Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 17, 2017
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
- Remember to Sign Up to Receive Census of Agriculture Report Form
- Study Says Diversified Crop Rotations Benefit Farmers, Soil, and Water
- Grant Guide for Farmers Available Online
- International Heritage Breeds Week Observed May 21-27
- Cherry Tomato and Vegetable Cover-Crop Trials Report Results
- National Sustainable Agriculture Oral History Archive Publishes Interviews
- Food Safety Outreach Program
- Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grants
- Chesapeake Bay Conservation Innovation Grants
- ASAP's Farm Tour
- UC ANR Bay Area Urban Agriculture Workshop Series
- Regional Agri-tourism Workshop
News & Resources
Remember to Sign Up to Receive Census of Agriculture Report Form
The 2017 Census of Agriculture, a complete count of all U.S. farms, ranches, and those who operate them, will be mailed at the end of this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Producers who are new to farming or did not receive a Census of Agriculture in 2012 should sign up to receive the 2017 report form by visiting www.agcensus.usda.gov and clicking on the 'Make Sure You Are Counted' button before the end of June.
Study Says Diversified Crop Rotations Benefit Farmers, Soil, and Water
A study released by the Union of Concerned Scientists found that modified three- and four-crop farming systems could be scaled up and adopted widely in Corn Belt states to increase yields, slash erosion, and preserve water quality. Rotating Crops, Turning Profits: How Diversified Farming Systems Can Help Farmers While Protecting Soil and Preventing Pollution builds on a long-term study at Iowa State University that demonstrated adding combinations of alfalfa, cover crops, and small grains such as oats to a typical corn-soy rotation.
Grant Guide for Farmers Available Online
Food Animal Concerns Trust has published Get Your Farm Funded, a free, 20-page guide that offers tips and insights to farmers looking for grant funding. The guide, available online in PDF, covers strategies for finding funding opportunities, discusses how to systematize the writing process to save time, and offers tips for creating a more successful proposal.
International Heritage Breeds Week Observed May 21-27
The third annual International Heritage Breeds Week will be held May 21-27, 2017, to raise global awareness about endangered heritage breeds of livestock and poultry. The Livestock Conservancy has partnered with a consortium of livestock conservation organizations from around the world to host International Heritage Breeds Week and International Heritage Breeds Day on the ending Saturday of that week.
Cherry Tomato and Vegetable Cover-Crop Trials Report Results
Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has announced the results of a vegetable research trial. The trial evaluated and compared the labor, efficiency, and yield of three different cherry tomato-training systems. They found that the intensively pruned single-leader system took the least time to train and harvest. Additional research evaluated 13 single or mixed summer-cover-crop options for weed suppression in field-planted vegetable crops, and results from this research are available online.
National Sustainable Agriculture Oral History Archive Publishes Interviews
Through a series of video-recorded interviews, an online oral history project is documenting the formation and evolution of what today is known as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. The first round of 21 interviews was published in April 2017, and includes video of National Center for Appropriate Technology DC Representative Bob Gray and Board Member Margaret Krome.
>>More Breaking News
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Food Safety Outreach Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications to increase the understanding and adoption of established food safety standards, guidance, and protocols established under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Awardees will develop and implement food safety training, education, extension, outreach, and technical assistance projects that address the needs of owners and operators of small to mid-sized farms, beginning farmers, socially disadvantaged farmers, small processors, or small fresh-fruit and vegetable merchant wholesalers. Community-based organizations, non-governmental organizations, food hubs, farm cooperatives, extension, and other local community groups may apply for total funding of approximately $4.8 million.
Applications are due by June 6, 2017.
Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grants
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) is accepting pre-proposals for Professional Development Program grants. This "train the trainer" program provides funding to agricultural professionals to train Cooperative Extension agents, USDA field personnel, and other ag professionals and educators in areas of sustainable agriculture production practices. Training activities may include seminars, workshops, farm tours, on-farm demonstrations, or the marketing and distributing of training materials.
Pre-proposals are due by June 2, 2017.
Chesapeake Bay Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is seeking proposals for $3 million in grants for projects in Pennsylvania that stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches that will reduce nutrient loads to the Chesapeake Bay watershed. As part of its Conservation Innovation Grants program, NRCS is accepting proposals from governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as individuals, for competitive consideration of grant awards up to $500,000 per project.
Proposals must be submitted by June 5, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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ASAP's Farm Tour
June 24-25, 2017
Western North Carolina
The Farm Tour is a chance to experience firsthand the diversity of working farms in Western North Carolina and learn about their practices, philosophies, and stories. Visitors choose two to four participating farms to visit per day.
UC ANR Bay Area Urban Agriculture Workshop Series
May 18, June 8, and June 22, 2017
Learn the basics of urban farming from University of California advisors and local partners in a series of day-long workshops covering legal basics, food safety, and marketing and business.
Regional Agri-tourism Workshop
June 15-16, 2017
Join UF/IFAS Extension for a farm tour and informational presentations for farmers considering or already pursuing agri-tourism, policy-makers, and consumers interested in learning about agri-tourism.
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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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