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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 24, 2020

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

  • NCAT Commits to Racial Justice
  • Nursery, Greenhouse, and Cut-Flower Growers Invited to Participate in COVID-19 Impact Survey
  • SARE Publishes Free Book on Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast
  • Farm Aid Launches Farmer Resilience Initiative
  • Conservation Agricultural Mentoring Program Matches NRCS Employees with Experienced Producers
  • National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Sustainable Agricultural Systems Awards

Funding Opportunities

  • Minnesota Safe on the Farm Direct Marketing Cost Share Program
  • Mississippi Conservation Delivery Technical Assistance
  • Pennsylvania Conservation Excellence Grants

Coming Events

  • Aging on the Farm Online Community Forum
  • Farms to Food Banks
  • Biodiversity and Profitability on Organic Farms—Environmental and Economic Benefits of Organic Practices

News & Resources

NCAT Commits to Racial Justice
The National Center for Appropriate Technology's (NCAT) Executive Director Steve Thompson issued a message on the organization's commitment to racial justice. He writes, "We acknowledge that NCAT needs to do more to address the root causes of racial injustice. We stand with those who peacefully protest the continuing American legacy of racism and institutional violence. We pledge to do more to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion in our offices across America."

Nursery, Greenhouse, and Cut-Flower Growers Invited to Participate in COVID-19 Impact Survey
Cornell Cooperative Extension is inviting nursery/greenhouse/cut-flower growers who have been impacted by COVID-19 market disruptions to complete a survey that may help them qualify for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) farm disaster funding. USDA is seeking information to determine if these industries were affected by COVID-19 market impacts and are eligible for CFAP.

SARE Publishes Free Book on Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has released an online book, Conservation Tillage Systems in the Southeast. It explores the importance of conservation tillage and provides in-depth management guidance to help farmers control erosion and build soil quality. Its emphasis is on the use of conservation tillage in rotations of agronomic crops and cover crops typical of the Southeast.

Farm Aid Launches Farmer Resilience Initiative
Farm Aid announced that it is distributing $400,000 to launch a national COVID-19 Farmer Resilience Initiative. As part of the initiative, Farm Aid, with the help of local and regional partners, is distributing $500 grants to help farmers meet household expenses. In addition to the grants, Farm Aid is providing resources from its national partners. The initiative includes a number of measures designed to support farmers.

Conservation Agricultural Mentoring Program Matches NRCS Employees with Experienced Producers
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has launched a Conservation Agricultural Mentoring Program that matches an experienced producer passionate about conservation with an NRCS field employee new to the job or area. The employee will go out on the land with the mentor six to 12 times to learn about common agricultural practices, local concerns, and how producers use conservation measures. More information is available online, and interested producers can contact local coordinators to become mentors.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture Announces Sustainable Agricultural Systems Awards
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced the award of $90 million for nine projects through the Sustainable Agricultural Systems program. The awards will support projects on improved practices in poultry production, sustainable shellfish farming, efficient water use, perennial grain, and improvements in the value chain of biofuel production. Summaries of the projects are available online.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Minnesota Safe on the Farm Direct Marketing Cost Share Program
This program provides financial assistance to Minnesota U-Pick Operations, On-Farm Markets, and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms to purchase supplies and equipment to prepare for safe sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota Department of Agriculture encourages pick-your-own berry farms, apple orchards, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, CSA farms, and on-site farm stands to apply. To be eligible, you must be or become a Minnesota Grown member.
Applications will be accepted until August 31, 2020, or until all funds are gone, whichever is first.

Mississippi Conservation Delivery Technical Assistance
The Mississippi State Office of the Natural Resources Conservation Service is seeking support from natural resource conservation partners to work together to help enhance conservation delivery in Mississippi. Approximately $4 million will be awarded. Objectives, eligibility criteria, and application instructions are available online.
Applications are due by July 8, 2020.

Pennsylvania Conservation Excellence Grants
Lancaster and York County farmers are invited to apply for up to $250,000 in Conservation Excellence Grants. The program funds on-farm measures that reduce erosion and run-off, improving soil and water quality. Some examples include fencing to keep livestock out of streams, streambank restoration, cover crops, planted streamside buffers to filter nutrients out of streams, manure storage, and comprehensive plans to manage nutrients, control erosion, and conserve soil and water.
Applications will be accepted beginning July 1, 2020, and evaluated on a first-come, first-served basis.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Aging on the Farm Online Community Forum
June 30, 2020
Online
Upper Midwest Agricultural Safety and Health Center and the Center on Aging in the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health are hosting a series of online forums intended to engage community and health-related organizations and community members on the topic of aging in place for the agricultural workforce. This forum is for North Dakota and western Minnesota.

Farms to Food Banks
June 30, 2020
Online

This webinar from the Ecological Farming Association will explore farm to food bank programs and how farmers are participating, as well as the implications of these efforts for USDA nutrition policy and programs. A moderator will ask questions of speakers, followed by Q&A with attendees.

Biodiversity and Profitability on Organic Farms—Environmental and Economic Benefits of Organic Practices
July 1, 2020
Online
The Organic Center is presenting this webinar. Join two senior authors of a recently published meta-analysis to learn more about the environmental and economic benefits of using organic practices.

>>More Events

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