Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 28, 2019
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
- National Good Food Network Conference Requests Session Proposals
- Webinar Series Set for National Farm Safety & Health Week
- Research Grants Support Viability of Small and Medium-Sized Farms
- Publication Helps California Farms and Ranches Thrive in the Face of Climate Change
- Video Focuses on Developing Artisan Grain Markets
- Wildflower Strips Attract Pollinators to Watermelon Fields
- Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grant
- Maine Farms for the Future Program
- Practical Farmers of Iowa Savings Incentive Program
- Regenerative Agricultural Summit
- Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Association Field Days
- Intro to Whole Farm Production
News & Resources
National Good Food Network Conference Requests Session Proposals
The Wallace Center is inviting session proposals for the 2020 National Good Food Network Conference, set for March 10-13, 2020, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference will bring together practitioners from across the good food value chain to share tools, build capacity, and connect with one another. Sessions will include seven-minute Lightning Talks, 90-minute Breakout Sessions, and half-day or full-day Training Sessions. Proposals to present are due online by September 27, 2019.
Webinar Series Set for National Farm Safety & Health Week
The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety has announced a special webinar series for National Farm Safety and Health Week, set for September 15-21, 2019. The theme for the week is "Shift Farm Safety into High Gear," and there are also special themes for each day. A free webinar corresponding with each daily theme will be offered at noon Central, and additional webinars are planned for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, at 2:00 p.m. Central.
Research Grants Support Viability of Small and Medium-Sized Farms
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced the award of $5.8 million for 16 research projects through the Agriculture Economics and Rural Communities program area of the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's 2018 Foundational program. According to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the grants to universities will support research on the continued viability and profitability of small and medium-sized farms. Many of the projects focus on under-served groups of farmers.
Publication Helps California Farms and Ranches Thrive in the Face of Climate Change
California Climate & Agriculture Network has released Cultivating Climate Resilience in Farming, an eight-page report that provides a science-based review of some of the most significant impacts of climate change on California agriculture. The report includes "stories of California farmers and ranchers coping with climate impacts, some strategies they are using, and recommendations for needed resources and tools to keep California producers viable and thriving in the face of the sobering challenges ahead."
Related ATTRA Publication: Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production: Investing in Resilience in Uncertain Times
Video Focuses on Developing Artisan Grain Markets
In Practical Farmers of Iowa's video from the August 2019 Making Small Grains Work conference, Wisconsin farmer John Wepking gives an overview of the critical production and post-harvest handling requirements for a food-grade, artisan end product. In his one-hour presentation, Wepking also delves into his farm's process of establishing value-added, artisan, food-grade markets for its flours and other grain products.
Related ATTRA Publication: Grain Processing: Adding Value to Farm Products
Wildflower Strips Attract Pollinators to Watermelon Fields
Growing strips of wildflowers near watermelon fields can help attract pollinators, according to the dissertation of a Clemson University student. Her research showed that most watermelon pollinators were native bees, and that these tiny sweat bees most often visited fields that included wildflower strips or hedgerows of wild shrubs and trees. Improved pollination led to improved watermelon yield.
Related ATTRA Publication: A Pictorial Guide to Hedgerow Plants for Beneficial Insects
>>More Breaking News
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Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grant
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is accepting proposals for Farmer/Rancher Grants. This grant program involves agricultural producers and technical advisor(s) implementing projects to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture. With the support and guidance of the technical advisor, producers must integrate research and education to conduct on-site/on-farm experiments to improve production, marketing, and the environment. Grants are limited to $20,000 for one producer or $25,000 for three or more producers, extending up to three years.
Proposals are due by November 11, 2019.
Maine Farms for the Future Program
The State of Maine, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources offers Maine Farms for the Future Program grants for business plan development (Phase 1) and investment support (Phase 2) to improve "farm vitality." Phase 1 grants of $6,000 to research and develop a business plan are available to eligible Maine farms. To be eligible for a Phase 2 cash grant and/or low-interest rate through the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund, the applicant must be a selected farm that previously completed Phase 1.
Applications are due by October 8, 2019.
Practical Farmers of Iowa Savings Incentive Program
Practical Farmers of Iowa's Savings Incentive Program is a two-year program that pairs beginning and aspiring farmers with experienced farmer mentors. It provides targeted learning and peer networking opportunities and offers business-planning support and guidance. Upon program completion, Practical Farmers of Iowa matches participants' savings dollar for dollar, up to $2,400, to use toward the purchase of a farm asset. Applicants must be beginning Iowa farmers and members of Practical Farmers of Iowa.
Applications are due by October 11, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Regenerative Agricultural Summit
September 26-28, 2019
The 2019 Regenerative Agricultural Summit features Gabe Brown, Ray Archuleta, and Russ Wilson, along with speakers from the University of Tennessee and other experts.
Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Association Field Days
September 26-27, 2019
Canastota, New York
NODPA Field Days features farm tours and workshops that aim to prepare farmers for the realities of today's organic dairy market. The program is filled with information sessions, discussions, and educational workshops.
Intro to Whole Farm Production
September 28, 2019
Rural Action and Woodland Ridge Farm present Intro to Whole Farm Production, a way to learn about various income streams for a new farm. Topics include pastured pork production, ginseng cultivation, on-farm sustainable energy, and Airbnb basics.
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