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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 14, 2019

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

  • Soil Health Innovations Conference Seeks Presentation Proposals
  • Online Tool Helps Farmers Find USDA Farm Loans that Fit
  • Study Examines Where Food Hubs Flourish
  • Climate Change and Land Report Highlights Importance of Sustainable Land Management
  • California Agritourism Website Offers Resources
  • Report Highlights Regenerative Agriculture Investment Strategies

Funding Opportunities

  • Native American Agriculture Fund
  • North Central Region SARE Research and Education Grant Program
  • Southern Maryland Farmer Mini-Grant Program

Coming Events

  • National Conference for Outreach and Agriculture Development
  • Prescribed Grazing Plan Workshop
  • Guiding Wisconsin Farmers to Legal Resilience

News & Resources

Soil Health Innovations Conference Seeks Presentation Proposals
The National Center for Appropriate Technology's ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program is inviting submission of proposals for plenary and poster presentations by September 20, 2019, for our inaugural Soil Health Innovations conference. We encourage proposals that address the future of sustainable agricultural through better soil health practices that incorporate present and future concepts, techniques, and practical applications.The conference is presented in cooperation with Western SARE, USDA, and Montana State University and being held March 30-31, 2020, in Bozeman, Montana.

Online Tool Helps Farmers Find USDA Farm Loans that Fit
USDA has launched a Farm Loan Discovery Tool on farmers.gov that can help farmers and ranchers find information on USDA farm loans that may fit their operations. Farmers can answer a few simple questions and be provided information on farm loans that best fit their specific needs. The loan application and additional resources are also provided. Farmers can download application quick guides that outline what to expect.

Related ATTRA Publication: Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers

Study Examines Where Food Hubs Flourish
A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics found that a county seeking to establish its first food hub needs roughly 182,000 residents for that food hub to break even. Researchers found that roughly 500,000 residents would be required to sustain a second food hub and three times more to sustain a third. Researchers point to "a potential danger to unintentionally over-support and over-populate the sector."
Related ATTRA Publication: Food Hubs: A Producer Guide

Climate Change and Land Report Highlights Importance of Sustainable Land Management
Climate Change and Land, a report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says that fundamental changes in land management can mitigate and help ecosystems cope with a changing climate. The report reveals how climate change, land management, and global food security interact, creating complex feedback loops. The report says that wholistic, nature-based solutions, such as agroforestry, reforestation, and afforestation programs, can reduce land degradation and act as carbon sinks.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agriculture, Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration

California Agritourism Website Offers Resources
University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources has developed a new website, "California Agritourism," that compiles articles, worksheets, checklists, guides, webinars, presentations, contacts, and other materials, as well as links to useful agritourism resources. The website also shares materials useful for agricultural educators, researchers, county and municipal staff, and the tourism community in supporting agritourism development and regional agritourism promotion.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling with: Agritourism and "Pick-Your-Own"

Report Highlights Regenerative Agriculture Investment Strategies
Researchers from Croatan Institute, Delta Institute, and the Organic Agriculture Revitalization Strategy released Soil Wealth: Investing in Regenerative Agriculture across Asset Classes, a report that provides a comprehensive look at the U.S. landscape of investment opportunities in regenerative agriculture. It identifies 67 distinct investment mechanisms, instruments, and approaches for further developing regenerative agriculture capital opportunities. The report concludes with recommendations for investors and stakeholders to build greater "soil wealth."

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Native American Agriculture Fund
The Native American Agriculture Fund (NAAF) is new, private charitable trust devoted to serving the interest of Native farmers and ranchers. NAAF is accepting applications from 501(c)(3) organizations, educational organizations, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and Native CDFIs, and state and federally recognized tribes for the provision of business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to existing and aspiring Native farmers and ranchers.
Applications are due by September 30, 2019.

North Central Region SARE Research and Education Grant Program
The North Central Region of Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE) is accepting preproposals for its Research and Education (R&E) program. This program supports sustainable agriculture innovators with competitive research and education grants ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. NCR-SARE expects to fund about 15 projects up to $250,000 in the 12-state North Central region for 2020. New for the 2020 funding cycle, NCR-SARE will be accepting preproposals for long-term projects.
Preproposals are due by October 10, 2019.

Southern Maryland Farmer Mini-Grant Program
Through the Farmer Mini-Grant Program, Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission will award up to $2,000 in matching funds per applicant. Examples of projects include purchase of foundation livestock, purchase of plant stock, marketing and promotion of current farm operation, fencing, hoop houses, materials needed for value-added production, and on-farm upgrades to enhance food safety, per compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule.
Applications are due August 31, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

National Conference for Outreach and Agriculture Development
September 10-11, 2019
Richmond, Virginia
Virginia State University's Small Farm Outreach Program, in partnership with Minority Outreach Network and USDA, will host the first National Conference for Outreach and Agriculture Development. Participants will learn ways to grow and strengthen their programs in expert educational sessions and panel discussions.

Prescribed Grazing Plan Workshop
September 11-12, 2019
Anna, Illinois
The Pasture Project presents a free, two-day workshop for land managers and technical service providers who want to learn more about the benefits of using grazing as a land management tool.

Guiding Wisconsin Farmers to Legal Resilience
September 13, 2019
Madison, Wisconsin
Farm Commons is offering a series of day-long workshops for agricultural service providers across the Midwest that cover business structures, land purchasing and leasing, insurance and liability, employment law, and agritourism and adding value.

>>More Events

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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.

© 2019 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Food Safety Considerations for Integrating Livestock into Produce Cropping Systems

Question of the Week
How should I prune a pear tree infected with fire blight?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Agricultural Resilience Clinic with Nicole Masters
October 18-19, 2019
Hunt, Texas
Learn more.

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