Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - August 18, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* 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
* Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
* IR-4 Biopesticide Research Program
* Outreach and Training of Farm Bill Programs with Tribal Governments
* 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.
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
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.
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.
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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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.
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
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.
For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Cultivating a Sustainable Agricultural Workplace
September 12-14, 2004
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.
Raising Standard Turkeys for the Holiday Market
October 1, 2004
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.
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.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
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to the Weekly Harvest
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.
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
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