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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 17, 2016

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

  • Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers Now Available Online
  • Research Abstracts Sought for 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium
  • California Survey Shows Growers Find Food Safety and Conservation Requirements Inconsistent
  • Pollinators in Corn and Soybean Fields Surveyed
  • Central Valley Habitat Exchange Compensates Landowners for Wildlife Habitat
  • New York Launches State Grown and Certified Food Program

Funding Opportunities

  • Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program
  • California Fertilizer Research and Education Program
  • Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program

Coming Events

  • National Small Farm Conference
  • Montana Farm to School Summit 2016: Sprouting Success
  • Southeast Farm to School Conference

News & Resources

Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers Now Available Online
The Wisconsin School for Beginning Dairy and Livestock Farmers (WSBDF), the first course of its kind, is now available online, offering the same curriculum as the WSBDF pasture-based dairy and livestock seminar offered on campus and at distance-learning sites. Participants have access to live recordings of WSBDF lectures addressing topics including business planning, farm selection and setup, parlor design, livestock health, organic production and principles, marketing, soil nutrient management, and much more.

Research Abstracts Sought for 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), in partnership with the University of Kentucky and Kentucky State University, invites the submission of research abstracts for presentation at the 2017 Organic Agriculture Research Symposium. The symposium takes place January 25-26, 2017, in Lexington, Kentucky, immediately preceding the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference. Researchers are asked to submit an abstract not to exceed 500 words by October 1, 2016.

California Survey Shows Growers Find Food Safety and Conservation Requirements Inconsistent
Research published in California Agriculture reports on a survey of 588 California produce growers regarding on-farm practices related to food safety and conservation. Although most respondents considered both food safety and environmental protection to be important responsibilities, on-farm practices vary substantially. The authors contend that growers, natural resources, and food safety would benefit from clearer, more consistent requirements.
Related ATTRA Publication: Conservation Buffers in Organic Systems

Pollinators in Corn and Soybean Fields Surveyed
Researchers from Iowa State University surveyed pollinator populations in corn and soybean fields, reports the Entomological Society of America. The most abundant insects in both crops were solitary, ground-nesting bees, which accounted for 65% of the insect pollinators collected. Researchers suggested that to protect the ground-nesting bees and increase crop yields, farmers should consider no-till practices and plant prairie strips.

Central Valley Habitat Exchange Compensates Landowners for Wildlife Habitat
The Central Valley Habitat Exchange will facilitate investment in conservation and restoration of California's vital Central Valley habitat by promoting, monitoring, and assisting in the exchange of habitat credits. The exchange is prioritizing the development of measurement tools that describe the habitat needs of five target species.

New York Launches State Grown and Certified Food Program
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has launched the New York State Grown & Certified program, which identifies and promotes New York producers who adhere to New York's food safety and environmental sustainability programs. This is the first state program to combine modern food safety standards with environmental stewardship to achieve a premium level of certification.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Food and Agricultural Sciences National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship Grants Program
This USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture grant program supports: 1) training students for Master's and doctoral degrees in food, agricultural, and natural resource sciences; and 2) Special International Study or Thesis/Dissertation Research Travel Allowances for eligible USDA NNF beneficiaries. Total program funding of $3.1 million is available.
Applications are due October 11, 2016.

California Fertilizer Research and Education Program
The California Department of Food and Agriculture's Fertilizer Research and Education Program is accepting proposals for a 2016 special grant program that funds research that advances the environmentally safe and agronomically sound use of fertilizing materials. Research and educational priorities are as follows: 1) The role of biochar in nutrient management of California soil-crop systems; 2) Technical education and outreach for growers and agricultural staff; and 3) Addressing challenges and barriers to improving management practices.
Proposals are due by September 1, 2016.

Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program
First Nations Development Institute will award 10 $1,000 scholarships for the 2016-2017 academic school year to Native American college students majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related fields. Applicants must have at least a 3.0 GPA and must demonstrate a commitment to helping their communities reclaim local food-system control.
Applications must be submitted by October 5, 2016.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

National Small Farm Conference
September 20-22, 2016
Virginia Beach, Virginia

"Creating and Sustaining Small Farmers and Ranchers" is the country's premier conference that addresses the needs, challenges, and successes of small farmers. Learn about innovative advances in research, extension, and outreach through short courses, oral and poster paper presentations, exhibits, success stories, and educational tours.

Montana Farm to School Summit 2016: Sprouting Success
September 22-23, 2016
Bozeman, Montana

Learn and share how Montana schools and programs are sprouting success through the core elements of farm to school: serving local foods, school gardens, and nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Workshops, field trips, and networking opportunities will provide inspiration and skill building.

Southeast Farm to School Conference
September 23-24, 2016
Greenville, South Carolina

Join educators from across the Southeast to strengthen existing programs and jump start new farm to school efforts in your community. This year's conference will feature workshops focused on six specialized tracks, as well as networking opportunities and state meetings.

>> More Events

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Updated ATTRA Publication
Grazing Contracts for Livestock

Question of the Week
What could be causing the heads of my young white cauliflower to turn yellowish-brown?

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