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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - July 30, 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.

Join the NCAT Team
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Sustainable Agriculture Specialist to work directly with farmers and ranchers on crop and livestock production, soil health, water quality, organic certification, and other topics. The position will be located at NCAT's San Antonio, Texas, office. Applications will be accepted through August 24, 2014, or until a suitable candidate can be identified.

News & Resources

  • Conservation Law Foundation Launches Legal Services Food Hub
  • Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research Announced
  • Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package Available
  • 'Organic Ready' Corn-Breeding Project Progresses
  • USGS Reports Neonicotinoid Insecticides Widespread in Midwest Streams
  • Farm Aid Announces 2014 Venue

Funding Opportunities

  • Animal Welfare Approved Good Husbandry Grants
  • Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program
  • Conservation Innovation Grants in Maryland

Coming Events

  • Harvest Conference
  • Fodder Production for Organic Dairy
  • Practical Options for Food Production Resilience in an Increasingly Variable Climate

News & Resources

Conservation Law Foundation Launches Legal Services Food Hub
Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) has launched the Legal Services Food Hub, a network that will connect lower-income farmers, brewers, cheesemakers, food-related organizations, and others in the Massachusetts and New England agriculture economy with pro bono legal services to help start, grow, and operate their businesses. CLF is recruiting attorneys to participate in the Legal Services Food Hub and is also accepting applications for legal assistance from farmers, food entrepreneurs, and related organizations.

Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research Announced
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the creation of the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR) and the appointment of a 15-member board of directors. The new foundation will leverage public and private resources to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to boosting America's agricultural economy. Congress provided $200 million for the foundation, which must be matched by non-federal funds.

Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package Available
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy has released a Farm to Childcare Curriculum Package that gives childcare providers a roadmap to connect young children with locally grown, minimally processed foods and the farmers who grow them. The package contains information on designing a Farm to Childcare menu and implementation schedule, recommendations on how to highlight local farmers, detailed examples of family engagement strategies, and extensive experiential learning activity suggestions.

'Organic Ready' Corn-Breeding Project Progresses
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) reports that an organic corn-breeding project is entering its fourth year and could have early releases of open pollinated "Organic Ready" corn available later this year. Plant breeder Frank Kutka has been working to develop a line of corn that will maintain its non-GMO integrity, using naturally occurring genes derived from popcorns and the ancient grain teosinte that create a screen against crossing with transgenic corn.

USGS Reports Neonicotinoid Insecticides Widespread in Midwest Streams
A new U.S. Geological Survey study reports that neonicotinoids were found commonly in streams throughout the Midwest. Nine rivers and streams, including the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, were included in the study, and the chemicals were found in all nine. Clothianidin was the most commonly detected chemical, showing up in 75% of the sites and at the highest concentrations, up to 257 nanograms per liter.

Farm Aid Announces 2014 Venue
Farm Aid will shine a spotlight on family farmers at its annual concert, to be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, on September 13. Farm Aid 2014, an all-day music and food festival, will feature a unique lineup of artists and genres and will offer concert-goers family farm-identified, local, and organic foods. The event will feature Willie Nelson & Family, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds, Jack White and many more artists. Tickets will go on sale on August 1.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Animal Welfare Approved Good Husbandry Grants
Grants are available to improve animal welfare for Animal Welfare Approved farms, farms that have completed an application to join the program, or slaughter plants that are working with an AWA farm and/or have consented to be reviewed by AWA. Funding priorities for this cycle include: improved genetics, increased outdoor access, welfare improvements in the slaughter process, and non-lethal predator control.
Application deadline is October 1, 2014.

Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program
USDA Office of Advocacy and Outreach is accepting applications to assist socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in owning and operating farms and ranches while increasing their participation in USDA agricultural programs and services. This program will assist eligible community-based organizations, higher education institutions, and tribal entities in providing outreach and technical assistance.
Application deadline is August 25, 2014.

Conservation Innovation Grants in Maryland
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Maryland is accepting applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG). CIG projects are expected to lead to the transfer of conservation technologies, management systems, and innovative approaches into NRCS policy, technical manuals, guides, and references, or to the private sector. Grants up to $75,000 are available.
Applications are due by August 22, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Harvest Conference
September 5-6, 2014
Asheville, North Carolina

Organic Growers School presents this event with a focus on the fall growing season, harvesting, canning, growing, gardening, energy, cooking, and more. Presentations are offered in six tracks, and there are preconference workshops.

Fodder Production for Organic Dairy
August 27, 2014
Whitesville, New York

NOFA-NY and Organic Valley CROPP Cooperative present this free event at B-A Blessing Farm. Learn how to incorporate fodder production on your farm and hear from John Stoltzfus about how fodder is produced and fed as a part of his milking-herd ration.

Practical Options for Food Production Resilience in an Increasingly Variable Climate
September 1 or 2, 2014
Newton or Amherst, Massachusetts

NOFA Massachusetts offers two opportunities to spend the day with Dr. Christine Jones, learning about sequestration of carbon and humus development through appropriate agricultural practices.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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 Diseases Identification Sheet

Question of the Week
Can I plant figs in an unheated greenhouse in Zone 6?

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

ATTRA Webinars
Organic Certification Basics ~ August 14. NCAT offers an opportunity for Texas producers to learn the ABC's of organic certification requirements.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
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