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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 17, 2013

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • Organic Transition Cost Share Pilot Program Debuts in Minnesota
  • Scientists Say 'Sustainable Intensification' Could Help Meet World Food Needs
  • New NOP Fact Sheet Summarizes Allowed and Prohibited Substances
  • Aquaponics Conference Launches International Aquaponic Society
  • Ohio State University Research Evaluating Oilseed Crops
  • Study Finds Workers at Industrial Farms Carry Drug-Resistant Bacteria Associated with Livestock

Funding Opportunities

  • MidAtlantic Farm Credit Farm Fresh Financing Program
  • North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share Program
  • Maryland Management Intensive Grazing Grant

Coming Events

  • Grassfed Exchange Conference
  • Plant Variety Improvement for Organic Agriculture
  • Food Hub Benchmarking Study Webinar

News & Resources

Organic Transition Cost Share Pilot Program Debuts in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has announced a new pilot program designed to assist farmers transitioning their land or livestock to certified organic status. The program is the first in the nation to provide an incentive for farmers during the transition period, with a maximum payment of $750 per year for three years.

Scientists Say 'Sustainable Intensification' Could Help Meet World Food Needs
A policy known as 'sustainable intensification' could help meet the challenges of increasing demands for food from a growing global population, says an international team of scientists in the journal Science. The goal of the policy is to increase food production from existing farmland. The article stresses that while farmers in many regions of the world need to produce more food, it is equally urgent that policymakers act on diets, waste, and how the food system is governed.

New NOP Fact Sheet Summarizes Allowed and Prohibited Substances
The USDA National Organic Program (NOP) has released a new fact sheet summarizing allowed and prohibited substances in organic crop and livestock production and processing. The two-page fact sheet is available online.

Aquaponics Conference Launches International Aquaponic Society
The first International Aquaponics Conference was held last month in Wisconsin, reports Agri-View. The conference served as a resource for growers, educators, government representatives, and nonprofit organizations. The International Aquaponic Society, a professional society dedicated to aquaponics research and education, was launched at the conference.
Related ATTRA Publication: Aquaponics—Integration of Hydroponics with Aquaculture

Ohio State University Research Evaluating Oilseed Crops
An Ohio State University research project seeks to evaluate the many uses of oilseed crops, including as animal feed and biofuel, and their potential to help diversify Ohio farms and boost farm sustainability. Flax, camelina, sunflower, and canola are being evaluated in terms of their growth characteristics, yield, oil content, and animal feed quality. They will also be studied for their benefits to ecosystems, including floral resources for pollinators, biocontrol for pests, and soil conditioning.
Related ATTRA Publication: Oilseed Processing for Small-Scale Producers

Study Finds Workers at Industrial Farms Carry Drug-Resistant Bacteria Associated with Livestock
A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found drug-resistant bacteria associated with livestock in the noses of industrial livestock workers. The drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria were not found in the noses of antibiotic-free livestock workers. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

MidAtlantic Farm Credit Farm Fresh Financing Program
Farm Fresh Financing is a new program from MidAtlantic Farm Credit. It offers financing and credit options to local food system organizations and farmers who distribute their products through local food channels and practice sustainable farming methods, often on a small-scale basis. This program opens new credit and financing options to eligible farmers who may lack assets, credit history, or income.

North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share Program
The North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share program offers cost-share assistance through a competitive application process to help developing value-added agricultural businesses purchase specialized equipment. Producers and processors may apply for matching funds of up to $75,000.
Applications must be received by August 1, 2013.

Maryland Management Intensive Grazing Grant
The Maryland Department of Agriculture has announced that conservation grants are available to farmers who want to establish pasture for a management intensive grazing (MIG) system. Grants of up to $50,000, covering up to 87.5% of the cost to establish a pasture to be used within a MIG system, are available through the Maryland Agricultural Water Quality Cost Share Program.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Grassfed Exchange Conference
August 20-22, 2013
Bismarck, North Dakota

"Grassfed Rising: Building the Soil - Grass Connection" is the theme for the 2013 Grassfed Exchange Conference. The event includes pasture walks and presentations by speakers including Don Huber and Fred Kirschenmann.

Plant Variety Improvement for Organic Agriculture
August 20-21, 2013
Pocantico Hills, New York

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture will host this intensive workshop specifically designed for farmers. Join organic vegetable breeders, producers, and researchers in learning about organic vegetable breeding and variety improvement.

Food Hub Benchmarking Study Webinar
August 15, 2013
Online
The National Good Food Network Food Hub Collaboration performed the first-ever food hub benchmarking study, looking at key financial metrics to understand the health of food hubs across the country. This webinar presents results and interpretations of the study.

>> More Events

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

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