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Farm Apprenticeship in Wiscasset, ME

posted November 5, 2019

Chewonki is accepting applications for their Farm Apprentice position beginning in January 2020!

Chewonki is a school, camp, and environmental education organization based in Wiscasset, Maine, that inspires transformative growth, teaches appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenges people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives. Chewonki is a 501(c) non-profit organization.

(C) Jock Montgomery Photography

The Farm Apprentice is a year-long position that aids in all aspects of Chewonki’s small, diversified farm, including livestock, pasture, and diversified vegetable production and integrates Chewonki students and participants into all production systems. For a complete position description and application instructions, please visit the Chewonki Employment Opportunities page. Applications are due November 17th, 2019. 

Please see https://farm.chewonki.org/ for more information about Chewonki’s Farm and Food System.

Position Title: Farm Apprentice
Department/Program: Farm
Employment Category: F-A 
Permanent/Temporary: Temporary
Reports to: Farm Manager
Exempt/Non-Exempt: Exempt
Schedule (hours and weeks): Full-time January 13, 2020 – January 10, 2021
Benefits Eligible: LC3 health insurance


SIGN ON: Farmer Letter on Climate Change!

posted October 30, 2019

A coalition of farm organizations and their allies around the country are circulating the farmer statement on the climate crisis, viewable in the form here. This statement has been put together by the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities. Check out their comprehensive and impressive Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs, here.

Don’t be a rotten egg — please consider adding your name! The statement will be made public and sent to Congressional and USDA leaders. Your name and contact details will not be shared beyond listing your name, farm, town, and state on the letter, which will be shared publicly.

Thank you!

Spanish version here / En Español >> http://bit.ly/farmerclimateespanol


Cultural Conservancy lays groundwork for future intertribal biocultural center

posted October 24, 2019

Thank you to Carol Benfell, special reporter to Sonoma West news, for shedding light on the beautiful field of growth in Graton, CA — where The Cultural Conservancy, lead by CEO Melissa Nelson, will develop a center for food sovereignty and community: “a Native place of refuge and learning”. Click here for the full article. And to learn more about the Conservancy, visit www.nativeland.org. For the highlights, read on:

“The Conservancy has focused on ‘returning native lands to native hands’ and restoring cultural eco-knowledge and traditions around the globe.

The group’s many projects include sponsoring the first Native American Land Trust in Maui; historic recordings of the Salt Songs of the Southern Paiute; recording Tibetan elders from India; and supporting the Apache Survival Coalition to protect sacred sites on Mt. Graham, Arizona.

More recently, The Conservancy has focused on the native peoples of California and “food sovereignty,” a movement arising in the 1990s that focuses on people’s right to raise culturally appropriate food, using ecologically sound and sustainable methods.

The food sovereignty movement is a part of the larger food movement that, for the last several decades, has seen young people moving back to the land in Sonoma County, raising organic crops with sustainable farming and selling them to the local community at farmers’ markets or through subscription.

The food grown on the farm will be distributed to local tribes — Miwok, Pomo and Wappo — and intertribally to Native Americans living in the Bay Area. The surplus will be sold to restaurants or at farmers’ markets.” October, 2019


RIGGING, ROLLING, AND RAISING: The Art of Moving Immovable Objects with ROBERT RIVERSONG, Builder, Caver, Climber

posted October 12, 2019

WHO: Robert Riversong, builder and rigging expert

WHAT: Workshop in Rigging, Rolling, and Raising: The Art of Moving Immovable Objects

WHEN: Saturday and Sunday, November 2nd and 3rd, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ENROLLMENT: Limited to twelve people

COST: $85 (includes lunch and coffee)

RESERVATIONS/INFO: Phil McBride, phildmcbride@gmail.com

Would you like to learn how to move big things around, without hydraulic excavators and cranes? Whether you’re a builder, a homesteader, an arborist, or anyone else who needs these skills, Robert Riversong will show you how.

In this two-day workshop, you’ll practice techniques of moving large and heavy objects using manpower combined with ropes and pulleys to create mechanical advantage.You’ll move a half-ton granite block and raise a timber-frame bent, while getting instruction about safety and many technical aspects of rigging and knot tying.

