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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 12, 2020

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

  • Virtual Listening Sessions Scheduled on Feasibility of Insuring Local Food Production
  • Regenerative Organic Certified Standard Accepting Products
  • New Publication Explores Agriculture's Potential Contribution to Clean Water
  • Expanded Agroforestry Webinar Library Provides Resources
  • Extension Video Series Offers Energy Answers for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
  • Additional Commodities Added to Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Funding Opportunities

  • Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR) 30
  • Wisconsin Farm Support Program
  • High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Community-Initiated Grants

Coming Events

  • Acres U.S.A. Healthy Soil Summit
  • South Dakota Grazing School
  • Food Safety Fridays Webinar Series: Manage Wildlife

News & Resources

Virtual Listening Sessions Scheduled on Feasibility of Insuring Local Food Production
Under contract to USDA's Risk Management Agency (RMA), Agralytica is holding a series of virtual listening sessions to collect feedback from farmers and ranchers who sell to local food markets, such as farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs), roadside stands, restaurants, retailers, schools, and institutions. The 16 sessions, which will be held from mid-August through early September, are divided by region, commodity, and market channel. The schedule is available online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Is Organic Farming Risky? Improving Crop Insurance for Organic Farms

Regenerative Organic Certified Standard Accepting Products
The Regenerative Organic Alliance (ROA) announced that the Regenerative Organic Certified™ (ROC™) certification standard for food, fiber, and personal care products has completed its pilot phase and is now open for general certification. Before being eligible for ROC, farms must first hold USDA organic certification. ROC then adds further criteria to ensure soil health, animal welfare, and social fairness. ROA will increase the number of approved certifiers and begin certifying new brands, effective immediately.

New Publication Explores Agriculture's Potential Contribution to Clean Water
Pasa Sustainable Agriculture has published Water Farming: Managing Agricultural Lands for Clean & Safe Water. This booklet examines both the challenges and opportunities agriculture offers for improving water quality and, in turn, human and environmental health. It also explores why implementing sustainable farming practices is one of the most straightforward and cost-effective solutions available for alleviating water pollution.
Related ATTRA Publication: Protecting Riparian Areas: Farmland Management Strategies

Expanded Agroforestry Webinar Library Offers Resources
The USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) recently updated its library of archived webinars related to agroforestry practices and related issues. The library contains more than 160 archived webinars, searchable by agroforestry practice or by year. Additionally, NAC's index of SARE grants related to agroforestry has been updated to include 15 new projects related to alley cropping, forest farming, windbreaks, and silvopasture.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agroforestry: An Overview

Extension Video Series Offers Energy Answers for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
Farm energy experts from university extension programs across the country have created a YouTube channel called Energy Answers for the Beginning Farmer & Rancher. USDA sponsored the development of a series of extension materials and short videos that address energy audits, biodiesel, livestock ventilation, sizing produce coolers, solar on a farm, and many more topics.
Related ATTRA Resources: Renewable Energy Options

Additional Commodities Added to Coronavirus Food Assistance Program
USDA announced additional commodities that will be covered by the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). The deadline to apply for the program has been extended to September 11, 2020. The newly added products include nursery crops and cut flowers, several aquaculture species, liquid and frozen eggs, sheep, and specialty crops including microgreens and pumpkins. The full list is available online. Furthermore, USDA announced that producers who already had approved applications and received 80% payments will automatically receive the remaining 20% of their payments.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Clean Lakes, Estuaries and Rivers (CLEAR) 30
Farm Service Agency (FSA) is accepting signups for CLEAR30, a new pilot program that offers farmers and landowners an opportunity to enroll in a 30-year Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contract. This pilot is available to farmers and landowners with expiring water-quality practice CRP contracts in the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay regions. Annual rental payment for landowners who enroll in CLEAR30 will be equal to the current Continuous CRP annual payment rate plus an inflationary adjustment.
Signup ends August 21, 2020.

Wisconsin Farm Support Program
The Wisconsin Farm Support Program is a federally funded program that provides relief to farmers who suffered economic damages in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are open for a second round of the program. Money will be allocated on a sliding scale and will be based on the amount of gross farm income in 2019. Farms with gross 2019 income of at least $10,000, but not more than $5 million, are eligible to apply.
Applications are due by August 24, 2020.

High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety Community-Initiated Grants
As part of the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (HICAHS) Outreach Program, funds are provided to organizations to augment their existing worker health and safety programs or create new ones. All funded projects must focus on improving the health or safety of agricultural, forestry, or fishing workers. Priority is given to organizations/projects in Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and/or Wyoming. Applicants may request up to $20,000.
Applications are due by September 1, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Acres U.S.A. Healthy Soil Summit
August 25-26, 2020
Online
This online event will gather growers for intensive learning on strategies to create overall farm resilience, starting from the soil up. Attendees will have unique opportunities to meet fellow attendees through networking, breakout discussions, and Soil Innovation Hours.

South Dakota Grazing School
August 25-27, 2020
Wall, South Dakota

South Dakota Grassland Coalition will host the West River/South Dakota grazing school, designed for producers and anyone with an interest in learning how to best manage grasslands to benefit livestock. Participants will hear presentations in the classroom and gain experience with hands-on activities in the field.

Food Safety Fridays Webinar Series: Manage Wildlife
August 21, 2020
Online
This monthly webinar series, hosted by the Maryland Food Safety Network, focuses on how to comply with key provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act's Produce Safety Rule.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Podcast
Starting a Farm: Soil Considerations

Question of the Week
How do I process SNAP payments for my CSA?

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

Weekly Wednesday Workshop: Cultivating Soil Health
August 12, 2020
Attend online or by phone.

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