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

News & Resources

  • New Guide Helps Protect Monarch Butterflies and Habitat in the West
  • Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Releases Animal Welfare Report
  • USDA Invites Public Comment on National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard
  • ERS Study Finds Business Benefits in Value-Added Grant Program
  • Study Identifies Link Between Topsoil Erosion and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions
  • European Union Bans Neonicotinoids for Outdoor Use

Funding Opportunities

  • Western SARE Research & Education Grants Program
  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Sustainable Agricultural Systems
  • Vermont Producer Association Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Where Women Gather: A Celebration of Women in Agriculture Conference and Symposium
  • Horse Progress Days
  • Using Social Media to Grow Your Farm Business

News & Resources

New Guide Helps Protect Monarch Butterflies and Habitat in the West
The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation has released a free, online publication, Managing for Monarchs in the West: Best Management Practices for Conserving the Monarch Butterfly and its Habitat. This document combines science with land-manager knowledge to provide recommendations for best practices for mowing, burning, or grazing land to manage monarch breeding and migratory habitat.

Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Releases Animal Welfare Report
The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology has released Scientific, Ethical, and Economic Aspects of Farm Animal Welfare. This report shows a growing emphasis on animal welfare regulations over the past two decades. The report examines current issues facing agricultural animal production, insights into the origins of current welfare concerns, major scientific advances, and outstanding challenges and priority areas for future research, coordination, and outreach relative to agricultural animal welfare.

USDA Invites Public Comment on National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard
USDA is inviting public comment on the proposed rule to establish a National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard. The new rule would require food manufacturers to disclose information about bioengineered (BE) food and BE food-ingredient content. The proposed rule is intended to provide a mandatory uniform national standard for disclosure of information to consumers about the BE status of foods. The comment period will be open for only 60 days.

ERS Study Finds Business Benefits in Value-Added Grant Program
USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has released a new report titled USDA's Value-Added Producer Grant Program and Its Effect on Business Survival and Growth. The ERS study found that Value-Added Producer Grants enable recipient businesses to increase their probability of survival and provide more jobs than similar businesses that did not receive grants.

Study Identifies Link Between Topsoil Erosion and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions
Research at The Ohio State University found that topsoil erosion causes release of greenhouse gasses, as well as declines in crop production. However, the study also revealed that topsoil can be rebuilt much faster than previously thought, by adding organic matter. The long-term study was led by soil scientist Rattan Lal.

European Union Bans Neonicotinoids for Outdoor Use
European Union member states have backed a proposal to restrict outdoor use of the pesticides imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam. All outdoor use of the three substances will be banned. The neonicotinoids will only be allowed in permanent greenhouses where no contact with bees is expected. The regulation will be adopted by the European Commission and become applicable by the end of the year.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Western SARE Research & Education Grants Program
The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is accepting pre-proposals for Research & Education grants. Projects must involve both research and education and include a minimum of three separate producers for on-farm testing, demonstration, and collaboration. Anyone with the capability to conduct both research and outreach activities is eligible to apply. Projects may be one to three years in length.
Pre-proposals are due June 1, 2018.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Sustainable Agricultural Systems
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of up to $80 million for integrated projects to increase sustainable production of food and agricultural products. The funding is through a new program in NIFA's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) – Sustainable Agricultural Systems (SAS) program. This program focuses on system-level approaches that promote transformational changes in food and agricultural systems within the next 25 years.
The deadline to submit a letter of intent is June 27, 2018.

Vermont Producer Association Grant Program
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets is accepting applications on a first-come, first-served basis for the Vermont Producer Association Grant Program. Applicants must be Vermont-based non-profit organizations that represent and promote Vermont agriculture, food, beverage, forest, and/or fiber products. Grants of $1,000 to $2,000 will be awarded to provide funding for marketing projects.
Applications are accepted beginning May 3, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Where Women Gather: A Celebration of Women in Agriculture Conference and Symposium
June 28-30, 2018
New Haven, Connecticut

Hidden Acres Farm is presenting this event that brings together women farmers to explore feminism, preserving indigenous food traditions, growing local women farmer networks, dismantling racism in the food system, and more.

Horse Progress Days
June 29-30, 2018
Clare, Michigan

This showcase event for newly manufactured and modified horse-drawn equipment features field demonstrations, educational seminars, a parade of breeds, and something for everyone in the horse industry.

Using Social Media to Grow Your Farm Business
May 25, 2018
Online

This free webinar featuring NCAT's Luke Freeman and Margo Hale will discuss how you can use social media for your farm business to grow your customer base and market your products.

>>More Events

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May 17, 2018
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