 Robert Riversong has used these techniques to build timber-frame houses and assist in caving rescues. He’s given workshops on rigging at Yestermorrow Build/Design School and Maine’s Common Ground Fair. His students have included people in the building trades, arborists, boatbuilders, and emergency-rescue personnel. Of his two-day workshop, Robert says, “I usually cover rope types and functions, knot theory and practice,  and a variety of rigging equipment, as well as basic theory in mechanical advantage systems, anchor systems, friction-reduction systems, and vector geometry (with a little trigonometry thrown in for those who enjoy that!).”


For more information about Robert and the workshop, visit https://riversonghousewright.wordpress.com/about/28-rigging-rolling-raising-the-art-of-moving-immovable-objects/


Walden Bello on Coutnerrevolution, October 30 in Oakland

posted September 27, 2019

On Wednesday October 30th please join the Oakland Institute and SEIU Local 1021 in welcoming internationally renowned author Walden Bello as he discusses his newest book: Counterrevolution: The Global Rise of the Far Right. 

Walden Bello’s Counterrevolution is a bold, sweeping enterprise that seeks to deconstruct the challenge from the far right. Using as case studies Italy in the 1920s, Indonesia in the 1960s, Chile in the 1970s, and contemporary Thailand, India, and the Philippines, Bello lays bare the origins, dynamics, and consequences of counterrevolutionary movements. Reflections on the rise of the right in the United States, Europe, and Brazil round out this remarkable, timely study by one of the premier intellectuals of the South. 

  • Location: SEIU Local 1021: Lower Level Conference Room
  • 447 29th St, Oakland CA
  • Time: 6:30-8:00pm 
  • Light snacks and drinks will be provided
  • Books will be sold and time allotted for a signing 
  • Parking will be available behind the event location; The #6 bus drops off at 29th & Telegraph   

There is no charge for admission, pleaseRSVP here.
Walden Bello is the International Adjunct Professor of Sociology, SUNY Binghamton. He is the recipient of the Right Livelihood Award (aka Alternative Nobel Prize) and the Outstanding Public Scholar Award of the International Studies Association. He is a former member of Congress (Parliament) of the Philippines and the author or co-author of 25 books.


Vermonters: Join the Climate Strike!

posted September 15, 2019

“Vermont has always been a leader in the climate movement, and we’re heeding the call of concerned youth. We need Vermonters to step up and demand action to protect us and our children,” said Abby Mnookin of 350Vermont, one of the organizations in the VT Climate Coalition. “With eight days of actions, we’re kicking it into high gear and asking Vermonters to go on strike Friday the 20th. If they can’t strike all day, they can temporarily walk out from their workplaces and schools to join a local event and demand action on climate change.”

The rally September 20 in Burlington will begin at noon from Burlington City Hall, 149 Church Street. Along with other strikes on the 20th, Vermont activities planned for Sept. 20-28 are:

  • An action against fossil-fuel lobbyists;
  • Distribution of large public banners about climate change around the state;
  • A direct action targeting one of the few remaining coal plants in the Northeast; and
  • Musical performances, worship services, a tour of a regenerative agriculture farm, and more. 

For info on the dozens of upcoming events, see www.vermontclimatestrike.org/events/list

With this current climate crisis and with the call to action voiced by youth globally in mind, the Vermont Strike Coalition demands the following:

  • Comprehensive and immediate solutions rooted in the respect for and dignity of all people.
  • Support for just policies that transition rapidly to a clean and renewable energy economy for all.
  • A commitment to keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
  • A just and inclusive movement that centers frontline communities.

Among the Vermont organizers of strike-related activities is Extinction Rebellion Vermont. “The damage to the Bahamas caused by Hurricane Dorian and our government’s coarse response to the plight of Bahamians are more examples of the devastating impacts of climate change and the ineffectiveness of our political leadership to properly respond to the needs of people on the front lines of the crisis. As these storms are made worse by the manufacture and burning of fossil fuels, it is critical to transform our society into one that is compassionate, inclusive, sustainable, equitable, and connected,” said Dan Batten of Extinction Rebellion Vermont. 

Organizations providing financial support include Seventh Generation, Ben & Jerry’s, Sierra Club, Chelsea Green, SunCommon, 350.org, Front Porch Forum, and Eco-Equipment Supply. 


