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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 20, 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

  • New England Farmland Finder Website Unveiled
  • Vitamin D Tested as Mastitis Treatment for Dairy Cattle
  • Dryland Organic Agriculture Symposium Recordings Online
  • USDA Expands Biomass Crop Assistance Program Acreage
  • Sustainable Commercial Greenhouse Production Curriculum Available
  • Grassroots Campaign Protects North Carolina Salad Greens Market

Funding Opportunities

  • Rural Business Opportunity Grants
  • Rural Cooperative Development Grants
  • Iowa Watershed Improvement Fund Grants

Coming Events

  • Planning for Profit: Marketing and Financial Management for New Farmers
  • Rodale Institute Annual Field Day
  • Northern Nut Growers Association Annual Meeting

News & Resources

New England Farmland Finder Website Unveiled
New England Farmland Finder website is a free, simple, up-to-date farm property clearinghouse that helps farmers and landowners find each other. Landowners, farm seekers, and real estate agents are encouraged to visit the site to post or search for farm properties and to check out the resources. The website is part of a region-wide USDA-funded project on farmland access directed by Land For Good.
Related ATTRA Publication: Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

Vitamin D Tested as Mastitis Treatment for Dairy Cattle
Scientists at USDA Agricultural Research Service have discovered that vitamin D may offer an alternative treatment for mastitis, instead of antibiotics. Cows were given vitamin D by infusion directly into the infected quarter of the mammary gland. Researchers found a significant reduction in bacterial counts and fewer clinical signs of severe infection in cows treated with vitamin D. In addition, vitamin D has the potential to decrease other bacterial and viral diseases.

Dryland Organic Agriculture Symposium Recordings Online
At the Tilth Producers of Washington Conference in November 2011, Washington State University hosted a Dryland Organic Agriculture Symposium. The presentations and keynote from that symposium were recorded and are now available for online viewing.

USDA Expands Biomass Crop Assistance Program Acreage
USDA has announced $9.6 million in funding for the creation of two new Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) project areas in New York and North Carolina and the expansion of an already-established BCAP project area in Arkansas. BCAP helps farmers and forest landowners with start-up costs of planting new energy crops that can take several years to reach maturity.

Sustainable Commercial Greenhouse Production Curriculum Available
Through a Western SARE grant, Steven Newman at Colorado State University has developed Small Scale Commercial Greenhouse Production, a blended course designed for county extension agents and new greenhouse professionals. The topics covered by the course include greenhouse design and construction, production, and pest and disease control.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Greenhouse Tomato Production

Grassroots Campaign Protects North Carolina Salad Greens Market
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association announces that after it led a grassroots campaign, the state of North Carolina has decided not to impose industrial-scale food safety rules on small farms selling direct to restaurants. North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) proposed a Food Code that treated raw leafy greens cut from farmers' fields as a ‘hazardous food' that had to be delivered to restaurants at 41 degrees F. After public outcry, DHHS ruled that harvesting leafy greens in the field by cutting them did not make them a hazardous food.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Rural Business Opportunity Grants
USDA's Rural Business Opportunity Grants program promotes sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs. Public bodies, nonprofit corporations, Indian tribes, institutions of higher education, and rural cooperatives are eligible to apply for up to $50,000.
Application deadline is August 6, 2012.

Rural Cooperative Development Grants
USDA's Rural Cooperative Development Grants program assists individuals or entities in the startup, expansion, or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other business entities. Grants are awarded to nonprofit corporations or institutions of higher education to operate Rural Cooperative Development Centers that in turn provide technical assistance to individuals and entities.
Application deadline is August 6, 2012.

Iowa Watershed Improvement Fund Grants
Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board is offering grants up to $100,000 for water quality improvement and flood prevention, on a watershed basis. Soil and water conservation districts, public water supply utilities, counties, county conservation boards, cities, and local watershed improvement committees are eligible to apply.
Applications must be received by July 27, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Planning for Profit: Marketing and Financial Management for New Farmers
July 12, 13, 25, 22, 23, or 24, 2012
Cedar Falls, Iowa; East Troy, Wisconsin; Farmington, Minnesota; Farmington, Minnesota; Decorah, Iowa; or Council Bluffs, Iowa

USDA Risk Management Agency and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) present a workshop in numerous locations for returning veterans and others interested in starting a career in farming. Participants will learn how to develop the business side of starting an entrepreneurial, diversified farm. Wisconsin and Minnesota workshops include a farm tour. For more information or to register, contact NCAT at 515-288-0460 or email hannahl@ncat.org .

Rodale Institute Annual Field Day
July 20, 2012
Kutztown, Pennsylvania

This annual one-day organic farming event for farmers and agricultural professionals presents information and research results from Rodale Institute and partner nonprofit organizations, land-grant universities, and governmental institutions.

Northern Nut Growers Association Annual Meeting
July 22-25, 2012
Lexington, Kentucky

Technical presentations and an all-day field trip provide information on producing and marketing pecans, Persian and black walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts, almonds, persimmons, and pawpaws.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2012 NCAT

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