Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 16, 2019
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
- Guidebooks Help Organic Farmers Manage Risks
- Report Shares Lessons Learned from Kansas Specialty Crop Growers
- Podcast Series on Food, Farming, and the Future Debuts
- Interactive Soil Health Infographic Available
- American Farm Bureau Federation Convention Highlights Potential of Industrial Hemp
- California Community Crowdfunding Goat Vegetation Management
- Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
- Michigan Specialty Crop Block Grants
- Minnesota AGRI Value-Added Grant Program
- OEFFA Annual Conference
- New Mexico Organic Farming Conference
News & Resources
Guidebooks Help Organic Farmers Manage Risks
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), in cooperation with USDA-Risk Management Agency, has released two informative new guidebooks on how organic and transitioning growers can manage on-farm risk through crop insurance programs and sound soil-health management. Introduction to Crop Insurance for Organic and Transitioning Producers and Reducing Risks Through Best Soil Health Management Practices in Organic Crop Production are free online in PDF.
Related ATTRA Resources: Risk Management
Report Shares Lessons Learned from Kansas Specialty Crop Growers
The Kansas Rural Center has published a 42-page report, Lessons Learned from Specialty Crop Growers Across Kansas, which is available online. The report is a compilation of five previously published profiles of successful Kansas specialty crop growers, plus a discussion between experienced and beginning specialty crop growers. Crops covered include vegetables, fruits, and direct-market grassfed beef, lamb, and chicken.
Podcast Series on Food, Farming, and the Future Debuts
Flipping the Table, a new podcast series featuring honest conversations about food, farming, and the future, debuted January 15, 2019. Michael R. Dimock, program director of Roots of Change at the Public Health Institute, is host for the series. Eight episodes have been announced to date, featuring dynamic and enlightening conversations with people who are creating new ways to feed the world.
Interactive Soil Health Infographic Available
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has posted an interactive infographic, "What Is Soil Health: An Interactive Exploration of Soil Health and How to Improve It." Visitors to the SARE website can click on icons in the infographic to learn more about cover crops, crop rotation, manure amendments, composting, and the complex web of life below the surface of the soil.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Soil Health
American Farm Bureau Federation Convention Highlights Potential of Industrial Hemp
A panel presenting at the American Farm Bureau Federation's convention outlined the politics, agronomics, and economics of industrial hemp. The 2018 Farm Bill removed hemp from the Controlled Substances Act, which opens new opportunities for farmers. Speakers advised farmers to first secure a buyer and to consider availability of labor. The speakers recommended that growers consider hemp as part of a crop rotation rather than growing it as a single crop.
California Community Crowdfunding Goat Vegetation Management
Nevada City, California, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay for vegetation-management services to lower fire danger, reports Wired. 'Goat Fund Me' was created by the town's vice-mayor, who realized that seeking grant funding to pay the $1,000 per acre to have goats clear underbrush to reduce the area's combustible fuel load would take months.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Vegetation Management Services
>>More Breaking News
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Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
Annie's is accepting applications from undergraduate or graduate students studying organic and/or regenerative agriculture. The Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship program supports students working to shape the future of the food system through the lens of three regenerative agriculture principles: Building soil health, fostering aboveground biodiversity, and promoting resilient farm communities.
Applications are due by March 15, 2019.
Michigan Specialty Crop Block Grants
Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is accepting applications for Specialty Crop Block Grants to enhance the competitiveness of Michigan specialty crops. The funds can be used for promotion, marketing, research, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, food security, plant health programs, education, and more. Maximum award amount is $100,000. Non-profit or for-profit organizations are eligible to apply, as are local, state, and federal government entities, including tribal governments.
Applications are due by February 27, 2019.
Minnesota AGRI Value-Added Grant Program
Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for $2.5 million in grant funding through the AGRI Value-Added Grant Program. This program increases sales of Minnesota agricultural products by diversifying markets, increasing market access, and increasing food safety of value-added products through equipment purchases and facility improvements. New or established for-profit businesses can apply for funding to support start-up, expansion, and updates; develop the processing and aggregating capacity of farmers selling to institutions; and increase food safety. Matching grants reimburse up to 25% of the overall project cost.
Applications are due by March 8, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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February 14-16, 2019
Billed as "The Study of a Sustainable Food Future," Organicology features workshops, all-day intensives, and a large trade show. Keynote speakers are Patrick Holden, Winona LaDuke, and a panel of regional organic farmers.
OEFFA Annual Conference
February 14-16, 2019
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association hosts its 40th annual conference, "Just Farming: The path before us." The event includes Food and Farm School, social events, six workshop sessions, keynote speakers, and an exhibit hall.
New Mexico Organic Farming Conference
February 15-16, 2019
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The New Mexico Organic Farming Conference features a mix of workshop sessions and social events. NCAT's Rex Dufour and Dave Scott will speak at the conference.
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ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
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