Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 5, 2008
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* SARE Issues 'Clean Energy Farming' Bulletin
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* Wilkes University Putting New 'Spin' on Urban Farming
* Online Farm Enterprise Start-up Course Offered
* Coalition Plans Web Assessment Tool for Quantifying Sustainable Agriculture
* Film Promoting Local, Organic Agriculture Available
* Meat Goat Quick Reference Guide Offered
* Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Grant Program
* New York Component Conservation Innovation Grant
* National AgrAbility Project
* CRAFT Orientation Workshop
* Planning for Success: Marketing, Branding, Business Planning, And Conservation Programs for Your Farm
* Small-Scale Goat Dairy Production Workshop
News & Resources
SARE Issues 'Clean Energy Farming' Bulletin
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education has issued a new publication, Clean Energy Farming: Cutting Costs, Improving Efficiencies, Harnessing Renewables. The free publication is available online or in print, and features innovative SARE-funded research and examples of farmers who are improving energy efficiency while saving money. These growers and ranchers are implementing farming practices that save energy, protect natural resources, and produce and use renewable fuels.
Wilkes University Putting New 'Spin' on Urban Farming
Wilkes University in Pennsylvania will be one of the latest organizations to adopt a new system of urban agriculture when it sponsors a workshop and conducts a project on SPIN (Small Plot INtensive) farming this spring, says the Times Leader. The National Center for Appropriate Technology will advise the University's project, which will turn a parking lot into an urban food production demonstration. Students will learn about a growing system designed to produce commercially marketable quantities of food in backyard-size spaces.
Online Farm Enterprise Start-up Course Offered
Aspiring, new and diversifying farmers now have the opportunity to receive farm enterprise start-up training online. The NY Beginning Farmer Project, a collaborative effort of the Cornell Small Farms Program and Cooperative Extension educators, has developed a 9-week online course. The course is housed in a virtual "classroom" that can only be entered by registered participants. The lesson plan is similar to other new farmer trainings and curricula, starting with an assessment of goals and resources, moving through marketing, enterprise selection, and environmental stewardship practices, and ending with a hard look at profit potential and business planning. The course starts the week of March 19, and costs $200. Course size is limited. To register, call Kristen at 315-788-8450.
Coalition Plans Web Assessment Tool for Quantifying Sustainable Agriculture
A coalition with 24 participants including the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, and Pioneer is developing an index designed to quantify agricultural sustainability, reports Nebraska Farmer. The initiative is organized and facilitated by The Keystone Center. Initially growers in four states—Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa and Texas—will test the initiative's secure, Web-based assessment tool for sustainability. By fall the tool should be available to growers in all states, and allow them to compare their operations to an industry-wide index.
Film Promoting Local, Organic Agriculture Available
The short film, "The Organic Opportunity: Small Farms & Economic Development" tells the story of Woodbury County, Iowa's innovative economic development campaign centered on the development of local, organic agriculture. This film is designed to be used with Chambers of Commerce, economic development organizations, elected officials, farmers and consumers -- anyone interested in discovering the positive impact a local food system grounded in organic agricultural practices can play in a community's economic, environmental and physical health. "The Organic Opportunity" is a great story that demonstrates how local communities can create a different food system which provides its citizens with wonderful food, and makes it possible for young farmers to improve the community economy by continuing to farm.
Meat Goat Quick Reference Guide Offered
Way to Goat! is a quick reference guide to raising meat goats, compiled by Yvonne Zweede-Tucker, based on 16 years of successful experience in North Central Montana. Binder tabs denote sections on topics such as feed, health, kidding, facilities, and selling slaughter animals. The Way to Goat! binder is available for $27, including postage cost, direct from Smoke Ridge, 1380 Highway 220, Choteau, Montana 59422.
Related ATTRA Publication: Meat Goats: Sustainable Production
> More Breaking News
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Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Grant Program
The Buy Local Buy Wisconsin (BLBW) grant program invites proposals for projects that are likely to stimulate Wisconsin's agricultural economy by increasing the purchasing of Wisconsin grown or produced food by local food buyers. Proposals will be accepted from individuals, groups, businesses and organizations involved in Wisconsin agriculture production, Wisconsin agriculture tourism, Wisconsin retail food establishments or Wisconsin food processing, distribution or warehousing. The program has $225,000 to award to projects with a maximum grant amount of $50,000.
Proposals are due April 14, 2008.
New York Component Conservation Innovation Grant
The purpose of CIG is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production while leveraging federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection. New York NRCS anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in Fiscal Year 2008 will be approximately $250,000, with individual grants not to exceed $75,000.
Proposals are due May 2, 2008.
National AgrAbility Project
CSREES announces the availability of grant funds and requests applications for the Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities: National AgrAbility Project (NAP) for fiscal year (FY) 2008 to increase the likelihood that farmers, ranchers, farm workers, or farm family members with disabilities and their farms experience success. For FY 2008, CSREES anticipates approximately $550,000 will be available to fund a single new National AgrAbility Project. Only Cooperative Extension Services at 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Universities and Colleges are eligible to apply.
Proposals are due April 24, 2008.
> More Funding Opportunities
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CRAFT Orientation Workshop
April 11-12, 2008
East Troy, Wisconsin
The Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (CRAFT) brings together farm interns and offers them a peer base where they can connect to others who share common goals. In this two-day workshop, farmers share their experiences with members of CRAFT. Enjoy the learning sessions and take this opportunity to meet CRAFT members and join the alliance yourself.
Planning for Success: Marketing, Branding, Business Planning, And Conservation Programs for Your Farm
March 31, 2008
Join Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) and North Georgia Technical College for a half-day workshop that will present information and tools to farmers interested in expanding and diversifying into different markets.
Small-Scale Goat Dairy Production Workshop
April 5, 2008
Central Point, Oregon
In this day-long class, you will learn the fundamentals of raising dairy goats, including nutrition and health; regulations for dairy production in the state of Oregon; breeding; marketing; and other production issues. Field visit to Siskiyou Crest Dairy included.
> More Events
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