Economics: An Argument for Raw Milk in NJ

American Farm :: State near bottom for U.S. sales of livestock
Read the full article:  American Farm :: State near bottom for U.S. sales of livestock.

By JOSEPH R. HECKMAN, Ph.D.File:DairyCattle.jpg
Special Thanks to The New Jersey Farmer

“Raw milk consumers want quality and strongly prefer milk from grass-fed cows with minimal grain feeding. New Jersey has favorable climatic and soil conditions for growing grasses that would support an economically viable pasture based raw milk dairies. Also, with the large population density of New Jersey within driving distance of farms, the Garden State is well positioned for direct on-farm sales of raw milk from small to modest sized dairy operations.

Two case studies described below serve to illustrate the economic viability for raw milk dairy farming.

In 2010, Joel McNair, editor of Graze Magazine described the potential economics of a small pasture-based raw milk dairy. He assumed that the dairy would be selling whole raw milk produced by just 20 cows directly to the consumer. He projects a production level of 20,000 gal of milk selling for $5 per gallon. This would result in an annual gross income of $100,000 (Alternatively, if the milk price is set at $7 per gallon, the annual gross income may be $140,000). This 20 cow dairy would require about 40 acres of good pasture land along with a simple barn, and a small milking facility kept exceptionally clean.

A second example is of an organic 43 cow dairy operation that in 2008 had a net farm income of about $22,000 from selling its organic raw milk to a processor for pasteurization. If one made the assumption that all of that raw milk would instead be sold directly to consumers at $6 per gallon, the net farm income may be raised to $340,000. This estimate is based on figures provided by an organic dairy farm in New England. The real economics of raw milk dairy farming probably lies somewhere between these models. Certainly a dairy farm selling to processors cannot automatically switch over to raw milk sales without changes and upgrades in production system. Also, milk production decreases as cows are transitioned from a high grain diet to predominately pasture and forage feeding. Furthermore, because raw milk sales rely on direct marketing, time and effort are required to develop a customer base. Raw milk consumers tend to be well educated and rather discriminating in terms of production system and food quality. The “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” philosophy very much applies to the raw milk market.”

Read the full article:  American Farm :: State near bottom for U.S. sales of livestock.

A Fast Way to Slow Your Thanksgiving – Slow Food USA

If you’re celebrating Thanksgiving and reading this right now, chances are good that you do your best to enjoy a thoughtful — not just full full — holiday. It isn’t easy — but we can help! Take our quiz to find out how to make sure you’re preparing a meal that is as good, clean and fair as possible. AND, every day until November 20, we’ll draw a name from our quiz-takers to receive a turkey from a farm that has achieved certification to Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating from your neighborhood Whole Foods Market. Take the quiz.

via A Fast Way to Slow Your Thanksgiving – Slow Food USA.

NOFA-NJ Winter Conference | Early Bird Registration Runs Until November 25th

Join us for our 23rd Annual Winter Conference, Building on a History of Innovation in the Garden State.  New Jersey’s largest agricultural & food conference featuring two days of classes and nationally recognized speakers in sustainable agriculture.

Keynote Speaker & Rare Presentations
Eliot Coleman will be our Keynote Speaker. Eliot has more than 40 years of experience in all aspects of organic farming, including field vegetables,greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of cattle and sheep, and range poultry. He is the author of The New Organic Grower, Four Season Harvest and the Winter Harvest Handbook.

Eliot Coleman at the MOFGA fair presenting on how to extend the growing season using double – covered low tunnels.

Michael Phillips, widely acclaimed author of The Apple Grower and The Holistic Orchard and renowned bio-intensive orchardist, will be presenting at NOFA-NJ’s 2013 Annual Winter Conference on organic apples and healing herbs. He and his family own HeartsongFarm  Healing Herbs. Michael has a good ol’ time teaching folks about apple growing from a holistic perspective. Homesteaders and small farmers alike can benefit from having a Grower Consultation when this apple guy offers specific advice tailored to localized challenges.

Ellen Ecker-Ogden, author of the The Vermont Cheese Book and her newest, The Complete Kitchen Garden, will be presenting on Designing Basics for Your Kitchen Gadren. Ellen believes a kitchen garden is a way of life and she shares fresh ideas to inspire everyone to plant a seed and watch it grow and cook from the harvest. She lectures widely to garden clubs, botanic garden and flower shows throughout the U.S. on ways to embrace the garden as a way of life and establish a long term commitment that supports a connection to the soil and the food we serve each day.

Who Should Come?

This will be an excellent opportunity for both novices and those experienced with agriculture— as well as those interested in organic or sustainable farming and gardening — to learn more about various approaches to agricultural renewal. More than 40 workshops will provide inspiration and practical advice for farmers and gardeners, educators and activists, consumers and entrepreneurs, young and old.

react to symptoms. This full-day program with orchard health expert Michael Phillips will inspire you to recognize the paramount priorities in your own home or community fruit planting.

