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Episode 151: Erosion Control and Mitigation

Wed, 05/13/2020 - 12:29

In today’s episode, we hear from Kara Kroeger, Sustainable Agriculture specialist at NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. She interviews Mollie Walton, Land and Water Program Director for the Quivira Coalition in New Mexico. The Quivira Coalition works on biodiversity, building soil and resilience on western working landscapes. Mollie has a Texas ranching background and holds a PhD in biology from the University of Dayton in Ohio. She has been working in northern New Mexico since 2006. Kara and Mollie discuss methods of slowing and sinking water on hillsides, slowing erosion, building soil, mitigating floods, enhancing groundwater replenishment,...

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Episode 150. Glyphosate Contamination

Wed, 05/06/2020 - 13:52

In this episode, Jeff Schahczenski, an agricultural and natural resource economist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, discusses recent shipments of organic wheat and durum from Montana that were determined to be contaminated with glyphosate. That caused European Union buyers to reject the shipments. The situation has created a significant economic hardship for producers in Montana and elsewhere. Joining Jeff in the discussion are Dr. William E. Dyer, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology at Montana State University; Lilianna Bento, an undergraduate researcher at Montana State University; and Bob Quinn, Montana Organic farmer, founder of Kamut...

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Using Cover Crops to Sequester Carbon

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 12:14

In today’s episode, we will learn about Carbon Sponge, an interdisciplinary collaboration in New York City that explores the potential for urban soils to sequester carbon as a means to reduce greenhouse gases and build healthy soil. Justin Duncan, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist at NCAT’s Southwestern Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, interviews Katharhy G., a plant and soil science researcher with Carbon Sponge. Katharhy talks about how they are engineering their own soil and researching the use of cover crops in urban areas for carbon sequestration. Originally from South America, Katharhy’s background is in agroecosystem health, ethnobiology, regenerative food production...

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Small (Ruminant) Talk. Springtime

Wed, 04/22/2020 - 16:00

In this episode NCAT Southeast Regional Director Margo Hale talks with Linda Coffey, an NCAT livestock specialist, about springtime on their farms.  Both Margo and Linda are specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, among other duties, out of NCAT’s office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and they both farm in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. Their discussion includes grazing, kidding, watching for parasites, dairy goats, and Linda’s new livestock guardian dog puppy. Margo also points listeners to ATTRA resources, including the page dedicated to COVID-19 resources on NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture website. For more information on this topic, you can contact Margo Hale directly via...

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Agricultura en California

Wed, 04/15/2020 - 13:15

Javier Zamora es agricultor orgánico productor de fresas, moras, flores y vegetales en Watsonville, California. Narra su historia personal y cómo desarrolló su negocio en el éxito que es hoy. También habla sobre su educación y experiencia con ALBA la incubadora de agricultores orgánicos en Salinas California, acceso a tierra, establecimiento de mercados, detalles sobre la producción de fresa, extensión de temporada por medio de túneles. Describe los desafíos de producción orgánica, control de plagas, fertilización y termina con su consejo a agricultores principiantes. Para obtener más información sobre este tema, puede contactar a Martin Guerena directamente: marting@ncat.org. Llame a...

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Farmers Battling Lyme Disease. Part 2

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 13:23

In this episode, Devona Bell, NCAT director of sustainable agriculture and NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with Dr. Sunjya Schweig about the treatment of Lyme disease. Dr. Schweig works with the California Center for Functional Medicine. This episode is the second of a two-part series on the effect of Lyme Disease on farmers and ranchers. In the first part of the series, Devona, who has contracted Lyme Disease twice, spoke with farmers from New Hampshire and Minnesota about how Lyme Disease has affected their families and their farming operations. Be sure to listen to the first part of the...

