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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 28, 2018

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.

"Our Farms, Our Future" On-Site Registration
There's still an opportunity to register on-site in St. Louis April 2-4, 2018, for "Our Farms, Our Future," a once-in-a-decade national conference that looks at the progress of sustainability in agriculture and helps to understand our trajectory for the future. Learn more.

News & Resources

  • Report Explores How Agroforestry Enhances Agricultural Resiliency
  • SARE Issues 30-Year Report Highlighting Investment in Sustainable Agriculture
  • State Climate Adaptation Plans for Agriculture Featured in Report
  • First Nations Project to Build Agricultural Business Capacity
  • New England Grass-Fed Beef Producers Collaborate to Serve Region
  • Cornell University Invites Farmers to Participate in National Farming Practices Survey

Funding Opportunities

  • Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans and Grants
  • Farmers Market Promotion Program
  • South Dakota Specialty Crop Block Grant

Coming Events

  • Forest Farming Grower/Industry Expo and Training Event
  • Beginning Texas Farmers & Ranchers Women's Class
  • Back To Your Roots: A Sustainable Agriculture Masters Series

News & Resources

Report Explores How Agroforestry Enhances Agricultural Resiliency
The USDA Forest Service report Agroforestry: Enhancing Resiliency in U.S. Agricultural Landscapes Under Changing Conditions presents the first-ever synthesis on agroforestry as a mechanism to provide mitigation and adaptation services in the face of a changing climate. This report shows how tree-based management strategies can improve agricultural production and resiliency, especially under increasingly fluctuating environmental conditions.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agroforestry: An Overview

SARE Issues 30-Year Report Highlighting Investment in Sustainable Agriculture
In celebration of its anniversary, USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has issued 30 Years of SARE: Our Farms, Our Future. Eight stories illustrate SARE's history of investing in the pioneering farmers, ranchers, researchers, and educators who are making American agriculture better equipped to face the challenges of today and tomorrow. The report is available free online and in print.

State Climate Adaptation Plans for Agriculture Featured in Report
The Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy has issued From the Ground Up: The State of the States on Climate Adaptation for Agriculture. The 43-page report analyzes how state climate adaptation plans treat agriculture and food systems and identifies challenges, best practices, and innovative approaches for the future. The report finds that only 18 states currently have climate adaptation plans that include agriculture. However, a few states have truly innovative policies that can serve as models.

First Nations Project to Build Agricultural Business Capacity
First Nations Development Institute has received a grant from USDA-NRCS to help build the capacity of Native American producers relative to business development, food sovereignty, and conservation planning. First Nations will conduct business trainings and provide conservation planning assistance, as well as provide specialized technical assistance to Native producers.

New England Grass-Fed Beef Producers Collaborate to Serve Region
A group of investors and grass-fed beef producers in New England and New York plan to harvest and market up to 5,000 head of top-quality grass-fed cattle annually, reports DTN/Progressive Farmer. Cattle grower Ridge Shinn is spearheading the aggregate marketing effort. All participating producers have GAP (Global Animal Partnership), non-GMO, and American Grassfed certification, and animals must be handled according to Animal Welfare Institute standards.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic and Grass-finished Beef Cattle Production

Cornell University Invites Farmers to Participate in National Farming Practices Survey
Research underway at Cornell University seeks to understand what the most important factors are for farm owners and managers when deciding whether or not to use certain practices. Farmers are invited to complete the anonymous, national, online survey. The survey takes approximately 30 minutes, and those who complete it are eligible for a chance to win $500.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Rural Energy for America Program Renewable Energy Systems and Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans and Grants
The Rural Energy for America Program administered by USDA Rural Development provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable-energy systems or to make energy-efficiency improvements. Grants are available for up to 25% of total eligible project costs. Combined grant and loan guarantee funding is available for up to 75% of total eligible project costs. Renewable-energy systems grants are available up to $500,000, and energy-efficiency grants are $250,000 maximum.
Applications are due April 30, 2018.

Farmers Market Promotion Program
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting applications for approximately $13 million in competitive grant funds available through the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). The goals of FMPP grants are to increase domestic consumption of and access to locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. FMPP funds both Capacity Building and Community Development, Training, and Technical Assistance projects.
Applications are due by May 7, 2018.

South Dakota Specialty Crop Block Grant
South Dakota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for Specialty Crop Block Grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Projects can address specialty crop marketing, access, production, and food safety. Proposals will be accepted from non-profit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, individuals and other organizations related to South Dakota's specialty crops industry.
Applications are due May 1, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Forest Farming Grower/Industry Expo and Training Event
May 19-20, 2018
Kingsport, Tennessee and Duffield, Virginia

This event will bring together herb companies, apothecaries, and herbal-product makers with experienced and aspiring forest farmers for a day of networking and learning, followed by a Forest Farmer Field Day.

Beginning Texas Farmers & Ranchers Women's Class
May 19 - August 12, 2018
Kerrville, Texas

Classes in this Holistic Management International course for women are held one weekend a month, to complete a holistic farm and ranch management plan.

Back To Your Roots: A Sustainable Agriculture Masters Series
May 17-19, 2018
Natchitoches, Louisiana

Campti Field of Dreams presents a conference designed to empower a new generation of farmers with models that are financially lucrative, replicable, and scalable to infuse innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship into rural economies. For information, contact Campti Field of Dreams, 318-476-2990 or donnalaisaacs@gmail.com.

>>More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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New ATTRA Publication
ATTRA Soil Resources

Question of the Week
How can I control bermudagrass?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Farmers for America Film Screening and Young Farmer Mixer
A public screening of Farmers for America and a panel discussion will be held April 3, 2018, at the Our Farms, Our Future conference. Register here.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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