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Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 6, 2005

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site.

News & Resources
* Community Supported Agriculture Operations Selling Shares
* Maryland Publications Address Dairy Grazing
* Agritourism Workshops Offered Across Kansas
* Organic Processing Fact Sheets Released by Minnesota Ag Department
* Country-of-Origin Labels for Seafood Take Effect
* Revamped Web Site Helps Grow Farm Businesses Online

Funding Opportunities
* Northeast SARE Research and Education Grant Program
* Commodity Partnerships for Risk Management Education
* North Central SARE Professional Development Grant Program

Coming Events
* Transitioning to Organic Workshop
* Organic Beekeeping: Practices for Healthier Bees
* Beyond Farmersí Markets: Putting Food Systems on the Urban Map

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News & Resources

Community Supported Agriculture Operations Selling Shares
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations across the country are enrolling members to receive produce shares during the summer season. Recent media coverage has featured stories on farms that grow fresh, local and organic produce for weekly distribution to their members. The farms offer a diverse array of products through a variety of membership arrangements. CSAs are growing in popularity throughout the nation, providing high-quality vegetables to consumers and offering farmers a higher price for their goods than commodity production. Stories on community supported agriculture farms have recently appeared in The Patriot Ledger in Massachusetts, Oregon's Portland Tribune, and the Missoulian in Montana.

Maryland Publications Address Dairy Grazing
Future Harvest: A Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, has posted two publications on grazing to its Web site. Making the Switch (PDF / 2.3 mb) is a case study of two successful dairy graziers in interview format. The farmers discuss how they changed to grazing nearly ten years ago, and how grazing changed their lives. Future Harvest and the University of Maryland collaborated in production of the publication. Future Harvest has also posted a Fact Sheet prepared by University of Maryland Researchers. Management Intensive Grazing: Environmental Impacts and Economic Benefits (PDF / 266 kb) is a four-page publication that looks at environmental and water quality impacts of management intensive grazing, particularly for dairy operations.

Agritourism Workshops Offered Across Kansas
The Kansas AgriTourism Web site has announced the 2005 Kansas Agritourism Workshop, "Agritourism: How to Attract More Customers, More Often"! The day-long workshop will be offered six times in different locations. The workshop will be led by Jane Eckert, of Eckert AgriMarketing, and will cover Web sites, attracting publicity, newsletters, co-op ventures, and successful agritourism examples. The workshop is set for April 19 in Dodge City, April 21 in Colby, May 3 in Lawrence, May 5 in Chanute, May 17 in Salina and May 19 in El Dorado.
URL: http://www.kansasagritourism.com/AgriT_workshops.htm
Related ATTRA Publication: Entertainment Farming and Agri-Tourism

Organic Processing Fact Sheets Released by Minnesota Ag Department
To help the state's meat, poultry, food, and livestock feed businesses learn more about organic processing, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has produced three new fact sheets: Organic Meat and Poultry Processing Basics, Organic Livestock Feed Processing Basics and Organic Food Processing Basics. The four-page color booklets provide information about organics, benefits and challenges to processors, the organic certification process, and labeling requirements. Each also offers a brief profile of businesses that do some or all of their manufacturing under certified organic conditions. The fact sheets are available in hard copy or online.
URL: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/newsreleases/2005news/05mar18a.htm

Country-of-Origin Labels for Seafood Take Effect
US retailers must provide country-of-origin labels for the seafood they sell beginning April 4, reports Planet Ark. The requirement is part of a 2002 labeling law that originally called for country-of-origin labels on red meat, seafood, fruits, vegetables and peanuts by Sept. 30, 2004. Congress has since delayed the labeling requirements for two years for all products except seafood. Seafood labeling rules issued last October took effect on Monday.
URL: http://www.planetark.com/dailynewsstory.cfm/newsid/30120/story.htm

Revamped Web Site Helps Grow Farm Businesses Online
The National Farmers Union has launched a new Web site, E-cooperatives.com, that allows consumers to locate and purchase products from family-farm producers, their cooperatives, and other rural businesses. The site maintains a growing, searchable database listing farmer controlled businesses categorized by general products, location, growing practices, specialty products and niche items. Individuals and co-ops can have their farm or business included in the database by completing an online form describing their farm or businesses. Basic charter listings are free.
URL: http://www.nfu.org/newsroom_news_release.cfm?id=1289

For more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE Research and Education Grant Program
The Northeast Region SARE program seeks proposals for research, education and on-farm demonstration projects. The program emphasis is on projects that lead directly to improved farming practices and an enhanced quality of life for farmers and rural communities. Anyone can apply, but a preproposal is required. Project activities and project impact must occur within the Northeast SARE region, which is made up of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia and Washington D.C. The average grant under this program is around $90,000. Preproposals for 2006 funding are due by May 31, 2005.
URL: http://www.uvm.edu/%7Enesare/grants_r&e.htm

Commodity Partnerships for Risk Management Education
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), operating through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces the availability of approximately $4.0 million for Commodity Partnerships for Risk Management Education (the Commodity Partnerships program). The purpose of this partnership agreement program is to deliver training and information in the management of production, marketing, and financial risk to U.S. agricultural producers. A maximum of 40 partnership agreements will be funded, with no more than four in each of the ten designated RMA Regions. The maximum award for any partnership agreement will be $150,000. Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. EDT on May 31, 2005.
URL: http://www.rma.usda.gov/news/2005/03/05rfa-education.html

North Central SARE Professional Development Grant Program
The USDA’s North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) program is requesting proposals for professional development programs targeted to educators. The NCR SARE program is requesting proposals in the following priority areas this year: Serving Socially Disadvantaged Audiences; Sustainable Agriculture and Community Development; Community Food Systems and Community Food Security; Agroforestry and Alternative Land Use Issues; and Evaluation. Proposals must be received by May 27, 2005.
URL: http://www.sare.org/ncrsare/cfp.htm

For additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.

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Coming Events

Transitioning to Organic Workshop
April 16, 2005
Kalona, Iowa

The Iowa State University Organic Agriculture Program, Iowa State University Extension, the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Professional Proteins Ltd., Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI), and the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) will co-sponsor a workshop to discuss the transition from conventional to organic production. The workshop is for farmers who are considering a transition to organic production and want to farm using sound environmental stewardship practices while also accessing the rapid market growth and price premiums of selling organic products. Highlights of the workshop will include helpful hints from organic farmers, discussion on the certification process, tips on crop selection, information on organic markets, fertility and weed management advice, and suggestions on dealing with the threat of soybean rust.
URL: http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/organicag/
events/transorgworkshopnr.html

Organic Beekeeping: Practices for Healthier Bees
April 22, 2005
Lamont, Florida

Florida Certified Organic Growers and Consumers, Inc. presents a workshop by Gunther Hauk, Co-Founder and Program Director of The Pfeiffer Center for Biodynamics and Environmental Studies. Learn how to establish/maintain an organic beekeeping operation during this full-day workshop.
URL: http://www.foginfo.org/events/

Beyond Farmersí Markets: Putting Food Systems on the Urban Map
May 3, 10, 17 and 24, 2005
New York, New York

This four-week program will serve as an introduction to different kinds of food systems, how they interact with urban systems and assistance programs (such as land use, transportation, economic development, and public health), and their potential to improve or disrupt city life. The four sessions will include discussions, readings, films, case studies, and a brainstorming planning session focusing on an area of New York City.
URL: http://www.baumforum.org/

More events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.

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Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
URL: http://attra.ncat.org/newsletter/archives.html

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.

© Copyright 2005 NCAT

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