Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 4, 2007
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* Organic Summit Looks at Industry Future
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* Conservation Innovation Grant Awards Announced
* South Dakota Creates Natural Beef Program
* Kentucky New Crop Center Funds Organic Projects
* Oklahoma Organic Producer Shifts to Free-range Poultry
* National Extension Integrated Pest Management Special Projects Program
* New York Food and Agriculture Industry Development Program
* Minnesota Dairy Business Planning Grant
* NOFA Summer Conference
* Organic Farming Workshop
* Nebraska Grazing Conference
News & Resources
Organic Summit Looks at Industry Future
Two hundred leaders of the organic industry recently convened at an Organic Summit in Boulder, Colorado, reports GreenBiz.com. The conference involved farmers, certifiers, manufacturers, retailers, academics and advocates in a dialogue about the future of the industry. Topics explored included how the industry can sustain growth and maintain unity, a need for more organic production research, and a challenge to "go beyond organic." Discussions will be continued online via an Organic Summit blog.
Conservation Innovation Grant Awards Announced
USDA has announced the award of nearly $20 million in Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to 36 states to fund 51 projects designed to develop and refine cutting-edge technologies and approaches that can help producers maintain viable agricultural operations. Approved projects address traditional natural resource issues concerning agriculture such as water quantity, water quality improvement, livestock nutrient management, grazing lands and forest health, and soil resource management. Approved projects also address emerging natural resource issues including agricultural air emissions, energy conservation and market-based approaches to conservation. Information on the approved projects is available online from USDA.
South Dakota Creates Natural Beef Program
South Dakota Department of Agriculture has launched a new program, South Dakota Certified Enrolled Cattle Natural Program. This program is intended to open up new markets for South Dakota cattle producers. South Dakota Certified™ Natural Beef is produced from cattle that are enrolled in the South Dakota Certified Enrolled Cattle™ Natural program. These cattle are raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones in addition to many other strict production protocols. The beef product is also guaranteed to be minimally processed and contain no artificial colors or flavors.
Kentucky New Crop Center Funds Organic Projects
Kentucky's New Crop Opportunities Center began in 2000 to provide information on new and emerging crops for former tobacco growers. A Kentucky Ag Connection story reports that the center has funded 63 research projects, with 34 of those ongoing. A number of those projects involve organic production of fruits, vegetables, and small grain. The center also offers information on organic certification. Other projects are investigating value-added products, sustainable pest management, and marketing options.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Crop Production Overview
Oklahoma Organic Producer Shifts to Free-range Poultry
Colpitts PineRidge Ranch has introduced free-range chickens to fill a market gap in its grass-fed beef production, says a story in the Pryor Daily Times. Raising organic broilers in pasture houses moved daily proved difficult at first, due to predator pressures. When operator Geof Colpitts put the pens in with his flock of goats used for vegetation management, alternative poultry housing had to be developed. Now that he's on his third batch of chickens, Colpitts seems to have worked out poultry housing, predator protection, and processing issues.
Related ATTRA Publication: Alternative Poultry Production Systems and Outdoor Access
> More Breaking News
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National Extension Integrated Pest Management Special Projects Program
In FY 2007, the National Extension Integrated Pest Management Special Projects Program (EIPM) will provide funding to advance the goals of the National Roadmap for Integrated Pest Management by addressing priority national needs associated with the design, development, implementation and evaluation of Extension integrated pest management programs. EIPM encourages the submission of proposals to help pest managers implement IPM methods that will enhance farm conservation efforts and the protection of natural resources. Projects can address management needs for any class of pests including weeds, insects, plant diseases, or vertebrates. Only Extension Directors of 1862 and 1890 Land-grant Institutions are eligible to submit applications and receive EIPM awards.
Proposals are due July 20, 2007.
New York Food and Agriculture Industry Development Program
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets invites proposals for implementing innovative and low risk approaches to the research, development, production, processing, and distribution of agricultural products and foods that capitalize on the State’s unique resources and strategic location near significant markets. Public and private agencies and organizations, business and industry, educational institutions, local governments and individuals are eligible to submit proposals.
Proposals are due August 28, 2007.
Minnesota Dairy Business Planning Grant
The Minnesota Dairy Business Planning Grant offers 50 percent cost share of the cost of completing a business plan for a dairy operation. Producers who have applied for this grant are exploring the feasibility of expansion, environmental upgrades, stray voltage testing or transferring the operation to the next generation producer. Awards up to $5,000 are given on a first come first serve basis. These grants are for existing and start-up Minnesota dairy producers.
> More Funding Opportunities
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NOFA Summer Conference
August 10-12, 2007
This 33rd annual conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association features keynote speakers, an amazing array of workshops, exhibits, and more.
Organic Farming Workshop
July 16-17, 2007
Madison, South Dakota
South Dakota Cooperative Extension and NCR-SARE present this two-day workshop. Sessions will start on July 16th with an introduction to and principals of organic livestock, horticultural and agronomic crop production and management. Topics will include soil fertility, weed management, certification, marketing, and accessing information. The July 17 session features a tour of a 2,400 acre organic farm, which has implemented a six-year rotation for their farm which includes alfalfa, rye, soybeans, small grains, and oats underseeded to alfalfa, followed by a question and answer wrapup session.
Nebraska Grazing Conference
August 7-8, 2007
This annual conference will include presentations and workshops on management-intensive grazing, technology, stocking, monitoring, and more.
> More Events
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