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Farmers Battling Lyme Disease

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:50

In this episode, Devona Bell, NCAT director of sustainable agriculture and NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, talks with two farmers about the impact of Lyme Disease on agriculture. Christine Pressman and her husband, Andy Pressman, own and operate Foggy Hill Farm, a sustainable produce operation near Jaffrey, New Hampshire. Dayna Burtness and her husband, Nick Nguyen, own and operate Nettle Valley Farm, a 70-acre farmstead near Spring Grove, Minnesota. Her main focus is finishing heritage breed hogs on pasture. Christine, Dayna, and Devona all have contracted Lyme Disease, and they talk about the battle to overcome the disease, how it...

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A Flower Farm Blossoms

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 12:23

In this episode, Tammy Howard, an agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with Heather Folls of the Folls Flower Farm, which is based in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Tammy also has a flower operation, which is located in Belgrade, Montana. She works out of NCAT’s national headquarters in Butte, Montana. Heather and her mother, Thea, have been operating Folls Flower Farm for nearly two decades. Tammy and Heather talk about the evolution of the farm over the years. Heather also has some tips for flower farmers just getting started. For more information on this...

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Connecting Refugees to Sustainable Agriculture

Wed, 03/18/2020 - 12:59

In today’s episode, we learn about a program in Texas that connects refugees with sustainable agriculture. Colin Mitchell, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist at NCAT’s Southwestern Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, visits with New Leaf Agriculture’s Director, Matt Simon, and a New Leaf Agriculture farm apprentice Doli Wikongo. New Leaf Agriculture is a social enterprise of the Multicultural Refugee Coalition based in Elgin, Texas, near Austin. It connects refugees to sustainable farming opportunities by operating community gardens and a commercial farm. Matt discusses New Leaf’s mission, farm practices, and community partners. Doli, a refugee, describes her experiences from her home country...

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Soil Considerations for Orchards

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 10:03

Today’s episode focuses on soil considerations for fruit and nut trees. Rex Dufour, the director of NCAT’s Western Regional Office in Davis, California, talks with Guy Ames, Horticulture Specialist at NCAT’s Southeastern Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, about the differences between soils in the western United States versus the soils in the East. For more information on this topic, you can contact Rex Dufour directly at rexd@ncat.org or Guy Ames at guya@ncat.org. Related ATTRA Resources: Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production Fruit Trees, Bushes, and Vines for Natural Growing in the Ozarks Soils and Sites for Organic Orchards...

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The PLFA Soil Test

Wed, 03/04/2020 - 11:29

In this episode, Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with soil specialist Lance Gunderson about the PLFA soil test. The conversation is the second of two that Kara and Lance have had on ATTRA: Voices from the Field concerning soil tests – last week’s podcast featured Lance’s take on the Haney test. You can find the link to that podcast in the notes below. This week, they discuss the scientific basis of the PLFA, when it’s appropriate, and a number of the ways in which it’s scored. Kara works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional...

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The Haney Soil Test

Wed, 02/26/2020 - 12:22

In this episode, Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, talks with soil specialist Lance Gunderson about the Haney soil test. They discuss the history of the Haney test, how it’s scored, its effectiveness on both cropland and pasture and range land; the management practices it can suggest, and more. The conversation is the first of two that Kara and Lance will have concerning soil tests – next week’s podcast will feature Lance’s take on the phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) test. Be sure to listen to that discussion, as well. Kara works out of NCAT’s Southwest...

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Community Gardens and Sustainable Agriculture

Wed, 02/19/2020 - 12:05

Today’s episode explores community gardening and its relationship to sustainable agriculture. Daniel Prial, sustainable agriculture specialist from NCAT’s Northeast Regional Office in Keene, New Hampshire, has a conversation with folks from Antioch University New England’s Community Gardens Connections program. This episode looks at the importance of community gardening as part of the greater food system. Students from Antioch University New England’s Environmental Studies Department, who are also coordinators of the Community Gardens Connections program, give advice on how to establish and maintain community gardens. They even touch on the role that farmers can play in community gardening initiatives. In this...

