Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 15, 2009
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
* Find ATTRA on Facebook
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* Local Food Workshop Video Available
* Farmers Market Promotional Materials Available
* Researchers to Study Impacts of Nitrogen
* Case Studies Highlight 'Agriculture of the Middle'
* Studies Show Costs of Various Crop Operations
* 2009 Healthy Sprouts Award
* Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant
* Agriculture Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
* National Small Farm Conference
* National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration
* Diversifying Your Farm With Small Grains
News & Resources
Find ATTRA on Facebook
ATTRA now has a page on the social networking site Facebook. You can join ATTRA's Facebook page where project updates, information about new publications, and other sustainable agriculture news will be posted.
Local Food Workshop Video Available
Video coverage of the Economic Research Service (ERS) Local Food Systems: Emerging Research and Policy Issues workshop is now available. This workshop covered topics such as the health and economic benefits of local food systems. The role of government and policies was also discussed.
Farmers Market Promotional Materials Available
In anticipation of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) 10th annual National Farmers Market Week (August 2-8, 2009), the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), in cooperation with USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), announces Markets Are Up!, an educational and celebratory campaign to help farmers markets and farmers market associations nationwide communicate the vital role that such markets play in improving consumer health, local communities, and economies. As part of the Markets are Up! campaign, promotional tools such as ads, postcards, and templates for press releases and emails are now available on FMC’s website.
Researchers to Study Impacts of Nitrogen
University of California (UC) Davis researchers will receive $2.8 million in new grants to study the use and impacts of nitrogen, a hero of the agricultural revolution that is increasingly viewed as a worrisome source of water and air pollution and potent greenhouse gases. "This is one of the most important and least publicized environmental issues we face: Escaped nitrogen from agricultural production affects the quality of our air, water, and soil and has huge potential to contribute to climate change," said Tom Tomich, director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.
Case Studies Highlight 'Agriculture of the Middle'
Case studies of four innovative enterprises—Country Natural Beef, CROPP/Organic Valley, Shepherd’s Grain and Red Tomato—offer models of how mid-sized farms and ranches can prosper through producing and selling high-quality, differentiated food products into a variety of markets. Known as “mid-scale food value chains,” these new business structures focus on strategic alliances that operate at regional levels, market significant volumes of products and distribute profits equitably among all strategic partners. These case studies were developed for the national Agriculture of the Middle initiative, which seeks to support the disappearing sector of mid-scale farms, ranches and related agrifood enterprises.
Studies Show Costs of Various Crop Operations
New studies showing costs of establishment and production of small grain silage, wheat for grain, processing potatoes, pasture, reduced till corn silage, organic leaf lettuce, blueberries and winegrapes are now available from the University of California Cooperative Extension. Each analysis is based upon hypothetical farm operations using practices common in the region. Input and reviews were provided by farm advisors, researchers, growers, farm accountants, pest control advisers, consultants and other agricultural associates.
> More Breaking News
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2009 Healthy Sprouts Award
To encourage the growth of health-focused youth gardens, National Gardening Association recognizes outstanding programs through the Healthy Sprouts Awards, sponsored by Gardener's Supply Company. These awards support school and youth garden programs that teach about nutrition and the issue of hunger in the United States.
Proposals are due October 17, 2009.
Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant
The Southern SARE Program and the Southern Rural Development Center are interested in investing in Sustainable Community Innovation Grants -- projects that work to strengthen both agriculture and Southern communities by building explicit linkages between sustainable agriculture and community development. Such efforts help improve and advance an understanding of the mutual benefits that accrue to both agriculture and community when such key linkages are established and maintained.
Proposals are due October 5, 2009.
Agriculture Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
The Risk Management Education Program provides resources for regional risk management education centers for the purpose of developing and delivering agricultural risk management education materials to agricultural producers and their families in the United States and its territories.
Proposals are due August 10, 2009.
> More Funding Opportunities
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National Small Farm Conference
September 15-17, 2009
The conference, held every three to four years, brings together land grant universities, community-based organizations and other stakeholders who work with small farmers and ranchers. The conference aims to strengthen collaboration and partnership among groups and provide an opportunity to share new ideas in research, extension and outreach.
National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration
July 20-24, 2009
Los Angeles, California
To enhance your ability to successfully meet the myriad restoration challenges, we invite you to participate in the interdisciplinary 3rd National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration. This is your opportunity to expand your knowledge, share your experience, and network with colleagues from across various disciplines such as engineering, science, economics and the social sciences. This conference offers several ways to broaden your knowledge and understanding: traditional technical sessions (platform and poster); presentations by national leaders; interactive panel discussions; training workshops; and scheduled times to “meet and greet” our many diverse exhibitors and partners.
Diversifying Your Farm With Small Grains
July 21, 2009
Check out small-scale flour mills with Elizabeth Dyck, and hear about options for larger scale milling. Spend the day touring farm and field, discussing failures and successes, and learning about small grain production – from seed to crop to mill, to tasting the finished flour.
> More Events
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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.
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This week's Sustainable Agriculture Spotlight will show small-
scale farmers how hoop houses can extend the growing season. Listen to the show.