OrganicAg Newsletter February 2009

Welcome to the first newsletter from OrganicAg!
Firstly I know some of you have been registered for this service for some time-we have had a few hold ups-but we are now up and running.
This is just a short edition to ensure that the system and Bill are combatable.

You may have noticed the plant on the web site (logo). This is Organic Promotions 'plant of choice' as we believe it holds true to the organic message; it will grow in a wide range of situations, but most importantly it has 'integrity through transparecy', of course it is the ever common 'honesty' plant.
The OrganicAg Pastoral Extension Groups (OrganicAg PEG)
We commenced operation with the support of the New Zealand Organic Dairy Farmers Co-op LTD in October 2008. Groups operate monthly in Taranaki, Manawatu, Bay of Plenty and the Waikato with good turnout and discussion. We had some truly horrendous weather with horizontal rain at some days. However this did not dampen the discussion.
A day (December 08) was held in Northland as a ‘leader' to forming a group; with a really good turnout the attendees decided at the end of the day they liked what had been delivered and set a start date of February 25th for the first OrganicAg PEG in Northland. This will be on a dry stock farm north of Dargaville.
The OrganicAg PEG has members supplying organic milk to no less than 4 processors, conventional milk, both organic and conventional sheep/ beef and dairy grazing units.
December also saw the introduction of the OrganicAg PEG lending library. This is supported by the team at SoilFoodWeb Inc.
We have around 200 titles in the library with books, manuals, newspapers/magazines, DVD's, videos etc . Some are over 100 years old and give very good descriptions of plants, animal health symptoms, crop options etc.,while others are hot the press. More importantly the farmers are utilizing this service with a passion.
Bill has introduced ‘question of the month'. This is a question mostly pertaining to certification-arguably the biggest risk to any organic business.
The key phase here is ‘Organics-integrity through transparency'.

Field Days;
Organic Promotions will have sites (see below) at the regional field days coming up. At these sites Bill Quinn and others including farmers will have information from/on;
• Organic Promotions; products and services from across the organic/biological sector's input and service providers, processors/marketers and organisations.
• BioSoils; discuss the ‘how to' for your operation; get an understanding of how the soil/plant/animal/and so much more interact to produce outstanding end product.
• OrganicAG; how to turn your ‘outstanding product' in to ‘outstanding profit'.
The dates and sites;
Northland; Dargaville, 26-28th Feb. Site 109.
Central Districts; Feilding, 12-14th March, site G45/46
OrganicAg Expo; Matamata, 19th March.
National Fieldays; Hamilton, 10-13th June, D52.

What you will find in upcoming issues;
• Organic news from NZ and around the world.
• Comment from organic farmers worldwide.
• Comment from Bill Quinn; over 20 years in NZ organics.
• Reports on events.
• Competitions (with prizes)
So for now let's see if the system and Bill are combatable?

Bill Quinn
Organic Promotions.