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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 11, 2017

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

  • Participate in the 2017 National Young Farmers Survey
  • Online Resources Help New England Farmers with Employment Laws
  • USDA Helps Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Access Programs
  • Protocol Aids Value-Added Producers with Researching Market Readiness
  • Report Offers Evidence to Support Healthy Placemaking Initiatives
  • Agroforestry Webinar Series Available Online

Funding Opportunities

  • California Fertilizer Research and Education Program Grants
  • RCPP Assistance for Soil and Water Concerns in Tennessee
  • High Country Local First Farm to School Grant

Coming Events

  • West Virginia Small Farm Conference
  • Farmers Conference at Tuskegee University
  • The Farmers Guild Entrepreneurial Intensive

News & Resources

Participate in the 2017 National Young Farmers Survey
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) has launched a national survey of beginning and aspiring farmers to assess their current needs and challenges. The survey will gather detailed data from thousands of young farmers and ranchers to shape NYFC's 2018 Farm Bill priorities and allow it to represent the interests of America's young farmers. The online survey is available until February 28, 2017.

Online Resources Help New England Farmers with Employment Laws
Farm Commons has released free online employment-law resources for farmers, tailored to New Hampshire, Vermont, and Pennsylvania. One title is Managing Risks of Interns and Volunteers. Another guide helps farmers determine if their farm workers are employees, interns, volunteers, or independent contractors. A tax and paperwork checklist for hiring an employee is also available for each of the three states.
Related ATTRA Publication: Case Studies and Fact Sheets for Labor Laws on California Small Farms

USDA Helps Women and Hispanic Farmers and Ranchers Access Programs
USDA announced that the Office of the Ombudsperson is helping women and Hispanic farmers and ranchers with accessing Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Rural Development programs. The Ombudsperson seeks a fair process for everyone involved and helps USDA identify and address issues relating to program access by women and Hispanic producers, focused strategically on programs in California, Missouri, New Mexico, and Texas.

Protocol Aids Value-Added Producers with Researching Market Readiness
Oregon State University Food Innovation Center has posted a free Market Research for Market Readiness Protocol designed to help entrepreneurial food makers and value-added farmers evaluate the products they are developing for market. The protocol includes a manual, an Excel workbook that creates a survey ballot and a report, and videos demonstrating ballot creation, data entry, and report creation.
Related ATTRA Publication: Adding Value to Farm Products: An Overview

Report Offers Evidence to Support Healthy Placemaking Initiatives
Project for Public Spaces has released The Case for Healthy Places: Improving Health through Placemaking. The report offers evidence-based guidance, recommendations, and numerous case studies to which health institutions, community organizations, and other partners can refer in order to create and support healthy placemaking initiatives. The projects and case studies highlighted in the study include several farmers markets and community gardens.
Related ATTRA Publications: Community Gardening and Community Orchards

Agroforestry Webinar Series Available Online
A four-webinar series on agroforestry, held during the past several months by Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Agroforestry, is now available for viewing online. The sessions address agroforestry opportunities and resources, multi-functional agroforestry systems, multi-functional buffers, and silvopasture.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agroforestry: An Overview

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

California Fertilizer Research and Education Program Grants
The California Department of Food and Agriculture's Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) is accepting concept proposals for funds research that advances the agronomic and environmental performance of fertilizing materials. Funding priorities are listed online.
Concept proposals are due by January 31, 2017.

RCPP Assistance for Soil and Water Concerns in Tennessee
NRCS in Tennessee announced $1.2 million in funding to expand assistance services to address resource concerns and improve the quality of waters across the state. Producers are encouraged to sign up for assistance through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). RCPP funds will finance cost-share on conservation projects.
The deadline to submit applications is January 20, 2017.

High Country Local First Farm to School Grant
The High Country Local First Farm to School Grant provides resources to develop or expand Farm to School projects and/or explore innovative practices related to Farm to School in Ashe and Watauga Counties of North Carolina. The grant is open to K-12 public and private schools and early-child-care education providers.
Applications are due February 15, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

West Virginia Small Farm Conference
February 12-14, 2017
Charleston, West Virginia

This conference seeks to unlock the potential of West Virginia small farms to produce food profitably and to help small farms transition from commodity production to food production for community and local consumption.

Farmers Conference at Tuskegee University
February 15-17, 2017
Tuskegee, Alabama

This two-day educational forum features tours, panel discussions, interactive demonstrations, and concurrent workshops. The theme for this year's conference is "100 Years after Booker T. Washington, A Century of Agriculture and Education in the South."

The Farmers Guild Entrepreneurial Intensive
February 11-12, 2017
Humboldt, California
This two-day series of interactive workshops will provide new and aspiring farmers with a solid introduction to the entrepreneurial skills needed to succeed, a valuable supplement to on-farm experience.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Resource
Crop Planning for Vegetable Farmers

Question of the Week
What is biochar?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

ATTRA Live
NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialists will be appearing at events across the country early in 2017. Check our list of coming workshops to find one near you.

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