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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 22, 2020

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.

News & Resources

  • Survey Finds Few Veterinarians Treating Poultry and Livestock in Small-Scale Operations
  • Penn State Project to Create Roadmap for Successful Agritourism
  • Report Explores Climate Change Impacts for Specialty Crops in Southern California
  • OFRF and FFAR Announce Grants to Advance Soil Health Research
  • Pennsylvania Supporting Beginning Farmers with Tax Credits
  • USDA Reports on Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States

Funding Opportunities

  • Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program
  • Minnesota AGRI Farm to School Rapid Response Grants
  • Michigan Agricultural Safety Grants

Coming Events

  • Direct 2020: The Virtual Conference for Your Farm Business
  • North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition Summer Tour
  • Next Generation Summit

News & Resources

Survey Finds Few Veterinarians Treating Poultry and Livestock in Small-Scale Operations
A team of researchers surveyed veterinarians in California, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon regarding their treatment for backyard poultry and livestock. Of 880 survey respondents, most veterinarians perceived an increase in backyard poultry and livestock in their practice areas, but few were actively treating such animals, according to UC Davis. Reasons cited included lack of facilities, interest, or experience.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for: Working with a Veterinarian

Penn State Project to Create Roadmap for Successful Agritourism
Researchers from Penn State, the University of Vermont, and Oklahoma State University have received a $500,000 grant from USDA for a three-year project on agritourism. The project will develop a research-based resource for agritourism support organizations, to help them navigate regulatory hurdles and other barriers hampering success. The team then will develop and pilot-test outreach materials for farmers, policymakers, agricultural lenders and insurers, and county, regional, and statewide support organizations.

Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling with: Agritourism and "Pick-Your-Own"

Report Explores Climate Change Impacts for Specialty Crops in Southern California
The Climate Science Alliance and the California Department of Food and Agriculture have released 2020 Climate Change Impacts for Specialty Crops: Southern California Region, The report collects feedback and recommendations from producers across Southern California in an effort to better understand the climate impacts and challenges in the region and how best to support producers in building their resilience. The full 60-page report and summary guides in English and Spanish are available online.

OFRF and FFAR Announce Grants to Advance Soil Health Research
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded three grants to bolster soil health by developing innovative organic strategies for controlling weeds, pests, and disease. One of these went to Martin Guerena with the National Center for Appropriate Technology, to measure the efficacy of biosolarization.
Related ATTRA Publication: Soil Solarization and Biosolarization—Tipsheet

Pennsylvania Supporting Beginning Farmers with Tax Credits
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of $59 million in Beginning Farmer Tax Credits over the next decade for those who sell or rent agricultural land, livestock, equipment, buildings, or other assets to qualified beginning farmers.

USDA Reports on Adoption of Genetically Engineered Crops in the United States
USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) released its annual update on the adoption of genetically engineered (GE) corn, upland cotton, and soybeans in the United States. ERS reports that more than 90% of these crops are produced using GE varieties that are herbicide-tolerant (HT), insect-resistant (Bt), or stacked varieties that are a combination of both HT and Bt traits. Both the data sets and a summary of recent trends are available online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Genetically Modified Crops: Transgenics and Cisgenics

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program
USDA is accepting applications for the Rural Cooperative Development Grant program, which improves the economic condition of rural areas by helping individuals and businesses start, expand, or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually owned businesses through Cooperative Development Centers. Grant and matching funds can be used for both developing and operating a Rural Cooperative Development Center. Nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education are eligible to apply.
Applications are due by August 3, 2020.

Minnesota AGRI Farm to School Rapid Response Grants
Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) anticipates awarding up to $124,000 through two new Agricultural Growth, Research, and Innovation (AGRI) mini-grants to respond to the disruptions COVID-19 has caused in traditional Farm to School markets. Farm to School Rapid Response for Schools Grants are intended for school districts to begin, diversify, and expand purchasing from Minnesota producers during the COVID-19 pandemic. School districts may apply for $1,000 to $5,000 and there is no match required. Meanwhile, AGRI Farm to School Rapid Response for Food Vendors Grants are intended to support equipment purchases for food vendors that will help them to meet the product needs of schools during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Applications for both mini-grants will be reviewed twice monthly through August 12, 2020, or until funds run out.

Michigan Agricultural Safety Grants
Michigan Economic Development Corporation has two Agricultural Safety Grants available: MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant Program for farms with less than 10 employees and Agriculture Safety Grant for farms with 10 or more employees. These grants fund COVID-19 mitigation costs. The MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant Program will award $1.25 million in grants to eligible applicants. The Agriculture Safety Grant Program includes $10 million in grant funding for eligible agricultural processors and $5 million in grant funding for eligible farms from federal CARES act funding. For the Agriculture Safety Grant, agricultural processors will be eligible for $10,000 to $200,000. Farms will be eligible for $10,000 to $50,000. For the MEDC Small Farm Safety Grant, farms are eligible for $1,000 to $9,000.
Grants will be awarded to eligible applicants on a first-come, first-served basis.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Direct 2020: The Virtual Conference for Your Farm Business
August 4, 2020
Online
This free online conference will provide farmers with access to the best practices, minds, and insights to build a direct-to-market business. Learn how quality, brand, price, and convenience provide four levers for your farm to succeed selling direct.

North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition Summer Tour
July 31, 2020
Turtle Lake, North Dakota

The North Dakota Leopold Conservation Award and North Dakota Grazing Lands Coalition Summer Tour will take place at the 2019 N.D. Leopold Conservation Award Winners' Ranch. Tour highlights include maximizing cross fencing, applying prairie practices to cropland, and managing regrowth, diversity, and soil health.

Next Generation Summit
August 4, 5, and 7, 2020
Online
Practical Farmers of Iowa’s free Next Generation Summit brings together aspiring farmers and farmland owners in a way that allows for education and networking help to overcome the challenge of farmland access. This year the summit is offered virtually, in three parts.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Podcast
Small Ruminants: All About Health

Question of the Week
How can I differentiate my lamb from my competitors'?

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

Farm to School Producer-Support Community Roundtable I
July 28, 2020
Learn more.

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