Siegers Welcomes Williamson

Jason Williamson has joined Siegers Seed Company’s team of professional seed consultants. He is available to help commercial growers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and northern Indiana and Illinois. He has a degree in marketing from Bluffton University and has been working in the agriculture industry since 1981, with 11 of those years in the vegetable seed business. His expertise is in sweet corn, pumpkins and other fall decorative items. He and his family reside in Paulding, Ohio.

FS Co-ops Earn Performance Awards

Five FS member cooperatives were recognized by GROWMARK, Inc. for business performance improvement. GROWMARK measures improvement in the performance of member cooperatives based on return on invested capital. Over a five-year time frame, each cooperative’s return on invested capital improvement is measured in comparison to other cooperatives in the system. From this measurement, the Performance Improvement Award was developed.

The cooperative with the highest degree of improvement was Vineland Growers Co-operative Ltd., Jordan Station, Ont. George Mitges is the manager and Phil Tregunno is president. Ranking second was Stephenson Service Company, Freeport, Ill. Jay Kempel is the general manager. Keith Meier is the president. In third place was AGRILAND FS, Inc., Winterset, Iowa. John Knobloch is the manager, and Bob Adkins is the president. Ranking fourth was AgriPride FS, Inc., Nashville, Ill. Carl Tebbe is the manager and Randy Newcomb is the president. Ranking fifth was Thunder Bay Cooperative Farm Supplies, Thunder Bay, Ont. Ben Postuma is the manager, and Arnold Breukelman is the president.

Grants Offered for Ag Sustainability

The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program offers grants for projects that explore new ideas in sustainable food and fiber production. Three of these grant programs have application deadlines in December, with awards announced in the early spring.

Farmer grants are for commercial farmers who want to test a new practice or idea, often by conducting an experiment, trial, or on-farm demonstration. Projects can explore a wide range of topics such as pest management, soil health, adding value, cover crops, grazing, marketing, livestock herd health, or new production techniques, and funds can be used to pay for the farmer’s time and for materials specific to the project. Awards are capped at $10,000 and the application deadline is December 16.

Partnership grants are for Cooperative Extension, NRCS, and other agricultural service providers who work directly with farmers. Partnership Grants support on-farm research and demonstration projects that address a wide range of topics in sustainable agriculture, and funds can be used to pay for personnel, materials, sampling, supplies, testing, and to compensate cooperating farmers for their time. Awards are capped at $10,000 and the application deadline is December 9.

Sustainable Community grants are for projects that connect farming and economic development. Projects can address issues like finance, marketing, land and water use, enterprise development, adding value to farm products, or farm labor. Applicants must be affiliated with an organization such as a community nonprofit, Cooperative Extension, local government, an educational institution, a planning board, a farming cooperative, or an incorporated citizens group. This grant is offered in partnership with the Northeast Center for Rural Development. Awards are capped at $25,000 and the application deadline is December 2.

Applications for all three grant programs are posted on the Northeast SARE Web site at www.uvm.edu/~nesare, or you can call 802-656-0471 to request a printed copy.

Northeast SARE Grants Now Available

The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program offers grants for projects that explore new ideas in sustainable food and fiber production. Three of these grant programs have application deadlines in December, with awards announced in the early spring.

Farmer grants are for commercial farmers who want to test a new practice or idea, often by conducting an experiment, trial, or on-farm demonstration. Projects can explore a wide range of topics such as pest management, soil health, adding value, cover crops, grazing, marketing, livestock herd health, or new production techniques, and funds can be used to pay for the farmer’s time and for materials specific to the project. Awards are capped at $10,000 and the application deadline is December 16.

Partnership grants are for Cooperative Extension, NRCS, and other agricultural service providers who work directly with farmers. Partnership Grants support on-farm research and demonstration projects that address a wide range of topics in sustainable agriculture, and funds can be used to pay for personnel, materials, sampling, supplies, testing, and to compensate cooperating farmers for their time. Awards are capped at $10,000 and the application deadline is December 9.

Sustainable Community grants are for projects that connect farming and economic development. Projects can address issues like finance, marketing, land and water use, enterprise development, adding value to farm products, or farm labor. Applicants must be affiliated with an organization such as a community nonprofit, Cooperative Extension, local government, an educational institution, a planning board, a farming cooperative, or an incorporated citizens group. This grant is offered in partnership with the Northeast Center for Rural Development. Awards are capped at $25,000 and the application deadline is December 2.

