Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 23, 2006
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.
News & Resources
* U.S. Commercial Rice Supply Contaminated with Genetically Engineered Rice
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* Contest Seeks Nominations for Integrated Pest Management Award
* University of Kentucky Serving Local Food in Pilot Program
* Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture Winners Announced
* Farmland Preservation a National Trend
* Leopold Center Issues Project Reports
* Special Call to Develop Vibrant and Sustainable Regional Food Systems
* Connecticut Agriculture Viability Grants Program
* P3 National Student Design Competition
* USDA/IR-4 Food Use and Food Use Greenhouse Workshops
* New Farmers Workshop
* Common Ground Country Fair
News & Resources
U.S. Commercial Rice Supply Contaminated with Genetically Engineered Rice
In a statement, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns announced that "The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Food and Drug Administration have been notified by Bayer CropScience that the company has detected trace amounts of regulated genetically engineered (GE) rice in samples taken from commercial long grain rice." According to the statement, Bayer found trace ammounts of the regulated LLRICE 601 herbicide-tolerant product in commercial rice. Bayer had not planned to market the product, and had not sought deregulation for it. APHIS is conducting an investigation to determine the circumstances surrounding the release and whether any violations of USDA regulations occurred. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has concluded that the presence of LLRICE 601 in the food and feed supply poses no safety concerns.
Contest Seeks Nominations for Integrated Pest Management Award
The Southwest Technical Resources Center for Integrated Pest Management in Schools is accepting applications for its annual IPM PrideTM Award competition. The competition honors outstanding integrated pest management programs in schools with prizes of $1,000 and $500. The contest is open to public school districts in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Louisiana, and Arkansas that rely on integrated pest management to control insects and weeds.
"The recognition committee is not looking for the biggest or most elaborate IPM effort," said Janet Hurley, school integrated pest management coordinator for the Southwest Technical Resources Center at Dallas. "The award is really about a school's commitment and dedication to the IPM concept," she said. The application deadline is September 29, 2006. More information, including an application, can be found at http://schoolipm.tamu.edu.
University of Kentucky Serving Local Food in Pilot Program
The University of Kentucky will be serving locally grown food in 20 campus dining areas for three months this fall, as part of a pilot program. The program is in line with Kentucky legislation passed in 2006, requiring that state agencies buy Kentucky-grown agricultural products, dependent upon their availability, quality and pricing. The University has formed agreements with two farms so far, and hopes to buy produce from others, as well. The University hopes that its local food program will help create a market for farmers, so that more of them will move into providing produce, and hopes that the program will provide a model for other institutions.
Related ATTRA Publication: Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions
Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture Winners Announced
Farmers in four regions have been named winners of the 2006 Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture, presented by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Awarded every two years, the Patrick Madden Award for Sustainable Agriculture recognizes a producer who raises food or fiber in ways that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for people and communities. One of Ohio's greatest examples of profitable, sustainable farmers, Rex Spray of Mt. Vernon, was named the North Central Region winner. Maryland farmers Edwin and Marian Fry, who have spent decades building diverse, profitable enterprises, have been named the 2006 Northeast Region winners of the Madden Award. Small-scale specialists who are among North Carolina's greatest examples of profitable, sustainable farmers, Alex and Betsy Hitt were named the Southern Region winners. Paul Muller, whose well-integrated, diversified farm harvests year-round and sells to outlets like Alice Waters' Chez Panisse, is the Western Region winner.
Farmland Preservation a National Trend
An article from Michigan Land Use Institute reports that farmland preservation is a growing national trend, with local governments, land conservancies and others spending nearly $500 million each year to protect farmland from development. Farmland preservation programs are springing up even in fast-growing and politically conservative locations such as Michigan's Kent County. The programs are popular because they are voluntary, help support agriculture, and cost governments less than service for new developments. Programs may take the form of agricultural zoning, farm viability incentives, right-to-farm regulations, or purchase of development rights to agricultural land.
