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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 9, 2017

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.

News & Resources

  • Growers Invited to Take Survey of Attitudes about Crop Insurance
  • Publication Explores the Power of Food System Investments to Boost Regional Economies
  • Community Food Innovation Website Showcases Projects, Encourages Involvement
  • North Central Hard-Cider Industry Survey Results Posted
  • Nocturnal Pollinators Affected by Light Pollution
  • WORMINFO Listserv Supplies Small-Ruminant Parasite News

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
  • Indiana Specialty Crop Multi-state Grant Program
  • New Hampshire Conservation Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Texas Hispanic Farmer and Rancher Conference
  • Organic Growers School Harvest Conference
  • Opportunities in Organic Farming

News & Resources

Growers Invited to Take Survey of Attitudes about Crop Insurance
NCAT is asking growers to take a new survey that explores their needs and opinions about crop insurance. The 2014 Farm Bill greatly increased access to crop insurance for organic, diversified, and specialty crop growers, but so far only a small percentage of those who are eligible have taken advantage of the new opportunities. Confidential and anonymous, the survey takes just 20 to 30 minutes (on any computer, smart phone, or other mobile device) and is open to anyone who is farming or ranching commercially in the United States. A $20 honorarium is offered to the initial group of respondents. (Honorarium funds are limited.) Growers may take the survey online and are asked to share the link widely. For more information, e-mail cropinsurance@ncat.org.

Publication Explores the Power of Food System Investments to Boost Regional Economies
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, USDA Rural Development, and USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, has released Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities. The 306-page publication, available online, is a compilation of research, essays, and reports that explores the potential for the growing popularity of locally sourced food to be harnessed to boost economic opportunities for rural and urban communities.

Community Food Innovation Website Showcases Projects, Encourages Involvement
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has announced the release of its Community Food Innovation website. The interactive site showcases community-led projects increasing healthy food access, improving environmental sustainability, and building economic opportunities. The website is based on two reports commissioned by the Foundation: From the Ground Up and Intertribal Food Systems, both available for download.

North Central Hard-Cider Industry Survey Results Posted
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems surveyed hard-apple-cider businesses across 12 states in the North Central Region to better understand the industry's potential to contribute to local, sustainable food systems. A full report on the survey is available online. The majority of the cideries reported rapid growth and procure apples locally or regionally. The greatest challenges and industry constraints revolved around financing, marketing, and distribution.

Nocturnal Pollinators Affected by Light Pollution
A study from the University of Bern showed that nocturnal pollinators can be affected by artificial light, leading to a disruption of the pollination service they provide. Researchers found that flowers illuminated by artificial light experienced fewer visits from nocturnal pollinators, which resulted in lower fruit set. Furthermore, the study uncovered connections between the number of visits to plants by nocturnal pollinators and the number of visits by diurnal pollinators.

WORMINFO Listserv Supplies Small-Ruminant Parasite News
The American Consortium for Small Ruminant Parasite Control has introduced a new listserv. Subscribers will receive e-mail when new information has been posted to the Consortium's website. To subscribe, send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.umd.edu. In the body of the message, write "subscribe WORMINFO."
Related ATTRA Publication: Managing Internal Parasites in Sheep and Goats

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

NCR-SARE Research and Education Grant Program
North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is accepting applications for the Research and Education (R&E) program. It provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers/ranchers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through research projects or education/demonstration projects. Individual grants range from $50,000 to $200,000. NCR-SARE expects to fund nine to 10 projects in the 12-state region.
Pre-proposals are due October 19, 2017.

Indiana Specialty Crop Multi-state Grant Program
Indiana State Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the USDA Specialty Crop Multi-State Grant. This program offers grants to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through collaborative, multi-state projects that address the following regional or national level specialty crop issues: food safety; plant pests and disease; research; crop-specific projects addressing common issues; and marketing and promotion. Every project must include at least two out-of-state partners.
Applications are due by September 18, 2017.

New Hampshire Conservation Grant Program
The New Hampshire State Conservation Committee manages the Conservation Grant Program, which awards competitive grants annually to physical and tangible environmental projects that foster stewardship and the sustainability of New Hampshire's natural environment. The program's six focus areas include water quality and quantity, wildlife habitat, soil conservation, best management practices, conservation planning, and land conservation.
Applications are due on September 15, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Texas Hispanic Farmer and Rancher Conference
September 14-15, 2017
McAllen, Texas

NCAT and USDA-NRCS present this conference on sustainable agriculture for Hispanic farmers and ranchers. The event will include speakers on business planning, soil health, marketing, and access to resources for profitable production.

Organic Growers School Harvest Conference
September 8-10, 2017
Swannanoa and Mills River, North Carolina
This conference offers three intensive, full-day workshops on Friday. Saturday features 21 classes in seven tracks. On Sunday, Living Web Farms offers a Root Crop Production Intensive.

Opportunities in Organic Farming
September 8, 2017
Atlanta, Illinois

At this free field day at PrairiErth Farm, the MOSES Organic Farmers of the Year showcase their diverse livestock, crop, and vegetable operations, share their organic management practices, and highlight the on-farm research they're doing.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Grazing Plan Worksheet: Forage Production and Grazing Demand

Question of the Week
What rabbit breeds are best for meat production?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Farm-Based Food Safety Training
August 22, 2017
Kalispell, Montana
Register now for this free one-day workshop!

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