According to the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI), the government shutdown is predicted to cost more than 1,400 farmers their farms. These farmers are waiting on their USDA direct farm operating loans that have already been approved, but they are unable to receive those funds until Congress passes a budget and ends the government shutdown. In total, the shutdown is affecting more than 6,300 farmers in other ways as well.
In Forbes, a start-up entrepreneur tells how he uses the lessons he learned growing up on a farm in his career.
In Maine, a new farm product has hit the market: blueberry moonshine. The white whiskey is made with blueberries, barley from Brunswick and maple syrup from Unity.
A new technique called "dry farming" has become popular among California farmers. These small producers have discovered that they can grow sweeter tomatoes, apples, grapes, melons, and potatoes by simply depriving the plants of water. Who knew?
The FDA's recent food safety rules to prevent contamination in the food supply has raised concerns among small farmers in New England. These local producers feel threatened by the paperwork and expensive monitoring systems that these regulations would require, potentially put them out of business.
Vermont family farmers are getting involved in the wedding business by holding ceremonies and receptions in their barns. These weddings have helped saved Vermont family farmers by supplementing their income, and allowing them to share their farm with the public.
With Upstate New York being called "the Silicon Valley of yogurt" and home to more than 40 yogurt plants, dairy farmers in the region are finding it hard to keep up with the Greek yogurt boom. While the boom has created a greater demand for milk, farmers are concerned that they need to acquire more land and invest in bigger equipment and barns.