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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 19, 2020

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

  • Apply Now for Armed to Urban Farm in Baltimore
  • Organic Producer Surveys Underway
  • Report Highlights the Viability of Small-Scale Agriculture
  • Sweet Pepper Varieties Evaluated for Organic Production
  • Minnesota Emerging Farmer Report Addresses Barriers
  • Virginia Tech Study Testing Bee-Friendly Cattle Forage

Funding Opportunities

  • Frontera Farmer Foundation
  • Oregon Farm to School Equipment and Infrastructure Grant Program
  • Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program

Coming Events

  • Southwest Agroforestry Action Network Conference
  • Louisiana Small Farmer Conference
  • Veteran Farmers Conference: Boots to Roots

News & Resources

Apply Now for Armed to Urban Farm in Baltimore
In partnership with the United States Botanic Garden, NCAT is bringing the week-long Armed to Urban Farm veterans' sustainable agriculture training to Baltimore, Maryland, May 4-8, 2020. Armed to Urban Farm gives military veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and learn about urban farming as a career. All veterans are welcome to apply, but those from the Mid-Atlantic region will receive priority. Applications are due by March 20, 2020.

Organic Producer Surveys Underway
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) are conducting two national surveys as part of a project seeking to learn more about the challenges and research priorities of organic farmers and ranchers and those transitioning land to certified organic production. If you are a certified organic farmer/rancher, respond to the online survey at www.opinion.wsu.edu/organicproduction. If you are a farmer/rancher transitioning to certified organic production, take the survey at www.opinion.wsu.edu/transitionproducers.

Report Highlights the Viability of Small-Scale Agriculture
California's Santa Clara County Food System Alliance released Small Farms, Big Potential: Growing a resilient local food system, a report that highlights the viability of local small-scale agriculture. In Santa Clara County, 52% of farmland parcels are 10 acres or less. The report dispels the myth that small farms cannot be viable in the county and builds on the recommendations of the Santa Clara Valley Agricultural Plan. The report includes nine Farmer Profiles that illustrate the diversity and success of local farms.

Sweet Pepper Varieties Evaluated for Organic Production
University of Georgia researchers tested the yields of 13 different sweet pepper varieties under organic production. Study results were published in HortTechnology. The study evaluated total yield, graded yield, and early yield of the peppers in a hot, humid climate. Top varieties included Aristotle X3R and Gridiron for fancy and early yield, as well as Sweet Chocolate for early yield.
Related ATTRA Publication: Resource Guide to Organic and Sustainable Vegetable Production

Minnesota Emerging Farmer Report Addresses Barriers
Results of six listening sessions conducted by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture have been collected in a report, Emerging Farmers in Minnesota. The report lays out recommendations on reducing or eliminating barriers that make it more difficult for the next generation to enter or stay in agriculture.
Related ATTRA Resources: Starting your Farm Business

Virginia Tech Study Testing Bee-Friendly Cattle Forage
A study led by a Virginia Tech professor will test pasture mixes of native prairie grasses and wildflowers to find the best combination for both cattle and bees. A team that includes Virginia Tech, the University of Tennessee, cooperating farmers, and a nonprofit called Virginia Working Landscapes will test 20 different wildflowers in combination with native grasses on pastures in Tennessee and Virginia.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Frontera Farmer Foundation
Frontera Farmer Foundation will award grants up to $12,000 for capital improvements to small and mid-size farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin that sell their food products to customers in the Chicago area at farmers markets and otherwise. Farmers must have been in business for at least three years and must demonstrate how the grant will improve both their farm's viability and the availability of locally grown food products in the Chicago area.
Applications are due by March 6, 2020.

Oregon Farm to School Equipment and Infrastructure Grant Program
Oregon Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for a new grant program designed to help Oregon producers and processors access the school marketplace. The program offers $500,000 in equipment and infrastructure grants for producers who intend to sell food produced or processed in Oregon to schools, center-based programs for children, or Summer Food Service Program providers.
Applications are due March 9, 2020.

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program (BRAG). BRAG supports the generation of new information that will assist Federal regulatory agencies in making science-based decisions about the effects of introducing genetically engineered organisms into the environment. Applications may be submitted by any U.S. public or private research or educational institution or organization. Grant awards range from $25,000 to $500,000.
Applications are due by March 18, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Southwest Agroforestry Action Network Conference
March 17-19, 2020
Tucson, Arizona
Southwest Agroforestry Action Network's (SWAAN) annual conference theme is "Southwest Agroforestry Challenges and Best Practice Solutions." SWAAN's mission is helping people integrate trees, crops, and animals to regenerate Southwest landscapes.

Louisiana Small Farmer Conference
March 18-21, 2020
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
The Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center is hosting its 10th annual Louisiana Small Farmer Conference, "Investing in Your Small Farm Success." The conference will highlight resources and opportunities with USDA and other experts that help small farmers and gardeners stay in business.

Veteran Farmers Conference: Boots to Roots
March 17-18, 2020
Colonial Heights, Virginia
Join military veteran farmers, landowners, and agriculture professionals for Boots to Roots, an opportunity to hear about available resources, smart business strategies, and successful production practices.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Podcast
Organic Pioneer: Tom Willey

Question of the Week
How can I create habitat for birds on my farm?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Soil Health Innovations Conference
March 30-31, 2020
Bozeman, Montana
Learn more and register now.

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