Contributors

Dale Didion, developer of The New Farm® Organic Price Index™:
Dale is President of the Didion Group. He was born and raised on a farm in Northwestern Ohio. He left the farm and spent over six years in the Executive Office of the President of the United States developing federal budgets, programs and regulations for natural resources and agriculture.

Dale was also senior managing director and director of the environmental practice for Hill & Knowlton a worldwide public relations firm. The Didion Group provides public relations and government affairs services focused on environmental and agricultural issues including sustainable land use, research and policy development.

Mary-Howell and Klaas Martens, New York farm columnists:
The Martens farm over 1300 acres organically in Upstate New York. Tireless advocates for organic farming and sustainable communities, the Martens produce an invaluable newsletter for New York’s certified organic growers, contribute regularly to Acres USA magazine, run an organic feed mill, and are among the most careful and observant practitioners of farming the focuses on soil health and cultural management of weeds. Their New Farm columns celebrate community while providing practical advice on weed management, crop rotations and more.

Jason Witmer, on a global organic odyssey:
Jason and his cousin Derek have taken off on a six-month long sojourn to visit farms throughout Asia and Europe that are part of the WWOOF network (World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). The two young travelers have sent us insights on farming and community from Buddhist monks in Thailand and dry land farmers in arid west India.

Richard de Wilde and Linda Halley, veteran CSA farmers from Wisconsin;
Julia Wiley and Andy Griffin, veteran CSA farmers from Monterey, CA

Together, these two farm couples bring us insights each month on managing the most difficult of farm operations, Community Supported Agriculture. Linda calls CSA farming “graduate level farming” because it demands expertise in growing a wildly diversified set of crops and brilliance and determination in marketing and customer relations.

Alan Guebert, The Final Word:
Agricultural curmudgeon, Alan brings 22 years’ experience to his weekly investigations, reflections and analysis of events that shape the ability of farmers to farm profitably and independently. Alan is a professional freelance agricultural journalist from Delavan, IL.

George, Melanie and Don Devault, small farm advocates and value-added journalistic tag team.
George Devault was editor of New Farm® magazine from 1981 through 1991 — and a long-time champion of local food systems and innovative direct marketing approaches to high-value farming. He is also a Food and Society Policy Fellow and editor of the Russian version of New Farm magazine. George farms organically with his wife Mel and 23-year-old son Don farm near the village of Vera Cruz, PA, a little over an hour north of Philadelphia.

They've been farming there organically since 1985. They extend their growing season with 6000 square feet of greenhouses, and sell cut flowers, herbs, fruits and vegetables through farmers' markets and directly to customers on their farm through a subscription service. All 3 contribute to our beginning farmer’s column. Melanie in the master-mind behind our column for cut flower growers ­ our most popular column. Don has written a well-received series on building your own gothic greenhouse, and George has been doing a column on high value farming.

Jim Riddle, chair of the New Farm’s Certification Answer Team:
During the past 22 years, Jim has been an organic farmer, gardener, inspector, educator, policy analyst, author, and consumer. He was founding chair of the Independent Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA), and co-author of the IFOAM/IOIA International Organic Inspection Manual. (IFOAM is the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements.) He has helped train hundreds of organic inspectors throughout the world, and is a frequent speaker at organic farming conferences. He chairs the Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Organic Advisory Task Force, and was instrumental in passage of Minnesota’s landmark organic certification cost-share program. He serves on the National Organic Standards Board, which advises the USDA on organic agriculture policies and regulations.

Jeff Moyer, The Rodale Institute’s Farm Manager:
Jeff writes a monthly column, From One Farm to Another, chatting about issues and developments at The Institute’s 333 acre farm, which doubles as an active commercial farm and as a research facility on cover crops, rotations, compost and more. Jeff has been growing organically for over 26 years.

Lisa Hamilton:
Lisa is an experienced California freelance writer and photographer. She has distinguished herself in agricultural journalism with an acclaimed series of stories on prominent California crops in The Newsletter of CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers). She has been published in National Geographic Traveler, Gastronomica, Z Magazine and The Humanist. She has edited, written and produced publications on art, entertainment and environmental issues, in print and on the Web. Hamilton brings a fine arts eye to her photographs which often accompany her writing. She has contributed pieces to the New Farm on dairy and orchard operations in California, and is currently developing a series of stories for us on organic agriculture and natural farming in Japan.

Darcy Maulsby:
Darcy is an independent communications and marketing specialist from Granger, Iowa. She was raised on a farm in west-central Iowa and has written about agriculture for more than eight years. She has profiled 5 of the early leaders in sustainable agriculture for us ­ members of the Practical Farmers of Iowa. She has also covered conference workshops in the upper midwest.

Laura Sayre:
Laura Sayre has been working on organic farms and writing about agriculture since 1991. She serves as a program coordinator for NOFA-NJ. In 1999 she married a New Zealander, and recently returned to the country, providing us with three excellent stories on organic operations there. Back in New Jersey now, she’ll be writing about farms in the eastern U.S. Her latest piece: an article on small, sustainable dairy/cheese-making operations in northern New Jersey.

Don Lotter, Latin American correspondent and research reviewer:
Don is a post-doctoral researcher who has been keeping us abreast of recent organic research on a weekly basis. He is now in Latin America, sending us stories of organic production from Guatemala and other countries in the region.