We had a busy summer at CNG, certifying 112 farms since April. We are pleased to welcome a new Member Services coordinator, Lindsey Jo, and to put new marketing initiatives to the test! Not subscribed to our newsletter yet? Click here to get the Harvest Quarterly delivered to your inbox.
...and the applications keep coming in ~ 122 new ones since April!
New Service: Let us Write Your Press Release
Farmers are nearly always strapped for time, but a story in the local paper could bring some welcome recognition. We now support CNG farmers' marketing by drafting and submitting a press release to local news outlets! Are you opening a farm stand, starting a new market, proud to be the first CNG farmer in your county, or growing an unusual crop? These are topics of interest to your local community! Learn more on our blog!
Ready for some local publicity? Drop a note to [email protected]. We'll see you in the papers!
New Way to Participate: Be a Local Inspection Coordinator
We are pleased to announce a new way to be a part of the CNG support network. Local Inspection Coordinators, with support from the CNG staff, will help arrange members' annual inspections. Their main role is to pair farmers with peer-inspectors. They will facilitate timely completion of the inspection requirement, while ensuring that CNG protocols are upheld.
This is a great way to assist CNG farmers and play an important role within our grassroots organization. Ongoing training and support will be provided.
Learn more and register your interest here!
Call for Ambassadors ~ Represent CNG in Your Area
Last year we created the CNG Ambassador program to increase the number of people networking and reaching out on behalf of Certified Naturally Grown. Ambassadors typically present to local groups, and might staff a CNG exhibit at an agricultural conference. We have identified some of our best representatives through this program!
But it's a very big country, and there's a lot of ground to cover, so we're looking for more Ambassadors. If you'd like to represent CNG in your home state or local community, please register your interest on the CNG Ambassador page. Ambassadors receive training and are invited to participate in quarterly conference calls with other CNG leaders.
Feel free to get in touch if you have questions about this program. Call the office or write to [email protected]
Staff and Board Updates
The staff of CNG is a small but mighty crew. Earlier this summer we expanded by 33% when we gained Lindsey Jo Smith, who took over the role of Member Services Coordinator. (Aly was promoted, and Hannah continues to be our certification specialist from her outpost in Minnesota.) Lindsey Jo was born and raised in South Texas, where she grew up raising cattle, hogs and chickens on the family homestead. We're so glad to have her talents and passion for sustainability deployed on behalf of the CNG community. You can read an interview with Lindsey Jo on our blog.
The arrival of Lindsey Jo enables us to tap Aly's creative talents in her new role as Design and Marketing Specialist. Few things make Aly happier than to help our members shine with a colorful, custom-designed banner, a beautiful new brochure, or a story she helps get placed in a local paper. Read Alice's interview with Aly on our blog. Contact Aly directly at[email protected] to see how she can support your marketing. You can also get tips and inspiration at StandOutInYourField.org
We are delighted to welcome our four new board members. They each bring bring valuable experience and expertise to our organization, and all are actively involved in farming. Read about the CNG Board of Directors here.
Photos, from left to right: Lindsey Jo, Alice, and Aly. Not pictured: Hannah.
Time to Replenish the Scholarship Fund
CNG certification dues are quite reasonable, but for some they're still a financial stretch. And unlike the organic program, CNG certification dues are not subsidized by public money. Instead, CNG farmers and our supporters have chipped in to establish our scholarship fund, with excellent results.
Since it was created in 2012, the fund has distributed 85 scholarships with a total value of $6,230. Many farmers who hit a rough patch, or who were just getting started a few years ago, are on a strong footing today thanks in part to help they received covering their certification dues.
As we anticipate a flood of new applications this winter, we know our scholarship fund needs to be replenished if we're going to meet all the worthy requests for assistance we will receive. Please chip in to the Scholarship Fund if you're able. Your generous contribution will help cover certification costs for beginning farmers and those facing unusual hardships like extreme weather, physical injury, or crop loss. Thank you very much!
Congratulations to Our 112 Newly Certified Members!
We are delighted to recognize the 112 farmers and beekeepers who have completed all the CNG requirements since April. Find the newly certified members listed below alphabetically by state and province.
To find a list of all the CNG producers in your area, visit our searchable map here. Want to get your farm listed? Get Certified!
Four Winds Farm, AK
Metropolitan Farms, IL
Adams Greenhouse & Produce LLC, OH