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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 22, 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.

More 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

  • National Young Farmers Coalition Releases Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms
  • USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
  • Mercaris Special Report Provides U.S. Organic Commodity Market and Risks Outlook
  • Center for Rural Affairs Offers Guide to Applying for CSP
  • Farmers' Guide to COVID-19 Relief Posted by FLAG
  • Extension Offers Guidelines for Agritourism Operations in Maryland

Funding Opportunities

  • Local Food Promotion Program
  • Regional Food System Partnerships
  • Kiss the Ground Farmland Program

Coming Events

  • Innovative Direct Marketing for Farmers
  • Women in Agritourism—Risk Management Webinar Series
  • Farming for the Future with Cover Crops, Extended Rotations, and More

News & Resources

National Young Farmers Coalition Releases Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms
The National Young Farmers Coalition has released a Guide to Direct Sales Software Platforms. The free eight-page PDF publication includes an overview chart and detailed listings comparing farm-specific software platforms that support direct-to-consumer sales. The publication also contains links to related educational resources.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling on the Internet

USDA Announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
USDA's new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) includes two major elements: Direct Support to Farmers and Ranchers and USDA Purchase and Distribution. The direct support program will provide $16 billion based on actual losses for agricultural producers where prices and market supply chains have been impacted. Also, USDA will partner with regional and local distributors to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. Distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of products to food banks and community and faith-based organizations.

Mercaris Special Report Provides U.S. Organic Commodity Market and Risks Outlook
Mercaris is making available a special report, 2020 COVID-19: U.S. Organic Commodity Market & Risks Outlook. Mercaris conducted an industry-wide research initiative identifying the risks stemming from COVID-19, focusing on how and when they may impact organic commodity markets and supply chains. This report addresses the impact of COVID-19 on producers as they look ahead. It is available free online.

Center for Rural Affairs Offers Guide to Applying for CSP
The Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA) is reminding farmers that they can still apply for the federal Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), although the application process has changed. CFRA has compiled tips and advice for farmers and ranchers seeking to apply. CFRA's post explains how to initiate and advance the application process remotely.
Related ATTRA Publication: Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching

Farmers' Guide to COVID-19 Relief Posted by FLAG
Farmers' Legal Action Group (FLAG) has posted Farmers' Guide to COVID-19 Relief. The 47-page PDF guide focuses on how various programs in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) can provide relief to farmers.

Extension Offers Guidelines for Agritourism Operations in Maryland
University of Maryland Extension has posted information and resources for agritourism operators on how COVID-19 protocols will affect pick-your-own operations. Communication of COVID-19 protocols to farm customers and employees is key. The post offers examples of communications from u-pick farms and provides links to recommended practices and sources of further information.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Local Food Promotion Program
The Local Food Promotion Program administered by USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) funds projects that develop, coordinate, and expand local and regional food business enterprises that engage as intermediaries to help increase access to and availability of locally and regionally produced agricultural products. Grants can be used for the planning stages or to improve or expand a food business that supports locally and regionally produced agricultural products and food system infrastructure. Grants support performing feasibility studies, market research, training, and technical assistance. A 25% match is required.
The application deadline has been extended until May 26, 2020.

Regional Food System Partnerships
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting applications for the Regional Food System Partnerships program. This program supports partnerships that connect public and private resources to plan and develop local or regional food systems. Eligible entities include the following: producers, producer networks or associations, farmer or rancher cooperatives, majority-controlled producer-based business ventures, food councils, local or tribal governments, nonprofit corporations, and others. Eligible partners include state agencies or regional authorities, philanthropic organizations, private corporations, institutions of higher education, and lending institutions.
The deadline for submitting applications has been extended until May 26, 2020.

Kiss the Ground Farmland Program
The Kiss the Ground Farmland Program supports the growth of healthy soils on American farmlands by providing access to education and soil health services for farmers and ranchers. The scholarship program funds training, soil testing, and consulting time for producers over the course of three years. During this application period, the program is open to California and Michigan residents.
Applications are due by April 30, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Innovative Direct Marketing for Farmers
April 28, 2020
Online
This webinar is part of the CCOF Foundation's Farmers Marketing: Tools for Success series, providing tips and tools for farmers to strengthen their sales and income at farmers markets. This webinar features Jamie Collins of Serendipity Farms.

Women in Agritourism—Risk Management Webinar Series
April 28, May 4, and May 12, 2020
Online

Penn State Extension offers a webinar series addressing risk management issues that women commonly face within agritourism. Each webinar will begin with a short overview of the issues and end with a discussion of current COVID-19 challenges.

Farming for the Future with Cover Crops, Extended Rotations, and More
April 23, 2020
Online
Iowa Learning Farms, in partnership with the Iowa Nutrient Research Center and Conservation Learning Group, is hosting a free virtual field day with in-field video and live interaction with farmer Wade Dooley as he shows changes he is making within the family farming operation to adjust to changing markets and climate.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Video
Local Food COVID Adaptations: Pearl Drive-Thru Farmers Market

Question of the Week
How should I sanitize fresh farm eggs?

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

Armed to Farm
Sustainable Agriculture Training for Military Veterans

June 15-19, 2020
Fayetteville, Arkansas
Apply by May 8, 2020

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