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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 8, 2015

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

  • Wholesale Market Watch Listserve Introduced in Northeast
  • Waiting to Harvest After Rain Promotes Food Safety, Researchers Find
  • Survey Finds Student Loan Debt Preventing New Farmers
  • Research Explores Grazing for Small-Ruminant Parasite Control in New York
  • Scientists Call for Prioritizing Agroecology Research Funding
  • Sheep Graze on Solar Farms

Funding Opportunities

  • Risk Management Education Partnerships Program
  • Local Foods, Local Places Technical Assistance
  • Conservation Practices in Northern Indiana

Coming Events

  • PASA's 2015 Soil Health Summer Conference
  • Mother Earth News Fair
  • Irrigation and Water Efficiency Workshop

News & Resources

Wholesale Market Watch Listserve Introduced in Northeast
Wholesale Market Watch is a new listserve that provides information and resources to facilitate connecting small and mid-sized farmers to larger markets such as food hubs, grocery stores, restaurants, online marketplaces, and cooperatives. Farmers, agricultural educators, or regional food buyers in the Northeast can sign up to receive email alerts.
Related ATTRA Publication: Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets

Waiting to Harvest After Rain Promotes Food Safety, Researchers Find
Waiting 24 hours after rain or irrigation to harvest crops can promote food safety, according to research by Cornell University scientists. The researchers tested fields throughout New York and found that after rains or irrigation, the chances of finding Listeria were 25 times greater. After the fields dried at least 24 hours, chances of detecting Listeria dropped dramatically.

Survey Finds Student Loan Debt Preventing New Farmers
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) has released survey results showing that student loan debt is one of the key barriers preventing more would-be farmers and ranchers from entering agriculture. Farming Is Public Service: A Case for Adding Farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program found that 30% of survey respondents delayed or declined to enter agriculture because of their student loans, while an additional 48% said student loans prevented them from growing their businesses or obtaining credit to invest in their farms.

Research Explores Grazing for Small-Ruminant Parasite Control in New York
A project funded by the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is studying ways to adapt the success that small livestock growers in the Southeast have had grazing animals on forages with high tannin concentration. The Cornell University project has sheep and goats grazing pastures planted with birdsfoot trefoil, a legume that may have an anti-worm effect.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tools for Managing Internal Parasites in Small Ruminants: Sericea Lespedeza

Scientists Call for Prioritizing Agroecology Research Funding
More than 300 leading scientists have issued a statement calling on Congress and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to prioritize agroecology when funding agricultural research. The Union of Concerned Scientists initiated the statement.

Sheep Graze on Solar Farms
Solar farms in New Jersey--fields that house large solar arrays that power industrial sites and institutions--are the summer grazing sites for flocks of sheep, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The sheep graze under and around solar panels, eliminating the need for landscaping services. Meanwhile, the securely fenced sites offer safe places for sheep to graze, and the panels provide shade for the sheep during summer.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Risk Management Education Partnerships Program
USDA Risk Management Agency is accepting applications for $2 million in grants to create risk-management education and training programs, including development of general nationwide crop-insurance education. The program provides organizations with resources to develop training and education tools to help farmers and ranchers effectively manage long-term risks and challenges.
Applications are due by August 14, 2015.

Local Foods, Local Places Technical Assistance
Local Foods, Local Places will provide direct technical support to selected communities. A team of experts will help community members develop action plans that use local foods to support healthy families and communities and to drive downtown and neighborhood revitalization. EPA, USDA, CDC, DOT, ARC, and DRA are investing $800,000 in this round of the program.
Application deadline is September 15, 2015.

Conservation Practices in Northern Indiana
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications for funding to improve water quality in several watersheds in northern Indiana. Through the Regional Conservation Partnership Project, NRCS is investing in the Western Lake Erie Basin and St. Joseph River watersheds to help improve water quality and strengthen agricultural operations.
Applications must be received by July 17, 2015.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

PASA's 2015 Soil Health Summer Conference
August 6-7, 2015
Centre Hall, Pennsylvania

This in-depth learning experience will dive into practical and effective practices to build and maintain soil health on your farm. Through a combination of classroom-style presentations and on-farm experiences led by a team of speakers, attendees will gain a deep insight into soil function and management strategies for any farm.

Mother Earth News Fair
August 8-9, 2015
West Bend, Wisconsin

These fun-filled, sustainable-lifestyle fairs deliver practical, hands-on training and experience taught by leading experts in renewable energy, organic gardening, sustainable agriculture, green home building, and more.

Irrigation and Water Efficiency Workshop
August 7, 2015
Valley Center, California

Join Community Alliance for Family Farms for an irrigation/water efficiency workshop at Triple B Ranches to discuss drought, rootstocks, and dry-farming wine grapes.

>> More Events

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Sustainable Producer Spotlight
Loon Organics

Question of the Week
What can you tell me about sheep foot rot?

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