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NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 11, 2012

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

Join the NCAT Team!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Director for our Northeast Regional Office in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. This is a great opportunity for a motivated, enthusiastic individual to increase NCAT's visibility in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. The director must be experienced and skilled at building and developing relationships—particularly with small farmers and sustainable agriculture organizations—and prepared to promote NCAT's projects and services throughout the Northeast.

News & Resources

  • Field to Market Releases New Version of Fieldprint Calculator
  • Judge to Hear Oral Arguments January 31 in Lawsuit Against Monsanto
  • Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Extended
  • Organic Seed Growers Conference Track Offered as Live Webinars
  • Farm-to-Market Transportation Cost Resources Online
  • University of California Launching Conservation Agriculture Systems Institute

Funding Opportunities

  • Conservation Innovation Grants National Component
  • Regional Integrated Pest Management Program - Northeastern Region
  • North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share Program

Coming Events

  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Conference
  • Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Conference
  • Sowing the Seeds of our Food Sovereignty: OEFFA Annual Conference

News & Resources

Field to Market Releases New Version of Fieldprint Calculator
Field to Market, The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, has introduced a new version of the Fieldprint Calculator to help growers across the country identify the environmental impact of management decisions made on the farm. The calculator helps growers assess corn, wheat, soybean, cotton, and rice operations in terms of land use, soil conservation, soil carbon, water use, energy use, and greenhouse gas emissions. Field to Market, The Keystone Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, is a diverse initiative that joins producers, agribusinesses, food companies, conservation organizations, and university and agency partners seeking to create sustainable outcomes for agriculture.

Judge to Hear Oral Arguments January 31 in Lawsuit Against Monsanto
Judge Naomi Buchwald has announced that oral arguments on Monsanto's motion to dismiss the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al. v. Monsanto will be heard in federal district court January 31, 2012, in Manhattan. The lawsuit, filed in March 2011 by 83 family farmers, small and family-owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations, challenges the validity of Monsanto's transgenic/GMO patents and seeks court protection for family farmers whose crops may become contaminated by Monsanto seed.

Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Extended
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition reports that NRCS has extended the ranking period cutoff date for the 2012 Conservation Stewardship Program. Interested farmers and ranchers now have until January 27 to complete the initial application form to compete for a spot in the 2012 enrollment class for the program.

Organic Seed Growers Conference Track Offered as Live Webinars
Organic Seed Alliance and eOrganic will be offering live broadcasts from the organic plant breeding track at the 6th Organic Seed Growers Conference, January 20-21. Six free webinars are scheduled, including an introduction to on-farm plant breeding, breeding wheat and corn, and breeding for nutrition. Advance registration is required.

Farm-to-Market Transportation Cost Resources Online
The Land Stewardship Project has recently posted transportation worksheets, online calculators, and other resources on its website, for farmers who are seeking more efficient ways of transporting the food they produce to market.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Food Miles: Background and Marketing

University of California Launching Conservation Agriculture Systems Institute
Public and private-sector agricultural professionals are joining the University of California to form the Conservation Agriculture Systems Institute, formally launching January 27. CASI's aim is to bring together farmers, business leaders, public agency representatives, university, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and environmental group membership to chart long-term goals for sustainable agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley and to develop appropriate conservation agriculture production systems that will achieve these goals.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Conservation Innovation Grants National Component
The Natural Resources Conservation Service is making available Conservation Innovation Grants to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. NRCS anticipates that approximately $20 million will be available in FY 2012. Applications are requested from eligible governmental or non-governmental organizations or individuals.
The deadline to submit pre-proposals is January 31, 2012.

Regional Integrated Pest Management Program - Northeastern Region
The Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program supports projects that develop individual pest-control tactics, integrate individual tactics into an IPM system, and develop and implement extension and education programs. Land-grant institutions and state agricultural experiment stations are eligible to apply for grant awards up to $180,000.
Applications are due by February 29, 2012.

North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share Program
This program offsets the costs to value-added producers and processors for equipment purchases that are directly related to the processing, packaging, handling, and production of value-added agricultural products made with state-grown agricultural crops.
Applications must be received by March 1, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Conference
February 18-20, 2012
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Start2Farm and American Farm Bureau Federation present an opportunity to learn from experts about how to start and maintain a thriving farm or ranch business. Participants can make connections with other beginning farmers from around the United States.

Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Conference
February 17-19, 2012
Mesquite, Texas

Farmers, ranchers, gardeners, and consumers will gather for pre-conference farm tours and workshops, conference sessions on fruit, vegetable, and livestock production and marketing, and more.

Sowing the Seeds of our Food Sovereignty: OEFFA Annual Conference
February 18-19, 2012
Granville, Ohio

Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association presents an event with pre-conference sessions on slow money and no-till methods for organic systems. More than 70 workshop sessions are also planned, as well as exhibits and local food meals.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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