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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 13, 2019

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.

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News & Resources

  • NRCS Invites Public Comment on Conservation Practice Standards
  • Report from FAO Warns of Biodiversity Loss in Agriculture
  • Thriving Farmer Podcast Series Introduced
  • New Framework for Economic Impact Analysis Captures Agricultural Contribution
  • CCOF Report Documents Benefits of Organic Agriculture
  • 'Farmer's Footprint' Documentary Series Launches

Funding Opportunities

  • Texas Young Farmer Grant Program
  • UC Santa Cruz Multicultural Scholars Program for Agroecology
  • Maryland Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Poultry Farmer Workshop: Layer Hens
  • Vegetable IPM Workshop
  • Livestock Guardian Dog Field Day

News & Resources

NRCS Invites Public Comment on Conservation Practice Standards
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced that it is seeking public input on 150-plus national conservation practice standards as part of implementing the 2018 Farm Bill. NRCS is requesting public comments on how to improve conservation practice standards for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program. The comment period ends April 25, 2019. Comments may be submitted online or by mail.

Report from FAO Warns of Biodiversity Loss in Agriculture
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has released State of the World's Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, a report showing that the biodiversity that underpins our food systems is disappearing—putting the future of our food, livelihoods, health, and environment under severe threat. The report points to decreasing plant diversity in farmers' fields, rising numbers of livestock breeds at risk of extinction, and increases in the proportion of overfished fish stocks. The full report is available online.

Thriving Farmer Podcast Series Introduced
The new Thriving Farmer podcast series features interviews with farmers from around the world by host Michael Kilpatrick. Learn strategies of successful farmers, hear in-depth interviews with leaders in the industry, and connect with stories of farmers. The first four episodes include an introduction to the series and interviews with Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm, Jenny Quiner of Dogpatch Urban Gardens, and Ben Beichler of Creambrook Farm. A new episode will be added each week.
Related ATTRA Resource:
Podcasts

New Framework for Economic Impact Analysis Captures Agricultural Contribution
A team from Cornell University has unveiled a framework for economic impact analysis that uses locally sourced data to accurately capture spending related to the agriculture industry. The Cornell researchers used New York's apple industry as a case study and found that it has a 21% larger economic impact than traditional models suggest.

CCOF Report Documents Benefits of Organic Agriculture
CCOF has released Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report, which details the many benefits that organic production is already generating and could generate on a far larger scale with increased organic acreage. "Organic food production is an opportunity to stimulate the state's economy, promote public health, and protect our natural resources," said Kelly Damewood, CEO of CCOF. " The report is available as a free download or in printed format.
Related ATTRA Resources: Organic Farming

'Farmer's Footprint' Documentary Series Launches
Farmer's Footprint, a documentary series from Seraphic Group, has launched with a 20-minute film that was named a Vimeo "Staff Pick." Each short film in the series visits a farming family transitioning into a future of renewed food independence and economic viability through regenerative agriculture. The inaugural film in the series, Farmer's Footprint: The Beginning, showcases the trials, lessons learned, and gratifying victories of the four-generation Breitkreutz family of Stoney Creek Farm in Redwood Falls, Minnesota.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Texas Young Farmer Grant Program
Texas Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Texas Young Farmer Grant Program. This program offers dollar-for-dollar matching grant funds to young agricultural producers who are engaged or will be engaged in creating or expanding an agricultural business in Texas. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 46. Grant awards range from $5,000 to $20,000 and may not be used toward capital purchases.
Applications are due by April 10, 2019.

UC Santa Cruz Multicultural Scholars Program for Agroecology
The UC Santa Cruz Multicultural Scholars Program seeks to build a more inclusive and equitable food system and academic community in agroecology. To qualify, students must be accepted to start at UC Santa Cruz in Fall 2019 as a transfer or first-year student, and intend to declare a major in Environmental Studies or a related field. Students must have an interest in agroecology, food systems, or food justice, be a member of a historically under-represented group in academia, and be a U.S. citizen. Support includes $6,500 a year for four years, as well as assistance with books, leadership skills, and faculty advising. Each student will also receive a $4,000 stipend to support a summer internship.
The application deadline is April 1, 2019.

Maryland Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The Maryland Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals for Specialty Crop Block Grants to enhance the competitiveness of Maryland specialty crops. Proposals will be accepted from non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations involved in Maryland agriculture. Applicants must have the support of a specific specialty crop organization or group with at least three specialty crop producers. Funding priorities are food safety compliance, market enhancement, and research.
Applications are due by March 29, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Poultry Farmer Workshop: Layer Hens
April 10, 2019
Healdsburg, California
This workshop from UC Cooperative Extension and partners including NCAT is geared towards prospective, beginning, or intermediate farmers interested in raising layer hen flocks free-ranged or on pasture.

Vegetable IPM Workshop
April 9, 2019
Dubuque, Iowa
Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is holding a free, one-day workshop on managing common insects, diseases, and weeds in vegetable production systems. Pre-registration is required by March 31, 2019.

Livestock Guardian Dog Field Day
April 12, 2019
Menard, Texas
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will host a field day including speakers, a producer panel, and two ranch tours. The field day will also highlight new technology for better tracking and feeding LGDs.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Podcast
Low-Income Local Food Access

Question of the Week
What are the least toxic herbicides?

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Don't Let the Barber Pole Worm Ravage Your Flock
Free one-hour webinar led by Dave Scott on March 14, 2019. Last chance to register!

Grazing and Marketing for Profitability
Free on-farm livestock workshop in Lena, Mississippi, on March 14, 2019. Last chance to register!

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