Eisenhower Fellowship Agriculture Program 2020: recruiting applicants, active farmer/ranchers

posted September 12, 2019

Eisenhower Fellowships is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit international leadership organization with a distinguished history of providing mid-career U.S. leaders with a customized four-or-five week professional experience abroad. EF is chaired by former Secretary of Defense Dr. Robert Gates and governed by a diverse and distinguished board of trustees. Since 1989, more than 300 ascendant U.S. leaders have traveled abroad as part of this transformative program. The fellowship offers a unique opportunity for selected Fellows to travel abroad to reexamine, refocus, and reenergize their professional and leadership skills and to work on projects that will increase social impact in their communities.

Currently, EF is recruiting active farmer and ranchers for their 2020 Agriculture Program. Applications are due by Monday, October 14 at 9am — email skirts@efworld.org for materials.


2019 REGENERATE Conference, call for applications to HERD Fellowship

posted September 5, 2019

The Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and American Grassfed Association are pleased to announce a call for applications for the 2019 REGENERATE HERD Fellowship, which provides scholarships for young farmers, ranchers, and conservationists, and students in related fields to attend the 2019 REGENERATE Conference from November 19-22 in Albuquerque, New Mexico!

The HERD Fellowship seeks to connect scholarship recipients with peers and mentors at the event, as well as support their pursuit of lives in agriculture beyond the event. Attending the REGENERATE Conference provides fellows with the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field, build relationships with peers and mentors, find support for their work, and bring a fresh perspective on the future of agriculture.

We will award 12 full scholarships (covers conference registration fee, and travel and lodging expenses) and 25 tuition-only scholarships (covers conference registration fee) to ranchers, farmers, conservationists, and others in related fields who are beginning their careers. These scholarships will be prioritized to support individuals who identify as belonging to a community historically underrepresented, economically low-resource, and/or marginalized in agriculture. We are specifically encouraging the application of Tribal, Hispanic/Latinx, Black/African American, and Asian/Pacific Islander beginning ranchers, farmers, and conservationists. However, qualified applicants from any background with a strong application will also be considered.

Interested individuals can apply by submitting an online application or completing an interview by phone or in-person. Please call the Quivira Coalition at 505-820-2544 to schedule an interview with either Arielle or Sarah. Applications must be submitted by 11 pm MT on Friday, September 20. Applicants will be notified no later than October 1 about the status of their applications.

You may also recommend someone for a scholarship by emailing arielle@quiviracoalition.org their name, contact information, and 1-2 sentences why they would be a good candidate for the HERD Fellowship. 


New Documentary Release from Indie Lens Storycast: The Seed Saver

posted August 29, 2019

ITVS’s Indie Lens Storycast releases the new short documentary The Seed Saver by director John Picklap. The Seed Saver explores a young Korean-American farmer’s mission to save heritage seeds from her native land. Adopted by an Irish-Catholic family on Long Island as a baby, Kristyn Leach grew up outside of Korean culture. When she moved to California, she started growing food from East Asia, and it helped her connect to her Korean identity for the first time. We follow Leach through a growing season as she battles the natural environment to protect her rare soybeans that were given to her in Korea. Along the way, we meet the community of people Kristyn works with and what inspired her to devote her life to this work.

“To give someone a seed requires a little bit of trust. It’s so personal and you care so much about it where you just want to make sure you do a good job,” said Leach in the film.

The Seed Saver will be released as part of a series of three standout, standalone short documentaries about women. Jewel’s Hunt explores a Native Alaskan girl balancing an age-old tradition with modern life, and The Last Trap Family follows a Rhode Island “fishermom” keeping the family business afloat. 

Link to share the film: https://youtu.be/xoxMHVcbvSw

#SeedSaverFilm #Storycast #Badassfarmer


Cover Crop Incentive Program Survey – make your voice heard!

posted August 25, 2019

EDWIN REMSBERG

Cornell University, with support from Sustainable, Agriculture, Research, and Education (SARE), is conducting a survey for all fruit, vegetable, field crop, grain, and mixed crop-livestock producers in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Vermont to identify the biggest challenges that farmers face, as well as the best solutions in regards to cover crop incentive programs. You do not need to have experience with cover crops to participate.

Please click here to fill out the survey.

Our goal is to understand what the most important factors are for farm owners and managers when deciding whether or not to use incentive programs. Notably, the survey also provides an opportunity to share your experience managing issues related to cover crops and incentive program requirements.

Key findings from the survey will be published and communicated to grower organizations and other farmer advocates so that recommendations, actions, and outcomes reflect what you identify as being most helpful for your operation. Whether your farm is small or large, organic or conventional – your responses to this survey can be a powerful tool for change.