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Weekly Harvest Newsletter


Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 19, 2010, 2006

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.

News & Resources
* Resources Available for Conservation Program Sign-up
* Pollinator Management Handbook Available
* Farmers Market Directory Still Accepting Updates
* New Publication Provides Energy Efficiency Tips for Grain Dryers
* USDA to Offer Farm Transition Program
* Online Certification Available for Sheep Quality Assurance


Funding Opportunities
* New Jersey Conservation Innovation Grant
* Southern SARE Professional Development Grant
* Tree Assistance Program


Coming Events
* Holistic Grazing Workshop
* Year Round Vegetable Gardening Workshop
* Agriculture and Carbon Markets Workshop



News & Resources

Resources Available for Conservation Program Sign-up
Thirty more days remain before the June 11th deadline for applications to the 2010 round of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). A number of National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) member groups have resources to help producers sign up for CSP. See this site for a list of the resources.

Pollinator Management Handbook Available
"Managing Alternative Pollinators: A Handbook for Beekeepers, Growers and Conservationists” is a first-of-its-kind, step-by-step, full-color guide for rearing and managing bumble bees, mason bees, leafcutter bees and other bee species that provide pollination alternatives to the rapidly declining honey bee. Written by Eric Mader of the Xerces Society Pollinator Conservation Program; Professor of Entomology Marla Spivak; and Elaine Evans, author of “Befriending Bumble Bees,” the book includes expert information on the business and biology of pollination and how-to guidance on raising the alternative bee species.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Alternative Pollinators: Native Bees


Farmers Market Directory Still Accepting Updates
The USDA National Farmers Market Directory is widely used by members of the general public, government officials and policymakers. Consumers use it to find farmers markets in their areas, while researchers, non-profits, and academics use it to analyze the farmers market industry. To keep the USDA National Farmers Market Directory accurate for 2010, please register your market today. The 2010 USDA National Farmers Market Directory will be released in late summer/early fall 2010. Register your market by June 4, 2010.

New Publication Provides Energy Efficiency Tips for Grain Dryers
High-temperature grain dryers can dry grain at high speed to better accommodate Iowa’s increasing grain yields and farm sizes. However, both dryer design and management play a role in achieving maximum grain drying energy efficiency. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension addresses some of the factors farmers should consider when deciding to install new or update existing grain drying equipment. Managing High-Temperature Grain Dryers for Energy Efficiency specifically addresses energy-related dryer design and management considerations for high-temperature systems.

USDA to Offer Farm Transition Program
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the Transition Incentives Program (TIP) - a new program under the Conservation Title of the 2008 Farm Bill - to encourage retired or retiring owners or operators to transition their land to beginning or socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers. Producers who want to apply for the TIP can start signing up on Monday, May 17, 2010. If all program requirements are met, TIP provides annual rental payments to the retiring farmer for up to two additional years after the date of the expiration of the Conservation Reserve Program contract, provided the transition is not to a family member.

Online Certification Available for Sheep Quality Assurance
You can now become Sheep Safety and Quality Assurance (SSQA) Level 1 certified from the comfort of your own home. The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) recently released their newly developed online version of this training. The Level 1 training is designed to educate producers on the basics of assuring safety and quality in American lamb products, to describe and define the safety and quality guidelines, and to assure that producers understand the concepts and reasoning behind the development of the guidelines and the importance of their implementation.

> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

New Jersey Conservation Innovation Grant
The Conservation Innovation Grant program (CIG) is a voluntary program administered by NRCS to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Federal investment in environmental enhancement and protection is leveraged in conjunction with agricultural production. Under CIG, Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds are used to award competitive grants to non-Federal governmental or non-governmental organizations, Tribes, or individuals. The grants require a 50-50 match between the agency and the applicant.
Proposals are due June 4, 2010.

Southern SARE Professional Development Grant
The Southern Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Program is requesting pre-proposals for projects of one to two year(s) duration that provide training on sustainable agriculture for agricultural professionals and educators who serve farmers and other interested people in USDA’s southern region. Project outcomes must focus on developing sustainable agriculture systems or moving existing systems toward sustainability.
Proposals are due June 1, 2010.

Tree Assistance Program
USDA Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) Tree Assistance Program (TAP) provides financial assistance to qualifying orchardists and nursery tree growers to replant or rehabilitate eligible trees, bushes and vines damaged by natural disasters occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011.
Sign-up for the program closes on July 6, 2010.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Holistic Grazing Workshop
May 29, 1010
Washington, Vermont

Symphony Farm will be offering a 1-day intensive workshop covering the basics of Holistic Grazing. Subjects to be covered are grazing for carbon sequestration, fertility improvement, landscape lay out and design, increasing biodiversity, and self sufficient feed systems.


Year Round Vegetable Gardening Workshop
June 2, 2010
Portland, Oregon

Explore season extension techniques, from cloches to cold frames, enabling you to extend the garden season beyond the fall and into next spring. Attend this class to learn how easy "off-season" gardening can be and take home some newly sown fall and winter crops for your garden.


Agriculture and Carbon Markets Workshop
June 3, 10, 14 and 17
Seattle, WA; Davis, CA; Chicago, IL; and Washington, DC

Agriculture has the opportunity to play a major role in addressing the challenge of climate change. This all-day workshop explores how the agricultural sector fits into the evolving carbon markets.


> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.


National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe 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. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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Conversations from
the Field

CAFM pic

NCAT's Katy Deaton recently talked with Jody Hardin of the Certified Arkansas Farmers Market (CAFM) network, in Little Rock, Arkansas.


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