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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 27, 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.

News & Resources

  • Organic Seed Producers Directory Launched
  • Research Shows Biodiversity Can Help Suppress Human Pathogens
  • USDA Offers Assistance to Farmers, Ranchers Affected by Flooding
  • CSP Contracts from 2014 Eligible for Extension
  • Farm Commons Offers Free Online Food Safety Liability Training
  • Agroforestry Academy Accepting Registrations

Funding Opportunities

  • Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
  • 1890 National Scholars Program
  • Priority Nutrient Management Practices in Western Lake Erie Basin

Coming Events

  • Battleground to Breaking Ground Ag Business Workshop and Farm Tour
  • Small Ruminant Workshop
  • New England Organic Produce Conference

News & Resources

Organic Seed Producers Directory Launched
Organic Seed Alliance has launched an online Organic Seed Producers Directory that connects organic seed producers with seed companies and wholesale seed buyers. Seed producers are invited to create a profile in the new directory. Companies looking for wholesale seed can use the directory to find farmers who are already growing organic seed for wholesale or are interested in contracting to do so.
Related ATTRA Resource: Directory of Organic Seed Suppliers

Research Shows Biodiversity Can Help Suppress Human Pathogens
Research published in the Journal of Applied Ecology indicates that dung beetles and soil bacteria can help suppress harmful pathogens on the farm before they spread to humans. "Wildlife and livestock are often seen as something that endanger food safety, but our research shows that reducing on-farm biodiversity might be totally counterproductive," research leader Matthew Jones concluded.
This research showed that biodiversity can contribute significantly to pathogen reduction.
Related ATTRA Publication: Dung Beetle Benefits in the Pasture Ecosystem

USDA Offers Assistance to Farmers, Ranchers Affected by Flooding
USDA is providing program flexibilities and other assistance to residents, agricultural producers, and communities impacted by recent flooding. USDA has an emergency loan program that provides eligible farmers low-interest loans to help them recover from production and physical losses. In addition, livestock owners and crop producers may qualify for assistance for their losses. USDA also offers other programs that can help with disaster recovery, as well as a range of information resources.

CSP Contracts from 2014 Eligible for Extension
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced that Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) contract holders who first signed up in 2014 are eligible for a one-year contract extension. Producers who previously extended their 2014 contracts can now receive payments for one additional year. The 2018 Farm Bill changed the CSP renewal process, so that henceforth, producers with expiring contracts will have to apply to renew in competition with new and other renewing applications.

Farm Commons Offers Free Online Food Safety Liability Training
Farm Commons is offering Cultivate Legal Resilience through Food Safety Law, a free, online course, until April 30, 2019. Through this self-paced course, farmers will learn methods for reducing their risk of food safety liability and best practices for planning for recovery support if and when a food-safety incident occurs. The course's 11 modules cover personal injury liability, insurance needs, state and federal regulations, FSMA, and more.
Related ATTRA Videos: Food Safety

Agroforestry Academy Accepting Registrations
The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry is accepting applications for its Agroforestry Academy, set for July 21-26, 2019, in Columbia, Missouri. The training includes integrated classroom workshops, multiple on-farm visits, and hands-on demonstrations. It focuses on practical on-farm agroforestry planning and design to advance adoption of agroforestry as a cornerstone of productive land use. Scholarships are available for veteran farmers. Registration is due by May 24, 2019.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agroforestry: An Overview

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the 2019 Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Projects should solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities. Total funding of $20 million is available. This program funds high-priority integrated projects that will enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high-quality organic agricultural products. Nine priorities are listed in the Request for Applications, available online.
Applications are due by May 2, 2019.

1890 National Scholars Program
USDA is accepting scholarship applications for the 1890 National Scholars Program. This partnership between USDA and the 1890 historically black land-grant colleges and universities aims to increase the number of minority students studying agriculture, food, natural-resource sciences, and other agriculture-related disciplines. The program provides full tuition, fees, books, room, and board to students pursuing degrees in agriculture, food, natural-resource sciences, or related academic disciplines.
Applications must be postmarked by April 30, 2019.

Priority Nutrient Management Practices in Western Lake Erie Basin
The Environmental Protection Agency Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Grant and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are providing funds for farmers in the Western Lake Erie Basin to implement new nutrient-management practices. This program will provide cost-share up to $15,000 for farmers to try practices such as grid/zone sampling, variable-rate application or subsurface placement, yield-monitor calibration, and evaluation of nutrient management.
Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis through local Conservation Districts.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Battleground to Breaking Ground Ag Business Workshop and Farm Tour
May 17-18, 2019
Liberty, Texas
These workshops are designed for military veterans, their spouses, small-scale producers, and those interested in starting an agriculture business. The free workshops provide education regarding agriculture business ideas and start-up, business plan development, possibilities for farming/ranching with a disability, financial funding opportunities, and resources to support agricultural business operations.

Small Ruminant Workshop
May 11, 2019
Hattiesburg, Mississippi
At this one-day workshop, Mississippi State University Extension offers an opportunity to dig deeper into goat and sheep production by increasing your knowledge in grazing management, animal production, nutrition, parasite identification, reproduction, and meat quality.

New England Organic Produce Conference
May 1, 2019
Foxboro, Massachusetts
The New England Produce Council and the Organic Produce Network announce the first New England Organic Produce Conference, featuring Shannon Allen as keynote speaker.

>>More Events

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Updated ATTRA Publication
Aquaponics Multitrophic Systems for Sustainable Food Production

Question of the Week
What vitamins and mineral supplements should I provide to sheep?

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Armed to Farm Veteran Training
May 13-17, 2019 Crawfordsville, Indiana
Applications due by April 8, 2019.

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