Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 5, 2014

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • Vegetable Grower's Guide to Organic Certification Released
  • Farm to School Training Templates Available Online
  • Report Summarizes Organic Agriculture Research in Wisconsin
  • New Tool Helps Farmers Predict Soil Organic Matter Content
  • Broadcast Recording Available from National Cover Crops Conference
  • National Organic Program Clarifies Status of Hydroponics

Funding Opportunities

  • Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
  • Conservation Innovation Grants in Maine
  • Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grant

Coming Events

  • New Farmer Summit
  • Urban Farming Business Basics Course
  • Midlands Farm Tour

News & Resources

Vegetable Grower's Guide to Organic Certification Released
The National Young Farmers Coalition has released the Vegetable Grower's Guide to Organic Certification, for any vegetable farmer who embraces the philosophy of organic agriculture but isn't yet certified. The guide addresses some of the challenges to certification and helps farmers explore the decision for themselves. The guide is free to download.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products

Farm to School Training Templates Available Online
The National Farm to School Network (NFSN) has released a set of farm to school and farm to preschool training materials for farmers, child-nutrition directors, educators, and early-care providers. Each training template consists of a customizable slide deck, speaker notes, handouts, and an evaluation form. These tools can be used to conduct more effective trainings and share the value of farm to school in communities across the country.

Report Summarizes Organic Agriculture Research in Wisconsin
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection have published a report on organic agriculture research at the university. This report summarizes 23 studies conducted by researchers in partnership with farmers across the state.

New Tool Helps Farmers Predict Soil Organic Matter Content
Ohio State University researchers have developed a new tool that allows farmers to easily predict soil organic matter content and that can help them make decisions about whether or not to sell crop residue. The soil organic matter calculator is a spreadsheet-based tool including a user guide, data manager, a calculator for prediction of soil organic matter, a test scenario module, and printed results.

Broadcast Recording Available from National Cover Crops Conference
SARE has announced that a recording of opening sessions from the National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health is now available online. The conference recording features a discussion of how cover crops can improve soil health and the major barriers to their increased adoption. Also available online are presentations from breakout sessions and 10 short videos of innovative farmers describing their use of cover crops.

National Organic Program Clarifies Status of Hydroponics
USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has posted a new topic page, "Organic Hydroponic Crop Production," to clarify the status of hydroponics under the USDA organic regulations. Organic hydroponic production is allowed as long as the producer can demonstrate compliance with the USDA organic regulations. Accredited certifying agents are certifying organic hydroponic operations based on the current organic regulations and the operation's Organic System Plan.

>> More Breaking News

Back to top


Funding Opportunities

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is accepting applications for fiscal year 2014 to support the development of Community Food Projects (CFP) and Planning Projects (PP) to assess food-security needs and plan long-term solutions to help ensure food security in communities. CFP awards will not exceed $125,000 in any single year or more than $300,000 over three years, and PP awards will not exceed $25,000. Matching funds are required.
Applications are due by March 31, 2014.

Conservation Innovation Grants in Maine
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that grants of up to $75,000 are available in Maine for new technology or approaches. NRCS is seeking applications from Maine farmers; landowners; State, tribal, and local government entities; and non-governmental organizations. NRCS will consider proposals addressing nutrient management, energy efficiency, soil health, and wildlife habitat.
Applications must be received by April 1, 2014.

Wisconsin Specialty Crop Block Grant
Non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other agricultural groups are encouraged to apply for Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection seeks applicants that will enhance the competitiveness of Wisconsin's specialty crop industries in domestic and foreign markets.
Applications are due by March 31, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

Back to top


Coming Events

New Farmer Summit
April 4-5, 2014
Belleville, Wisconsin

Beginning farmers, aspiring farmers, homesteaders, those looking for land access strategies, and those who want to meet other new farmers should attend this summit. The event offers 24 practical workshops that will cover both the financial and growing sides of your farm business, as well as networking opportunities.

Urban Farming Business Basics Course
April 5, 12, 26; May 3 and 17, 2014
Stockton, California

In collaboration with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and CAFE Co-op, PUENTES is offering a five-session course to help aspiring urban farmers develop their future business plan. The course will help participants articulate goals and develop basic components of a business plan, including a basic production plan, marketing plan, and financial projections.

Midlands Farm Tour
April 5-6, 2014
Columbia, South Carolina

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association offers a self-guided tour of participating farms and sites located throughout the Midlands in Richland, Lexington, and Kershaw counties.

>> More Events

Back to top


Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.

© 2014 NCAT

Back to top

New ATTRA Publication
Drought Programs and Resources

Question of the Week
How can I continue to irrigate a pasture overgrazed by goats and llamas and prevent further deterioration?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Video
Our recent webinars and videos are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive.

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

ATTRA is on Facebook!
We feature breaking news on sustainable agriculture topics several times a week. Add us to your Facebook friends list today!

Find us on facebook

 

Follow us on Pinterest

 

 

Support the ATTRA Project


ATTRAs 25th Anniversary

Home | Newsletter Archives