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Organic Pioneer: Tom Willey

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 10:38

In this episode, Martin Guerena, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program, has a conversation with Tom Willey, one of the pioneers of organic agriculture in the Central Valley of California. Martin works out of the NCAT Western Regional Office in Davis, California. Tom – “farmer emeritus” at T and D Willey Farms, the operation he co-founded in Madera, California – discusses his entry into agriculture and the organic movement, the importance of finding mentors, what the past can teach us going forward, and some of the challenges he sees in the future of organic agriculture. For...

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Direct Marketing Meat with Dave and Jenny Scott. Part 4: FAQs

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 11:07

Today’s episode – Part 4 of our “Direct Marketing Meat” series – features a question-and-answer session with Dave and Jenny Scott. Linda Coffey asks questions submitted by listeners, and Dave and Jenny provide great answers. You will hear some innovative marketing ideas, as well as more information about production practices and nutrition. Dave and Linda are livestock specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Dave works out of NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, and Linda is on the staff of NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dave and Jenny are co-owners of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana. Be...

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Direct Marketing Meat with Dave and Jenny Scott. Part 3: Relationships

Wed, 01/29/2020 - 11:11

In this episode – part 3 of our “Direct Marketing Meat” series – Dave Scott and his wife, Jenny, join Linda Coffey to talk about aspects of working with customers, planning pricing, assessing profitability, and deciding on the scale of the enterprise. Dave and Linda are livestock specialists with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable agriculture program. Dave works out of NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, and Linda is on the staff of NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Dave and Jenny also are co-owners of Montana Highland Lamb near Whitehall, Montana. During the discussion, Dave and Jenny emphasize the challenges and...

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Montana Farm’s Profound Changes

Wed, 01/22/2020 - 12:00

In this episode, we feature a conversation with Kurt Myllymaki, a Montana farmer and rancher who, with his family, raises crops and beef cattle on 10,000 acres of leased and deeded land in north central Montana near the town of Stanford. He talks about the profound changes the operation is making, including diversifying cash crops raised on the farm and adding cover crops to reduce the use of summer fallow. The interview was conducted in collaboration with Western SARE, and Stacie Cleary of Western SARE acted as this week’s guest host. Al Kurki, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA...

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‘Pocket Prairie’ on the Golf Course

Wed, 01/15/2020 - 13:08

In this episode, Nina Prater, an agriculture specialist in NCAT’s Southeast Regional Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas, talks with Jay Randolph about prairie restoration. Jay is the Ben Geren Golf Course Superintendent and Sebastian County Park Administrator in Fort Smith, Arkansas. They discuss the prairie restoration work Jay has undertaken at the golf course since 2016. The conversation covers all the improvements Jay has seen at the park since starting this work, and the benefits any landowner can enjoy from re-establishing diverse prairie ecosystems. For more information on this topic, contact Nina Prater via email at ninap@ncat.org Related ATTRA Resources: Converting...

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History of Food Cooperatives in the South

Wed, 01/08/2020 - 10:11

In this episode, Felicia Bell, sustainable agricultural specialist at NCAT’s Gulf States Office in Jackson, Mississippi, interviews Wendell Paris about the history of food cooperatives in the South and his involvement in this movement, specifically in the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Mr. Paris is the Chairman of the Board for Panola Land Buyers Association and has been involved in the Federation of Southern Cooperatives since its inception, which took place during the Civil Rights movement. In this episode, he describes the connections between the Civil Rights movement and the beginning of the food cooperative model in the South. For more...

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A Talk with Fred Provenza. Part 2  – Podcast

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 13:06
This episode is the second of two featuring a conversation between Kara Kroeger, a sustainable agriculture specialist with NCAT’s ATTRA sustainable-agriculture program, and Fred Provenza. Fred is a well-known author and expert on animal health, human health, plant health, and how they are related – as well as their role in the care of ecosystems. Kara works out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. The conversation took place at the recent 2019 Regenerate Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, hosted by the Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and the American Grassfed Association. There may be a bit of...

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