Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 14, 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
- National Organic Standards Board Nominations Sought
- CoBank Report Shows Organic Produce Supply Gap Widening
- White Paper on Increasing Agricultural Sustainability Through Organic Farming Released
- California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Provides Insight on Food Safety Costs
- Farm Aid Festival Venue Announced
- Greenhouse Consortium Working to Reduce Energy Use
- Northeast SARE Research for Novel Approaches Grant
- Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Small Grants
- Rural Community Development Initiative
- Slow Food Nations
- Agroforestry Field Day at Carandale Farm: Uncommon Fruit Trials
- Give Peas a Chance
News & Resources
National Organic Standards Board Nominations Sought
USDA is seeking nominations from individuals with expertise in areas of environmental protection and resource conservation to fill an upcoming vacancy on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). The appointee will serve a five-year term beginning January 24, 2018. In addition, USDA is seeking nominations for a pool of candidates to fill future midterm vacancies in any position categories. Nominations are due by August 7, 2017.
CoBank Report Shows Organic Produce Supply Gap Widening
Produce processors and retailers are finding it increasingly difficult to secure sufficient supplies of organic produce, as domestic demand continues to rise at a pace that exceeds production, according to a new report from CoBank. Given current consumption trends and the length of the required transition period, organic produce supplies will likely remain under pressure over the next three to five years, a CoBank economist predicts.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products
White Paper on Increasing Agricultural Sustainability Through Organic Farming Released
The Organic Center has released Increasing Agricultural Sustainability Through Organic Farming, a white paper based on presentations and discussions at the 2016 Organic Confluences summit. The 32-page online report covers current research on the environmental impacts of agricultural practices used in organic farming in the areas of soil health, water quality, biodiversity, native pollinators, and climate-change mitigation.
California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement Provides Insight on Food Safety Costs
USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) has released Food Safety Practices and Costs Under the California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement, in which ERS interviewed firms participating in the voluntary California Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement. The interview responses provide information about the costs that U.S. firms can expect to incur under similar provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act's Produce Rule.
Farm Aid Festival Venue Announced
Farm Aid has announced that its 2017 concert will take place September 16 in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh). The event will include a full day of music, family-farm food, hands-on activities, and family farmers. The concert lineup will feature performances by Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews, among others. Ticket information and details on the lineup are available online.
Greenhouse Consortium Working to Reduce Energy Use
Researchers at Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are leading a public-private consortium that will reduce electricity use for greenhouse lighting by as much as 70%. Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering (GLASE) is a seven-year, $5 million project demonstrating a holistic greenhouse energy-management system that integrates LED lighting, carbon dioxide supplementation, ventilation, and humidity.
>>More Breaking News
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Northeast SARE Research for Novel Approaches Grant
New for 2018, this Northeast SARE Research and Education grant program seeks preproposals for projects that research novel approaches in sustainable agriculture. The research should establish the feasibility of the approach, with the expectation that the new information will be used later in educational programs that promote farmer adoption.
The deadline for preproposals is July 6, 2017.
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Small Grants
Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety is seeking proposals that address research, outreach, or educational issues of agricultural health and safety in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and/or Nevada. Proposals on night work in agriculture or cannabis worker health and safety are encouraged. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars may request up to $10,000, and faculty may request a maximum of $30,000.
Proposals are due July 14, 2017.
Rural Community Development Initiative
USDA is inviting applications for the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program to strengthen the rural economy. Nonprofit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes receiving RCDI grants will provide technical assistance and training to help nonprofit organizations and communities develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facilities, or economic development projects.
The deadline to submit paper applications is July 25, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Slow Food Nations
July 14-16, 2017
Slow Food USA welcomes the world for Slow Food Nations, a festival to taste and explore a world of good, clean, and fair food for all. Enjoy dozens of interactive workshops, tastings, local tours, educational talks, and plenty of meals and parties.
Agroforestry Field Day at Carandale Farm: Uncommon Fruit Trials
July 15, 2017
This Savanna Institute free afternoon field day is part of a series that offers an opportunity to learn more about agroforestry first-hand from farmers and researchers at work with perennial crop and livestock enterprises.
Give Peas a Chance
July 18, 2017
Carrington, North Dakota
NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center hosts this free event. Tour the university's test plots and learn about field-pea and oat varieties well-suited to organic rotations.
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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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