Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - May 19, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Organic Seeds Becoming More Available
* Grass-Based Dairy Increases Profit and Adds Creamery
* South Dakota Seeks to Create Luxury Niche for Beef
* New Farm Posts 'Farming for Credit' Page
* Conservation Partnership Initiative Grant Recipients
* National Farmworker Jobs Program
* Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program
* Range Field Day: Sustaining the Land, Sustaining the People
* Chickens for Meat and Eggs Workshop
* Eat In, Act Out Week
News & Resources
Organic Seeds Becoming More Available
An article in the current issue of Mother Earth News reports that
organic and heirloom variety garden seeds are becoming more widely
available. There's an increase in the number of specialty companies
that focus on organic or heirloom vegetable seed, and large, mainstream
seed companies are now adding some of these products to their
offerings. The article features some seed company veterans and
newcomers, discussing their offerings and operations, and offers
an "Honor Roll" of sustainable seed companies.
Related ATTRA Publication: Suppliers
of Seed for Certified Organic Production
Dairy Increases Profit and Adds Creamery
Delta's Sky magazine contains a feature on South Carolina dairy
farmer Tom Trantham, who switched from a conventional confinement
operation to having cows on pasture year-round. Trantham found
that having his cows on forage kept them healthier and reduced
costs. He was able to reduce the size of his herd, yet increase
the size of his profits. A logical next step for someone producing
high-quality milk was to open a creamery where that milk could
be bottled for retail sale. The Happy Cow Creamery offers not
only dairy products, but also locally grown organic produce. According
to the article, this small-scale creamery is part of a revival
of interest in small-scale creameries.
Related ATTRA Publication: Value-added
Dakota Seeks to Create Luxury Niche for Beef
Legislators in South Dakota hope that a new law passed this spring
will help create a market premium for state-grown beef, increase
rural profits, and provide a reason for more young people to stay
on the farm. According to a Washington Post article reprinted
on The Detroit News, the goal is to sell South Dakota Certified
Beef as an upscale brand and market it to people who care about
where their meat comes from and how it was raised. Any beef sold
under the label will come from an animal that has been tracked
by a computer from birth, raised and butchered inside state borders,
fed a diet with specific nutritional standards, and raised humanely.
One possible glitch in the plan: state processors only have the
capacity to slaughter about 15 percent of animals sent to slaughter
Farm Posts 'Farming for Credit' Page
The New Farm Web site has launched a "Farming for Credit"
page that focuses on sustainable agriculture on campus. The new
pages houses a directory that offers information on 54 student
farm programs. It profiles the best sustainable and organic ag
programs at community colleges, universities, and high schools
across the country. The page also includes links to a discussion
forum for students and faculty—a place where they can share
stories, ask questions, talk about challenges and network with
other student farmers and faculty advisors.
Partnership Initiative Grant Recipients Announced
The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced
the recipients of the 2005 Conservation Partnership Initiative
(CPI) Grants. The voluntary program is designed to foster conservation
partnerships and fund projects that focus technical and financial
resources on conservation priorities in watersheds and other geographic
areas of environmental sensitivity. The eight grant recipients
will share $1 million and include entities in Arkansas, California,
Georgia, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
CPI proposals were required to address one or more of the following
conservation priorities: terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitat,
invasive species, agricultural air quality, livestock nutrient
management, and minor/specialty crop pest management.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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Farmworker Jobs Program
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), Employment and Training Administration
(ETA), Office of National Programs (ONP), Division of Seasonal
Farmworker Programs (DSFP), announces a grant competition for
operating the National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP), under Section
167 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA), 29 U.S.C. 9201.
All applicants for grant funds should read this notice in its
entirety. Section 167, paragraph (a) of WIA requires that the
Secretary award grants or contracts on a competitive basis to
eligible entities for the purposes of carrying out the activities
authorized under section 167. Under this solicitation, DSFP anticipates
that approximately $71,690,318, allotted among state service areas,
will be available for grant awards for the NFJP. Applications
are due May 27, 2005.
Cooperative Development Grant Program
Rural Cooperative Development grants are made for establishing
and operating centers for cooperative development for the primary
purpose of improving the economic condition of rural areas through
the development of new cooperatives and improving operations of
existing cooperatives. The Rural Business-Cooperative Service
(RBS) announces the availability of approximately $5.952 million
in competing Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) funds
for fiscal year (FY) 2005. Of this amount, up to $1.488 million
will be reserved for applications that focus on assistance to
small, minority producers through their cooperative businesses.
The maximum amount that can be awarded is $300,000, and recipients
must provide matching funds at a level of 25% of total project
costs unless the recipient is a 1994 Institution. Application
deadline is July 1, 2005.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Field Day: Sustaining the Land, Sustaining the People
June 28, 2005
Oregon State University's range field day is a cooperative effort
of the Department of Rangeland Resources and the Eastern Oregon
Agricultural Research Center. Featured presentations include monitoring
riparian zones, new techniques for managing rangelands, impacts
of western juniper on watersheds, and new ideas about how grazing
influences soil compaction. Afternoon topics include riparian
grazing research, managing forests for timber and forage, and
an overview of research on the riparian ecosystems of Catherine
for Meat and Eggs Workshop
July 24, 2005
This is one of a series of food production workshops offered by
Many Hands Organic Farm. Topics include variety selection, feed,
pasturing, care, slaughter and marketing.
In, Act Out Week
August 1-7, 2005
BLAST Youth Initiative sponsors a week of events happening worldwide
to promote local and healthy food. Eat In, Act Out refers to using
local food, cooking food yourself instead of eating fast food
or take out, and taking action to change our food system. They
are encouraging organizations and individuals across the country
and around the world to plan events during Eat In, Act Out week
to raise awareness of local food.
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
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Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters
are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter
of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web
site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National
Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant
from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural
Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture
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