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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 2, 2015

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.

Harvesting Clean Energy Summer Registration Ends on Labor Day
The 14th annual Harvesting Clean Energy conference will take place September 30 - October 2, 2015, in Billings, Montana. This premier gathering of the agriculture, forestry, and energy industries will help advance rural economic development through clean energy development, and maximizing profits by practicing good stewardship. Special summer registration pricing only goes through Labor Day, so register now.

News & Resources

  • Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Expanded to Every County
  • North American Poultry Census Begins
  • Videos on Winter High-Tunnel Growing Available
  • Farm Commons Releases Legal Guides
  • Western SARE Administrative Council Seeks Nominations
  • Study Finds Local Food Connects Buyers with Community

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeast SARE Farmer Grants
  • Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants
  • New Jersey Gleaning Support Grants

Coming Events

  • NODPA Field Days
  • Biodynamic Conference 2015
  • Starting a Food Processing Business Workshops

News & Resources

Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Expanded to Every County
USDA has announced that Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance will be available in every county in the nation in 2016. In addition, RMA will make it easier for more beginning farmers and ranchers to participate in 2016 by requiring just three historical years of records, plus farming records from the past year. Producers will be able to insure up to $1 million worth of animals and animal products. Also, RMA increased the cap on historical revenue for expanding operations to 35%.

North American Poultry Census Begins
The Livestock Conservancy is conducting a North American Poultry Census. The census is focused on old landrace and large-fowl, standard-bred poultry as recognized in the American Poultry Association's Standard of Perfection. The census specifically asks for information on the number of breeding birds only.

Videos on Winter High-Tunnel Growing Available
University of Illinois Extension, in partnership with Lincoln Land Community College, conducted high tunnel vegetable production research during the winter of 2014 and produced a series of videos on the topics of building beds, planting, growing, pest management, and harvesting. The videos are available on YouTube.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Season Extension: Considerations for Design

Farm Commons Releases Legal Guides
Farm Commons has released Farm Employment Law: A guide to rules and regulations across the United States. This guide details farm employment laws and regulations and shows farmers how to not only follow these laws, but perhaps even use them to their advantage. Farm Commons has also issued Financing A Farmland Purchase: Legal basics for traditional and non-traditional farmland purchases. This guide explores common financing strategies. The guides are available for free download to registered users.
Related ATTRA Publication: Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers

Western SARE Administrative Council Seeks Nominations
The Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is seeking nominations or self-nominations for five Administrative Council seats. These include Organic Farmer/Rancher, Sustainable Farmer/Rancher, Conventional Farmer/Rancher, Tropical Farmer/Rancher, and NGO/Nonprofit Representative. Members serve three-year terms and should have broad understanding of the diversity of Western agriculture.

Study Finds Local Food Connects Buyers with Community
According to a new University of Iowa study, people are shopping farmers markets and joining food coops at record numbers because they enjoy knowing who grows their food. "Locavores" are also driven to eat locally grown food because their commitment to do so makes them feel a part of something greater than themselves—a community that shares their passion for a healthy lifestyle and a sustainable environment.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeast SARE Farmer Grants
Farmer Grants up to $15,000 are for commercial producers in the Northeast region who have an innovative idea they want to test using a field trial, on-farm demonstration, marketing initiative, or other technique. Projects should seek new knowledge other farmers can use and address questions that are directly linked to improved profits, better stewardship, and stronger rural communities.
Applications are due November 12, 2015.

Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants
Producers typically use their grants to conduct on-site experiments that can improve their operations and the environment, and that can be shared with other producers. Projects may also focus on marketing and organic production. Up to $20,000 per proposal is allowed for a single producer and up to $25,000 for three or more producers. Any producer in the Western Region may apply.
Applications are due by December 2, 2015.

New Jersey Gleaning Support Grants
New Jersey's State Food Purchase Program offers funds to support gleaning activities to help feed the state's hungry. A total of $100,000 in funding is available and grants may be requested by eligible nonprofit entities who are gleaning from New Jersey farms and distributing gleaned food to New Jersey organizations.
Applications must be received by October 1, 2015.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

NODPA Field Days
October 1-2, 2015
Pavilion, New York

The NODPA Field Days program will explore the current obstacles and opportunities for the next generation of organic dairy farmers, present success stories of family farms that are adopting new and creative practices, and hear from young farmers.

Biodynamic Conference 2015
October 2-4, 2015
Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee

The conference is presenting a number of basic and hands-on activities for new farmers, as well as exploring the ways that farmers learn and thrive.

Starting a Food Processing Business Workshops
October 6, 7, or 8, 2015
Little Rock, Pine Bluff, or Forrest City, Arkansas

The Arkansas Food Innovation Center is presenting this free workshop in which participants will learn how to produce commercial food products in local food systems.

>> More Events

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