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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 10, 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

  • NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm in California
  • FDA to Exercise "Enforcement Discretion" for FSMA Provisions
  • Webinar Series to Help Farmers Analyze Investments in Photovoltaics
  • Cornell Small Farms Program Posts Farmer Veteran Video Tours
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture Offers Farmer-Support Trainings
  • 'Micro-machinery' Aids Intensive, Small-Scale Farmers

Funding Opportunities

  • Tennessee Nutrient Management RCPP
  • Washington State Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
  • Research Grant Proposals on Key Issues Affecting Agriculture in Pennsylvania

Coming Events

  • OEFFA Annual Conference: A Taste for Change
  • Georgia Organics Conference & Expo
  • New Mexico Organic Farming Conference

News & Resources

NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm in California
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is bringing Armed to Farm (ATF) training to California, April 16- 20, 2018. ATF gives veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and examine farming as a viable career. The program is available to military veterans in California, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Washington who are interested in starting a farm or who have recently begun farming. Applications are due by March 2, 2018.

FDA to Exercise "Enforcement Discretion" for FSMA Provisions
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it "intends to exercise enforcement discretion for certain provisions in four of the rules that implement the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)." This enforcement discretion pertains to facilities that would be farms except for certain factors and activities and to provisions in all four rules related to the control of identified hazards or microorganisms that are a potential risk to public health. FDA is considering changes to address concerns regarding the application of these provisions.

Webinar Series to Help Farmers Analyze Investments in Photovoltaics
Michigan State University Extension is hosting a six-part webinar series to provide practical guidance to farmers who are considering investing in a solar electric system. The webinars will be held once a week starting January 18, 2018. Participants will get assistance in using a federal mathematical model that considers electric production and financial assumptions to forecast potential cash savings over 25 years.
Related ATTRA Publication: Renewable Energy Opportunities on the Farm

Cornell Small Farms Program Posts Farmer Veteran Video Tours
Farm OPS, part of the Cornell Small Farms Program that offers support for veterans in agriculture, has posted several short video tours of farmer veteran agricultural operations. These include a five-minute video on John Lemondes at Elly's Acres Farm, a four-minute video introducing entrepreneur and budding farmer veteran Cindy Seymour at Serenity for Women, and a five-minute video on farmer veterans Jeff and Nina Saeli of Centurion Farm, a small fruit and vegetable farm.
Related ATTRA Publication: Veteran Resources

Minnesota Department of Agriculture Offers Farmer-Support Trainings
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture will offer "Down on the Farm: Supporting Farmers in Stressful Times," free three-hour trainings across the state. The workshop is designed to help people who work with farmers on a regular basis recognize and respond when they see farmers experiencing stress, anxiety, depression, and other challenges. MDA invites agency staff, bankers, veterinarians, crop consultants, clergy, social service and healthcare professionals, and others who work with farmers to attend.

'Micro-machinery' Aids Intensive, Small-Scale Farmers
There's a growing demand for farm machinery to serve small-scale, intensive growers, reports ABC Australia. "Micro-machinery" such as tilthers, single-row and multi-row seeders, and planters can help intensive farmers save enough time to gain an extra crop from each bed per year.
Related ATTRA Publication: Equipment & Tools for Small-Scale Intensive Crop Production

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Tennessee Nutrient Management RCPP
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service announced $1.2 million available to address resource concerns and improve the quality of Tennessee waters across the state. Producers are encouraged to sign up for assistance through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). The RCPP funds will finance cost-share on conservation projects that address factors contributing to the watershed being listed on the state 303(d) List.
The deadline to submit applications is January 19, 2018.

Washington State Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Washington State Department of Agriculture is accepting concept proposals for projects to enhance the competitiveness of Washington's specialty crops. Eligible organizations include industry associations; producer groups; commodity commissions; non-profit organizations; for-profit organizations; local, state and federal government entities; and educational institutions. Applicants may request funds for projects ranging between $25,000 and $250,000. More than $4 million in grant funding is available.
Concept proposals are due by February 5, 2018.

Research Grant Proposals on Key Issues Affecting Agriculture in Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for more than $860,000 in grant funding available to researchers interested in finding solutions to some of the most pressing and persistent problems confronting the commonwealth's farms and farmers. Among the topics prioritized are the spotted lanternfly, reducing nutrient loads, and avian vaccinations. The department will also offer micro-grants to research and support the development of micro-credentials or badges that teach specific workforce development skills, solutions to practical problems of hydroponic and aquaponic operations, and remedies to challenges common in urban agricultural operations.
Proposals are due by January 26, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

OEFFA Annual Conference: A Taste for Change
February 15-17, 2018
Dayton, Ohio

Ohio's largest sustainable food and farm conference features keynote speakers, a farm-and-food school with day-long intensives, and a wide variety of conference workshop sessions. Tracks for beginning farmers and urban farmers are offered.

Georgia Organics Conference & Expo
February 16-17, 2018
Augusta, Georgia
Conference attendees will have the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers, tour farms, cultivate new skills, and visit 70 exhibit booths. There are 10 Farmer and Community Education tracks offering hands-on and in-depth education opportunities.

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference
February 16-17, 2018
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Farmers, ranchers, and researchers from around the Southwest share their experiences and expertise. The event includes exhibits, demonstrations, keynote, networking sessions, and breakout sessions.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Podcast
Relationship Between Organic Beef Producer and Processor

Question of the Week
What are the benefits of using draft animals on the farm?

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Pastured and Free Range Poultry Course
NCAT co-sponsors this course February 22, 2018, in San Diego. Learn more.

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