“You Don't Have to Struggle as Much as We Did”—Words of Wisdom from the “Radio Organic” Podcast

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Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, October 4, 2021

The CCOF Foundation is pleased to partner with Community Alliance with Family Farmers and “The Farmers Beet” to launch our new podcast “Radio Organic: Sound Bites from the Organic Community.” 

In our four-part pilot series, we’ll chat briefly each week with long-time organic farmers about marketing techniques that have helped them run successful, resilient organic businesses. As a part of each interview, we ask our guest farmers what recommendations they have for newer farmers on managing resilient organic farms.

In our third episode we spoke with Patricia Rodriguez of Rodriguez Farms on how their farmers’ market customers urged them to go organic and stuck by them as their farm figured out on their own how to grow super-tasty organic strawberries.

During the interview Rodriguez commented that when she and her husband were transitioning their farm to organic over twenty years ago they had so much work to do they really didn’t have time to look into hiring a consultant or find other resources to support their transition. While organic certification brought a great benefit to their farm in the end, their transition had its challenges, in part because they did it alone.  

At the end of the interview Rodriguez offered the following wisdom to new farmers. 

“Go out to the different [organic] certifier organizations and just [look into] the different resources that are out there [to support organic farmers], because there's so much now. You don't have to struggle as much as we did. [They] have a lot of resources to guide you, or take you step by step through many different things that are needed to start.”
Rodriguez also emphasized the importance of soil heath and product quality.

“And I guess overall, if you're doing this, then to do it right in terms of taking care of the soil and doing the best you can. Because that's what's going to make the difference when you're out there with your product and people taste it, you know that it'll be different, and it'll be better."

Interested in hearing more of episode three? Download the episode from “The Farmers Beet” podcast on iTunes and Spotify, or listen directly via CCOF’s YouTube Channel. The episode is available in both English and Spanish.

Have ideas for future podcasts? Let us know! Send us your ideas via this feedback link.

Acknowledgments: This pilot podcast series is part of the CCOF Foundation’s Farmers’ Marketing: Tools for Success series, providing tips and tools for farmers to strengthen their sales and income at farmers’ markets and other direct to consumer outlets. Funding for the series was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM180100XXXXG055.