Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 6, 2015
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.
News & Resources
- Comment Period on Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Extended
- Report Explores Potential Linkages Between High Tunnels and Farm to School
- National Heritage Breeds Week Planned
- Food Safety Guidance Helps School and Community Gardens Reduce Risk
- How-To Videos Help Stone-Fruit Growers Monitor Pests
- North Dakota Reports on Farm and Food Economy Available Online
- Growing Future Organic Farmers: Vocational and Higher Education
- Western SARE Research and Education Grants
- Look at Agriculture... Organically! Educator Grants
- Going Organic Workshop
- Bridging the Past, Cultivating the Future: Exploring Sustainable Foodscapes
- Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop & Field Tour
News & Resources
Comment Period on Agricultural Conservation Easement Program Extended
USDA has extended the deadline to provide public comment on the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program's (ACEP) interim rule until May 28, 2015. The 2014 Farm Bill consolidated three previous conservation easement programs that protected working agricultural lands and wetlands into ACEP. The official notice of the proposed ACEP interim rule can be found in the Federal Register.
Report Explores Potential Linkages Between High Tunnels and Farm to School
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has issued a new report, Extending the Growing Season: High Tunnels Use and Farm to School in the Upper Midwest. It looks at best practices in high tunnel use and Farm to School activities and identifies innovative approaches for linking the two practices more effectively.
Related ATTRA Video: Hoop Houses For Extending Your Growing Season
National Heritage Breeds Week Planned
The first annual National Heritage Breeds Week sponsored by The Livestock Conservancy will be held May 17-23, 2015, across the United States to raise awareness about nearly 200 endangered heritage breeds of livestock and poultry. The week will culminate with National Heritage Breeds Day, when many farms and ranches will hold farm tours, workshops, or lectures in their communities.
Food Safety Guidance Helps School and Community Gardens Reduce Risk
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed guidelines that address how to limit food-safety risk in community and school gardens. A Handbook for Beginning and Veteran Garden Organizers: How to Reduce Food Safety Risks is a 16-page PDF available free online. Researchers found in a pilot study that two months after receiving the guidelines, 16 of 20 gardens observed had improved their food-safety scores.
How-To Videos Help Stone-Fruit Growers Monitor Pests
University of California IPM teamed with UC farm advisors to develop a series of short, how-to videos that can help stone-fruit growers and pest-control advisors monitor for pests and damage and determine if and when treatment is needed. The videos cover spider mites, shoot strikes, aphids, and Phytophthora root and crown rot.
Related ATTRA Publication: Peach Insect Pests Identification Sheet
North Dakota Reports on Farm and Food Economy Available Online
As part of the Summit on Local Economies conference held in North Dakota in April, FARRMS commissioned several reports on the Farm and Food Economy in 14 counties. These reports are now available online in PDF. They include a light-processing feasibility study and a working model menu for infrastructure to support farming and local economies.
Related ATTRA Publication: Building a Montana Organic Livestock Industry
>> More Breaking News
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Growing Future Organic Farmers: Vocational and Higher Education
The CCOF Foundation is offering $2,500 grants nationally for 20 individuals to study organic agriculture. Grants are offered to students attending six-week to two-year, technical, hands-on training/apprenticeship programs, or enrolled in two-year or four-year undergraduate degree programs at a college or university.
Applications are due by May 15, 2015.
Western SARE Research and Education Grants
These grants involve Western Region scientists, producers, and others using interdisciplinary approaches to address issues related to sustaining agriculture. Proposals must incorporate both research and education and must include a minimum of three collaborating producers.
Pre-proposals are due June 3, 2015.
Look at Agriculture...Organically! Educator Grants
These grants are available to certified K-8 teachers nationwide through the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and CCOF. Grants of up to $1,000 will be provided to 20 educators to support the integration of organic agriculture into regular classroom instruction.
Applications are due May 22, 2015.
>> More Funding Opportunities
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Going Organic Workshop
June 22, 2015
Join CCOF, the California Strawberry Commission, and Driscoll's for this workshop on the tenets of organic certification. The workshop will help assess how close your operation is to being organic and will detail the steps necessary to transition towards certification. The day will include a tour of an organic berry farm as well as presentations. The workshop will be offered in English and Spanish.
Bridging the Past, Cultivating the Future: Exploring Sustainable Foodscapes
June 24-28, 2015
Chatham University will host the Joint 2015 Annual Meetings and Conference of the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society.
Comprehensive Elderberry Workshop & Field Tour
June 18-19, 2015
Jefferson City, Missouri
During this event at George Washington Carver Center, learn about elderberry research, culture, and marketing. Harvest, post-harvest handling, and processing quality standards will also be addressed.
>> More Events
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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.
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