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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 6, 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.

Last Chance to Register for Armed to Farm!
Veterans and their spouses who apply by August 6 can spend several days in September learning about sustainable, small-scale farming at "Armed to Farm" (ATF) events in Arkansas or Mississippi. ATF will be a dynamic blend of farm tours and hands-on experience with classroom instruction.

News & Resources

  • USDA Introducing New Local Food Directories
  • USDA Greenhouse Gas Report Quantifies Impact of Land Management and Conservation
  • Illinois Adopts 'Homegrown by Heroes' Labeling Program
  • Research Explores Weed Control with Air-Sprayed Grit
  • USDA Extends Grass Fed Program to Small Sheep Producers
  • Research Compares Environmental Costs of Livestock-based Foods

Funding Opportunities

  • Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants
  • Farm Credit East AgEnhancement Grants
  • Kentucky Small Scale Farm Grant Program

Coming Events

  • National Heirloom Exposition
  • Managing the 4 P's: Pollinators, Parasites, Predators & Pests
  • Understanding Plant-Herbivore Interactions with Dr. Fred Provenza

News & Resources

USDA Introducing New Local Food Directories
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service is developing three new local food directories that will expand USDA's support for local and regional foods: a National Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) Enterprise Directory, a National Food Hub Directory, and a National On-Farm Market Directory. USDA invites local food business owners to list their operational details at www.usdalocalfooddirectories.com. The new directories will be available online early in 2015.

USDA Greenhouse Gas Report Quantifies Impact of Land Management and Conservation
A new USDA report provides uniform scientific methods for quantifying the changes in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and carbon storage from various land-management and conservation activities. Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Fluxes in Agriculture and Forestry: Methods for Entity-Scale Inventory will help USDA evaluate greenhouse gas conservation programs, as well as develop new tools and update existing ones to help farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners participate in emerging carbon markets.

Illinois Adopts 'Homegrown by Heroes' Labeling Program
The Illinois Department of Agriculture and the Illinois Farm Bureau are partnering with the Farmer Veteran Coalition to bring the Homegrown By Heroes product-labeling program to the state. The initiative will allow Illinois farmers, ranchers, and fishermen who have served or are still serving in any branch of the U.S. military to use a special logo on their agricultural products.

Research Explores Weed Control with Air-Sprayed Grit
A USDA Agricultural Research Service scientist and his cooperators have devised a tractor-mounted system that uses compressed air to spray particles of dried corn cobs to shred small annual weeds. The system gives organic growers an efficient way to remove weeds growing between row crops. "Propelled Abrasive Grit Management" achieved season-long weed control levels of 80 to 90% in field trials.

USDA Extends Grass Fed Program to Small Sheep Producers
The USDA Grass Fed Program for Small and Very Small Producers was designed as a verification tool to certify that animals meet the requirements of the grass-fed marketing claim standard. Producers who market lambs produced from less than 100 head of ewes per year can now be certified under the program.

Research Compares Environmental Costs of Livestock-based Foods
Research at the Weizmann Institute of Science, conducted in collaboration with U.S. scientists, compared the environmental costs of protein sources in the American diet. The team considered land use, irrigation water, greenhouse gas emissions, and nitrogen fertilizer use. The study found that beef is more costly to the environment by about 10 times on average than other animal-derived foods, including pork and poultry.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants
These grants fund projects conducted by agricultural producers with support and guidance from a technical advisor. Individual farmers or ranchers in the Western SARE region may apply for up to $15,000, and a group of three or more producers may apply for up to $25,000. Producers typically use their grants to conduct on-site experiments that can improve their operations and the environment and can be shared with other producers.
Applications are due by December 3, 2014.

Farm Credit East AgEnhancement Grants
Each year, Northeast agricultural credit associations and CoBank award grants to help organizations promote awareness of agriculture in the six New England states, New York, and New Jersey. Awards range from $500 to $8,000.
The next proposal deadline is December 1, 2014.

Kentucky Small Scale Farm Grant Program
This grant program targets aquatic farmers, certified organic farmers, farmers becoming certified organic, and small-scale farmers who want to improve marketability by adding value to a product. Kentucky farmers who sell $1,000 to $250,000 of agricultural produce are eligible to apply, as are corporations and cooperatives that serve Kentucky farms. Annual funding limits are $5,000 per farmer and $15,000 for organizations.
The next application deadline is October 1, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

National Heirloom Exposition
September 9-11, 2014
Santa Rosa, California

Billed as "The World's Pure Food Fair," this not-for-profit event is centered around the pure food movement, heirloom vegetables, and anti-GMO activism. The event includes speaker presentations and more than 300 vendors.

Managing the 4 P's: Pollinators, Parasites, Predators & Pests
September 6 or 7, 2014
Washington, DC

This workshop at the United States Botanic Garden features Rex Dufour of the National Center for Appropriate Technology. The workshop will discuss creating urban habitat for a range of pollinators, parasites and predators, and how to conserve beneficials. It will also address common pests and approaches to managing them.

Understanding Plant-Herbivore Interactions with Dr. Fred Provenza
September 8, 11, or 12, 2014
Athens, Tifton, or Carrollton, Georgia

Dr. Provenza is an internationally recognized pioneer and leader in the field of animal behavior and its application to the management of natural resources. His work has provided great insight into the relationships between soils, plants, herbivores, and people. Dr. Provenza will be offering seminars in three different locations.

>> 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
Pear Diseases Identification Sheet

Question of the Week
I recently acquired 15 acres of pasture with very overgrown grass. Can I manage this overgrowth with my 30 goats?

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

ATTRA Webinars
NCAT is offering two webinars on organic certification in Texas:
Organic Certification Basics ~ August 14
What's in an Organic Farm Plan? ~ August 21

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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