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Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 15, 2005

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site.

News & Resources
* Small and Mid-size Farms Play Role in Food Security
* Greenhouse Biocontrol Manual Published
* Research Sheds Light on Reproductive Attitudes of Chickens
* Heritage Pigs Raised on Forage
* Michigan 'Buy Local' Campaign Flourishes
* Farm Children Threatened by Pesticides, Charges Lawsuit

Funding Opportunities
* Western IPM Center Integrated Pest Management Issues
* Western Integrated Pest Management Center Information Networks
* National Forest Foundation Matching Grants

Coming Events
* Opportunities and Challenges in Farmstead/Artisan Cheese Making
* Pastured Pork Tour and Raising Pastured Pork Workshop
* Upper Midwest Grazing Conference


News & Resources

Small and Mid-size Farms Play Role in Food Security
Strong small and mid-size farms may be key to preventing food supply disruptions, according to conference proceedings that were covered by a story in the Poughkeepsie Journal. The nonprofit Glynwood Center hosted a conference in November, called New Perspectives on Food Security, and has now made the proceedings available online. The proceedings report that a dispersed system, where more food would be grown locally, is less vulnerable to contamination than big farms with concentrated production facilities, where disease could spread rapidly. The report encourages the development and support of stronger regional and local food production and food systems.
URL: http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/

Greenhouse Biocontrol Manual Published
The Pennsylvania Integrated Pest Management Program has published a new manual designed to help greenhouse growers implement biological control and Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Greenhouse IPM with an Emphasis on Biocontrols begins with an introduction to IPM and its principles, includes information on starting an IPM/biocontrol program, and addresses many of the most common greenhouse pests and their biocontrols. The manual is designed to educate commercial greenhouse operators, crop consultants, and IPM scouts to develop biocontrol systems for greenhouses that will maximize yields while reducing pesticide usage. It is available online or as a hard copy.
URL: http://paipm.cas.psu.edu/ghmanual.html

Research Sheds Light on Reproductive Attitudes of Chickens
Research from the University of Alberta is revealing why some chickens may be better mothers than others, according to a press release. Chickens have a "reproductive attitude" that determines whether they channel nutrients to their own bodies or to egg production. Those that shift nutrients to themselves are poor egg producers, while those that shift too many nutrients to egg production are prone to burnout. The University of Alberta study of 300 high-performance broiler breeder hens explores the relationship between the hens' growth and reproductive performance. The study has identified some 'super-hens' that have an incredible growth potential and are also capable of producing many more chicks than usual. If they pass this trait along to their offspring, it could be a boon for the broiler industry. The researchers will go on to study links between reproductive attitude and broiler quality.
URL: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-06/uoa-wcf061305.php
Related ATTRA publication: Poultry Genetics for Pastured Production

Heritage Pigs Raised on Forage
The State.com recently ran a feature on Emile DeFelice, a South Carolina pig farmer and director of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association. DeFelice, a former organic herb and produce grower, has focused on hogs for the past two years. He raises heritage breeds of hogs that forage well in the forest, grow slowly to maturity, and produce meat higher in oleic fat. He supplements the pigs' foraging with leftover organic dairy products but doesn't raise organic meat because he can't find enough local organic feed. DeFelice has opted for pigs raised completely from local feeds, rather than certified organic meat that requires certified feed to be shipped in from outside the state. DeFelice's pork has found favor from restaurant chefs in the local area and across the country. DeFelice markets pork by the quarter, saying that responsible meat purchasers should find ways to use all the cuts, rather than taking only the premium cuts and leaving the rest as waste.
URL: http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/living/11853446.htm

Michigan 'Buy Local' Campaign Flourishes
The Michigan Land Use Institute has expanded its successful "Taste the Local Difference" campaign. One element of the campaign is a free, pocket-sized guide listing about 160 regional farms that engage in direct sales; the organization will increase distribution of the guide to 25,000 copies in eight counties in northwest Lower Michigan. This year's campaign will also include about 55 food retailers, as well as marketing materials such as menu cards, posters, and a new Taste the Local Difference Web site. The farms featured in the guide represent approximately $5 million in annual sales, about 320 full- and part-time jobs, and nearly 23,000 acres of farmland. Given the success and the economic value of the program, local businesses are taking notice and providing additional financial support for the project.
URL: http://www.mlui.org/growthmanagement/fullarticle.asp?fileid=16878

Farm Children Threatened by Pesticides, Charges Lawsuit
A coalition of farm workers and environmental and public health groups have filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), charging that the agency is failing to protect children of farmers and farm workers from toxic chemicals used on farms. According to the lawsuit, children who live near farms are exposed to pesticides in soil, air, food, water, and on their parents' clothes. The lawsuit alleges that EPA failed to consider those elevated exposure levels when determining allowable pesticide standards for food.
URL: http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/050607.asp

For more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.

