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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 9, 2014

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

  • Local Food System Toolkit on Worksite Food Box Programs Released
  • FSA Expands Online Hay Net to Include Grazing Acres Locator Tool
  • Washington Farm Internship Project Expands
  • Senator Gillibrand's Office Releases Food Hub Funding Guide
  • Double-Cropping Research Helps Dairy Farmers Enhance Forage Production
  • Interagency Group to Help Indiana Farmers with Sustainable Farming

Funding Opportunities

  • Small Business Innovation Research Program - Phase I
  • Texas Agricultural Water Conservation Grants
  • Montana Growth Through Agriculture Program

Coming Events

  • NOFA Summer Conference
  • American Community Garden Association Conference
  • Taking a Look at Value-Added Dairy Opportunities

News & Resources

Local Food System Toolkit on Worksite Food Box Programs Released
The Iowa Food Hub and ISU Extension and Outreach have released Local Food System Toolkit 1: Developing a Worksite Food Box Program, a guide for creating a program for pre-packed food boxes delivered weekly and picked up by employees at their workplaces. The 19-page document is available online in PDF.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Aggregators/Grower Marketing Co-ops

FSA Expands Online Hay Net to Include Grazing Acres Locator Tool
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has expanded its "go-to" online resource Hay Net to include the option to list a need for grazing acres or to list acres available for grazing. If, due to extenuating circumstances, producers are in need of hay and/or grazing acres, they can use Hay Net to post an advertisement. Likewise, landowners who have hay and/or grazing acres available should post a Hay Net advertisement.

Washington Farm Internship Project Expands
The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries expanded its Farm Internship Project on July 1. Under this project, interns have workers' compensation protection along with the opportunity for a valuable education and hands-on experience in farming activities. The effort has been extended through December 2017 and now includes 16 counties. Small farms with annual sales of less than $250,000 per year are eligible to enroll. Farms must provide formal, curriculum-based instruction in growing practices.

Senator Gillibrand's Office Releases Food Hub Funding Guide
The office of U.S. Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand of New York has released a 43-page publication titled A Guide to Funding Opportunities and Incentives for Food Hubs and Food Systems. The guidebook details information on grants, loans, and tax credits from numerous federal agencies.

Double-Cropping Research Helps Dairy Farmers Enhance Forage Production
Research conducted by Cornell University researchers with funding from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP) is helping farmers enhance their production of forage crops for their dairy cows. The research specifically refines nitrogen fertilizer management guidelines for fields that will be used for double cropping. The complete report, Winter Forage Small Grains to Boost Feed Supply: Not a Cover Crop Anymore, is posted online.

Interagency Group to Help Indiana Farmers with Sustainable Farming
Purdue University, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Indiana's Soil and Water Conservation Districts have created an interagency group to support Indiana farmers interested in alternative agriculture and provide resources to integrate best organic practices into more conventional farming systems. The 19-member team developed action plans after receiving training at Rodale Institute.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Small Business Innovation Research Program - Phase I
USDA invites science-based small business firms to submit research applications for up to $100,000. USDA will support high-quality research or research and development applications containing advanced concepts related to important scientific problems and opportunities that could lead to significant public benefit. The Phase I application should concentrate on research that will significantly contribute to proving the scientific or technical feasibility of the approach or concept.
Applications are due by October 2, 2014.

Texas Agricultural Water Conservation Grants
The Texas Water Development Board has issued a request for applications for $2.1 million in Fiscal Year 2015 Agricultural Water Conservation Grants. Grants are available in three categories: Agricultural Water Conservation Monitoring with metering, Agricultural Water Conservation Monitoring with other measurement, and Agricultural Irrigation System Improvements.
Applications must be submitted by September 10, 2014.

Montana Growth Through Agriculture Program
The Growth Through Agriculture program is a combined matching grant and loan program established to strengthen and diversify Montana's agricultural industry through development of new agricultural products and processes. Examples of project activities involve equipment purchases, advertising and promotion, and consultant services.
Application deadline is September 15, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

NOFA Summer Conference
August 8-10, 2014
Amherst, Massachusetts

This 40th anniversary conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association includes pre-conference workshops, more than 150 conference workshops, workshops for kids and teens, social events, and keynote speaker Dr. Elaine Ingham.

American Community Garden Association Conference
August 7-10, 2014
Chicago, Illinois

This event for community garden professionals and practitioners is essential for those interested in starting, maintaining, or growing a successful community garden or community garden program. The conference will provide more than 40 workshops, roundtables, and tours highlighting best practices and innovative strategies.

Taking a Look at Value-Added Dairy Opportunities
August 5, 2014
Knoxville, Tennessee

University of Tennessee Extension will present a five-hour workshop designed to help dairy farmers learn about calculating milk production costs and assessing the costs and opportunities associated with on-farm milk processing. The workshop is designed for cow, goat, and sheep producers.

>> More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets

Question of the Week
What can you tell me about planning the basic infrastructure for small to mid-size vegetable operations, specifically harvest/packing shelters, walk-in coolers, and washing facilities?

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ATTRA Webinars
Our recent webinars and videos are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive.

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