Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 8, 2017
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.
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News & Resources
- ATTRA Resources Can Help EQIP High Tunnel Applicants
- NCR-SARE Seeks Hero Nominations
- Multi-State Study Surveys How Health Insurance Affects Farmers and Ranchers
- Annual CSA Day Set for February 24
- Aquaponics How-to Webinar Available Online
- Researchers Looking for Genetic Traits of Hill-Climbing Cattle
- Regional Conservation Partnership Program
- California Joint Agricultural Water Efficiency Program
- Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grant
- The Carolina Organic Commodities and Livestock Conference
- Harvest New England Ag Marketing Conference and Trade Show
- Connecting with Institutional Markets: Strategies and Programs for MT Producers
News & Resources
ATTRA Resources Can Help EQIP High Tunnel Applicants
Many states have deadlines approaching for NRCS's Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funding consideration in fiscal year 2017. This includes applications for the High Tunnel System Initiative, which can assist in installing high tunnels to extend the growing season, reduce energy use, and protect resources on organic farms. To find your state's NRCS website with more information, follow the links from the national NRCS High Tunnel System Initiative website. Apply for EQIP at your local USDA Service Center, which you can locate online.
Related ATTRA Publications: High Tunnels in Urban Agriculture, High Tunnel Tree Fruit and Grape Production for Eastern Growers, Sustainable Season Extension: Considerations for Design
Related ATTRA Videos: Hoop Houses For Extending Your Growing Season, Heat Recovery Ventilation in Winter High Tunnels
NCR-SARE Seeks Hero Nominations
The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is accepting nominations for the "NCR-SARE Hero" recognition until March 31, 2017. The award recognizes individuals who have provided service to NCR-SARE and/or national SARE, shown leadership in sustainable agriculture locally and regionally, and made lasting impacts to sustainability in the North Central region.
Multi-State Study Surveys How Health Insurance Affects Farmers and Ranchers
A four-year project exploring how health insurance options impact the farm and ranch population in the United States is beginning a survey to help researchers understand how health-insurance policy affects farmers' and ranchers' decisions to invest, expand, and grow their enterprises. States included in the study are California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont, and Washington.
Annual CSA Day Set for February 24
February 24 marks the third annual CSA Day, dedicated to the celebration of community-supported agriculture. This national event created by Small Farm Central helps CSA farmers enjoy an influx of sign-ups from members, which gives them revenue when they need it most for the growing season. Sign up for a CSA on February 24, and use the hashtag #CSAday to join the online conversation. To find a CSA in your area, search an online directory.
Aquaponics How-to Webinar Available Online
The National Aquaculture Association, North Central Regional Aquaculture Center, and United States Aquaculture Society are offering a webinar to help design and manage an aquaponics system that will produce food for the home and can be scaled up as a commercial operation. Additionally, realities of economic viability, food safety, and environmental sustainability are discussed. The webinar is part of an aquaculture series.
Related ATTRA Publication: Aquaponics — Integration of Hydroponics with Aquaculture
Researchers Looking for Genetic Traits of Hill-Climbing Cattle
Researchers across the West are collaborating on a project that would help livestock owners select for a hill-climbing trait in cattle genetics, reports Western IPM Center. The project collected data on cow movements and behaviors and analyzed hill-climbing individuals for chromosomal commonalities. Selecting for the hill-climbing trait could help manage resources better by distributing grazing and protecting riparian areas.
Related ATTRA Publication: Pasture, Rangeland, and Grazing Management
>>More Breaking News
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Regional Conservation Partnership Program
Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will award up to $252 million dollars to locally driven, public-private partnerships that improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability. Applicants must match or exceed the federal award with private or local funds.
Pre-proposals are due April 21, 2017.
California Joint Agricultural Water Efficiency Program
The California Department of Water Resources and the California Department of Food and Agriculture are accepting joint applications involving funding for both agricultural water suppliers and agricultural operations. The program includes $3 million in funding for agricultural water suppliers to pressurize the delivery of water directly to growers, and an additional $3 million for growers to receive that water and utilize it through technologies such as drip, subsurface drip, and micro-sprinkler irrigation systems. Agricultural water suppliers will be the lead applicants for the joint program and will work with agricultural operations.
Grant applications are due April 21, 2017.
Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grants
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection is accepting applications for the 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education, or market development. Non-profits, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other agricultural organizations are encouraged to apply. Typical awards are between $10,000 and $100,000.
Applications are due by March 31, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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The Carolina Organic Commodities and Livestock Conference
March 6, 2017
Mount Olive, North Carolina
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association offers this training event for commercial-scale growers. Topics include soil health, farmer-to-farmer networking, ruminant health, and organic winter squashes.
Harvest New England Ag Marketing Conference and Trade Show
March 7-9, 2017
This event offers 30 breakout sessions, a national trade show, a farmers market managers workshop, tours, networking, and more.
Connecting with Institutional Markets: Strategies and Programs for MT Producers
March 2, 2017
The National Center for Appropriate Technology will host a webinar for farmers and ranchers about selling to schools, hospitals, and other institutions. Topics include developing partnerships, direct marketing, wholesaling, forward contracting, utilizing MOUs, and food safety.
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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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