Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 7, 2007
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* Organic Label Will Include Clone-Free
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* 2007 Farm Bill Proposals Unveiled
* Connecticut University Switches to Sustainable Food Services Company
* UC Davis Offering Online Sustainable Ag Course
* U.S. House Creates Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture
* Wisconsin Officials to Investigate Organic Retailing
* New Hampshire Agricultural Nutrient Management Program
* Proposals to Improve Health of Immigrant Populations
* Kentucky Horticulture Advertising and Market Development Grants
* Controlling Energy Costs: Practical Solutions for Small Farms
* 4th Annual Organic Dairy Conference
* Holistic Biological Monitoring, Grazing Planning, and Land Planning
News & Resources
Organic Label Will Include Clone-Free
The federal government is expected to approve food from cloned animals in the next year, but it does not plan to identify such foods through any special labeling. However, consumers purchasing foods carrying the organic label can rest assured that the food is not only pesticide- and antibiotic-free, but also clone-free. While consumer opinion over cloned food seems mixed, the organic industry’s opinion is firm: no cloned foods. “[Cloning] is absolutely prohibited in our world. It goes against everything we believe,” said George Siemon, head of Organic Valley, the largest organic farming cooperative in the United States.
2007 Farm Bill Proposals Unveiled
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns unveiled the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2007 farm bill proposals. The proposals correspond to the 2002 farm bill titles with additional special focus areas, including specialty crops, beginning farmers and ranchers, and socially disadvantaged producers. The more than 65 proposals represent the final phase of a nearly two year development process. Proposal highlights include increasing conservation funding, providing new funding for renewable energy research, and increasing payments for beginning farmers and ranchers.
Connecticut University Switches to Sustainable Food Services Company
Next fall, students will have sustainable, local food choices in the dining halls of Wesleyan University. The university has chosen a new dining services company that is guided by sustainable food principles. Bon Appétit Management Company will provide the university with food prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients, a change welcomed by faculty, staff, and students alike. "Students recognize the importance of sustainability, organic produce, and quality food, which are principles we stand for," said Rick Culliton, Dean of Campus Programs.
UC Davis Offering Online Sustainable Ag Course
USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will offer a free, online course through the University of California Davis for agriculture professionals. The course, Sustainable Agriculture: Basic Principles and Concept Overview, addresses the basics of sustainable agriculture -- farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for people and communities. While intended for Cooperative Extension and Natural Resource Conservation Service personnel, the course also is useful for other agricultural, natural resource and community-development professionals.
U.S. House Creates Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture
The Organic Trade Association reports that on January 23 the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee approved the creation of a new Subcommittee on Horticulture and Organic Agriculture. According to OTA, jurisdiction of the subcommittee will include fruits and vegetables, honey and bees, marketing and promotion orders, plant pesticides, quarantine, adulteration of seeds, insect pests, and organic agriculture. Members of the subcommittee are Rep. Dennis A. Cardoza (CA),Chairman, Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC), Rep. Lincoln Davis (TN), Rep. Tim Mahoney (FL), Rep. John Barrow (GA), Rep. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (NY), Rep. Randy Neugebauer (TX), Ranking Minority Member, Rep. John "Randy" Kuhl, Jr. (NY), Rep. Virginia Foxx (NC), Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA), and Rep. K. Michael Conaway (TX).
Wisconsin Officials to Investigate Organic Retailing
The Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection plans to examine practices of Wal-Mart and other retailers after complaints that they may be misleading customers regarding which foods are organic, reports Business Week. Complaints about banner and shelf advertising in stores prompted the investigation. USDA has not decided yet whether to pursue an investigation based on its receipt of the same complaints.
> More Breaking News
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New Hampshire Agricultural Nutrient Management Program
The Agricultural Nutrient Management (ANM) Grant Program provides financial, educational and technical assistance for livestock and agricultural land operations to implement measures that prevent or mitigate water pollution. Applications for cost assistance of up to $2,500 per year are accepted until June 1, 2007. Funding can be used for on-farm projects and for educational projects.
Proposals are due June 1, 2007.
Proposals to Improve Health of Immigrant Populations
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has issued a special solicitation for proposals to improve and maintain the health of immigrant and refugee populations. Proposals must address ways for improving the health of immigrants and refugees by linking how social factors --language skills, significant cultural differences, education, and poverty -- affect health outcomes. Grants of up to $300,000 each for up to three years will be available. The initiative will fund eight to ten projects in 2007. Visit the RWJF Web site for complete program information and application procedures http://fconline.fdncenter.org/pnd/10006064/rwjf .
Proposals are due April 13, 2007.
Kentucky Horticulture Advertising and Market Development Grants
The Kentucky Horticulture Advertising Cost Share Program is intended to assist producers of horticulture products to market and promote their products through advertising. Applications for up to $2000 in cost-share will be accepted until January 11, 2008. Participants in this program must use the Kentucky Proud logo for advertising. The Horticulture Market Development Cost Share Program assists producers to better market and promote their products through education. This program provides reimbursement for registration fees of appropriate conferences and educational opportunities. Applications will be accepted until January 11, 2008.
Proposals are due January 11, 2008.
> More Funding Opportunities
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Controlling Energy Costs: Practical Solutions for Small Farms
March 22, 2007
West Friendship, Maryland
A day-long workshop targeting energy conservation and renewable energy
options for small farms, sponsored by Howard County Economic
Development Authority's Agricultural Marketing Program, Future
Harvest-CASA, the Chesapeake Bay Trust, and USDA's Natural Resources
4th Annual Organic Dairy Conference
March 15-17, 2007
The 4th Annual Organic Dairy Conference provides an opportunity for
certified organic dairy producers to learn more about the latest trends
in organic dairy management. Topics will include herd health, pasture
management, and the impact of organic milk on consumers. The conference
is intended for certified organic dairy producers, producers interested
in becoming certified organic, educators, government officials,
agricultural professionals, and trade vendors.
Holistic Biological Monitoring, Grazing Planning, and Land Planning
March 19-24, 2007
Van Horn, Texas
Holistic Management International offers three on-the-land courses at
Circle Ranch. Participants can go to one of these trainings or all of
them: Holistic Land Health Monitoring (March 19-20); Holistic Grazing
Planning (March 21-22); Holistic Facility Planning for Profit (March
> More Events
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