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Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 22, 2007

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

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News & Resources
* Farm To Hospital Resource Now Available
* CCOF Launches Organic Intern Certificate Training Program
* Central Illinois Farm Beginnings Accepting Registrations
* Expanding Irrigation Masked Global Warming
* Podcasts Connect Consumers to Farmers
* Cow Diet Changes Could Cut Methane

Funding Opportunities
* Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant
* Whole Foods Local Producer Loan Program
* Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship

Coming Events
* How to Create Successful Public Markets
* Food for Thought Festival 2007
* Common Ground Country Fair

News & Resources

Farm To Hospital Resource Now Available
The Center for Food and Justice and The Community Food Security Coalition recently released Farm to Hospital: Supporting Local Agriculture and Improving Health Care (PDF/219 KB). This brochure introduces interested farmers and hospital food service departments to the ins and outs of developing partnerships between hospitals and local farms. Included are examples of ways hospitals can improve the food they offer, issues for farmers to consider if they are interested in selling products to area hospitals, and specific case studies of successful programs.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions

CCOF Launches Organic Intern Certificate Training Program
California Certified Organic Farmers has launched a comprehensive organic intern certificate training program. Interns will experience an overview of the rapidly expanding organic industry and undergo training in the essentials of organic certification, inspection, production and marketing. The program offers something for everyone who wants to get involved. While project interns must commit to 360 hours of work and are awarded a certificate upon completion, volunteers are also accepted on an as-needed basis for shorter periods of time. The program is set to begin in late October 2007, and recruitment for five interns is currently under way.

Central Illinois Farm Beginnings Accepting Registrations
Registration is open for a training and support program for people interested in launching a farm business that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Central Illinois Farm Beginnings is a joint project of University of Illinois Extension and The Land Connection. Central Illinois Farm Beginnings will begin in October with nine bi-weekly seminars taught by farmers and business professionals. Apply online or receive an information packet and application through the mail.

Expanding Irrigation Masked Global Warming
Over the past 50 years, the expansion of agricultural irrigation has provided a cooling effect on ground temperatures that masked global warming in California’s Central Valley, according to a study by scientists from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and U.C. Merced, published in the August 13 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to the study, as irrigation increases a cooling trend has been noted, in major irrigated-agriculture regions around the world. However, as the expansion of irrigation ends due to urbanization and other demands on water, its effect of lowering daytime maximum temperatures is likely to end, note the study authors.

Podcasts Connect Consumers to Farmers
AgriMissouri has added a new podcast feature to its Web site. The AgriMissouri Showcase allows consumers to listen to farmers and business owners describe how their businesses were started, discuss weather impacts and describe unique ways to use Missouri products. The Missouri Ruralist reports that this month's podcasts focus on why a Missouri restaurant prefers to use local Missouri products, as well as information about barbecue sauces and seasonings produced in the state. The podcasts can be played directly from the Internet site or downloaded to an MP3 player for later listening.

Cow Diet Changes Could Cut Methane
Methane has been identified as a potent greenhouse gas, and studies say ruminant livestock are responsible for 28 precent of annual methane emissions, according to an article in The Christian Science Monitor. Researchers around the world are investigating dietary supplements that might make cows produce less methane. Possible options range from high-sugar grass diets to methane-reducing pills. Another study shows that feed laced with garlic may produce less methane, although it isn't acceptable for dairy production. Researchers are also investigating how bacteria from kangaroo digestive systems prevent methane formation.

> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant
The Southern SARE Program and the Southern Rural Development Center are interested in investing in Sustainable Community Innovation Grants— projects that work to strengthen both agriculture and Southern communities by building explicit linkages between sustainable agriculture and rural community development. Any individuals, non-profit organizations, for-profit organizations, governmental organizations and/or educational organizations in Southern states may apply for a Sustainable Community Innovation Grant of up to $10,000.
Proposals are due October 1, 2007.

Whole Foods Local Producer Loan Program
Whole Foods Market is offering up to $10 million annually to support local producers in communities where Whole Foods Market does business. Producer loans are awarded from $1,000 to $100,000 for expansion or capital expenditure projects. Producers must meet Whole Foods Market's Quality Standards and Animal Compassion Standards.

Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship
Annie's Homegrown has established a scholarship program to assist undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing studies in Sustainable and Organic Agriculture. The Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship Program will award 3 students with $10,000 scholarships each, and 8 students with $2,500 in scholarship assistance. The program is open to full time undergraduate and graduate students beginning or returning to an accredited 2 or 4 year technical or college program or graduate school in the U.S.
Proposals are due September 30, 2007.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

How to Create Successful Public Markets
October 12-13, 2007
New York, New York

Project for Public Spaces presents its acclaimed workshop on the four elements that make markets successful: the right mix of vendors and products; a strong sense of place; solid economic and operational underpinnings; and a firm commitment to the surrounding community. The course includes workshops and on-site tours of markets.

Food for Thought Festival 2007
September 15, 2007
Madison, Wisconsin

REAP's Ninth Annual Food for Thought Festival is a fun, festive forum that explores and celebrates our many opportunities to eat more pleasurably, healthfully and sustainably. This year's theme is "Rediscovering our Regional Food Traditions."

Common Ground Country Fair
September 21-23, 2007
Unity, Maine

MOFGA celebrates its 31st Common Ground Country Fair, an event that allows fairgoers to make connections with a rapidly expanding base of organic farms in the state of Maine. Hundreds of vendors, exhibitors and demonstrators, more than 1,000 volunteers, and roughly 50,000 fairgoers will gather to: share knowledge about sustainable living; eat delicious, organic, Maine-grown food; buy and sell beautiful Maine crafts and useful agricultural products; compete in various activities; dance; sing and have a great time.

> More Events

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