Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 19, 2006
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site.
News & Resources
* USDA Promotes Biosecurity for Poultry
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* Organic Dairy Farming Resource Released
* Proposed Organic Dairy Rule Open for Public Comment
* Conservation Reserve Program Sign-up Deadline Extended
* Colorado University Announces Organic Agriculture Program
* Western Montana Growers Develop 'Homegrown' Label
* Kentucky Young Farmer Loan Program
* Western SARE Research & Education Grants
* Conservation Innovation Grants—Washington State
* North American Summit on Organic Production and Marketing
* Sustainable Rural Enterprises/Multi-species Grazing Conference
* Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair
News & Resources
USDA Promotes Biosecurity for Poultry
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has posted a toll-free number (1-866-536-7593) to report sick or dead birds in the United States. The USDA also offers poultry producers biosecurity tips at its Web site. The security measures are basically identical for Exotic Newcastle Disease as well as any strain of avian influenza.
Organic Dairy Farming Resource Released
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service is making a new resource for transitioning and new organic dairy farmers available for sale. Organic Dairy Farming combines advice from 20 experts on everything from organic soil management, calf care and mastitis control to the certification process and marketing for the organic premium. The book includes farmer interviews with successful organic producers, as well as illustrations and a resource list.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Livestock Workbook
Proposed Organic Dairy Rule Open for Public Comment
The USDA invites comments from producers, handlers, processors, food manufacturers, exporters, consumers, scientists, industry representatives, and all other interested parties on how USDA should address the relationship between ruminant animals, particularly dairy animals, and pasture or land used for grazing under the National Organic Program regulations. The notice specifically asks for comments and data on over two dozen questions, covering the gamut from consumer preferences to animal nutrition to marketing impacts. Comments may be submitted by mail, online, by e-mail, or by fax, through June 12.
Conservation Reserve Program Sign-up Deadline Extended
USDA has extended its sign-up deadlines for both the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and the special CRP re-enrollment and extension opportunities until April 28, 2006. The deadline for both opportunities was originally April 14, 2006. CRP participants voluntarily enroll highly erodible and other fragile cropland in CRP through long-term contracts of 10 to 15 years. On the enrolled land, participants plant grasses, trees and other vegetation. In exchange, participants receive annual rental payments and a payment of up to 50 percent of the cost of establishing conservation covers.
Colorado University Announces Organic Agriculture Program
The Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Colorado State University have announced the Interdisciplinary Program in Organic Agriculture. This new program is a collaboration between these two departments from the College of Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Experiment Station, and Cooperative Extension. Set to launch in the fall of 2006, the program currently is accepting students.
Western Montana Growers Develop 'Homegrown' Label
A group of 12 organic farmers in Western Montana have developed a "Homegrown" label to certify that food is locally and sustainably raised, according to an article on New West. Western Montana Sustainable Growers Union members will sign a pledge to use sustainable practices and to market their products within a 150-mile radius. The label is designed to foster a closer relationship between growers and their customers within the local community, in place of the impersonal third-party certification of the National Organic Program.
> More Breaking News
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Kentucky Young Farmer Loan Program
The Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation (KAFC) will cooperate with the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in offering farm ownership loans to Kentucky young farmers. Because this program is a part of the Tobacco Grower Investment Fund, participation is limited to those who have had past involvement in tobacco production. Young producers who have grown up on farms with a tobacco quota, as well as those who have marketed tobacco under their own name, are eligible. The loans can be used to acquire real estate and/or forimprovements for agricultural purposes. Maximum participation from KAFC will be capped at $250,000 per loan. Applications will be accepted monthly through November 2006.
Western SARE Research & Education Grants
The Administrative Council of the Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program announces a request for Research and Education (Chapter 1 grants) pre-applications. R&E grants from $20,000 to $200,000 fund projects that typically involve scientists, producers, and others in an interdisciplinary approach. The Council will evaluate pre-applications against the criteria outlined in its request and in comparison with other pre-applications. The Council will then contact the principal investigators of projects selected to develop full applications for competitive review. Proposals must include producers in the project and have both research and education components.
Proposals are due June 14, 2006.
Conservation Innovation Grants, Washington State
The purpose of Conservation Innovation Grants is to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production. CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches (such as market-based systems) into Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) technical manuals or guides, or to the private sector. NRCS will accept applications for single- or multi-year projects, not to exceed three years, submitted from eligible entities, including federally-recognized Indian Tribes, state and local governments, and non-governmental organizations and individuals. Grants may not exceed $50,000 each. Applications will only be accepted for projects that will take place in Washington State.
Proposals are due May 1, 2006.
> More Funding Opportunities
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North American Summit on Organic Production and Marketing
May 6-9, 2006
It is not too late to register for the first ever North American Summit on Organic Production & Marketing.
Hosted by the Organic Trade Association (OTA) in partnership with the National Association of State Organic Programs (NASOP), this power-packed event brings you the regulatory and technical information and the contacts you need to assist your constituents and customers in producing and selling more organic farm products.
Sustainable Rural Enterprises/Multi-species Grazing Conference
May 23-24, 2006
Funded by the Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) program, this conference and tour will feature speakers with experience in developing rural enterprises focused on sustainable livestock and resource management strategies. The field tour will take place at the Sprague Lake invasive vegetation field trials and will feature a field review of invasive vegetation management using goats, a discussion regarding the Washington State Fish and Wildlife interpretive trail program, a review of USDA Farm Bill programs, and a historical perspective on land use of the area.
Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair
June 23-25, 2006
Each year thousands of people from around the world celebrate the summer solstice at the Midwest Renewable Energy Association's Renewable Energy and Sustainable Living Fair. This three-day festival is the world's largest venue to learn about renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable living.
> More Events
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