National Center for Appropriate Technology

Subscribe to National Center for Appropriate Technology feed National Center for Appropriate Technology
Updated: 21 hours 30 min ago

Episode 236. Programs Focus on Farmer Well-Being

Wed, 01/19/2022 - 11:39
In this episode of Voices from the Field, Margo Hale, NCAT’s Southeast Regional Director and Director of NCAT’s Armed to Farm Program, visits with NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist and farmer veteran Mike Lewis. Mike and his family operate a diversified farm in Southeast Kentucky.
Margo Hale, NCAT’s Southeast Regional Director and Mike Lewis, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist

Episode 235. Silvopasture 101

Wed, 01/12/2022 - 12:04
In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor sits down with silvopasture specialist Delie Wilkens to talk about the basics of silvopasture, an agroforestry practice integrating trees, forage, and the grazing of livestock. Delie currently serves as the program analyst for the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, a nonprofit organization that works to advance the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities. She has been working in forestry, agroforestry, and sustainable agriculture for many years, and has researched silvopasture adoption and best practices in the Southeast. Less than one...

Episode 234. State Soil Health Programs: From the Ground Up in Montana

Wed, 01/05/2022 - 13:20
Twenty-nine states have, or are now developing, state soil health initiatives or coalitions. How is Montana approaching soil health at the statewide level, and how can Montanans participate?
Mike Morris, Cole Mannix, Marni Thompson, and Linda Poole

Episode 233. Aplicando prácticas de conservación a un jardín

Wed, 12/29/2021 - 11:28
Jose Robles es un ex agricultor de almendras que comparte su experiencia aplicando prácticas de conservación a su huerta. Explica porque empezó a aplicar compost y sembrar cultivos de cobertura cuando sus vecinos no lo hacían. También habla sobre su nueva transición en su nuevo rancho con ideas de producir ganado y también aplicar prácticas de conservación.
Jose Robles y Martin Guerena

Episode 232. Conservation Hedgerows at Terranova Ranch

Wed, 12/15/2021 - 12:07
In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor heads to Terranova Ranch in the central San Joaquin Valley of California to talk about conservation hedgerows with Don Cameron, the ranch’s general manager and vice president. Terranova Ranch is dedicated to producing over 25 premium-quality crops as effectively, productively, and sustainably as possible. They have implemented a wide variety of conservation and regenerative agriculture practices, including sustainable irrigation practices and conservation hedgerows. Learn about the benefits and challenges of hedgerows, along with do’s and don’ts for hedgerow design and installation. Since planting these hedgerows just...

Episode 231. Leave No Trace Farming

Wed, 12/08/2021 - 12:59
Damian Valdez and Jamie Williamson run Lighthouse Herb’n Farm, an organic herb, tea, medicinal plant, and dye-plant operation in eastern San Diego. The farm is located on what is considered Luiseño Payómkawichum native land. In this episode of Voices from the Field, Jamie and Damian talk with NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Katherine Favor about their ethic of “leave no trace” — how they farm organically in San Diego’s harsh desert climate in a way that honors this sacred native land, and ensures that it is kept intact for generations to come. For Jamie and Damian, “leave no trace” farming means...

Episode 230. NCAT’s AgriSolar Clearinghouse Aims to Make Solar More Accessible to Land Managers

Wed, 12/01/2021 - 14:25
The National Center for Appropriate Technology has launched America’s first AgriSolar Clearinghouse to connect farmers, ranchers, land managers, solar developers, and researchers with trusted, practical information to increase the co-location of solar and agriculture. In less than a decade, solar installations are expected to cover more than 3 million acres of the United States, creating a big opportunity to pair solar with agricultural land to produce food, conserve ecosystems, create renewable energy, increase pollinator habitat, and maximize farm revenue. In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Communications Director Emilie Ritter Saunders speaks with Energy Programs Director Stacie Peterson,...

