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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 24, 2018

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

  • Guidebook to FSA Loans Helps Farmers Navigate Credit Options
  • Conservation Stewardship Program Signup Cutoff for 2018 is March 2
  • EcoFarm Conference Keynotes to Stream Live
  • Northeast SARE Issues Annual Report
  • Montana Project on Empowering Women in Agriculture Receives Funding
  • International Study Compiles Atlas of Soil Microbes

Funding Opportunities

  • Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
  • Lakewinds Organic Field Fund
  • Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program

Coming Events

  • Piedmont Women in Agriculture Conference & Gathering
  • Southwest Missouri Spring Forage & Heart of America Grazing Conference
  • Pastured & Free-Range Poultry Workshop

News & Resources

Guidebook to FSA Loans Helps Farmers Navigate Credit Options
The National Young Farmers Coalition has published a guidebook to help young farmers and ranchers navigate the credit options offered by the USDA Farm Service Agency. Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with Federal Loans is written for farmers and ranchers who want to access low-interest federal credit options. The 50-page illustrated guidebook is available online in PDF.
Related ATTRA Publication: Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers

Conservation Stewardship Program Signup Cutoff for 2018 is March 2
Producers have until March 2, 2018, to submit an application for the 2018 Conservation Stewardship Program. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition reports that NRCS will enroll an additional 10 million acres of cropland, pastureland, rangeland, and forestland in CSP for the 2018 signup period. Producers initiate the application process by submitting a basic form to their local NRCS office.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching

EcoFarm Conference Keynotes to Stream Live
The 38th annual EcoFarm Conference, "Sow Good," will stream all its keynote speakers on Facebook Live. "Regenerating our Soils: Hope for Farming & Climate" is the evening of January 24, 2018, with Ray Archuleta, Gabe Brown, and David Johnson. Thursday's afternoon keynote is by Doria Robinson and John Ikerd. Friday morning's keynote is by successful organic farmers Jean-Martin Fortier, Deborah Harley, and Javier Zamora. Finally, the morning keynote on Saturday is by Winona LaDuke.

Northeast SARE Issues Annual Report
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has published its first annual report, looking back at its past 30 years and ahead to the future. Innovations in Sustainable Agriculture is available free online. In 2017, the 86 SARE-funded projects completed in the Northeast Region trained 7,820 farmers and 462 agricultural service providers through 168 workshops and other events, and produced 40 guides, fact sheets, and related educational products.

Montana Project on Empowering Women in Agriculture Receives Funding
Professors at Montana State University and Flathead Valley Community College have received USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funding for a project titled "Empowering Women in Agriculture." The multifaceted project includes a course on women in the agricultural workforce, a statewide survey of Montana women who work in agriculture, funding for up to 10 paid interns, and a two-day public summit on women in agriculture.

International Study Compiles Atlas of Soil Microbes
An international study led by the University of Colorado, Boulder has compiled the first global atlas of soil bacterial communities and identified a group of around 500 key species that are both common and abundant. These species consistently accounted for almost half of the soil bacterial communities worldwide. Researchers believe that further study of these common bacteria could provide a key to improving soil health and fertility.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for $17.6 million in grants through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). OREI supports research, education, and extension programs that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high-quality organic agricultural products. Eligible entities include land-grant and other research universities, federal agencies, national laboratories, state agricultural experiment stations, research foundations, and other private researchers.
Applications must be received by March 1, 2018.

Lakewinds Organic Field Fund
Lakewinds Organic Field Fund (LOFF) supports local farmers and farming associations by making direct grants up to $8,000 to further the goals of organic or transitional farms and the organizations that support them. LOFF is open to all farmers and farming associations, but preference will be given to those in Minnesota, northern Iowa, and western Wisconsin. Funding is available for organic certification, non-profits that support sustainable and organic agriculture, transitioning a conventional farm to organic, early-stage organic farms, or education and training related to organic farming.
Applications are due by February 2, 2018.

Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grants Program. Priorities for 2018 include supporting the entry, growth, and sustainability of small or beginning agriculture producers (including aquaculture) and fishermen/women; fostering collaboration; supporting new products and sales channels; enhancing access to land; and addressing needs identified in Rhode Island's food strategy.
Applications are due by March 1, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Piedmont Women in Agriculture Conference & Gathering
February 23-24, 2018
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Join Piedmont Women in Agriculture for its first conference and gathering, "Women: Building Grassroots Coalitions to Grow Healthy Food in Our Communities." Become involved and learn about how female farmers are building the region's local food system.

Southwest Missouri Spring Forage & Heart of America Grazing Conference
February 26-27, 2018
Springfield, Missouri
The 2018 Spring Forage Conference is being held in partnership with the Heart of America Grazing Conference. It features keynote speakers, a trade show, and multiple breakout sessions.

Pastured & Free-Range Poultry Workshop
February 22, 2018
San Diego, California

This one-day workshop offers essential information on husbandry practices, housing, records maintenance, biosecurity, and more. The course will include both lecture and hands-on labs.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Podcast
Crop Planning and Labor Costs

Question of the Week
What are the treatment options for coccidiosis in goats?

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Our Farms,
Our Future

NCAT and SARE host this once-in-a-decade event April 3-5, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri. Learn more.

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