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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 22, 2017

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

  • USDA Announces Aid for Midwest Farmers and Ranchers Affected by Fire
  • Report Offers Recommendations for Supporting Farmers Transitioning to Organic
  • Researchers Explore Which Farmers Would Adopt Multifunctional Perennial Cropping Systems
  • Direct-Marketing Factsheet Addresses Mobile Media Marketing
  • Wisconsin Farm to School Success Stories Featured
  • Session Proposals Sought for Community Food Systems Conference

Funding Opportunities

  • Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant Program
  • Idaho Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
  • Conservation Innovation Grants in New Mexico

Coming Events

  • Kentucky Grazing School
  • Prairie View A&M University Agricultural Field Day
  • Sustainable Pasture-Based Livestock Production and Beekeeping Field Day

News & Resources

USDA Announces Aid for Midwest Farmers and Ranchers Affected by Fire
USDA has announced more than $6 million in funding to implement practices that will help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners affected by wildfires in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Funding made available through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) will assist producers as they begin to restore grazing land, rebuild fencing, protect damaged watersheds, and implement conservation measures to mitigate losses. Producers must submit an EQIP application.
Related ATTRA Resource: Disaster Assistance for Agricultural Producers

Report Offers Recommendations for Supporting Farmers Transitioning to Organic
Breaking New Ground: Farmer Perspectives on Organic Transition is a new report from Oregon Tilth and Oregon State University's Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems. It highlights recommendations for providing support in crop research, infrastructure, and market development, as well as shaping public policies. The report recommends adopting a values-based approach, providing individualized support, developing more effective weed- and pest-management strategies, and learning more about the relationship between yield and successful transition.

Researchers Explore Which Farmers Would Adopt Multifunctional Perennial Cropping Systems
Researchers at the University of Illinois surveyed farmers in the Upper Sangamon River Watershed about whether they would use multifunctional perennial cropping systems (MPCs) on marginal land. MPCs are trees, shrubs, or grasses that simultaneously benefit the environment and generate high-value products. The study found that "educated networkers" and "young innovators" are most likely to adopt MPCs. Outreach efforts that target these groups are likely to deliver the greatest results. The researchers also identified barriers that keep farmers from adopting MPCs.

Direct-Marketing Factsheet Addresses Mobile Media Marketing
Ohio State University Extension has released a factsheet that summarizes what marketers need to do to manage their online presence. It helps new businesses and experienced ones keep up to date on how they are viewed online, find out what information about their business is available, and learn how to connect it all with a consistent online presence.
Related ATTRA Publication: Social Media Tools for Farm Product Marketing

Wisconsin Farm to School Success Stories Featured
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at University of Wisconsin - Madison has published two new two-page Farm to School Success Stories. Sheboygan Falls: Farm to High School relates how the school has focused on preserving the bounty of its garden for use year-round in the cafeteria. Plymouth High School Food Science and Agriculture Center describes how the school was able to open a 5,100-square-foot Food Science and Agriculture Center.

Session Proposals Sought for Community Food Systems Conference
The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project is seeking proposals for workshop sessions at its Community Food Systems Conference, to be held December 5-7, 2017, in Boston. This conference will explore the intersection of food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture. Proposals for 90-minute workshops or 5-minute lightning talks will be accepted until April 3, 2017.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grant Program
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is accepting applications for Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants. The grants can help farms and business more efficiently process, market, and distribute food in local markets including stores, schools, and institutions. The maximum award is $50,000. Qualified applicants include individuals, groups, or businesses involved in Wisconsin production agriculture, food processing, food distribution, food warehousing, retail food establishments, or agricultural tourism operations.
Pre-proposals are due by April 14, 2017.

Idaho Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The Idaho State Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to enhance the competitiveness of Idaho-grown specialty crops. Projects must benefit more than one product or organization. Funds are available to interested local, state, and federal government agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and universities.
Applications are due April 14, 2017.

Conservation Innovation Grants in New Mexico
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in New Mexico is accepting applications for $75,000 in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG stimulates the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applicants must provide a one-to-one match, and all projects must involve EQIP-eligible producers.
The application deadline is April 21, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Kentucky Grazing School
April 25-26, 2017
Princeton, Kentucky

This course, presented by the University of Kentucky, Kentucky Forage & Grassland Council, and others, includes both classroom and field sessions. Topics include animal nutrition and health, grazing planning, fencing, and more.

Prairie View A&M University Agricultural Field Day
April 28-29, 2017
Prairie View, Texas

This event raises awareness about the College of Agricultural and Human Sciences's farm activities and offers workshops for local farmers and producers on livestock and forage, small ruminants, horticulture, and vegetable production.

Sustainable Pasture-Based Livestock Production and Beekeeping Field Day
April 29, 2017
Selma, Alabama

This free, on-farm field day on developing and managing a year-round pasture system is hosted by Tuskegee University Cooperative Extension.

>>More Events

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Updated ATTRA Publication
Brambles: Organic Production

Question of the Week
What can you tell me about choosing bramble cultivars?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Armed to Farm
Apply by April 28, 2017, for our week-long sustainable agriculture training for military veterans, held in Fayetteville, Arkansas, June 12-16, 2017.

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