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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - March 30, 2011

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

  • Organic Farming Systems Conference Sessions Available Online
  • Computer Model Helps Determine Sustainable Rangeland Stocking Rate
  • Washington Offers Farm Internship Pilot Project
  • Funding Increased to Provide Fresh Produce in Schools
  • Survey to Assess Health Care Coverage for Those Involved With Farmers Markets
  • Interactive Maps Highlight Food Sovereignty and Urban Agriculture Policy

Funding Opportunities

  • Organic Farming Research Foundation Research Grants Program
  • Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grant
  • Ceres Graduate Student Organic Research Grant

Coming Events

  • National Agricultural Landscapes Forum
  • Water for Food: Paths to Solutions
  • How to Create Successful Markets

News & Resources

Organic Farming Systems Conference Sessions Available Online
Live recordings of the sessions from the USDA's first-ever Organic Farming Systems Research Conference, held March 16-18, have been posted on the Extension Systems eOrganic webpage.

Computer Model Helps Determine Sustainable Rangeland Stocking Rate
Ranchers in the central Great Plains can use the GPFARM (Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management)-Range computer model developed by USDA-ARS scientists to see which cattle or sheep stocking rate scenarios are the most sustainable for their semi-arid rangeland.
Related ATTRA publication: Pasture, Rangeland and Grazing Management

Washington Offers Farm Internship Pilot Project
A new Small Farm Internship Pilot Project allows small farms in two Washington counties to enroll in a one-year program that allows up to three interns to work on a farm to learn about farming practices. The 2010 Washington State Legislature authorized the pilot project after hearing concerns that farms weren't following applicable labor laws for interns and that there were few opportunities for inexperienced people to learn hands-on farming practices.
Related ATTRA publication: Sustainable Farming Internships and Apprenticeships

Funding Increased to Provide Fresh Produce in Schools
State agencies will get more federal funding to provide fresh fruits and vegetables at schools, the Department of Agriculture recently announced. The $48 million increase in funding for the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program represents a 40 percent increase since last fiscal year.

Survey to Assess Health Care Coverage for Those Involved With Farmers Markets
The Farmers Market Coalition is conducting a 10-15 minute survey about health care coverage for people who work in the farmers market sector, to better understand the need for health insurance among market staff and producers that sell at farmers markets. The deadline to respond to the survey is April 15.

Interactive Maps Highlight Food Sovereignty and Urban Agriculture Policy
Grown in the City recently launched two data-driven, open source interactive maps to track the spread of urban agriculture and local food policy around the country: Interactive Food Sovereignty Map and Interactive Urban Ag Map.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Organic Farming Research Foundation Research Grants Program
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) funds research on organic farming and food systems and the dissemination of these research results to the agricultural community. Proposals must involve farmers or ranchers and take place on working organic farms or ranches whenever possible. OFRF funds projects at up to $15,000 per year in Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
Proposals are due by May 16, 2011.

Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grant
The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Program is requesting pre-proposals for projects that provide training on sustainable agriculture for agricultural professionals and educators who serve farmers and other interested people in USDA’s southern region.
Pre-proposals are due June 1, 2011.

Ceres Graduate Student Organic Research Grant
The Ceres Trust, a privately-administered charitable trust based in the Midwest, has as its main focus the support and promotion of organic and sustainable agriculture. The 2011 Graduate Student Organic Research Grants Program offers up to 10 one-year grants of up to $10,000 each to support organic research by full-time graduate students in the North Central Region.
Applications are due May 1, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

National Agricultural Landscapes Forum
April 7-8, 2011
Washington, DC

Those concerned about the future of the nation’s agricultural landscape are encouraged to participate in this two-day policy discussion hosted by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, American Farmland Trust and Farm Foundation NFP. The goal of the Forum is to provide a venue for key stakeholders to engage in honest dialogue about priorities for USDA’s national conservation program and the future of the agricultural landscape.

Water for Food: Paths to Solutions
May 1-4, 2011
Lincoln, Nebraska

The third annual international Water for Food conference will bring together experts from around the world to discuss the advances that can provide potential solutions for managing and using our water resources to feed an increasingly hungry and thirsty world.

How to Create Successful Markets
May 20-21, 2011
New York, New York

Project for Public Spaces offers a 2-day interactive training course with work sessions and tours of open-air farmers markets and indoor public markets. Topics include benefits of markets, ingredients of successful markets, introduction to placemaking, market planning process, community engagement, sustainable market operations, and market management.

>> More Events

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Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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New & Updated Publications
Farmer Profiles: Two Organic Grain Farm Case Studies

Apples: Organic Production Guide

Micro-Hydro Power: Is It Right for My Farm?

Question of the Week
What are some options for controlling thorny locust?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online

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