Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 12, 2019
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
- Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index Shows Significant Changes
- Program Focuses on Revitalizing Middle-Size Agriculture
- First Volume of Updated Guide to Disaster Assistance for Farmers Available
- California State University, Chico, Establishes Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems
- Grazing Exchange Introduced in South Dakota
- Nursing Professor Develops Dinner Theater to Promote Farm Safety
- Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops
- Regional Conservation Partnerships Program CSP for Chesapeake Counties
- Maine Farms for the Future
- Soil Health Meetings for South Dakota Women Landowners
- Produce Food Safety for Military Veterans
- Organic Commodities Field Day
News & Resources
Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index Shows Significant Changes
Strolling of the Heifers has released its annual Locavore Index, indicating which states have the strongest producers and consumers of local food. In 2019, the index results were significantly different, due to new information from the recently released USDA Census of Agriculture. Vermont tops the list, with local food sales per capita at $166.22, while California has moved up to second place and Hawaii to third place. Several New England states left the top 10, and Montana dropped from third to 28th.
Program Focuses on Revitalizing Middle-Size Agriculture
A feature in Civil Eats highlights Ecotrust's Ag of the Middle Accelerator Program in Portland, Oregon. The program focuses on helping small farmers and fishermen scale up by training them in business, operating a food hub that aids in storage and distribution, and helping the growing enterprises access capital, including value-added grants. Ecotrust hopes its model can be used in locations across the country, to help more operations grow to gross $100,000 to $3 million.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Scaling Up for Regional Markets
First Volume of Updated Guide to Disaster Assistance for Farmers Available
Farmers' Legal Action Group has released the first part of its seventh edition of the Farmers' Guide to Disaster Assistance. Volume 1: Emergency Conservation Program is the first in a series of guides that will describe the rules for federal disaster-assistance programs. The publication is available free online in PDF.
Related ATTRA Resources: Disaster Assistance for Ag Producers
California State University, Chico, Establishes Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems
California State University, Chico, has established a new Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems. The Center will be offering degrees in the field of regenerative science and agriculture, conducting research at the University Farm, and creating curriculum. It will focus on practices that reduce greenhouse gasses, build topsoil, restore soil resiliency, increase the sustainability of farms and ranches, and address food and water insecurity.
Grazing Exchange Introduced in South Dakota
South Dakota Soil Health Coalition has a new online portal that connects livestock producers with people who have cropland or forage available to graze. The site offers an interactive map for producers throughout South Dakota and the surrounding region. Additional educational resources include fact sheets on livestock integration, crop residue, and cover crops; contracting resources; and contact information for organizations that can provide technical assistance.
Related ATTRA Publication: Grazing Contracts for Livestock
Nursing Professor Develops Dinner Theater to Promote Farm Safety
Deborah Reed, a professor of nursing at the University of Kentucky, came up with an effective way to educate farmers about important safety issues. She created a dinner theater that combines a free meal with local farmer-actors performing humorous skits about safety measures ranging from fall protection to emergency planning to hearing protection. The safety skits are publicly available: any group can access an online toolkit to stage its own local production.
>>More Breaking News
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Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops
USDA Foreign Agricultural Service administers the Technical Assistance for Specialty Crops program, which provides funding for projects that address sanitary, phytosanitary, and technical barriers that prohibit or threaten the export of U.S. specialty crops. Eligible activities include seminars and workshops, study tours, field surveys, pest and disease research, and pre-clearance programs. Eligible crops include all cultivated plants and their products produced in the United States except wheat, feed grains, oilseeds, cotton, rice, peanuts, sugar, and tobacco. Awards are for a maximum of $500,000 per year and for projects of up to five years.
Applications are due June 28, 2019.
Regional Conservation Partnerships Program CSP for Chesapeake Counties
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from farmers and landowners in Centre, Clinton, and Lycoming Counties in Pennsylvania to help producers improve water and air quality, build healthier soil, and achieve other environmental benefits. Under a special initiative through USDA's Regional Conservation Partnerships Program (RCPP), NRCS is partnering with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to assist farmers in establishing conservation practices that improve soil health, reduce erosion and nutrient loss, and control storm water runoff to local streams that drain into the Chesapeake Bay.
Applications must be received by June 28, 2019.
Maine Farms for the Future
Maine's Farms for the Future Program provides selected farms with business planning assistance and investment support. The Phase 1 grant allows selected farmers to research ideas for change on their farms and work with a certified business advisor and other agricultural and professional service providers to develop an investment-grade business plan. The Phase 2 cash grant and/or low-interest loan assists farmers selected for Phase 1 with implementing the projects described in their business plans.
Applications are due by June 24, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Soil Health Meetings for South Dakota Women Landowners
July 16, 17, or 18, 2019
Aberdeen, Mitchell, or Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Three day-long learning circle meetings organized by the Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) each provide an opportunity for women landowners to learn from peers and local professional women conservationists.
Produce Food Safety for Military Veterans
July 19, 2019
Join Texas AgrAbility for a one-day hands-on training to learn the rules, regulations, and safe practices for produce. The free course is open to military veterans.
Organic Commodities Field Day
July 22, 2019
Kinston, North Carolina
The NC State University Organic Working Group will hold an Organic Commodities Field Day with research updates, equipment demonstrations, and information sessions.
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