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Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 22, 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
* Decision to Strip Organic Label from Personal Care Products Disappoints Producers and Consumers
* Seed Production Guide for Organic Brassicas Available Online
* Folklife Festival to Feature Food Culture
* Pennsylvania Promoting State Dairy Industry
* New Anaerobic Digester Technology Installed
* Wisconsin Governor Appoints Consortium on Biobased Industry

Funding Opportunities
* EPA Region 9 Food Quality Protection Act / Strategic Agricultural Initiative Grant Program
* Western IPM Center Work Group Grants
* Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants

Coming Events
* Grassfed Beef Production School
* Grazing Lands Dollar$ and Cent$
* Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Summer Field Days Event


News & Resources

Decision to Strip Organic Label from Personal Care Products Disappoints Producers and Consumers
USDA's recent decision not to allow its organic label to appear on personal care products has disappointed some producers and consumers, according to an Associated Press article that appeared in The Journal Gazette. Producers who paid to have their products certified are disappointed by the ruling, and say they will lose an important niche market. Consumers who rely on the organic label as an indication of what a product contains and how it is produced are also disappointed that the label will no longer appear on soaps, lotions and balms. The Organic Consumers Association has asked USDA to reconsider the decision, pointing out that “certified organic olive oil does not magically become non-organic if it is used as a massage oil instead of on a salad.”
URL: http://www.fortwayne.com/mld/journalgazette/business/11899786.htm

Seed Production Guide for Organic Brassicas Available Online
The Saving Our Seed Project announces the publication of the Organic Brassica Seed Production Guide. This is number five in a series of seed production manuals that Saving Our Seed created in response to the limited availability of organic and open pollinated heirloom seed. The organic agriculture movement has seen negative impacts due to this shortage, but Save our Seed is working to increase the availability of regionally adapted, open pollinated, certified organic seed and to develop a Southern seed network. The Organic Brassica Seed Production Guide is a 24-page guide providing a detailed reference for production for organic broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, collard, kale, mustard, and Brussels sprout seeds in the Southeast. The other four guides already produced include: The Bean Seed Production Manual; The Tomato Seed Production Manual; The Isolation Distance Guide; and The Seed Processing and Storage Manual. All are available free online with response to a brief survey.
URL: http://www.savingourseed.org/

Folklife Festival to Feature Food Culture
The 39th Annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a free event held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., June 23-27 and June 30 - July 4, will feature Food Culture USA this year. The program celebrates the extraordinary story of the American food revolution of the last 40 years. The program focuses on three of its driving forces: the immigration that has introduced new foods and tastes to American cooking, the grassroots movement for sustainable agriculture and its connection with traditional methods of growing, and the role that chefs and cooks as tradition-bearers have played in encouraging appreciation for the great variety of American foodways. One of the venues for events is a model Edible Schoolyard set up as part of the festival. Individual sessions scheduled include "Sustainable Growing," "Sustainability and Marketing," and many more.
URL: http://www.folklife.si.edu/festival/2005/Food/index.html

Pennsylvania Promoting State Dairy Industry
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is promoting its dairy industry through a new Web site, slogan and brochure, reports Pennsylvania Ag Connection. Dairy industry members are being urged to increase their productivity by 10 percent or more with the slogan "Top 10!" Meanwhile a new brochure, "Cash Cow," is designed to educate the public about the importance of the dairy industry in the state. Copies of the brochure are available in print, or electronically on the new Center for Dairy Excellence Web site. The site is designed as a conduit for information and resources needed to help improve the dairy industry productivity and profitability.
URL: http://www.pennsylvaniaagconnection.com/

New Anaerobic Digester Technology Installed
An anaerobic digester using a Danish technology has been installed at a Wisconsin dairy, according to Mass High Tech. The facility, designed and constructed by Microgy Inc., is the first in the United States to use the technology, which the company says produces substantially more electricity from a given quantity of animal and organic wastes than any other anaerobic digester system installed in the United States. From the waste of about 800 milk cows at Five Star Dairy, the system is projected to generate approximately 6.5 million kilowatt hours annually, or enough to supply 600 homes.
URL: http://www.masshightech.com/displayarticledetail.asp?Art_ID=68922

