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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 18, 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

  • USDA Offers Accreditation Program for Transitional Organic Products
  • FSA Bridges to Opportunity Expands Nationwide
  • Guide to Animal Welfare Certifications Offered
  • Pilot Program to Accredit Certifiers for American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture
  • CRP Grasslands Enrollment Meets Small-Scale Goal
  • Apply to Become a FoodCorps Service Member

Funding Opportunities

  • Frontera Farmer Foundation Grants
  • National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
  • Conservation Innovation Grants in Arkansas

Coming Events

  • Georgia Organics Conference & Expo
  • New Mexico Organic Farming Conference
  • Soil Health Conference

News & Resources

USDA Offers Accreditation Program for Transitional Organic Products
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting applications from existing organic-accredited certifying agents to certify agricultural products as "Transitional." AMS will utilize a standard for transitional agricultural products that was developed by the Organic Trade Association. Certifiers should submit applications by February 28, 2017, for this National Certified Transitional Program.

FSA Bridges to Opportunity Expands Nationwide
USDA Farm Service Agency is expanding its Bridges to Opportunity program nationwide. The program connects producers with resources, programs, and educational services offered across the department, as well as by other USDA partner organizations. Bridges to Opportunity allows FSA employees to search and obtain a list of all local, state, regional, and national organizations that may be able to assist local producers with their specific needs.

Guide to Animal Welfare Certifications Offered
ASPCA partnered with Vermont Law School's Center for Agriculture and Food Systems to create a new tool for farmers, the Farm Animal Welfare Certification Guide. The guide covers three welfare certification programs: Animal Welfare Approved, Certified Humane®, and Global Animal Partnership. The guide provides detailed comparisons of the standards and processes required by each program, presents six candid farmer case studies, and outlines funding options available to farmers investing in animal welfare.

Pilot Program to Accredit Certifiers for American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture
Leonardo Academy Inc. has signed an agreement with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to accredit certifiers for ANSI/LEO-4000, the American National Standard for Sustainable Agriculture. ANSI has launched a Pilot Accreditation Program for certifiers and is accepting applications for this pilot through March 10, 2017.

CRP Grasslands Enrollment Meets Small-Scale Goal
USDA will accept more than 300,000 acres in 43 states for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands enrollment ranking period that closed on December 16, 2016. This enrollment period included for the first time a CRP Grasslands practice specifically tailored for small-scale livestock operations with 100 or fewer head of grazing cows. USDA met its goal of 200,000 acres enrolled under this small-scale initiative during this ranking period.

Apply to Become a FoodCorps Service Member
FoodCorps recruits talented leaders for a year of paid public service building healthy school food environments in limited-resource communities. Together with communities, FoodCorps serves to connect kids in 17 states and Washington, D.C., to healthy food in school through food and nutrition education, hands-on gardening and cooking activities, and putting local food on cafeteria trays. Applications for joining the FoodCorps cohort for the 2017-2018 school year are due by March 15, 2017.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Frontera Farmer Foundation Grants
The Frontera Farmer Foundation will award grants for capital improvements of up to $12,000 to small and medium-size, individually owned farms that sell their food products to customers in the Chicago area at farmers markets and otherwise. Farmers must have been in business for at least three years and must demonstrate how the grant will improve both their farm’s viability and the availability of locally grown food products in the Chicago area.
Completed applications must be received by March 4, 2017.

National Organic Certification Cost Share Program
This program provides cost-share assistance to producers and handlers of agricultural products who are obtaining or renewing their certification under the National Organic Program. Certified operations may receive up to 75% of their certification costs paid October 1, 2016, through September 30, 2017, not to exceed $750 per certification scope. Producers and handlers may submit applications to FSA county offices beginning on March 20, 2017, or they may apply through participating State Agencies.
State agencies must apply by February 17, 2017.

Conservation Innovation Grants in Arkansas
NRCS has announced approximately $300,000 in funding available through the Conservation Innovation Grants program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies within Arkansas. State, tribal, and local governmental entities; non-governmental organizations; and individuals may apply. Individual grant awards may not exceed $75,000.
Proposals are due by March 3, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Georgia Organics Conference & Expo
February 17-18, 2017
Atlanta, Georgia

20th Anniversary Conference attendees will connect with like-minded peers, tour farms, cultivate new skills, and view exhibit booths with innovative food- and agriculture-related information that will build stronger farms, school gardens, and communities.

New Mexico Organic Farming Conference
February 17-18, 2017
Albuquerque, New Mexico

This conference brings organic growers in the region together to explore and learn the unique aspects of the Southwest. Farmers, ranchers, and researchers share their experiences and expertise.

Soil Health Conference
February 16-17, 2017
Ames, Iowa
"Building Soil Health for Healthy Environment and Farm Profitability" features speakers from academia, farmers, USDA, non-profits, and industry, presenting views concerning soil health understanding, challenges, and potential management practices.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Resource
Working with Your Meat Processor

Question of the Week
What are the basic steps for oilseed production?

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

Farm Finances & Farm Service Agency Assistance Programs
January 19, 2017
Cleveland, Mississippi
Contact rockw@ncat.org for information on this free one-day workshop.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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