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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 1, 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.

Farmers! We Need Your Ideas About Markets
A new study, funded by USDA, and led by Syracuse University, New York University, the Pennsylvania State University, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), will examine the opportunities and risks of four main marketing opportunities for farmers: direct-to-consumer, direct-to-institution, direct-to-retail, and selling to intermediaries (such as distributors or food hubs). We are interested in all farmers' perceptions of these markets, whether currently selling to them or not. The online survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

News & Resources

  • Penn State Research Suggests New Vision for Future of Agriculture
  • Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead Announces 2017 Course Listings
  • ATTRA Voices from the Field Podcasts Now Available in iTunes and Google Play
  • Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Accepting Applicants
  • Presentations and Video from Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference Available Online
  • Bishop Family of Illinois Selected as MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Graduate Student Grant
  • Nebraska Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
  • Virginia Specialty Crop Block Grant

Coming Events

  • California Farm to School and Garden Conference
  • Using High Tunnels for Season Extension
  • Farmer & Rancher Succession Planning Workshop

News & Resources

Penn State Research Suggests New Vision for Future of Agriculture
Penn State research published in Bioscience suggests that world food production likely will need to increase between 25% and 70% to meet 2050 demand, rather than needing to double as is frequently posited. Furthermore, according to the researchers, agriculture's environmental impacts are increasing and must drop dramatically to maintain clean water and stabilize the climate.

Sterling College School of the New American Farmstead Announces 2017 Course Listings
The School of the New American Farmstead at Sterling College offers a range of continuing education short courses. In small classes, students work one-on-one with sustainable agriculture pioneers and reverent food artisans. Offerings for summer 2017 include five-day courses in New Pastoralism & Innovative Entrepreneurship, Market Gardening Master Class, Holistic Livestock Husbandry, Grazing and Soil Building, and Ethical Slaughter and Butchery.

ATTRA Voices from the Field Podcasts Now Available in iTunes and Google Play
ATTRA's Voices from the Field podcasts are the newest way to access our sustainable-agriculture expertise. The podcasts are available in iTunes and Google Play. Just search for "ATTRA." Podcasts already released address cover crops, farm energy efficiency, meat processing, and marketing. New podcasts are being added regularly.

Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Accepting Applicants
The two-year Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program is accepting applicants. The program requires 4,000 hours of instruction, including 277 hours of online classes, and on-the-job training. The Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program is approved in nine states: Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Wisconsin. Those interested in becoming an apprentice or serving as a Dairy Master Grazier may apply online.

Presentations and Video from Practical Farmers of Iowa Conference Available Online
Practical Farmers of Iowa is making videos, presentation slides, and handouts available free online from sessions at its annual conference, held in January 2017. The materials cover a wide range of topics, from land access to grazing, and alternative fruit crops to farm business management.

Bishop Family of Illinois Selected as MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year
The Bishop Family of PrairiErth Farm in Atlanta, Illinois, were announced as the MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year. The LaCrosse Tribune reports that PrairiErth was certified organic in 2004, and produces diversified crops and livestock on 300 acres. Their production includes 200 varieties of vegetables, eggs, honey, flowers, orchard fruit, cattle, pigs, and chickens. They sell through farmers markets, a vegetable CSA, direct-to-consumer meats, and wholesale to restaurants and stores.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

North Central Region SARE Graduate Student Grant
Graduate students enrolled at colleges or universities in the North Central region can submit proposals for up to $12,000 to fund sustainable agriculture projects that will be part of their educational programs. NCR-SARE expects to fund about 15 projects in the 12-state North Central region.
Proposals are due by April 13, 2017.

Nebraska Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) is accepting grant proposals for its 2017 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which supports research, development, and marketing of specialty crops. NDA anticipates approximately $600,000 will be available. Producers, organizations, and associations, as well as state and local agencies, educational groups, and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply.
The deadline for submitting proposals is March 1, 2017.

Virginia Specialty Crop Block Grant
Groups seeking to improve the competitiveness of specialty crops in Virginia are eligible to submit proposals to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for grants up to $60,000. Agricultural associations, industry and producer groups, community-based organizations, educational institutions, and non-profits may submit applications. Priority issues for funding are identified online.
Applications are due by March 13, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

California Farm to School and Garden Conference
March 27-29, 2017
Modesto, California

This conference offers workshops, panels, and discussions that will be of significant educational and networking value to attendees representing all facets of the farm to school movement.

Using High Tunnels for Season Extension
March 27 or 28, 2017
Concord or Greensboro, North Carolina

Center for Environmental Farming Systems and partners are offering these workshops where beginning and advanced growers will learn to increase their high tunnel production efficiency through proper management techniques.

Farmer & Rancher Succession Planning Workshop
March 15, 2017
Grass Valley, California

California FarmLink is hosting a workshop that will help farmers and ranchers pass their knowledge to the next generation and help new ranchers or farmers get started.

>>More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
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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
Farm Energy Efficiency

Question of the Week
What specialty vegetables could I grow in a cold climate with no season extension?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Connecting with Institutional Markets
Producer Webinar

March 2, 2017,
11:00am - 12:00pm MST
Last chance to register!

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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