Ellen Ecker-Ogden “Complete Kitchen Garden Design” 10 am – 4 pm.

A kitchen garden goes beyond the simple straight rows of a vegetable garden to combine art and food in ways that enhance the experience of growing food. In this workshop, Ellen Ecker Ogden, cofounder of The Cook’s Garden seed catalog and author of the new book The Complete Kitchen Garden will share her journey from basic back yard to elegant European inspired kitchen garden designs. In this workshop, participants will learn a foundation of skills that will allow them to create a unique design to match their own landscape, or renovate their current garden to make it more inviting. Through a series of photographs and color illustrations, participants will be inspired to re-think how to plant and design the vegetable patch, with an eye towards formal design, color, texture and culinary purpose.

Other speakers and topics include Joe Fisher on home brewing, Joseph Heckman on the history of the organic farming movement, Kenton Seydell on organic lawn care, Ed Wengryn on promoting local foods & agriculture…and much more! Hope to see you there!

Click here for Conference Tracks and Registration Information

via NOFA-NJ | Winter Conference.

Rutgers Farmers Market Season Extended

winter marketAfter this Friday, November 16 the market will be open between the hours of 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on the following dates:

Friday, November 30
Friday, December 14
Friday, December 21
January – TBD

I know that all of ours vendors would like to thank you for your support and giving them this opportunity to continue the market. Please be sure to ask your favorite vendors exactly when they will be here.

via Market Season Extended.

WoodsEdge Wools Farm Fifth Annual Indoor Holiday Farmers’ Market

Upcoming Shop Local Event at Wools Farm Fifth Annual Indoor Holiday Farmers’ Market November 23-25, 2012  10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

WoodsEdge Country Boutique Farm Store Hours
10:00 a.m. till 4:00 p.m.
Every Saturday & Sunday April – December

WoodsEdge Wools Farm
78 Bowne Station Road
Stockton NJ 08559
(609) 397-2212

Visit our website Click here for Directions

Tour the beautiful 90 acre preserved WoodsEdge Farm on hay wagons covered with twinkle lights. Arrive at the 20,000 square foot indoor Event Barn where area farmers will delight you with their bountiful Slow Food and Slow Fiber harvests as well as artisanal food products.

Offerings will include Jersey’s Best Beef and Grass Fed Yak meat, produce, cheeses, eggs, baked goods, apples and pears, wine, honey, olive oil and vinaigrettes dressings, jams and jellies all from certified local kitchens and area farmers. Large selection of warm alpaca products!

Feed the friendly farm animals and enjoy live music while you shop in the festive indoor atmosphere. Fun for the whole family.
Embrace the best that local farmers have to offer!

via Upcoming Thanksgiving Event.

Special Pre-Thanksgiving Market | West Windsor Community Farmers Market

Welcome Upcoming Events Special Pre-Thanksgiving Market

Change in Opening Time: The November 17th market is open from 10am to 1pm.

Vendor list for for our pre-Thanksgiving Market:
Beech Tree Farm
Cherry Grove Farm
Davidsons Exotic Mushrooms
ER & Sons Organic Farm
Funni Bonz
Good Times Kettle Corn
Griggstown Quail Farm
Happy Wanderer Bakery
Hopewell Valley Vineyards
Jammin Crepes
Jersey Jams and Jellies
Krowicki Farm
North Slope Organic Farm
Stace of Cakes
Stults Farm
The Artisan Tree
Woods Edge Wools Farm
Village Bakery
coffee and hot cocoa by Ticos Eatery
Guest Farm: Fulper Farm

via Welcome | West Windsor Community Farmers Market.

The NOFA NJ Be a part of bringing local food back into our communities! This is important to everyone who loves real food!

NOFA-New Jersey promotes local, organic agricultural products, for healthy environments and healthy communities. The demand for local, organic foods is high. But New Jersey farmers are retiring and all over the state, development continues to push out dwindling farmland. This is not a good situation. But we are doing SOMETHING about it.

We’re launching the Beginning Farmer Incubator Program at Duke Farms in Hillsborough, NJ with the help of the USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program Grant, bringing small scale farming back to New Jersey by helping train new farmers.

We’re taking an old barn that hasn’t been used for farming in 20 years and turning it into The Center for Working Lands, with a cooler, a wash station for fresh greens, and all the farming equipment.

The first $15,000 we raise pays for the basics. With $50,000 we’ll be able to add a greenhouse to raise tender annuals, we can irrigate the fields, and get the equipment that’s at the heart of a sustainable, organic farm operation.

via The NOFA NJ Beginner Farmer Incubator by Eve Minson — Kickstarter.