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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 16, 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.

"Armed To Farm" Events Aid Vets Considering Careers in Sustainable Ag
Veterans and their spouses can apply to spend several days in September learning about sustainable, small-scale farming at "Armed to Farm" (ATF) events in Arkansas and Mississippi. ATF will be a dynamic blend of farm tours and hands-on experience with classroom instruction. Apply by August 1.

News & Resources

  • Study Shows Organic Produce Nutritionally Superior
  • Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit Available
  • MOSES Accepting Organic Farmer of the Year Nominations
  • SARE Releases Fact Sheet on Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels
  • Microbial Soil Test Can Help Reduce Fertilizer Overuse
  • Project to Develop Farmers Market Impact Metrics

Funding Opportunities

  • Western SARE Professional Development Program Grants
  • American Pastured Poultry Producers Association Scholarship
  • Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin

Coming Events

  • Cover Crop Farm Tour: Terrapin Farm
  • Soil Health Expo
  • Minnesota Organic Dairy Day

News & Resources

Study Shows Organic Produce Nutritionally Superior
A study just published in the British Journal of Nutrition takes an in-depth look at how organic and conventional crops differ nutritionally, and shows that organic crops have higher antioxidants. The Organic Center reports that this study used weighted meta-analyses based on standardized mean differences. The study not only found that organic crops had higher antioxidant levels, but also that they had lower levels of toxic metals and lower pesticide residues.

Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit Available
Colorado Farm to School Task Force and Spark Policy Institute have created the Farm to School Evaluation Toolkit, a resource to help farm to school programs of all sizes, in all states, undertake evaluation. The online toolkit will walk users through each step of an evaluation, providing specific guidance and data-collection tools.

MOSES Accepting Organic Farmer of the Year Nominations
Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Services (MOSES) is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Organic Farmer of the Year award. The award is given to a Midwest organic farmer practicing outstanding land stewardship, innovation, and outreach. Nominations are due by September 15, 2014.

SARE Releases Fact Sheet on Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels
Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) has released a new fact sheet, Sustainable Pest Management in Greenhouses and High Tunnels, showing how beneficial insects can protect crops in season-extending structures and enhance the sustainability of an operation. Researchers at Cornell University found that with a combination of controls, greenhouse and high-tunnel pests could be managed effectively.

Microbial Soil Test Can Help Reduce Fertilizer Overuse
USDA Agricultural Research Service soil scientist Richard Haney has developed a soil test that replicates some of the natural processes that occur in a field and accounts for that microbial activity, along with measuring nitrate, ammonium (NH4), and organic nitrogen. The new test is known as the Soil Health Tool. The tool measures organic carbon and other nutrients, accounts for the effects of using cover crops and no-till practices, and will work for any crop produced with nitrogen or other types of nutrient fertilizer. Using the tool can reduce fertilizer costs and protect water quality.

Project to Develop Farmers Market Impact Metrics
A new project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Farmer's Market Coalition will analyze the impact of farmers markets in communities. The Farmers Market Metrics Project will develop practical tools for evaluating farmers markets and communicate impacts to local, regional, and national stakeholders.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Western SARE Professional Development Program Grants
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program is accepting applications for Professional Development Program (PDP) competitive grants of up to $75,000. PDP grants help Cooperative Extension Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other agricultural professionals in the Western Region increase their understanding and proficiency in sustainable agriculture.
Applications are due by October 29, 2014.

American Pastured Poultry Producers Association Scholarship
The American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) is now accepting applications for its annual $500 scholarship/gift. The scholarship may be used for any educational activity related to pastured poultry, such as attending conferences and workshops, trainings, youth education, or on-farm trials. APPPA membership is not required to apply.
Applications are due by October 15, 2014.

Leopold Conservation Award in Wisconsin
The Leopold Conservation Award goes to a private landowner who translates deep, abiding love for the land into responsible stewardship and management. Leopold Conservation Awards recognize extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.
Applications are due by August 1, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Cover Crop Farm Tour: Terrapin Farm
August 16, 2014
Whitefish, Montana

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), the Montana Organic Association, NRCS, and Montana Farmers Union present this final event in their series of cover crop farm tours. The event will include a tour and workshop at Terrapin Farms on cover cropping in diverse vegetable production systems and a presentation by NCAT horticulture specialist Tammy Howard.

Soil Health Expo
August 13-14, 2014
Columbia, Missouri

NRCS and the University of Missouri are hosting a free Soil Health Exposition at MU's Bradford Research and Extension Center. The exposition will feature vendors, tours, demonstrations, and presentations by farmers who have successfully incorporated cover crops into their operations.

Minnesota Organic Dairy Day
August 12, 2014
Morris, Minnesota

The University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center will present educational speakers and field tour stops that will discuss forage, feed, fly control, and animal health.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

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.

© 2014 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Scaling Up Your Vegetable Farm for Regional Markets

Question of the Week
My soil was contaminated with an herbicide after I applied composted manure from animals that ate sprayed hay, and it's stunting my crops. How can I remedy the contamination?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online

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