Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 11 , 2006
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
* Kansas Web Site Aims To Protect Organic Crops from Pesticides
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.
* Wendell Berry Marks Leopold Center's 20th Anniversary
* Midwest Dairy Consortium Formed
* Iowa Farmer Testifies to Congress on Need for Organic Research
* Rural Leadership North Dakota Program Seeking Participants
* What's happening to the bees?
* Montana Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
* Hawaii Organic Certification Cost-Share Program
* Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program
From Recipe to Reality Seminar
* South Central Florida Small Farm Workshop
* Keyline Design Workshop
News & Resources
Kansas Web Site Aims To Protect Organic Crops from Pesticides
Growers of organic and sensitive crops are encouraged to post their crop locations on a web page hosted by the Kansas Department of Agriculture's pesticide and fertilizer program, so pesticide applicators will know where to use extra caution to prevent drift. Kansas Ag Connection reports that by making sensitive and organic crop locations available to applicators via the Internet, opportunities for drift will be reduced. Growers who want to list a crop location on the website can access a request form. Applicators can use the same web address to access sensitive crop location information.
Wendell Berry Marks Leopold Center's 20th Anniversary
Wendell Berry, the nationally known farmer, writer, conservationist, and philosopher, will speak at Iowa State University on Sunday April 15. This rare appearance will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Berry will be joined by his daughter, Mary Berry Smith. Both farm in Henry County, Kentucky, where five generations of their forebears tilled the soil. Two well known Iowa organic farmers, Francis Thicke and Laura Krouse, will also speak at the event.
Midwest Dairy Consortium Formed
US Ag Net reported that a multi-state, multi-disciplinary research and education program for the Midwest dairy industry has been launched by 10 Midwestern land-grant universities. "The mission of the Midwest Dairy Consortium is to maximize use of scarce financial resources and create new support mechanisms to enhance student education and training, promote research directly relevant to the Midwest dairy industry, and deliver information to end-users more effectively," said James Drackley, a U of I professor of animal sciences and the MDC's director.
Iowa Farmer Testifies to Congress on Need for Organic Research
Francis Thicke, an organic grass-based dairy farmer from Fairfield, Iowa, recently testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. The March 7 hearing was entitled "Investing in Our Nation’s Future through Agricultural Research. "Thicke stressed the importance of funding more research and extension work about organic farming. His full testimony is now posted on the Committee's web site.
Rural Leadership North Dakota Program Seeking Participants
North Dakota Ag Connection reports the NDSU Extension Service's Rural Leadership North Dakota program is accepting applications for its 2007-09 class. RLND is a two-year program that teaches participants to be willing, effective leaders with the skills to overcome challenges and guide North Dakota into the future. Participants attend 10 workshops throughout the state and take a six-day study tour to Washington, D.C. They learn to think critically and creatively, work with people, communicate effectively, use technology, understand agricultural and rural policy, and find innovative ways to fund local and regional development. They also create a network of contacts and resources they can tap into for ideas, answers and support.
What's happening to the bees?
Suddenly, the bees farmers and growers rely on are vanishing. Researchers are scrambling to find out why. The cause of the die-off has yet to be determined. Its effect on the food supply may be significant. Longer-term, it may also force a rethinking of some agricultural practices including our heavy reliance on human-managed bees for pollination. The Christian Science Monitor reports that to insure crop pollination, scientists suggest increasing habitat for native pollinators. Evidence suggests that the honeybee disappearance may be due to bee immune systems weakened by varroa mites, pesticides, poor nutrition, genetically modified crops, and other factors.
> More Breaking News
Back to top
Montana Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program
The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) is a voluntary conservation program that helps farmers and ranchers keep their land in agriculture. This program provides funds to help purchase development rights to keep productive farmland in agricultural uses. Working through existing programs, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) joins state, tribal, or local governments and non-governmental organizations to acquire conservation easements. The NRCS can provide up to 50 percent of the fair market easement value.
Due date: April 27, 2007.
Hawaii Organic Certification Cost-Share Program
The program provides a one-time cost-share assistance up to a maximum of $500 to organic farmers who receive and continue organic certification from a USDA accredited certifying agent between October 1, 2004 and September 30, 2008.
Due date: September 30, 2008.
Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program
TASC is designed to assist U.S. organizations by providing funding for projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary and technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. For purposes of the TASC program, a "specialty crop" is defined as all cultivated plants and the products, thereof, produced in the United States, except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar and tobacco. Examples of activities these grants may cover include seminars and workshops, study tours, field surveys, pest and disease research, and pre-clearance programs.
Due date: May 14, 2007.
> More Funding Opportunities
Back to top
From Recipe to Reality Seminar
April 24, 2007
St. Paul, Minnesota
At this workshop offered by The Food Processing Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, entrepreneurs will acquire valuable knowledge on the basics of starting a food business. This seminar helps attendees understand the challenges of starting a food business and allows them to make an informed decision as to whether developing a business is the right choice for them.
South Central Florida Small Farm Workshop
April 27-28, 2007
The second annual 2007 South Central Florida Small Farm and Alternative Enterprise Workshop will demonstrate some of the ways regional farmers can increase their share of Florida’s $6B agricultural economy. Speakers will discuss how to make an informed decision about starting and operating a variety of small farming enterprises, such as hydroponics, organic vegetable production, pasture-raised poultry, gourmet mushrooms, community-supported agriculture and renewable energies. Presentations will also include the benefits of direct marketing, booth displays, food safety, and market management, as well as a farmer/chef “mixer”.
The event is hosted by the University of Florida-Sarasota County Extension. It is sponsored by the University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences/Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (UF-IFAS/FAMU) Small Farm and Alternative Enterprise Program in partnership with the Florida Association of Community Farmers' Markets (FACFM).
Keyline Design Workshop
April 21-26, 2007
The Keyline Design Course will be an intensive blend of technical and practical sessions and are targeted at professional land managers and consultants, earthmovers and anybody interested in practical and cost-effective broadscale landscape restoration.
> More Events
Back to top
to the Weekly Harvest
Comments? Questions? Email the Weekly Harvest Newsletter editor Mary Ann Thom at
Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters
are available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter
of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is 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 2007 NCAT
Back to top
|ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's new Spanish-language e-newsletter