Episode 229. Encontrando tierra para trabajar. Seis maneras de asegurar tierra agrícola

Wed, 11/17/2021 - 14:14
En este episodio de Voces del Campo, Martin Guerena, especialista en agricultura sostenible de NCAT, es entrevistado por Pepe Reyes de Radio El Gallito de Bakersfield, California, sobre cómo encontrar tierras agrícolas y cómo asegurarla para alquiler, arrendamiento o compra. Martin trabaja en la Oficina Regional Occidental de NCAT en Davis, California. Para obtener más información sobre este tema, puede ponerse en contacto con Martin Guerena directamente en marting@ncat.org Llame a la línea de “ATTRA en Español” con cualquier pregunta sobre agricultura sostenible al 800 411-3222 o por correo electrónico a marting@ncat.org o omarr@ncat.org. Nuestros especialistas pueden ayudarle con una...

Episode 228. A Closer Look at Hair Sheep

Wed, 11/10/2021 - 11:25
In this episode of Voices from the Field, Margo Hale, NCAT’S Southeast Regional Director, and NCAT Agriculture Specialist Tracy Mumma discuss considerations in raising hair sheep. Both have raised hair sheep but in very different climates – Tracy in Montana and Margo in Arkansas. Because hair sheep are less common than wool sheep in many part of the country, Margo and Tracy begin by explaining what hair sheep are and go on to discuss some of the benefits of hair sheep as well as some potential pitfalls to be aware of when deciding whether a hair sheep enterprise is right...

Episode 227. Meet NCAT. Chris Lent aims to help farmers be resilient

Wed, 11/03/2021 - 11:10
In this episode of Voices from the Field, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Nina Prater introduces us to one of NCAT’s newest staff members, Chris Lent. Actually, it is more of a reintroduction since Chris worked at NCAT several years ago. He took a break when his son was born, and now he’s back as a sustainable agriculture specialist working from northeast Pennsylvania with NCAT’s Northeast Regional Office. Chris has wide-ranging experience, from organic agriculture and high tunnel production to solar power and business planning. He and Nina talk about his journey in agriculture and the projects he’ll be taking on with...

Episode 226. Organic Pulse Production is Timeless in Montana

Wed, 10/27/2021 - 13:28
In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist Jeff Schahczenski talks about the more than 30 year history of the development of the organic pulse and legume industry in Montana and beyond. His conversation is with David Oien, founding farmer and CEO of Timeless Foods based in Ulm, Montana. David was on the forefront of the sustainable agriculture movement, and his story, along with the other founders of what will become Timeless Foods, is the subject of the popular book Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America. Timeless Foods now...

Episode 225. The Past, Present, and Future of the Early Snyder Farm

Wed, 10/20/2021 - 13:37
Jane Harrod and her family operate a multi-generational farm in Clays Ferry, Kentucky. In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT specialist Mike Lewis sits down with Jane to talk about the history of her family land and how a highway divided the land and changed the farm’s economic outlook. A well-known Kentucky native-species specialist, Jane talks about her family’s vision for the future of their farm using an ecologically driven decision-making process. An early adopter of hemp production in Kentucky, Jane also discusses some of the challenges and successes she has had producing this crop. ATTRA Resources: Agroforestry:...

Episode 224. From the Air Force to Alpacas

Wed, 10/13/2021 - 12:06
Alvina Maynard credits a commercial she happened to see on television while staying in a hotel with inspiring her to raise alpacas. In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT’s Southeast Regional Director and Director of NCAT’s Armed to Farm Program Margo Hale, talks with Alvina, an Air Force Reservist who owns River Hill Ranch in Richmond, Kentucky. Alvina talks about her military background, her farming enterprises, and how her operation has grown. She also shares her experience accessing various USDA programs, including the Value-Added Producer Grant and EQIP. Alvina discusses the programs and services she has utilized, how...

