ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter


Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 2, 2010
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.

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News & Resources
* USDA Announces Availability of Compliance Guide for Mobile Slaughter
   Units
* Glynwood Harvest Awards Seek Nominees
* "America's Favorite Farmers' Markets" Contest Underway
* USDA Evaluating Small Meat and Poultry Processing Needs
* Survey: Foodies Willing to Pay More for Organic
* Virtual Crop Software Guides Farm Decisions


Funding Opportunities
* Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants
* EPA Resource Conservation Grant
* Missouri CIG Grant


Coming Events
* Agroforestry Workshop
* Agriculture and Carbon Markets Workshop
* Lane Ag Center Field Day



News & Resources

USDA Announces Availability of Compliance Guide for Mobile Slaughter Units
WASHINGTON - As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) today announced the availability of the compliance guide for mobile slaughter units. This document presents recommendations and is not a regulatory requirement. FSIS will post this compliance guide on its Significant Guidance Documents Web page . "USDA is excited to offer this help to small producers and encourages establishments who own or manage mobile slaughter units to use this guidance document to help meet food safety regulatory requirements," said Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Jerold R. Mande. "Food must be safe, regardless of where it is produced, and FSIS has worked with mobile unit operators to develop inspection procedures tailored to their needs."

Glynwood Harvest Awards Seek Nominees
Do you know visionary farmers who not only raise amazing food but have also developed innovations in growing, marketing, and collaborating with their community in new and exciting ways? Are there inventive individuals, organizations or businesses in your community developing cutting-edge models to connect people with sustainable, regionally-produced food? Please help us recognize outstanding accomplishments from around the country by nominating someone whose work you admire for a Glynwood Harvest Award. The Harvest Awards honor individuals, organizations, and businesses across the United States demonstrating innovation and leadership in support of regional agriculture and sustainable food systems. Nominations are due July 23, 2010.

"America's Favorite Farmers' Markets" Contest Underway
American Farmland Trust is sponsoring "America's Favorite Farmers' Markets" contest. The purpose of the America’s Favorite Farmers' Markets™ contest is to spread the No Farms No Food® message and to raise national awareness about local farmers' markets, the role they play in supporting local farms and food, and the importance of local farms and farmland to our communities. It is a free national contest that will let your customers show support for your market, help you earn free media coverage, and bring in new shoppers who want to support farmers' markets in your community and beyond. We will be promoting farmers' markets on the national level while we continue to work toward our goal of protecting productive farmland and spreading the No Farms No Food® message.

USDA Evaluating Small Meat and Poultry Processing Needs
The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a preliminary study revealing existing gaps in the regional food systems regarding the availability of slaughter facilities to small meat and poultry producers. The study by USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a first attempt to identify areas in the U.S. where small livestock and poultry producers are concentrated but may not have access to a nearby slaughter facility. The data creates a county-by-county view of the continental United States, indicating the concentration of small farms raising cattle, hogs and pigs, and chicken, and also noting the location of nearby state slaughter facilities and small and very small federal slaughter establishments. The presentation "Slaughter Availability to Small Livestock and Poultry Producers – Maps" may be found at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/KYF_maps-050410_FOR_RELEASE.pdf.

Survey: Foodies Willing to Pay More for Organic
More than 83 percent of foodies say they'll pay more for at least some organic or all natural foods, according to a recent survey from Healthbuzz, a new go-to resource for nutrition and wellness information and inspiration launched by Foodbuzz, an online food community. Knowing where food comes from and what goes into the foods we eat was an important trend in the survey results. For example, 69 percent of foodies surveyed "always" read the nutrition panels of foods that they purchase. In addition, the majority of foodies surveyed (83 percent) believe locally grown food to be generally healthier. The importance of a food's source is also significant when foodies dine out. An overwhelming 96 percent of foodies like knowing where a restaurant's food comes from, which is underscored by the increasing number of restaurants including this type of information on their menus. Twelve bloggers, including registered dieticians and nutritionists, will serve as Healthbuzz Featured Editors, providing expert advice on subjects such as diet and nutrition, healthy recipes, specialty diets and fitness, all connected to a central theme. For example, this month, Featured Editor Nancy Oliveira, a Boston-based registered dietician and publisher of the blog Fit Mama Eats, provides content on children's health.

Virtual Crop Software Guides Farm Decisions
A program developed by university scientists lets researchers grow virtual crops, too, but in a real effort to advise farmers on how to save money and resources. The program is called Decision Support System for Agrotechnology Transfer, or DSSAT. Researchers use the system to make crucial decisions based on sound science. In Georgia, for example, the Georgia Environmental Protection Division used it to estimate water requirements for irrigation, said Gerrit Hoogenboom, a UGA agricultural meteorologist who helped develop the software. The DSSAT program works for numerous crops, and it simulates crop growth, yield and water and nutrient requirements for the crops. Working with county Extension agents, researchers use it to help farmers respond to and prepare for the probability of particular weather phases, Hoogenboom said. The software can predict the effects of environmental impacts like fertilizer runoff in waterways or economic impacts like how altering irrigation or fertilizer schedules will affect farmer profits.

> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Energy Audits and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grants
The USDA's energy audits and renewable energy development assistance program is designed to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs and consumption and help meet the nation’s critical energy needs. The 2008 Farm Bill mandates that the recipient of a grant that conducts an energy audit for an agricultural producer or a rural small business require the agricultural producer or rural small business to pay at least 25 percent of the cost of the energy audit, which shall be retained by the eligible entity for the cost of the audit.
Proposals are due July 26, 2010.

EPA Resource Conservation Grant
EPA Region 6 is soliciting proposals that address the national Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC) priorities of increasing recycling of municipal solid waste, construction and demolition debris, and industrial materials in Region 6. The region includes Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Texas, and 66 Tribes. This funding supports EPA’s strategic goal of land preservation and restoration. The RCC is a national effort to conserve our valuable natural resources and energy by managing materials more efficiently. By focusing on waste reduction and energy recovery activities, the RCC will improve public health and the environment.
Proposals are due July 8, 2010.

Missouri CIG Grant
NRCS Missouri State Office will offer the following funding categories for the Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG). These categories focus on market-based approaches to conservation, including the advancement of emerging markets for ecosystem services and the development of market-based tools. Beginning Farmers or Ranchers, Limited Resource Farmers or Ranchers, Socially Disadvantaged Farmers or Ranchers, and Indian tribes or eligible entities servicing these populations are encouraged to submit application(s) in any of the categories.
Proposals are due June 17, 2010.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Agroforestry Workshop
June 10-11, 2010
Viroqua, Wisconsin

Join fellow educators for a workshop and tour covering key agroforestry practices for this region and information resources.


Agriculture and Carbon Markets Workshop
June 10, 2010
Davis, California

The objective of each workshop is to build common understanding and linkages among the stakeholder groups in support of development of the carbon market infrastructure required to engage the agriculture sector. In particular, the workshops will include the presentation of a pair of reports, published by M-AGG, on the interface of agriculture and the carbon markets for stakeholder comment.


Lane Ag Center Field Day
June 12, 2010
Lane, Oklahoma

The Lane Agriculture Center Annual Field Day is open to the public and will provide an opportunity to learn about new developments with topics such as vegetable production, biofuel and biofumigant crops, weed, insect and disease control, and production practices for certified organic vegetable production.


> More Events

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