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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 3, 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

  • CDC Offers COVID-19 Guidance for Agriculture Workers and Employers
  • Connection Between Human Health and Regenerative Agriculture Explored in New White Paper
  • Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group to Close
  • Farm Corps Pairs Veterans with Ag Producers Needing On-Farm Labor
  • 'Carbon Cowboys' Documentary Series Highlights Regenerative Grazers
  • European Commission Adopts Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies

Funding Opportunities

  • Conservation Innovation Grants
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service Cooperative Agreements in Minnesota
  • USDA Emerging Markets Program

Coming Events

  • Biodynamics 101 for Growers
  • The IPM Hour
  • Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership's Risk Management Webinar Series

News & Resources

CDC Offers COVID-19 Guidance for Agriculture Workers and Employers
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Labor have issued interim guidance for agriculture workers and employers as a template of action to protect agriculture workers from coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The guidance recognizes that "agriculture work sites, shared worker housing, and shared worker transportation vehicles present unique challenges for preventing and controlling the spread of COVID-19."

Connection Between Human Health and Regenerative Agriculture Explored in New White Paper
Rodale Institute and The Plantrician Project released a white paper titled The Power of the Plate: The Case for Regenerative Organic Agriculture in Improving Human Health, that recommends ways in which agriculture and lifestyle medicine can come together to improve quality of life. The white paper also makes nine specific recommendations for the integration of food and healthcare and the expansion of regenerative health.

Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group to Close
The Board of Directors of the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SAWG) has announced that the organization will close after nearly 30 years. No new business will be transacted after May 31, 2020, although the organization will complete its responsibilities for existing projects. Southern SAWG has been well known and respected for its annual conference, Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms, and for its Growing Farm Profits training program, as well as many other accomplishments.

Farm Corps Pairs Veterans with Ag Producers Needing On-Farm Labor
The Farmer Veteran Coalition of Illinois, Illinois Farm Bureau, and Illinois AgrAbility have introduced Farm Corps, a new partnership program that will pair furloughed or unemployed veterans with agricultural producers who have an immediate need for on-farm labor.

'Carbon Cowboys' Documentary Series Highlights Regenerative Grazers
Carbon Cowboys, a 10-part documentary of short films by director Peter Byck, was released online by environmental nonprofit Carbon Nation in collaboration with Arizona State University. The 8- to 23-minute films highlight profitable regenerative grazers across the United States and in Canada. Byck says, "The film shows farmers working with nature, rather than against it. You see them caring for their animals and for their land. You see farmers making more money and creating an alternative to industrial farming."
Related ATTRA Publication: Pasture, Rangeland, and Adaptive Grazing

European Commission Adopts Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies
The European Commission, executive arm of the European Union, has adopted a comprehensive new Biodiversity Strategy and a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy, and environmentally friendly food system. The biodiversity strategy calls for enhancing organic farming and for bringing pollinators back to agricultural land. Meanwhile, the Farm to Fork Strategy includes a 50% reduction of pesticides, a 20% reduction of fertilizer use, and a goal of 25% of agricultural land being farmed organically.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Conservation Innovation Grants
The USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting proposals for $15 million in national Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG projects inspire creative problem-solving solutions that boost production on farms, ranches, and private forests and improve natural resources. This year's priorities are water reuse, water quality, air quality, energy, and wildlife habitat. All U.S.-based non-Federal entities and individuals are eligible to apply.
Proposals are due by June 29, 2020.

Natural Resources Conservation Service Cooperative Agreements in Minnesota
USDA NRCS announced the availability of $2 million in cooperative agreements for leveraging NRCS resources, addressing local natural resource issues, encouraging collaboration, and developing state- and community-level conservation leadership in Minnesota. Applications will only be accepted for: 1) Grazing and Livestock Assistance; and 2) Remote Sensing for CRP Status Reviews, Compliance Status Reviews, and Easement Monitoring. Local governments, nonprofits, and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.
Applications are due by June 17, 2020.


USDA Emerging Markets Program
The Emerging Markets Program (EMP) helps U.S. organizations promote exports of U.S. agricultural products to countries that have—or are developing—market-oriented economies and that have the potential to be viable commercial markets. Through the EMP, USDA Foreign Agricultural Service provides cost-share funding for technical assistance activities such as feasibility studies, market research, sectorial assessments, orientation visits, specialized training, and business workshops. A total of $8 million is available, with individual awards up to $500,000.
Applications are due by June 26, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Biodynamics 101 for Growers
June 16, 2020
Online
Join the CCOF Foundation and Demeter USA for a free introductory webinar on the basics of Biodynamic agriculture for organic growers. Hear firsthand how organic growers integrate Biodynamic practices into their farming systems.

The IPM Hour
June 10, 2020
Online

The Western Integrated Pest Management Center is starting a new monthly seminar series called The IPM Hour. In the first session, learn about Insect Pest Monitoring with Directional LED Lights and about Riparian Restoration along the Little Colorado River.

Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Partnership's Risk Management Webinar Series
June 18 and 25 and July 2, 2020
Online
Join the Illinois Sustainable Ag Partnership for a three-part webinar series highlighting the use of land stewardship and soil health management as a tool to mitigate production and market risks.

>>More Events

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