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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 11, 2016

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.

Armed to Farm Training in New York State
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is now accepting applications from military veterans in New York who want to attend our week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training August 8-12, 2016. ATF gives veterans an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and examine farming as a viable career. The event is free for those chosen to attend. Applications are due by July 1, 2016.

News & Resources

  • Farmer Input Requested for On-Farm Food Safety Survey
  • Cost Shares Available to Assist with Organic Certification
  • Young Farmers Conference Requests Workshop Proposals
  • New Non-Genetically Engineered Food Label Launched
  • Farmer and Rancher Input on Health Insurance Sought
  • Publication Helps Producers Avoid Toxic Plants in Cover Crop Grazing

Funding Opportunities

  • Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program
  • Risk Management Education Partnerships Program
  • Crop Insurance in Targeted States Program

Coming Events

  • Organic Flower Production Field Day
  • Jump on the Biocontrol Bus: Introductory Biological Pest Management for Nurseries and Greenhouses
  • Elderberry Workshop

News & Resources

Farmer Input Requested for On-Farm Food Safety Survey
New England Farmers Union and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition are conducting a survey of farmers to better understand how they use untreated or raw manure on their farms. The deadline to complete the online survey is May 20. The responses will be aggregated and used in ongoing dialogue with FDA to ensure that new food safety standards work for sustainable agriculture.

Cost Shares Available to Assist with Organic Certification
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has announced that approximately $11.6 million is available through state departments of agriculture to make organic certification more affordable for organic producers and handlers. The funding covers as much as 75% of an individual applicant's certification costs, up to a maximum of $750 annually. To receive cost share assistance, certified organic producers and handlers should contact their state agencies via the National Organic Program cost share website.

Young Farmers Conference Requests Workshop Proposals
The Growing Farmers Initiative at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is accepting workshop proposals for the 9th annual Young Farmers Conference, to be held December 8-9, 2016, in Pocantico Hills, New York. Introductory and intermediate workshops are welcome, and interactive and hands-on sessions that provide opportunities for significant audience participation are encouraged. Proposals must be received by June 15, 2016.

New Non-Genetically Engineered Food Label Launched
Sustainable farm certifier A Greener World is launching a new label: Certified Non-GE by AGW. This label will guarantee that a food product is produced without the use of genetically engineered (GE) feed, supplements, or ingredients and comes from animals raised according to the highest animal welfare standards using sustainable agriculture methods. This is designed to be an affordable certification for farmers.
Related ATTRA Publication: Non-GMO Dairy Transition Guide

Farmer and Rancher Input on Health Insurance Sought
Health Insurance, Rural Economic Development, and Agriculture (HIREDnAg) is a four-year USDA-funded grant to understand farm and ranch families' unique health insurance needs. The project team is conducting interviews with farmers and ranchers in Washington, California, Utah, Nebraska, Michigan, Kentucky, Mississippi, Massachusetts, and Vermont. Participants will be compensated for their time. For information, contact Katlyn Morris, Katlyn.Morris@uvm.edu or 802-656-0257.

Publication Helps Producers Avoid Toxic Plants in Cover Crop Grazing
Grazing Management: Toxic Plants, from K-State Research and Extension, is designed to help producers avoid grazing animals on cover crops that may be toxic to them. The eight-page publication is available online in PDF. It describes popular cover crops and the dangers they present for grazing livestock.
Related ATTRA Publication: Integrating Livestock and Crops: Improving Soil, Solving Problems, Increasing Income

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program
This program administered by USDA Rural Development improves the economic condition of rural areas by assisting individuals and businesses in the startup, expansion, or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other mutually owned businesses. Nonprofit corporations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for matching grants up to $200,000 to operate Cooperative Development Centers.
Electronic applications are due June 20, 2016.

Risk Management Education Partnerships Program
USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) has announced that $4.3 million is available for the Risk Management Education Partnerships Program, which provides money for the development of general nationwide crop insurance education as well as other risk management training programs for producers.
Applications are due by July 3, 2016.

Crop Insurance in Targeted States Program
USDA Risk Management Agency is making $4.4 million available for the Crop Insurance in Targeted States Program. This program backs development of crop insurance education programs in Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Applications are due by July 3, 2016.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Organic Flower Production Field Day
June 13, 2016
Santa Cruz, California
Join farmers and flower growers for a free field day on organically grown cut flowers. Topics include planting plans, varietal selection, harvest yield data, and crop culture for various cut-flower crops. The presenters will also discuss various marketing options for small- and medium-scale cut-flower producers.

Jump on the Biocontrol Bus: Introductory Biological Pest Management for Nurseries and Greenhouses
June 15, 2016
Aurora, Oregon
Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides offers this workshop and educational tour/demonstration on new approaches for managing common pests on nursery plants. This event will train field and greenhouse growers in beginning biological control and will be offered in English and Spanish.

Elderberry Workshop
June 11, 2016
Porum, Oklahoma
At this Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture workshop, topics will include elderberry variety selection, propagation, establishment, production, harvest, marketing, and uses for this perennial native plant, with time spent both indoors and in the field.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2016 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Non-GMO Dairy Transition Guide

Question of the Week
When should I supplement my pasture-grazed livestock?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Farm Foundations in Kentucky
Begins May 21, 2016
St. Catharine, Kentucky
Register now!

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