Fresh start and forward progress in 2020

By Don Niles, president, PPF

Greetings once again to members and friends of Peninsula Pride Farms.

After the trials of 2019 it is refreshing to write this to you with planting well underway and, for many of you, completed. The challenges we faced last year seemed to go on without end, but we are still here today moving forward.

To get an idea of how deeply 2019 affected those of us making their living in agriculture, I asked a group of 10 people at a recent PPF meeting what they personally found the most stressful to deal with. One choice was the COVID-19 pandemic that set the entire world back; the other choice was the weather of 2019. Without batting an eye, they unanimously picked 2019. That puts it in perspective.

This year, we can all start over. Part of the mission of PPF is to put the information and tools into the hands of our members that are needed for us to continuously improve our farming practices. This year many of our efforts will go into undoing the damage of last year. Washouts and deeply rutted fields are just two of the challenges left over from a year ago. To deal with these unusual types of problems the PPF board of directors is talking about a couple of unusual programs. We, too, are trying to continuously improve.

Some great news for 2020: because of the confidence The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has in our members, they are providing an additional $10,000 for a new, “innovative practices” cost-share program. This program will provide financial support to reduce the risk of implementing creative conservation practices. TNC is providing this gift above and beyond their annual gift of $10,000 to our established cost-share program, and they continue to be one of our major supporters.

These additional funds will be available to members who implement innovative practices on their farm and members who participate will still be eligible for our established cost-share program.

More information on this new program will be coming soon, so watch your email, PPF’s social media channels and our website for information.

In addition to the new cost share for innovative practices, we will be offering “Conservation Conversation” events in lieu of traditional field days to feature one or more practices our members are doing. These will be short, one-hour field days held on the third Tuesday evening of each month, starting June 30. Watch your emails, our website and social media for further details.

Enjoy what is left of spring, and we look forward to hearing what you are up to!

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