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Weekly Harvest Newsletter


Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 8, 2009

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

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News & Resources
* Farm Life Ecology Program Seeking Applicants
* Guide Helps Explain Meat Labels
* Dairy Farmers To Learn How To Tell Their Story
* USDA, Canada Agree to Organic Equivalency
* New Agriculture Resource Center Opening in Florida
* Demand Up for Non-Genetically Modified Soybeans


Funding Opportunities
* North Dakota Farmers' Market Mini-grants
* Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education
    Grant
* Pennsylvania Healthy Farms, Healthy Schools Grant


Coming Events
* Grow Your Own Food In Small Places
* Atlanta Local Food Forward
* Straw Bale Gardening Workshop



News & Resources

Farm Life Ecology Program Seeking Applicants
Green Mountain College is seeking applicants for its Farm Life Ecology Summer Program. The 13 week, 12 credit summer intensive program allows students to manage all elements of the farm’s operation while gaining a strong curricular foundation in sustainable agriculture.

Guide Helps Explain Meat Labels
Sustainable Table has published a Glossary of Meat Production Methods for consumers to use while shopping. You can download a copy of the glossary (PDF/2.3MB) at the above website. This guide covers meat labels such as biodynamic, cage free, and heritage.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Beef Marketing Alternatives


Dairy Farmers to Learn How To Tell Their Story
The Mid-Atlantic Dairy Association and the Pennsylvania Dairy Promotion Program invite local dairy producers to learn how to share your dairy story with the non-farm public. The training sessions, called the Dairy Farmers Speakers Bureau will be held on April 21 and April 23. By participating in the speakers bureau, farmers can make a difference in helping their non-farm neighbors better understand how dairy farmers take care of their animals and land, provide the safest products possible, and play a vital role in the local community.

USDA, Canada Agree to Organic Equivalency
The United States and Canada have agreed to sign a letter of agreement to have an equivalency agreement in place in time for June 30, 2009, the Canadian Organic Regime implementation date. Therefore, Canada and the United States are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that would act as an equivalency agreement for organic imports and exports between the two countries.

New Agriculture Resource Center Opening in Florida
Florida West Coast Resource Conservation and Development recently announced it is opening a farming resource center in Manatee County. A resource center is a state and local partnership effort to create more small farming businesses and jobs in the area. The center will open in the fall at Gamble Creek Farm in Parrish and will serve as a business resource center to help expand the local farming and agricultural industry. Jacob Leech, site manager for the Center for Integrated Agriculture, said the center will offer educational and training programs to teach people how to grow local, organic food.

Demand Up for Non-Genetically Modified Soybeans
Cheaper seed and lucrative premiums are driving more crop producers to plant non-genetically modified soybeans this year. U.S. soybean production is 95 percent dominated by genetically modified Round Up Ready soybeans. However a small percentage of that crop -- perhaps 5 percent -- will be planted to non-GM soybeans, and the trend toward the latter is expected to continue in the near future, said Jim Beuerlein, the Ohio State University Extension agronomist.

> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

North Dakota Farmers' Market Mini-grants
The grants help farmers' markets spread the word about their locations and hours of operation, and recruit new vendors. Eligible uses for the funds include media advertising, circulars, flyers, posters, banners, in-market activities or entertainment and point-of-sale promotional materials. The $500 grants are available only to farmers markets, not individual vendors.
Proposals are due May 1, 2009.

Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Grant
The Federal Crop Insurance Corporation (FCIC), operating through the Risk Management Agency (RMA), announces the availability of approximately $900,000 for Commodity Partnerships for Small Agricultural Risk Management Education Sessions (Commodity Partnerships Small Sessions Program). The purpose of this cooperative partnership agreement program is to deliver training and information in the management of production, marketing, and financial risk to U.S. agricultural producers in small sessions. The program will give priority to educating producers of crops not insurable with federal crop insurance, specialty crops, and underserved commodities, including livestock and forage.
Proposals are due May 11, 2009.

Pennsylvania Healthy Farms, Healthy Schools Grant
The Healthy Farms and Healthy Schools Program was established to educate kindergartners and their families about the importance of choosing healthy, locally produced foods while increasing awareness of Pennsylvania agriculture. Any Pennsylvania school district, charter or private school with a kindergarten program is eligible to apply for the Healthy Farms and Healthy Schools funds.
Proposals are due May 13, 2009.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Grow Your Own Food In Small Places
April 18, 2009
Red Rock, Oklahoma

Learn how to grow your own organic vegetables in a small space, with few weeds and a minimal amount of work.


Atlanta Local Food Forward
May 1, 2009
Atlanta, Georgia

The Atlanta Local Food Initiative (ALFI), a coalition of citizens and organizations, has begun a grassroots movement to reconfigure our food system to promote the health of our people, our economy, and our environment. We invite you to participate in a daylong invitational event to create an action plan for achieving the vision outlined in "A Plan for Atlanta’s Sustainable Food Future."


Straw Bale Gardening Workshop
May 21, 2009
Portland, Oregon

Straw bale gardening is referred to as “inspired laziness” and creates an instant garden that can be planted in just a few weeks! In an urban garden, this technique rejuvenates compacted or depleted soil and is a great way to grow your own raised bed. Join us for this fun, hands-on class to learn about this innovative growing technique!


> More Events

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