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Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 19, 2005

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site.

News & Resources
* 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 Announced

Funding Opportunities
* National Farmworker Jobs Program
* Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program

Coming Events
* 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.
URL: http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic_Gardening/

Related ATTRA Publication: Suppliers of Seed for Certified Organic Production

Grass-Based 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.
URL: http://www.delta-sky.com/editorial/skywriting/companions/index.html
Related ATTRA Publication: Value-added Dairy Options

South 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 each year.
URL: http://www.detnews.com/2005/nation/0505/

New 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.
URL: http://www.newfarm.org/depts/student-farm/index.shtml

Conservation 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.

For 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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Funding Opportunities

National 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.
URL: http://fedgrants.gov/Applicants/DOL/OGCM/OGCM/

Rural 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.
URL: http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/rbs/coops/rcdg/rcdg.htm

For additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.

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Coming Events

Range Field Day: Sustaining the Land, Sustaining the People
June 28, 2005
Union, Oregon

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 Creek.
URL: http://www.orcattle.com/OSURangeDay05.htm

Chickens for Meat and Eggs Workshop
July 24, 2005
Barre, Massachusetts

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.
URL: http://www.mhof.net/workshops/index.php#4

Eat 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.
URL: http://www.thefoodproject.org/blast/internal1.asp?ID=226

More events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.

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Weekly 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.
URL: http://attra.ncat.org/newsletter/archives.html

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

© Copyright 2005 NCAT

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