Our Farmer Pledges only apply to the practices our farmers use to grow food, not to the methods used to produce any value-added processed foods they may sell (such as breads, jams, salsas, sausages, etc.). While we are committed to promoting organic agriculture, we recognize the economic and logistical difficulties inherent in running a small farm while society continues to subsidize and promote large-scale, petrochemical agriculture. Consequently, we consider exceptions to the Pledges on a case-by-case basis. If a farmer has been granted an exception, that information will be on their KCFC web page. For more information or questions, contact .
The KC Food Circle requires all of our Member Farmers to comply with the terms of the pledge.
Understanding that we must first build and then preserve healthy soil in order to grow healthy fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and mushrooms, we require all our plant and mushroom farmer-members to sign this pledge.
- To enhance the health of the land I farm, prevent erosion, and limit losses due to crop diseases through such methods as: the proper application of manure and compost to the soil; planting “green manure” crops and nitrogen-fixing legumes; rotational plantings of complementary crops; drip irrigation; and fallowing
- To never use synthetic nitrogen, phosphorus or potassium fertilizers
- To reduce losses due to insects through such methods as: crop rotation and diversity; encouraging the presence of animals that prey on insects; and insect predator introduction
- To deal with unwanted plants in my fields through such methods as: cover-cropping, mulching, manual removal, tilling, and flame-weeding
- To only use fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides (including those used on treated seeds), and other biocides that are on the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Organic Program’s “National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances”
- To never use genetically engineered seeds
- To use potable water when washing produce
- To ensure that any fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, mushrooms and/or value-added products I sell or distribute from other local farms were produced in accordance with this pledge
Understanding that we can only be healthy if the meat, poultry, eggs, and milk we eat come from healthy animals, and believing that farm animals deserve to be allowed to perform behaviors essential to their well-being, we require all our animal farmers to sign this pledge.
- To house ALL the animals on my farm in outdoor pastures and/or pens with breed-appropriate shelter and bedding material available (temporary exceptions for medical treatment and breeding are allowed)
- To provide living conditions that will support the normal behavior and social interactions of ALL species on my farm so that the animals will thrive and to reduce the incidence of injury, stress, and disease
- To only use antibiotics, parasiticides, and other pharmaceutical drugs therapeutically in response to disease, infestation, or injury
- To never use synthetic growth promotants; this includes, but is not limited to, hormone treatments such as rBGH injections in dairy cows and implants in beef cattle as well as subtherapeutic antibiotics and arsenic in feed, or substances such as ractomaphine in pigs.
- To never provide commercial feed that contains domestic animal byproducts; this includes, but is not limited to, animal waste, meat, blood, bones, hair, hooves, and feathers. Fishmeal approved for use in organic agriculture is permitted, as is dairy by-products like whey for pig feed
- To never use conventional herbicides and/or synthetic fertilizers on my pastures and/or hayfields
- To ensure that any meats, dairy products, poultry, eggs, fish, and/or value-added products I sell or distribute from other local farms were produced in accordance with this pledge
- To never knowingly provide feed containing genetically modified ingredients such as corn meal, cotton meal, soybeans, etc.
Healthy honey comes from properly managed, healthy hives. We require all our honey-selling beekeeper/farmer members to sign this pledge.
In establishing this pledge, we use the guidelines established in the Certified Naturally Grown Apiary Standards (CNGAS) http://www.cngfarming.org/apiary as a general guide.
- That the primary purpose of my hives is to collect local pollen and produce honey for local markets, not for mobile application for crop pollination off site
- My hives will not be located on conventionally farmed land
- My hives will not be placed in low-lying and wet areas;
- They will receive a minimum number of hours of sunlight exposure
- To avoid using any CNGAS prohibited substances/chemicals to control disease
- To not import and use of any hive, harvest and honey processing component that has been in contact with any prohibited substance or may have been used in a biologically contaminated setting elsewhere
- To ensure that any honey, honeycomb, or beeswax I sell or distribute from other local farms were produced in accordance with this pledge
If you have read and understand the Farmer Pledges and agree to uphold these pledges in your farming practices, you can proceed to fill out your Kansas City Food Circle Farmer Application.