About the Small Farms Conservancy

Small Farms Conservancy believes that food, fiber and fuel should spring from practices that are safe, secure, sustainable and environmentally sound. We seek to build a worldwide community of shared values, skills, knowledge and ideals. The Conservancy envisions a vast clustering of vibrant independent family farms, as a viable global solution to the problems of feeding humanity.

The Small Farms Conservancy was established in 2008 and registered in the State of Oregon as a broad-based non-profit public benefit corporation

The Conservancy is first and foremost an educational organization working to benefit the public through conservation of small farmers, the protection of human scale farming, and the preservation of farmland. The Conservancy holds that the health of the planet and the capacity of mankind to feed itself depends upon a vast community of healthy small farms employing traditional methods and appropriate new technologies.

Recognizing that the vitality and security of all small independent family farms is directly tied to the vitality and security of the wider society of humankind, the Conservancy will work to:
1. educate the general public on these issues through publication and dissemination of pertinent information,

2. educate the general public and the farm community through the research in, and development of, pilot projects and model non-profit programs of farmer and farming support,

3. function as an organizer and facilitator for and of a variety of public benefit programs with the small farmer at heart.


Anne Schwartz, Washington farmer and past President WA Tilth

Anne lives and farms with her husband Michael Brondi in Eastern Skagit County in NW Washington State. While her husband maintains a full time job off the farm, Anne has operated Blue Heron Farm since 1979. Blue Heron Farm produces several acres of organic berries and vegetables for sale to farmers markets, and several area businesses. They also operate a nursery and specialize in bamboo planting stock, poles and shoots. As one of the pioneering organic farmers and advocates for change, Anne has been active with several organizations advocating for sustainable agriculture for over 30 years. She has served on the Board since 1979, with many years as President, for Tilth Producers of Washington, the organization serving organic agriculture.

Her early focus was developing legislature and regulations to define and institute Organic Certification programs in both Washington State and at the Federal level for the National Organic Program. She was also instrumental in creating the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University. She has served on the advisory board for the CSANR since it’s inception in 1987. In 2003, she was awarded Woman of the Year by the College of Agriculture at WSU for Leadership and Public Service. Anne has continued to work closely with WSU Faculty and Administration as well as the Washington State Legislature on issues affecting rural communities and agriculture. Anne and Mike have also served as EMT/Firefighters for their local fire department for 30 years.
Charles Capaldi, Vermont farmer, author

Charles Capaldi lives on the agrarian edge, homesteading on the Vermont/Québec border with his wife, Andrea, and their three home-schooled children. He freely admits that an overdose of Laura Ingalls-Wilder, SFJ, and old Mother Earth magazines may have permanently altered his brain chemistry at a young age. Over the years, Charles has managed to keep his hands in the dirt, his retirement invested in soil fertility, and his eye on the sparrow no matter where he lived.

At 8 years old, he went to elementary school in Barranquilla, Colombia, spending weekends on a farm in Cartagena. At 16, he attended university in Angers, France, spending the summer months picking grapes at a vineyard in La Vendée. In his twenties and thirties, he ran a translation company in Minneapolis/St. Paul while running a CSA and milking a flock of dairy sheep under the sign of the Shepherd’s Oak. Charles still lives on the agrarian edge, producing as much of his food as he can and exploring the broader meaning of sustainability.

His work as an interpreter/translator/writer frequently takes him deep into the heart of the urban jungle or to the edge of the suburban hinterlands. Whether interviewing the mother of sheep dairying in Quebec, an attorney in London who represents inmates at Guantanamo Bay, or an Italian professor of socio-linguistics, Charles speaks their language. In addition to Small Farmer’s Journal, Charles’ work has been published in Odyssey, Hobby Farms, The Utne Reader, Esquire, Faces, Calliope, & Hobby Farm Home.

