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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 3, 2014

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.

Join the NCAT Team!
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a a Farm to Community Coordinator based in our Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas. The Coordinator will work with farmers, retailers, local organizations, and agencies to expand an existing Farm to Work program, develop new distribution and marketing systems for local food, and increase the availability and consumption of sustainably produced foods. Applications will be accepted through September 21, 2014, or until a suitable candidate can be identified.

News & Resources

  • Report Profiles Young Farmers Adapting to Drought
  • Cold Climate Strawberry Farming Publication Now Online
  • U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards Program Accepting Nominations
  • Farm to School Evaluation Framework Launched
  • Guide Helps California Specialty Crop Growers Promote Farms at Fairs
  • Scientists Find Soil Micro-organisms Eliminate Nitrous Oxide

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Youth Educator Grant Program
  • Captain Planet Foundation Small Grants
  • Wisconsin Worker Training Grants for Agriculture and Related Occupations

Coming Events

  • Livestock Inputs Webinar
  • Florida Local Food Summit
  • Sunol AgPark Harvest Festival

News & Resources

Report Profiles Young Farmers Adapting to Drought
The National Young Farmers Coalition has released Sustaining Farming in the Arid West: Stories of young farmers, water and resilience, a report that demonstrates how Western farmers are saving water, stewarding the land, and enhancing productivity in increasingly dry times. The 16-page publication profiles farmers from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah, including several organic and specialty-crop farmers.

Cold Climate Strawberry Farming Publication Now Online
The University of Minnesota has released Cold Climate Strawberry Farming, a free, interactive e-book that details innovative marketing techniques, comprehensive cultivar recommendations, insurance requirements, and other essential business information. The book discusses best practices for growing strawberries and also introduces a new, season-extending method of growing strawberries using low tunnels and day-neutral cultivars.

U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards Program Accepting Nominations
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy is now accepting nominations for the 2015 U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards. The awards recognize outstanding dairy farms, businesses, and partnerships for socially responsible, economically viable, and environmentally sound practices. Nominations are open through November 7, 2014, to all segments of the U.S. dairy value chain, from farm to table.

Farm to School Evaluation Framework Launched
The National Farm to School Network has launched a new resource, Evaluation for Transformation: A Cross Sectoral Evaluation Framework for Farm to School. It defines outcomes farm to school can achieve and offers common language, guidelines, and metrics to help users understand and articulate those outcomes. The framework is organized around four key sectors: public health, community economic development, education, and environmental quality, and three levels of action: program, research, and policy. The evaluation framework and accompanying documents can be downloaded.

Guide Helps California Specialty Crop Growers Promote Farms at Fairs
University of California Small Farm Program and the California Department of Food and Agriculture have released Discover California Farms at California Fairs: A Guide to Specialty Crop Promotion and Education at California District and County Fairs. The 22-page online guide is based on the experience of farmers, educators, fair officials, and community groups who participated in a year-long educational-exhibit project.

Scientists Find Soil Micro-organisms Eliminate Nitrous Oxide
Scientists at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research have found a new group of micro-organisms that tansform the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide into atmospheric nitrogen. The team is currently working to identify farming practices that could stimulate this new group of micro-organisms. The findings underline the importance of the biodiversity of soil micro-organisms to the functioning of soils.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

North Central Region SARE Youth Educator Grant Program
NCR-SARE is accepting online submissions for the Youth Educator Grant Program, which provides opportunities for youth in the 12-state region to learn more about sustainable agriculture. Educators use grants of up to $2,000 to encourage young people and their parents to try sustainable practices and see sustainable agriculture as a viable career option.
Proposals are due by November 13, 2014.

Captain Planet Foundation Small Grants
Grants of $500 to $2,500 are made for activities that conform to the mission of the Captain Planet Foundation and are project-based, performed by youth, and have real environmental outcomes. The Captain Planet Foundation primarily makes grants to U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual budget of less than $3 million.
Application deadline is September 30, 2014.

Wisconsin Worker Training Grants for Agriculture and Related Occupations
Wisconsin Fast Forward provides matching grants from $5,000 to $400,000 for employer-led programs that deliver customized training in agribusiness and related occupations to incumbent workers and/or job seekers.
Applications are due by October 21, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Livestock Inputs Webinar
October 1, 2014
This webinar presented by the International Organic Inspectors Association and the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) will introduce commonly used organic materials, what organic inspectors look for during an inspection, and how OMRI evaluates livestock inputs. This webinar is part of a project designed to provide educational programming for veterinarians, Extension educators, and other professionals who routinely work with organic livestock.

Florida Local Food Summit
October 3-4, 2014
Orlando, Florida

This first annual event for farmers, foodpreneurs, consumers, and policymakers aims to provide attendees the technical assistance and networking opportunities to grow all areas of local food and mobilize their communities to create positive change.

Sunol AgPark Harvest Festival
October 5, 2014
Sunol, California

Sustainable Agriculture Education (SAGE) celebrates the Sunol AgPark's—and the Bay Area's—beautiful bounty. Join SAGE and the AgPark Farmers for for pumpkin patches, farm tours, garden demos, entertainment, local food, and more.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program 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.

© 2014 NCAT

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ATTRA Webinars
Promoting High-Quality Conservation on Organic Farms ~ September 10
In this free webinar, conservation professionals and landowners will learn how NRCS conservation practices and enhancements can provide high-value production and biodiversity benefits while aiding producers in maintaining their USDA organic status. Register now!

Question of the Week
What are some non-chemical ways to control algae in my irrigation pond?

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