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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 1, 2012

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

Dealing with Drought?
ATTRA has a helpful collection of drought-related resources available online, including PowerPoint presentations discussing management practices that may be used during or following a drought. Our Drought Resource Guide is a comprehensive list of text and Web-based resources on managing irrigation, pasture, and livestock during a drought, with additional resources on drought-disaster relief programs.

News & Resources

  • ATTRA Invites Sustainable Producers to Submit Feature Material
  • Land Leasing Publications Available Online
  • New Tools for Starting Food Policy Councils Announced
  • New England Milkshed Assessment Released
  • Report Presents Policy Solutions for Farmland Preservation
  • Conservation Agriculture Documentary to Premiere Online

Funding Opportunities

  • Wells Fargo Environmental Grant Program
  • Clarence Burch Award
  • Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants

Coming Events

  • National-International Urban & Small Farm Conference
  • National Conference on Facilitating Sustainable Agriculture Education
  • Farm and Food Leadership Conference

News & Resources

ATTRA Invites Sustainable Producers to Submit Feature Material
As we celebrate 25 years of ATTRA helping those who are passionate about sustainable agriculture, we'd like to spotlight some of the results of that passion on our website. Our new "Sustainable Producer Spotlight" will give producers from around the country the opportunity to show off their operations and talk about their philosophies of sustainable agriculture. If you'd like to take part, just fill out the form on our Spotlight Web page, and we'll be in touch.

Land Leasing Publications Available Online
Land for Good is making available several publications developed through the Land Access Project: Landowner's Guide to Leasing Land for Farming, Farmland Leasing for Private Landowners: A Short Guide, and Leasing Land to Farmers: A Handbook for Land Trusts, Municipalities, and Institutions. The guides assist landowners with the practical and legal considerations of making land available for farming by others.
Related ATTRA Publication: Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

New Tools for Starting Food Policy Councils Announced
The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) and Harvard Law School's Food Law and Policy Clinic have released a suite of tools that will make it easier for people across the country to start local food policy councils. CFSC is making available its census of existing food policy councils in North America, complete with listings, map, and analysis. Harvard's Good Laws, Good Food: Putting Local Food Policy to Work for Our Communities is a toolkit for navigating regulations, ordinances, and other legal topics in starting a food policy council. Additionally, CFSC is nearing completion of Getting Started: A Guide to Food Policy Council Development, a manual for those interested in launching or expanding a local food policy council.

New England Milkshed Assessment Released
Findings from the New England Milkshed Assessment, a collaboration between American Farmland Trust and the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, are now available. Topics include trends in the region's dairy sector and implications for its future; potential market opportunities for New England dairy farmers; ways in which state and federal policies impact dairy sustainability; and what consumers can do to support New England dairy farms and farming.

Report Presents Policy Solutions for Farmland Preservation
Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) has published Preserving Minnesota's Agricultural Land: Proposed Policy Solutions. This report analyzes Minnesota's current laws and practices regarding farmland preservation, suggests steps the state can take to strengthen and streamline existing programs, and recommends new tools the state can adopt to better preserve farmland. The report includes an overview of land use planning tools commonly used to preserve farmland and a look at farmland preservation policies and tools used in other states.

Conservation Agriculture Documentary to Premiere Online
Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) produced a six-part documentary with six- to ten-minute episodes that review the core principles and practices associated with conservation agriculture systems and provide examples of successful local adoption. The series premieres August 6 on the CASI website with a segment that lays out the theoretical principles and the scientific basis for conservation agriculture. Additional segments will be released each Monday.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Wells Fargo Environmental Grant Program
Wells Fargo offers two environmental grant programs: one addresses local environmental priorities and the other focuses on clean technology research and innovation while supporting entrepreneurs. In the first program, environmental nonprofits can apply for funding for large environmental projects that focus on sustainable agriculture and forestry, water quality, land conservation, and healthy urban ecosystems. The Clean Technology and Innovation Grant Program will seek to fund research and development projects taking place at the university, college, and industry lab level, as well as nonprofit clean technology incubators and accelerators.
Applications are being accepted until October 31, 2012.

Clarence Burch Award
The $20,000 Clarence Burch Award is given by Andrew Dunigan and the Dunigan Family through the Quivira Coalition Board of Directors. The award recognizes individuals or organizations who lead by example in promoting and accomplishing outstanding stewardship of private and/or public lands in ways that are consistent with the mission of the Quivira Coalition. Individuals, organizations, or projects directed by an organization within the conservation or ranching communities are eligible for the award.
Nominations are due by September 1, 2012.

Farm Labor Housing Loans and Grants
USDA Rural Housing Service plans to award loans and grants to increase the supply of available rental housing for domestic farm laborers. Groups eligible for the loans and grants include housing authorities, state and local governments, Indian tribes, non-profit organizations, and community- and faith-based groups. Priority will be given to applicants seeking funds for housing projects that are energy-efficient and generate energy.
Deadline for submitting pre-applications is September 17, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

National-International Urban & Small Farm Conference
September 7-9, 2012
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Growing Power will host this conference with over 3,000 participants expected, and 200 of the nation's most well-known food system experts sharing their knowledge. The conference will provide guidance on how to plan, develop, and grow small farms in urban and rural areas.

National Conference on Facilitating Sustainable Agriculture Education
September 9-10, 2012
Corvallis, Oregon

The Sustainable Agriculture Education Association will present a conference focused on "The Campus Food System: A Learning Laboratory." This conference will give sustainable agriculture educators, students, and advocates a chance to share and develop innovations in sustainable agriculture education.

Farm and Food Leadership Conference
September 10-11, 2012
Bastrop, Texas

The 6th Annual Farm and Food Leadership Conference focuses on the policies and regulations affecting farms and food. Hear top speakers on issues such as the Farm Bill, genetically modified foods, corporate control of our food system, animal welfare, and much more. The second day of the conference is an intensive workshop on activism.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.

© 2012 NCAT

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Updated Publication
Llamas and Alpacas on the Farm

Question of the Week
Should I filter water from a rainwater catchment system if it's used to irrigate vegetables?

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