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Funding Opportunities

Western IPM Center Integrated Pest Management Issues
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center announces the availability of funds and requests proposals for projects that address important issues in IPM and support the goals of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center. Priority will be given to applications that address priorities announced by the Center, including research on invasive weeds, development and implementation of integrated approaches of management practices and their impacts on pests, integrating new reduced risk tactics into whole farm systems, and research on tracheal mites and pollinator bees, among others. Approximately $200,000 is available for this competitive program. Applications from private individuals and institutions, businesses, commodity organizations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations are invited. The primary project director must be from within the Western Region. Applications are due August 4, 2005.
URL: http://www.wripmc.org/Research/wipmcrfas05.html#ADDRESSING

Western Integrated Pest Management Center Information Networks
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center (WIPMC) announces the availability of funds and requests proposals for Information Networks that support the Western Integrated Pest Management Center. Funding in the amount of approximately $200,000 is available for this competitive subcontracts program. Proposals are limited to the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Networks are to serve as a resource for information about the importance of pesticides and other pest management tactics in local production systems covered by the network, respond to information requests, maintain a web site for the network, and aid in identification of appropriate individuals to address IPM tactics use surveys, crop profiles and Pest Management Strategic Plans. Applications are due July 20, 2005.
URL: http://www.wripmc.org/Research/wipmcrfas05.html#INFORMATION

National Forest Foundation Matching Grants
The National Forest Foundation matches federal funds (provided under a cooperative agreement with the Forest Service) to non-federal dollars to implement projects that directly benefit our National Forests and Grasslands. A common thread connecting NFF’s four program areas – community-based forestry, watershed health & restoration, wildlife habitat improvement, and recreation – is an interest in action-oriented projects that enhance the viability of natural resources while considering benefits to, and the involvement of, surrounding communities. During 2005, NFF will concentrate its efforts in five geographic focus areas: Southern Appalachians (TN, NC, SC, GA), Oregon Coast and Central Cascades, the Selway-Bitterroot (MT, ID), Central Colorado Rockies, and Central Sierra (CA). The NFF will accept applications from non-governmental, nonprofit organizations working on or adjacent to National Forests and Grasslands. Pre-proposals for Round 2 funding in 2005 are due by July 29, 2005.
URL: http://www.natlforests.org/consp_04_map.html

For additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.

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Coming Events

Opportunities and Challenges in Farmstead/Artisan Cheese Making
July 7-8, 2005
Winthrop, Washington

This event is sponsored by the Cascade Harvest Coalition and Washington State Department of Agriculture through a grant from USDA Risk Management Agency. The agenda includes presentations, hands-on experiments, and cheesemaking activity.
URL: http://csanr.wsu.edu/calendar/details.asp?event=392

Pastured Pork Tour and Raising Pastured Pork Workshop
July 7 and 8, 2005
Jackson Center, Pennsylvania

PASA sponsors an afternoon tour of Wil-Den Farms, a pastured pork producer with a meat CSA, on July 7. The tour will look at pastures, farrowing huts, a certified kitchen, and farm store. On July 8, a full-day Intensive Learning Program is offered on Raising Pork for Direct Sales. During this intensive "hands-on" field day, participants will get a detailed look at this unique pastured pork operation. This day is designed for the experienced farmer transitioning to pastured production and the novice farmer looking for a comprehensive introduction to pastured pork production and direct marketing.
URL: http://www.pasafarming.org/programs/farm_based.htm

Upper Midwest Grazing Conference
August 2-4, 2005
Dubuque, Iowa

This summer grazing conference will feature speakers from the Upper Midwest and will include farm tours, a trade show and an abundance of networking opportunities. The conference focuses on production issues facing graziers.
URL: http://www.cias.wisc.edu/uppermidwest/

More events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.

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Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
URL: http://attra.ncat.org/newsletter/archives.html

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.

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