Home | Newsletter Archives

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 3, 2013

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.

Here's Your Opportunity to Join NCAT's Sustainable Agriculture Team!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) has openings for a Poultry Specialist, a Horticulture Specialist, an Agronomy/Cropping Systems Specialist, and a Community Outreach Coordinator/Regional Director. These positions are open in NCAT offices in Des Moines, Iowa; Forty Fort, Pennsylvania; San Antonio, Texas; or Jackson, Mississippi. Applications will be accepted through April 8, 2013, or until suitable candidates can be identified. Application information is available at the NCAT website.

News & Resources

  • NCR-SARE Announces 2013 Farmer Rancher and Youth Educator Grant Recipients
  • Report Considers Farmers Markets as Strategy for Improving Food Access
  • ARS Measures How Agricultural Practices Reduce Contribution to Climate Change
  • Washington Project Helping Adapt Quinoa for Northwest Growing
  • University of Minnesota Offers Free, Online Course on Sustainability of Food Systems
  • Conventional Farmers Adopt Organic Techniques to Cut Costs

Funding Opportunities

  • USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants
  • Georgia Specialty Crop Block Grant
  • Michigan Specialty Crop Grant

Coming Events

  • National Value Added Agriculture Conference
  • Farm Foundations: Planning for Success
  • American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control

News & Resources

NCR-SARE Announces 2013 Farmer Rancher and Youth Educator Grant Recipients
NCR-SARE has announced recipients in the 2013 Farmer Rancher and Youth Educator competitive grant programs. For the 2013 Farmer Rancher Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded more than $495,000 to 45 projects that will explore sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education. For the 2013 Youth Educator Grant Program, NCR-SARE awarded almost $20,000 to 10 projects that will provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth. A complete list of funded projects for each grant is posted online.

Report Considers Farmers Markets as Strategy for Improving Food Access
Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has released Farmers Markets as a Strategy to Improve Access to Healthy Food for Low-Income Families and Communities. PPS and Columbia University undertook a study to examine what market characteristics successfully attract low-income shoppers. The study revealed that a majority of farmers market shoppers in low-income neighborhoods believed their market had better prices than the grocery store. Lack of information posed a barrier for attracting shoppers: significant percentages of non-market shoppers said they were unaware of when the market was open or where it was located. The study offers recommendations for the creation of more effective, engaging farmers markets.

ARS Measures How Agricultural Practices Reduce Contribution to Climate Change
USDA Agricultural Research Service scientists have been studying how no-till systems, crop rotation, and other approaches can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, sustain crop yields, and cut back on the use of nitrogen fertilizer. The researchers evaluated the effects of irrigation, tillage, cropping systems, and nitrogen fertilization on greenhouse gas emissions from five cropping systems in western North Dakota and three in Eastern Montana. A no-till malt barley-pea rotation with reduced nitrogen fertilizer rates was the most effective system for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and sustaining yields.
Related ATTRA Publication: No-Till Case Study, Bauer Farm: Cover Crop Cocktails on Former CRP Land

Washington Project Helping Adapt Quinoa for Northwest Growing
Quinoa likely will be grown more widely in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to a USDA grant awarded to Washington State University (WSU). The WSU project aims to identify the best varieties suited for organic production in the region, develop best management practices for production, and assess market demand and future marketing options for quinoa growers and sellers.

University of Minnesota Offers Free, Online Course on Sustainability of Food Systems
The University of Minnesota is offering an eight-week online course titled "Sustainability of Food Systems: A Global Life Cycle Perspective," beginning in May. This free course explores the diversity of the foods we eat, the ways in which we grow, process, distribute, and prepare them, and the impacts they have upon our environment, health, and society.

Conventional Farmers Adopt Organic Techniques to Cut Costs
The leader of the United Kingdom's Soil Association says conventional farmers are showing increasing interest in organic farming techniques as a means of controlling expenditure on fuel, fertilizers, and crop establishment, reports Farmers Weekly. Farmers are interested in soil management, manure management, and nutrient cycling. Soil Association is setting up a "Future Farming" program to help non-organic farmers test and share approaches.

>> More Breaking News

Back to top


Funding Opportunities

USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grants
REAP is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the nation's critical energy needs. The program funds grants and grant-and-loan combinations for renewable-energy systems and energy-efficiency improvements, as well as grants for renewable-energy system feasibility studies.
Applications are due by April 30, 2013.

Georgia Specialty Crop Block Grant
The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) has announced the competitive solicitation process to award the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant. GDA is seeking applications from organizations that seek to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops in Georgia. Grant awards will range from $10,000 to $150,000 per project.
Applications are due by April 15, 2013.

Michigan Specialty Crop Grant
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has announced the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program from the USDA Agriculture Marketing Service. The grants, ranging from $10,000 to $75,000, enhance the competitiveness of the state's specialty crops. Eligible applicants include non-profit organizations, local, state, and federal government entities, for-profit organizations, and universities.
Grant proposals are due by April 12, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

Back to top


Coming Events

National Value Added Agriculture Conference
May 19-21, 2013
Rogers, Arkansas

"Local Economic Development Through Entrepreneurship" conference participants will have the opportunity to interact with innovative business owners and economic developers from around the United States. They will discuss rural entrepreneurism, adding value to agricultural products, agritourism, and rural economic development. The conference will include breakout sessions and tours.

Farm Foundations: Planning for Success
May 18-19, 2013
Marshall, Arkansas

This risk-management training for beginning farmers continues a series produced by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The "Farm Foundations" Sustainable Livestock Production workshop is open to new and beginning farmers, particularly those in Arkansas and Mississippi. Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who are interested in farming are encouraged to attend. The two-day workshop is focused on business planning, identifying markets, and online marketing. It includes a tour of Falling Sky Farm and hands-on training in pastured poultry and pork, as well as grass-fed cattle.

American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control
May 20-22, 2013
Fort Valley, Georgia
This 10th anniversary event is a train-the-trainer conference. Stakeholders in the small ruminant industry will be educated on the most up-to-date methods and recommendations for parasite control in sheep, goats, and camelids. The conference will also provide training and certification in integrated parasite management.

>> More Events

Back to top


Subscribe to the Weekly Harvest

Comments? Questions? Contact us

Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
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.

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

© 2013 NCAT

Back to top

New Publication
Consejos para vender a Compradores Mayoristas en Mercados Terminales

Question of the Week
I want to cover my raised beds with stucco or a similar material. Which building materials should I use to stay in compliance with organic standards?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
Our latest webinars are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive.

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

ATTRA is on Facebook!
We feature breaking news on sustainable agriculture topics several times a week. Add us to your FaceBook friends list today!

Find us on Facebook

 

Follow us on Pinterest

 

 

Support the ATTRA Project


ATTRAs 25th Anniversary

Home | Newsletter Archives