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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - April 27, 2011

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Our sustainable agriculture information service, ATTRA, was cut from the federal budget as part of deficit reduction efforts. We cannot maintain this project unless we can find a way to raise operating funds. You can help as we explore our options. First, make your tax-deductible donation today. You can access our online donation form at https://attra.ncat.org/donate.html. For more information, visit NCAT's website to read the most current postings about our efforts to keep this service open.

News & Resources

  • Catskills Foodshed Report Finds Region a Model for Sustainable Production
  • FSIS Announces Final Rule for Interstate Shipment of State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Products
  • San Francisco Bay Area Assesses State of Local Agriculture
  • Canadian Study Finds Organic Farming Energy Winner
  • Organic Farming Retreat for Veterans Offered
  • APHIS Proposes NEPA Pilot Project for GE Organism Petitions

Funding Opportunities

  • Western SARE Graduate Student Grants in Sustainable Agriculture
  • Biomass Research and Development Initiative
  • Texas Young Farmer Grant

Coming Events

  • Creativity at the River's Edge: Funding Change in Food and Farming Systems
  • Symposium on Food Systems & Public Health
  • Farmer-Veteran Retreat

News & Resources

Catskills Foodshed Report Finds Region a Model for Sustainable Production
Ground Up: Cultivating Sustainable Agriculture in the Catskill Region investigates food production in the Catskills region of New York, finding the potential to produce enough healthy, locally grown food to feed millions of people in New York City and beyond. The report also presents case studies of farmers who have constructed their own dynamic templates for resource protection and adaptation to changing markets.

FSIS Announces Final Rule for Interstate Shipment of State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced a final rule April 19 that will broaden the market for smaller state-inspected plants by allowing them to ship meat and poultry products bearing an official USDA mark of inspection across state lines.

San Francisco Bay Area Assesses State of Local Agriculture
Sustaining Our Bounty: An Assessment of the State of Farming and Ranching in the San Francisco Bay Area summarizes the challenges and opportunities of the region's $1.9 billion-a-year agriculture industry, calling for new strategies to support its future prosperity.

Canadian Study Finds Organic Farming Energy Winner
The results of a 12-year study have shown that organic farming systems in the Canadian Prairies are energy winners in reducing non-renewable energy inputs and increasing energy use efficiency (energy produced per unit of energy consumed). The 12-year study, which still has another six to go, compared a matrix of nine cropping systems for the Canadian Prairies based on three levels of inputs: conventional high inputs, reduced inputs, and organic.

Organic Farming Retreat for Veterans Offered
The Farmer Veteran Coalition is accepting applications from veterans who seek a career in farming and wish to attend "Coming Home to Farm," a two-and-a-half-day organic farming retreat in Iowa on July 14-16, 2011. The educational retreat includes farm tours of sustainable grain, vegetable, and livestock operations, as well as presentations on organic certification, production techniques, and marketing.

APHIS Proposes NEPA Pilot Project for GE Organism Petitions
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of USDA has published a notice in the Federal Register, soliciting letters of interest in a NEPA Pilot Project that will test new approaches to developing environmental analyses and documents required under NEPA, associated with petitions for nonregulated status for genetically engineered (GE) organisms.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Western SARE Graduate Student Grants in Sustainable Agriculture
The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program announces the call for proposals for Graduate Student Grants in Sustainable Agriculture of up to $25,000 for masters or Ph.D. students enrolled full time at accredited colleges or universities in the Western region.
Proposals are due by May 27, 2011.

Biomass Research and Development Initiative
The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy have announced up to $30 million in funding over three to four years to support research and development in advanced biofuels, bioenergy and high-value biobased products.
Pre-applications are due on May 31, 2011.

Texas Young Farmer Grant
The Young Farmer Grant program provides matching grant funds between $5,000 and $10,000 to persons 18 to 46 years of age that are engaged in creating or expanding an agricultural business in Texas.
Applications are due by May 6, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Creativity at the River's Edge: Funding Change in Food and Farming Systems
June 21-24, 2011
Minneapolis, Minnesota

The 9th annual forum of the Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Funders, open to funders only, features site visits, workshops, and plenary sessions focusing on food and agriculture from the local to the global scale.

Symposium on Food Systems & Public Health
May 25-27, 2011
Monterey, California

This symposium is designed for public health professionals, food industry professionals, agricultural commissioners, food systems experts and students. It will focus on solutions to a more safe, secure & sustainable food system to protect public health, as well as understanding the connection between agriculture, food & health, and exploring the public health impact of food systems.

Farmer-Veteran Retreat
May 20-22, 2011
Fayetteville, Arkansas

This free retreat for all veterans and active-duty military personnel interested in or currently farming will focus on sustainable poultry and small ruminant production, but will include tours to area fruit and vegetable farms.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.

© 2011 NCAT

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New & Updated Publications
Agroforestry: An Overview

Organic and Grass-finished Beef Cattle Production

Farmer Profiles: Two Organic Grain Farm Case Studies

Question of the Week
What information can you give me on monitoring the emergence of squash vine borer?

ATTRA Webinars
The latest webinars are available for viewing in ATTRA's Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive

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