On Friday, February 12th, there was standing room only as Jim Crawford, owner of New Morning Farm and president of Tuscarora Organic Growers, presented the spring semester Sustainable Agriculture Seminar organized by the Sustainable Agriculture Working Group and co-hosted by the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology.
An interdisciplinary team of 12 Penn State and USDA-ARS researchers and educators were awarded the 2009 USDA NESARE Agroecosystems grant to evaluate cropping system strategies that can produce the forage, feed and fuel for an average-sized dairy farm in Pennsylvania.
Two Penn State groups recently received funding for programs to support new farmers through the USDA's Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program. In southeastern Pennsylvania, a team of Extension Educators is launching a program called "Start Farming" which will bring courses, workshops, and expert assistance to new farmers. The Pennsylvania Women's Agricultural Network is using a peer learning approach to offer programs on business planning and marketing, sustainable production and value-added processing, and stewardship of air, land and water resources.
A new publication on maple syrup production is available in Penn State's Agricultural Alternatives series and SARE has released several new books including the 3rd edition of Building Soils for Better Crops, Crop Rotation on Organic Farms, and Youth Renewing the Countryside.