Joe and Toni Borgerding in the nursery.
Joe and Toni Borgerding and Family
Borg-way Farm, Belgrade, Minnesota
“I started washing eggs when I was six and driving tractors at eight,” said Joe Borgerding, a 61-year old Minnesotan organic farmer. He prepped cows for milking until he was old enough to reach the pipeline. By age 19, his father was ready to hand him the reins to the 360-acre farm located near Belgrade, a small town in the central part of the state. As the 10th child of 12 with 8 older sisters, Joe embraced the challenge. To read more please go to:
Organic Certification, from the
An Interview with Arden Landis
What are your thoughts on the certification process, especially from an inspector’s point of view?
“One of the things I have observed is that agencies make their money by the farmers paying them to certify them. If farmers find one agency provides better services than another that is where they go. Some agencies are very efficient at determining if specific products are allowed in organic production. Some have more tedious paper work.
If I see one real problem in the whole process, it is that the agencies make their money off the farmers they certify. They don’t want to lose farmers. If a certifier is too tough, farmers find out and they will move from one agency to another. I don’t know how you’re going to get around this. It is just the reality of the situation.”
For the full article please go to:
Anatomy of a Wet Year:
Insights from New York Farmers
- The 2017 heavy rainfalls and flooding impacted farms across New York State.
- Crops grown on clayey soils suffered an estimated 53% loss in crop yield and crops grown on gravelly, sandy or siltier soils suffered estimated crop yield losses of 25% or less.
- In addition to yield losses, 95% of farmers said the quality of their crop was negatively impacted.
- 30% of farmers said they would have increased their drainage infrastructure, including adding tiling and drainage ditches, if they had known how wet 2017 would be.
A wet spring, followed by higher than average precipitation and heavy rainfall events (e.g. the heaviest 1% of all daily rainfall events) during the 2017 growing season (NRCC) led to saturated soils and flooding on many farms throughout New York State (NY). The frequency of heavy rainfall events have already increased by 71% in NY over the last half century (NCA 2014), and this trend is predicted to continue in the future (Wuebbles et al. 2014). Given this, and to get a sense of how farmers were affected by these conditions, as well as how they coped, we surveyed farmers across NY State throughout September of 2017.
For the full article by Shannan Sweet, David Wolfe, and Rebecca Benner please go to:
Paul and Maureen Knapp, Cobblestone Farm, Preble, NY
The NODPA listening Project:
Collecting the Voices of Organic Dairy
During the Annual NODPA Field Days last September, some producers felt that we needed a more direct approach to tell our story to consumers using social media. So it was exciting to witness the creation of the NODPA Community Connection Committee, made up of NODPA members Liz Pickard, Annie Murray, and Sonja Heyck-Merlin. They have launched NODPA’s Listening Project where they will be capturing “Voices of Organic Dairy” on video and audio recordings. These will be shared with the public through both NODPA’s and NOFA-NY’s Facebook pages, newsletters, and other social media platforms.
The first recordings were made on March 6 at NOFA-NY’s Dairy and Field Crop Conference in Liverpool, NY. Farmers were recorded in brief 3-minute clips, giving consumers an insight into our lives as organic dairy farmers. Read more about this project and some sampling of the quotes, please go to: