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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 23, 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.

News & Resources

  • National Farmers Market Week Set for August 3-9
  • Landowner Guide to Pollinator-Friendly Practices Released
  • USDA Announces Organic Certification Cost-Share Funding
  • New Manual Helps Fruit and Vegetable Growers with Machinery Sharing
  • Program for Women Beginning Farmers in the Northeast Accepting Applications
  • Study Links Bird Population Declines with Neonicotinoid Concentrations

Funding Opportunities

  • Food and Farm Communications Fund
  • Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
  • Minnesota Farm to School Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Student Organic Seed Symposium
  • Bioenergy Feedstock Field Days
  • Iowa Grazing Workshops with Jim Gerrish

News & Resources

National Farmers Market Week Set for August 3-9
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has declared August 3-9, 2014, National Farmers Market Week. This 15th annual event recognizes the important role that farmers markets play in the agricultural and food economy. USDA and others will celebrate our nation's thousands of farmers markets, farmers who make them possible, and the communities that host them. Special events are planned at farmers markets across the country.

Landowner Guide to Pollinator-Friendly Practices Released
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has released Farmer and Landowner Guide to Pollinators and Neonicotinoids in collaboration with Pesticide Action Network. This guide provides current research on causes of pollinator declines and gives landowners and farmers information on ways they can directly help pollinators survive and thrive on their land and beyond. The full guide is available online.

USDA Announces Organic Certification Cost-Share Funding
USDA has announced that Farm Bill funding is now available for organic certification cost-share assistance. Through the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, $11.5 million is available to all states. Through the Agricultural Management Assistance Organic Certification Cost-Share Program, an additional $1.5 million is available to organic operations in specified states.

New Manual Helps Fruit and Vegetable Growers with Machinery Sharing
A new manual from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Machinery Sharing Manual for Fruit and Vegetable Growers, discusses operational and organizational issues related to sharing specialized farm machinery. The 50-page publication is available online for download.

Program for Women Beginning Farmers in the Northeast Accepting Applications
Holistic Management International offers its program "Beginning Farmers and Ranchers: Women in the Northeast" for women farmers and ranchers with less than 10 years of experience. The course includes 60 hours of training across 10 sessions. Applications are currently being accepted for the program in New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Maine. Application deadlines vary by state.

Study Links Bird Population Declines with Neonicotinoid Concentrations
A study in the Netherlands, reported in the journal Nature, revealed that insectivorous bird populations showed greater decline in areas with higher surface-water concentrations of the most widely used neonicotinoid insecticide, imidacloprid.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Food and Farm Communications Fund
The Food and Farm Communications Fund is accepting letters of inquiry from U.S. nonprofit organizations for grants from $10,000 to $100,000. Proposals for projects that expand the good food movement's communications capacity are evaluated against a set of specific goals and outcomes.
Letters of inquiry are due by September 1, 2014.

Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is seeking proposals through its Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program to carry out research, education, and on-farm demonstration projects. Competitive grants may be awarded to individuals for up to $10,000 and units of government, nonprofit groups, institutions, or organizations for up to $20,000.
Proposals must be received by October 15, 2014.

Minnesota Farm to School Grant Program
The goal of the Farm to School Grant Program is to increase sales of Minnesota agricultural products to elementary schools, secondary schools, and child care centers. Up to 75% of feasibility study project cost may be covered by grants ranging from $1,000 to $30,000. Up to 50% of equipment purchases or physical improvements may be covered by grants from $1,000 to $50,000.
Proposals must be received by November 3, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Student Organic Seed Symposium
August 17-21, 2014
Ithaca, New York

This event will bring together the leading scientists and graduate student plant breeders from across the country to interact with and learn from Finger Lakes Region stakeholders and systems. Participants will share ideas and knowledge and develop new knowledge, experience, and capacity to advance crop improvement for sustainable agriculture.

Bioenergy Feedstock Field Days
August 19 or 20, 2014
Beaver Crossing or Dawson, Nebraska

These free field days will provide information on the agronomics, economics, and sustainability of biomass production of switchgrass and other perennial energy grasses. The field days are sponsored by CenUSA Bioenergy.

Iowa Grazing Workshops with Jim Gerrish
August 18-22, 2014
Various locations, Iowa

A series of five workshops featuring grazing consultant Jim Gerrish will be held in different locations across Iowa. Each session includes classroom discussions and pasture walks at local farms.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
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Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2014 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Peach Insect Pests Identification Sheet

Question of the Week
I've heard rainwater has a lower pH than municipal water. Would this be an advantage in a rainwater-collection system?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

Armed to Farm
Arkansas and Mississippi veterans can register for week-long sustainable agriculture training events until August 1.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
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