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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 4, 2014

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

  • Growing Green Award Winners Announced
  • Deep South Local and Regional Food Systems Resources Handbook Now Available
  • USDA Introduces Regional Conservation Partnership Program
  • NSAC Looks at Ag Census Numbers for Beginning Farmers
  • FamilyFarmed.org Seeks Training Hosts for Wholesale Success Workshops
  • European Low Input Breeds Project Offers Technical Notes Online

Funding Opportunities

  • Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants
  • Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant
  • Conservation Innovation Grants in Pennsylvania

Coming Events

  • Dryland Organic Farming Research Review and Farm Tour
  • Cover Crop Farm Tour
  • Value-Added Grains Variety Trials

News & Resources

Growing Green Award Winners Announced
The Natural Resources Defense Council and the Berkeley Food Institute announced four remarkable leaders who are advancing sustainable food and agriculture as winners of the sixth annual Growing Green Awards. Will Harris, Sibella Kraus, Orley "Chip" Taylor, and John Reganold received the 2014 awards. Profiles and videos of the winners are available online.

Deep South Local and Regional Food Systems Resources Handbook Now Available
The Wallace Center's project on Increasing Farmer Success in Local Food Markets in the Deep South: Mississippi & Alabama has released a new online publication, Deep South Local and Regional Food Systems Resources Handbook. This handbook serves as a resource guide for farmers, aggregators, and distributors of sustainable food to use in building or strengthening a values-based food supply chain for their products.

USDA Introduces Regional Conservation Partnership Program
USDA has announced the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), which will competitively award funds to conservation projects designed by local partners specifically for their region. Eligible partners include private companies, universities, non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments, and others. USDA will make $400 million in funding available in the first year. Through RCPP, partners propose conservation projects to improve soil health, water quality and water-use efficiency, wildlife habitat, and other related natural resources on private lands.

NSAC Looks at Ag Census Numbers for Beginning Farmers
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has posted its analysis of the 2012 Census of Agriculture numbers related to beginning farmers and ranchers. The figures show that the average age of American farmers continues to increase, and that young farmers are not entering agriculture as quickly as older farmers are retiring. The analysis also looked at the geographic distribution of old and young farmers and gains and losses in total farmers.

FamilyFarmed.org Seeks Training Hosts for Wholesale Success Workshops
FamilyFarmed.org has announced the opportunity for food hubs, departments of agriculture, farmers markets, and institutional buyers to bring the organization's acclaimed training resources to their networks of produce farmers. Workshops are led by Atina Diffley and based on the publication Wholesale Success: A Farmer's Guide to Food Safety, Selling, Postharvest Handling, and Packing Produce. For more information about sponsoring a workshop, contact James Pirovano at james@familyfarmed.org.

European Low Input Breeds Project Offers Technical Notes Online
The European Low Input Breeds project is working to develop integrated livestock breeding and management strategies to improve animal health, product quality, and performance in European organic and 'low input' milk, meat, and egg production. Nine Technical Notes available online cover key themes and results from the European Community project. Titles address dairy sheep, lamb meat quality, organic pig production, and several aspects of egg production.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants
The 2014 Farm Bill makes $15 million in marketing support available for farmers markets and other direct-to-consumer outlets. The goals of FMPP grants are 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 serving local markets. Awards range from $15,000 to $100,000.
Applications are due June 20, 2014.

Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant
USDA Rural Business-Cooperative Service has announced the availability of $3 million for the FY 2014 Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grants program. Proposals are requested from cooperatives, groups of cooperatives, and Cooperative Development Centers who will provide technical assistance to small, socially-disadvantaged agricultural producers in rural areas. The maximum award per grant is $200,000.
Applications are due by June 24, 2014.

Conservation Innovation Grants in Pennsylvania
NRCS in Pennsylvania will offer $150,000 in Conservation Innovation Grants to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Grant proposals for up to $50,000 will be accepted.
Applications are due by June 24, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Dryland Organic Farming Research Review and Farm Tour
July 9, 2014
Pullman, Washington

Washington State University will host a free Dryland Organic Research Review and Farm Tour. The event will conclude a four-year organic research and on-farm testing project conducted in Washington, eastern Oregon, and southern Idaho.

Cover Crop Farm Tour
July 8, 2014
Conrad, Montana

The National Center for Appropriate Technology, Montana Organic Association, NRCS, and Montana Farmers Union are offering four farm tours as part of a project to explore cover-cropping and crop-insurance issues. This second tour is a workshop with Dr. Clain Jones that will highlight long-term research on May-seeded cover crops consisting of different 'functional groups' including fibrous-rooted, nitrogen fixers, tap-rooted, and brassicas.

Value-Added Grains Variety Trials
July 1, 2014
Freeville, New York

Cornell Freeville Organic Research Farm will host a free field-trials tour of value-added grains. There will also be equipment demonstrations.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture 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
Conservation Buffers in Organic Systems

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What is the best process for efficiently transplanting rootstocks and graftlings on a small or medium scale?

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