News from PASA – May 2, 2012

Farm Based Education 2012 

Registration is now open for all 2012 Farm-Based Education programs statewide. Click here for more info.

Lobby Senators for Farm Bill – Note from Brian Snyder

As many of you are aware, the Senate Agriculture Committee released its draft of the 2012 Farm Bill and there is a very short time to respond.  PASA is following Farm Bill developments along with our friends at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), and we are passing along their call to action.

NSAC is focused on these amendments and strategies:

  • Help more schools serve fresh, healthy, local food (the Casey farm to school amendment)
  • Provide critical support for beginning farmers and ranchers (the Leahy agricultural land easements amendment)
  • Use a “sodsaver” provision to protect ranchlands and native prairie (the Thune sodsaver amendment)
  • Ensure farm support goes towards working farmers by closing loopholes that allow corporate mega-farms to collect nearly unlimited payments (the Grassley payment limitations amendment)
  • Restore greater fiscal responsibility in farm policy by tightening income eligibility caps on commodity payments – and investing some of the savings into beginning farmer and rural entrepreneurship programs (the Brown-Nelson AGI amendment)

Please focus your efforts on the above points by contacting these Northeast Senators:

  • New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand – 202-224-4451. Remind her of the Thune sod-saver amendment (she’s already leading on a “seeds and breeds” amendment)
  • Pennsylvania Senator Robert Casey – 202-224-6324. Remind him of the Grassley payment limitations amendment. He’s already leading on Farm-to-School.
  • Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy – 202-224-4242. Remind him of the Brown-Nelson AGI amendment. He’s already leading on another beginning farmer initiative.

When you call, simply ask for the staffer who works on agriculture, and deliver this message: “I support sensible farm policy – it’s time for a better food and farm bill! Please support the [issue-specific amendment names/sponsors here] and the Brown-Nelson AGI amendment!”

Journalist Investigating Farmer Strategies for Adapting to Climate Change

A journalist working on an article for a national magazine exploring the way in which global warming/climate change might affect the ranges of certain crops, particularly perennials like Sugar Maples, Rhubarb and Pecans.

Do you know of farmers experimenting with crops outside of their traditional zones? For places like PA he is especially interested in talking with experts or farmers who are concerned about the future of crops like rhubarb or hedging against climate change by planting crops like pecans. If you have answers to any of these questions please email him at

Presentation by Farm Sanctuary President & Co-Founder Gene Baur – May 8

Gene Baur will present “Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food”  on Tuesday, May 8 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Schlow Public Library, 211 South Allen St. in  State College. This event is free and open to the public, and books will be available for sale and author signing. For more information, please email Denise at

Sunset Farm Dinner & Music – May 24 at Owens Farm in Sunbury

(From the Owens Family) – You are invited to our Sunset Farm Dinner with Live Music, on Thursday, May 24 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Our hay meadow will transform into a fresh air dining room for the evening, amidst rolling hills dotted with sheep. You’ll feast on Owens Farm-raised pastured pork and grass-fed lamb, prepared by Chef Emma of Emma’s Food For Life Restaurant in Selinsgrove. The entire menu will be locally grown. Shade Mountain Vineyards from Snyder County will offer wine tasting, and have wine available for sale.

Entertainment will be provided by…who else? Chicken Tractor, the Millheim-based band locally famous for their American Rural Music Style (see band website) Candid appearances by Hannah the Border Collie and other denizens of Owens Farm will spice up the evening.

Owens Farm is located 5 miles outside of Sunbury, on the way to Riverside on Mile Post Rd. (about an hour and a half from State College)


  • Spinach salad with homecured bacon and Catalina dressing
  • Bread butter spread
  • Emma’s lamb stew
  • Pork loin roast with wild spring mushrooms
  • Grilled lemon dill asparagus
  • Twice baked potato with spinach and cheddar
  • Strawberry pie
  • Homemade ice cream

Seating will be at 6:00 p.m. Arrive at 5:00 if you would like a tour of the farm. Expect a short walk up a gravel road from the parking area. This event will be held rain or shine, thanks to a very large canopy.

Tickets are $55, plus PA tax of $3.30. Reservations are required, as seating is limited. Visit our website for online payment, or send a check for a paper ticket. (Owens Farm, 2611 Mile Post Rd., Sunbury PA 17801) Phone: 570-898-6060.

Job Opening – Production Coordinator at Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative

Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative is one of the nation’s largest and oldest organic growers cooperatives. Located in the southern Allegheny Mountains of rural south central Pennsylvania, TOG markets and distributes its 44 members’ produce to restaurants, retailers and CSA’s in the DC/Baltimore region. Web site:

  • Position: Production Coordinator
  • Compensation: Salary
  • Benefits: Negotiable

Primary Goals for this Job:

  1. Communicate regularly with TOG member-growers and other producers about product harvests and deliveries that are planned, projected, offered and confirmed.
  2. Insure that producers for TOG understand the co-op’s policies, procedures and standards.
  3. Keep the TOG staff (especially the sales team) updated on all aspects of product flow, from future projected harvests to immediately incoming orders to current inventory status.
  4. Keep apprised of current market prices and coordinate with growers to set TOG prices based on market, TOG history, grower input, and customer feedback.
  5. Oversee all aspects of quality control. Work with all staff to maintain consistent quality standards and communicate with growers regarding all quality issues.
  6. Work with general manager to develop and communicate policies and procedures to growers, as well as clear production and quality standards for all products sold through the co-op.
  7. Communicate with growers about suggestions for new products and with sales staff to describe and promote new products to customers.
  8. Work on increasing TOG produce supply through soliciting new TOG members and finding suppliers for new products or shortages/crop failures from TOG growers.
  9. Coordinate and implement commitment chart planning.

Specific Tasks and Responsibilities

  1. Build product availability list twice weekly.
  2. Fax or mail out projection/offer forms to growers as needed.
  3. Prepare notes on sales list for sales staff re what to push, what’s new, what’s likely to be short, what’s coming up, pricing flexibility.
  4. Fax or mail preliminary order to growers based on sales estimates for each item.
  5. Order from non-members and arrange shipping for these deliveries asneeded.
  6. Review and approve invoices for non-member orders.
  7. Act as liaison between growers and sales staff to update quantities available and arrive at final orders.
  8. Finalize balance form to create final receiving report for each grower.
  9. Maintain contact list for requests for information from new growers.
  10. Assemble information packet for new grower information requests.
  11. Advertise for new growers through appropriate channels.
  12. Organize general information meeting to establish contact between interested new growers and current TOG grower-members.

Contact information: Send letter of introduction and resume to: Jeff Taylor, General Manager, at or mail to Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, 22275 Anderson Hollow Road, Hustontown, PA 17229.

Save the Date – Centre County Farm Tour August 11, 2012

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