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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 15, 2020

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.

Updated COVID-19 Resources on ATTRA Website
To help you understand the pandemic and how it affects your farming operation, we’re gathering resources that can help. Links to videos, publications, and information on food safety, business assistance, farmers market operation, alternative markets, and food security are available on our web page.

News & Resources

  • NCAT Accepting Applications for Arkansas Armed to Farm Training
  • USDA Introduces COVID-19 Rural Resource Guide
  • New Livestock Compass Spreadsheet Available for Meat and Egg Producers
  • MOSES Podcast Addresses Farmer Mental Health in this Crisis
  • Equitable Food Initiative Offers Resources and Best Practices During Coronavirus Pandemic
  • Research Confirms Organic Agriculture Reduces Buildup of Reactive Nitrogen

Funding Opportunities

  • Farmers Market Promotion Program
  • Regional Conservation Partnership Program's Alternative Funding Arrangements
  • Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund

Coming Events

  • Farm to Rural Grocery Toolkit
  • Labor Laws and COVID-19
  • Meat Goats for Pasture, Profit and Personal Development Webinar

News & Resources

NCAT Accepting Applications for Arkansas Armed to Farm Training
NCAT is moving forward with accepting applications from military veterans for the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training in Fayetteville, Arkansas, currently scheduled for June 15-19, 2020. ATF allows veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a career. All military veterans are welcome to apply by May 8, 2020.

USDA Introduces COVID-19 Rural Resource Guide
USDA unveiled The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide, a resource for rural leaders on federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations, and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 8-page PDF guide lists resources for rural entities including agricultural producers and ranchers, nonprofits, cooperatives, and rural individuals. The document also contains links to federal agency COVID-19 resources.

New Livestock Compass Spreadsheet Available for Meat and Egg Producers
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is offering a new Livestock Compass spreadsheet to help growers improve on-farm decision making and financial farm planning. The Compass Toolbox's comprehensive spreadsheets facilitate analysis of farm records using cost, sales, and labor data. The spreadsheet tools calculate the costs of production and the profitability of different market channels.

Related ATTRA Publication: Evaluating a Farming Enterprise

MOSES Podcast Addresses Farmer Mental Health in this Crisis
The MOSES Organic Farming Podcast is featuring an episode on Farmer Mental Health in this Crisis. The hour-long podcast notes that with the incredible uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are experiencing mental health problems for the first time, and the added stress is worsening many peoples' underlying mental health conditions. The podcast can help you recognize mental health issues in yourself or others and give you suggestions on how to address them.

Equitable Food Initiative Offers Resources and Best Practices During Coronavirus Pandemic
The Equitable Food Initiative (EFI) is providing resources and practices for employee communication during the current pandemic. Worker-manager EFI leadership teams have come together to adapt public health guidance to the realities of modern produce production. EFI has actively worked with its certified growers to learn from their worker-manager teams and generate educational materials to be shared directly with fresh produce growers and farmworkers.

Research Confirms Organic Agriculture Reduces Buildup of Reactive Nitrogen
A new study led by researchers at the University of Virginia and co-authored by The Organic Center shows that organic farming practices can help prevent global accumulation of reactive nitrogen and scale back the presence of one of the major contributors to climate change. The research confirms that organic farming helps reduce the buildup of reactive nitrogen by using recycled nitrogen sources. Organic production releases around 50% less new reactive nitrogen to the environment.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Farmers Market Promotion Program
The Farmers Market Promotion Program administered by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service funds projects that develop, coordinate, and expand direct producer-to-consumer markets. Projects help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products by developing, coordinating, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, online sales, or other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. A 25% match is required.
The application deadline has been extended until May 26, 2020.

Regional Conservation Partnership Program's Alternative Funding Arrangements
Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Program's (RCPP) Alternative Funding Arrangements (AFA), USDA-NRCS is authorized to fund 15 projects where partners will be given greater liberty to manage a project and the associated relationships with participating producers and landowners. NRCS will invest up to $50 million in fiscal year 2020 to fund this unique, partner-led approach to addressing natural resource concerns at local, regional, and landscape scales. Lead partners will be responsible for contracting directly with eligible producers and landowners to implement conservation activities.
Proposals are due by May 18, 2020.

Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund
The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund administered by CCOF provides direct financial assistance exclusively to organic producers who suffer financial losses due to extreme hardship. Award amounts range from $1,000 to $2,500. Certified organic operations currently in good standing that experienced documented economic hardship in the 2020 calendar year are eligible to apply.
Applications are due May 25, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Farm to Rural Grocery Toolkit
April 21, 2020
Online
This special series of the University of Minnesota Extension's Local Foods College is in response to the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic. The free, online, distance-learning opportunity will provide a forum for the small farm and food communities to connect, network, and share information.

Labor Laws and COVID-19
April 17, 2020
Online
MOFGA presents a free one-hour webinar geared towards established farmers, addressing labor laws on the farm and COVID-19.

Meat Goats for Pasture, Profit and Personal Development Webinar
April 23, 2020
Online

In this free webinar from the Iowa Farm Bureau, Aaron Steele, founder of a for-hire goat grazing operation, will present four good reasons and four bad reasons to be in the goat business and reveal hidden opportunities.

>>More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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.

© 2020 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Livestock Guardian Animals: Protecting the Flock or Herd

Question of the Week
What hand tools do I need to get started with a garden?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Farming During COVID
April 15, 2020
Online
NCAT is co-sponsoring this webinar series.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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