Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - June 30, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Vegetable Auction Provides New Market
* Idaho Farmer Turns to Wind Power with Help from 2002 Farm Bill
* Study Considers Organic Transitions for Farmers Near Cities
* Pub Looks at Organic Agriculture Potential Regarding Climate Change
* Grass Farmer Shares His Story at Field Day
* Hopi Symposium Encourages Traditional Agriculture
* NRI Grants for Small Farms and Rural Ag Communities
* Northeast Region SARE Farmer/Grower Grant Program
* Connecticut Farm Reinvestment (Enhancement) Grant Program
* Integrating Poultry, Grapes and Sweet Corn Field Day
* New Farmers, Old Land, Cattle and a Plan Workshop
* Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture Fair
News & Resources
Vegetable Auction Provides New Market
Amish farmers in Illinois have developed a way to profitably dispose of excess produce, according to Illinois Ag Connection. Farmers who don't have enough traffic past their farms to maintain a roadside stand, or who have just a few surplus vegetables, or can't access farmers' markets, now have the option of selling their produce at a twice-weekly vegetable auction. Shoppers at the auction include other farmers looking to supplement their own retail offerings, as well as restaurant buyers and individuals. The vegetable auction is operated by a 30-member farmer cooperative.
URL : http://www.illinoisagconnection.com/story-state.cfm?Id=501&yr=2004
Idaho Farmer Turns to Wind Power with Help from 2002 Farm Bill
The Capital Press reports that a grower in Burley, Idaho has installed a 20 kilowatt, net-metered wind turbine on his farm with a $10,000 grant funded through the 2002 Farm Bill. The grower, Leroy Jarolimek, says the project powers his farm house and shop, thus saving him an estimated $2500 a year. Inspired by wind's potential, Jarolimek has rented out his farmland to other growers in order to devote his energies to developing a 10 megawatt wind power project, which has received an additional $20,000 from the USDA for a feasibility study. " We're ranked 13th in the nation for wind potential, and we don't have one large wind project in the state," he said. "It's something that can be harvested annually without putting fuel in a tractor to do it," he said.
Study Considers Organic Transitions for Farmers Near Cities
A four-year study at Ohio State University is now in its second year of evaluating methods peri-urban farmers can use to switch to organic production, says Ohio Ag Connection. The Organic Food and Farming Education and Research scientists conducting the study will speak at a July 1 field day. While farmers near cities have easy access to relatively large markets, land prices are high and proximity to residents may inhibit agricultural chemical use. Organic production, with its price premiums and decreased chemical use, could be a solution for these farmers. The transition period can be challenging for farmers, however, and this project aims to ease that transition by evaluating the economic and environmental impacts of different transition strategies to identify which would be best for a particular farm operation.
Pub Looks at Organic Agriculture Potential Regarding Climate Change
IFOAM, the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, says in a statement that a study it commissioned shows that organic agriculture can play a role both in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and in sequestering carbon. According to the study, organic agriculture can significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions because soil fertitlity is maintained through on-farm inputs, synthetic fertilizers aren't used, and external animal feeds are limited. In addition, the study says organic agriculture has a particular sequestration potential as it follows the key principle of tight nutrient and energy cycles through organic matter management in soils. The Role of Organic Agriculture in Mitigating Climate Change may be located in the Publications section of the IFOAM Web site, under Reports on Organic Agriculture.
Grass Farmer Shares His Story at Field Day
Minnesota dairy farmer John Bedtke shared the story of his farm's transition to grass-based dairying during a recent field day held at the farm by the Land Stewardship Project and researcher Melissa Driscoll. Instead of spending his summers growing corn to feed his dairy cows, over then years ago Bedtke converted fields to pastures and began management intensive rotational grazing with his herds. Although milk production is lower, he says costs are also less, and the animals and land are healthier. His operation has also been certified organic. Meanwhile Driscoll has been studying the benefits that pasture offers in terms of songbird habitat, and she highlighted the species now nesting on the farm.
Related ATTRA Publication: Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland
Hopi Symposium Encourages Traditional Agriculture
A recent symposium highlighted food, farming and gardening opportunities available to tribal members on the Hopi Reservation, reports the Navajo-Hopi Observer. The Hopi Food and Agricultural Symposium was organized both to encourage more agricultural activities on the reservation and to promote healthier eating and lifestyles in order to combat rising rates of diabetes and hypertension among tribal members. The Symposium included presentations on traditional Hopi wild food plants, land management practices, and native seeds. Northern Arizona University’s Center for Sustainable Environments provided information on other tribes that have opened their own farmers’ markets, as well as data on producing native foods for the commercial market.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site: Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
Back to top
NRI Grants for Small Farms and Rural Ag Communities
Enhancing the Prosperity of Small Farms and Rural Agricultural Communities, a USDA National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program, fosters interdisciplinary studies to improve our understanding of the interactions between the economic, social, biological and environmental components important to small farms and rural economic development. Applicants should propose integrated research, education and extension projects that address small farms and/or rural agricultural communities. The program's priority areas are: (a) comparisons of approaches to environmental management and compliance related to the prosperity of rural communities and/or profitability of agricultural products; (b) analysis of the interactions that affect high return production, processing and delivery channels, and, in turn, enhance profitability of small farms; (c) evaluation of the interplay between social, economic, biological and environmental factors that affect the adoption of new agricultural technology, management and/or foster rural agribusiness development; or (d) identification of emerging opportunities and threats for small to medium sized farms, and associated rural communities over the next 20 years. An estimated $5 million in funding is available. Proposals are due October 5, 2004.
Northeast Region SARE Farmer/Grower Grant Program
The goal of the Farmer/Grower grant program is to develop, refine, and demonstrate new sustainable techniques and to explore innovative ideas developed by farmers across the region. To apply, you must be a farmer in the Northeast SARE region, in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, or Washington, D.C. 2005 grant applications were posted in June, and are due by December 7, 2004.
Connecticut Farm Reinvestment (Enhancement) Grant Program
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture announces funding for the Farm Reinvestment (Enhancement) Program (FEP) Grant Program for the fiscal year 2004-2005. The purpose of the program is to insure the viability of agriculture in the state. By providing money for capital enhancement to farms, it is the department’s hope to help preserve Connecticut’s agricultural base and improve farm production. Five hundred thousand dollars has been authorized for these matching grants that will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to farmers who qualify as eligible applicants. FEP funds and matching funds must be used for projects that are defined as capital fixed assets and have a life expectancy of ten years or more. The funds may be used for the expansion of existing agricultural facilities, or diversification-expansion into new production areas and site improvements related to such expansion or diversification. Funding availability was announced beginning June 15, 2004.
For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
Back to top
Integrating Poultry, Grapes and Sweet Corn Field Day
July 14, 2004
This Practical Farmers of Iowa Field Day includes a farm tour and demonstrations.
New Farmers, Old Land, Cattle and a Plan Workshop
July 17, 2004
At this NOFA-Vermont Summer Workshop Series event, farmers Tyler Webb and Brooke Remmers will share their experience using American Milking Devon and Scotch Highland cattle to reclaim old meadow and pastureland for the production of grass-fed organic beef, and future goals involving milk and dairy products.
Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture Fair
July 28 - August 1, 2004
Little Falls, Minnesota
Sponsored by the Sustainable Farming Association of Central Minnesota in partnership with the Morrison County Fair. For more information, contact Sister Ruth Lentner.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
Back to top
to the Weekly Harvest
digital version of the latest ATTRAnews is available online.
ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter of ATTRA, the National
Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
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
© Copyright 2004 NCAT
Back to top