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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 23, 2013

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

News & Resources

  • Francis Thicke Appointed to National Organic Standards Board
  • Global Organic Farming Expanding, Says Report
  • Participants Selected for Farmland Advisors Training Program
  • Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems Calls for Urban Agriculture Submissions
  • California Strawberry Growers Highlight Sustainable Practices
  • Hightower to Keynote TOFGA Conference

Funding Opportunities

  • The FruitGuys Community Fund
  • Illinois EQIP Conservation Innovation Grant Greenhouse Gas Program
  • Oklahoma Grown Farmers Market Specialty Crop Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Harvest New England Ag Marketing Conference & Trade Show
  • West Virginia Small Farm Conference
  • Developing Successful Small Farm Enterprises Workshop

News & Resources

Francis Thicke Appointed to National Organic Standards Board
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has appointed environmentalist and farmer Francis Thicke, Ph.D. to the National Organic Standards Board for a five-year term. An organic farmer for more than 30 years, Dr. Thicke currently operates an 80-cow, certified organic dairy in Fairfield, Iowa, producing milk, cream, yogurt, and cheese.

Global Organic Farming Expanding, Says Report
Since 1999 the global land area farmed organically has expanded more than threefold to 37 million hectares, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute. Although 84 countries had implemented organic regulations by 2010, certified organic farming was still used on only approximately 0.9 percent of the world's agricultural land.

Participants Selected for Farmland Advisors Training Program
Eighty agricultural professionals from across New England and New York have been selected to participate in Farmland Advisors, a new training program on farm transfer and farmland access options. The program will work to ensure that farmland stays in farming through a series of progressive learning and networking opportunities, including webinars, a regional conference, and peer-to-peer exchange. The two-year Farmland Advisors training program will be led by American Farmland Trust and Land For Good.

Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems Calls for Urban Agriculture Submissions
Editors are seeking papers for a special issue of Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems focusing on sustainable urban agriculture production systems, as well as the social/economic underpinnings of these systems. They are welcoming research and review papers on urban agriculture topics, as well as "From the Field" papers. If you would like to be considered for this special issue, please send guest editors Carolyn Dimitri (New York University, carolyn.dimitri@nyu.edu), Andy Pressman (National Center for Appropriate Technology-ATTRA project, andyp@ncat.org), and Lydia Oberholtzer (Penn State, lso3@psu.edu) a short abstract of the paper you suggest by February 28, 2013.

California Strawberry Growers Highlight Sustainable Practices
The California Strawberry Commission has issued "Investing in a Sustainable Future," a report that chronicles the contributions of the state's farmers to protecting the environment along California's Central Coast. It captures more than 40 years of sustainable practices—from water conservation and ozone protection to pesticide reduction and the broad-based incorporation of organic farming methods among California's strawberry farmers.
Related ATTRA Publication: Strawberries: Organic Production

Hightower to Keynote TOFGA Conference
Jim Hightower, dubbed "America's Number One Populist," will give the keynote address at the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners (TOFGA) 2013 conference in Austin. Pre-conference workshops will be held February 7, with the conference running through February 10. Hightower will speak on February 9. Two specialists with the National Center for Appropriate Technology's Southwest Regional office in San Antonio will also be among the speakers at the conference.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

The FruitGuys Community Fund
The mission of FruitGuys Community Fund is to support small, independent American farms in their efforts for greater environmental and economic health, community engagement, and advocacy that supports sustainable agriculture. In its first year, the Fund is focusing on small farms in Northern California and the Delaware Valley. Small grants of $2,500 to $5,000 will be made to farmers to aid in making their farms more sustainable.
The deadline to apply is March 1, 2013.

Illinois EQIP Conservation Innovation Grant Greenhouse Gas Program
The Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced that agricultural producers across Illinois can apply to install conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). This new EQIP option uses the NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant's Greenhouse Gas program. Farmers can submit applications to receive financial assistance to implement specific conservation practices.
Applications are due by February 15, 2013.

Oklahoma Grown Farmers Market Specialty Crop Grant Program
Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry is accepting applications for grants that will assist existing "Oklahoma Grown" farmers markets. Markets that have been registered with the Oklahoma Grown program for the last three consecutive years are eligible for up to $2,000. Markets registered for less than three years are eligible for a maximum of $1,500.
Applications must be postmarked by February 28, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Harvest New England Ag Marketing Conference & Trade Show
February 27-28, 2013
Sturbridge, Massachusetts

This event is a hands-on conference dedicated to improving marketing techniques for agribusiness, including growers, value-added producers, new farmers, farm store managers, farmers market managers, ag service providers, and others interested in agriculture. Choose from 26 workshops and a full agricultural trade show.

West Virginia Small Farm Conference
February 28 - March 2, 2013
Morgantown, West Virginia

This gathering of stakeholders in the future of local food and sustainable farming offers many types of trainings, production information, and updates, as well as networking opportunities. Several different day-long focused tracks are offered on Thursday, followed by a schedule of hour-long workshops on Friday and Saturday.

Developing Successful Small Farm Enterprises Workshop
February 25-26, 2013
Spring Hill, Tennessee

This program offered by University of Tennessee Extension and Tennessee State University Cooperative Extension is directed toward owners and potential owners of small acreages who desire information on how best to utilize their land and other resources. Workshops address financial planning, enterprise selection, soil fertility and suitability, direct marketing, value-added enterprises, agri-tourism, and more.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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© 2013 NCAT

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Question of the Week
I produce vermicompost tea from dairy waste that is first thermophilically composted to kill all pathogens and weed seeds. Under various food-safety protocols, can I apply this on soil and plants?

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ATTRA Webinars
January 31 - Organic Farm Conservation: A virtual tour, third of a four-part series on becoming an NRCS-approved TSP
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February 7 - Pastured Poultry Production and Profitability with NCAT Sustainable Poultry Specialist Terrell "Spence" Spencer
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