Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - January 30, 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.
Join the NCAT Team!
NCAT is seeking a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist based in our Davis, California, office who wants to make a contribution to sustainable farming and ranching practices. If you are a self-directed leader with strong skills in communication and agricultural project development, this is a great opportunity. Applications will be accepted through February 28, 2019, or until a suitable candidate can be identified. Learn more.
News & Resources
- NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm in Montana
- Report Finds Unhealthy Food Production Makes Healthy Eating Impossible
- Pennsylvania Submits Plan to Allow Commercial Industrial Hemp Production
- Online Tool Helps Craft Farm Leases
- Online Course on Protecting Farms from Legal Risks Offered
- Healthy Pastures Offset Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from Cattle
- Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grant Program
- Connecticut Farm Transition Grant
- Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Scholarship Endowment Fund
- California Climate & Agriculture Summit
- Indiana Organic Grain Farmer Meeting
- Growing Opportunity: Farm Finance Expo
News & Resources
NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm in Montana
NCAT is accepting applications until February 28, 2019, from military veterans who want to attend our Armed to Farm (ATF) sustainable agriculture training in April in Bozeman, Montana. The week-long ATF training gives veterans and their spouses an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable, small-scale farming enterprises and examine farming as a viable career. The Bozeman ATF training will be limited to residents of the Intermountain and Northwestern states. The event is free for those chosen to attend.
Report Finds Unhealthy Food Production Makes Healthy Eating Impossible
Cities and Circular Economy for Food, a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, finds that excessive use of pesticides, antibiotics in livestock farming, and poor management of fertilizers could lead to five million deaths a year globally by 2050. The Foundation sets out a vision for a new system where food is grown locally and in a way that regenerates natural resources, waste is eliminated, and healthy food is produced without the need for harmful practices. The report finds that eliminating waste and improving health through the circular economy could be worth $2.7 trillion a year to the global economy.
Pennsylvania Submits Plan to Allow Commercial Industrial Hemp Production
Pennsylvania became the second state to submit a plan for commercial industrial hemp production to USDA. Pennsylvania’s plan will make industrial hemp a controlled plant, which will require all growers to register and obtain permits through the state Department of Agariculture. However, there will no longer be a cap on the number of permits or the amount of acreage permit holders are allowed to plant. Pennsylvania will re-open its 2019 permit program to include applications for commercial growing operations.
Online Tool Helps Craft Farm Leases
Land for Good has created Build-A-Lease, an online tool to help landowners, tenants, and advisors learn about and craft farm leases. The tool includes definitions, FAQs, sample language, and fill-in spaces for the most common sections of a farm lease. The tool is designed to educate all parties and support the development of sound lease agreements.
Related Publication: Drafting a Lease: Questions for Farmers and Landowners to Ask
Online Course on Protecting Farms from Legal Risks Offered
University of New Hampshire Extension is offering an online learning opportunity, "Protecting Your Farm from Legal Risks," for farmers in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Delaware, and Maryland. The course includes an online learning module and three video discussions with experts. Course instructors will address employment law, leases, financing, insurance, business structures, and agritourism, among other subjects.
Healthy Pastures Offset Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from Cattle
A study conducted by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture and partners shows that nitrous oxide emissions from cattle urine can be significantly curbed through healthy pastures. Degraded pastures emitted up to three times as much nitrous oxide as healthy pastures when cattle urine was spilled on them. This research suggests that large-scale land restoration with improved forage grasses, rotational grazing, and added shrubs and trees could significantly mitigate the negative climate effects of degraded land.
Related ATTRA Publication: Building Healthy Pasture Soils
>>More Breaking News
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Rhode Island Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grant Program
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, Division of Agriculture is accepting grant applications for the Local Agriculture and Seafood Act Grant Program. This program supports the growth, development, and marketing of local food and seafood in Rhode Island with $120,000 in state funding. Project priorities are listed online. For-profit farmers, fishermen/women, producer groups, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for grants up to $20,000.
Applications are due by March 8, 2019.
Connecticut Farm Transition Grant
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Farm Transition Grant, a competitive, matching-grant program to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut farmers and agricultural cooperatives. Producers and agriculture cooperatives applying for this grant may be awarded up to $49,999 in matching funds. Projects that allow a farm to expand, diversify, and improve the existing operation are allowable. More specific priority areas are outlined in the application guidelines. Applications will be accepted from February 7, 2019, until February 14, 2019.
Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Scholarship Endowment Fund
The Rochester Area Foundation in Minnesota is home to the Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Scholarship Endowment Fund, which provides financial aid to individuals committed to sustainability in the fields of agriculture and forestry. Eligible scholarship recipients must come from one of the 11 Southeast Counties of Minnesota and attend educational public or non-profit private institutions/programs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, or North Dakota.
Applications are due by March 30, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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California Climate & Agriculture Summit
March 4-5, 2019
The California Climate & Agriculture Summit includes a farm tour and a full day of plenary, workshop, and poster presentations about the latest science, policy, and practice related to climate and agriculture. NCAT's Jeff Schahczenski and Rex Dufour will speak.
Indiana Organic Grain Farmer Meeting
March 6-7, 2019
West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue Extension Organic Agriculture will host this event, with a full-day workshop focused on transitioning to organic grain production, as well as breakout sessions, farmer panels, networking time, and an industry trade show.
Growing Opportunity: Farm Finance Expo
February 28, 2019
California Farm Link presents this full-day event with one-stop shopping for ag loans and resources for financing your farm or ranch, available in English, Hmong, and Spanish.
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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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