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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 14, 2014

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.

News & Resources

  • USDA Announces $78 Million Available for Local Food Enterprises
  • Harvard Study Strengthens Link Between Insecticides and Honey Bee Colony Collapse
  • Manual Focuses on Co-operatives' Role in Food Systems
  • National Climate Assessment Explores Climate Impacts on Agriculture
  • Michigan State University Receives Grants to Advance Local and Regional Food Systems
  • Ohio Farm Tour and Workshop Series Set

Funding Opportunities

  • Western SARE Research & Education Grants
  • Southern SARE Research & Education Grants
  • Annie's Grants for Gardens

Coming Events

  • Revisioning Sustainability Conference
  • Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee
  • Beyond Season Extension

News & Resources

USDA Announces $78 Million Available for Local Food Enterprises
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is making a $78 million investment in local and regional food systems, including food hubs, farmers markets, aggregation and processing facilities, distribution services, and other local food business enterprises. Specifically, $48 million in loan guarantees for local food projects is now available through USDA Rural Development's Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program, and $30 million is available through competitive grants via the Agricultural Marketing Service's Farmers Market and Local Foods Promotion Program. Under this program, $15 million is available for marketing and promotional support specifically for local food businesses, including food hubs, delivery and aggregation businesses, and processing and storage facilities along the local food supply chain, while $15 million is for marketing support for farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer outlets. Applications for the grants are due by June 20, 2014.

Harvard Study Strengthens Link Between Insecticides and Honey Bee Colony Collapse
Two widely used neonicotinoids appear to significantly harm honey bee colonies over the winter, particularly during colder winters, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health. The study replicated 2012 research that found a link between low doses of imidacloprid and Colony Collapse Disorder. The new study also found that low doses of a second neonicotinoid, clothianidin, had the same negative effect.

Manual Focuses on Co-operatives' Role in Food Systems
New England Farmers Union (NEFU) has released Growing a Food System for the Future: A Manual for Co-operative Enterprise Development . NEFU developed this manual for those who want to understand more about the role co-ops play in the food system, for those looking to form a co-operative, and for co-operatives looking to expand.

National Climate Assessment Explores Climate Impacts on Agriculture
The U.S. Global Change Research Program has released the Third National Climate Assessment. According to the online report, climate disruptions to agriculture have increased. Many regions will experience declines in crop and livestock production from increased stress due to weeds, diseases, insect pests, and other climate-change-induced stresses.

Michigan State University Receives Grants to Advance Local and Regional Food Systems
Researchers with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems have been awarded four grants, totaling $1.95 million, from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. One statewide project will manage the development of a public-private workgroup model to increase the viability of small and mid-sized livestock producers in Michigan. Another project will identify economically feasible grass-finished beef production strategies. A third project will create an incubator farm, and the final project will examine collective entrepreneurial action by small and mid-sized farms.

Ohio Farm Tour and Workshop Series Set
The Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) has announced the farm tours and workshops included in the 2014 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. Fifteen tours, six workshops, and a farm to table dinner are being sponsored by OEFFA between June 7 and November 14. Most events are free.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Western SARE Research & Education Grants
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) is accepting pre-proposals for the Research & Education Grants. This grant funds projects that obtain data, develop conclusions, demonstrate technologies, and lead educational programs that promote the Western SARE goals. Participants must include a minimum of three separate producers.
Pre-proposals are due by June 4, 2014.

Southern SARE Research & Education Grants
The Southern Region SARE is requesting pre-proposals for systems research and education activities that address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the region and nation.
The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is June 2, 2014.

Annie's Grants for Gardens
Annie's offers Grants for Gardens donations to schools and other educational programs that help build school gardens. Grants of $500 are available for starting a garden, or grants of $1,500 for deepening a school garden program.
Applications are due by June 2, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Revisioning Sustainability Conference
June 22-25, 2014
Amherst, Massachusetts

The Revisioning Sustainability Conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst explores real-world examples of innovative food sustainability programs that embody whole-systems regeneration in practice.

Organic Stone Fruit Jubilee
June 21, 2014
Clovis, California

This fun-filled evening presented by the Ecological Farming Association includes fruit tasting and sales of over 60 varieties of peaches, plums, pluots, nectarines, and apricots.

Beyond Season Extension
June 20, 2014
The Plains, Ohio

Extension Educators, NRCS personnel, and other agriculture professionals throughout Ohio are encouraged to attend this professional development event that will offer training on the site-specific adaptation and use of high-tunnel structures at small 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.

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New ATTRA Publication
Marketing Manure: A Value-Added Product for Small Operations

Question of the Week
Would using seed from a friend's stand of "superior" black walnut clones result in a stand as good as the original clones?

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