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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 5, 2014

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

  • USDA Contract Price Addendum Allows Organic Producers to Insure Crops at Contract Price
  • New Publication Highlights Grazing as Conservation Tool
  • New Guide Helps Farmers Protect Organic Seed from GE Contamination
  • FarmsReach Plans Online Sustainable Seed Marketplace
  • Webinar Series on National Sustainable Agriculture Standard Planned
  • New Website Invites Participation in Protecting Bumble Bees

Funding Opportunities

  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: Food Safety Challenge Area
  • Cascadia Foodshed Funding Project
  • New York Outreach and Applied Research Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Good Food Festival & Conference
  • Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference
  • Arkansas Grazing Lands Conference

News & Resources

USDA Contract Price Addendum Allows Organic Producers to Insure Crops at Contract Price
A new initiative to support the continued growth of organic agriculture is now available from the USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA). The Contract Price Addendum (CPA) allows organic producers with contracted crops to insure the crop at the contract price. Organic producers can now buy a Federal crop insurance guarantee that is more reflective of the actual value of the organic crop. The CPA is available for 62 crops beginning in the 2014 crop year.

New Publication Highlights Grazing as Conservation Tool
The Pasture Project and the National Audubon Society have released Conservation Grazing: An Opportunity for Land Trusts and Conservation Organizations. The 13-page PDF discusses various ways for land trusts and conservation organizations to approach grazing as a conservation practice and management tool.

New Guide Helps Farmers Protect Organic Seed from GE Contamination
Protecting Organic Seed Integrity, a new resource designed to help organic seed growers maintain seed free of genetically engineered (GE) contaminants, is now available from the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA). The book serves as a one-stop tool for organic farmers, seed handlers, and seed companies to determine individual, scale-appropriate, and crop-specific strategies to maintain genetic purity in organic seed, as well as organic food crops.

FarmsReach Plans Online Sustainable Seed Marketplace
FarmsReach, the Berkeley-based social enterprise for farmers and ranchers, has announced a pilot e-commerce platform for non-GMO, sustainable seeds. FarmsReach's Sustainable Seed Marketplace will be an e-marketplace for non-GMO seeds from a mix of seed distributors, enhanced with anecdotal seed-performance data from North American farmers.

Webinar Series on National Sustainable Agriculture Standard Planned
Leonardo Academy has scheduled a webinar series on the National Sustainable Agriculture Standard (LEO-4000 - Public Comment Draft). The webinars will be held weekly, beginning February 4. The first webinar offers an introduction to the National Sustainable Agriculture Standard. Three subsequent webinars will focus on the environmental, social, and economic sections of the standard.

New Website Invites Participation in Protecting Bumble Bees
The Xerces Society has announced that the new website BumbleBeeWatch.org allows people to be directly involved in protecting bumble bees throughout North America. In addition to uploading bee photos, individuals can identify bumble bees, learn about their ecology, and connect with bee experts and others engaged in pollinator conservation. The information gathered from participants will help researchers locate rare or endangered populations, as well as track species whose status is less well known.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI): Food Safety Challenge Area
This AFRI Challenge Area promotes and enhances the scientific discipline of food safety, with an overall aim of protecting consumers from microbial and chemical contaminants that may occur during all stages of the food chain, from production to consumption. This program will support single-function Research Projects and multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects, as well as Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement Grants that address one of the Program Area Priorities.
Applications are due May 8, 2014; a letter of intent to apply is due by February 16, 2014.

Cascadia Foodshed Funding Project
The Cascadia Foodshed Funding Project (CFFP) is a collaboration between foundation and individual impact investors seeking to place capital in regional food and farm businesses. CFFP combines grants, equity, loans, and credit enhancements to invest in food-related social enterprises in five Pacific Northwest regions and to develop infrastructure for collective impact efforts. Each capital deployment is expected to be in the range of $25,000 to $250,000.
Applications are due by February 28, 2014.

New York Outreach and Applied Research Grant Program
The New York Farm Viability Institute is accepting proposals from farmers, producer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies, and businesses for grants up to $150,000. Proposals should focus on applied research, as well as education and outreach to promote new or newly adapted ideas and techniques.
Applications are due by April 27, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Good Food Festival & Conference
March 13-15, 2014
Chicago, Illinois

This event includes the Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference on March 13, a dynamic day that connects funders with food businesses seeking financing. The Good Food Trade Show, Good Food Policy Conference, and School Food Conference are on March 14. On March 15, the Good Food Festival brings together family farmers, local food artisans, chefs, educators, families, and Good Food enthusiasts for a day of learning, eating, and connecting.

Wisconsin Cover Crops Conference
March 13-14, 2014
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

This conference aims to educate participants about soil health and the role of cover crops in improving soil health. This conference is intended for anyone interested in learning more about cover crops and cover-cropping systems. Breakout sessions are offered in five different tracks.

Arkansas Grazing Lands Conference
March 14, 2014
Russellville, Arkansas

At this conference, several southern graziers will discuss how changes in their grazing management improved soil health, increased forage production, and increased profitability. The featured speaker will be Oklahoma rancher and consultant Walt Davis.

>> More Events

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New ATTRA Video
Putting a Hand on Them - How to Tell When Your Lamb is Finished is an eight-minute video featuring agriculture specialist Dave Scott.

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