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NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 17, 2011

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

Early Bird Gets the Worm

Early registrants to the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania, in September will catch a very special deal: an extra day-long training by our program specialists on small-scale intensive farming. We are partnering with Mother Earth News Fair to provide a full day of workshops related to small-scale farming that will help you learn sustainable food production for personal and commercial use. These workshops are in addition to the regular Fair workshops and exhibitions, and will be presented on Friday, Sept. 23. Seating for our training is limited to 400 and is only offered on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you need to purchase your tickets today. Visit http://bit.ly/ouoK7c for more information and to purchase your weekend pass.

News & Resources

  • Poultry Farms that Go Organic Have Fewer Drug-Resistant Bacteria
  • CRP Land Conversion to Biofuel Cropland Incurs Carbon Debt
  • James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards Recognize Sustainable Food Visionaries
  • Study Shows Support for Animal Welfare Labeling
  • Crop Production Cost Studies Released
  • Small Wind Bulk Buy Program Offered in Minnesota

Funding Opportunities

  • Raising Organic Family Farms Program
  • National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Grants
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa Savings Incentive Program

Coming Events

  • Hoes Down Harvest Festival
  • All Things Organic
  • NMPAN Webinar: To Build or Not to Build: Is a New Processor Really Needed?

News & Resources

Poultry Farms that Go Organic Have Fewer Drug-Resistant Bacteria
Poultry farms that have adopted organic practices and ceased using antibiotics have significantly lower levels of drug-resistant enterococci bacteria that can potentially spread to humans, according to a groundbreaking new study led by a researcher in the University of Maryland's School of Public Health.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Poultry Production in the United States

CRP Land Conversion to Biofuel Cropland Incurs Carbon Debt
A new study by a team of Michigan State University researchers shows that the carbon cost of converting Conservation Reserve Program lands to corn and soybean production is high. Alternatively, growing CRP grasses harvested for cellulosic ethanol would create no debt and provide immediate energy and climate mitigation benefits.

James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards Recognize Sustainable Food Visionaries
The James Beard Foundation has named the recipients of its inaugural Leadership Awards. The honorees — who range from urban agriculture heroes to tireless healthy school food pioneers — include Will Allen, Debra Eschmeyer, Fred Kirschenmann, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Alice Waters.

Study Shows Support for Animal Welfare Labeling
Consumers may be willing to pay extra for meat and eggs with a mandatory label indicating animal welfare information, according to a study conducted by Kansas State University and Michigan State University. Agricultural economists examined U.S. resident support for mandatory labeling of animal welfare information on pork and egg products.

Crop Production Cost Studies Released
New studies showing production costs for table olives, peaches, cherries, almonds,strawberries and safflower are now available from the University of California Cooperative Extension.
Related ATTRA Publication: Enterprise Budgets and Production Costs for Organic Production

Small Wind Bulk Buy Program Offered in Minnesota
Windustry and the Region Nine Renewable Energy Task Force have launched a Small Wind Bulk Buy Program to help rural enterprises take advantage of Minnesota's wind resources and net-metering laws. The program includes training and technical and permitting support.
Related ATTRA Publication: Small-Scale Wind Energy on the Farm

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Raising Organic Family Farms Program
Lundberg Family Farms® has launched a new initiative that will award up to $50,000 total in grants and scholarships. Aspiring commercial organic family farmers can submit a 500-word essay in one of three categories:
+ Seed money for equipment, supplies or repairs
+ Education funding towards schooling or conference registration
+ Mentorship with experts in business planning, marketing, retail, livestock management or crop planning.
The deadline for submissions is October 31, 2011.

National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Grants
The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center has approximately $1 million available in grants funds for proposals that help accomplish six specific objectives designed to improve the competitiveness of the U.S. sheep and goat industries.
Proposals will be accepted through September 15, 2011.

Practical Farmers of Iowa Savings Incentive Program
The Savings Incentive Program will entice beginning Iowa farmers to save $100 a month for two years; after two years, SIP will match their savings $1:$1. The beginning farmer can then use this savings to purchase a farm asset .
Applications must be received by October 14, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Hoes Down Harvest Festival
October 1-2, 2011
Guinda, California

The festival on Saturday offers music, food, children's activities, farmers' market and agricultural workshops. Sunday's schedule offers hands-on activities and workshops on different farms in the Capay Valley Region.

All Things Organic
September 21-24, 2011
Baltimore, Maryland

For All Things Organic at Natural Products Expo East the Organic Trade Association has created a one-of-a-kind conference program with critical information on the issues that impact your organic business.

NMPAN Webinar: To Build or Not to Build: Is a New Processor Really Needed?
September 28, 2011
Online

This Niche Meat Processing Assistance Network free one-hour webinar will discuss when building new facilities makes sense and when it doesn't, with real stories -- and lessons -- from the field.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2011 NCAT

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New Publication
Disease and Insect Management in Organic Small Grains

Question of the Week
What are some resources for designing and connecting rain barrel systems?

Webinars
Our latest webinars are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive

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