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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 2, 2013

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Harvesting Clean Energy Conference Coming Soon!
Now in its 12th year, Harvesting Clean Energy focuses on the practical steps to successful project development. Learn about wind power, a range of bio-energy technologies, solar and geothermal resources, microhydro, energy innovation in the food-processing sector, and efficiency technologies to reduce energy costs and enhance profitability. The conference takes place January 27-29, 2013, in Corvallis, Oregon. Register today!

News & Resources

  • USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Seeks Membership Nominations
  • Study and Guide on Farmers Market Sampling Released
  • Publications Aim to Increase Access to Farmers Markets for Low-Income Consumers
  • Niche Marketing Guide Available for Kansas Farmers
  • Kentucky Introducing 'Homegrown Hero' Label for Veterans' Produce
  • Culinary Forecast for 2013 Emphasizes Local Sourcing

Funding Opportunities

  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Sustainable Bioenergy
  • Minnesota Value Added Grant Program
  • Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado

Coming Events

  • Carolina Organic Commodities & Livestock Conference
  • Healthy Farms Conference
  • It Takes a Region Conference (Rescheduled)

News & Resources

USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Seeks Membership Nominations
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is soliciting nominations for two-year membership terms on its Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. This Committee advises the Secretary of Agriculture on matters broadly affecting new farmers and ranchers. Nominations are due by January 16, 2013.

Study and Guide on Farmers Market Sampling Released
Farmers market vendors who offer samples see an immediate effect on what customers purchase, says the 2011 Regional Farm Market Sampling Survey. The survey, conducted by researchers in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, determined that 55 percent of respondents purchased the sampled product the same day, though they had not originally planned to do so. Members of UK's Department of Agricultural Economics have recently written and released Best Practices for Sampling at Farmers Markets: A Practical Guide for Farmers Market Vendors, a free online manual for farmers and farmers market managers interested in learning the best practices for providing samples to patrons.

Publications Aim to Increase Access to Farmers Markets for Low-Income Consumers
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and its Local Food Research Center recently produced two resources for communities interested in increasing low-income consumers' access to fresh local food at farmers markets. Sharing the Harvest: A Guide to Bridging the Divide Between Farmers Markets and Low-Income Shoppers is a 12-page PDF resource to help communities build a bridge over the divide between farmers markets and low-income shoppers. The full project report, Farmers Markets for All: Exploring Barriers and Opportunities for Increasing Fresh Food Access by Connecting Low-Income Communities with Farmers Markets, is also available online.

Niche Marketing Guide Available for Kansas Farmers
Farm producers interested in selling their goods into local, niche, and direct markets have a new resource from the Kansas Rural Center. Finding Your Niche: A Marketing Guide for Kansas Farms provides information for farms producing a wide range of products. Topics include how to set prices, develop a wholesale business with restaurants and institutions, set-up online marketing, and more. The guide also includes a special section for beginning farmers.

Kentucky Introducing 'Homegrown Hero' Label for Veterans' Produce
In Kentucky, a program called Growing Warriors is helping veterans get started in growing their own food or launching into small-scale farming, reports Kentucky.com. Meanwhile, the Kentucky Department of Agriculture has come up with a new logo, Homegrown by Heroes, to put on veteran-grown products. Discussion is underway about licensing the logo nationwide to promote veteran-grown products at point of sale.

Culinary Forecast for 2013 Emphasizes Local Sourcing
The National Restaurant Association's "What's Hot in 2013" survey of more than 1,800 professional chefs revealed that children's nutrition and local sourcing will continue to be the hottest trends on restaurant menus. According to the survey, the top trend for 2013 will be locally sourced meats and seafood, followed by locally grown produce. Also on the top-10 list: environmental sustainability as a culinary theme and hyper-local sourcing (restaurant gardens).

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Sustainable Bioenergy
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Sustainable Bioenergy Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year 2013. Specific program areas are designed to achieve the long-term outcome of reducing dependence on foreign oil through production of regionally appropriate sustainable bioenergy systems. Approximately $10 million is anticipated to fund single-function Research Projects, multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants.
A letter of intent must be submitted by January 28, 2013.

Minnesota Value Added Grant Program
This grant program administered by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture supports Minnesota agricultural producers and processors in expanding markets for Minnesota products. Applications that have a meat processing or farm to school component, or are addressing a Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) or similar food safety plan, will receive priority. Two types of grants are awarded: business planning and equipment purchases.
Proposals must be received by March 1, 2013.

Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado
Sponsors are seeking nominations for the 2013 Leopold Conservation Award in Colorado. The $10,000 award recognizes Colorado landowners who demonstrate outstanding stewardship and sustainable management of natural resources.
The nomination deadline is February 8, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Carolina Organic Commodities & Livestock Conference
February 14-15, 2013
Rocky Mount, North Carolina

The conference includes on-farm workshops at an organic dairy and an organic vegetable farm, as well as a keynote speaker and workshops on organic grain varieties, organic tobacco production, holistic vet care, soil fertility, and organic disease management.

Healthy Farms Conference
February 15-16, 2013
Omaha, Nebraska

This year's agenda offers a number of breakout sessions with topics ranging from urban agriculture to hugelkultur to rotational grazing in a drought. There will also be keynote speakers and a full schedule of youth programming.

It Takes a Region Conference (Rescheduled)
February 10-12, 2013
Saratoga Springs, New York

Originally scheduled for October, the NESAWG conference was postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. The conference will offer in-depth working sessions, provocative debates and hands-on exercises. It will tackle important questions about the 12-state regional food system and how to strengthen it.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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