Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - March 9, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Start of Community Supported Agriculture Season Draws Attention
* Rotational Grazing Bibliography Released Online
* Advisory Panel Recommends Pasture for Organic Dairy Animals
* New Organic Compliance Handbook Available Online
* New Organic Fertilizer Marketed in Oregon
* Washington Farmers Use Diverse Marketing Techniques
* Southern SARE Releases Five Calls for Proposals
* Value-Added Producer Grant
* Funds Available for Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops
* Salad Greens and Seedling Production in Year Round Solar Greenhouses Workshop
* Marketing Your Food Product Workshop
* Second National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
News & Resources
Start of Community Supported Agriculture Season Draws Attention
Spring marks the start of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) seasons
across the country, with members paying subscription fees that will
entitle them to regular deliveries of produce from local farms. The Kerr
Center for Sustainable Agriculture reported recently about the growing
popularity of CSA in Oklahoma. In Massachusetts, an article in the Arlington
Advocate described how one farmer has set up a CSA program that
allows members to pick some of their own vegetables. Meanwhile, in the Twin Cities
area of Minnesota, the Land
Stewardship Project has released a free guide describing CSA farms
that serve the region, and encourages people to reserve their CSA shares now.
People looking for CSAs in their own area, or CSA farmers with shares to market,
can access a national CSA database available through SARE.
SARE offers CSA resources for farmers, in addition to a searchable database that
consumers can use to find CSA operations in their own states.
Rotational Grazing Bibliography Released Online
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems of the University of
Wisconsin-Madison has announced a new resource on
management-intensive rotational grazing. The Social Implications
of Management Intensive Rotational Grazing: An Annotated Bibliography presents
a comprehensive literature review of social issues of managed grazing,
including a summary and analysis of future research needs, more than
100 abstracts covering economic, social, and general reports on grazing,
and more than 30 abstracts covering the agronomic, environmental,
human nutrition, and grazing "how-to" literature. This publication
is part of a comprehensive study of grazing being carried out by
the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems. The complete publication
is available online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Rotational
Advisory Panel Recommends Pasture for Organic Dairy Animals
A federal advisory panel on the organic industry [National Organic
Standards Board] recommended this week that USDA tighten existing
rules that require organic livestock to be raised and fed on open
pasture, reported the Chicago Tribune in an article posted by the Times
Argus. The issue was first raised by complaints about large organic
dairies keeping their animals in pens, claiming lactation was a
"production stage." The panel recommended that this loophole be closed, by specifying
that dairy cows would be required to graze on pasture at least 120 days per year.
In addition, the advisory committee will post guidelines on the number of acres
of pasture required for each cow in different areas of the country. USDA will
now act on the recommendations, but it would likely be several years before rule
changes would take effect. According to the article, a number of organic dairy
farmers traveled to Washington to testify before the committee.
New Organic Compliance Handbook Available Online
The University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
(SAREP) has developed an Organic
Farming Compliance Handbook to help farmers and advisors find
accurate information about requirements for organic production and marketing.
Geared towards agricultural professionals in the West, the online guide is
organized into seven sections covering introductory material, the principles
of organic agriculture, national organic standards, organic production plans,
materials compliance, marketing and economics, and resources and organizations.
New Organic Fertilizer Marketed in Oregon
An Oregon man is marketing a new fertilizer that has organic
certification, according to KVAL 13. "Agrogreen" is an organic liquid fertilizer
with a pine oil base, that Agrogreen U-S-A's founder says helps it function as
a pesticide as well as a fertilizer. The company is working to get federal certification
from the Environmental Protection Agency for the product.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sources
of Organic Fertilizers and Amendments
Washington Farmers Use Diverse Marketing Techniques
The Skagit County Business Pulse in Washington recently reported on
local farmers who are using a variety of methods to direct market their
products. Area producers are connecting with markets by raising
distinguishable specialty products and selling them via the Internet,
on-farm sales, and farmers' markets. The small producers say these
methods allow them to succeed in selling products even though they
can't compete with large operations on price. Some of the farmers
featured in the article offer heirloom apple varieties, Brown Swiss
milk, organic meat, and vegetables.
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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Southern SARE Releases Five Calls for Proposals
The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
(SARE) program has released five calls for proposals. Included
in this release are calls for: Research and Education Grants;
Graduate Student Grants; Planning Grants in the Research and
Education Program; the Professional Development Program; and, new this year—the
Farm Mentor Program. This region includes: Alabama, Arkansas,
Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma,
South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Value-Added Producer Grant
USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) announces
the availability of approximately $14.3
million in competitive grant funds for
fiscal year (FY) 2005 to help
independent agricultural producers
enter into value-added activities. The primary objective of this
grant program is to help eligible independent producers of agricultural commodities,
agricultural producer groups, farmer and rancher cooperatives, and
majority-controlled producer-based business ventures develop strategies
to create marketing opportunities and to help develop business plans
for viable marketing opportunities. The maximum award per grant is
$100,000 for planning grants and
$150,000 for working capital grants and
matching funds are required.
Applications must be submitted by May 6, 2005.
Funds Available for Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops
The Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) announces the availability of
funding for the 2005 Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops (TASC)
Program. The program is designed to assist U.S. organizations by
providing funding for projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary,
and technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S.
specialty crops. U.S. specialty crops, for the purpose of the TASC
Program, are defined to include all cultivated plants, or the products
thereof, produced in the U.S., except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds
cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar, and tobacco. Proposals for the current
round of funding must be received by July 1, 2005.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Salad Greens and Seedling Production in Year Round Solar Greenhouses Workshop
April 9, 2005
Part of the Practical Farm Skills Workshop Series presented by NOFA
Massachusetts, this event showcases operation of two solar greenhouses
at Natick Community Organic Farm which produce year round salad mix and
seedling production. Lynda Simkins, farm manager, will cover bed
design, soil mixes, varieties, timing, picking and all the other tricks
of the trade of growing year round salad greens. Pre-registration
Marketing Your Food Product Workshop
April 21, 2005
Colorado Department of Agriculture Markets Division presents a one-day
workshop that will boost your marketing efforts from developing a plan
to getting your product on the shelves to promotion and advertising. A
brochure is online at
Second National Farm to Cafeteria Conference
June 16-18, 2005
The Community Food Security Coalition, Center for Food & Justice, Farm Aid,
and Kenyon College present this conference, focusing on Farms and Food Services
in Partnership. Speakers and workshops are planned.
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
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of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
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
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