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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 5, 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

  • Conservation Stewardship Program Renewal Sign-up Underway
  • SARE Introduces Library of Cover Crop and Soil Health Images
  • Abstracts Invited for Organic Agriculture Soil Health Symposium
  • Antibiotics Administered to Cattle Change Soil Ecosystem
  • NOP Memo Clarifies Confinement of Organic Poultry Flocks Due to Avian Influenza Risk
  • New Ohio Smart Agriculture Project to Help Farmers, Build Food System Partnerships

Funding Opportunities

  • Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area
  • United Fresh Start Foundation Community Grants Program
  • Arkansas Specialty Crop Block Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Managing for Resilience: Northwest Grazing Conference
  • High Tunnel Vegetable Production Workshop
  • Mother Earth News Fair

News & Resources

Conservation Stewardship Program Renewal Sign-up Underway
Contract renewal sign-up is underway for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Participants with CSP contracts that will expire on December 31, 2017, can renew for an additional five years if they agree to adopt additional activities to achieve higher levels of conservation. Applications to renew expiring contracts are due by May 5, 2017. Visit the NRCS website or contact your local USDA service center to learn more.

SARE Introduces Library of Cover Crop and Soil Health Images
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has introduced a Library of Cover Crop and Soil Health Images to help educators show producers how cover crops can work on their farms. The free collection includes more than 1,500 photos and illustrations. The collection also includes five PowerPoint presentations that may be used by educators to illustrate the benefits of incorporating cover crops into cropping systems.

Abstracts Invited for Organic Agriculture Soil Health Symposium
The Organic Farming Research Foundation invites submission of proposed research, education, and extension papers and posters to the Organic Agriculture Soil Health Symposium. The Symposium will take place in Tampa, Florida, in October 2017. The focus and priority for this symposium will be Soil Health and Soil Management. The deadline for online submissions of abstracts is May 1, 2017.

Antibiotics Administered to Cattle Change Soil Ecosystem
Researchers at Virginia Tech analyzed soil samples from dairy farms and found that the manure from cattle that were administered antibiotics changes the bacterial and fungal make-up of surrounding soil. This change can lead to ecosystem dysfunction. This study was the first part of a three-phase project looking at the effect of antibiotics on the soil microbial community.

NOP Memo Clarifies Confinement of Organic Poultry Flocks Due to Avian Influenza Risk
The National Organic Program (NOP) outlined temporary confinement policies for organic flocks in NOP Policy Memo 11-12, Confinement of Poultry Flocks Due to Avian Influenza, or Other Infectious Diseases. The memo explains actions that producers can take to protect organic poultry flocks from infectious disease while also maintaining organic certification. AMS supports bringing birds inside temporarily in areas in proximity to recent HPAI and LPAI detections in Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky, and Georgia.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Poultry Production

New Ohio Smart Agriculture Project to Help Farmers, Build Food System Partnerships
Ohio Smart Agriculture: Solutions from the Land, a three- to five-year project coordinated by Solutions from the Land, is designed to help Ohio farmers adapt to a changing climate, improve the resiliency of their operations, and boost a wide array of ecosystem services from their land, while supporting local communities by producing nutritious food. The initiative builds on multi-stakeholder partnerships in the state and will identify building blocks that can make up the Ohio Smart Agriculture Action Plan.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Water for Food Production Systems Challenge Area
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for projects with multidisciplinary systems approaches that integrate new technologies and strategic management to solve water availability and quality challenges in food-production systems. The projects are expected to transform how abundant, safe, and nutritious food is produced, processed, distributed, and consumed within the limits of available water from traditional and non-traditional sources. Approximately $34 million will be available for new grants.
A letter of intent to apply is due May 17, 2017.

United Fresh Start Foundation Community Grants Program
The United Fresh Start Foundation Community Grants Program provides children with access to fresh fruit and vegetables after school, on the weekends, during summer breaks, and in other creative venues. The program provides grants up to $2,500 to local community organizations to support programs, events, and/or activities that increase children's access to fresh produce.
Applications must be received by April 20, 2017.

Arkansas Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The Arkansas Agriculture Department is accepting applications for grants to enhance the specialty crop industry of Arkansas. Proposals may include research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, food safety and security, education, increased knowledge and consumption, improved efficiency and reduced costs of distribution systems, conservation, product development, good agricultural practices, good handling practices, and good manufacturing practices. Eligible applicants are non-profit organizations, government entities, for-profit organizations, and colleges and universities.
Applications must be submitted by April 19, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Managing for Resilience: Northwest Grazing Conference
May 10-11, 2017
Pendleton, Oregon

Roots of Resilience presents this conference with keynote speakers Kit Pharo and Fred Provenza. Learn how to increase your ranch profits while increasing the resilience of your land and your ranch business.

High Tunnel Vegetable Production Workshop
April 25 or 26 or May 2, 2017
Fort Dodge, Ottumwa, or Dubuque, Iowa

Iowa State University Extension is holding this workshop to help extension staff, county horticulturists, local food coordinators, industry representatives, and growers learn to manage common challenges in high tunnels while also discussing new advances in high tunnel production.

Mother Earth News Fair
May 6-7, 2017
Asheville, North Carolina

This event offers more than 150 workshops on topics including animal husbandry, real food, and modern homesteading. There will also be regional and national vendors. The one-and-a-half day Power of Poultry event precedes the fair.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Video
It's More Than Getting the Wool Off

Question of the Week
How is low-spray defined?

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