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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 19, 2015

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

  • Beginning-Farmer Resource Guide Available
  • Trap Crops Can Help Organic Growers Protect Crucifer Crops
  • Guide Helps Farmers Develop Sales Agreements
  • Plastic Waste Disposal a Challenge for Wisconsin Farmers
  • Legal Guide Released Regarding Direct-to-Consumer Produce Sales
  • Fall Cover Crops Provide Grazing and Improve Soil Health

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Youth Educator Grant Program
  • Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program
  • Western North Carolina AgOptions

Coming Events

  • Harvesting Clean Energy
  • Mother Earth News Fair
  • Florida Local Food Summit

News & Resources

Beginning-Farmer Resource Guide Available
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are making available A Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers, a new publication that compiles existing training resources on everything from soil and composting to small farm equipment and whole-farm planning, including information on food safety and seed saving. The 48-page guide is divided into three parts: production practices, post-harvest handling, and business planning and basic farm finances.
Related ATTRA Resource: Beginning Farmer

Trap Crops Can Help Organic Growers Protect Crucifer Crops
Research by Auburn University and the University of Florida indicates that trap crops may offer organic produce growers an alternative to pesticides. Researchers found that planting turnips around the perimeter of a cabbage crop reduced yellowmargined leaf beetle numbers and damage to the crucifer crop because the beetles preferred to feed on the turnips.
Related ATTRA Publication: Farmscaping to Enhance Biological Control

Guide Helps Farmers Develop Sales Agreements
Farm Commons has released Building Strong, Legally Enforceable Sales Agreements for Production Services, available free online. This resource takes farmers through the process of developing a sales contract for production services and provides a model contract. This guide is helpful for farmers pursuing sales arrangements that fall outside the traditional producer-buyer relationship.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Farm Leases and Contracts: Creating Smart, Effective Documents

Plastic Waste Disposal a Challenge for Wisconsin Farmers
A survey of dairy producers in Wisconsin regarding their disposal of agricultural plastic waste indicated that 84% of dairy farmers and 92% of organic dairy farmers generate plastic waste, most of which is feed packaging. Landfilling is the most frequent disposal method, with burning ranked second. The survey indicated that farmers would be willing to participate in recycling under various conditions. The full results are on the Wisconsin DNR website.

Legal Guide Released Regarding Direct-to-Consumer Produce Sales
Farm Commons has released Direct to Consumer Produce Sales in Wisconsin: A Legal Guide. This resource focuses on rules and regulations that affect farmers who sell fruit and vegetables in the state. The guide outlines what health and advertising claims farmers can and cannot make, and the basics on packaging, weighing, pricing, and other details to consider. The guide is available free online to registered users.

Fall Cover Crops Provide Grazing and Improve Soil Health
Southeastern Montana producer Dan Buerkle has grown a variety of full-season and post-harvest cover crops, and reports that they have improved his soil's organic-matter content. In addition, cows do well grazing on a cover crop mix and the diversity of species can help extend the grazing season, Buerkle reports.
Related ATTRA Publication: Integrating Livestock and Crops: Improving Soil, Solving Problems, Increasing Income

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

NCR-SARE Youth Educator Grant Program
NCR-SARE is accepting online submissions for the Youth Educator Grant Program. Projects provide opportunities for youth in the 12-state North Central Region to learn more about sustainable agriculture. The maximum amount for grants is $2,000, and a total of approximately $20,000 is available for this program.
Proposals are due by November 12, 2015.

Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program
First Nations awards five $1,000 scholarships annually to Native American college students majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related fields. Applicants must be Native American and able to provide documentation, and must have at least a 3.0 GPA.
The deadline for applications is September 30, 2015.

Western North Carolina AgOptions
WNC Agricultural Options is accepting applications for $3,000 or $6,000 grants from farmers in the region who are diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $178,000. Applicants should contact their Cooperative Extension Agents by October 16.
The application deadline is November 13, 2015.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Harvesting Clean Energy
September 30 - October 2, 2015
Billings, Montana

The 14th annual Harvesting Clean Energy conference is the premier gathering of the agriculture, forestry, and energy industries. The event is designed to help advance rural economic development through clean energy development, and to maximize profits by practicing good stewardship. Renewable energy policy and application, bioenergy development, and agriculture in a changing climate are all on the agenda for this event hosted by the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

Mother Earth News Fair
September 18-19, 2015
Seven Springs, Pennsylvania

This event features more than 150 workshops, demonstrations, and lectures on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, organic gardening, green building, natural health, renewable energy, and real food.

Florida Local Food Summit
September 18-20, 2015
Gainesville, Florida

This second annual event is a weekend gathering of the state's top food and farming entrepreneurs, policy makers, chefs, foodies, and local food fans. The Summit offers on-farm workshops, panel discussions, farm-to-table dining, farm hack demonstrations, and more.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program 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.

© 2015 NCAT

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New ATTRA Resource
Food Hub Feasibility Study and Planning Tools

Question of the Week
How do commercial fertilizers impact soil biology?

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