He’s willing to brave Baudelaire’s worms and maggots, to get knee deep in manure, sourdough or wine must — all in an effort to get at a tiny nugget of truth that can be shared with his readers.
Paul Hunter, Washington state Poet, farm advocate

Paul Hunter has lent a hand where it was needed—whether as teacher, performer, grassroots arts activist, worker on the land, or shade-tree mechanic. For the past 14 years he has published fine letterpress poetry under the imprint of Wood Works, currently including 24 books and 60 broadsides. His poems have appeared in Alaska Fisherman’s Journal, Beloit Poetry Journal, Bloomsbury Review, Iowa Review, North American Review, Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Raven Chronicles, The Small Farmer’s Journal, The Southern Review and Spoon River Poetry Review, as well as in five full-length books and three chapbooks. His first collection of farming poems, Breaking Ground, 2004, from Silverfish Review Press, was reviewed in the New York Times, and received the 2004 Washington State Book Award. A second volume of farming poems, Ripening, was published in 2007, and a third companion volume, Come the Harvest, just appeared in 2008. He was recently a featured poet on The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. Paul Hunter lives in Seattle, where he publishes letterpress books and broadsides under the imprint of Wood Works. He has three interwoven books of farming poems from his Indiana upbringing, with more on the way. A teacher, performer and lecturer, he serves on the board of the newly founded Small Farms Conservancy, and invites you to join in its work. Paul Hunter has worked corn, hay, wheat and oats, from plowing to harvest. Stretched fence, tended cattle and hogs, forked and spread manure. Fingered the full range of whatall goes in a garden. Fixed machinery. After a good while spent teaching high school English, history, arts and manners, he mostly writes, whittles, sets type, and plays music.
Larry Brewer, Oregon research scientist, farm advocate

Larry Brewer is Chairman of the Small Farms Conservancy’s Board of Directors. Born in south eastern Iowa, he spent his early youth on a small farm in Scott County that has long since been consumed by ever widening urban development. Through his teen years he spent his summers weeding bean fields, bailing hay and detasseling hybrid corn. He graduated with a BS in wildlife biology from Iowa State University and earned a MS degree at the University of Washington. He was employed by the Washington Department of Wildlife for 15 years as a research biologist, and thereafter spent 8 years in academia. He was Ecotoxicology Section Leader at the Institute of Wildlife and Environmental Toxicology at Western Washington University and later served on the faculty of the Department of Environmental Toxicology at Clemson University where he was Leader of the Ecotoxicology Section of The Institute of Wildlife and Environmental Toxicology. Today he and his wife reside in Central Oregon and he is employed as Ecotoxicologist and Director of Avian and Wildlife Toxicology for an International Environmental Consulting Firm. A major portion of his career has involved field ecotoxicological research in agricultural crops throughout the U.S. and Canada. He currently directs a research program and consults internationally to a diversity of private and government agricultural interests on topics related to environmental toxicology of pesticides and other contaminants. He is co-founder of the Small Farms Conservancy and has served in a volunteer capacity as the President of the SFC since its inception in July 2008
Lynn R. Miller, Oregon, Editor/founder Small Farmer’s Journal

Lynn R. Miller was born in Kansas City KS in 1947. He received a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute and an MFA from the University of Oregon. He majored in painting with minors in ceramics and special education. During his college years he followed his other passion and worked on farms to pay the way. He is a certified artificial insemination technician for cattle and horses with extensive private studies in bovine genetics. Before acquiring his own farm he managed a commercial goat dairy, a commercial broiler ranch, a purebred Angus cattle ranch and sheep ranches for absentee owners. His interests in alternative agriculture and one of his employers, the chairman of the international trade commission, put him in contact with key governmental and industrial players in agricultural policy. In the early 1970’s he acquired his own farm and set out to do everything organically with animal-power. He has been politically active in farmland preservation and marketing issues. His farming success brought him some national attention and notoriety. In 1976 he founded the ‘Small Farmer’s Journal’ an award winning international agrarian quarterly.

Editor and publisher of SFJ for 33 years, he is the author of 12 non-fiction farm-related books, one book of poetry and one novel. He is the author of numerous essays published in dozens of periodicals over the last 30 years. He was included in the Yale University Press compendium entitled ‘Rooted in the Land’. He is recognized globally as a premiere authority on sustainable agriculture, organics and animal-powered farming. He is the recipient of many awards including a unanimous citation from the Missouri House of Representatives for Excellence in service to Small Farms, the 1992 Garfield Award for Agricultural Preservation, the 1999 Steward of Sustainable Agriculture Award at Eco Farm, and the 2005 Utne Award for Excellence in Environmental Coverage. He has lectured and keynoted, plus delivering over one hundred workshops, clinics and demonstrations at dozens of venues throughout North America. He continues as a father, grandfather, farmer, horseman, writer, painter, educator and lecturer. His drawings and paintings are in private and public collections throughout the U.S. and Canada. He is the co-founder of the Small Farms Conservancy.