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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 12, 2017

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.

Agricultural Technical Assistance Providers: Please Participate in Our Survey
NCAT and partners are collecting information on organizations that provide technical assistance on local and regional agricultural production and intermediated markets. If you assist farmers with local food marketing, please complete this online survey.

News & Resources

  • Farm Beginnings Programs Accepting Applications
  • Cornell Plant Breeder Working on Resilient Organic Varieties
  • Michigan Fiber Cooperative Introduces Value-Added Yarn Product
  • Iowa Small Grains Business Directory Connects Farmers with Buyers
  • Survey Invites Stakeholders to Share Insights on Future of Midwest Agriculture
  • TunnelBerries Project Extends New Hampshire Strawberry Season to 19 Weeks

Funding Opportunities

  • Small Business Innovation Research Phase I
  • High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Pilot Grants
  • Drought Funding in Alabama

Coming Events

  • NOFA Summer Conference
  • Northern Nut Growers Association and North American Fruit Explorers Annual Conference
  • Battleground to Breaking Ground Workshop

News & Resources

Farm Beginnings Programs Accepting Applications
Organic Growers School is accepting applications for its Farm Beginnings® class. This 12-month training session in Alexander, North Carolina, helps beginning farmers clarify their goals and strengths, establish a strong enterprise plan, and start building their operations. Meanwhile, Land Stewardship Project will offer a Farm Beginnings course in Pine City, Minnesota. Applications for both courses are due by September 1, 2017.

Cornell Plant Breeder Working on Resilient Organic Varieties
Cornell graduate student Lauren Brzozowski has received a fellowship from the Seed Matters Initiative of the Clif Bar Family Foundation. Brzozowski is working to develop new cucumber and squash varieties that can be cultivated without pesticides. The resilient breeding lines cope with diseases like downy mildew and pests such as the striped cucumber beetle.
Related ATTRA Publication: Cucumber Beetles: Organic and Biorational Integrated Pest Management

Michigan Fiber Cooperative Introduces Value-Added Yarn Product
Michigan Fiber Cooperative has introduced its first product, Fresh Water Fiber yarn, a merino-alpaca blend yarn grown and processed in Michigan. A USDA Value Added Grant helped the cooperative develop the product. The project collected 500 pounds of fiber from seven farmers and developed a label and logo for the product, as well as a knitting pattern that comes with each skein.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Fiber

Iowa Small Grains Business Directory Connects Farmers with Buyers
Practical Farmers of Iowa has released its second annual Small Grains Business Directory, listing businesses that buy small grains in Iowa and neighboring counties of other states. The directory lists location and contact information for seed buyers, grain buyers, and seed cleaners, as well as the small grains species they buy.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Small Grain Production Overview

Survey Invites Stakeholders to Share Insights on Future of Midwest Agriculture
The University of Minnesota and Future iQ are conducting an online survey open to all stakeholders and people who have an interest in the future of Midwest Agriculture. The survey is collecting insights and perspectives about the future of this region, and its communities, landscape, and industries. All responses are appreciated.

TunnelBerries Project Extends New Hampshire Strawberry Season to 19 Weeks
New Hampshire researchers are part of a multi-state, multi-year project to optimize protected growing environments for berry crops in the upper Midwest and Northeast. The University of New Hampshire's component focuses on improving berry quality and day-neutral varieties. Last year, researchers harvested strawberries grown in low tunnels from mid-July through Thanksgiving. They also found that the low tunnels increased the percentage of marketable fruit to 83%.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Small Business Innovation Research Phase I
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR). SBIR encourages domestic small businesses to engage in high-growth research and development that has the potential for commercialization and could lead to significant public benefit. Phase I invests up to $100,000 in feasibility and proof-of-concept studies. Small for-profit businesses and small proprietorships are eligible to submit applications to this program.
The application deadline is October 5, 2017.

High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Pilot Grants
The High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (HICAHS) offers grants up to $25,000. The program funds innovative research projects that promote worker health and safety in the agriculture, forestry, or fishing industries. Extra consideration is given to projects that directly impact the HICAHS region: Colorado, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
The application deadline is August 1, 2017.

Drought Funding in Alabama
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service is providing funding to assist landowners impacted by last year's extreme drought in Alabama. Funding will be provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and will address fencing, water troughs, pasture, hay land re-establishment, wells, and prescribed grazing.
Apply by July 28, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

NOFA Summer Conference
August 11-13, 2017
Amherst, Massachusetts

This three-day event features numerous workshops, intensives, and keynote speakers Michael Phillips and Don Huber. The National Center for Appropriate Technology and the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project are hosting a lunch and veteran farmer networking session on August 12.

Northern Nut Growers Association and North American Fruit Explorers Annual Conference
August 13-16, 2017
Tifton, Georgia
The 108th Annual Conference of the Northern Nut Growers Association will be held jointly with the North American Fruit Explorers (NAFEX). Technical presentations will be given Monday and Tuesday, with an all-day tour on Wednesday.

Battleground to Breaking Ground Workshop
August 4-5, 2017
Dallas, Texas

This workshop provides education regarding agriculture business ideas and start-up, business plan development, possibilities for farming/ranching with a disability, financial funding sources, and resources to support agricultural business operations.

>>More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2017 NCAT

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Updated ATTRA Publication
Pawpaw—A "Tropical" Fruit for Temperate Climates

Question of the Week
How can I build soil health in an organic hayfield?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Final Week!
Apply for August Armed to Farm sustainable agriculture training for veterans in Bangor, Maine, by July 17, 2017.

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