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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - May 29, 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

  • Land Access Trainers to Help Farmers and Ranchers Secure Land
  • Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy Subject of New SARE Topic Room
  • 'Understanding Agroforestry' Infographics Available
  • Economic Losses from Soil Erosion Calculated at $8 Billion Annually
  • Micro Farms Tested as New Model for Urban Agriculture
  • Michigan Mushroom Researcher Cultivating Morels

Funding Opportunities

  • Local Food Promotion Program
  • Northeast SARE Professional Development Program
  • Delmarva Whole System Conservation Partnership—Field to Stream

Coming Events

  • Inland Northwest Artisan Grains Conference
  • Poultry Farmer Workshop
  • Western Apicultural Society Conference

News & Resources

Land Access Trainers to Help Farmers and Ranchers Secure Land
American Farmland Trust's Farms for the Next Generation initiative has certified its first group of Land Access Trainers. The 25 agricultural educators and service providers will deliver a professionally designed experiential curriculum to teach beginning farmers and ranchers how to lease, purchase, and receive land; find and assess land; and make informed land-access decisions. Trainers are spread throughout the country to specialize in their region's unique land issues.
Related ATTRA Publication: Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy Subject of New SARE Topic Room
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has a new, online Sustainable Production and Use of On-Farm Energy topic room that presents guidebooks, videos, webinars, and other free materials to help farmers pursue sustainable energy strategies. Topics include growing and using biofuel feedstocks such as oilseeds, fruits, and grass pellets, as well as creating biodiesel, ethanol, and biofuels from anaerobic digestion and generating affordable and renewable energy from solar and wind power.
Related ATTRA Resources: Energy Alternatives

'Understanding Agroforestry' Infographics Available
The Savanna Institute has released a series of five infographics that provide descriptions of common agroforestry practices: riparian buffers, forest farming, alley cropping, silvopasture, and windbreaks. Each free, two-page PDF infographic includes an illustration of the practice, a summary of its challenges and benefits, and a section of frequently asked questions about implementing the practice.

Related ATTRA Publication: Agroforestry: An Overview

Economic Losses from Soil Erosion Calculated at $8 Billion Annually
A study by researchers from the European Union Joint Research Centre estimated the global cost of soil erosion by water at $8 billion annually, reports Forbes. The erosion causes reduced crop yields and increased water usage. The study concluded that, as a result of soil erosion, food production is reduced by 33.7 million tons of food worldwide.

Micro Farms Tested as New Model for Urban Agriculture
Ohio State University is working with a network of micro farms to bring healthy food to urban food deserts, reports ideastream. The new model for urban farming maximizes the number of crops produced in a small space and takes a whole-food-system approach to make farms profitable. Transportation emissions are minimal, meaning that this type of food production could reduce the carbon footprint. Ten growers are participating in this year's pilot project.
Related ATTRA Resources: Urban Agriculture

Michigan Mushroom Researcher Cultivating Morels
Researcher Chris Wright, the executive director of Midwest American Mycological Information, is cultivating morel mushrooms outdoors, reports Lansing State Journal. Wright uses a self-fertilizing strain of morels, grown in nutrient bags. He predicts that Michigan farmers could be profitably growing morels by 2021.
Related ATTRA Publication: Mushroom Cultivation and Marketing

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Local Food Promotion Program
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is accepting applications for the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). LFPP supports the development and expansion of local and regional food businesses to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations. Eligible applicants include agriculture businesses, producer networks, local and tribal governments, nonprofit organizations, CSA networks, and food policy councils. Planning grants range from $25,000 to $100,000 and implementation grants from $100,000 to $500,000. A 25% match is required.
Applications are due by June 18, 2019.

Northeast SARE Professional Development Program
The Northeast SARE Program is accepting preproposals for Professional Development Program funds. Awards ranging from $30,000 to $150,000 will fund train-the-trainer projects involving sustainable agriculture concepts and techniques for Cooperative Extension educators, nonprofit organization personnel, and other agricultural service providers. Projects must be conducted in the Northeast Region.
Preproposals are due by June 25, 2019.

Delmarva Whole System Conservation Partnership—Field to Stream
Private landowners in Maryland's Blackwater, Choptank, Nanticoke, Pocomoke, and Wicomico watersheds can apply for the Delmarva Whole System Conservation Partnership—Field to Stream Regional Conservation Partnership Program project. Funding is available to help farmers use practices that ensure the correct amount, source, placement, and timing of commercial fertilizers, manure, soil amendments, and organic by-products while protecting local air, soil, and water quality, and for practices that enhance native habitats.
Producers should apply by June 21, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Inland Northwest Artisan Grains Conference
July 12-13, 2019
Pullman, Washington and Moscow, Idaho
Cascadia Grains' Inland Northwest Artisan Grains Conference will strengthen the role of grains in the local food economy by sharing the latest science, techniques, and developments, as well as creating a space in which new business, policy, and research relationships can form and existing ones can be strengthened.

Poultry Farmer Workshop
July 11, 2019
Davis, California
University of California Cooperative Extension and partners including NCAT present this evening workshop. Topics will include pastured poultry production, flock management, coop design, and food safety.

Western Apicultural Society Conference
July 12-14, 2019
Ashland, Oregon
The 2019 Western Apicultural Society Conference will be a mix of dynamic keynote talks, workshops on art, beekeeping, social media, and marketing, bee habitat conservation, education, native bees, and global research.

>>More Events

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Seed Saving—What Beginners Need to Know

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