News

NOFA-NY has enjoyed many years of a very productive relationship with Cornell on other projects and programs that are beneficial to the farming community of New York State. We have worked for several years tracking, researching, and communicating with Cornell about this proposed research project.

We must open with our great disappointment at your very short notice about this sole public meeting. You have stated that you want to be transparent, yet giving 2 days notice on a topic of such import shows the opposite.

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NOFA-NY DENOUNCES USDA PERMIT TO RELEASE GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MOTHS IN GENEVA, NY

Farmington, NY — The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) today denounced
the USDA’s permit for the world’s first open-air trials of the Genetically Engineered (GE) Diamondback moth to be released in Geneva, NY. This announcement came concurrently with the availability of a final environmental assessment and finding of no significant impact for the field release of the GE Diamondback moths. NOFA-NY considers the Environmental Assessment lacking comprehensive health and environmental details.

“NOFA-NY considers the release of a novel genetically engineered organism to be a major activity with potentially significant and heretofore unknown health and environmental effects,” said NOFA-NY Policy Advisor Liana Hoodes. “It is now up to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to ensure the safety of its citizens before granting the necessary state permit. We call on the NYS DEC to require a full environmental impact statement and public hearings during a complete review under State Environmental Quality Review Act.”

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Organic Dairy Transitioning and High Tunnel Tomatoes Are Featured

Farmington, NY— The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York’s (NOFA-NY) organic on-farm field days are heading into July, with popular topics on the following two dates:

  • Tuesday, July 11, 1-4 pm: Transitioning to Organic Dairy Production. This field day will provide the basics of transitioning to organic grass-fed dairy production focusing on the Amish community in Allegany County. NOFA-NY, LLC and pioneering organic dairy farmer, Brian Stetson of Maple Hill Creamery will give a no-tech approach to grass-fed milk and organic transition. Location is David Miller Farm, 869 Peet Road, Whitesville, NY 14897 (Allegany County). Please note that there is no cell phone service or personal photos at this location. This event is produced by NOFA-NY with support from the New York Farm Viability Institute.

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NOFA-NY DETAILS CONCERNS WITH OPEN FIELD TRIALS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED DIAMONDBACK MOTH

USDA’s Environmental Assessment Did Not Complete Comprehensive, Health and Environmental Review

Farmington, NY — In December, 2016, the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released an Environmental Assessment (EA) of Dr. Anthony Shelton’s Cornell University application for a permit to carry out the world’s first open-air trial of a genetically engineered diamondback moth (GDM) in Geneva, New York. The diamondback moth is a pest to brassica plants worldwide.

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of NY (NOFA-NY) considers this Assessment to be significantly lacking in comprehensive health and environmental review of the first-in-the-world open air release of the GDM — a novel organism. “We consider this to be a major activity with potentially significant and heretofore unknown health and environmental effects,” said NOFA-NY Policy Advisor Liana Hoodes.

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Letter to the Editor: NOFA-NY Responds to AP article on Genetically Engineered Diamondback Moth

The recent Associated Press story announcing Dr. Anthony Shelton’s Cornell University trials of the “self-destructing moth pest in cabbage patch” coming to Geneva, New York provides only partially-true facts.

The Genetically Engineered (GE) Diamondback Moth is not necessarily self-destructing: it employs a GE technology called ‘female lethality,’ which causes the females to die, while the males continue to reproduce with their wild counterparts until the moths are ‘under control’ or self-destruct. While female lethality has been used in trials before, this proposed experiment by Cornell University would be the first world-wide open air trial of this novel organism.

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NOFA-NY PREPARES TO PRESENT ITS 2017 ON-FARM FIELD DAYS WITH HOST FARMS AROUND NEW YORK STATE

From June to October, field days on farms in 14 counties feature wide range of practical topics for farmers.

FARMINGTON, NY—From Niagara to Suffolk County and from pest management and high tunnel tomatoes to soil health and grass-based dairy management, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) kicks off its 2017 statewide organic on-farm field days. The 15 field days begin in mid-June and run through mid-October, covering 14 counties.

“We strive to serve many parts of New York’s organic community with our on-farm events,” said Bethany Wallis, NOFA-NY education director. “We look forward to farmers taking advantage of our great opportunities to see other farms, learn about new methods, and network with others.”

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Liz Bawden, New York organic dairy farmer, President of the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance and NOFA-NY Board member responds to the May 1st, 2017 Washington Post Article, “Why your ‘organic’ milk may not be organic,” by Peter Whoriskey.

I am an organic dairy farmer and I want to tell my story.

A consumer reads “Why Your Organic Milk May Not Be Organic” on the front page of their newspaper. That might be the end consumer for the milk from my farm. And that person is sitting in front of a bowl of cornflakes wondering if she has been scammed all this time. Just a little doubt that the organic seal may not mean what she thought it meant. That is real damage to my farm and family income. And I want to tell my story to that consumer; I want to tell her about our pastures, and soil fertility ideas, and how we know each cow by name, and how we source organic seeds, feed, and herbal remedies. Because she needs to know that there is value and integrity in the organic product we provide.

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NOFA-NY Files Comments to USDA Opposing the Proposed Organic Checkoff Program

Farmington, NY—In advance of the April 19th comment period deadline, the Northeast Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) yesterday formally filed comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to oppose its proposed Organic Research, Promotion and Information Order “Checkoff program.”

In its comments, NOFA-NY states that the Checkoff is not farmer friendly, will benefit United States Organic sales, not production, and will negatively impact all organic certificate holders, whether or not they are assessed. Given its stated purposes, it is unlikely to benefit the growth, sustainability or profitability of organic farmers in the U.S., yet will require burdensome paperwork for all, and is an unfair tax. NOFA-NY's complete comments document is here

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For the sixth year, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is making a difference for inner city and low-income people in Rochester and Buffalo living in a “food desert” through its 2017 Neighborhood Farm Share program (NFS). The program gives qualified individuals and families the opportunity to receive a financial subsidy in order to participate in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program for a share of fresh-picked seasonable fruits and vegetables grown without chemical pesticides. CSAs provide affordable, nutritious, locally grown food to neighborhoods from a trusted source: farmers.

NOFA-NY works with both its Certified Organic and its Farmer’s Pledge farmers as providers. Participants who qualify according to income eligibility guidelines listed on the NOFA-NY website receive up to a $100 reduction in cost for a CSA share from one of NOFA-NY’s local farms. The participant pays the remainder of the cost of the share. EBT/Food stamps are often accepted and payments can be made in increments. Each farm has a slightly different price and delivery schedule.

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NOFA-NY Launches 2017 Organic Dairy Certification Transitions Project

Interested farmers begin with complimentary registration for Organic Dairy & Field Crop Conference, March 16-17 in Syracuse

Farmington, NY — With the continuing drop in conventional milk prices, more and more dairy farmers are interested in transitioning to organic. To help make this happen, the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) is now taking applications for its Organic Dairy Certification Transitions Project (ODCTP), thanks to sponsorship from the NY Farm Viability Institute.

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