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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 22, 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

  • USDA Seeks Local Food Grant Reviewers
  • Harvest Crew Handbook Available Online
  • SARE Releases Revised On-Farm Research Publication
  • New App Will Help Farmers Protect Pollinators
  • Cropland Grazing Exchange Introduced in Minnesota
  • Texas Small Producers Invited to Participate in Needs Assessment

Funding Opportunities

  • Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
  • North Central SARE Professional Development Program
  • North Dakota Specialty Crop Block Grant

Coming Events

  • Good Food Festival and Conference
  • Small Farms Week at North Carolina A&T
  • Poultry School

News & Resources

USDA Seeks Local Food Grant Reviewers
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is seeking reviewers to evaluate grant applications for the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. All interested agricultural professionals are invited to apply by March 20, 2017, to become a grant reviewer. Non-federal reviewers for both programs will be compensated for their service.

Harvest Crew Handbook Available Online
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture and Bakers' Acres LLC have published Pack Shed Rules, an employee handbook that offers an introduction to harvest-to-sale handling concepts for produce. The 18-page publication is available free online in PDF. The harvest crew manual covers customer expectations, plant respiration, how to handle different crops, food safety, and sorting, grading, and culling.

SARE Releases Revised On-Farm Research Publication
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has released a revised version of How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch. The 32-page free publication provides detailed instructions for crop and livestock producers, as well as educators, on how to conduct research at the farm level using practical strategies and peer-reviewed research findings. How to Conduct Research on Your Farm or Ranch also includes a comprehensive list of in-depth resources and real-life research project examples.

New App Will Help Farmers Protect Pollinators
University of Vermont researchers have introduced a new mobile app that will calculate the crop productivity and pollination benefits of supporting endangered bees. The app, which will launch later this year, allows users to explore different land management scenarios, such as planting wind breaks or flowers or bringing in honey bees, to test virtually how these decisions would improve their business.

Cropland Grazing Exchange Introduced in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, NRCS, and Sustainable Farming Association have developed a website to match livestock farmers with crop farmers who have forage to harvest. Incorporating livestock into a cropping rotation can benefit both the crop and livestock farmer in many ways. The new website, with its interactive map, serves as a starting point for partnerships that can benefit both parties.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Integrating Livestock and Crops: Improving Soil, Solving Problems, Increasing Income

Texas Small Producers Invited to Participate in Needs Assessment
Researchers from Texas State University are collaborating with the Texas Department of Agriculture, Johnny’s Selected Seed, the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and the Texas Young Farmers Coalition in an assessment of the needs of small producers in Texas. Farmers are invited to participate in a 15-minute online survey to assess the community's challenges, training, and further educational needs.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
The Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund provides direct assistance to veterans in their beginning years of farming or ranching, in the form of items that make a critical difference in the launch of a young farm business. Applicants must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, currently be on active-duty, or serving in the military reserve/National Guard. Applicants must be members of Farmer Veteran Coalition. Awards are also made in the form of a scholarship to study for a career in agriculture at a college, university, or farm-training program.
Applications must be received by March 20, 2017.

North Central SARE Professional Development Program
NCR-SARE's Professional Development Program provides funds for projects that provide sustainable agriculture training to agricultural professionals and educators. Projects can be up to three years in duration, funded for a maximum of $75,000. Approximately $450,000 will be available.
Proposals are due by April 5, 2017.

North Dakota Specialty Crop Block Grant
The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for $2.4 million in total funding for projects that enhance the competitiveness of North Dakota specialty crops. Examples include education, research, food safety, pest and plant health, marketing and promotion, and production. Applicants are encouraged to address particular issues identified in the Request for Applications. Non-profit and for-profit organizations; local, state, and federal government entities, including tribal governments; and public or private colleges and universities are eligible to apply.
Applications are due by April 20, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Good Food Festival and Conference
March 16-18, 2017
Chicago, Illinois

The 13th Annual Good Food Festival & Conference includes the Financing & Innovation Conference on Thursday, The Good Food Trade Show on Friday, and the free Good Food Festival on Saturday. Also on Friday, farmers, producers, buyers, schools, and industry stakeholders meet to share knowledge and discuss policy developments.

Small Farms Week at North Carolina A&T
March 19-25, 2017
Greensboro, North Carolina

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University's tribute to small–scale agriculture includes workshops, tours, guest speakers, farming demonstrations, and other events.

Poultry School
March 18-19, 2017
Pocantico Hills, New York

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture presents a conference for poultry growers of any skill level, featuring workshops and walking tours covering pasture-raised chickens, turkeys, and waterfowl.

>>More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2017 NCAT

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New ATTRA Podcast
What is a Lambulator?

Question of the Week
What do I need to know about soil fertility in sweet corn production?

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