[Market-farming] Local Food

Tom at Limerock limerock at thirdplanet.net
Thu Nov 20 06:11:52 EST 2003


Shelly  --  A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to you.  You have fought the fight and
won.  It is hard to imagine not being recognized as a farm, especially after
being to your website and seeing all the produce/products you have.

Tom Anslow
Catawba Island, Ohio

----- 

> Shamefully, I am just now getting around to responding to this email (a
bit behind I am afraid). For those who may have missed earlier posts about
the struggles of small farming in Wyoming I would like to post a relevent
update.
>
> I am the only local vegetable and poultry producer anywhere near the
Cheyenne area. I am surrounded by large grain farms and ranches.
>
> In February of this year, I began the process to register with the FSA. I
have been consistently denied and put off for a number of reasons. Ignorance
being the greatest of these....I have heard everything from "we do not
register little hobby gardens" to "Chickens are not livestock and they do
not graze". I am certified organic by OCIA (Wyomings first veggie operation
to certify) and I found it interesting that according to one branch of the
USDA (NOP) I was a certified organic farm but according to another branch
(FSA) I was not considered a farm. I am happy to report that through the
involvement of my US Senator, the University of Wyoming, the WY Director of
the NRCS, and the Wyoming Business Council....the local committee of the FSA
has finally recognized my operation as legitimate and I have been granted a
farm number....whew! I am mainly interested in wind break assistance (this
is Wyoming after all) and research funding for organics in the farm bill.
>
> My customers happily buy everything that I can grow and raise and are not
afraid to pay organic/local prices. I am in the process of converting my
income to being 100% farm based and consequently am expanding my operation
next season.  Just my 2 cents for what it is worth on local, sustainable
agriculture here in the wilds of Wyoming. It is lonely going at it alone but
I feel a battle worth fighting and a public worth educating.
>
> Thanks for all the support and input that I have received from this list!
>
> Blessings,
> Shelly Elliott
> Idle Thyme Farm
> www.IdleThymeFarm.com
>






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