Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 7, 2009
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* Farm to School Video Contest in Progress
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* Jackson and Berry Call for 50-year Farm Bill
* Pasture Access Rule Listening Session Transcripts Posted
* Hospital System Announces Sustainable Food Purchasing
* Food-grade Soybeans Enhance Profit Potential
* Interest Rises in Sustainable Kosher Meat
* USDA National Scholars Program
* Strategic Agricultural Initiative Grant, EPA Region 3
* Viticulture Consortium - East Request for Proposals
* Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show
* Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association Annual Conference
* Oregon Extension Small Farms Conference
News & Resources
Farm to School Video Contest in Progress
Farm to School is sponsoring a video contest that invites participants to upload a 30-second to 3-minute video to You Tube that completes the phrase "Real food is..." The contest seeks video that informs, inspires, and encourages student advocacy to restore connections to community, food, land, and place through Farm to Cafeteria programs. Two winners, one k-12 video and one college video entry, will receive $1,000 for their cafeteria food project, and an opportunity for a representative to attend the National Farm to Cafeteria conference in March. Video entries are due by February 8, 2009.
Jackson and Berry Call for 50-year Farm Bill
Writing in an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times, Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson argue for a long-term farm policy that supports the restoration of ecological health to agricultural landscapes. They outline a future for agriculture based on care for the soil and use of perennial plants. They conclude by calling for "a 50-year farm bill that addresses forthrightly the problems of soil loss and degradation, toxic pollution, fossil-fuel dependency and the destruction of rural communities."
Pasture Access Rule Listening Session Transcripts Posted
The National Organic Program has posted the transcripts of listening sessions held in December in Pennsylvania, Texas and California on its proposed access to pasture regulation. The transcripts are available as PDF files.
Hospital System Announces Sustainable Food Purchasing
Catholic Healthcare West, a system of 41 hospitals and medical centers in California, Arizona and Nevada, has announced its plans to promote sustainable food production practices through its food purchasing policies. In particular, the company is asking its suppliers to seek alternatives to genetically modified sugar and avoid meat and dairy produced with animal clones. According to a press release, the concerns CHW is raising about genetically engineered and cloned foods are genetic contamination, increased pesticide use, animal cruelty, and the deep ethical and moral issues associated with these untested new technologies.
Food-grade Soybeans Enhance Profit Potential
Growing food grade soybeans can offer producers more profit potential, according to Illinois Ag Connection. In particular, identity-preserved, organic, or non-GMO food-grade soybeans can offer price premiums. This year's premium for non-GMO beans was $3.40 a bushel. There is high and increasing demand for these products internationally. The number of enhanced-trait varieties of soybeans is also increasing, says the article, providing growers more opportunities.
Related ATTRA Publications: Edible Soybean Production and Marketing
Organic Soybean Production
Interest Rises in Sustainable Kosher Meat
Ancient religious guidelines dictate how kosher certified meat must be slaughtered and handled, and require that the animal must be healthy at time of slaughter. Some observant Jews are concerned, however, that kosher certification doesn't include enough consideration of how the animal was raised, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Would-be consumers point to a dearth of meat that is both sustainably produced and kosher. The article describes how sustainable food advocates arranged the kosher slaughter of turkeys in the Bay Area recently.
> More Breaking News
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USDA National Scholars Program
USDA/1890 National Scholars Program applications are now being accepted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the 2009 academic school year. The scholarship program between USDA and the 1890 Land-Grant Universities and Tuskegee University expands diversity through the recruitment of talented students to public service in agriculture-related fields, including food sciences, natural resource sciences and agricultural sciences. USDA/1890 scholarship recipients receive full tuition, fees, books, use of laptop computers and printers, software, employment and benefits for each of the four years they pursue a Bachelor's degree. For each year of the scholarship, students receive room and board provided by the partnering institutions. Students are required to work one year at USDA for each year of their scholarship.
Proposals are due February 1, 2009.
Strategic Agricultural Initiative Grant, EPA Region 3
EPA Region III is soliciting proposals to help implement the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) and to support efforts by the agricultural community to "transition" away from high risk pesticides to the use of less and reduced risk pesticides and alternative methods of pest control in minor food crop production. The program supports grants for education, extension, demonstration, and field projects for FQPA transition and reduced risk practices for pest management in agriculture. Projects up to $55,000 will be considered for funding. EPA Region III encompasses Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Proposals are due January 30, 2009.
Viticulture Consortium - East Request for Proposals
Two means of funding for grape Research and Extension education in the Eastern U.S. include the federally funded Viticulture Consortium and various industry-sponsored funding programs within different states. The Viticulture Consortium has enhanced its emphasis on technology transfer and Extension education to facilitate rapid adoption of new knowledge, practices, and technology by grape producers. To encourage increased adoption by producers: 1) All applied research projects must contain a budgeted technology transfer component; and 2) A separate category for technology transfer has been created to encourage and support proposals specifically designed to address educational needs. A list of research priorities is available online.
Proposals are due January 23, 2009.
> More Funding Opportunities
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Harvest New England Agricultural Marketing Conference and Trade Show
February 25-26, 2009
This event offers pre-conference workshops on farmers' markets and agritourism, general and breakout sessions on promoting, advancing, expanding and sustaining your business, and a trade show. Scholarships are available to qualified farmers.
Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association Annual Conference
February 21-22, 2009
"The Changing Climate of Agriculture," OEFFA's 30th annual conference, features nearly 50 workshops, local food, a kids' conference, keynote speakers Fred Kirschenmann and Melinda Hemmelgarn, and a trade show.
Oregon Extension Small Farms Conference
February 21, 2009
The 9th annual Extension Small Farms Conference features keynote speaker Michael Rozyne, founder of Red Tomato, who will speak on The Dignity Deal: Red Tomato's Fresh Approach to Marketing Produce. The conference also includes 12 concurrent sessions, covering a range of topics of interest to growers who market their production directly to the public, for farmers’ markets managers, and for community food advocates.
> More Events
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