Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 20, 2008
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
* Presentations from Food Safety Conference Available
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* Organic Vegetable Educational CD-ROM Available
* British Study Shows Health Benefit from Organic Milk
* 'Buy Michigan First' Puts Local Foods into Prisons
* Kentucky Announces Changes to Agricultural Development Model Programs
* Iowa Partnership Seeks to Expand Local Food Purchasing
* Farmers' Market Promotion Program
* Small Minority Producer Grant Program
* Farm Credit AgEnhancement Program
* Northeast Grasstravaganza
* 2008 Niche Meat Marketing Conference
* Tennessee Organic Growers Association Conference
News & Resources
Presentations from Food Safety Conference Available
Presentations from the Food Safety for Organic Production and Handling of Fresh Produce Conference are available on-line. Growers, industry and research professionals collaborated to create a two-day course on the topic, with content customized specifically to address the needs and concerns of organic growers and handlers. Attendees learned about: pre- and post-harvest best management practices for food safety in fresh organic production; water, wildlife, workers and amendments; post-harvest plant pathology and factors that influence food safety; state and federal regulations impacting organic growers and handlers; and more. PowerPoint presentations from the conference can be viewed and downloaded from the web site.
Organic Vegetable Educational CD-ROM Available
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SAWG) has released an educational CD-ROM, Organic Vegetable Production and Marketing in the South, with Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm. This new educational tool is packed with valuable information to help vegetable farmers with their enterprises. Topics include soil building, certification, transplants, pest management, irrigation, marketing, and recordkeeping. Each of the thirteen chapters features extensive educational material and resources, along with photos, and segments for each chapter with Alex Hitt, North Carolina farmer and educator, showing “How it Works at Peregrine Farm.”
British Study Shows Health Benefit from Organic Milk
A British study publicized by The Ecologist in November showed that infants who were fed organic dairy products, and whose mothers consumed organic dairy products during pregnancy, had a 36-percent lower incidence of eczema than those who consumed conventional dairy products. The research was accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed British Journal of Nutrition.
'Buy Michigan First' Puts Local Foods into Prisons
Michigan Ag Connection reports that as part of the "Buy Michigan First" initiative, the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) negotiated a contract to purchase Michigan-grown potatoes for the state's prisons - saving the state approximately $248,000 over the next four years. "Buy Michigan First" is a program designed to give Michigan-based businesses contract preference in supplying goods and services to state agencies. "Buying Michigan-grown potatoes and other produce enables us to receive fresh, high-quality products, helps Michigan farmers, and contributes to the state's economic prosperity," said MDOC Director Patricia L. Caruso.
Related ATTRA Publication: Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions
Kentucky Announces Changes to Agricultural Development Model Programs
The Kentucky Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy announces updated Model Programs that will allow the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board to continue to increase net farm income across the state, affecting tobacco farmers, tobacco-impacted communities and agriculture in the Commonwealth. Changes include a heifer component to the Cattle Genetics Program, cost-share on broadband service, and continuation of the Agri-tourism Marketing & Promotion Program and the Farmers’ Market Competitive Award Program, with removal of application deadlines.
Iowa Partnership Seeks to Expand Local Food Purchasing
The Buy Fresh/Buy Local program at the University of Northern Iowa has dramatically increased the amount of local food purchased by individuals and institutions in the Cedar Valley, says the Waterloo and Cedar Falls Courier. Now the Northern Iowa Food and Farm Partnership will seek to build on that success on a larger, regional scale. Working with grant funding, the Partnership has completed a vision statement it is ready to implement. Plans include work to develop central ordering, processing and delivery systems and infrastructure that will make it easier for more buyers to acquire and use local food products.
> More Breaking News
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Farmers Market Promotion Program
The USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grants are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. Approximately $1 million is allocated for Fiscal Year 2008 for the FMPP, with the requirement that the maximum amount awarded for any one proposal cannot exceed $75,000. Entities eligible to apply include agricultural cooperatives, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public health corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers market authorities and Tribal government.
Proposals are due March 24, 2008.
Small Minority Producer Grant Program
The Small Minority Agriculture Producer grants are made to Cooperatives or Associations of Cooperatives whose primary focus is to provide assistance to small, minority agriculture producers and whose governing board and/or membership is comprised of at least 75 percent minority. The primary objective of this grant program is to provide technical assistance to small, minority agriculture producers. Eight awards of up to $175,000 are expected to be made under this program.
Proposals are due April 8, 2008.
Farm Credit AgEnhancement Program
Each year, Northeast agricultural credit associations award grants to help organizations promote awareness of agriculture in the six New England states, New York and New Jersey and CoBank. Funds are provided as part of the Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement program, an ongoing educational campaign that supports the food and fiber industries in the Northeast. Programs that promote the food and fiber industries are eligible for awards ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Proposals for Northeast Farm Credit AgEnhancement grant funding will be considered three times per year: April 1, August 1 and December 1.
> More Funding Opportunities
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March 28-29, 2008
Binghamton, New York
Central New York RC&D hosts this event, which offers speakers and workshops in four tracks: Local Meats, Food, Health and Marketing; Innovations in Grass-Based Management; Grazing Potpourri; Animal Behavior Symposium.
2008 Niche Meat Marketing Conference
March 26-27, 2008
This year’s conference features presentations and group activities on grass-finishing, processing, pastured poultry. The keynote speaker is Jim Gerrish, of the University of Idaho's highly acclaimed Lost River Grazing Academy.
Tennessee Organic Growers Association Conference
March 15, 2008
This 4th annual conference offers a number of concurrent workshops on livestock and crop production, and features Eliot Coleman as keynote speaker, on "Making a Success of Organic Farming."
> More Events
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