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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 20, 2014

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

  • USDA Now Providing Local & Regional Market News Data
  • Report Details Business Opportunities Arising from Cover Crops
  • Food Safety Video Series Explains Good Agricultural Practices
  • National Agritourism Professionals Association Organizes
  • Video Helps Hmong Farmers Work with USDA
  • Online Course on Transitioning to Organic Offered by Iowa State University

Funding Opportunities

  • Rural Community Development Initiative
  • Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grants
  • Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center

Coming Events

  • Common Ground Country Fair
  • ASAP's Farm Tour
  • Grow Local! Workshop for Local Food Growers & Producers

News & Resources

USDA Now Providing Local & Regional Market News Data
USDA Market News has created a new series of market reports on locally or regionally produced agricultural products, available on the Local & Regional Food Marketing Information Web page. Three categories are now online: Farmers Markets reports, Farmers Auctions reports, and Direct to Consumer reports. USDA Market News is also developing Farm-to-School, Food Hub, and Retail reports.

Report Details Business Opportunities Arising from Cover Crops
A report from the National Wildlife Federation, The Growing Business of Cover Crops, details new business opportunities arising from a resurgence in use of cover crops. As more farmers begin using cover crops, they will need support businesses to provide them with services such as crop advising, seed production and sales, planting, and livestock grazing. Cover crop entrepreneurs can both make a living and contribute to the health of local economies.

Food Safety Video Series Explains Good Agricultural Practices
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has launched a series of short videos to supplement its manual on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP). This video series documents real-world examples of how small, diversified farms can meet GAP certification requirements. The series of eight online videos addresses the audit process, traceability, worker health and hygiene, water, animals, equipment, and more.

National Agritourism Professionals Association Organizes
The National Agritourism Professionals Association (NAPA) has held an organizational summit to pass the organization's charter and bylaws, discuss leadership and membership requirements, and plan a 2015 conference. NAPA will provide industry resources and support to help agritourism businesses work through regulatory and policy challenges. Additionally, NAPA will network opportunities for agritourism professionals and service providers, farmers, and farm-direct marketers in the promotion of their agritourism activities.

Video Helps Hmong Farmers Work with USDA
National Hmong American Farmers (NHAF) has released a new video in which farmer May Vu and NHAF give step-by-step instructions about how Hmong farmers can work with the USDA and benefit from its farm program services. The 10-minute video is available online in Hmong (with English subtitles).
Related ATTRA Publication: Phau ntawv qhia txog kev ua liaj teb tsis ywg tshuaj

Online Course on Transitioning to Organic Offered by Iowa State University
On August 26, Iowa State University is beginning a 16-week online course for producers interested in learning about transitioning into organic farming or improving their existing organic operations. "Organic Agriculture Theory and Practice" will be offered weekly on Tuesday evenings through December 9. Lessons will include weed management, nutrient management, pest management, and markets for organic grain, vegetable, and fruit crops.
Related ATTRA Resource: Organic Farming

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Rural Community Development Initiative
USDA is making nearly $6 million available to non-profit organizations, low-income rural communities, or federally recognized tribes under the Rural Community Development Initiative. Grants will provide organizations financial and technical assistance to develop and strengthen their capacity to carry out housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects.
The deadline for submitting applications is November 12, 2014.

Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin Grants
The Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin program is an economic development program designed to reduce marketing, distribution, and processing hurdles impeding the expansion of Wisconsin's local food system. The Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection invites proposals for projects that will increase the demand for and supply of locally produced foods in Wisconsin.
Pre-proposals are due by December 1, 2014.

Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center
USDA has announced $400,000 in funding to establish the Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center at an 1890 Land-Grant college or university. The Center will specialize in policy research impacting socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers. Qualifying universities across the country are invited to apply.
Proposals must be received by September 11, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Common Ground Country Fair
September 19-21, 2014
Unity, Maine
This major annual event presented by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association includes speakers, workshops, exhibits, vendors, entertainment, and more. About 60,000 visitors enjoy celebrating the rural and agricultural traditions of Maine.

ASAP's Farm Tour
September 20-21, 2014
Western North Carolina

Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project's self-guided driving tour is a chance to learn how food grows, taste farm-fresh treats, hang out with farm animals, and meet the community's food producers. The tour features 37 farms in seven counties.

Grow Local! Workshop for Local Food Growers & Producers
September 20, 2014
Council Bluffs, Iowa

Golden Hills RC&D—Southwest Iowa Food & Farm Initiative presents this workshop. Hear stories and get advice from successful local growers and specialty crop producers, learn how to market your agri-business, find funds to launch your specialty crop, and leave with resources and information to help your business grow.

>> 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.

© 2014 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Pear Insect Pests Identification Sheet

Question of the Week
How can I manage Canadian thistle, dog bane, and multiflora rose in my permanent pastures in Wisconsin?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
Last chance to register for our webinar on organic certification in Texas:
What's in an Organic Farm Plan? ~ August 21

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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