Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - July 13, 2005
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
Help us improve our Web site by taking a brief online survey.
* Plans Set for 20th Farm Aid
* Would-be Farmers Challenged by Land Costs
* Agricultural Stewards Share Secrets of Success
* Kellogg Foundation Provides $1.5 Million for Endowed Professorship in Sustainable Agriculture
* Report Examines Impact of Nanotechnology on Agriculture
* Market Niche for Heritage Breeds Continues to Grow
* Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) Regional Grants
* Small Farm Initiative Program in South Carolina
* EPA Region 1 Food Quality Protection Act/Strategic Agricultural Initiative Grant Program
* Windy River Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture Fair
* Great Plains Conference on Improving Crop Water Productivity
* 6th International Public Markets Conference
News & Resources
Plans Set for 20th Farm Aid
Farm Aid celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, with a week of food and music events in Chicago, followed by the group's annual all-star fundraising concert on September 18 in Tinley Park, Illinois. According to a U.S. Newswire press release, Farm Aid 2005 will urge Americans to choose food from family farms. A film festival and release of the book FARM AID: A Song for America are among planned events leading up to the concert featuring Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews. Best known for its annual concert, Farm Aid supports local organizations working to strengthen and promote family farms, helping to increase the supply and demand for family-farm-identified food.
Would-be Farmers Challenged by Land Costs
Even as farm families worry about keeping the next generation on the farm, there are some would-be farmers who are having difficulty making their way into the profession because they can't afford land, reports The Christian Science Monitor. In the Midwest, rising land values driven by development, by farm subsidies, and by trends toward larger, less labor-intensive farm operations are pricing farmland out of reach for beginning farmers. Beginning farmers who are able to obtain land recognize that in order to pay for it they will need to earn more than they can earn from growing commodity corn and soybeans. Some are turning to alternative or organic crops for an economic advantage.
Related ATTRA Publication: Moving Beyond Conventional Cash Cropping
Agricultural Stewards Share Secrets of Success
The Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) has published a new book that highlights more than 60 innovative agricultural producers. Hailing from a variety of successful farms and ranches, including vegetable operations, cattle ranches and grain farms covering thousands of acres, the producers in The New American Farmer, 2nd edition have pioneered new, independent approaches to agriculture. With photos of each producer and contact information so readers can learn more, the book provides a host of valuable ideas for farmers and ranchers. The entire publication may be viewed online. Hard copies ($16.95 plus $5.95 s/h) are available by calling SAN at (301) 374-9696.
Kellogg Foundation Provides $1.5 Million for Endowed Professorship in Sustainable Agriculture
Intent on enhancing the safety, healthfulness and accessibility of the nation's food supply, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation has made a gift of $1.5 million to establish an endowed chair to support the new Agricultural Sustainability Institute at the University of California, Davis. The gift will fund the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems within the institute. The foundation also has provided a $95,000 grant to help the institute initiate and host an annual symposium series for the nation's academic leaders in the areas of the sustainability of agriculture and food systems. The institute will include the campus's 20-acre Student Farm, will work collaboratively with the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and with the California Food and Fiber Future (CF3) Project, and will be associated with the California Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program.
Report Examines Impact of Nanotechnology on Agriculture
A report by the Action Group on Erosion, Technology and Concentration (ETC) discusses the way in which nanotechnology - the manipulation of matter at the scale of atoms and molecules - is rapidly converging with biotech and information technology to radically change food and agricultural systems. The 74-page publication titled Down on the Farm: The Impact of Nano-scale Technologies on Food and Agriculture, is available as a free download from the ETC Web site.
Market Niche for Heritage Breeds Continues to Grow
Heritage breeds continue to grow in popularity, and with that growth comes increasing media coverage. Last week the San Francisco Chronicle profiles Ted Fuller, who raises Scottish Highland cattle, Dorset lambs, and Tamworth hogs on his Highland Hill Farm near Vacaville, California. Raised primarily for meat, Fuller's sheep and cattle graze freely on rye grass, sour dock, and multiple species of clover. Fuller sells his meat directly to customers at farmers' markets in Berkeley and San Francisco. His cattle take longer to reach slaughter weight - 24 to 36 months - than feedlot cattle, but customers are willing to pay more - $16.99 a pound for rib-eye, $10.99 for bacon - due to the taste and quality, as well as the care given to raising his animals.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site's Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) Regional Grants
EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP), in coordination with the EPA Regional Offices, is soliciting applications for projects that further the goals of the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP). Eligible applicants include the 50 States, District of Columbia, U.S. Virgin Islands, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or possession of the United States, any agency or instrumentality of a State including State universities, and all federally recognized Tribes. Under this program, assistance agreements will provide financial support to eligible applicants to carry out projects that reduce the risks associated with pesticide use in agricultural and non-agricultural settings. The total amount of funding available for award in FY 2005 is expected to be approximately $470,000, with a maximum funding level of $47,000 per project. Proposals must be submitted no later than August 15, 2005.
Small Farm Initiative Program in South Carolina
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is accepting applications for the Small Farmer Initiative Program in South Carolina. The funds will help farmers with 100 acres or less of cropland or pastureland implement conservation practices. To be eligible, at least 10 percent of the cropland acres must be planted to alternative crops. Eligible applicants may receive cost-share assistance not to exceed $10,000. The purpose is to increase participation by small scale and limited resource farmers in USDA programs. The target audience is defined as small farmers who have historically not participated or not ranked high enough to be funded in previous program sign ups. The sign up period is June 20-July 22, 2005.
EPA Region 1 Food Quality Protection Act/Strategic Agricultural Initiative Grant Program
EPA Region 1 Pesticide Program is seeking applications from eligible organizations that will facilitate the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). The program supports efforts to reduce the exposure to toxic pesticides through the adoption of production agriculture pest management practices that transition away from the use of high-risk pesticides. State governments, nonprofits, individuals, and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply for estimated total program funding of $70,850. Applications are due by August 22, 2005.
additional funding opportunities, visit: http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Windy River Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture Fair
July 27-30, 2005
Little Falls, Minnesota
This 5th annual fair takes place in conjunction with the Morrison County Fair. It will include workshops, demonstrations and exhibits, as well as off-site tours. The Windy River Fair is a project of the Sustainable Farming Association of Central Minnesota and partners.
Great Plains Conference on Improving Crop Water Productivity
August 10-11, 2005
North Platte, Nebraska
Improving crop and irrigation water use efficiency will be the focus of an August conference here sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension. The conference will highlight the latest research and developments for improving water use efficiency. Irrigators, water managers and others will have a chance to exchange ideas.
6th International Public Markets Conference
October 28-31, 2005
Over 350 participants are expected for the three-day event which will bring together community advocates, accomplished market managers and visionary leaders in a unique opportunity to explore the changing forces that are shaping the face of public markets--now and in the future.
events at: http://attra.ncat.org/calendar/index.php.
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