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Rodale Institute, Farmers, Investors to Speak at Organic Meeting
New York Ag Connection - 02/12/2018

The farm manager of the noted Rodale Institute and beginning farmers who use social investment funds to purchase land will speak at the New York Certified Organic 2018 Winter Meeting on March 13 starting at 10 a.m. in Jordan Hall at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, 630 West North St., in Geneva. The free-to-attend NYCO meetings provide organic crop growers and dairy farmers the opportunity to hear speakers and network. There is no need to register. Participants are asked to bring a dish to pass at the potluck lunch.

Rodale Institute, Kutztown, Pa., has been a leading research and outreach organization for organic agriculture since its establishment as the Soil and Health Foundation in 1947. At the March 13 NYCO meeting, Rodale Institute Farm Manager Ross Duffield will provide an overview of the current projects at Rodale and present a how-to talk on how Rodale incorporated hogs into its farming system and the multiple benefits of doing so.

Duffield is responsible for planting, seeding, and maintaining the field equipment at the farm, and is expanding the livestock operations. He has a particular interest in the vertical integration of poultry and hogs into crop rotation, and in teaching aspiring farmers and those transitioning into organic production.

Duffield will share his experience with the construction and operation of the recently build Rodale hog facility which offers the hogs clean, efficient, deep bedding shelter in tandem with the opportunity to forage on organic pasture crops when they choose.

The March 13 NYCO meeting will also feature a panel of three organic dairy farmers sharing how they have used social investment capital to help their farming businesses. Representatives from Dirt Capital Partners and Iroquois Valley Farms REIT will be on hand to outline the opportunities they offer farms.

The New York Crop Insurance Education Team and Cornell Cooperative Extension provide support for the NYCO meetings. There will be a brief description of how Crop Insurance can benefit organic farmers at the meeting.

NYCO winter meetings have grown from a gathering of six organic grain producers in the Martens Farms farmhouse kitchen in 1994 to filling the auditorium at the Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. More than 300 farmers attended NYCO meetings in 2017.

For more information, contact NYCO Winter Meeting organizer Fay Benson with the Cornell NY Organic Dairy Program at 607-391-2669 or afb3@cornell.edu. Information on previous NYCO meetings is posted at http://blogs.cornell.edu/organicdairyinitiative.

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