Applications for all three grant programs are posted on the Northeast SARE web site at www.uvm.edu/~nesare, or you can call 802/656-0471 to request a printed copy. The Northeast SARE region is made up of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

FS Co-ops Earn Performance Awards

Five FS member cooperatives were recognized by GROWMARK, Inc. for business performance improvement. GROWMARK measures improvement in the performance of member cooperatives based on return on invested capital. Over a five-year time frame, each cooperative’s return on invested capital improvement is measured in comparison to other cooperatives in the system. From this measurement, the Performance Improvement Award was developed.

The cooperative with the highest degree of improvement was Vineland Growers Co-operative Ltd., Jordan Station, Ont. George Mitges is the manager and Phil Tregunno is president. Ranking second was Stephenson Service Company, Freeport, Ill. Jay Kempel is the general manager. Keith Meier is the president. In third place was AGRILAND FS, Inc., Winterset, Iowa. John Knobloch is the manager, and Bob Adkins is the president. Ranking fourth was AgriPride FS, Inc., Nashville, Ill. Carl Tebbe is the manager and Randy Newcomb is the president. Ranking fifth was Thunder Bay Co-operative Farm Supplies, Thunder Bay, Ont. Ben Postuma is the manager, and Arnold Breukelman is the president.

NYFVI Promotes Successful Farm Practices

Sharing successful techniques to improve farm profits is a bit easier, thanks to new features of a Web site by the New York Farm Viability Institute. The site includes descriptions of each funded project, along with links to related Web sites that contain educational information and contact information for the project leader. Many projects also feature a profile that describes how a farmer in New York benefited by working with the project. Sort and search for projects by agricultural sector or the grant program that provided funding. Projects include the Sustainable Vineyard Practices Grower Workbook, the Transition to Organic spreadsheet, and Cover Crops for Vegetable Growers, a Web-based interactive tool for selecting cover crop varieties. Visit www.nyfvi.org to learn more.

Tiger-Sul Expands Production

Westport, Conn.-based H.J. Baker & Bro., Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Tiger-Sul Products have opened a new facility in Stockton, Calif. for the production of sulphur-based fertilizers. This is the company’s third production facility in North America. A fourth facility has also recently been opened in Umbogintwini, South Africa. By licensing its technology to Chemical Initiatives, the company will now be able to supply the African continent with sulphur-based fertilizers. H.J. Baker & Bro., Inc. has provided ingredients to the fertilizer and sulphur industries since 1850.

US Agriseeds Trials Inform Dealers, Growers

US Agriseeds hosted their second annual trial event in Gilroy, Calif. during August and September. Dealers and growers from different regions of the world attended to learn about the company’s newest products. The trials featured hot and sweet peppers, cucumbers, squashes, tomatoes and eggplants. US Agriseeds has established markets in Mexico and the Middle East, but the Gilroy trial grounds are part of an effort to develop the company’s domestic presence. As a part of this year’s event, product trainings were provided to all attendees, including the company’s exclusive U.S. dealers Ochoa Seed Co., Gowan Seed Co., Seedway, Keithly-Williams Seeds and Champion Seed Co. Next year’s Gilroy trials will be held in August 2009.

IAC and Toyota Tundra Team Up

Toyota’s full-sized Tundra pickup truck has been named official truck of the International Agri-Center, home of World Ag Expo and California Antique Farm Equipment Show. Toyota’s World Ag Expo display, from February 10–12, 2009, will feature a complete lineup of 2009 Toyota trucks and SUVs, including the Tacoma and off-road-capable FJ Cruiser. Attendees will also have the opportunity to ride and drive the Tundra. Toyota’s 2009 Sequoia SUV also will be available to test drive. Toyota’s multiyear partnership with IAC allows the Tundra to become a feature at the California Antique Farm Equipment Show along with the many other events hosted at the center.

Free Information from AgriCharts

AgriCharts, the agricultural division of Barchart.com, Inc., that provides Web site services, market data and technology to agribusinesses, is providing a free service to farmers and other agricultural market participants for markets, news and weather. AgriCharts AgPlus Delayed is a Web-based service that provides a range of features for monitoring the agricultural markets and making decisions. AgPlus is also a source for agricultural news, reports and weather. To register, visit www.agricharts.com, go to Quote Products and select AgPlus Delayed.

Research Specialist Joins FBS

Floratine BioSciences has named Harold Dou, Ph.D. as director of product quality and biology. Dr. Dou will work in the company’s manufacturing facility in Visalia, Calif., where he will be responsible for product quality and formulation and biological testing of new products. He has extensive experience in the development of innovative agrichemical products, particularly within the fruits and vegetables industry. He has worked as a research and development manager at BASF and Glico USA, and he was a research specialist with the Florida Department of Citrus and the University of Florida and at UC Davis. While there he focused in the areas of formulation development and biological testing, leading to the development of emulsified products.