Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 8, 2007
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund Launched
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* New Health Reference Available for Alternative Swine Production
* SARE Photo Contest Invites Entries
* Farm Beginnings Course Helps Launch Grass-based Dairy
* Beneficial Insects Aid in Soybean Aphid Control
* Web Site Offers Agricultural Videos
* Small Business Innovation Research Grant
* Tennessee Producer Diversification Cost Share
* Pennsylvania Agriculture and Rural Youth Grant Program
* Sustainable Small Acreage Farming Course
* Organic Tree Fruit Growers Network Field Day
News & Resources
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund Launched
On July 4th, 2007, a nonprofit organization was formed to protect the rights of farmers to provide meat, eggs, raw dairy products, vegetables and other foods directly to consumers. According to the group's legal counsel, its educational services will include up-to-date information on legal and regulatory issues as well as model contracts for cow-share, herd-share, farm-share or other contractual agreements that may be needed in order for consumers to obtain raw dairy products and other nutritious foods directly from farmers. In addition, the Fund will lobby for passage of laws favorable to raw milk sales, on-farm processing and grass-based, organic and sustainable farming methods.
New Health Reference Available for Alternative Swine Production
A new publication, Managing for Herd Health in Alternative Swine Systems (PDF/703KB), serves as a guidebook for swine producers not raising their hogs in a "conventional" operation. This publication was developed through a collaborative effort between swine producers, field veterinarians, Iowa State scientists, and Practical Farmers of Iowa. The publication covers many areas of herd health and also has examples and producer profiles from experienced hog farmers. Copies of the publication can be downloaded from the web site or are available free of charge from Practical Farmers of Iowa.
SARE Photo Contest Invites Entries
In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, SARE is holding a photo contest. They are seeking photos of Groundbreaking Innovations, People and Partnerships in Sustainable Agriculture. The top four photos, one from each of SARE’s regions in the United States, will receive grand prizes of free attendance and accommodations at SARE’s 20th Anniversary conference, to be held March 25-27, 2008 in Kansas City, Missouri. The deadline for entries is October 31, 2007, and entry information is available online.
Farm Beginnings Course Helps Launch Grass-based Dairy
Roger and Michelle Benrud participated in the first Farm Beginnings project offered by the Land Stewardship Project a decade ago. Today the couple operates an award-winning certified organic grass-based dairy that milks 100 cows, says a story on Minnesota Ag Connection. They represent just one of the many success stories that the Farm Beginnings program has fostered. The program, which trains and mentors new farmers, is now offered in several states.
Related ATTRA Publication: The Economics of Grass-based Dairying
Beneficial Insects Aid in Soybean Aphid Control
University of Missouri Extension is encouraging farmers to scout for soybean aphids, but cautions against opting for insecticide controls right away, according to an article on Missouri Ag Connection. "We have lots of beneficial insects available to eat the soybean pests," says entomologist Wayne Bailey. "If you spray for aphids, you kill beneficial insects, and we may need those beneficials later in the season." Bailey advises scouting until pest levels reach economic damage threshholds, and then choosing among available treatment options.
Web Site Offers Agricultural Videos
WebVideo is a one-stop resource for University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension archived programs and conferences. Nebraska Farmer reports other UNL Extension programs and conferences archived for viewing include the Beef Satellite Short Course, Ag at the Crossroads, Range Beef Cow Symposium and the Equestrian Academy, just to name a few. Topics cover crop marketing, insurance decisions, water management, rural entrepreneurship, beef production and more.
> More Breaking News
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Small Business Innovation Research Grant
The purpose of the SBIR program is to provide an opportunity for US-owned, for-profit small business firms to submit innovative, applied, research and development projects that address important problems facing American agriculture and have the potential to lead to significant public benefit if the research is successful. Research proposals are accepted in any of the following topic areas: 1) Forests and Related Resources; 2) Plant Production and Protection - Biology; 3) Animal Production and Protection; 4) Soil and Water Resources; 5) Food Science and Nutrition; 6) Rural Development; 7) Aquaculture; 8) Biofuels and Biobased Products; 9) Marketing and Trade; 10) Animal Manure Management; 11) Small and Mid-Size Farms; and 12) Plant Production and Protection - Engineering.
Proposals are due September 5, 2007.
Tennessee Producer Diversification Cost Share
The purpose of this program is to increase farm income in Tennessee by encouraging producers to expand and improve their operations through production of diversified agricultural products. This goal will be achieved by providing cost share funds for farmers to install farm infrastructure, purchase specialty equipment and market their diversified farm products. Producers can apply for reimbursement of 35% cost share, up to the maximum, for activities or items within three funding categories. The maximum cost share available per producer is $10,000 per fiscal year.
Proposals are due August 31, 2007.
Pennsylvania Agriculture and Rural Youth Grant Program
The purpose of the Agriculture and Rural Youth Grant Program is to fund projects, which will increase the knowledge and awareness of agricultural and rural issues in Pennsylvania, in particular among the youth of Pennsylvania. The Program awards direct grants up to $2,500 and matching grants up to $10,000. Eligible youth organizations are those which are primarily comprised of persons eighteen years of age or younger, and are organized within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to promote development in the areas of agriculture, rural community leadership, vocational training or peer fellowship.
Proposals are due October 31, 2007.
> More Funding Opportunities
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August 18, 2007
The National Center for Appropriate Technology is hosting its second SustainabilityFEST, featuring presentations, exhibits and products related to sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities. Admission is free, and activities and entertainment for kids and adults are offered.
Sustainable Small Acreage Farming Course
September 19 - December 12, 2007
WSU Snohomish County Extension offers this 13-week course combining classroom and on-farm learning experiences. Local farmers and university specialists will share their expertise. Students will have a chance to learn about key community resources and build a network of connections.
Organic Tree Fruit Growers Network Field Day
August 22, 2007
Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin
Join Matt Stasiak of University of Wisconsin and Network participants at UW's Peninsular Ag Research Station to view the organic tart cherry and apple orchard blocks being established. Presentations on production and disease control are scheduled. Advance registration is required.
> More Events
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