Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - February 23, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Online Workbook Helps Farmers Identify Direct Marketing Strategies
* New Policy for NRCS Conservation Program Seeks to Aid Producers
* Can Feedlot Dairies Be Organic Farms?
* Propane Weed Treatment Popular with Organic Farmers
* New Publication Documents Organic Trends Worldwide
* Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships
* Landowner Incentive Program
* Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program
* 1890 Facilities Grant Program
* Small Farm Expo 2005
* Dairy Manure Management: Treatment, Handling,
& Community Relations
* All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show
News & Resources
Online Workbook Helps Farmers Identify Direct Marketing Strategies
Georgia Organics has released an online workbook to help farmers
identify the direct marketing strategies that will best fit their farms.
The document seeks to simplify the decision-making process by
providing information on four types of direct markets, as well as the
barriers to entering those markets, and a way for a farmer to evaluate
ability to jump barriers. The workbook focuses on four of the major direct-marketing strategies: farmers'
markets, on-farm markets, community supported agriculture, and internet
marketing. It provides up-to-date, key information on markets in
the South and additional references to successfully meet the challenges
and opportunities in direct marketing.
New Policy for NRCS Conservation Program Seeks to Aid Producers
The USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has a new comprehensive
policy for operating the Conservation
Technical Assistance Program (CTA) that is the foundation for how USDA provides
on-the-ground conservation assistance to customers. Through CTA, NRCS helps people
voluntarily conserve, improve and sustain natural resources on their land. The
new CTA policy establishes national priorities for the program that focus on
helping producers comply more easily with environmental regulatory burdens.
Can Feedlot Dairies Be Organic Farms?
The Cornucopia Institute,
a Wisconsin-based non-profit organization, has filed two formal complaints with
the USDA's Office of Compliance asking them to initiate investigations into alleged
violations of the federal organic law by factory farms operating in Idaho and
California. At issue are fundamental organic livestock management practices that
require ruminants, including dairy cows, to consume a significant percentage
of their feed from pasture. The complaints ask the USDA to investigate whether
it is legal to confine cows in an industrial setting, without access to pasture,
and still label milk and dairy products organic.
Related ATTRA Publication: NCAT's Organic Livestock Workbook
Propane Weed Treatment Popular with Organic Farmers
Propane is becoming increasingly popular with organic farmers as a weed
control strategy, reports WBOC-TV. Burning the weeds off with propane
protects air and water quality, and doesn't leave chemical residues on
the crop plants. According to the feature, the propane industry has
already invested $1.1 million in organic farming in an effort to make
propane a key part of organic farming by 2007.
Related ATTRA Publication: Flame
Weeding for Agronomic Crops
New Publication Documents Organic Trends Worldwide
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, and Foundation Ecology & Farming (SÖL), Germany, have published "The World of Organic Agriculture: Statistics and Emerging Trends 2005." The
study documents continued strong growth in the organic sector and shows that
more than 26 million hectares of farmland – representing an increase of almost 10 percent from the previous year – are under organic management worldwide. In terms of organic land, Australia leads all countries with 11.3 million hectares, while the U.S. has the strongest market for organic products. The publication includes information on the status of organic agriculture on all continents, as well as information on global certification, standards, and regulations. The first two chapters of the report are available free online (PDF / 356 kb).
Farming Internships and Apprenticeships Resource Online
With the growing season right around the corner, it's not too early to explore
the many internships and apprenticeships available on organic farms throughout
the country. The ATTRA Web site features an extensive, searchable listing of
over 500 opportunities from Hawaii to Vermont.
Farmers and ranchers planning to offer internships this year can list their opportunities
by filling out an online
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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Landowner Incentive Program
The Landowner Incentive Program (LIP) is a grant program first
authorized in the FY 2002 Interior Appropriations Bill. It provides
competitive matching grants to States, Territories, the District of
Columbia, and Tribes. The grants establish or supplement landowner
incentive programs that provide technical and financial assistance to
private landowners for projects that protect and restore habitats of
Federally listed species or species determined to be at-risk. LIP
projects involve activities such as the restoration of marginal
farmlands to wetlands, the removal of exotic plants to restore natural
prairies, a change in grazing practices and fencing to enhance
important riparian habitats, instream structural improvements to
benefit aquatic species, road closures to protect habitats and reduce
harassment of wildlife, and conservation easements.
The State agency with primary responsibility for fish and wildlife
resources submits proposals to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A 25%
match is required, and awards up to $1 million are offered.
Applications are due by April 18, 2005.
Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program
The Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase (AEPP) program is a
statewide program administered by the Ohio Department of Agriculture
that preserves farmland through the purchase of permanent agricultural
easements. AEPP receives funding from the Clean Ohio Fund, a bond initiative
approved by Ohio voters in 2000. In this program, county commissioners, township
trustees, municipal councils, or land trusts apply on behalf of farmland owners
with at least 40 acres. The 2005 online application is due at 5:00 p.m. on March
1890 Facilities Grant Program
USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and
Extension Services' 1890 Facilities Grant Program provides funds
for the acquisition and improvement of agricultural and food sciences
facilities and equipment, including libraries, so that the 1890
land-grant institutions, as well as Tuskegee University and West
Virginia State University, may participate fully in the production
of human capital in the food and agricultural sciences. Approximately
$16.8 million is available for the program. Applications are due
March 18, 2005.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Small Farm Expo 2005
March 19, 2005
Every March the Small Farm Expo features events and activities that
connect small-scale landowners and their families with new tools for
success. Given that small farms around the Puget Sound are quickly
disappearing, supporting small-scale landowners has never been more
important. In addition to providing a variety of resources for this
audience, the event showcases local agriculture in order to increase
public awareness about the significance of the region’s small farms.
Dairy Manure Management: Treatment, Handling, and Community Relations
March 15-17, 2005
Syracuse, New York
This conference will provide an overview of manure management
challenges facing the dairy industry and strategies used on farms
today. Treatment technologies, community relations, and planning a new
or upgraded system will be discussed. Case studies of on-farm systems
will illustrate how farm, nutrient management, and community relations
goals influence manure system design and management. This conference
will help producers and their advisors plan new or upgraded manure
systems to meet regulatory and community expectations. This conference
is a collaboration between the New York State Energy Research and
Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Natural Resource, Agriculture,
and Engineering Service (NRAES).
All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show
April 30 - May 3, 2005
The Organic Trade Association's All Things Organic™ Conference and Trade
Show is North America’s only all-organic event, featuring over 400 booths
of organic products, inspiring and thought-provoking education sessions, networking
activities and special events.
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
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of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web
site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National
Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant
from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural
Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture
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