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Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 18, 2004

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site.

News & Resources
* Workshops to Train Activists in Starting Local Food Buying Clubs
* Report Advises Composting Manure to Improve Water Quality
* Missouri Poultry Growers Improve on Mobile Processing Unit
* North Carolina Hog-raisers Try Pasture-fed Pigs
* Southern Farmers Encouraged to List in Online Directory
* Farmers Try to Keep Pace with Growing Organic Market

Funding Opportunities
* Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
* IR-4 Biopesticide Research Program
* Outreach and Training of Farm Bill Programs with Tribal Governments

Coming Events
* Cultivating a Sustainable Agricultural Workplace
* Raising Standard Turkeys for the Holiday Market
* Organic Livestock Training Satellite Broadcast


News & Resources

Workshops to Train Activists in Starting Local Food Buying Clubs
Farm to City, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), will host two intensive, hands-on workshops in Philadelphia to train individuals to replicate the Winter Harvest local food buying club. Winter Harvest, run by Farm to City, is a buying club that connects Philadelphia-area consumers with local, sustainably-produced food during the winter months. Farmers are recruited for Winter Harvest based on the sustainability of their farming practices and the quality and diversity of their products. Consumer members order from a product list posted on a website once a month for weekly deliveries. Farm to City staff administer the program with a relation data base capable of accepting orders, tracking members' account balances, producing orders for farmers by date and delivery locations and compiling order check-off sheets for delivery locations by date and member. These two-day workshops will teach attendees how to recruit farmers, participants and site hosts, develop a product list and set up a food delivery route. Applications to participate in the training are due by October 31, with the sessions to be held in January and February 2005. To receive an application form or learn more about the program, call PASA at 814-349-9856.

Report Advises Composting Manure to Improve Water Quality
Water, Agriculture and You, a new report by The Rodale Institute (TRI) and funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), shows that by composting manure, farmers can significantly improve the quality of water entering the nation's watersheds. The report, based on a ten-year study, demonstrates that compost provides optimum nutrient levels for crop growth while simultaneously minimizing non-point nutrient pollution of ground and surface waters. The findings are significant in addressing "dead zones" and algal bloom problems caused by nutrient runoff in watersheds. The Rodale Institute research also documents that the use of organic farming practices reduces agricultural water pollution by up to 75 percent, improves quality in surface and ground waters, and benefits water quality in downstream marine environments.
URL: http://strauscom.com/rodale/
Related ATTRA publication: Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms

Missouri Poultry Growers Improve on Mobile Processing Unit
With funding from a Missouri Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant, two Missouri poultry producers have improved on a Mobile Processing Unit, says a Missouri Ag Connection story. The unit was constructed by Green Hills Farm project in 1999, to provide local poultry producers with a way to process their birds on-farm for sale. After using the unit, Jordan and Anne Bentley came up with some ideas for its improvement, and implemented them with the aid of a grant, beginning in 2001. Now the unit is used by three or four local producers to process 3,600 birds annually. Jordan Bentley is willing to share the lessons he's learned about designing a mobile processing unit with other areas who want to replicate the design.
URL: http://www.missouriagconnection.com/story-state.cfm?Id=464&yr=2004
Related ATTRA publication: Small-Scale Poultry Processing

North Carolina Hog-raisers Try Pasture-fed Pigs
An article in The Herald-Sun notes that while there is only one conventional hog operation left in Orange County, North Carolina, several people in the area are involved in raising pasture-fed pigs. Producer Eliza MacLean not only has 100 pigs of her own, fed in part on organic vegetables, but has started several other people in the area on pasture-raised pigs. One of them is a creamery owner who feeds her pigs the whey by-product of her cheese production. MacLean raises what she calls an "outdoor composite breed" of hogs, in a quest to find a pig with great flavor, good growth characteristics, and fat that is better for people than traditional hog fat. MacLean direct markets her product.
URL: http://www.herald-sun.com/orange/10-511343.html

Southern Farmers Encouraged to List in Online Directory
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) has issued a press release encouraging Southern farms and farmers' markets to list their products in the free, online Local Harvest directory. Over 5,000 consumers search this directory of farm products every day, and according to SSAWG, the South is significantly underrepresented. Each farm or market in the directory gets an individual Web page that gives a description of the farm or farmers' market, lists the farm products they sell, tells where their products can be purchased and can even include a picture. Farmers who don't have computer access can contact Southern SAWG at 540-344-5013 to obtain a mail-in form that will allow them to be listed on the directory. LocalHarvest.org was created by Guillermo Payet, a computer software developer who just happens to have a firm belief that everybody wins when consumers buy their food directly from family farmers.