Wisconsin Governor Appoints Consortium on Biobased Industry
Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle has appointed a group of state citizens to the Consortium on Biobased Industry to prepare a roadmap and recommendations on how best to support the development of renewable fuels and energy and bio-based products in Wisconsin." My vision is to make Wisconsin a leader in the emerging bioeconomy," said Governor Doyle. "Virtually everything that can be made from petrochemicals can be made from plants." The consortium brings together farmers and foresters, ethanol manufacturers, energy experts, researchers and entrepreneurs to position Wisconsin to be a leader in the emerging bio-economy.
URL: http://www.wisgov.state.wi.us/journal_media_detail.asp?prid=1186

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

EPA Region 9 Food Quality Protection Act / Strategic Agricultural Initiative Grant Program
EPA Region 9 is soliciting proposals to help implement the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) and to support efforts by the agricultural community to “transition” away from high risk pesticides to lower risk pesticides and sustainable practices in food production. The program supports grants for education, extension, demonstration, and implementation projects for FQPA transition and reduced-risk practices for pest management in agriculture. The EPA Region 9 Strategic Agricultural Initiative anticipates having approximately $92,000 in 2005 to award to eligible applicants. Grant funds are available to public and private non-profit organizations, including commodity groups/associations, farmers groups, individual farmers, State agencies, Tribes, local governments, universities and colleges. The project(s) to be awarded under this competition must be performed in EPA Region 9, which includes California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii and the Pacific Trust Islands. Proposals must be received by August 8, 2005.
URL: http://www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/EPA/OGD/GAD/

Western IPM Center Work Group Grants
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center (WIPMC) announces the availability of funds and requests proposals for Work Groups that support the Western Integrated Pest Management Center. Competitive proposals are solicited from self-establishing multi-state work groups to address information, resource, and research needs in region-wide or broad area categories including: minor crops, major crops, non-crop areas, IPM metrics and/or impact assessments, urban IPM, cropping systems, geographical, school IPM and other issues. Funding for individual projects is expected to be in the range of $5,000 to $10,000 annually. Proposals are limited to the following states and territories: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam and Northern Marianas. Proposals are due by August 4, 2005.
URL: http://www.wripmc.org/Research/wipmcrfas05.html#WORKGROUPS

Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants
The Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program announces the call for Farmer/Rancher Grant proposals for 2006. With a Farmer/Rancher Grant, one or more agricultural producers develop a proposal to conduct research and/or on-farm demonstrations and educational outreach in an area of sustainable agriculture with assistance from an agricultural or natural resource professional, who serves as a technical advisor. The goal is to achieve results that can be communicated to producers and professionals - information that can improve income, the environment, communities, and quality of life for all citizens. The Western SARE Region includes Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Micronesia, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Proposals are due by 5:00 p.m. MST on December 12, 2005.
URL: http://wsare.usu.edu/grants/

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

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Coming Events

Grassfed Beef Production School
July 20-21, 2005
Jackson, Mississippi

The Stockman Grass Farmer School is devised to show you how to incrementally creep into grassfed beef production while preserving the commodity market as a market outlet. This school is designed to give you a simple step-by-step approach to get you from where you are today to where you want to be with a minimum of financial risk or investment.
URL: http://www.stockmangrassfarmer.com/sgf/events.html

Grazing Lands Dollar$ and Cent$
August 5-6, 2005
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

This event sponsored by the Oklahoma Grazing Lands Conservation Association includes presentations, field breakout sessions and a tour. Allan Savory presents several sessions on "Using Livestock to Reverse Land Degradation."
URL: http://www.okgrazinglands.org/conference04/2005oglcaagenda.htm

Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Summer Field Days Event
August 12-13, 2005
Nichols, New York

The agenda for this event includes farm field trips, presentations and workshops, and the NODPA Annual Producer Meeting and Dinner. Topics to be covered include weed management, once-a-day milking, soil fertility and livestock health care.
URL: http://www.nodpa.com/

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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