Home Committee for Sustainable Farm Publishing -- Background

Sustainable Farming Connection
Where farmers find and share information.

Committee for Sustainable Farm Publishing -- Background
Our mission: To bring farmers the information they need to cut costs, grow healthy food, build strong rural communities and improve the environment.

Well ... The Committee for Sustainable Farm Publishing doesn't really exist anymore.  It's pretty much just me, Craig Cramer, trying to maintain and periodically update this website in my spare time.

But please read on.  The need for this kind of a website to fill the void left by the demise in 1995 of  The New Farm and to serve the needs of sustainable farmers is still there, just like it was when we started this website back in 1997.

I hear the cry from farmers almost daily.  Someday we'll be able to help meet their information needs, as well as help them share with each other what they've found that works, and what doesn't.

Meantime, enjoy the site.  There are still a lot of good links here, and I post new material from time to time.  Keep in mind if you continue reading below, it was written in '97.  The dream is still alive, though.

Welcome to our website. We hope you've taken a little time already to explore it. While it's still in its infancy, we believe that it is well on its way to achieving our goal of meeting your information needs in several ways:

  • To provide timely, up-to-the-minute news and action alerts of interest to sustainable farmers and food-system professionals.
  • To publish informative stories that will help you improve your production and marketing practices. In addition, we feature writings on broader policy perspectives and other issues that will help you see how your production and marketing fit in a larger context.
  • To link you to other useful information on the World Wide Web.
  • To help you interact with others in the sustainable farming community.
As former editors of The New Farm magazine, we know that the key to success is understanding and meeting the needs of our readers. That same lesson applies to websites. This one will grow and evolve in response to what you tell us is important. Please drop us a line at cdcramer@clarityconnect.com to let us know what we can do for you. In addition to questions, comments and suggestions, we're always looking for good stories, links and other information resources. Please send them our way.

We got our start shortly after The New Farm ceased publication in 1995, when several former staff members formed the Committee for Sustainable Farm Publishing. With a planning grant from the Wallace Genetic Foundation and encouragement from the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, we assembled an advisory board and set out to launch a new publication to fill the information void left by the magazine's demise.

We knew from the hundreds of letters and calls we received that the community of sustainable farmers and food-system professionals truly valued The New Farm. They missed the cutting-edge production and marketing information it provided, and we were determined to help them find it again.

In December, 1996 -- after developing several business plans and enlisting the support of sustainable farming groups and leaders from around the country -- we decided that we couldn't launch a new publication without huge infusions of start-up funds. The soaring costs of paper, printing and postage simply made it impossible to reach our specialized audience in print without incurring burdensome debt.

But at that same meeting, we decided to shift our strategies and reconnect with our readers through a different medium -- the Internet's World Wide Web. Early in our planning process, we had seriously considered the possibility of an electronic publication as our main product. But too few farmers at that time were using the Internet, we reasoned. In the intervening months, however, the number of computer-wielding farmers has risen dramatically, and rural Internet access is sweeping the countryside.

We quickly realized that the time is right for a well-managed website that serves the needs of sustainable farmers and food-system professionals. Please help us expand our audience by sharing information from this site with your fellow farmers, colleagues and clients. Let them know where you found it, and encourage them to join us on line.

Looking forward to serving you.

The Committee for Sustainable Farm Publishing

email: cdcramer@clarityconnect.com

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