Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 7, 2017
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
- NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Training in New York
- Guide on Managing Risks of Interns and Volunteers Available Online
- ARS Research Finds Methyl Benzoate Could Offer Pest Control
- Minnesota Passes Beginning-Farmer Tax-Credit Incentive
- Maryland Healthy Soils Program Signed into Law
- North Central Region SARE Announces 2017 Heroes
- Risk Management Education Partnerships Program
- Agriculture and Food Research Initiative--Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate
- Oregon Conservation Innovation Grants on Forest Stand Resiliency
- Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series
- Powering Up Our Soils
- Organic Fruit Tree Production for Southern Climates
News & Resources
NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm Training in New York
The National Center for Appropriate Technology and the Cornell Small Farms Program are bringing the week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training to Queensbury, New York, from July 31 - August 4, 2017. ATF gives New York veterans and their spouses an opportunity to see sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and examine farming as a viable career. Applications to participate are due by June 23, 2017.
Guide on Managing Risks of Interns and Volunteers Available Online
Farm Commons has released a free, online guide titled Managing Risks of Interns and Volunteers. Employment laws that apply to interns, apprentices, and volunteers may include obligations to provide minimum wage, pay workers' compensation, and contribute payroll taxes--depending on whether State or Federal agricultural labor exemptions apply.
ARS Research Finds Methyl Benzoate Could Offer Pest Control
A USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) chemist has found that methyl benzoate, a compound produced by snapdragons and petunias, is an effective control for several agricultural pest insects. Methyl benzoate repelled and killed all stages of spotted wing drosophila fly, brown marmorated stink bug, diamondback moth, and tobacco hornworm. ARS reports that it has applied for a patent on methyl benzoate's pesticide uses.
Minnesota Passes Beginning-Farmer Tax-Credit Incentive
Minnesota's governor has signed a law that supports the transition of land to young and beginning farmers through a tax-credit incentive. Landowners receive a state income tax credit when they sell or rent land or agricultural assets to a beginning farmer. The credit equals 5% of the sale price or 10% of the cash rent, or 15% for a cash-share agreement. In turn, the beginning farmer must take a farm-management course to qualify for the tax incentive. The tax credit is effective in the 2018 tax year.
Maryland Healthy Soils Program Signed into Law
Maryland's new Healthy Soils Act directs the Maryland Department of Agriculture to provide farmers with research, education, technical assistance, and--subject to available funding--financial assistance to improve soil health on Maryland farms. It is one of the first state-sponsored programs to promote planting mixed cover crops, adopting no-till or low-till farming, and implementing carefully managed rotational grazing. The bill will go into effect on October 1, 2017.
North Central Region SARE Announces 2017 Heroes
North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NCR-SARE) has announced that NCAT Board Member Margaret Krome of Madison, Wisconsin, Ferd Hoefner of Takoma Park, Maryland, and Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant of Greenview, Illinois, are being honored as 2017 "NCR-SARE Heroes." This recognition honors the leadership, vision, contributions, and impact that these heroes have made in the field of sustainable agriculture in the North Central region.
>>More Breaking News
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Risk Management Education Partnerships Program
USDA Risk Management Agency is accepting applications for up to $4 million in Risk Management Education Partnerships. The program delivers crop insurance education and risk management training to U.S. agricultural producers to assist them in identifying and managing production, marketing, legal, financial, and human risk. Eligible applicants include not-for-profit organizations, State agencies, colleges or universities, producer groups, and community-based organizations, among others.
Applications are due by July 10, 2017.
Agriculture and Food Research Initiative--Resilient Agroecosystems in a Changing Climate
This AFRI Challenge Area focuses on sustainable increase in agricultural productivity and the availability and accessibility of safe and nutritious food. In FY 2017, the priority area is Climate, Land Use, and Land Management. Colleges and universities are eligible to apply for a total of $6.3 million in funding.
Applications are due by July 13, 2017.
Oregon Conservation Innovation Grants on Forest Stand Resiliency
USDA-NRCS in Oregon has announced that a total of $150,000 is available to businesses, universities, State and local governments, Tribes, and individuals for Forest Stand Resiliency Conservation Innovation Grants. Applicants may request up to $75,000 in matching funds. Projects must involve farmers, ranchers, or non-industrial timber owners who meet the eligibility criteria for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program.
The deadline to submit grant proposals is July 7, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series
June - November, 2017
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association has announced the schedule for the 2017 Ohio Sustainable Farm Tour and Workshop Series. In total, the series features 43 farm tours, open houses, workshops, and special events.
Powering Up Our Soils
July 12-14, 2017
St. Louis, Missouri
At the second annual meeting of the Soil Health Institute, soil health leaders will converge to address critical topics that will shape land-use management decisions for generations to come.
Organic Fruit Tree Production for Southern Climates
July 10, 2017
Carbondale and Alto Pass, Illinois
This Southern Illinois Farming Alliance presentation and field day will provide a solid foundation for understanding the challenges and opportunities for growing fruit trees organically. NCAT's Guy Ames presents the afternoon session.
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ATTRA 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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