Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - June 27, 2018
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.
Join the NCAT Team!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist who can make an immediate contribution to our efforts to promote soil health, water conservation, and better grazing management in Texas, New Mexico, and the Southwest. The position will be located in NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. Applications will be accepted through July 27, 2018, or until suitable candidates can be identified. Learn more.
News & Resources
- NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm in Arkansas
- USDA Announces Farm to School Grant Awards
- Duke Study Finds Agrochemical Nanoparticles Could Contribute to Algae Outbreaks
- Life Cycle Analysis Shows Mustard Cover Crops Climate Friendly
- Year-Long Direct Farm Marketer Webinar Series Launches
- Farm Aid Announces Connecticut as Site of 2018 Music and Food Festival
- Pulling Together Initiative
- Cedar Tree Foundation Regenerative Grazing Initiative
- Outreach and Technical Workshop Activities in Alabama
- Soil Sisters
- Mother Earth News Fair
- FAMACHA and Integrated Parasite Management Workshop in Wyoming
News & Resources
NCAT Accepting Applications for Armed to Farm in Arkansas
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is accepting applications for its week-long Armed to Farm (ATF) training in Fayetteville, Arkansas, to be held October 1-5, 2018. ATF allows military veterans and their spouses to experience sustainable, profitable small-scale farming enterprises and explore agriculture as a viable career, through farm tours, hands-on experience, and interactive classroom instruction. Applications are due by August 10, 2018.
USDA Announces Farm to School Grant Awards
USDA Food and Nutrition Service has announced the award of $5.2 million in grants through the USDA Farm to School Program to 73 projects across 43 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Farm to School Grants may be used for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, cultivating partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs.
Duke Study Finds Agrochemical Nanoparticles Could Contribute to Algae Outbreaks
A study led by Duke University found that nanomaterials in agrochemicals can combine with nutrient runoff to create more toxic algae outbreaks in local surface water. Nanomaterials are commonly used in slow- or controlled-release plant fertilizers and pesticides. These nanoparticles and other "metal-based synthetic chemicals may be playing an under-appreciated role in the global trends of increasing eutrophication," the researchers said.
Life Cycle Analysis Shows Mustard Cover Crops Climate Friendly
Washington farmer Dale Gies uses a mustard and arugula "biofumigant" cover crop to help manage soilborne pests and improve soil quality. A life cycle analysis by researchers from Washington State University found that the mustard-cover-crop approach generated 625 pounds of CO2 equivalent per acre less than the conventional approach and increased soil organic matter. The Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources has posted a five-minute video in which Gies describes his cover-crop system.
Year-Long Direct Farm Marketer Webinar Series Launches
The University of Tennessee Center for Profitable Agriculture is offering a year-long series of monthly one-hour webinars for direct farm marketers, beginning June 26, 2018. Free webinars will be held the fourth Tuesday of each month and will help direct farm marketers learn about online tools and strategies to improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.
Related ATTRA Webinar: Using Social Media to Grow Your Farm Business
Farm Aid Announces Connecticut as Site of 2018 Music and Food Festival
Farm Aid's annual music and food festival will come to Hartford, Connecticut, on September 22, 2018. Farm Aid 2018 will feature performances by board members Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, and Dave Matthews, as well as many other artists. Festivalgoers will experience family-farm agriculture firsthand via HOMEGROWN Concessions® and the HOMEGROWN Village, which features hands-on activities about soil, water, energy, food, and farming.
>>More Breaking News
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Pulling Together Initiative
The Pulling Together Initiative is inviting applications for $420,000 in competitive grant funding to promote the conservation of natural habitats by preventing, managing, or eradicating invasive and noxious plant species. In 2018, the program will award grants to develop or advance Cooperative Weed Management Areas, Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas, and Partnerships for Regional Invasive Species Management within the sagebrush ecosystem. Priority will be given to projects occurring in sagebrush habitat in the following states: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
Pre-proposals are due July 10, 2018.
Cedar Tree Foundation Regenerative Grazing Initiative
A national program of the Cedar Tree Foundation, the Regenerative Grazing Initiative will provide significant support to a small number of not-for-profit organizations that are expanding the adoption of regenerative grazing practices. In 2018, grantmaking for this initiative will focus on the following states: Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, North Dakota; Oklahoma and Missouri; and the Northeast. Cedar Tree plans to award three to four grants between $100,000 and $160,000 per year for three years each, with the possibility of renewal.
Letters of inquiry are due by August 8, 2018.
Outreach and Technical Workshop Activities in Alabama
The Natural Resources Conservation Service in Alabama is requesting applications to provide outreach and technical workshops. The objective of the program is to provide technical assistance to private landowners and landusers in conservation planning and contracting, design, layout, and installation of conservation practices. Applications are requested for cooperative agreement awards up to $50,000 each.
Applications are due by July 27, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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August 3-5, 2018
Monroe, New Glarus, Blanchardville, and Brodhead, Wisconsin
Involving numerous women-owned farms, the Soil Sisters event celebrates Wisconsin's family farms and rural life with culinary events, workshops, and activities.
Mother Earth News Fair
August 4-5, 2018
This weekend event offers numerous expert speakers on sustainability, as well as workshops on livestock, homesteading, food, and energy.
FAMACHA and Integrated Parasite Management Workshop in Wyoming
August 1, 2018
Dave Scott, NCAT agriculture specialist and owner of Montana Highland Lamb, and Dr. Whit Stewart, University of Wyoming Extension sheep specialist, will teach sheep producers, educators, and students about combating Barber Pole worm, FAMACHA eye scoring, creating refugias, genetic selection, and grazing methods that help control parasites.
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ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
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