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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 9, 2012

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.

ATTRA Can Help Applicants Meet June 1 Program Deadline for Conservation Funds
The Natural Resources Conservation Service has up to $50 million dollars to award in the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP). The EQIP Organic Initiative offers a significant opportunity for organic and transitioning organic farmers to get financial assistance to implement conservation practices. If you need more information on applying for EQIP funds, check out our detailed EQIP website for details or call our the English-language ATTRA toll-free hotline at 800-346-9140 or the Spanish-language ATTRA hotline at 800-411-3222.

News & Resources

  • Cornell Small Dairy Team Produces New Resources
  • OFRF Scores Universities with Organic Land Grant Assessment Report
  • Organic Production Handbook Released
  • Hoop House Construction Plans Available Online
  • Organic Dairy Farmers Win Vermont's Highest Milk Quality Award for Eighth Consecutive Year
  • Investment Launches Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives

Funding Opportunities

  • Market Access Program
  • Southern SARE Professional Development Grants
  • Vermont Farm to School Grant Program: Regional Network Development

Coming Events

  • Organic Fruit 2012: From Research to Practice
  • Farm & Homestead Day
  • Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee

News & Resources

Cornell Small Dairy Team Produces New Resources
The Cornell Small Dairy Team has released a series of six new resources and tools to help small dairy farms, including Financial Bench Marks for Small Dairies, Off-Farm Processing Start-Up Fact Sheet, Production Record-Keeping Book for Grazing Dairies and Small Dairy Case Studies. A Web-based Geo-Map shows all the small dairy processing plants in New York state, and an Organic Dairy Forage and Grain Survey helps organic dairies locate feed.

OFRF Scores Universities with Organic Land Grant Assessment Report
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has released the first Organic Land Grant Assessment Report, measuring organic research, education, and outreach in the federally funded Land Grant system. OFRF scored universities on maintaining organic research land, cultivating a student organic farm, offering an organic degree, and employing a dedicated organic faculty or staff member. Six campuses attained perfect scores: Colorado State University, University of Florida, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, University of Tennessee, and Washington State University.

Organic Production Handbook Released
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has produced an Organic Production Handbook that is available for download. This handbook includes information about organic practices, NOP regulations, EQIP conservation practices that support organic operations, organic nutrient management, ecological weed management, and a list of key resources.

Hoop House Construction Plans Available Online
The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation poly pipe hoop house was developed in response to the needs of growers for a low-cost, portable structure. It is the product of three years of research and development conducted at the Foundation's Headquarters Farm. The plan publication is available online as a 27MB PDF file.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Season Extension: Considerations for Design

Organic Dairy Farmers Win Vermont's Highest Milk Quality Award for Eighth Consecutive Year
Organic dairy farmers Taylor and Nick Meyer of North Hardwick Dairy received Vermont's Highest Milk Quality Award for the eighth year in a row. The Meyers practice rotational grazing on their 350 acres, switching the cows to fresh pasture every 12 hours after milking. The brothers continuously work to improve their operation's sustainability, including building a wind turbine in 2008 and growing their own hay and feed crops.

Investment Launches Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives
A story on Sustainable Business Oregon notes that not only are there an increasing number of investment funds dedicated to sustainable agriculture endeavors, but there are also equity funds and others buying land with the intent of leasing it to organic and sustainable farmers. Portland-area projects are providing funding to launch farmers who will serve a strong market for sustainable and local food.
Related ATTRA Publication: Evaluating a Farming Enterprise

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Market Access Program
The Market Access Program (MAP) offers cost-share assistance to create, expand, and maintain foreign markets for U.S. agricultural commodities and products. Activities financed include consumer promotions, market research, technical assistance, and trade servicing. To participate in the MAP, an applicant must be a nonprofit U.S. agricultural trade organization, a nonprofit SRTG, a U.S. agricultural cooperative, or a State government agency.
Applications are due by May 23, 2012.

Southern SARE Professional Development Grants
The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Program is requesting pre-proposals for projects that provide training on sustainable agriculture for agricultural professionals and educators who serve farmers and other interested people in USDA's southern region.
Pre-proposals are due by June 4, 2012.

Vermont Farm to School Grant Program: Regional Network Development
The Vermont Farm to School Grant Program provides Vermont schools with funds to integrate local foods in school cafeterias, classrooms, and communities. The program has expanded to offer Regional Network Development grants for district-wide or regional program development and statewide shared learning.
Applications are due by May 23, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Organic Fruit 2012: From Research to Practice
June 18-21, 2012
Leavenworth, Washington

The 2nd International Organic Fruit Research Symposium is sponsored by the International Society for Horticultural Science. The Symposium will examine and discuss crop production, plant protection, genetics, soils and nutrition, post-harvest, markets, policy and economics, and the impacts of organic fruit on the environment and people.

Farm & Homestead Day
June 16, 2012
Unity, Maine

Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association presents this free, hands-on skill-sharing event. Workshop tracks include chickens, herbs, scythes, building, and gardening.

Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee
June 16-17, 2012
Clovis, California

The annual Jubilee offers an opportunity to taste 60 varieties of peaches, plums, pluots, nectarines, and apricots from a dozen local, certified organic farms.

>> More Events

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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.

© 2012 NCAT

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Tips for Selling to Restaurants / Consejos para vender a Restaurantes

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