Northeast Organic Farming Association

Address

334 River Road
Hillsborough, NJ 08807
County: Somerset

Contact

Ms. Patricia H. Huizing

Grant Amount

$45,000

Program Area

Environment

Focus

Grant Details

General operating support to advance organic farming and sustainable agricultural practices in New Jersey through education, technical assistance, and advocacy.

Organization Background

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Jersey (NOFA-NJ) is dedicated to supporting organic and sustainable food and agriculture in New Jersey through education, technical assistance and advocacy. Established in 1985, NOFA-NJ serves as a catalyst in the development of sustainable community-based food systems. Currently headquartered on Duke Farms in Somerset County, NOFA-NJ seeks to expand the number of organic/sustainable farms, assists traditional farmers in making the transition to organic/sustainable methods, helps farmers further improve the economic viability of their organic/sustainable operations and educates consumers, school children and other agricultural stakeholders on the benefits and issues associated with local, organic/sustainable farm methods and products. Education has always been central to NOFA-NJ's mission, and an annual Winter Conference has been held for 26 years, attracting up to 600 attendees annually, the largest organic food and agricultural conference in New Jersey. NOFA-NJ has also presented organic gardening conferences, as well as on-farm "Twilight Meetings." Topics range from organic growing techniques to raising livestock, to equipment and tool care and repair, to business skills. In 2010 NOFA-NJ, in partnership with the NRCS, added a technical services position to its staff to help transitioning farmers with questions specific to organic food production in New Jersey. In 2011 NOFA-NJ applied for and won a three-year USDA grant to establish the Beginning Farmer Program, which included classes on farming techniques, business skills, and mentored learning through the Journeyperson and Incubator programs. Thirty years has brought NOFA-NJ from a small group of voices in the wilderness of the American food system to an ever-expanding market for organic food, the proliferation of small farms all across New Jersey, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, farmers' markets, and organic food now on the shelves of most supermarkets.

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