder of WindowFarms, venture capitalist Joe Hudson of One Earth Capital and Paul Grey of Illumitex.

Co-hosted by Newbean Capital and the Black Emerald Group, and sponsored by Hort Americas, Illumitex and Johnny Seeds, the Indoor Agriculture Conference highlights the accelerating greenhouse, container and vertical farming trend that is sweeping urban centers and inclement environments around the world.

Conference registration is now open. In addition, limited vendor space and several sponsorship opportunities are still available at Indoor.ag.

Escape Cold – Attend NAMA Conf. in Florida

2014 Agri-Marketing ConferenceTired of winter? Tired of snow? How about a Fresh Perspective in the Florida Sunshine? That’s what you’ll get if you come on down to my home state in April.

The 2014 Agri-Marketing Conference is shaping up to be huge! In fact, our hotel room block is FULL. The NAMA staff is negotiating for some overflow already and we’re hoping that some more rooms will become open for the block.

You might want to plan your visit to come early. There is a farm tour put together by the Florida Chapter that’s filling up fast on Tuesday as well as the annual NAMA golf tournament. The hotel is only about a 15 minute drive from the beach too! If you can’t make it we hope someone from your company will be able to.

The program will offer you a lot for your investment and I think we have a larger number of exhibitors in the Connection Point trade show.

ZimmComm will be celebrating 10 Golden Years at the conference. Please plan to visit us in the Connection Point. More on that later.

Charles Eastin Award to be Presented at Ag Day

National Ag DayNational Ag Day activities keep growing. This year the Agriculture Council of America is presenting the Charles Eastin Award to Lindsay McQueen, Union/Jackson County, IL Farm Bureaus. This award used to be presented by the National Farm City Council. ACA took over the assets and most of the programs of NFCC last year.

The Eastin Award honors an individual who stands out as an advocate for accurate communications between rural and urban audiences. The award will be presented in Washington, DC on National Ag Day, March 25, 2014.

McQueen has been promoting agriculture and actively involved with agriculture industry her entire life. She has worked for the Farm Bureau for seven years and has been the Union and Jackson County, IL Farm Bureau Manager for four years. She was actively involved in 4-H and FFA all throughout her childhood and high school career and still volunteers with both groups.

I hope to meet her in Washington, DC.!

Register Today For New Farmer Summit

image003Attention new and aspiring farmers you can learn about both the field and financial sides of farming while making valuable connections at the two-day New Farmer Summit April 4 and 5, 2014 at Primrose Valley Farm near New Glarus, WI.

The low-cost event includes 24 practical workshops on topics such as caring for livestock, organic vegetables, orchards, bees, soil, equipment and more. Other workshop topics include creative access to farmland, finding funding, making a business plan, and how to obtain organic certification.

Registration includes two full days of workshops, large group sessions, a farmer panel, organic meals, a seed swap, and an evening barn dance with live music and a caller. Cost is $75. Scholarships are available, and a discount is offered to farm partners. Lodging is not included, however, rooms have been set aside at hotels in New Glarus and several local inns.

Participants can sign up for an optional “behind-the-scenes” tour of three local, sustainable farms from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 3. The $35 fee includes bus transportation, lunch and snacks.

Primrose Valley Farm is an 83-acre farm, owned by Jamie and David Baker, located in the Driftless region of South Central Wisconsin. It is five minutes outside of New Glarus, 25 minutes from Madison, and under three hours from Chicago. The Bakers left corporate careers in Chicago in 2008 to take up farming. Now they grow 75 varieties of produce for a 300-member CSA (community-supported agriculture group). Their diversified farm includes a 14,000-square-foot packing house with a community room on the second floor, which is where group sessions and meals for the New Farmer Summit will be.

The New Farmer Summit is organized by the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and Renewing the Countryside. Sponsors include Agrarian Trust, the National Young Farmers Coalition, and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Funding is provided by a grant from the USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

Registration and additional details are available online at mosesorganic.org/newfarmersummit, or by calling 715-778-5775.

Drop Your Jeans for Cotton Board

gin-show-14-monty-bainThe Cotton Board is asking you to drop your jeans for a good cause. Their Blue Jean Go Green campaign is a denim recycling program that gives old denim new life as housing insulation for communities in need.

Monty Bain is the Southeast Regional Communications Manager for the Cotton Board and spoke with Chuck at the recent Mid-South Farm & Gin Show.

“We’re taking old jeans and recycling them with a company called Bonded Logic out of Arizona turning them into housing insulation. They have already used them for Habitat for Humanity. They have collected over a million pairs and counting.”

A not-for-profit organization, Cotton Incorporated launched its denim recycling program in 2006 to give people the opportunity to give back to their community in a meaningful way while giving new life to old denim. Through a partnership with Bonded Logic Inc., recycled denim is converted into UltraTouch™ Denim Insulation,a portion of which is given to communities in need across the country (predominantly through Habitat for Humanity affiliates). Additionally, grants of insulation have been awarded for the development of community-based buildings.

People across the country can drop off their old jeans and register for a chance to win a $300 gift card to Cabela’s.

You can listen to Chuck’s interview with Monty here: Interview with Monty Bain

2014 Mid-South Farm & Gin Show Photo Album

Coverage is sponsored by FMC