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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 22, 2019

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

  • NCAT Receives Funding for Farm to School Training Curriculum Project
  • USDA Accepting Proposals for New On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials Program
  • Publication Offers Resources for Farmers Starting On-Farm Food Service
  • Organic Industry Survey Shows Annual Sales Topping $50 Billion
  • Proceedings from 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum Available Online
  • National Farm Viability Conference Invites Proposals for Workshop Sessions

Funding Opportunities

  • Farmers Market Promotion Program
  • Wetland Reserve Enhancements Partnership
  • Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Projects

Coming Events

  • Organic Produce Summit
  • Midwest Farm Energy Conference
  • Beginning and Aspiring Farmer Bus Tour

News & Resources

NCAT Receives Funding for Farm to School Training Curriculum Project
USDA Food and Nutrition Service Office of Community Food Systems will collaborate with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the National Farm to School Network, and New York University to develop farm to school trainings for agricultural producers. Project partners will conduct a needs assessment among agricultural producers in collaboration with State agencies and then develop curricula and conduct train-the-trainer workshops. The project will assist producers in entering the market offered by the National School Lunch Program.

USDA Accepting Proposals for New On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials Program
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals through July 15, 2019, for On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, a new sub-program created by the 2018 Farm Bill for the Conservation Innovation Grants program. On-Farm Trials funding goes to partners, which in turn provide technical assistance and incentive payments to EQIP-eligible producers to implement innovative approaches on their lands. Awards will range from $250,000 to $5 million.

Publication Offers Resources for Farmers Starting On-Farm Food Service
Renewing the Countryside has released the second edition of Come & Get It: What you need to know to serve food on your farm. The updated publication offers an industry overview, including how to determine if an on-farm food service business is right for you and case studies of nine farm businesses running successful pizza nights and other events. The five downloadable sections include the manual, case studies, sections on laws and regulations for Minnesota and Wisconsin, and a customer assessment.

Related ATTRA Resources: Value-Added Food Products

Organic Industry Survey Shows Annual Sales Topping $50 Billion
The 2019 Organic Industry Survey released by the Organic Trade Association shows that organic sales in the United States rose 6.3% in 2018 to reach $52.5 billion. Approximately 5.7% of the food sold in the United States is now organic. Fruits and vegetables account for 36.3% of all organic food sales, and organics comprise nearly 15% of all the produce sold in the United States.

Proceedings from 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum Available Online
The Organic Farming Research Foundation has announced that proceedings from the 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum are available online in PDF. This day-long event held in February 2019 in Portland, Oregon, featured innovative presentations from researchers across all disciplines related to organic farming and food systems. Presentations from the event are also available as videos.

National Farm Viability Conference Invites Proposals for Workshop Sessions
The National Farm Viability Conference is seeking proposals for workshop sessions. The peer-to-peer professional-development event is set for October 22-24, 2019, in Red Wing, Minnesota. The majority of the workshops will fall into one of the following categories: facilitated discussion with attendees, lecture, or panel presentation. Conference themes are listed online. Proposals are due June 12, 2019.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Farmers Market Promotion Program
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service requests applications for the fiscal year 2019 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). FMPP helps support the development, coordination, and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer markets to help increase access and availability for locally and regionally produced agricultural products. Approximately $11.5 million will be available. The minimum award per grant is $50,000, and the maximum is $500,000. A 25% match of total Federal funds is required.
Applications must be submitted by June 18, 2019.

Wetland Reserve Enhancements Partnership
USDA is making up to $40 million in technical and financial assistance available through the Wetland Reserve Enhancement Partnership (WREP) to help eligible conservation partners voluntarily protect, restore, and enhance critical wetlands on agricultural lands. Under WREP, states, local units of governments, non-governmental organizations, and American Indian tribes collaborate with NRCS through cooperative and partnership agreements. These partners work with tribal and private landowners who voluntarily enroll eligible land in easements.
Proposals are due by June 14, 2019.

Texas Urban and Rural Conservation Projects
USDA-NRCS is accepting applications to establish gardens, rainwater harvesting systems, and seasonal high tunnels through the Texas NRCS Urban and Rural Conservation Projects. These projects will help establish gardens to grow healthy produce in areas of need and to educate urban and rural youth, organizations, and communities about the importance of conservation, urban agriculture, and growing healthy fresh vegetables. Grants are available up to $4,000 for a vegetable garden, $3,000 for a pollinator garden, $5,000 for a rainwater harvesting system, and $6,500 for a seasonal high tunnel.
Applications are due by June 7, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Organic Produce Summit
July 10-11, 2019
Monterey, California
This event brings together producers and buyers in the organic fresh produce industry. It features keynote presentations, educational sessions, field tours, and a trade show featuring 148 producers and processors of organic fresh produce.

Midwest Farm Energy Conference
July 10-11, 2019
Morris, Minnesota
The Midwest Farm Energy Conference will highlight energy-efficient systems for Midwest dairies and cropping systems, as well as energy conservation for swine production. Additional topics will include solar shading for grazing, bringing solar PV to your farm, and renewable-energy tours.

Beginning and Aspiring Farmer Bus Tour
July 2, 2019
Iowa City, Iowa
Practical Farmers of Iowa (PFI) presents an opportunity to hop on the bus with other beginning and aspiring farmers to tour and learn from three different horticulture farms. Grow your peer network while touring three unique farms and learning about specific business-management practices at each one.

>>More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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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New ATTRA Publication
Beneficial and Pest Birds: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet

Question of the Week
What laws and regulations apply to ocean farming in South Carolina?

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Under the Hood of Your Soils
June 11, 2019
Whitehall, Montana
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