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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 13, 2012

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • NOSB Requests Better Protection of Organic Crops from GMOs
  • Organic Seed Alliance Publishes Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit
  • Forest Farming Webinar Now Online
  • Farmers Reminded to Sign Up for Census of Agriculture
  • Farm Ponds Reduce Agricultural Water Pollution, Research Shows
  • Georgians Celebrating Pastured Poultry Week

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE Professional Development Grants
  • California Leopold Conservation Award
  • Pacific Islands Area Conservation Innovation Grants

Coming Events

  • Organic Field Day - Diversifying Organic Cropping Systems
  • Grass-Based Dairy Webinar
  • On Farm Energy Production

News & Resources

NOSB Requests Better Protection of Organic Crops from GMOs
The National Organic Standards Board has unanimously endorsed a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack calling for better protection of organic crops from GMOs, reports Capital Press. NOSB has formed an ad hoc committee to examine all the areas where GMO contamination poses a threat to organics.
Note: A webcast of the recent four-day NOSB meeting in Albuquerque is available online.

Organic Seed Alliance Publishes Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit
Organic Seed Alliance has released a Participatory Plant Breeding Toolkit to support projects that aim to increase the availability and quality of organic seed. The toolkit includes a background on the theory and practice of Participatory Plant Breeding, case studies of successful projects, and worksheets to facilitate project planning and execution. This publication is available for free download.
Related ATTRA Publication: Seed Production and Variety Development for Organic Systems

Forest Farming Webinar Now Online
"Forest Farming Non-Timber Products: Opportunities & Challenges," a webinar by James Chamberlain of the USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, is now available online. Forest farming, the cultivation of understory plants and fungi with economic value, may be a way for small-scale forest landowners to diversify their incomes. This webinar addresses production methods, yield estimations, and market potential.

Farmers Reminded to Sign Up for Census of Agriculture
Producers are reminded to sign up for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's 2012 Census of Agriculture before July 1. The Census of Agriculture is a complete count of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who operate them. A farm is defined as any place that produced and sold, or normally would have sold, $1,000 or more of agricultural products during the Census year. To learn more, visit www.agcensus.usda.gov.

Farm Ponds Reduce Agricultural Water Pollution, Research Shows
The reintroduction of farm ponds could significantly reduce agricultural pollution in streams and rivers, according to new research from the UK. Researchers found that field wetlands offer a simple, cost-effective strategy for environmental protection by intercepting runoff and preventing sediment and nutrients from reaching watercourses.

Georgians Celebrating Pastured Poultry Week
Georgians for Pastured Poultry has designated June 11-17 as Pastured Poultry Week. As part of this first annual event, participating Atlanta and Athens restaurants will help spread the word about the virtues of pastured poultry by serving it every day during this designated week.
Related ATTRA Publication: Meat Chicken Breeds for Pastured Production

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE Professional Development Grants
Northeast SARE's Professional Development program funds outcome-based projects that train Cooperative Extension educators and other agricultural service providers in sustainable techniques and concepts.
Preproposals are due July 31, 2012.

California Leopold Conservation Award
Sand County Foundation, Sustainable Conservation, and the California Farm Bureau Federation are seeking nominations for the 2012 California Leopold Conservation Award. The $10,000 award recognizes California farmers and ranchers who demonstrate outstanding, sustainable management of natural resources. Nominations are considered in two categories: Nurseries and Crops, and Livestock.
The deadline for nominations is July 15, 2012.

Pacific Islands Area Conservation Innovation Grants
NRCS Conservation Innovation Grants projects lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches. Up to $263,000 is available for proposals addressing water, soil, atmosphere, grazing land, forest health, energy conservation and renewable energy, and wildlife habitat.
The deadline to submit proposals is June 18, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Organic Field Day - Diversifying Organic Cropping Systems
July 11, 2012
Lamberton, Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center's annual Organic Field Day offers field tours to present ongoing organic research, including a visit to the SWROC's high tunnel season extension facilities. The schedule includes educational presentations and a graduate student showcase, as well as exhibits and networking opportunities.

Grass-Based Dairy Webinar
July 19, 2012
Online

The Wallace Center's National Good Food Network is hosting this webinar. After an overview of managed grazing techniques, hear a case study of a very successful busines and learn about a new apprenticeship program and how it works.

On-Farm Energy Production
July 11, 2012
Groton, New York

This event is part of the Cornell Small Farms Program Small Dairy Field Day series. Topics will include demonstrations of an oilseed press and grass-pellet maker, and an overview of a business pressing oilseeds for human consumption.

>> More Events

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Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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© 2012 NCAT

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New Publication
Tools for Managing Internal Parasites in Small Ruminants: Animal Selection

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June 28 AGR-Lite Wizard—Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for the Specialized and Diversified Farm

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