Sustainable Ag Marketing: Four Resources on Engaging Food Bloggers

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Engaging food bloggers to write about your products, services, farm and market, has become a cost effective and efficient marketing tool to create an online presence without having to become a blogger, or web master, yourself.

produce businessThink about those anonymous restaurant reviews in your local newspaper. How much more influential are they than even a paid ad talking about your operation. The only difference is that a blog’s readership likely reaches well beyond your locale, and with a very targeted and interested (i.e. engaged) audience, it can be very effective in influencing consumers, lots and lots of consumers. [Read more…]

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Real Issues in the Decline of Mid-size Farms

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and
you’re a thousand miles from a cornfield.
-Dwight D. Eisenhower

An Essay on the Political Economy of NJ Farming

The most recent Census of Agriculture shows the loss of America’s mid-sized farms even as the number of large and small size farms are increasing. Loss of the “ag-in-the-middle” does threaten the stability and productivity of our farm-to-fork food system. Many have weighed in proposing solutions to saving family farms – but often the agenda gets hijacked by those who plow with their pencil and are a thousand miles from a cornfield.
[Read more…]

On-Farm Energy Savings – the Devil’s in the Details

This month in the Sustaining Farming on the Urban Fringe Briefing, we show you where to find answers on figuring out where your energy dollars are being spent and how to maximize efficient energy use – in a way that’s understandable for us mere mortals.

Energy WorkshopThe NJAES Ag Engineering team has produced three fact sheets and, in partnership with NRCS NJ USDA, will hold workshops stepping through the various processes this week. Don’t miss them.

Farm Calls: A Grower Questions Why Hydroponics are Excluded from Organic Certification Labeling

This Farm Call comes from Rutgers SEBS Dean, Robert Goodman – yes, even Deans get calls from growers.
A New Jersey grower, who raises crops hydroponically, asks,

“Why can’t I get my greens and herbs labeled Certified Organic?
It seems there is a hang up with the issue.”

hydroponicsThe answer to his question reveals serious dysfunction in the governing bodies that dictate farming practices and how pop culture molds public opinion through fear.

  • Why would a farmer seek a Certified Organic label?
  • Flawed Definitions & Illogical Policy
  • Why Hydroponics Won’t be Deemed Certified Organic by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB)
  • What can Growers Do?

[Read more…]