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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 3, 2018

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

News & Resources

  • UN Designates World Bee Day; Decade of Family Farming; Aquaculture Year
  • FSMA Rules for Large Produce Growers Take Effect in January
  • Organic Farming Program Awarded Beginning Farmer Grant
  • Using Unconventional Spaces for Renewable Energy Could Spare Prime Agriculture Lands
  • Seaweed Farming Grows in Maine
  • Southwest Wisconsin Pastured Poultry Processing Group Explores Options

Funding Opportunities

  • Farmers Advocating for Organic
  • Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative
  • Next Step Grants

Coming Events

  • Midwest Soil Health Summit
  • Healthy Farms Conference
  • OGRAIN Winter Workshop

News & Resources

UN Designates World Bee Day; Decade of Family Farming; Aquaculture Year
The United Nations has designated May 20 as World Bee Day. The annual observance acknowledges the role of bees not only as pollinators, but as providers of honey. In addition, the UN determined that 2019 will mark the beginning of the UN Decade of Family Farming, drawing more attention to the people who produce more than 80% of the world's food. The UN also declared 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, which will help focus attention on small-scale fishermen and women.

FSMA Rules for Large Produce Growers Take Effect in January
Approximately 6,000 produce growers in the United States will have to comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act's (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule beginning January 26, 2018, says the American Farm Bureau Federation. The rule addresses worker health and hygiene, biological soil amendments, worker training, animal contamination, and equipment. Implementation of the agricultural water provisions of the rule has been delayed until 2022.

Organic Farming Program Awarded Beginning Farmer Grant
Rodale Institute and Delaware Valley University have been awarded a $498,706, three-year Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant in support of their joint Organic Farming Program. The one-year program includes two semesters at the University and one semester at Rodale Institute. Students graduate with the knowledge and experience necessary to start or work on a small-scale organic farm.

Using Unconventional Spaces for Renewable Energy Could Spare Prime Agriculture Lands
A study led by the University of California, Davis says that siting renewable-energy generation on unconventional spaces could spare other lands for agriculture, wildlife habitat, and other high-value uses. Researchers suggest that rooftops, salt-affected land, contaminated land, and water reservoirs could play host to enough solar arrays and other renewable energy equipment to meet demand, alleviating land-use conflicts.

Seaweed Farming Grows in Maine
Seaweed farming is on the rise in Maine, according to a feature in Civil Eats. Maine's coastline offers a good location, and the kelp-growing season dovetails with lobstering to provide opportunity for year-round employment. Organizations and institutions in the region are investing in research and training for seaweed production. Also, consumer demand is growing as people realize how healthy and versatile seaweed is as a food.
Related ATTRA Publication: Ecological Fisheries and Ocean Farming

Southwest Wisconsin Pastured Poultry Processing Group Explores Options
The Southwest Wisconsin Pastured Poultry Processing Working Group has formed to explore the possibility of launching a regional USDA-inspected poultry-processing plant, reports Agri-View. Producers are interested in finding affordable, nearby processing options for poultry, as well as waterfowl and rabbits. The group plans to apply for a USDA Value-Added Grant to assess regional processing demand, availability, and costs.
Related ATTRA Publication: Small-Scale Poultry Processing

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Farmers Advocating for Organic
By combining resources, Organic Valley farmers are able to invest in projects that affect the livelihoods of organic farmers across the country. Grants are awarded to research, education, and advocacy projects focused on protecting and promoting organic in ways aligned with strategic priorities identified by the program. One-time grants are awarded in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. A Letter of Inquiry is required; if the LOI is approved, an organization will be invited to submit a full application.
The next application deadline is February 15, 2018.

Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative
Michigan farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin can submit applications for 2018 conservation financial assistance through the Tri-State Western Lake Erie Basin Phosphorus Reduction Initiative RCPP. Financial assistance is available for implementing conservation practices that improve water quality and soil health.
Applications are due by January 19, 2018.

Next Step Grants
Community Food Co Op's Next Step Grant program is designed to support Whatcom County, Washington, farmers who want to expand their business to supply wholesale markets. Next Step will accept proposals for grants of $1,250 to $5,000. The Next Step Project pairs grant funding with loans or other investments to increase the amount, quality, and availability of local food.
The application deadline is January 12, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Midwest Soil Health Summit
February 14-15, 2018
Fergus Falls, Minnesota

The Sustainable Farming Association's Midwest Soil Health Summit features a years-in-the-making soil-data release, discussion tables, speakers, a trade show, and more
.

Healthy Farms Conference
February 9-10, 2018
Lincoln, Nebraska
Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society's annual conference includes a keynote by Wes Jackson, as well as numerous breakout sessions and a full program of youth activities.

OGRAIN Winter Workshop
January 26-27, 2018
Madison, Wisconsin

This event for new, experienced, and future organic grain farmers deals with all things organic grain, such as beginning and advanced agronomics, marketing and financials, and equipment/machinery.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Podcast
Organic Slaughterhouse Setup

Question of the Week
What problems can result from methionine deficiency in organic poultry production?

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Coming Events
NCAT's ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program is co-sponsoring several events in January, in locations across the country. Learn more.

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