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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 11, 2012

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

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The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Western Livestock Specialist to be located in NCAT's Butte, Montana, headquarters. Applicants must be experienced and skilled at building and developing relationships with small farmers and sustainable agriculture organizations, and must be prepared to promote NCAT's projects and services throughout the West. Application information is available online.

News & Resources

  • Cornell Advocates Silvopasture
  • National-International Urban & Small Farm Conference Requests Workshop Proposals
  • Fact Sheet Describes Rainwater Catchment from High Tunnel
  • Videos Highlight Iowa Farm Energy Efficiency
  • Australian Organic Farmer Sues Neighbor for GMO Contamination
  • CRP Enrollment Open until April 13

Funding Opportunities

  • Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants
  • Wisconsin Producers First Assistance
  • Arizona Livestock and Crop Conservation Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Farm Foundations: Planning for Success
  • Humane and Sustainable Livestock Farming Workshop
  • Water for Food Conference

News & Resources

Cornell Advocates Silvopasture
Cornell Cooperative Extension agriculture educators and Cornell foresters are advocating for the return of silvopasturing -- managed grazing in woodlands. They say farmers could benefit from increased feed options and shade protection for their animals. In addition, silvopasturing can help improve forests by clearing underbrush and creating a more productive stand of timber.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Agroforestry: An Overview

National-International Urban & Small Farm Conference Requests Workshop Proposals
The Growing Power Farm Conference is seeking innovative multi-disciplinary workshop proposals from active operators of urban and small farms and those who are working in areas that support this emerging area of agriculture and local economic development. Workshop proposals are due by April 30, 2012. The conference is set for September 7-9, 2012, in Milwaukee.

Fact Sheet Describes Rainwater Catchment from High Tunnel
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is making available Rainwater Catchment from a High Tunnel for Irrigation Use, a seven-page fact sheet that describes a system to catch, store, and reuse rainwater for irrigation in high tunnels. Approximately 900 gallons of water will flow from the roof of a 30' by 96' high tunnel during a half-inch rain event.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Season Extension: Considerations for Design

Videos Highlight Iowa Farm Energy Efficiency
Iowa Farm Energy Working Group produced three videos of farmers telling how they use energy efficiency, conservation, or renewable energy successfully on their farms. The videos highlight a wind turbine, a corn kernel boiler for greenhouse heat, and an energy flow analysis of a 385-acre diversified organic farm. The four-minute videos can be viewed online.
Related ATTRA Publication:
Farm Energy Calculators: Tools for Saving Money on the Farm

Australian Organic Farmer Sues Neighbor for GMO Contamination
Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh has lodged a Supreme Court writ seeking to recover losses and damages from his neighbor. Marsh claims GM canola seed blew onto his farm in 2010, contaminating his land and causing him to lose organic accreditation on 70 percent of his farm. Observers say the case is likely to change buffer zone requirements, and could determine the future of organic farming in Australia.

CRP Enrollment Open until April 13
USDA has extended the general sign-up deadline for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) until April 13, 2012. Producers enrolled in CRP plant long-term, resource-conserving covers to improve the quality of water, control soil erosion, and develop wildlife habitat. In return, USDA provides participants with rental payments and cost-share assistance.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants
USDA is seeking grant applicants for the 2012 Farmers Market Promotion Program. Approximately $10 million is available for marketing operations such as farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and road-side stands. Projects that expand healthy food choices in food deserts or low-income areas will receive additional consideration.
Applications must be received by May 21, 2012.

Wisconsin Producers First Assistance
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is accepting applications for technical assistance through Producers First. The program will provide up to $3,000 for a consultant to provide assistance such as accounting, financial organization, business planning, facility design, food safety, grant writing, legal services, market development, packaging development, label design, or whole-farm planning.
Applications are due by April 25, 2012.

Arizona Livestock and Crop Conservation Grant Program
The Livestock & Crop Conservation Grant Program provides funding to landowners and lessees of state or federal land who desire to implement conservation-based management alternatives using livestock or crop production practices, or to reduce livestock or crop production, to provide wildlife habitat or other public benefits that preserve open space.
Applications are due by April 30, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Farm Foundations: Planning for Success
May 9-11, 2012
Indianola, Mississippi

Join the National Center for Appropriate Technology for a unique three-day, two-track workshop focused on business planning, identifying markets, and online marketing. Participants may attend the two-day crop production track, the two-day livestock track, or both tracks for three days. Each track features hands-on activities, educational presentations, and group discussions, as well as a tour of Beaverdam Farms. These workshops are free for new and beginning farmers.

Humane and Sustainable Livestock Farming Workshop
May 21, 2012
Stonington, Connecticut

Join the Northeast CT NOFA and the owners of Footsteps Farm, Craig and Sheryl Floyd, to learn about humane-certified and sustainable livestock farming. The workshop is for farmers, homesteaders, or anyone interested in livestock production with a focus on heritage breed turkeys, cattle, pigs, laying hens, and broiler chickens.

Water for Food Conference
May 30 - June 1, 2012
Lincoln, Nebraska

This fourth annual global conference, "Blue Water, Green Water and the Future of Agriculture," will bring together experts from around the world to discuss how advances in science, technology, and policy will help rainfed and irrigated agriculture sustainably feed an increasingly hungry and thirsty world.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project was funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2012 NCAT

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