Organic Farm & Livestock Advisors

Diane Kushner of Arcadian Fields Farm

Diana Kushner of Arcadian Fields Farm

The NOFA/RI Organic Farm and Livestock Advisor program provides FREE technical guidance to commercial farmers wishing to implement organic methods on their farms and in their marketing efforts. Experienced organic farmers and ranchers are paired with aspiring, new or transitioning farmers and ranchers and provide assistance in many areas including these topics:

  • Farm and/or ranch planning
  • Marketing, business planning, record keeping
  • Soil health
  • Raised bed production
  • Cover crops and crop rotation
  • Pest and disease management
  • Greenhouse and high tunnel growing
  • Safe tractor, tool and implement use
  • Salad green production
  • Cut flower production
  • Growing herbs and producing herbal products
  • Livestock production and marketing
  • Fencing, rotational grazing
  • Pasture, forage health
  • Weed control
  • Post-harvest handling and marketing
  • Value added production and marketing
  • Marketing at Farmer’s Markets
  • Organic certification and NRCS assistance applications

Farmers receiving assistance may be working towards organic certification, or they may wish to produce their crops in a more sustainable manner.

Application for Organic Farming or Livestock Assistance

Farmers seeking FREE organic farming or livestock technical assistance may view and print the Organic Farm Assistance Application here or
the Organic Livestock Assistance Application here.
Send the completed application or questions to NOFA/RI at nofari@live.com or mail to NOFA/RI 247 Evans Road, Chepachet, RI 02814.

Organic Farm Advisors may meet with Advisees in-person, tour Advisees’ farms or visit other sites together. On Call Organic Farm Advisors are also available via email to nofari@live.com or a call to (401) 523-2653.

View summaries of On Call Organic Farm Advisor/Advisee discussions here as they become available.

NOFA/RI Organic Farm Advisors:

Christine Dedora

Christina DedoraBlue Skys Farm, Cranston
Christina has experience growing and selling vegetables, herbs, and ornamental crops.
Favorite crops: vegetables, cut flowers and herbs
Special skills: seedling production and field growing of cut flowers and herbs; marketing at Farmer’s Markets

John KennyJohn Kenny, Big Train Farm, North Scituate
John has experience working with antique and modern tractors. He teaches tractor operations to farmers. John hosts workshops on agriculture, natural science and field botany.
Special Skills: soil test interpretation and field planning

 

Diana Kushner

Diana Kushner, Arcadian Fields, Hopkinton
Diana’s farm is meticulously tended. She helps farmers navigate the organic certification process.
Favorite crops: heirloom tomatoes, basil, teenage lettuce, carrots
Special skills: weed control, cover crops and organic certification

 

Steve Ramos, Steve’s Organic Produce, Bristol
Steve is one of RI’s first organic farmers. He earns his living on a small farm under 2 acres.
Favorite crops: specialty vegetables, herbs and small fruits
Special skills: intensive growing, season extension, restaurant marketing

Derek Christianson

Derek Christianson, Brix Bounty Farm Dartmouth, MA
Derek is a farmer and educator on soil nutrients. He has experience with small and large-scale farming.
Favorite crops: all vegetables
Special skills: nutrient-dense food production

NOFA/RI welcomes additional Organic Farm and Livestock Advisors. Compensation and mileage reimbursement is available through a generous USDA Specialty Crop Block Program grant for farm viability via the RI Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Agriculture and a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant sponsored by the Southside Community Land Trust. These grants seek to enhance farmers’ ability to grow and market their crops or livestock.

Apply to become an Organic Farm Advisor here or an Organic Livestock Advisor here.

Farmers seeking FREE organic farming or livestock technical assistance may view and print the Organic Farm Advisee application here or the Organic Livestock Advisee application here. Send the completed application or questions to NOFA/RI at nofari@live.com or call (401) 523-2653.

Specialty Crops Training, as defined by this USDA-supported program, includes fruits, dried fruit, tree nuts, vegetables, nursery crops, Christmas trees, floriculture, cut flowers, honey, hops and turf grass production. Program participants learn how to enhance their market competitiveness with their specialty crops through: research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, “Buy Local” programs, increased consumption, increased innovation, improved efficiency and/or reduced costs of distribution systems, environmental conservation, product development and/or developing cooperatives.