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Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 23, 2005

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site.

News & Resources
* 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 Resource Online

Funding Opportunities
* Landowner Incentive Program
* Clean Ohio Agricultural Easement Purchase Program
* 1890 Facilities Grant Program

Coming Events
* 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.
URL: http://www.boannsbanks.com/go/

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.
URL: http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/news/releases/2005/ctapolicy05.html

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.
URL: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2005/2/emw209844.htm
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.
URL: http://www.wboc.com/Global/story.asp?S=2964005&nav=MXEFWVlc
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).
URL: http://www.ifoam.org/Organic-Agriculture-Statistics-2005-Chapters1&2.pdf

Sustainable 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 form.
URL: www.attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/internships/

For 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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Funding Opportunities

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.
URL: http://www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/DOI/FWS/Federal%26%23032%

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 14, 2005.
URL: http://www.ohioagriculture.gov/farmland/

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.
URL: http://fedgrants.gov/Applicants/USDA/CSREES/OEP/USDA-GRANTS-

For additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.

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Coming Events

Small Farm Expo 2005
March 19, 2005
Enumclaw, Washington

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.
URL: http://www.metrokc.gov/wsu%2Dce/farmexpo/

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).
URL: http://www.nraes.org/conferences/manure2005.html

All Things Organic Conference and Trade Show
April 30 - May 3, 2005
Chicago, Illinois

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.
URL: http://www.organicexpo.com/

More events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
URL: http://attra.ncat.org/newsletter/archives.html

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

© Copyright 2005 NCAT

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