Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 9, 2008
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.
News & Resources
* National Sustainable Agriculture Standard Development Committee Accepting Applications
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* USDA Releases Business Plan For NAIS
* California County Seeks to Link Farmers with Inner Cities
* Newly Created Program to Help Minority Farmers
* Ohio Introduces Ohio Proud Logo and Website
* Milk Label Debates Continue
* Southern SARE Professional Development Grant
* Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area Grant Programs
* Dakota SARE Youth Grants
* International Day for Biological Diversity: Biodiversity and Agriculture
* Agritourism Rolling Workshop
* NCSU Worm Farming Conference
News & Resources
National Sustainable Agriculture Standard Development Committee Accepting Applications
Since September 2007, Leonardo Academy has been promoting awareness of the development process of the Draft American National Standard for Trial Use for Sustainable Agriculture Practice, intended for subsequent approval as an American National Standard. Due to increasing interest in the development of this standard, Leonardo Academy is extending the deadline for applications for the standard development committee to May 23, 2008. This extension has been implemented based on numerous requests to allow time for additional stakeholders to submit applications to participate on the standard development committee and/or supporting subcommittees. The committee application form can be found on the Leonardo Academy website.
USDA Releases Business Plan For NAIS
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) released a draft Business Plan (PDF/793 KB) to further the implementation of the National Animal Identification System (NAIS). AMS encourages participants in voluntary marketing programs such as the USDA Process Verified, the Quality Systems Assessment and the Non-Hormone Treated Cattle Programs to meet the inherent animal identification requirements by using NAIS. Currently, all AMS partners that have approved marketing programs are actively encouraging the use of premise registration and NAIS compliant Animal Identification Numbers for these marketing program participants. Using NAIS, producers would at the same time meet the requirements for animal identification and traceability for these AMS marketing programs.
California County Seeks to Link Farmers with Inner Cities
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is taking action to address food deserts in inner city areas, says the Contra Costa Times. The county Health Services and Agriculture departments were directed by the board to work with the existing Buy Fresh, Buy Local campaign and county farmers to improve fresh food distribution and access within the county. The effort will include food supplies and curriculum for area schools, as well as CSAs and nutrition education for other community residents. Planners anticipate the effort will boost markets for local farmers, as well.
Newly Created Program to Help Minority Farmers
To address the needs of the increasing number of women, minority and beginning farmers, the Wisconsin Farm Center (WFC) has developed The Beginning and Minority Farmer Outreach & Assistance Program. The WFC says the program is designed to enable new and minority farmers to learn about potential risks associated with farming and how to manage those risks. Areas of risk covered in the program include financial, production, marketing and social. Through workshops and personal consultation, either via telephone with Farm Center staff or one-on-one meetings with outreach workers, farmers will learn how to analyze risks in their farming operations and create strategies/tools to address those risks. Wisconsin Ag Connection reports The Beginning and Minority Farmer Outreach & Assistance Program serves Hmong Farmers, Hispanic Farmers, Women Farmers and Beginning Farmers.
Ohio Introduces Ohio Proud Logo and Website
The Ohio Department of Agriculture introduced the state's new Ohio Proud logo and Website, revealing an easier way for consumers to find Ohio-made and grown agricultural products. "The improved Ohio Proud program falls right in line with our goal to provide safe, local foods to consumers, and to create new opportunities for local growers, producers, and processors," said Ohio Governor Ted Strickland. USAgNet reports the re-launch of the program, which was originally created in 1993, came after research conducted by The Ohio State University revealed the importance of the program to consumers, and that the original marketing program was not on target with changing consumer trends.
Milk Label Debates Continue
Debate over proposed milk labeling rules related to synthetic hormone claims continues in Ohio and is now taking place in Missouri, as well. The International Dairy Foods Association issued a statement saying that recent revisions to Ohio's proposed labeling regulations changes were a "step in the right direction," but Jerry Slominski, IDFA senior vice president, noted, "[T]hey still inhibit dairy processors from conveying information about the use of artificial hormones that consumers want to know." According to Slominski, "Ohio's proposed rule continues to be more restrictive than established federal guidelines. This will ultimately disrupt interstate commerce and impede processors from marketing products in-state and nationally." Meanwhile, the Organic Trade Association says that if Missouri's proposed dairy product labeling legislation passes, farmers who are choosing to convert to organic production will be discouraged from doing so, as will other dairies seeking to satisfy consumer demand for information about the non-use of synthetic growth hormones.
> More Breaking News
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Southern SARE Professional Development Grant
The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program (PDP) is requesting pre-proposals for professional development projects that provide sustainable agriculture education and outreach strategies for Cooperative Extension Service personnel, Natural Resources Conservation Service staff and others who work directly with farmers and ranchers. Training activities may include seminars, workshops, farm tours, or on-farm demonstrations. Or they may develop, market and distribute training materials such as handbooks or videos. Activities may take place in a single state, multiple states or throughout the entire southern region.
Proposals are due June 4, 2008.
Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area Grant Programs
The Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area in 37 counties of Northeast Iowa seeks to preserve and tell the story of American agriculture and its global significance through partnerships and activities that celebrate the land, people and communities. A total of $65,000 is available this year. Requests for matching grants of federal funds provided through the Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area may range from $1,000-$10,000. Funds may be used for technical assistance, educational programs, interpretation, marketing, displays, event programs, and interpretive signage. Eligible applicants must be one of the following: a designated SSNHA non-profit or governmental partner site, a non-profit organization, a local or regional government, or a federally recognized Indian tribe.
Proposals are due June 2, 2008.
Dakota SARE Youth Grants
The Dakota Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program is offering 14 youth grants for 2008. The grants of up to $250 each are available to young people ages 8 to 18 who wish to carry out projects about sustainability in agriculture. Youth will design and carry out their own projects, then report the results to the public.
Proposals are due April 23, 2008.
> More Funding Opportunities
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International Day for Biological Diversity: Biodiversity and Agriculture
May 22, 2008
This year’s theme for the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD), "Biodiversity and Agriculture," seeks to highlight the importance of sustainable agriculture not only to preserve biodiversity, but also to ensure that we will be able to feed the world, maintain agricultural livelihoods, and enhance human well being into the 21st century and beyond. On May 22, events will take place around the world to emphasize the value of agricultural biodiversity for food security, human nutrition and improved rural livelihoods. These events will highlight the need for actions to halt the loss of agricultural biodiversity and to enhance the contributions that rural landscapes make to human well-being.
Agritourism Rolling Workshop
May 30, 2008
Silos & Smokestacks National Heritage Area offers "Growing Your Story: How to Create Authentic Farm Experiences." This is an opportunity to learn how your local neighbors are adding value to their farms by cultivating a new crop of tourists. Find out why travelers are interested in your story and how you can make sustainable tourism a part of your farm. For more information, call 319-234-4567.
NCSU Worm Farming Conference
May 19-20, 2008
Raleigh, North Carolina
This 8th annual event is a conference about worm farming and vermicomposting taught by industry experts. This conference is great for beginners or seasoned worm farm operators.
> More Events
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