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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 27, 2020

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

  • Applications Open for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
  • New ATTRA Tutorial Focuses on Farm Management for Beginning Farmers
  • USDA Providing $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers
  • Farmer Veteran Coalition Adds Three State Chapters
  • Blockchain Technology Could Change the Way Food is Distributed and Consumed
  • Aquaponics Can Have Environmental and Cost Benefits, Profitability Analysis Shows

Funding Opportunities

  • Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund
  • Conservation Innovation Grants in Iowa
  • Kansas Conservation Collaboration Grants or Agreements

Coming Events

  • Slow Living Summit
  • Slaughter and Processing in the United States: Oversight and Requirements
  • Common Noncompliances in Organic Crops Operations and How to Avoid Them

News & Resources

Applications Open for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) provides financial assistance to producers of agricultural commodities who have suffered a 5%-or-greater price decline or who had losses from market supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 and who face additional significant market costs. USDA is accepting applications now through August 28, 2020. Eligible commodities include non-specialty crops, wool, livestock, and dairy, as well as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other specialty crops. Producers should apply through their local Farm Service Agency Service Center.

New ATTRA Tutorial Focuses on Farm Management for Beginning Farmers
NCAT's ATTRA program has a new six-part online tutorial called Taking Your Farm to the Next Level that is ideal for beginning farmers or ranchers. It was created for producers who have a strong grasp on sustainable production techniques, but need to develop more advanced business management skills. The tutorial has modules on whole-farm planning, farm finances, recordkeeping, legal issues, branding and marketing, and accessing markets.

USDA Providing $1 Billion in Loan Guarantees for Rural Businesses and Ag Producers
USDA is making available up to $1 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses meet their working capital needs during the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, agricultural producers that are not eligible for USDA Farm Service Agency loans may receive funding under USDA Business & Industry (B&I) provisions included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The loans may be used only to support rural businesses, including agricultural producers. Eligible applicants should contact their local USDA Rural Development State Office.

Farmer Veteran Coalition Adds Three State Chapters
State chapters of the Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) have launched in Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee. They join state chapters in nine other states that help the national organization have increased impact at the local level. FVC is a nonprofit that helps veterans pursue careers in agriculture, serving a network of more than 20,000 veteran members nationwide. FVC has announced a goal of having 20 state chapters by the end of 2020.

Blockchain Technology Could Change the Way Food is Distributed and Consumed
NCAT's Jeff Schahzenski is co-author of a viewpoint published in Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development that says blockchain technology could change the way food is distributed and consumed. "Blockchain and Regaining Consumer Sovereignty in Sustainable Food Systems" notes that consumers may appreciate knowing more about the farmer or rancher who produced their food.
Related ATTRA Publication: Knowing the Real Value of Food: Blockchain in a New Sustainable Food Economy

Aquaponics Can Have Environmental and Cost Benefits, Profitability Analysis Shows
Researchers from the Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries have published an extensive profitability analysis of Müritzfischer, an aquaponics facility in Germany that produces fish and vegetables on a large scale. The result shows that aquaponics may have both environmental and cost benefits, if produced according to good agricultural practice and under suitable conditions.
Related ATTRA Publication: Aquaponics—Multitrophic Systems for Sustainable Food Production

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund
The CCOF Foundation offers Future Organic Farmer Grants to higher education and vocational students pursuing degrees or certificates in organic agriculture, to help with tuition and educational expenses. Applicants must be enrolled in an educational program in the United States that will benefit their career in organic agriculture, including vocational training/certificate programs, junior college/two-year degree programs, and bachelor's/four-year undergraduate degrees. Applicants' financial need is considered.
Applications are due June 1, 2020.

Conservation Innovation Grants in Iowa
Iowa NRCS announced the availability of up to $350,000 in FY 2020 state Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in Iowa. Applications are requested from eligible government agencies, non-governmental organizations, or individuals. CIG funds projects up to three years in length, and the maximum award amount for any project is $100,000. Iowa priorities are habitat, water quality and quantity, and soil health.
Proposals are due by June 26, 2020.

Kansas Conservation Collaboration Grants or Agreements
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the availability of $4 million for grants and agreements in Kansas for the purpose of leveraging NRCS resources, addressing local natural resource issues, encouraging collaboration, and developing state and community level conservation leadership. Conservation Outreach Grants or Agreements leverage NRCS and partner resources to assist historically underserved farmers and ranchers and assist farmers and ranchers to improve, restore or maintain natural resources.
Applications are due by May 31, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Slow Living Summit
June 4-5, 2020
Online
The Slow Living Summit will explore how beverage, food, and local producers are utilizing new innovative techniques in their practices of production, farming, and agricultural practices that will help reduce climate change. Panel discussions will focus on cooperative ownership, climate change and policy, regenerative farming, and social justice and climate change.

Slaughter and Processing in the United States: Oversight and Requirements
June 3, 2020
Online

This free webinar from the National Ag Law Center looks at federal and state regulation of meat processing. It will discuss the general outline of authority for slaughter and processing of meat and poultry; the differences between state and federal processing oversight; proposed federal bills that might change processing requirements; and additional challenges facing small meat processors.

Common Noncompliances in Organic Crops Operations and How to Avoid Them
June 1, 2020
Online
Rodale Institute is offering this free one-hour webinar. on how to avoid mistakes that trigger noncompliance and how to remediate problems.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Video
Livestock Integration with Crops: A Summary

Question of the Week
What are some tips for harvesting and handling organic tomatoes?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Weekly Wednesday Workshop
Intellectual Property: Your New Stream of Income
May 27, 2020
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Access Code: 881-172-909

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