Farmers Try to Keep Pace with Growing Organic Market
Farmers are finding success selling their products to restaurant chefs, at farmers' markets, and local retail outlets. Now for some farmers, the problem is producing enough to supply the demand they've created, according to a Minnesota Public Radio news story. For example, organic farmer Doug Anderson has been so successful selling his Scottish Highland beef to a local restaurant that he's had to recruit his neighbors to grow the animals as well, to supply enough meat. Similarly, cheesemaker Mary Falk has such a demand for the organic sheep cheese she makes that she's tried several strategies to obtain more. Now she's offering other producers the opportunity to introduce their high-quality products under her established Love Tree Farm label.
URL: http://news.minnesota.publicradio.org/features/2004/08/16_hemphills_organicfood/

For more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site: Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.

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Funding Opportunities

Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is currently accepting applications for the Conservation 2000 Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program for FY 2005. The program is seeking proposals for on-farm research and demonstration grants, outreach and education grants, and university research grants. Any unit of government, organization, educational institution, non-profit group or individual is eligible to receive funding if they demonstrate capacity. Competitive grants may be awarded to individuals for up to $10,000 and units of government, non-profit groups, institutions or organizations may apply for up to $40,000 per project in any one year. Proposals must be received by October 1, 2004.
URL: http://www.agr.state.il.us/C2000/common/guidelines.html

IR-4 Biopesticide Research Program
The IR-4 Biopesticide Research Program announces a request for grant proposals for funding of efficacy research in 2005. IR-4 is especially interested in proposals containing biopesticides as resistance management tools, rotated with conventional products. New for 2005, project proposals will be accepted in three different stage categories. The three project stages are Early, Advanced and Demonstration. The amount of funding available will be around $400,000. Most successful grants have generally ranged from $5,000 to $10,000. Proposals will be due November 15, 2004.
URL: http://ir4.rutgers.edu/Docs/2005callforproposals.htm

Outreach and Training of Farm Bill Programs with Tribal Governments
NRCS is requesting proposals from American Indians and Alaska Natives and non-governmental organizations focusing on American Indian and Alaska Natives natural resource and agriculture issues to assist in on-site outreach and training of the Farm Bill program with tribal governments and tribal conservation districts. Funds will be used to provide on-site outreach and Farm Bill training in implementing Farm Bill programs such as EQIP, WHIP, CSP, WRP, etc. Approximately $150,000 is available for fiscal year 2004. Proposals must be received no later than September 14, 2004.
URL: http://www.fedgrants.gov/Applicants/USDA/NRCS/2890/USDA-GRANTS-080904-001/Grant.html

For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.

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Coming Events

Cultivating a Sustainable Agricultural Workplace
September 12-14, 2004
Troutdale, Oregon

This conference will address how occupational health and safety can be integrated into sustainable agriculture practices and how research and outreach can contribute to that effort. Investigators in both sustainable agriculture and worker health and safety will find a congenial forum for exchange, discussion, and learning.
URL: http://depts.washington.edu/pnash/conf04/index.html

Raising Standard Turkeys for the Holiday Market
October 1, 2004
Linesville, Pennsylvania

PASA offers this intensive learning program. The production workshop will meet the needs of those new to turkey production, as well as provide new information to experienced producers. Presenters will define the term "heritage," show how standard and industrial turkeys differ, and explain why these differences are important for range production. Participants will learn how to raise standard turkeys for the holiday market. Additionally, important considerations for producers thinking of adding a turkey enterprise to their farming operation will addressed. Enrollment is limited.
URL: http://www.pasafarming.org/programs/

Organic Livestock Training Satellite Broadcast
October 29, 2004

Washington State University, in cooperation with the National Center for
Appropriate Technology, Western SARE, Oregon State University, and Oregon
Tilth, is offering a satellite broadcast examining the basics of organic
livestock production and the opportunities it presents. The broadcast is intended to help agricultural professionals (Extension, consultants, suppliers, veterinarians, producers, etc.) become familiar with this growing sector of agriculture and to better answer questions and find resources on the topic.
URL: http://ext.wsu.edu/noas/

More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are now available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly newsletter of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
URL: http://attra.ncat.org/newsletter/archives.html

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home pageThe National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.

© Copyright 2004 NCAT

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