Episode 223: Do Cover Crops Steal Water? Part 2

Wed, 10/06/2021 - 16:46
This episode of Voices from the Field continues the discussion between NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Colin Mitchell and Dr. Alexis Racelis of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley about the use of cover crops in semi-arid subtropical environments. While cover crops are heralded as a regenerative agriculture tool to improve soil health, integrating cover crops into farming systems can be challenging in drier climates. Colin and Dr. Racelis discuss whether cover crops even can be detrimental in some scenarios and steal water from cash crops. In particular, the conversation centers on the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative (SSHI), a research...

Episode 222: Do Cover Crops Steal Water?

Thu, 09/30/2021 - 11:38
In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Colin Mitchell sits down with Dr. Alexis Racelis of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley to discuss the use of cover crops in semi-arid subtropical environments. In particular, the conversation centers on the Subtropical Soil Health Initiative, a research partnership between NCAT and UTRGV to address soil health challenges in the Lower Rio Grande Valley. While cover crops are heralded as a regenerative agriculture tool to improve soil health, in drier climates integrating cover crops into farming systems can be challenging. Colin and Dr. Racelis discuss whether...

Episode 221. Meet NCAT: Katherine Favor says agroforestry can plant the seeds of sustainability

Wed, 09/22/2021 - 16:40
In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Omar Rodriguez introduces Katherine Favor, NCAT’s newest specialist at its Western Regional Office in Davis, California. Katherine is a self-identified agroforestry nerd, perennial plant enthusiast, wine farmer, and yerba maté lover. She has worked on, designed, consulted for, and managed regenerative agriculture systems for more than 10 years. Her love of viticulture and agroforestry took her from Southern California to Montana, Paraguay, and Argentina before she finally ended up in Northern California at NCAT. She is passionate about the intersection of natural resources conservation, food security, and community...

Episode 220. Grazing Management Strategies for Drought

Thu, 09/16/2021 - 07:52
In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Tracy Mumma and Regenerative Livestock Specialist Justin Morris discuss how important it is to adapt livestock grazing strategies to drought conditions. They talk about the need to develop a drought plan, re-evaluate stocking rates, and invest in the future of your forage through careful management when emerging from a drought. Related ATTRA Resources: Regenerative Grazing Managed Grazing tutorial NCAT Soil for Water Project NCAT is scaling up its Soil for Water project to include livestock producers and farmers across eight states. Soil for Water supports a network of...

Episode 219. Soil Health: the Land Core Approach to Climate Mitigation

Wed, 09/08/2021 - 12:22
In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Agricultural and Natural Resource Economist Jeff Schahczenski talks with Aria McLauchlan and Harley Cross about how to measure the impact that soil health practices can have in migrating the impacts of weather and climate disruption. Aria and Harley are co-founders of Land Core, a non-profit organization advancing soil health policies and programs that create value for farmers, businesses, and communities. Land Core guided the successful passage of language supporting soil health at the USDA in both the House and Senate in 2019 and built a broad coalition that helped secure more...

Episode 218. Embracing Opportunities, Even in a Pandemic

Wed, 09/01/2021 - 11:42
In this episode of Voices from the Field, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Mike Lewis sits down with Wayne Riley, executive director of the Laurel County African American Heritage Center in London, Kentucky, to discuss his work in the community, including the challenges and benefits that have arisen during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Laurel County African American Heritage Center is a non-profit founded in 2004 to preserve African American history in Laurel County, Kentucky, and devoted to helping those in the area increase their self-reliance and take greater control of the social and financial aspects of their lives. The heritage center...

Episode 217. Flexibility in an Unexpected Growing Season

Wed, 08/25/2021 - 11:27
In this episode of Voices from the Field, two agriculture specialists who work out of NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, talk about responding to the unexpectedly dry and hot conditions of this year’s growing season. NCAT’s Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training program (SIFT) operates a high-altitude urban demonstration farm in Butte. Farm manager John Wallace and NCAT Rocky Mountain West Regional Director Andrew Coggins give an update on the changes in crops, pest management, and growing strategies the season brought, and their efforts to work with, not against, the changes. ATTRA Resources: SIFT. Small Scale Intensive Farm Training SIFT 2018: Lessons...

Pages