Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 6, 2016
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
- Final Rule Exempts Organic Products from Commodity Promotion Programs
- Study Explores Pest-Removal Services of Birds on Organic Farms
- USDA Announces Focused Support for Iowa Nutrient Management and Water Quality
- Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Scholarships Available
- Cornell University to Be Home to Institute for Food Safety
- NOFA-NY Introduces Organic Dairy Transition Project
- Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative
- Nevada Sagebrush Ecosystem Program
- Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program
- OEFFA Conference
- NOFA Vermont Winter Conference
- Sustainable Farming Association Annual Conference
News & Resources
Final Rule Exempts Organic Products from Commodity Promotion Programs
USDA has issued a final rule to expand the exemption for certified organic products from assessments collected by commodity promotion programs and marketing orders. The exemption is now available for all "organic" and "100 percent organic" products and extends to producers, handlers, marketers, processors, manufacturers, feeders, or importers. The rule will be effective on February 29, 2016.
Study Explores Pest-Removal Services of Birds on Organic Farms
Researchers at Humboldt State University have published the results of a study on the pest-removal services provided by birds on organic farms in northern California. It found that the probability of caterpillar-pest removal by birds was higher in areas close to hedgerows, but that birds may be more helpful in responding to pest outbreaks than in controlling pests at non-irruptive densities.
USDA Announces Focused Support for Iowa Nutrient Management and Water Quality
USDA has announced new efforts to help Iowa's farmers and livestock producers conserve water and soil resources and improve nutrient-management practices. USDA will invest an estimated $660 million over the next decade to ensure that the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, and Agricultural Conservation Easement Program are coordinated and that they reinforce the state of Iowa's watershed approach for nutrient management. Other efforts will promote wetland restoration, full use of the Conservation Reserve Program, and full utilization and leveraging of the Regional Conservation Partnership Program.
Organic Agriculture Research Symposium Scholarships Available
The Organic Farming Research Foundation is accepting applications for scholarships to attend the Organic Agriculture Research Symposium on January 20, 2016, at the EcoFarm Conference in Asilomar, California. Students, farmers, and researchers who would like to apply should submit a letter of interest by January 10, 2016.
Cornell University to Be Home to Institute for Food Safety
Cornell University is establishing a new Institute for Food Safety, a comprehensive center combining food-safety research and training for New York growers and producers. The institute will be located at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. Cornell scientists and Extension staff will work together on applied research, outreach, and training.
NOFA-NY Introduces Organic Dairy Transition Project
NOFA-NY has announced a new program to help dairy farmers transition to organic management. Farmers who participate will gain a working knowledge of the organic industry, learn how to manage their farm organically to meet certification standards, and be on their way to organic certification upon completion of this project.
Related ATTRA Publication: Guide for Organic Livestock Producers
>> More Breaking News
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Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative
First Nations Development Institute is accepting grant proposals under its Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative. As many as 10 grant awards averaging $30,000 each will support projects that aim to strengthen local food-system control; increase access to local, healthy, and traditional foods; and decrease food insecurity and food deserts, all with an emphasis on serving Native American children and families.
Applications are due by January 25, 2016.
Nevada Sagebrush Ecosystem Program
The State of Nevada has funds available for projects that will enhance and restore high-quality greater sage-grouse habitat on private and public land and create a supply of "compensatory mitigation credits" to be used in the Nevada Conservation Credit System. Up to $1 million of funding is available for projects that can be initiated in 2016.
A letter of interest must be submitted by February 8, 2016.
Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is accepting grant applications for projects to support the growth, development, and marketing of local food and seafood in Rhode Island. Nonprofit organizations, farmers, fishermen/women, and producer groups based in Rhode Island are eligible to apply for a maximum of $20,000.
Applications are due by February 16, 2016.
>> More Funding Opportunities
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February 13-14, 2016
Ohio's largest sustainable food and farm conference has the theme "Growing Right by Nature." Nearly 100 workshops will address organic farming, livestock, gardening, marketing, business management, food and farm policy, sustainable living, and more.
NOFA Vermont Winter Conference
February 13-15, 2016
This conference on "Our Soil, Our Health" will have 87 workshops for commercial organic producers, localvores, homesteaders, and gardeners. There are three featured workshop tracks: Community and School Gardens, Food Systems Solutions, and Direct Marketing.
Sustainable Farming Association Annual Conference
February 13, 2016
St. Joseph, Minnesota
"Cultivating the Wisdom of the Community" is the conference theme for Minnesota's farmer networking showcase. SFA members can submit talks on subjects relating to sustainable farming and food systems.
>> More Events
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