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January 2014

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FDA to Make Food Safety Rules More Farmer-Friendly

"The Food and Drug Administration says it will revise sweeping new food safety rules proposed earlier this year after farmers complained the rules could hurt business. Michael Taylor, FDA's commissioner for foods, said the agency wants to make sure the rules are practical for farmers who have to abide by them." Capital Press

Should You Quit Your Job and Become a Farmer?

"Today, the gentleman's farming movement has found its niche once again by dovetailing with the organic movement .... Enter those who embrace the organic movement's environmental and health-conscious ideals--many come to growing organic after 'going organic' because of dietary concerns--and who can afford the price of admission, so to speak. And if they relish a good challenge, that's all the better." Market Watch

An Organic Greenhouse Run by Farmers With Autism

"Pilarski, of South Bend, Indiana, started a prototype aquaponic greenhouse and employed Chris and others on the autism spectrum. After the success of that prototype, they turned to the Internet last week to help them fund a commercial-scale version of the project. Each greenhouse, they say, will produce 45,000 pounds of vegetables every year and employ five young adults on the autism spectrum." The Atlantic

Here's How Young Farmers Looking For Land Are Getting Creative

"Across the country, there's a wave of interest in local food. And a new generation of young farmers is trying to grow it. Many of these farmers--many of whom didn't grow up on farms--would like to stay close to cities. After all, that's where the demand for local food is. The problem is, that's where land is most expensive. So young farmers looking for affordable land are forced to get creative." Vermont Public Radio

Availability of Value-Added Producer Grants Announced

"The availability of nearly $10.5 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities designed to give them a competitive business edge was announced by Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack." AgriNews