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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 27, 2011

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

Keep watch for two great new publications about organic production, available soon on our website. Disease and Insect Management in Organic Small Grains offers advice on pest management strategies, and Raising Organic Pigs: A Guide to USDA Certified Organic Requirements provides valuable information on methods to raise pigs sustainably. Visit our site – www.attra.ncat.org – to catch these publications as soon as they are published.

News & Resources

  • Senate Schedules Hearing on Role of Organics and Specialty Crops
  • Sustainable Community Food Systems Program for Arkansas and Appalachia Unveiled
  • Farm Futures Publishes Special Issue on Sustainable Farming
  • Study Documents Large-Scale Dairy Emissions of Greenhouse Gas
  • Poll Finds Americans Prefer Organic Foods
  • Farmers Market Delivery Services Proliferate

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE Partnership Grants
  • Georgia Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant
  • Vermont Meat Processing Capacity Expansion Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Growing Food and Justice For All
  • Farm & Food Leadership Conference
  • Scaling Up: Producing and Processing for the Larger Regional Market

News & Resources

Senate Schedules Hearing on Role of Organics and Specialty Crops
The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will hold a hearing on Thursday at 10:15 a.m. EST to examine the role specialty crops and organics play in American agriculture with a focus on opportunities in the next Farm Bill. The hearing will include a live, streaming webcast available for viewing on the committee website at http://ag.senate.gov.

Sustainable Community Food Systems Program for Arkansas and Appalachia Unveiled
Heifer International's United States program is kicking off a five-year program called The Seeds of Change Initiative that includes an initial investment of $2.25 million to help build sustainable community food systems in Arkansas and Appalachia.

Farm Futures Publishes Special Issue on Sustainable Farming
Farm Futures has published a special issue on The Greening of U.S. Agriculture that aims to show readers how sustainable practices can lower production costs, boost organic matter, lower risk of unneeded regulations, align commercial farming with consumer interests, and position U.S. farmers to feed the planet.

Study Documents Large-Scale Dairy Emissions of Greenhouse Gas
USDA scientists have produced the first detailed data on how large-scale dairy facilities contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases. A commercial dairy with 10,000 milk cows in southern Idaho generated a daily average of 3,575 pounds of ammonia, 33,092 pounds of methane and 409 pounds of nitrous oxide.

Poll Finds Americans Prefer Organic Foods
In the most recent Thomson Reuters-NPR Health Poll 58 percent of Americans say they choose organic over conventionally produced foods when they have the opportunity. Among those who prefer organic foods, 36 percent said they do so to support local farmer's markets.

Farmers Market Delivery Services Proliferate
Businesses are springing up across the country to provide home delivery of farm produce. Entrepreneurs at Green Bean Delivery in Columbus, Ohio, Doorganics in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Holy Cow Delivery in Kingstowne, Virginia are bringing farmers market bounty of vegetables, meat, eggs and dairy products to customers' doors.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE Partnership Grants
Partnership Grants are reserved for agricultural service providers--extension staff, nonprofits, consultants, state departments of agriculture, and others working in the agricultural community--who want to conduct on-farm demonstrations, research, marketing, and other projects with farmers as active cooperators.
Proposals are due November 1, 2011.

Georgia Section 319(h) Nonpoint Source Implementation Grant
Federal matching grants up to $400,000 are available to local governments and resource conservation and development councils for projects that prevent, control and/or abate nonpoint sources of pollution and address water quality impairments.
Grant applications must be postmarked by October 31, 2011.

Vermont Meat Processing Capacity Expansion Grant Program
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets is now accepting applications for the new Meat Processing Capacity Expansion Grant Program. A total of $50,000 is available for capital improvements including construction costs, materials and equipment, and wastewater system improvements.
Applications are due August 22, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Growing Food and Justice For All
September 7-11, 2011
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

This 4th Annual Gathering has the theme "Sacred Soil: Cultivating Seeds of Community Transformation". Intensive Leadership Facilitator Training is offered September 7-8 on "Building Diverse and Multicultural Alliances for Justice through the Food System".

Farm & Food Leadership Conference
September 11-13, 2011
San Antonio, Texas

Learn about the latest developments in agriculture and food, and get the tools you need to help make a difference, at this 5th annual conference.

Scaling Up: Producing and Processing for the Larger Regional Market
September 10, 2011
Westminster, Vermont

The New England state departments of agriculture are collaborating with the Northeast Farm-to-School Network and Healthcare without Harm on a marketing plan for increasing sales of regionally produced beef to institutions. The research team will give a presentation of the results and propose some steps to take to increase beef sales to large-scale regional consumers.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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Featured Publication
Agroforestry: An Overview

Question of the Week
What information can you give me on comparing energy requirements for different irrigation systems?

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Our latest webinars are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive

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