Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 16, 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
- USDA Terminates Organic Checkoff Proposal
- Workbook Helps Farms Use Social Media
- Risk Management Tools Available for Organic Seed Growers
- Publication Helps Producers Manage Climate Risk
- American Farmland Trust Reports on the Loss of Farmland
- Video Highlights Health Benefits of Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing
- Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program
- Citrus Disease Research and Extension
- Good Food Financing and Innovation Conference Pitch Slam
- Iowa Farm to School Conference
- MSU Agriculture Innovation Day: Focus on Fruit and Vegetable Technologies
- FAMACHA and Integrated Parasite Management Workshop in Utah
News & Resources
USDA Terminates Organic Checkoff Proposal
USDA has announced the termination of a proposed rule to establish a national research and promotion program for certified organic products. USDA based the termination on lack of consensus within the industry in support for the proposed program and divergent views on how to resolve issues in implementing the proposed program.
Workbook Helps Farms Use Social Media
How to Use Social Media for Your Farm Business is an interactive, self-paced workbook designed to help farmers make the most of social media marketing for their farm businesses. The tool was developed by University of Arkansas and USDA and walks users through using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The workbook offers a step-by-step tutorial of setting up an account, creating content, taking great photos, and connecting with people online in a professional way.
Related ATTRA Publication: Social Media Tools for Farm Product Marketing
Risk Management Tools Available for Organic Seed Growers
In order to help organic seed growers manage economic risks, eXtension has posted a compilation of online resources. These resources aim to help the industry scale up organic seed production, increase profits for growers, and build the supply of organic seed nationally by increasing growers' knowledge. The website provides tools and examples for enterprise budgeting, inventory management, foundation and stock-seed planning, and contracting.
Publication Helps Producers Manage Climate Risk
SARE's newest publication, Cultivating Climate Resilience on Farms and Ranches, provides producers with an overview of strategies to manage climate risk. The free publication describes changing regional weather patterns and the risks that these changes present to crop and livestock production. It also outlines how to evaluate the climate risk your operation faces and how to identify practices that can reduce those risks and improve resilience.
Related ATTRA Publication: Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production: Investing in Resilience in Uncertain Times
American Farmland Trust Reports on the Loss of Farmland
American Farmland Trust has released Farms Under Threat: The State of America's Farmland, a comprehensive assessment of the loss of U.S. farmland and ranchland. The report shows that between 1992 and 2012, the country lost nearly 31 million acres of land, nearly twice the amount of farmland previously known to have been lost.
Video Highlights Health Benefits of Adaptive Multi-Paddock Grazing
A new video from the creator of Soil Carbon Cowboys, Peter Byck, tells the story of how Murray Provine converted his farm to Adaptive Multi-Paddock (AMP) grazing under the guidance of Allen Williams. The nine-minute video, This Farm is Medicine, shows that Provine improved his own health and the health of his land by rotating stock and stacking diverse enterprises.
Related ATTRA Publication: Building Healthy Pasture Soils
>>More Breaking News
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Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops Program
The Commodity Credit Corporation is inviting proposals for the 2019 Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program. This program assists U.S. organizations by providing funding for projects that seek to remove, resolve, or mitigate sanitary, phytosanitary, or technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. Any U.S. organization, private or government, with a demonstrated role or interest in exporting U.S. agricultural specialty crops may apply to the program for up to $500,000. Foreign Agricultural Service anticipates approximately 30 awards.
Proposals must be received by June 8, 2018.
Citrus Disease Research and Extension
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests pre-applications for Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension to advance research and extension to develop management strategies for huanglongbing. Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities. Proposals can include research and extension activities, technical assistance, and development activities that: (a) combat citrus diseases and pests, both domestic and invasive and including huanglongbing and the Asian citrus psyllid; and (b) provide support for the dissemination and commercialization of relevant information, techniques, and technologies. Total program funding is $21.7 million.
Applications are due June 29, 2018.
Good Food Financing and Innovation Conference Pitch Slam
Entrepreneurs selected for the Pitch Slam will be invited to pitch onstage at the June 19, 2018, Financing and Innovation Conference in Chicago to an audience of investors, venture capitalists, large-scale food buyers, and industry leaders. Winners will receive cash prizes and in-kind services, and each pitching company is also provided with a demo table at the Conference's Financing Fair, which immediately follows the Pitch Slam. Preference will be given to businesses that are located in the Midwest and/or serve the Chicago foodshed.
Applications to participate are due by May 23, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Iowa Farm to School Conference
June 28-30, 2018
This conference supports and inspires those interested in or already implementing farm to school and farm to early care and education. The conference includes an optional field trip day with a school-garden tour.
MSU Agriculture Innovation Day: Focus on Fruit and Vegetable Technologies
June 28, 2018
Benton Harbor, Michigan
Michigan State University will host its third annual free Agriculture Innovation Day. Experts will share how new technologies in spray, water, high tunnels, and drones, as well as new strategies for pollinators and disease and insect management, will change the shape of the industry, exceed consumer expectations, and improve growers' bottom lines.
FAMACHA and Integrated Parasite Management Workshop in Utah
June 27, 2018
In this mid-day workshop, Dave Scott, NCAT agriculture specialist and owner of Montana Highland Lamb, and Dr. Whit Stewart, University of Wyoming Extension sheep specialist, will teach participants about combating Barber Pole worm, FAMACHA eye scoring, creating refugias, genetic selection, and grazing methods that help control parasites.
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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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