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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - August 29, 2012

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.

Join the NCAT Team!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Coordinator for Grow Montana, a statewide food and agriculture policy council. This is a great opportunity for an individual to work with an innovative team of leaders in food and agriculture from across the state. The Coordinator will facilitate the Grow Montana Steering Committee and council partners and allies in their efforts to support community-based food systems by conducting public policy research and education. Applications will be accepted through September 4, 2012.

NCAT is also seeking a Sustainable Agriculture Intake Specialist to work in our Butte, Montana, office, responding to inquiries from farmers and ranchers throughout the country and forwarding inquiries to sustainable agriculture specialists.

News & Resources

  • National Farm to School Month Resources Available
  • USDA Awards Conservation Innovation Grants
  • Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators Updated
  • Small Farm Courses Offered Online
  • Publication Considers Cultivation Tools for Organic Vegetable Farmers
  • International Homesteading Education Month Invites Participants

Funding Opportunities

  • Conservation Innovation Grants
  • Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant Program
  • Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Cultivating NW Co-ops 2012: Celebrating Our Food Community
  • Hoes Down Harvest Festival
  • Winter Tunnel Production and Season Extension

News & Resources

National Farm to School Month Resources Available
October has been designated National Farm to School Month, and the National Farm to School Network is making many helpful resources available online. These include a "theme of the day" calendar, a communications toolkit, posters and ads, a PowerPoint Template for a slideshow, a sample menu, and fact sheets that explain National Farm to School Month.

USDA Awards Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced the award of $26 million in Conservation Innovation Grants. The grant winners will demonstrate innovative approaches to improving soil health, increasing pollinator and wildlife habitat, protecting water quality, and producing on-farm energy savings. A complete list of CIG awardees is available online.

Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators Updated
USDA Economic Research Service has released Agricultural Resources and Environmental Indicators, 2012. Among other findings, the report showed total cropland in 2007 at its lowest point since 1945, documented a drop in pesticide use but an increase in herbicide use, highlighted increases in irrigation efficiency, and reported organic food sales more than doubling from 2004 to 2011.

Small Farm Courses Offered Online
Cornell Small Farms Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension are offering 12 online courses for small farmers for 2012-2013. There are courses covering commercial production topics and courses covering management of a successful farm, including business planning, holistic financial planning, marketing, and getting started in farming.

Publication Considers Cultivation Tools for Organic Vegetable Farmers
Penn State Extension is sharing considerations and tips learned through a recent equipment demonstration at The Seed Farm New Farmer Training and Incubator Program. The article addresses hoes, cultivators and other weeding tools, and row-marking equipment. The Seed Farm links new farmers with training, equipment, and land through its Apprenticeship and Farm Incubator Programs. These programs are accepting applications until October 15, 2012.
Related ATTRA Publication: Equipment & Tools for Small-Scale Intensive Crop Production

International Homesteading Education Month Invites Participants
Mother Earth News and Grit are hosting International Homesteading Education Month in September. They are asking people who have skills or experiences to share about how to maintain a homestead to schedule an event in September, such as a workshop, demonstration, or tour. Events are being publicized in an online listing.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Conservation Innovation Grants
NRCS has announced the availability of up to $5 million in grants to evaluate and demonstrate agricultural practices that help farmers and ranchers adapt to drought. NRCS is offering the grants to partnering entities to evaluate innovative, field-based conservation technologies and approaches. Private individuals, Tribes, local and state governments, and non-governmental organizations can apply.
Grant applications are due October 15, 2012.

Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant Program
The 2012 Sustainable Community Innovation Grants program is accepting applications for up to $10,000 for activities that increase knowledge, build capacity, and make connections between sustainable agriculture and rural communities.
Proposals are due October 1, 2012.

Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is seeking proposals to carry out research, education, and on-farm demonstration projects through its Sustainable
Agriculture Grant Program
. Competitive grants may be awarded to individuals for up to $10,000, and units of government, non-profit groups, institutions, or organizations may apply for up to $20,000.
Proposals must be received by October 15, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Cultivating NW Co-ops 2012: Celebrating Our Food Community
October 5-6, 2012
Seattle, Washington

Cooperatives from across six states will join together to celebrate our food systems. Attendees will discuss how cooperatives are impacting our food future and will work together to cultivate our cooperative food community.

Hoes Down Harvest Festival
October 6-7, 2012
Guinda, California

This 25th annual celebration involves a festival on Saturday with live music, activities, agricultural workshops, and a farmers market. On Sunday, hands-on specialized seminars and a farm tour are offered.

Winter Tunnel Production and Season Extension
October 2, 2012
Shelburne, Vermont

In this NOFA-VT Summer Workshop Series event, Corie Pierce of Bread and Butter Farm will explain the four keys to winter hoop house production: crop selection, timing seeding and planting, crop protection needs, and overall system management.

>> 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.

© 2012 NCAT

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New Publication
Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Vegetation Management Services

Question of the Week
What can you tell me about producing hydroponic fodder to feed livestock?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Webinars
September 6 — Understanding Crop Insurance Options for Small- to Medium-Scale Diversified Farms
September 13 AGR-Lite—Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for the Specialized, Diversified, and Organic Farm

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