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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter


Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 23, 2010
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.

News & Resources
* USDA Seeks Input on Agricultural Renewable Energy Use
* Beginning Farmer Fact Sheet Available
* NSAC Releases Conservation Program Fact Sheet
* Program to Help Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers
* Small Farms Program Seeks Input From Beginning Farmers
* Podcasts Available for Dairy Farmers


Funding Opportunities
* Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program
* New Hampshire Conservation Innovation Grant
* 50 States for Good Grant


Coming Events
* Late Blight Webinar
* Northeast Permaculture Convergence
* Heritage Wheat Field Day



News & Resources

USDA Seeks Input on Agricultural Renewable Energy Use
WASHINGTON, June 21, 2010 - The Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is seeking stakeholder input as it develops an annual program to collect and publish data about agriculture's production and use of renewable energy.

Beginning Farmer Fact Sheet Available
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) has released a new fact sheet, So You Want to Start a Farm?. This 12-page booklet features a variety of resources for the beginning or aspiring organic farmer. It discusses how to define your basic goals, available training programs and field days, financing, marketing, licensing requirements, and finally how to find a place to farm.

NSAC Releases Conservation Program Fact Sheet
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has issued a new five page fact sheet (PDF/176KB) on the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The fact sheet reflects changes to the program made under the final rule issued on June 3, 2010 by USDA as well as other administrative changes affecting the current sign up now under way. Farmers and ranchers wanting to enroll in the Conservation Stewardship Program have until June 25th to file a simple application form with their local NRCS office.

Program to Help Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers
American farmers and ranchers outside the 48 contiguous United States who experience high transportation costs will soon see relief through funding authorized through the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill). The payments announced today through the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are intended to offset a portion of the costs of transporting agricultural inputs and products over long distances. The Reimbursement Transportation Cost Payment Program for Geographically Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers (RTCP) assists farmers and ranchers in Alaska, Hawaii, and areas including the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands and Republic of Palau who paid to transport either an agricultural commodity or an input used to produce an agricultural commodity.

Small Farms Program Seeks Input From Beginning Farmers
Cornell’s Beginning Farmer Education Enhancement team needs your help prioritizing the challenges and needs of new farmers after their start-up. This effort is directed at the entire Northeast Region and is an attempt to capture as broad and diverse a beginning farmer sample as possible. Please complete this survey and share it with other farmers. The items in the survey were generated by farmers and Beginning Farmer service providers. Getting more input from both audiences on prioritizing the items is absolutely critical. Results from this survey will be used by economic, production and social researchers to guide their efforts toward solving the highest priority beginning farmer problems.

Podcasts Available for Dairy Farmers
Dairy farmers soon will have podcasts as a new resource for industry information from Purdue University. "Purdue Dairy Digest," a podcast series created by three Purdue Extension animal science specialists, will be available for free download by noon each Wednesday beginning June 16. Each podcast will run about two minutes and will include both information directed to dairy farmers and some general information for the public. Podcasts will include information on general dairy topics, management issues, animal welfare, updates on upcoming conferences and meetings and more.

> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program
The goal of this program is to support rural and urban farming, gardening and food system partnerships that work with refugee families. These programs should help the families improve their incomes, diet, and integration into American society. Applications are expected to combine elements of food production, training, land access, financing, and partnership development, with attention to client culture, language and literacy. Projects may incorporate the goal of having an adequate supply of healthy food in a community.
Proposals are due July 12, 2010.

New Hampshire Conservation Innovation Grant
The New Hampshire State Office of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) requests applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applications will be accepted from any eligible entity for projects within the State of New Hampshire. Funds will be awarded through a statewide competitive grants process. Applications are requested from eligible government or non-government organizations or individuals within the State of New Hampshire for competitive consideration of grant awards for projects between one and three years in duration. There are two CIG components available in FY2010: (1) Natural Resource Concerns Component, and (2) Technology Component.
Proposals are due July 2, 2010.

50 States for Good Grant
50 States for Good is a national initiative to support the goodness behind grassroots community projects and we need you to nominate and vote for your favorites. Five organizations will share in our $100,000 sponsorship fund. Project must have a positive impact on the community in 1 of 3 areas: environmental goodness, healthy human goodness and animal goodness.
Proposals are due July 2, 2010.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Late Blight Webinar
July 1, 2010
8 p.m. EST, 7 p.m. CST, 6 p.m. MST, 5 p.m., PST

Late blight is a serious disease of potato and tomato family (Solanaceous) crops worldwide that reached epidemic proportions on U.S. farms in 2009. Join eOrganic presenters Dr. Sally Miller of Ohio State University and Dr. Meg McGrath of Cornell University for a free Webinar to learn about the state of late blight in 2010, the late blight disease cycle, how to scout and diagnose the disease, and how to manage late blight on your organic farm.

Northeast Permaculture Convergence
July 2-4, 2010
Unity, Maine
The 6th Annual Northeast Permaculture Convergence continues the tradition of bringing the community together to share, learn, collaborate and celebrate! We expect to offer sessions ranging from "new-to-permaculture" workshops up through advanced permaculture strategies. Special kids and wellness areas are planned also!


Heritage Wheat Field Day
July 7, 2010
Deerfield, Massachusetts

Discover almost-lost heritage wheats that thrive in organic soils. Learn how to integrate small grains in a diversified rotation. Share practical experiences to build a local wheat-to-bread system. Taste high nutrition einkorn bread that is safe for many gluten allergies.


> More Events

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Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

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.

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