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Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 5, 2010

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

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News & Resources
* Organic Fruit and Vegetable Market Reports Available
* New Farm to School Publication Available
* Small Dairy Resource Book Updated
* Local Food Systems Funding Guide Available
* Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Honored
* New Website Helps Farmers Manage Pests


Funding Opportunities
* Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant
* New Mexico Conservation Innovation Grant
* Texas Young Farmer Grant


Coming Events
* Specialty Crop Workshop
* Florida Master Sheep and Goat Program
* Introduction to Small Acreage Farming Course



News & Resources

Organic Fruit and Vegetable Market Reports Available
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is now publishing the National Fruit and Vegetable Organic Summary. Available free every Tuesday, the new report provides an easy-to-use summary of the market data, including wholesale and shipping point prices and movement data. The report provides all available organic market data at a glance; thus, significantly reducing the amount of time customers spend searching for organic market data.

New Farm to School Publication Available
The Community Food Security Coalition has released a new publication, Delivering More: Scaling Up Farm to School Programs (PDF/1.1MB). This booklet looks at CFSC's work with four farm to school programs seeking to ramp up their programs through strategic planning related to distribution capacity. This booklet profiles each program's planning efforts, describes the related work of The Farm to School Distribution Learning Community, and explores the implications of the results.

Small Dairy Resource Book Updated
SARE Outreach announces the release of its newly updated Small Dairy Resource Book (PDF/653KB), a thorough collection of resources for farm families interested in capitalizing on value-added dairy products. The Small Dairy Resource Book is available online only. Originally published in 2000, The Small Dairy Resource Book was updated in 2010 with new entries, and revised contact and price information for listed resources.

Local Food Systems Funding Guide Available
This week, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition is launching a new tool to help producers, community-based organizations, local governments, and other groups who are engaged in work to develop their local or regional food system. The Guide to USDA Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems (PDF/947KB) seeks to de-mystify some of the federal grant programs most likely to be useful to food systems’ development work and directs organizations to specific resources that can help in designing a project and writing a grant.

Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Honored
TIME named Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan to the 2010 TIME 100, the magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Among the many important issues she has worked on as Deputy Secretary, Merrigan manages USDA's Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food effort to highlight the critical connection between farmers and consumers and support local and regional food systems that increase economic opportunity in Rural America.

New Website Helps Farmers Manage Pests
A Web-based resource developed by researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences is helping crop producers manage insects, diseases and weeds, often while reducing the need for pesticides. The Pennsylvania Pest Information Platform for Extension and Education, or PA PIPE, incorporates National Weather Service data and knowledge of pest biology to forecast the development of insects, diseases and weeds. This information can help growers to monitor and anticipate pest problems and take appropriate action before crops are damaged.
Related ATTRA Publication: Ecological Pest Management Database


> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant
Formerly known as the Small, Minority Producer Grant Program, the primary objective of the SSDPG program is to provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers through eligible cooperatives and associations of cooperatives. Projects must provide technical assistance to socially disadvantaged producers that have averaged $250,000 or less in annual gross sales in the last years. The applicant must be from a rural area, with a population less than 50,000 people; applicants from smaller towns are prioritized. The membership or board of the cooperative that is applying must be comprised of at least 75 percent socially disadvantaged producers.
Proposals are due July 27, 2010.

New Mexico Conservation Innovation Grant
NRCS New Mexico requests applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches in New Mexico. CIG is a voluntary program intended to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies while leveraging the Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection, in conjunction with agricultural production.
Proposals are due June 11, 2010.

Texas Young Farmer Grant
The Texas Department of Agriculture is requesting applications for the Young Farmer Grant program. The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance in the form of dollar-for-dollar matching grant funds not to exceed $10,000, to those persons 18 years or older but younger than 46 years of age that are engaged or will be engaged in creating or expanding an agricultural business in Texas.
Proposals are due May 14, 2010.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Specialty Crop Workshop
May 13, 2010
Mountain Grove, Missouri

A workshop for fruit, vegetable and cut flower growers and for those who are considering such an endeavor is offered. The new high tunnel and Drangen work cart will be featured at the meeting.


Florida Master Sheep and Goat Program
May 14, 15, 28, & 29, 2010
Quincy, Florida

The objective of this program is to provide educational training opportunities in small ruminant production, management and marketing to producers, agricultural professionals and students to assist in building a viable and sustainable goat and sheep industry in the state of Florida.


Introduction to Small Acreage Farming Course
May 14-18, 2010
Rice, Washington

The purpose of the course is to give participants hands on farm experience while gaining awareness of the skills necessary for successful farming.


> More Events

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


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