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Valley Gives is a 24-hour online campaign to encourage widespread community support for Pioneer Valley nonprofits and their work. It's coming up next Wednesday, December 10th. CISA is one of the hundreds of nonprofits participating in this special day, and we hope you will support us.

Each gift has the potential to result in even more support for CISA. First, every dollar that CISA receives through Valley Gives will be matched, up to $20,000! Also, the nonprofits that have the highest number of unique donors will be rewarded with special grants from a prize pool of $225,000. And finally, throughout the day, donors will be randomly chosen to have their gift amplified with a "Golden Ticket," adding anywhere from $500 to $1,000 to support their favorite nonprofit.



Here's what you can do to support CISA and all of our important work:

1. Mark 12/10/14 on your calendar and bookmark our  Valley Gives page. You can even schedule your donation on our page right now!
2. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and help build excitement for Valley Gives by using the hashtag #ValleyGives.
3. Help spread the word. Tell your family and friends why you believe in our work, and why they should give to CISA on 12/10/14! 



CISA Staff and Board 

Action Alert: Continued Advocacy Needed on New Food Safety Regulations!
Remember last year when we expressed concerns about the FDA's proposed food safety rules that threatened local farms? CISA submitted detailed comments to the FDA to support needed changes to the rules, and hundreds of our members and stakeholders did as well.  Responding to more than 25,000 comments, the FDA released a new draft of the rules with many changes this fall. While the new draft includes critical improvements, it doesn't go far enough. We have one last chance to comment in order to preserve the positive changes and address the significant remaining problems with the rules. CISA is submitting comments and we strongly encourage you to do so as well before the December 15th deadline. Read our comments and submit your own here.
Give the gift that grows the local food system year-round
CISA aprons ready to go!
Give the gift of a CISA Community Membership to family and friends! Membership benefits include invitations to member-only events such as farm tours and workshops, as well as special discounts at participating Local Hero farms and businesses. For a limited time, if you purchase a gift membership, CISA will send a free package of our "Sustaining Notes" note cards to the gift recipient. Still have more people on your holiday shopping list? We also have CISA t-shirts in youth and adult sizes, CISA aprons, and more!

Seeking Nominations for Local Hero Awards
Do you know someone doing great work for local food and farms? We want to give them an award! Since 2003, CISA has recognized farmers, institutions, businesses, and everyday community members whose work helps sustain local agriculture. See our all-star recipient list here. Awardees will be profiled in next year's Locally Grown: Farm Products Guide and will be honored at CISA's annual meeting in 2016. Nominations are due December 12th. See criteria and nomination form here.

Staff Anniversary: Jennifer Williams
We are delighted to celebrate Jennifer's 10th year with CISA! You may know Jennifer as the first responder to all-things-CISA, the master of our annual auction for Taste The View, and the voice of the CISA answering machine. As our Office Manager, Jennifer provides essential support to all staff. If you'd like join us in congratulating Jennifer, you can email her here. 
Local fiber products make great gifts!
It's time for holiday decorating, dining, and gifting!
We've pulled together an extensive guide to gifts from local farms. Luxurious local yarns, a nice bottle of local wine, or the gift of fun on a farm ... give something local this year!

Local Christmas trees and holiday greenery are as fresh and fragrant as can be, and they were grown by people who are caring for land in our region. Find locally grown evergreens here.

Our weekly column in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Valley Bounty, features recipes and cooking tips for collards, leeks, pies, and other seasonal delights. Find local food all winter long using the special lists we've pulled together about fall and winter CSAs, farmers' markets, and bulk purchasing of produce for home storage.
Forest Product Associates utilizes local tree stands to produce specialty lumber products
Local Hero Profile: Forest Product Associates
Tucked away just beyond a residential neighborhood in Greenfield, Forest Products Associates is run by father-daughter team Lee and Sue Fisk. Their warehouse features everything from exotic Honduran rosewood to locally-produced live edge walnut slabs sporting the Local Hero label. To this day, local farmers will call them to sell single trees that come down on their properties, and they are a local lumber source for contractors, artisans, homeowners, and hobby woodworkers. Read all about them!

Visit our Press Room for a some excellent coverage of local turkey farms, including Diemand Farm and Stillman's at the Turkey Farm. Also featured is a special WGBY CISA segment on local wineries, including Mount Warner Vineyards and Black Birch Vineyard.

You can also listen to our weekly radio interview series on WRSI with Local Hero businesses: Stillman's at the Turkey Farm, the Greenfield Farmers' Market, and Johnny's Tavern.
Visit CISA's events page for farmer events, workshops, conferences and more. Here's a sample of the activities coming up:

NOFA Mass Winter Conference
January 10, 2015
Worcester State University
The Northeast Organic Farming Association is hosting its 28th annual Winter Conference. Come for this expansive and immersive educational experience with 60+ workshops, conferences for children and teens, exhibits, and an all-day seminar and keynote by Greg Judy, rotational grazier and carbon sequestration advocate. Registration information and details here.

CISA workshops for farmers
CISA is holding a number of workshops for farmers and business managers this winter, including our December farmer-buyer meet & greet, workshops on grant and loan opportunities for farms, a winter workshop series on business branding and communication strategies, and advanced marketing workshops. Click here for more information on all of these great learning opportunities.

These workshops are supported by the USDA/Risk Management Agency, USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2012-49200-20031, and the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program through grant 12-25-B-1676, as well as individual contributions and Local Hero members. CISA is an equal opportunity provider.

Do you value the news you get from CISA? Join more than 600 others in supporting CISA's work. We've been sustaining local agriculture by building connections between farmers and the community since 1993!


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