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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 25, 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.

Last Chance to Apply for Armed to Farm in New Hampshire
Military veterans in the Northeast, apply by April 27, 2018, to attend NCAT's week-long sustainable agriculture training, Armed to Farm, in Troy, New Hampshire. The training June 11-15, 2018, includes classroom sessions, farm tours, and hands-on activities. Apply here.

News & Resources

  • Food Hubs Key to Scaling up Local Food Systems
  • Cropping Systems Calculator Now Offers Illinois Version
  • ARS Study Offers Insights on Food Waste
  • High School Agroforestry Curriculum Available
  • Report Highlights Western North Carolina Ag Transition from Tobacco to Local Food
  • Cover Crop Guide Now Available as Mobile App

Funding Opportunities

  • Food Safety Outreach Program
  • Southern SARE Research & Education Grants Program
  • Conservation Innovation Grants in Iowa

Coming Events

  • Agroecoprospect: The Challenge of Integrating Values, Food and Farming
  • Health Meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference
  • Connecting Soil Health with Productivity

News & Resources

Food Hubs Key to Scaling up Local Food Systems
Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the Wallace Center at Winrock International have released Findings of the 2017 National Food Hub Survey. The survey found that food hubs are maturing into a strong, stable model for socially conscious business and are helping to scale up the local food market. Food hubs support farmers and the triple bottom line, and they contribute to the local economy.
Related ATTRA Publication: Food Hubs: A Producer Guide

Cropping Systems Calculator Now Offers Illinois Version
The Land Stewardship Project has updated its Cropping Systems Calculator with default values for west-central Minnesota, southeastern Minnesota, and Illinois. The Excel-based Calculator allows users to compare two different six-year crop rotations and provides average yearly returns, as well as a year-by-year breakdown. The tool includes built-in financial figures for many common row crops, small grains, cover crops, and perennials, as well as various grazing systems.

ARS Study Offers Insights on Food Waste
A study published by USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and university scientists reveals that American consumers waste nearly a pound of food per person per day. Producing this wasted food utilizes 30 million acres of land and consumes 780 million pounds of pesticide, 1.8 billion pounds of nitrogen fertilizer, and 4.2 trillion gallons of irrigation water. The most-wasted items are fruits and vegetables.

High School Agroforestry Curriculum Available
The University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry is making available a two-module high school curriculum on agroforestry. It is designed to engage students with content on temperate agroforestry practices and resources, in order to further develop their inquiry and skillset. The curriculum includes lesson plans, teacher guides, and hands-on and problem-solving activities for students.

Report Highlights Western North Carolina Ag Transition from Tobacco to Local Food
A report from Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project's Local Food Research Center shows how a 20-county region in Western North Carolina has undergone significant shifts in agriculture. As tobacco declined, production of fruits and vegetables for local markets increased, with an increase in the value of direct sales. The study concludes that although local food has not replaced tobacco as a means of livelihood, it has emerged as a significant new direction for agriculture.

Cover Crop Guide Now Available as Mobile App
The Midwest Cover Crops Council has created a Field Scout mobile app for cellphones and tablets. The app allows farmers, crop advisers, and conservation professionals to access cover crop information from mobile devices in the field, without an Internet connection, once the content has been downloaded.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Food Safety Outreach Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Food Safety Outreach Program (FSOP) for fiscal year 2018 to develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical-assistance projects. FSOP is soliciting new proposals for Regional Centers in the Northeast, North Central, Southern, and Western Regions. FSOP is also soliciting Pilot Projects and Community Outreach Projects. Eligible applicants include community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local groups.
Applications are due by June 7, 2018.

Southern SARE Research & Education Grants Program
Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is accepting pre-proposals for systems research-based or education-based projects. The education grant is open to anyone in agriculture interested in conducting education and outreach activities for the benefit of the greater sustainable ag community. Meanwhile, research-based projects aim to understand how the components of a system interact with each other and function as a whole, with an educational/outreach component involved.
The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is June 1, 2018.

Conservation Innovation Grants in Iowa
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Iowa has announced that $500,000 in matching funding is available for development of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in Iowa. All non-Federal entities and individuals are invited to apply. The maximum for a single award in FY 2018 is $75,000. Priorities for 2018 are wildlife habitat, water quality and quantity, and soil health.
Applications must be received by May 29, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Agroecoprospect: The Challenge of Integrating Values, Food and Farming
June 13-16, 2018
Madison, Wisconsin

The Joint Annual Meeting of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society and the Association for the Study of Food and Society is an invitation to engage with the political and governance issues that arise in agricultural and food systems.

Health Meets Food: The Culinary Medicine Conference
June 14-17, 2018
New Orleans, Louisiana

The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University presents an opportunity to expand your culinary medicine skills and network with other professionals. Both an academic and a culinary/clinical track are offered.

Connecting Soil Health with Productivity
June 15, 2018
Baker, Montana

Little Beaver Conservation District presents this day-long seminar in which Dr. Christine Jones will cover the basics of soil function; including the links between soil elements, structure, and water.

>>More Events

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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.

© 2018 NCAT

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Updated ATTRA Publication
Biochar and Sustainable Agriculture

Question of the Week
What trees can be tapped to produce syrup?

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

High Tunnel Workshop
May 3, 2018
Lonoke, Arkansas
Find more information.

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