Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - July 28, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* National Organic Farmers Survey Released
* 2004 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture Winners Named
* Organic Farm Uses High-tech Adaptation of CSA Model
* New Publications Help Score Soil Health, Scout Pests
* Getting Local Produce to Local Kitchens: a Difficult Task
* Seeds and Breeds Summit Proceedings Available Online
* NRCS Conservation Partnership Initiative
* Western Integrated Pest Management Center Request for Applications
* New York Agricultural and Farmland Protection Projects
* Grazing Lands Dollar$ and Cent$ Conference
* Renewable Energy on the Farm: A Hands-on Tour
* Native Food Summit 2004
News & Resources
National Organic Farmers Survey Released
The Organic Farming Research Foundation recently released The Fourth National Organic Farmers' Survey: Sustaining Organic Farms in a Changing Organic Marketplace [764K PDF]. The survey gathered information on a wide variety of topics related to organic markets and marketing, and included significant issues that affect organic markets, such as organic farmers’ perceived risk of contamination of certified organic crops by genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and information and services most needed by organic farmers to help with marketing their farm products. As with past surveys, OFRF also collected key demographic and production information. In spring 2002, OFRF mailed the 22-page survey to certified organic farmers throughout the U.S, with 1,034 farmers responding, an 18% response rate.
2004 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture Winners Named
A Boone County farm couple who have been pioneers in sustainable agriculture will be honored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture as part of the festivities during the 2004 Iowa State Fair. Richard and Sharon Thompson will receive the 2004 Spencer Award for Sustainable Agriculture at 4 p.m., Saturday, August 14. The Thompsons operate a 300-acre diverse crop and livestock farm, raising beef cattle and hogs. They farmed conventionally for 10 years and in 1968 began to test alternative methods to reduce their use of chemicals and antibiotics. In 1985 they were instrumental in founding Practical Farmers of Iowa, a grassroots farmer organization that focuses on practical research and on-farm demonstrations. Since 1986, they have hosted more than 8,600 people from 59 countries on their farm and have shared information about their successful system throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Italy and Australia. They keep meticulous records and publish a 200-page annual report with findings of their on-farm experiments. The Spencer Award recognizes farmers, researchers and educators who have made a significant contribution toward the stability of mainstream family farms in Iowa.
Organic Farm Uses High-tech Adaptation of CSA Model
The Morning Call ran an article featuring Covered Bridge Produce, a 26-acre organic farm that sells vegetables to customers in Eastern Pennsylvania. Like many other farms, Covered Bridge Produce operates as a CSA where members receive weekly deliveries of produce. Unlike many other farms, though, Covered Bridge posts its weekly produce availability on its website, and CSA members place orders for the specific vegetables they want. Customer orders dictate what is picked and grown on the farm. The business model was developed by farm owner Joseph Griffin, who runs the operation with the help of employees and interns
New Publications Help Score Soil Health, Scout Pests
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison released two new publications in June 2004, both of which are available online. The Wisconsin Soil Health Scorecard (PDF / 484 kb) assesses soil health as a function of soil, plant, animal and water properties identified by farmers. The scorecard is a field tool to monitor and improve soil health based on field experience and a working knowledge of a soil. Scouting Vegetables for Pests (PDF / 1.02 mb) helps Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practitioners know what insects and diseases to look for on each particular crop family, when they are likely to be a problem, how to monitor their population levels, and at what threshold levels the practitioner should consider controlling the population to prevent crop loss.
Getting Local Produce to Local Kitchens: a Difficult Task
An article in The New York Times explores the question of how New York City can support area farms and nourish residents at the same time, given the marketing difficulties that small- and medium-scale producers face. The Bronx Terminal Market encapsulates the issue. Once a prime location for farmers to sell to city food markets and restaurants, the market is now scheduled for demolition. With the demolition, residents will lose access to fresh local produce and growers will lose one of the few remaining wholesale market locations in the city available to small producers. One solution to keep seasonal, local produce in New York would be to establish a wholesale farmers’ market, and development of a New York City food policy council would have an even greater impact on local food distribution and nutrition. Both projects have received research grants and hope to be up and running in some form by early next year.
Seeds and Breeds Summit Proceedings Available Online
The Rural Advancement Foundation International USA (RAFI-USA) is making the proceedings of its 2003 Summit on Seeds and Breeds for 21st Century Agriculture (PDF / 5 mb) available online. The event, held in Washington, DC, in September 2003, sought to develop a blueprint for re-invigorating public domain plant and animal breeding to meet the needs of a more sustainable agriculture.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site: Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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NRCS Conservation Partnership Initiative
The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announces the availability of up to $1,000,000 through the Conservation Partnership Initiative (CPI). The CPI offers a mechanism to foster partnerships that will focus technical and financial resources on conservation priorities in watersheds of special significance or other geographic areas of environmental sensitivity. Applications must be received at the appropriate NRCS State Office(s) by 5 p.m. (local time) on September 10, 2004.
Western Integrated Pest Management Center Request for Applications
The Western Integrated Pest Management (WIPM) Center announces the availability of funds and requests proposals for Workgroups and Information Networks that support the Western Integrated Pest Management Center's goals. Funding in the amount of approximately $305,000 is available for this competitive subcontracts program. Proposals are limited to the following states and territories: Alaska, Arizona, California (except information networks), Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, American Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Guam and Northern Marianas. Funding for individual projects is expected to be in the range of $5,000 to $10,000. Proposals are due by September 3, 2004.
New York Agricultural and Farmland Protection Projects
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets invites proposals for funding to implement agricultural and farmland protection plans that have been developed by counties and municipalities. Such funding will support local initiatives that are intended to maintain the economic viability of the State's agricultural industry and its supporting land base and to protect the environmental and landscape preservation values associated with agriculture. Proposals for FY 2004-2005 funding must be received by 4:30 p.m. EST on October 1, 2004.
For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Grazing Lands Dollar$ and Cent$ Conference
August 13-14, 2004
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Sponsored by the Oklahoma Grazing Lands Conservation Association, this conference deals with profits, organic farming, drought, marketing and succession planning.
Renewable Energy on the Farm: A Hands-on Tour
August 20, 2004
Ecological Farming Association and Solar Living Institute present this tour of renewable energy systems in action, featureing biofuels, photovoltaics, solar power and green building, as well as an organic lunch.
Native Food Summit 2004
September 9-11, 2004
First Nations Development Institute Sponsors Gathering that will Change the Way Native Americans Eat & Live. The Native Food Summit 2004 is a three and a half day initiation into Native food, how to build sustainable agri and aqua cultures, and the most effective ways to market those fruits of Indian Country's labor and land.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
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ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter of ATTRA, the National
Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web
site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National
Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant
from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural
Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
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