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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 26, 2017

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

  • Health Insurance Costs Threaten Farm Viability
  • NOSB Schedules Web Conference on Hydroponics in Organics
  • Texas A&M AgriLife Developing Organic Rice Best Practices
  • Cornell Project Evaluates Organic Grains for the Northeast
  • Proposals Sought for Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference
  • New York Supports Industrial Hemp Industry Development

Funding Opportunities

  • Minnesota Value Added Grants
  • FACT Workshop Scholarships for Livestock & Poultry Farmers
  • Western North Carolina Agricultural Options

Coming Events

  • Adding Organic to Large-Scale Farms
  • Rotational Grazing Clinic
  • Organic Variety Trials Field Day

News & Resources

Health Insurance Costs Threaten Farm Viability
A study by the University of Vermont and the University of Chicago revealed that lack of access to affordable health insurance is one of the most significant concerns facing American farmers. Health-related costs are a cross-sector risk for agriculture, tied to farm risk management, productivity, health, retirement, the need for off-farm income, and land access for young and beginning farmers.

NOSB Schedules Web Conference on Hydroponics in Organics
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will meet via conference on August 14, 2017, from 1:00 - 3:00 pm Eastern to discuss hydroponics in organic food production. The public is invited to listen to the NOSB discuss the development of a proposal on hydroponics. The NOSB will not be voting on a recommendation during this conference.

Texas A&M AgriLife Developing Organic Rice Best Practice
Rice scientists at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center-Beaumont are involved in a three-year, multi-state, $1 million project exploring which rice varieties will yield best in an environment with no chemical treatments against diseases, weeds, or insects. The research team is evaluating different rice varieties, seeding rates, flood timing, and nitrogen-addition options, and sharing their results with growers.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Rice Production

Cornell Project Evaluates Organic Grains for the Northeast
Value-Added Grains for Local and Regional Food Systems, a project led by Cornell University, is evaluating which modern, ancient, and heritage wheat varieties are most adapted for Northeastern and north-central climates under organic conditions. The project is also exploring best practices for processing and identifying marketing channels. The project also evaluated various varieties for how they perform for various applications in cooking and baking.

Proposals Sought for Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference
Black Urban Growers is accepting presentation/workshop proposals for the Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference to be held in Atlanta, Georgia, November 10-12, 2017. "Rooted and Rising: Black Southern Land Legacies of Resistance & Resilience" is the theme. Proposals must be completed online or postmarked by August 1, 2017.

New York Supports Industrial Hemp Industry Development
New York legislation solidified the status of industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity and created an industrial hemp working group to advise the State on research and policies. It also created a one-stop-shop website to help producers and processors better understand State and Federal regulations and requirements. In addition, up to $10 million will be available through two initiatives to advance industrial hemp research and economic development opportunities for industrial hemp businesses.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Minnesota Value Added Grants
This program seeks to increase sales of Minnesota agricultural products by diversifying markets and increasing market access and food safety of value-added products. Businesses may apply for funding to purchase equipment or make physical improvements. Applications that have a meat-processing or marketing component, or address a food-safety plan, will receive priority. Grant funds reimburse up to 25% of the total project cost with a maximum award of $200,000.
Applications must be received by September 20, 2017.

FACT Workshop Scholarships for Livestock & Poultry Farmers
FACT will award scholarships of up to $100 to livestock and poultry farmers to cover the cost of farm tours, field days, workshops, conferences, or any other training related to humane farming techniques. Any workshop, field day, conference, or training in the continental United States that covers humane animal husbandry practices is eligible.
Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Western North Carolina Agricultural Options
WNC Agricultural Options is accepting grant applications for $3,000 or $6,000 from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. Applicants should contact their Cooperative Extension Agents to discuss their projects. The program offers grants for farms in numerous counties of Western North Carolina.
Applications must be received by November 14, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Adding Organic to Large-Scale Farms
August 24, 2017
Grand Marsh, Wisconsin

This day-long event visits 3,200-acre Wallendal Farms, which is in the process of transitioning one third of its crop ground to organic production, adding additional complexity, diversity, and resilience to its operation.

Rotational Grazing Clinic
August 25-26, 2017
Kingston, New York
This hands-on clinic from Cornell Cooperative Extension will provide you with the practical skills to implement a rotational grazing system on your property. The event includes a classroom session and a farm visit.

Organic Variety Trials Field Day
August 24, 2017
Verona, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin West Madison Agricultural Research Station offers an afternoon opportunity to see the beautiful vegetable trials, season-extending technology, and cover crops under a certified organic system.

>>More Events

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Farm-Based Food Safety Video Series

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