Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - February 28, 2018
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.
Join in Sponsoring Our Farms, Our Future
Your organization has the opportunity to help shape the future of sustainable agriculture by sponsoring Our Farms, Our Future. This once-in-a-decade conference looks at the progress of sustainability in agriculture and helps to understand our trajectory for the future. It is hosted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and NCAT's ATTRA program April 3-5, 2018, in St. Louis. Learn more.
News & Resources
- Online Publication Helps Farmers Prepare for Serving Food
- New Resource Helps Organic Farmers Deal with Disasters
- Farm Commons Posts Free FAQ Series
- On-site Soil Pathogen Testing Developed
- Voluntary Environmental Services Market to Incentivize Soil Health
- Papers Explore Aspects of Northeast Food System
- Organic Transitions
- Indiana Watershed Initiative
- Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grant
- Preserving Agriculture in the South
- National Good Food Network Conference
- Growing Opportunity Farm Finance Expo
News & Resources
Online Publication Helps Farmers Prepare for Serving Food
Come & Get It: What You Need to Know to Serve Food on Your Farm is available free from Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture. The 34-page publication provides a starter toolkit and roadmap for farmers interested in starting an on-farm venture that involves food service. The publication addresses the regulatory requirements for part-time, on-farm food service ventures, such as pizza farms and farm-to-table dinners.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling with: Agritourism and "Pick-Your-Own"
New Resource Helps Organic Farmers Deal with Disasters
Farmers' Legal Action Group has released a publication to assist organic farmers in time of disaster. Organic Farmers in Disasters—Flooding and Whole Farm Revenue Crop Insurance discusses the extremely challenging effect of a flood on an organic farm and also explains a relatively new type of crop insurance that could benefit organic producers. The 29-page booklet is available free online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers
Farm Commons Posts Free FAQ Series
The nonprofit organization Farm Commons has recently posted a series of eight free Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) publications on its website. They include Land Leasing for Your Sustainable Farm Enterprise, Managing Food Safety Liability Risks, Agritourism on Your Farm, When People Work on Your Farm, Building Good Contracts and Sales Agreements, Building the Right Business Structure for Your Farm, Purchasing Land for Your Farm Operation, and Adding Value to Your Farm Products.
On-site Soil Pathogen Testing Developed
Washington State University scientists have developed quick, inexpensive, on-site testing for soil pathogens. The tests utilize materials readily available to the public and will work anywhere in the world. The testing device uses magnets to capture pathogens' DNA from the soil. The researchers have published a list of the equipment and materials required to construct the device and instructions on how to put it together and conduct soil tests.
Voluntary Environmental Services Market to Incentivize Soil Health
A national coalition convened by the Noble Research Institute intends to create a voluntary environmental services market that benefits agricultural producers and improves the environment. This program aims to incentivize farmers and ranchers to improve soil health on working lands through the development of a market-based platform. In 2018, an ecosystem services protocol and a go-to-market business strategy will be developed. Pilots will be conducted in 2019, with the national rollout of the official platform to follow.
Papers Explore Aspects of Northeast Food System
Researchers who cooperated in the Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast through Regional Food Systems (EFSNE) project have published three papers related to their work with the Northeast food system. These papers and their introduction are the first of more than 10 manuscripts planned to summarize findings from the EFSNE project.
>>More Breaking News
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USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications from colleges and universities for $3.8 million in funding under the Organic Transitions Program (ORG). ORG supports the development and implementation of research, extension, and higher-education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers, as well as those who are adopting organic practices.
Applications are due by March 29, 2018.
Indiana Watershed Initiative
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Indiana has announced a second round of funding to improve water quality in two targeted watersheds in northern Indiana through the Indiana Watershed Initiative Regional Conservation Partnership Program. Farmers can sign up for two new practices: saturated buffers and denitrifying bioreactors.
Applications must be received by March 16, 2018.
Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grant
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is accepting applications for the 2018 Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Grants are awarded to projects intended to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crop industries through research, education, or market development. Non-profits, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other agricultural organizations are encouraged to apply.
Applications are due by March 16, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Preserving Agriculture in the South
March 26-28, 2018
Alcorn State University's annual Small Farmers Conference focuses on innovating and implementing good farm practices. The agenda includes pre-conference sessions, social activities, speakers, learning sites and tours, and concurrent sessions.
National Good Food Network Conference
March 27-30, 2018
Albuquerque, New Mexico
This conference covers running a food hub, financing, technology, and enhancing triple-bottom-line impacts. Program tracks are food hub operations, financing, technology, value-chain coordination, community based food systems, and protein supply chains.
Growing Opportunity Farm Finance Expo
March 28, 2018
West Sacramento, California
California FarmLink offers an opportunity to meet local ag lenders and explore financing options, learn to pitch a farm business for financing, and manage your farm's finances.
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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.
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