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News Notes

  • "1,000 Ways to Sustain U.S. Agriculture," a pilot project funded by the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Program, seeks 1,000 sustainable farmers or ranchers. SARE and project partners will be profiling successful farmers and ranchers to paint a clear picture of sustainability.

    To recommend a farmer, or to volunteer for the project, contact Craig Cramer at (607) 753-8925, cdcramer@clarityconnect.com, or visit the project's web site (http://1000ways.baka.com/).

  • Farmers should know their place in the pecking order before they take on contracts to raise broiler chickens for a processor, says Rachel E. Goodhue, UC Davis assistant professor. She recently tested theories related to the use of production contracts in the broiler industry - a growing trend across U.S. agricultural sectors and one in which California is a leader. Under a broiler production contract, a processor provides a flock and feed to a farmer, who is compensated according to the weight of the broilers and the cost efficiency of his or her care.

    Goodhue found that processors place larger flocks consistently with growers that better meet their standards. Because contracts provide incentives for performance relative to other farmers contracting with the same processor, Goodhue suggests that knowing the competition is important.

  • A new organization called the San Diego Alliance of Farmers hopes to deal with farm related issues not currently addressed in San Diego County. The group seeks new members and is available as a local resource. For more information, call (760) 789-8134.