Monday, March 14, 2011

CT NOFA's Farmers Pledge

 CT NOFA is all about organic farms - hey, it's in our name! We know that it's important to become a USDA Certified Organic Farm. The Farmer’s Pledge is a commitment to farming, marketing and farm management in accordance with sound ecological and economic principles. It is separate and distinct from “Certified Organic.” There is no inspection process for the Farmer’s Pledge, but the farmers have signed the Pledge to show their commitment to its principles. Every spring, all our Farmer’s Pledge farms are featured in our annual Farm & Food Guide. Last year 15,000 copies of the Guide were printed and distributed all over the state at farmers markets, agricultural and environmental events, and wherever people were looking for healthy and sustainably grown food. 
The Farmers Pledge is a commitment to:
  • Reject the use of synthetic insecticides, herbicides, fungicides & fertilizers
  • Reject the use of GMO’s, chemically treated seeds, synthetic toxic materials, irradiation & sewage sludge
  • Treat livestock humanely by providing pasture for ruminants, access to outdoors & fresh air for all livestock, banning cruel alterations, & using no hormones or antibiotics in feed
  • Support agricultural markets & infrastructures that enable small farms to thrive
  • Maintain & build healthy soils by farming practices that include rotating crops annually, using compost, cover crops, green manures & reducing tillage
  • Conserve natural resources by reducing erosion & pollution of air, soil & water through responsible farming practices
  • Maximize the nutritional value of food & feed by practicing careful post harvest handling
  • Practice minimal processing for all food products to preserve the natural nutritional value of food: NO use of irradiation, ultra-pasteurization, excessive heat, synthetic preservatives, or GMO processing agents or additives
  • Reduce the ecological footprint of farms & homes by limiting energy use & converting to renewable sources of energy
  • Reduce food miles by selling produce locally & regionally
  • Create beneficial habitat for wildlife & encourage biodiversity
  • Help preserve farmland & farming know-how
  • Ensure food safety by using potable water for washing crops
  • Handle raw manure & soil amendments with care
  • Use ethical business practices
  • Pay a living wage to all farm workers & acknowledge their freedom of association & their right to collective bargaining
  • Treat family members & farm workers with respect & ensure their safety on the farm
  • Work in cooperation with other farmers & with neighboring community to create a more sustainable way of life
  • Sustain the land in healthy condition for future generations
For more information about the Farmers Pledge, please visit We urge you to see if your local farm has signed the pledge. If not, please have them visit this link -

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