Leopold Center Issues Project Reports
The 2006 Center Progress Report now available from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University features summaries of 21 projects that were funded by the Center and finished their work in 2005 and 2006. The Center provided support for research, education and demonstration projects calculated to help Iowa farmers at all levels with production and marketing issues. Among the project topics were: biological control of the soybean aphid, managed grazing and water quality, supporting direct meat marketing in Iowa, and helping producers market processed foods. The project summaries have been published in a 75-page report, and individual project summaries are available online.
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Special Call to Develop Vibrant and Sustainable Regional Food Systems
http://valuechains.org/rfswg/call_081406.pdf (PDF / 36 K)
The Regional Food Systems Working Group is offering funding support for Iowa-based collaborations that are leading food systems development based in specific geographic areas. Applicants must make the case that past and present efforts have addressed some of the key elements necessary for a vibrant and sustainable food system, and that the group requires specific RFSWG assistance to add new or augment existing elements in order to accelerate development. Total financial resources per group will be approximately $20,000 for one year (10/06 through 9/07). Applications must be made by Iowa-based non-profit organizations and/or educational institutions.
Proposals are due September 25, 2006.
Connecticut Agriculture Viability Grants Program
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture is accepting proposals from a variety of agriculture stakeholders-specifically farmers, farmer cooperatives, non-profits working directly with farmers, municipalities, municipal associations, regional planning agencies/councils of government, and non-profits working directly with municipalities-who are planning activities that will promote agriculture sustainability and/or increase the economic viability of one or many farm businesses. The two grants in the Agriculture Viability Grants Program are called the Farm Viability Grant for Municipalities (FVG) and the Farm Transition Grant (FTG). The intent of the Farm Viability Grant is to strengthen the economic viability and promote the sustainability of agriculture in Connecticut municipalities by providing matching grants for both capital projects and planning projects. The intent of the Farm Transition Grant is to strengthen the economic viability of Connecticut farmers, agricultural not for profit organizations and agricultural cooperatives for diversification of the farm, transitioning to value-added agriculture production and sales, and developing markets and other venues in which a majority of products sold are grown in the state. The Department may provide up to $50,000 in matching funds per project.
Proposals are due November 17, 2006.
P3 National Student Design Competition
The P3 competition will provide grants to teams of college students to research, develop, and design solutions to challenges to sustainability. P3 highlights people, prosperity, and the planet-the three pillars of sustainability-as the next step beyond P2 or pollution prevention. The P3 Awards program is a partnership between the public and private sectors to progress toward sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of economic prosperity, protection of the natural systems of the planet, and providing a higher quality of life for its people. EPA and its affiliates offer the P3 Awards competition to respond to the technical needs of the developed and developing world in moving towards the goal of sustainability. Categories for entries: Agriculture, Materials and Chemicals, Energy, Information Technology, Water, and Built Environment.
Proposals are due December 21, 2006.
> More Funding Opportunities
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USDA/IR-4 Food Use and Food Use Greenhouse Workshops
September 11-14, 2006
State and Federal research scientists, extension personnel, commodity
growers, agrichemical and biopesticide company personnel are
encouraged to attend and help IR-4 prioritize research projects. September 11 is the greenhouse working group, September 12 entomology, September 13 plant pathology and September 14 weed science.
New Farmers Workshop
September 18, 2006
Would you like to learn how successful farmers and ranchers are making a living by providing food for their local communities? You can be a part of this trend in local food production and make a living doing it. This workshop is designed to get you up to speed quickly on a large variety of topics, from improving your soils to finding your market. This workshop will show you how other experienced producers are making it happen.
Common Ground Country Fair
September 22-24, 2006
A one of a kind event celebrating its 30th year this year, the Fair demonstrates how we are all able to incorporate more sustainable living practices into our daily lives and sends us home with the reasons it is in our best interest to do so. The event is sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and offers demonstrations, exhibits, activities and products for sale.
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