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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 1, 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

  • Record $12.1 Million in Farm to School Grants Awarded
  • Policy Brief Looks at Creating Farming Opportunities for Black People, Indigenous People, and Other People of Color
  • New Mexico Farm and Food Economy Study Highlights Potential
  • Fact Sheet Series Helps Specialty Crop Growers Prepare for and Prevent Dicamba and 2,4-D Drift
  • PASA Study Explores Scaling Up Pastured Meat Production
  • 'Rural Realities' Podcast Series to Address Farmer Stress

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE's Research and Education Grant Program
  • Oregon's Food Security and Farmworker Safety Program
  • Grassland Restoration Incentives Program Partnership

Coming Events

  • Rodale Institute Organic Field Days
  • Cleaning and Sanitizing for Produce Growers
  • Production Techniques for Small Farms: Field Preparation

News & Resources

Record $12.1 Million in Farm to School Grants Awarded
USDA Food and Nutrition Service announced the award of $12.1 million in Farm to School Grants. Grants between $20,000 and $100,000 were awarded to 159 projects in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Information about this year's grantees and projects is available online. These grants support projects that will help bring fresh, local foods into schools and foster economic opportunity for America's farmers.
Related ATTRA Publication: Farm to School Sales: Profiles of Ranches Making It Work

Policy Brief Looks at Creating Farming Opportunities for Black People, Indigenous People, and Other People of Color
HEAL Food Alliance and Union of Concerned Scientists released a policy brief called Leveling the Fields: Creating Farming Opportunities for Black People, Indigenous People, and Other People of Color. It notes that U.S. agriculture is rife with obstacles that can include difficulty securing capital, credit, land, infrastructure, and information. This policy brief reviews opportunities for governments, the private sector, philanthropies, and others to contribute to simultaneously building socioeconomic equity and sustainability in U.S. food systems.

New Mexico Farm and Food Economy Study Highlights Potential
A study by the Crossroads Resource Center revealed that New Mexico residents spend $6.5 billion each year buying food sourced outside the state. New Mexico Farm & Food Economy says New Mexico could gain economically by building soil health and feeding its own people. If each New Mexico resident purchased $5 of food each week directly from some farm in the state, farmers would earn $544 million, which is more than current net cash income. The 46-page report is available online.

Fact Sheet Series Helps Specialty Crop Growers Prepare for and Prevent Dicamba and 2,4-D Drift
A new fact sheet series is available to help specialty crop growers prepare for and respond to possible dicamba and 2,4-D drift. The series provides tips for being proactive, detailed steps for documenting and responding to damage, and a brief background on why dicamba and 2,4-D have been especially problematic. The series was co-written by specialists at The Ohio State University and Purdue University, with support from the North Central IPM Center Working Group on Herbicide-Drift Risk Management.

PASA Study Explores Scaling Up Pastured Meat Production
A new study from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) explores how much land and feed it takes for 10 pastured livestock farms in Pennsylvania to produce a pound of grass-finished beef, pastured pork, or pastured chicken. The most efficient of the pastured poultry farms produced 1,760 pounds of meat per ton of feed, while the least efficient produced 540 pounds of meat per ton of feed. PASA concludes that many pastured livestock farms likely have the ability to become significantly more efficient at translating feed and land into marketable meat.
Related ATTRA Publication: Pastured Poultry Budgets: Slow Growing Broiler and Organic Comparisons

'Rural Realities' Podcast Series to Address Farmer Stress
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture Trade and Consumer Protection has created a new audio podcast series called "Rural Realities" that will initially focus on dealing with stress on the farm. The weekly series began June 22, 2020. The pre-recorded podcasts run between 20 and 30 minutes.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE's Research and Education Grant Program
Northeast SARE is accepting preproposals for the Research and Education Grant Program. This program funds projects that result in gains in farmer knowledge, awareness, skills, and attitudes that are then applied to make measurable on-farm changes leading to greater sustainability. Proposals must include an education program for farmers. These grants are open to personnel at colleges and universities, Cooperative Extension, agricultural and community nonprofit organizations, municipalities, state departments of agriculture and federal agencies, research farms and experiment stations, for-profit entities, and others who work with farmers and in food systems. Funded proposals typically range from $30,000 to $250,000.
Preproposals are due by July 23, 2020.

Oregon's Food Security and Farmworker Safety Program
The COVID-19 emergency caused Oregon's Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue temporary rules. The Food Security and Farmworker Safety Program provides financial assistance to comply with these increased measures during peak harvest. Producers faced with additional costs for housing, transporation, and field sanitation can apply for assistance up to a total of $21,000.
The program will accept applications until October 25, 2020.

Grassland Restoration Incentives Program Partnership
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Texas is accepting applications for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Regional Conservation Partnership Program project with the Oaks and Prairies Joint Venture—Grassland Restoration Incentives Program partnership. The project provides funding to landowners as an incentive for conducting approved grassland bird habitat improvement practices on their property. This special initiative is open to applicants in the Texas counties that have been described and approved as focal counties for the project.
The application deadline is July 16, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Rodale Institute Organic Field Days
July 13-18, 2020
Online
Rodale Institute's Organic Field Days are a week of on-demand, in-field presentations from Rodale Institute staff and scientists. Week-long access is $25. Topics will include pastured hog production, organic orcharding, the Farming Systems Trial, industrial hemp, tomato grafting, and more.

Cleaning and Sanitizing for Produce Growers
July 9 or 14, 2020
Online

This free online training from Kansas State University Extension and the University of Missouri Extension is specifically for farmers who grow, harvest, or pack fresh produce to sell. The webinar will include videos, sharing information, and time for questions.

Production Techniques for Small Farms: Field Preparation
July 7, 2020
Online
Join Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Cooperative Extension staff for a four-part webinar series about techniques and tools for small fruit and vegetable farms (field and high tunnel systems). This first session focuses on decision making and time management, equipment, soil health, and field planning.

>>More Events

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