Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 9, 2016
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.
News & Resources
- FDA Requests Information for Risk Assessment of Untreated Biological Soil Amendments
- Study Reveals Social Motivations of Urban Farmers
- Research Investigating Pharmaceutical Persistence in Wastewater
- New Letters Journal to Focus on Agricultural and Environmental Issues
- Organic Seed Internship Program Accepting Applications
- CSP Application and Renewal Deadline for 2016 Approaching
- Conservation Innovation Grants
- National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program
- North Carolina Specialty Crop Grant Program
- Mother Earth News Fair
- AgrAbility National Training Workshop
- Soil Health Workshop with Ray Archuleta
News & Resources
FDA Requests Information for Risk Assessment of Untreated Biological Soil Amendments
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting scientific data, information, and comments that would assist in its plan to develop a risk assessment for produce grown in fields amended with untreated biological soil amendments of animal origin (including raw manure). The risk assessment also will evaluate the impact of interventions, such as a time interval between application of the soil amendment and crop harvest, on the predicted risk. Submit information by May 3, 2016.
Study Reveals Social Motivations of Urban Farmers
A study led by NYU Steinhardt shows that three of the four top reasons farmers grow in urban areas—food security, education, community building, and producing food for the market—have social motivations. Study authors included Andy Pressman of the National Center for Appropriate Technology.
Research Investigating Pharmaceutical Persistence in Wastewater
Pennsylvania State University researchers are investigating what happens to pharmaceutical and personal-care-product compounds that remain in effluent after treatment, according to the American Society of Agronomy. Pre-harvest samples of wheat spray-irrigated with effluent showed antibiotic and anti-seizure compounds on the outer surfaces of the plant, but insignificant amounts in the grain and straw.
New Letters Journal to Focus on Agricultural and Environmental Issues
Agricultural & Environmental Letters (AEL) is a new open-access digital journal from the American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and the Crop Science Society of America. The publication will feature papers, guest editorials, and a commentary section to allow agricultural and environmental scientists further conversation. Letters to the Editor are greatly encouraged.
Organic Seed Internship Program Accepting Applications
Organic Seed Alliance and the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture have launched the Seed Internship Program. The program matches individuals who want to learn about organic seed production with experienced seed farmers. Six-month internships combine hands-on education, farm-based independent study, and classroom and online learning.
CSP Application and Renewal Deadline for 2016 Approaching
USDA NRCS is making $150 million available for agricultural producers through the Conservation Stewardship Program in fiscal 2016. The 2016 deadline to apply for CSP and renew expiring contracts is March 31.
The minimum payment has been raised this year to $1,500.
>> More Breaking News
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Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA NRCS is accepting applications for up to $20 million in competitive national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). Up to $2 million has been set aside for projects targeted to historically underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers, beginning farmers and ranchers, and those with limited resources. The CIG focus for 2016 is Water Quality and Conservation Finance.
Applications are due by May 10, 2016.
National Black Farmers Association Scholarship Program
FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) Foundation has established a scholarship program to assist African American farmers, their dependent children, and other African American students who plan to continue their education in college or vocational school programs. Selected students will receive $2,500 for two-year or vocational-technical study or $5,000 for full-time four-year study. A minimum of 20 awards will be granted.
The application site will close on May 2, 2016, or when 100 applications have been submitted, whichever occurs first.
North Carolina Specialty Crop Grant Program
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is accepting specialty crop grant proposals ranging from $20,000 to $200,000. Nonprofit organizations, commodity associations, state and local government agencies, colleges, and universities may apply.
The application deadline is March 25, 2016.
>> More Funding Opportunities
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Mother Earth News Fair
April 9-10, 2016
Asheville, North Carolina
This event features more than 150 workshops on organic gardening, food preservation, homesteading and livestock, and natural health, as well as exhibitors that feature sustainable products and services. Speakers include Joel Salatin and Eliot Coleman.
AgrAbility National Training Workshop
April 11-14, 2016
Fort Collins, Colorado
Professionals and consumers from all over the country will participate in four days of plenary sessions, breakouts, tours, networking, and special events. The opening keynote address will be given by Dr. Temple Grandin.
Soil Health Workshop with Ray Archuleta
April 9, 2016
OEFFA welcomes Ray Archuleta and David Brandt for an in-depth, on-farm workshop designed to help you successfully manage your farm's soil health. A tour of Moyer Brothers Farms' cover crops and a soil pit demonstration complete this day-long event.
>> More Events
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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.
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