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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 15, 2012

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • USDA Announces Additional Assistance for Drought-Stricken Producers
  • Organic Farmer Online Destination, Report Introduced
  • Ohio Participation in Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program Opens Opportunities for Small Meat and Poultry Processors
  • UN Calls for Sustainable Diets and Food Biodiversity
  • Publication Addresses Drought-Related Issues in Forage, Silage and Baleage
  • Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Outreach Grants Awarded

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE Sustainable Community Grants
  • Minnesota Livestock Investment Grant Program
  • Delaware Young Farmers Program

Coming Events

  • 6th National Small Farm Conference: Promoting the Successes of Small Farmers and Ranchers
  • 8th International Public Markets Conference
  • Farm Aid

News & Resources

USDA Announces Additional Assistance for Drought-stricken Producers
USDA has announced that it will utilize nearly $16 million in funds from its Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) to target states experiencing exceptional and extreme drought. NRCS will announce special signups for WHIP and EQIP funds that will allow eligible producers to apply for selected conservation practices, such as moving water to livestock in need, providing emergency forage for livestock, and rehabilitating lands severely impacted by the drought.

Organic Farmer Online Destination, Report Introduced
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has introduced an online destination for organic farmers that provides easy access to research, policy programs, and educational and community-building tools. OFRF is also launching Organic Farming for Health & Prosperity, a science-based, peer-reviewed report that extols the multiple societal benefits of organic farming.

Ohio Participation in Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program Opens Opportunities for Small Meat and Poultry Processors
Ohio will be the first state to participate in USDA's Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program, which allows small, state-inspected businesses with 25 or fewer employees to ship and sell meat products across state lines. USDA will be publishing a directive detailing how states and small businesses can join the Cooperative Interstate Shipment Program.

UN Calls for Sustainable Diets and Food Biodiversity
Countries must take immediate action to promote sustainable diets and food biodiversity to improve the health of their citizens, the United Nations food agency states in a new book, Sustainable Diets and Biodiversity, jointly published with Bioversity International. The Director-General of Bioversity International said that there is an urgent need for societies to move beyond major staple crops and look at underutilized plant and animal species that could be rich in nutrients and help achieve a sustainable diet.

Publication Addresses Drought-Related Issues in Forage, Silage, and Baleage
In response to producer concerns about how livestock feeds and forages are affected by drought conditions, University of Missouri Extension has developed a publication featuring producers' questions answered by extension crop and forage specialists. The questions cover drought issues related to feeding livestock, making farm business decisions, silage and baling, and forages.

Socially Disadvantaged Farmer Outreach Grants Awarded
USDA has announced the award of 70 Outreach Assistance to Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants to tribes, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations across the country. Recipients will conduct training, outreach, and technical assistance for socially disadvantaged farmers, ranchers, and landowners. A list of grant recipients is available online.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE Sustainable Community Grants
Sustainable Community Grants make a direct connection between community revitalization and farming. Projects must address specific key issues such as farm finance, marketing, land use, enterprise development, or value-added product development. Applicants must be affiliated with Cooperative Extension, a municipality, a state department of agriculture, a college or university, a community organization, or other institutional entity.
The deadline for applications is November 15, 2012.

Minnesota Livestock Investment Grant Program
The Livestock Investment Grant Program will make available $1 million to livestock producers in Minnesota for on-farm improvements. Qualifying producers would be reimbursed 10% of the first $500,000 of investment. Qualifying expenditures include the purchase, construction, or improvement of buildings or facilities for the production of livestock, and the purchase of fencing, feeding, or waste-management equipment.
The application deadline is January 14, 2013.

Delaware Young Farmers Program
The Young Farmers Program is designed to help young farmers acquire farmland through a 30-year, no-interest loan. Eligible farmers must be between the ages of 18 and 40, have at least three years of farming experience, and a net worth of no more than $300,000. The loans may fund up to 70 percent of the value of the property's development rights, up to a maximum of $500,000.
Applications are due by October 31, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

6th National Small Farm Conference: Promoting the Successes of Small Farmers and Ranchers
September 18-20, 2012
Memphis, Tennessee

This conference will consist of short courses, oral and poster paper presentations, exhibits, success stories, and educational tours. Successes in small farm activities will be shared, as well as innovative ideas in research, extension, and outreach to strengthen collaboration and partnership among state specialists who work to ensure that small farmers and ranchers not only survive, but thrive in today's economy.

8th International Public Markets Conference
September 21-23, 2012
Cleveland, Ohio

This conference will set a new direction for the vital role markets play in transforming local economies and communities. The conference will highlight the burgeoning local food scene in Cleveland and throughout Northeastern Ohio. The conference will also spotlight Cleveland's West Side Market.

Farm Aid
September 22, 2012
Hershey, Pennsylvania

Farm Aid is the longest running benefit concert series in America, raising more than $39 million to help family farmers thrive all over the country while inspiring millions of people to learn about the Good Food movement. Each year, Farm Aid board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews headline a Farm Aid concert. Other performers slated to appear are Kenny Chesney, Tim Reynolds, Jack Johnson, ALO, Pegi Young & The Survivors, and Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real. The National Center for Appropriate Technology is one of Farm Aid's Farmer Resource Network partners and will have an exhibit at the event.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.

© 2012 NCAT

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