Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 17, 2015
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
- Report Assesses Economic and Health Impacts of Local Foods
- Whole Farm Management Course for Beginning Farmers Offered Online
- Guide Offered for Food Hubs Selling to Restaurants
- New Report from The Organic Center Examines How Organic Farming Supports Pollinator Health
- Land Management Practices Key to Carbon Retention as Biofuel Use Grows
- Mapping Project Shows Most Americans Could Eat Locally
- Specialty Crop Research Initiative
- Food and Farm Communications Fund
- Northeast SARE Research and Education Grants
- Annual Soil and Water Conservation Society Conference
- Northern Nut Growers Association Annual Meeting
- Pagosa Verde Symposium: Community Benefits of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture
News & Resources
Report Assesses Economic and Health Impacts of Local Foods
The Illinois Public Health Institute and Crossroads Resource Center have released Exploring Economic and Health Impacts of Local Food Procurement online in PDF. The report highlights strategies for communities to add locally sourced food to their institutional food systems, recommends ways to conceptualize and measure economic and health impacts, suggests effective funding strategies, and includes Critical Analysis of Economic Impact Methodologies. The report features original qualitative research in case studies of five diverse communities nationally.
Whole Farm Management Course for Beginning Farmers Offered Online
Oregon State University Small Farms Program's course Growing Farms: Successful Whole Farm Management is now available nationally online. The course is intended for people who are considering starting a farm business, those within their first five years of farming, and others who may be considering major changes to their farm business.
The self-paced, online course runs from June 30, 2015, through October 31, 2015.
Guide Offered for Food Hubs Selling to Restaurants
Local Food Marketplace has released a free online whitepaper, Food Hub's Guide on Selling to Restaurants. The publication covers best practices for whom to approach, developing a marketing plan, planning for growth, and a list of dos and don'ts.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Restaurants
New Report from The Organic Center Examines How Organic Farming Supports Pollinator Health
The Organic Center's new report, The Role of Organic in Supporting Pollinator Health, compiles results from more than 70 peer-reviewed studies, demonstrating that organic farming has an important role to play in supporting the health of pollinators. Studies showed that organic farming practices alleviate many threats to honey bees and that organic farms support significantly more pollinators.
Land Management Practices Key to Carbon Retention as Biofuel Use Grows
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory recently published a study showing the importance of land management practices as cellulosic materials become more heavily used as ethanol feedstock. This study's modeling showed that increased use of residues for ethanol production could significantly reduce soil carbon-storage capability, as well as plant productivity.
Related ATTRA Publication: An Introduction to Bioenergy: Feedstocks, Processes and Products
Mapping Project Shows Most Americans Could Eat Locally
A farmland-mapping project by University of California, Merced Professor Elliott Campbell explored the potential of every American city to obtain food locally. The results indicate that more than 90% of U.S. residents could eat food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes.
>> More Breaking News
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Specialty Crop Research Initiative
Through the Specialty Crop Research Initiative, USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture addresses the critical needs of the specialty-crop industry. Grants support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food-production systems.
An estimated $49 million in matching funding is available.
Applications are due by July 2, 2015.
Food and Farm Communications Fund
The Food and Farm Communications Fund offers grants to non-profit organizations for creative, innovative, and out-of the-box forms of communication that help make clear the links between domestic and global food systems and their implications and that make clear the links between farms and their cultures and landscapes. Grants from $10,000 to $100,000 are available.
A letter of inquiry is due by July 1, 2015.
Northeast SARE Research and Education Grants
Northeast SARE seeks proposals for research, education, and on-farm demonstration projects. The emphasis is on projects that lead directly to improved farming practices and an enhanced quality of life for farmers and rural communities. Projects must involve farmers and other stakeholders. Awards typically range from $30,000 to $200,000.
Pre-proposals are due by June 30, 2015.
>> More Funding Opportunities
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Annual Soil and Water Conservation Society Conference
July 26-29, 2015
Greensboro, North Carolina
"Coming Home to Conservation: Putting Science into Practice" includes plenary, concurrent, and poster sessions, as well as conservation tours and technical workshops on critical, current issues facing soil, water, and environmental sustainability.
Northern Nut Growers Association Annual Meeting
July 26-29, 2015
La Crosse, Wisconsin
NNGA is partnering with UW-Extension, the UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, and the Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development Initiative in organizing this 106th annual meeting. The
meeting will feature technical sessions with a focus on perennial polycultures, hazelnuts, and the business of processing and marketing nuts. It will also feature talks on a wide range of nut-growing topics and a tour.
Pagosa Verde Symposium: Community Benefits of Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture
August 27-28, 2015
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
This annual symposium focuses on direct-use geothermal and other technologies. Keynote speakers and expert panelists will emphasize sustainable economic diversity. Participants can look forward to discussion of Colorado's conservation of natural resources, renewable energy projects, and 21st century agriculture.
>> More Events
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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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