Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 1, 2010
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.
News & Resources
News & Resources
Conservation Program Expanded in Indiana
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a significant expansion of Indiana's Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), a federal/state conservation program that addresses targeted agriculture-related environmental concerns. CREP is part of the Conservation Reserve Program, a private land conservation program with more than 31 million acres enrolled nationwide. Through Indiana's CREP, producers voluntarily restore riparian buffers and wetland areas through financial aid and technical assistance, reducing sediment and nutrient run-off and enhancing wildlife habitat. The original goal of Indiana's CREP was to enroll 7,000 acres in three watersheds. With this expansion, CREP will now be available to include landowners in 11 Indiana watersheds located in all or portions of 65 counties with a total enrollment goal of 26,250 acres. Sign-up for enrollment under the expanded CREP agreement will begin Aug. 27, 2010, and is scheduled to continue until the goal of 26,250 acres is complete.
AWA Program to Help New Egg Producers
In response to the recent massive egg recall, Animal Welfare Approved is pleased to announce that it will make its consulting services available at no charge to any farmer wishing to start up a pasture-based egg operation. “AWA farmers who are raising laying hens are already experiencing a significant increase in demand for pastured eggs and many are concerned they cannot satisfy it. That’s why we are encouraging farmers to contact us for set-up advice,” says Program Director Andrew Gunther. Farmers interested in learning more, or for information on AWA’s mentoring program matching new and experienced farmers, call 1-800-373-8806 or e-mail info@AnimalWelfareApproved.org.
New Publication Provides Energy Efficiency Information for Poultry Producers
Efficient fans are essential for proper ventilation of poultry production facilities. A new publication from Iowa State University Extension explains the factors farmers should consider to address energy efficiency when selecting or upgrading fans. "Energy Efficient Fans for Poultry Production," addresses considerations when selecting a fan, such as air delivery, static pressure, fan efficiency and ratings by independent laboratories. It also describes factors that affect fan performance.
USDA to Fund School Garden Programs
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA will establish a People's Garden School Pilot Program to develop and run community gardens at eligible high-poverty schools; teach students involved in the gardens about agriculture production practices, diet, and nutrition; and evaluate the learning outcomes. This $1 million pilot program is authorized under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act. A cooperative agreement will be awarded to implement a program in up to five states. To be eligible as project sites, schools must have 50 percent or more students qualifying for free or reduced-price school meals. Produce raised in the gardens can be used in the schools' meals and by student households, local food banks, or senior center nutrition programs. Through this pilot program, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service seeks to identify models of successful school garden initiatives which then can be marketed to the K-12 community for inspiration, ideas, and replication.
Goat Management Tool Available
Goat producers now have a new tool to help manage their herds. The Meat Goat Management Wheel – jointly developed through a partnership of University of Missouri Extension, the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Missouri State University and Lincoln University – helps goat farmers refine their schedule to enhance goat production. The wheel lists 17 steps, beginning with managing bucks and evaluating does’ body condition before breeding begins, through analyzing and scheduling animal replacement strategy, to market strategy after the kids have been weaned. In combination with a wall calendar, the easy-to-use tool helps producers stay on schedule and know when to carry out important goat herd management operations.
Synthetic Methionine Use Extended for Organic Poultry Producers
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program (NOP) announced an amendment to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The amendment extends the use of methionine in organic poultry production. Published in the Federal Register as an interim rule with request for comments, it extends the allowance for methionine in organic poultry production until Oct. 1, 2012, with the following maximum allowable limits of methionine per ton of feed: 4 pounds for layers, 5 pounds for broilers, and 6 pounds for turkeys and all other poultry. The National Organic Standards Board determined that the loss of the use of synthetic methionine would disrupt the organic poultry market and cause substantial economic hardship to organic poultry operations.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Poultry Production: Providing Adequate Methionine
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Georgia Targeted Program Delivery and Outreach Grant
The purpose of this Outreach funding opportunity is to improve delivery of USDA programs in the state of Georgia, and to increase opportunities for underserved individuals, groups, and communities to participate in USDA programs. Outreach projects are expected to alert Georgia NRCS staff about the importance of working with underserved individuals, groups, and communities.
In addition, these projects will improve Georgia NRCS program delivery to underserved populations.
Proposals are due September 27, 2010.
Minnesota Agriculture Literacy Grant
This grant program offers cash awards to K-12 educators who bring agriculture and food systems education “to life” in their classroom or school. Non-formal education applications will also be considered if the funds are available.
Proposals are due September 15, 2010
North Central SARE Farmer Rancher Grant
NCR-SARE has allocated about $400,000 for the 2010 Farmer/Rancher Grant Program. Competitive grants of up to $6,000 are available for individual farmers and ranchers, and grants up to $18,000 are available for groups of three or more farmers from separate operations who are interested in exploring sustainable agriculture. NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grants provide opportunities for farmers and ranchers to use Sustainable Agriculture practices and their own innovative ideas to solve problems on the farm or ranch, and to share their ideas with others.
Proposals are due December 2, 2010
>> More Funding Opportunities
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Growing Power's Urban and Small Farm Conference
September 10-12, 2010
Hosted by Growing Power—a national organization headed by the sustainable urban farmer and MacArthur Fellow Will Allen—this international conference will teach participants how to plan, develop and grow small farms in urban and rural areas. Learn how you can grow food year-round, no matter what the climate, and how you can build markets for small farms. See how you can play a part in creating a new food system that fosters better health and closer-knit communities.
Raw Milk Dairy Days
September 11-12, 2010
Ten Massachusetts dairies that sell raw milk will open up their farms for tours and other activities on Saturday, September 11 and Sunday, September 12. Visit your local dairy and learn why raw milk tastes so good and why it’s so good for you!
Oklahoma Meat Goat Boot Camp
September 27-29, 2010
This workshop will cover the basics for meat goat production, including health care, nutrition, equipment, and more.
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