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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 27, 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

  • ERS Report Evaluates Slaughter and Processing Options for Locally Sourced Meat
  • Farmers Market Inspiration Award Entries Invited
  • Rural Energy for America Program Grant Awards Announced
  • USDA Seeks Nominations for NOSB Vacancy
  • Farm to Preschool Website Launched, Seeks Programs through Survey
  • Kentucky Farm to School Resource Guide and Curriculum Unveiled

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE Research and Education Grants
  • Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program
  • Maryland Cover Crop Program

Coming Events

  • Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference
  • Friends of the Farmer Festival
  • Specialty Cut Flowers - Growing Your Business

News & Resources

ERS Report Evaluates Slaughter and Processing Options for Locally Sourced Meat
USDA Economic Research Service has released Slaughter and Processing Options and Issues for Locally Sourced Meat. This report evaluates the availability of slaughter and processing facilities for local meat production and the extent to which these may constrain or support growth in demand for locally sourced meats. The 24-page report is available online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Meat Plants: Improving Profitability in Small and Very Small Operations

Farmers Market Inspiration Award Entries Invited
The Farmers Market Coalition announces the Farmers Market Inspiration Award, designed to reward and showcase the variety of ways farmers markets benefit communities. The contest is seeking essays written by farmers/producers that depict concrete examples of farmers market impacts. A $1,000 cash prize will be awarded. Entries will be accepted until August 11, 2012.

Rural Energy for America Program Grant Awards Announced
USDA has selected 450 projects nationwide for funding through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). The projects are focused on helping agricultural producers and rural small businesses reduce energy consumption and costs; use renewable energy technologies in their operations; and/or conduct feasibility studies for renewable energy projects. A complete listing of recipients is available online.

USDA Seeks Nominations for NOSB Vacancy
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking nominations to fill a vacancy beginning January 2013 for a resource conservationist on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Nominations are being accepted until July 30, 2012.

Farm to Preschool Website Launched, Seeks Programs through Survey
The National Farm to School Network has launched a Farm to Preschool website designed to function as a clearinghouse of resources from programs around the country and as a means to network with existing and emerging efforts. The group is conducting an online survey of preschool, early care, or educational activities that could be considered "Farm to Preschool." One survey respondent will be selected at random from those completed by June 30, 2012, to receive a $500 prize.

Kentucky Farm to School Resource Guide and Curriculum Unveiled
The Kentucky Department for Public Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Education, and the University of Kentucky have unveiled a new Farm to School resource guide and curriculum. The guide will assist school personnel as well as local farmers as they work to establish Farm to School programs in their communities. The classroom curriculum helps students recognize the sources of their foods, understand the importance of thriving agricultural businesses, and increase consumption of locally produced food.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE Research and Education Grants
The Research and Education program funds outcome-based projects offering research, education, and demonstration projects that benefit farmers and explore new sustainable farm practices. Projects should be directed toward research results that will translate quickly into farmer benefit, and farmers, extension staff, and other stakeholders should be involved in planning project content.
Deadline for preproposals is July 31, 2012.

Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for approximately $3.24 million in funding through the Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postdoctoral Fellowship Grants Program. The grants provide traineeship programs to eligible institutions for meeting the national need to develop scientific and professional expertise in food and agricultural sciences, through graduate-level training programs. Priority areas include climate change and sustainable bioenergy.
Applications are due by August 15, 2012.

Maryland Cover Crop Program
The Maryland Department of Agriculture provides farmers with grants to plant cover crops on their fields in the fall, after summer crops are harvested. Farmers who plant traditional cover crops receive a base rate of $45/acre and up to $55/acre in add-on incentives for using highly valued planting practices. Harvested cover crops qualify for $25/acre with a bonus payment of $10/acre if rye is used as the cover crop.
The deadline to sign up for the program is July 16, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference
July 27-29, 2012
Kissimmee, Florida

Through concurrent educational sessions, the annual conference provides opportunities to learn about groundbreaking research and access educational support on topics such as operating sustainable and profitable enterprises.

Friends of the Farmer Festival
July 28, 2012
Copake Lake, New York

This festival for Hudson Valley food lovers offers opportunities to connect with farmers, to find and enjoy local food, and to meet and learn from the people and the local farms who make it all possible.

Specialty Cut Flowers - Growing Your Business
July 30, 2012
Dayton and Carson City, Nevada

Western Nevada College Specialty Crop Institute presents a day-long workshop. The tour portion will emphasize proper harvest techniques for cut flowers and best practices for post-harvest handling. The classroom lecture focuses on the opportunities and challenges of a local specialty cut flower business, including production and marketing.

>> More Events

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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.

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© 2012 NCAT

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