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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 22, 2018

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

  • International Study Shows More Sustainable Agricultural Systems Increase Food Production
  • Farm Fresh Food Box Supports Local Farmers and Retailers
  • Abstracts Requested for Organic Agriculture Research Forum
  • Farm Business-Management Courses Offered Online
  • Sharing Landscapes Between Agriculture and Conservation Can Provide Food and Habitat
  • Pheromone Insights Could Help with Stink Bug Control

Funding Opportunities

  • North Central Region SARE Research & Education Grant Program
  • Transporting Healthy Food Grants
  • Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program

Coming Events

  • Mid-South Organic Conference
  • Common Ground Country Fair
  • Farm Aid 2018

News & Resources

International Study Shows More Sustainable Agricultural Systems Increase Food Production
An international study involving researchers from 17 universities and research institutes showed that sustainable intensification of agriculture benefits both farmers and the environment. Furthermore, a global shift towards more sustainable agricultural systems has occurred at the same time as increases in food production. The co-author noted that techniques such as integrated pest management, agroforestry, and micro-irrigation deliver improved agricultural and environmental outcomes.

Farm Fresh Food Box Supports Local Farmers and Retailers
Western Rural Development Center's Rural Connections describes an innovative business model that supports local retail and local farmers, called the Farm Fresh Food Box. Customers pre-pay a set price each week to order a box of farmer-selected seasonal produce from a participating retailer, who receives a small handling fee. Participants were favorably impressed with the value of the box. Researchers deemed the system a valid way to increase markets for farmers and supply consumers with fresh food.

Abstracts Requested for Organic Agriculture Research Forum
Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is inviting submission of abstracts to consider for presentation at the 2019 Organic Agriculture Research Forum. The Forum will be presented in partnership with Organicology on February 16, 2019, in Portland, Oregon. Submissions should be sent to grants@ofrf.org by September 10, 2018. Researchers with questions about the conference can call OFRF at 831-426-6606.

Farm Business-Management Courses Offered Online
The Let's Grow Committee of the American Sheep Industry Association and the RightRisk Education Team are offering three open-access online course modules this fall to promote development of better business-management skills to assist sheep producers. These course modules include Foundations for Business Management, Managing Depreciation for Your Farm Business, and Hiring and Keeping Agricultural Workers. All three modules can be accessed any time until October 31, 2018, using Moodle.
Related ATTRA Resource: Farm Business Planning & Marketing for Beginners

Sharing Landscapes Between Agriculture and Conservation Can Provide Food and Habitat
New research discussed in The Conversation indicates that managing landscapes so they are shared between agriculture and nature conservation could preserve significant habitat with only a 3% loss in food calories produced. The study indicates that co-benefits could accrue from making agriculture less hostile to other life, including increased pollination services and greater tropical forest cover that helps reduce agricultural losses from extreme weather.

Pheromone Insights Could Help with Stink Bug Control
Virginia Tech researchers have discovered how stink bugs communicate with pheromones and gained insights that can be used to develop alternative pest controls. The researchers say that with their new knowledge of pheromones, trap crops can be used to lure stink bug pests away from cash crops, saving farmers money and preventing insecticide use.
Related ATTRA Publication: Companion Planting & Botanical Pesticides: Concepts & Resources

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

North Central Region SARE Research & Education Grant Program
North Central Region SARE Research and Education Grant Program is for researchers and educators involved in projects that explore and promote environmentally sound, profitable, and socially responsible food and/or fiber systems. Awards range from $10,000 to $200,000. This program provides funds to collaborative teams of scientists, farmers/ranchers, institutions, organizations, and educators who are exploring sustainable agriculture through research projects or education /demonstration projects in the 12-state region.
Preproposals are due by October 18, 2018.

Transporting Healthy Food Grants
Distributors and producers of fresh, local foods are invited to apply to the 2018 Grant Program for Transporting Healthy Food, presented in partnership by CSX and The Conservation Fund. Grants range from $2,500 to $10,000 for projects that increase access to fresh vegetables, meat, fish, and dairy in vulnerable and underserved communities. The grants are given to charitable organizations in the 22 states where CSX operates.
Applications are due by September 28, 2018.

Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program
First Nations Development Institute will award five $1,000 scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic school year to Native American college students majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related fields. The applicant must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student, tribally affiliated, and able to provide documentation.
Applications must be submitted by October 4, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Mid-South Organic Conference
September 18, 2018
West Memphis, Arkansas

This event at Arkansas State University Mid-South will be a mutual opportunity for farmers, landowners, and agents from around the Mid-South to learn and share from their experiences and knowledge of organic farming.

Common Ground Country Fair
September 21-23, 2018
Unity, Maine

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association hosts this annual celebration of rural and agricultural traditions. The schedule includes a draft horse show, sheep dog demonstration, children's activities, exhibits, livestock, agricultural product sales, and much more.

Farm Aid 2018
September 22, 2018
Hartford, Connecticut, and Online

Farm Aid’s annual festival is a an all-day celebration of music and family farmers featuring a unique lineup of artists and genres, along with family farm-identified, local, and organic foods. NCAT will be participating in Farm Aid's HOMEGROWN Village. The Farm Aid 2018 festival will also stream live at farmaid.org.

>>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.

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© 2018 NCAT

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