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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 19, 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

  • National Organic Standards Board Announces Spring Meeting; Invites Public Comments
  • New Publication Highlights Impact of Prairie Conservation Strips
  • Water-Quality Credit Trades Fund On-Farm Conservation
  • Nominations Sought for National Organic Standards Board Vacancies
  • FDA Announces Public Meeting on Scope of EIS for FSMA Produce Rule
  • SARE Issues Biennial Report on Sustainable Agriculture Innovations

Funding Opportunities

  • Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI)
  • North Dakota Land Enhancement and Habitat Renewal Program
  • NRCS Missouri Water Quality Initiative

Coming Events

  • Southeastern Sustainable Livestock Conference
  • Camp Mushroom
  • Entering the Institutional Food Market

News & Resources

National Organic Standards Board Announces Spring Meeting; Invites Public Comments
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is seeking public comment in advance of its meeting in San Antonio, Texas, April 29 - May 2, 2014. The board will address petitions pertaining to substances for use in aquaculture, streptomycin for use to control fire blight in pears and apples, and glycerin. Written comments on the proposals can be submitted until April 8, 2014, at www.regulations.gov. The meeting is open to the public. The National Organic Program (NOP) invites those interested in sharing comments orally at the meeting to register by April 8, 2014.

New Publication Highlights Impact of Prairie Conservation Strips
A new publication from Iowa State University's STRIPS team and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Small Changes, Big Impacts: Prairie Conservation Strips, explains why this new conservation practice is important for the future of agriculture in the state. The STRIPS team has calculated that planting prairie strips is one of the most cost-effective conservation practices available to farmers, preventing runoff and creating habitat.

Water-Quality Credit Trades Fund On-Farm Conservation
American Farmland Trust, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), and other collaborators have launched a pilot program to help farmers in the Ohio River Basin participate in the first-ever interstate water-quality credit trading program. Water-quality trading is a market-based approach that allows facilities to meet required pollution reductions by paying farmers for the installation of conservation practices. EPRI has set aside $300,000 to cover up to 75% of the installation of best management practices in the pilot program.

Nominations Sought for National Organic Standards Board Vacancies
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations to fill four NOSB vacancies: environmentalist, organic producer, organic handler, and retailer. Written nominations, with cover letters, resumes, and a required form, must be postmarked on or before May 15, 2014.

FDA Announces Public Meeting on Scope of EIS for FSMA Produce Rule
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has announced a public meeting on April 4, 2014, to discuss the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed rule to establish standards under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) for growing, harvesting, packing, and holding of produce for human consumption. The meeting will be webcast.

SARE Issues Biennial Report on Sustainable Agriculture Innovations
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) provides grant funding to cutting-edge farmers, ranchers, researchers, and educators for projects that aim to improve the sustainability of American agriculture. For 12 inspirational profiles of agricultural innovation from every corner of the United States, check out the latest edition of SARE's biennial report, 2013/2014 Report from the Field. The 20-page report is available free online or in print.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI)
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is accepting applications for the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). OREI seeks to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. Grants of $50,000 to $2 million are available.
Applications are due May 8, 2014.

North Dakota Land Enhancement and Habitat Renewal Program
North Dakota Department of Agriculture has announced grants to help landowners enhance their property and restore habitat damaged by overland flooding, erosion, and infestation by noxious and invasive species. A total of $50,000 is available in matching grants for reclamation, landscaping, soil conditioning, revegetation, and weed control.
Applications are due by April 18, 2014.

NRCS Missouri Water Quality Initiative
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the availability of $837,000 to help farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners in three watersheds (Lower Little Medicine, Upper Troublesome, and Opossum Creek-North Fork Spring River) install conservation practices that manage nutrients, pathogens, and sediments.
Applications must be received by April 18, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Southeastern Sustainable Livestock Conference
April 26, 2014
Austin, Texas

This inaugural conference will bring humane livestock farmers together to learn from their peers through workshops and seminars about best practices for pasture raising and humane handling of livestock, as well as marketing. It will look at how to increase the market for meat from sustainably/humanely raised livestock and create a Southeastern Sustainable Livestock organization.

Camp Mushroom
April 25-26, 2014
Van Etten, New York

Camp Mushroom is a unique beginner/intermediate-level workshop presented by Cornell University for those interested in small-scale forest mushroom cultivation.

Entering the Institutional Food Market
April 25, 2014
Butte, Montana

This workshop hosted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology will provide information and technical assistance for Montana food producers-- farmers, ranchers, and food processors-- interested in accessing the institutional market. Attendees will learn about supplier best practices, food safety regulations, and institutions' considerations when sourcing from local producers.

>> More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Putting a Hand on Them - How to Tell When Your Lamb is Finished

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