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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 21, 2013

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • GAPs Manual for Small, Diversified Farms Available
  • Farm to Cafeteria Manual for Montana Released
  • EPA Announces New Pesticide Labels to Better Protect Bees
  • FDA Announces Intent to Prepare Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Produce Safety Regulations
  • Cornell Releases Directory of Research for Small Farms
  • International Study Assesses Role of Soil Food Webs in Nutrient Cycles

Funding Opportunities

  • Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program
  • Michigan Strategic Growth Initiative Grant Program
  • Iowa Watershed Demonstration Projects

Coming Events

  • Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Field Days and Annual Meeting
  • Draft Animal Power Field Days
  • Eastern Triangle Farm Tour

News & Resources

GAPs Manual for Small, Diversified Farms Available
North Carolina State University and the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association have released a new GAPs manual, Good Agricultural Practices for Small Diversified Farms: Tips and Strategies to Reduce Risk and Pass an Audit. The manual stems from a project that documented how farms could cost-effectively manage food safety risk and meet the standards of the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification program. The manual shares tips and strategies that small, diversified produce farms can employ to meet GAP certification requirements.
Related ATTRA Publication:
An Illustrated Guide to Growing Safe Produce on Your Farm

Farm to Cafeteria Manual for Montana Released
Farm to Cafeteria Network, a program of the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), in collaboration with the Alternative Energy Resources Organization (AERO) and Montana State University Extension, has released a how-to guide for producers, foodservice professionals, and local leaders interested in getting more fresh, local food into schools and other institutions. The guide offers insight and information about how to integrate local foods into a cafeteria and provides examples of successful models. Farm to Cafeteria Manual for Montana is available for download as a 60-page PDF file.

EPA Announces New Pesticide Labels to Better Protect Bees
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of the neonicotinoid pesticide products imidacloprid, dinotefuran, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam where bees are present. The new labels will have a bee advisory box and icon with information on routes of exposure and spray drift precautions.

FDA Announces Intent to Prepare Environmental Impact Statement for Proposed Produce Safety Regulations
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) reports that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a notice of intent to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its proposed produce safety regulations. According to NSAC, the proposed produce regulations include standards that could conflict with farm conservation and environmental goals.

Cornell Releases Directory of Research for Small Farms
Cornell Small Farms Program has released Campus to Farm Guide: A Directory of Cornell University Research and Extension Projects Supporting Small Farms. The Guide brings ongoing research in horticulture, small dairy, livestock, field crops and forages, agroforestry, farm energy, and more together into one easily navigable booklet, downloadable as a PDF file.

International Study Assesses Role of Soil Food Webs in Nutrient Cycles
Research by scientists at The University of Manchester shows that maintaining healthy soil biodiversity can play an important role in optimizing land-management programs to reap benefits from the living soil. Their study shows that there is a strong link between soil organisms and the overall functioning of ecosystems. The findings, published in the latest edition of the journal PNAS, extend understanding about factors that regulate soil biodiversity.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Soil Management

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program
Whole Foods Market is providing up to $10 million in low-interest loans between $1,000 and $100,000 to independent local farmers and food artisans. Producers must meet Whole Foods Market's Quality Standards and standards for animal welfare, and they must use funds for expansion and capital expenditures.
Applications are accepted online on a rolling basis.

Michigan Strategic Growth Initiative Grant Program
Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has announced a $3 million grant program designed to break down barriers inhibiting the growth of Michigan's food and agriculture industry. Applicants for grant funds will be asked to describe how the project potentially impacts and produces measurable outcomes for the food and agriculture industry and/or the public.
Applications must be received by October 2, 2013.

Iowa Watershed Demonstration Projects
Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has issued a request for applications for watershed demonstration projects focused on water quality. Projects must be within nine priority watersheds: Floyd, West Nishnabotna, East Nishnabotna, North Raccoon, Boone, South Skunk, Skunk, Middle Cedar, and Turkey. The Department will make available up to $5.55 million to support demonstration projects.
Applications must be submitted by September 30, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance Field Days and Annual Meeting
September 26-27, 2013
Mansfield, Pennsylvania

NODPA's 13th annual Field Days program is "Organic Dairy: Innovative Strategies to Stay Profitable." The educational program is full of innovative ideas, current research, and practical strategies to help organic dairy farm families enhance the health, productivity, and profitability of their land and family while effectively and significantly increasing annual profits.

Draft Animal Power Field Days
September 28-29, 2013
Barton, Vermont

Workshops and presentations will cover a wide variety of topics relating to oxen, mules, and horses and their care, training, and use. A track on Animal-Powered Market Gardening will be beneficial to those seeking to expand their skills in organic production.

Eastern Triangle Farm Tour
September 21-22, 2013
Wake, Durham, Granville, Franklin, and Chatham counties, North Carolina

The eighth annual Eastern Triangle Farm Tour is an opportunity to visit 27 farms over the course of two afternoons in a self-guided tour.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.

© 2013 NCAT

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New Publication
Food Hubs: A Producer Guide

Question of the Week
What is the difference between wild and cultivated ginger? Can I grow it in a northern climate?

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ATTRA Webinars
On August 29, join NCAT's Guy Ames for the webinar "Budding and Grafting Fruit Varieties for Organic Production." Register now!

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