Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 11, 2018
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
- Our Farms, Our Future Podcast Series Features Voices in Sustainable Agriculture
- Food Systems Finance Resource Center Available Online
- Publication Introduces New Perennial Fruit Crops for Northern Climates
- Upgraded Finding Farmland Calculator Released
- Survey on Food Safety Training and Barriers Underway
- Monarch Farms Project Connects Social Impact Investors with Farmers Seeking Land
- Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers
- Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grants
- Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
- Mother Earth News Fair
- Strolling of the Heifers
- Climate Resilience: An Online Course for Farmers
News & Resources
Our Farms, Our Future Podcast Series Features Voices in Sustainable Agriculture
SARE has introduced the Our Farms, Our Future podcast series, bringing together the sustainable agriculture community for thought-provoking conversations about the state of agriculture, how we got here, and where we're headed. The first episode features Missouri farmers Emily Wright and Dan Kuebler talking about what motivates them to be farmers and to build resilient farming systems, how local food systems can foster community, and the ways that beginning farmers can succeed. The podcast series will feature a new episode every two weeks for a year.
Food Systems Finance Resource Center Available Online
The Council of Development Finance Agencies has released an online Food Systems Finance Resource Center featuring development finance tools that can be used to support local food systems. Innovative approaches and creative programs are highlighted in case studies and publications listed on the website. Training courses, webcasts, and headlines are also listed, along with food systems and agriculture financing programs.
Publication Introduces New Perennial Fruit Crops for Northern Climates
Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture has released a new publication, Perennial Fruit: New, Unusual, and Unique Crops for Northern Climates. The 106-page publication is available online in PDF and discusses both older, forgotten fruits suitable for northern climates and new varieties of emerging crops being developed for cold-hardiness. Fruits covered include aronia, currants, elderberries, goji berries, seaberries, honeyberries, and lesser-known crops.
Related ATTRA Publication: Specialty Crops for Cold Climates
Upgraded Finding Farmland Calculator Released
The National Young Farmers Coalition has released a newly upgraded version of the Finding Farmland Calculator. The online tool was created to meet the functional and educational needs of farmers considering a land purchase. It helps farmers seeking land understand farm financing options, determine what they can afford, and prepare to work with a loan officer.
Related ATTRA Publication: Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland
Survey on Food Safety Training and Barriers Underway
West Virginia University researchers are conducting a survey to better understand the need for future educational workshops on food safety/processing, as well as problems that workshop participants may face applying workshop lessons. The five-minute survey is open to any farmer, food processor, home food-preserver, potential entrepreneur, food business owner, or educator.
Monarch Farms Project Connects Social Impact Investors with Farmers Seeking Land
New Spirit Farmland Partnerships and a group of social impact investors concerned with restoring the health of ecosystems have launched the Monarch Farms Project. This project helps organic and other conservation-minded farmers secure long-term access to farmland. If the land meets project criteria, investors will purchase it and lease it long-term to the farmer with a portion of the land converted to pollinator habitat. Farmers must live and farm in Wisconsin or Illinois within a 100-mile radius of Madison and have at least three years of experience. Program applications are available online.
>>More Breaking News
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Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers
This USDA program, also known as the 2501 program, provides funding to eligible organizations for training and technical assistance projects designed to assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating viable agricultural enterprises. A total of $8.4 million in funding is available, with a maximum grant of $200,000 per project. Non-profit organizations, institutions of higher education, and Tribes are eligible to apply.
Applications are due by May 15, 2018.
Northeast SARE Graduate Student Grants
The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program is accepting grant applications from graduate students. Grants are open to any graduate student enrolled at an accredited college, university, or veterinary school located in the Northeast region. Applications should address issues of current or potential importance to Northeast farmers and the agricultural community. Awards are capped at $15,000.
Applications are due by May 8, 2018.
Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
The Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program offers matching grants to assist in exploring new market opportunities for U.S. food and agricultural products and to encourage research and innovation aimed at improving the efficiency and performance of the marketing system. Entities that are eligible include State departments of agriculture, State agricultural experiment stations, and other State agencies including universities and colleges. More than $1 million in funding is available in 2018.
Applications must be submitted online by May 7, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Mother Earth News Fair
June 2-3, 2018
This event features a wide range of workshops and speakers on topics including food, health, homesteading, livestock, and renewable energy. It is held in conjunction with Fiber Fest 2018.
Strolling of the Heifers
June 1-3, 2018
This year's theme is "May the FARMS be With You." Events include The Strolling of the Heifers Parade, a Slow Living Expo, the local-food farmers breakfast, Tour de Heifer cycling rides, and guided tours at area farms.
Climate Resilience: An Online Course for Farmers
May 30 - July 30, 2018
Online and 1 Farmer-to-Farmer Field Day in California
In this interactive online course from Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture (MESA), you will learn and share knowledge with climate-resilient agriculture experts, experienced farmers, and MESA's network of agroecology educators.
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ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is 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.
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