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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 10, 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

  • USDA Approves More than $545 Million in CFAP Payments
  • Online Course on Organic Farming Offered
  • Federal Appeals Court Revokes Approval of Three Dicamba Formulations
  • Online Courses Aid Fiber Producers with Marketing
  • FDA Issues Guidance on Produce Safety Rule Exemption During COVID-19
  • National Young Farmers Coalition Introduces Racial Equity Toolkit

Funding Opportunities

  • America's Healthy Food Financing Initiative
  • New Mexico Conservation Funding
  • Wetland Mitigation Banking Program

Coming Events

  • FSA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Producer Education Webinars
  • NY Forward Business Safety Plan Support for Farms
  • Navigating the GAP Audit: Food Safety Best Practices for Produce Farms

News & Resources

USDA Approves More than $545 Million in CFAP Payments
USDA has approved more than $545 million in payments to producers who applied for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). In the first six days of the application period, FSA made payments to more than 35,000 producers. FSA will accept applications through August 28, 2020. Through CFAP, USDA is making available $16 billion in financial assistance to producers. Meanwhile, Farmers' Legal Action Group has published a Farmers' Guide to Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP).

Online Course on Organic Farming Offered
Basics of Organic Farming is a self-directed online course for beginning orchard and vegetable-crop farmers, existing organic farmers, and farmers in transition to organic production. This course is a joint effort of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and others. It consists of six modules: 1) soil health; 2) weed management; 3) irrigation and water management; 4) insect pest management; 5) disease management; and 6) economics and marketing. The first two modules are online, and OFRF is asking for farmer feedback to help develop the remaining modules.

Related ATTRA Resources: Organic Farming

Federal Appeals Court Revokes Approval of Three Dicamba Formulations
The Ninth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals vacated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's approval of three dicamba formulations for use on dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton, effective June 3, 2020. DTN Progressive Farmer reports that the decision's timing during the growing season is worrying farmers. Meanwhile, states are interpreting and implementing the ruling differently. This article provides listings of actions by numerous states, with links to state regulators.
Related ATTRA Podcast: Glyphosate Contamination

Online Courses Aid Fiber Producers with Marketing
The Livestock Conservancy is offering two free courses on Teachable that can help fiber producers connect with customers, Marketing Your Fiber Products and From Farm to Fiber Folk. Both courses are part of the Shave 'Em to Save 'Em program that is working to make sheep breeds profitable for shepherds.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Fiber

FDA Issues Guidance on Produce Safety Rule Exemption During COVID-19
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced flexibility in the eligibility criteria for the qualified exemption from the Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption (Produce Safety Rule), due to disruptions to the supply chain. In order to support affected farms in selling food to all available buyers during the COVID-19 public health emergency, FDA does not intend to enforce the criteria for sales to qualified end-users when determining eligibility for the qualified exemption under the Produce Safety Rule, for the duration of the public health emergency.

National Young Farmers Coalition Introduces Racial Equity Toolkit
The National Young Farmers Coalition has created a Racial Equity Toolkit designed to orient and guide members toward preliminary consciousness-raising and direct action. According to the National Young Farmers Coalition, it is an initial resource for people who are overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of the problem, and need help determining how to start dismantling racism in their communities.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

America's Healthy Food Financing Initiative
Reinvestment Fund is inviting applications for the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) Targeted Small Grants Program. Funding is provided by USDA, authorized by the Farm Bill. In 2020, $3 million in grant funding is available for food retail and food enterprises working to improve access to healthy foods in underserved areas, to create and preserve quality jobs, and to revitalize low-income communities. The program is open to eligible for-profit, nonprofit, and cooperatively owned businesses, institutions of higher education, state and local governments, and tribal governments. The program will also consider projects related to recovery from the pandemic, directly or indirectly.
A letter of interest is due by July 10, 2020.

New Mexico Conservation Funding
Conservation partners are invited to apply for assistance through the Natural Resources Conservation Service's New Mexico Conservation Funding Opportunity. A maximum of $100,000 in total funding is available for conservation outreach workshops; technical workshops and/or field days on native plant community adoption and/or pollinator habitat; and organic and specialty crop workshops. The agency expects to make five awards.
Applications are due by July 15, 2020.

Wetland Mitigation Banking Program
USDA NRCS announced the availability of $5 million through the Wetland Mitigation Banking Program. Funding is available to help conservation partners develop or establish mitigation banks to help agricultural producers maintain eligibility for USDA programs. This competitive grants program helps states, local governments, and other qualified partners develop wetland mitigation banks to restore, create, or enhance wetland ecosystems.
Applications must be submitted by July 6, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

FSA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) Producer Education Webinars
June 11, 16, and 18, 2020
Online
In these webinars from USDA Farm Service Agency, CFAP National Program Specialists discuss what different types of crop producers should know to sign up for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which ends August 28, 2020. Also, learn more about the Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) process and how to submit additional commodities for consideration to USDA by June 22, 2020.

NY Forward Business Safety Plan Support for Farms
June 10, 11, 15, and 17, 2020
Online

New York State requires businesses to have a specific business safety plan in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes all farms, both food and non-food producing. Cornell Cooperative Extension and Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development are offering a webinar series with sessions for Dairy/Livestock/Crop Farms, Fruit/Vegetable Farms, Retail Farms, Equine Farms, and Greenhouse/Landscaping/Ornamental Farms. These webinars will introduce farmers to the process of developing a safety plan and tools that can help them.

Navigating the GAP Audit: Food Safety Best Practices for Produce Farms
June 22 and 29, and July 6, 13, and 20, 2020
Online
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is offering a five-part webinar series to replace its in-person, day-long GAP training. The USDA HGAP Standard requires that at least one person with supervisory responsibility have formal food safety training prior to the GAP audit. This series will fulfill the formal training requirement and prepare you for audit day.

>>More Events

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