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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 4, 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

  • RMA Announces Changes to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection for 2020
  • Handouts Showcase Nutritional Benefits of Pasture-Raised Food
  • Arkansas Incubator Farm Project Cultivates Farmers and Community
  • Guidebook on Soil Life Aids Organic Farmers
  • Farm to Head Start Case Studies Share Lessons Learned
  • Research Investigates Carbon Offsetting Potential of Seaweed Aquaculture

Funding Opportunities

  • Small Grains Cost Share
  • Michigan Rural Development Fund
  • Western SARE Professional + Producer Grants

Coming Events

  • National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit
  • Carolina Meat Conference: The Future of Local Meat
  • Beginning Livestock Workshop

News & Resources

RMA Announces Changes to Whole-Farm Revenue Protection for 2020
USDA Risk Management Agency has announced several updates to the Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) policy for the 2020 policy year. Producers with Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and WFRP may receive indemnity payments under both policies, but producers carrying NAP cannot receive a premium discount under WFRP. Also, the expected revenue limit for livestock and nursery is increasing to $2 million. Several options will now be available to prevent large drops in approved revenue from year to year and to smooth the historical values.
Related ATTRA Resources: Crop Insurance

Handouts Showcase Nutritional Benefits of Pasture-Raised Food
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) released a series of seven handouts showcasing the nutritional benefits of pasture-raised food. The handouts can be downloaded, printed, and shared in-person or online. They highlight beef cattle, dairy cows, laying hens, meat birds, pigs, sheep and goats, and a summary of all the animals. FACT is also offering farmers the opportunity to personalize the handouts with photos from their own farms.
Related ATTRA Publication: Working with Your Meat Processor

Arkansas Incubator Farm Project Cultivates Farmers and Community
The Woolsey Farm Project is a collaboration between NCAT, Cobblestone Farms, and the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas. The project seeks to educate students and adults about sustainable agriculture and environmental conservation, to demonstrate the effect of local food systems on the environment, and to illustrate the role that sustainable agriculture can play in environmental stewardship. In its first few months, the project has helped three incubator farmers start farm businesses, hosted two farm production workshops, and played host to honey bee hives.

Guidebook on Soil Life Aids Organic Farmers
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has released Understanding and Optimizing the Community of Soil Life, the ninth topic in its free Soil Health and Organic Farming Series. This guidebook is designed to help organic farmers by providing up-to-date, science-based information on the soil food web, assessing and monitoring soil life, biological management of plant diseases, and microbial inoculants and biostimulants.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Soil Health

Farm to Head Start Case Studies Share Lessons Learned
The Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy (IATP) has released a set of seven case studies on its Farm to Head Start program in Minnesota. The case studies illustrate how IATP's Head Start partners were able to incorporate Farm to Head Start activities in ways that met their individual needs and goals. The case studies describe each program's unique context and outline steps taken to address challenges. They provide examples, resources, and ideas for anyone seeking to begin a Farm to Head Start initiative.
Related ATTRA Publication: Farm to School Sales: Profiles of Ranches Making It Work

Research Investigates Carbon Offsetting Potential of Seaweed Aquaculture
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, conducted a global assessment of seaweed aquaculture's carbon sequestration scaling potential. According to the study, there are roughly 48 million square kilometers in which seaweed could be farmed, and using just 0.001% of this would be enough to render the entire global aquaculture industry carbon neutral. Seaweed farming offers additional environmental benefits, as well.
Related ATTRA Resources: Ecological Seafood and Aquatic Plant Farming

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Small Grains Cost Share
Practical Farmers of Iowa is inviting farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin to apply for cost-share on small grains harvested in 2020 and followed by a legume-containing cover crop. Eligible small grains include barley, oats, rye, triticale, or wheat. A legume cover crop could be under- or co-seeded clover or alfalfa, or a summer-planted cover that includes hairy vetch or field peas. The cost share provides $25/acre on a maximum of 100 acres per farmer for this combination of a main crop and cover crop on either conventional acres or those transitioning to organic.
Cost-share funding is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Michigan Rural Development Fund
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is offering a grant opportunity for projects that address expansion and sustainability of land-based industries; worker training related to land-based industries; and energy, transportation, communications, water, and wastewater infrastructure to benefit rural communities and micropolitan statistical areas. The maximum grant request is $100,000. Applicants must provide a minimum 30% match.
Proposals are due October 29, 2019.

Western SARE Professional + Producer Grants
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is accepting proposals for its Professional + Producer Grants involving agricultural professionals and producers implementing projects to address identified needs in sustainable agriculture. Projects must integrate research and education, and outcomes should result in quantifiable benefits for producers, increase the preservation of the natural and social resources upon which agriculture relies, and be shared with other producers. Professional + Producer projects are limited to $50,000 for up to three years.
Proposals are due by November 13, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit
October 7-9, 2019
Rosemont, Illinois
The National Direct Agricultural Marketing Summit features resources to assist market managers, direct marketing farmers, and agribusinesses, as well as practitioners or technical assistance providers, in understanding and enhancing direct-marketing efforts. The Summit theme is "Entrepreneurship Opportunities Across the Food Value Chain."

Carolina Meat Conference: The Future of Local Meat
October 5-7, 2019
Charlotte, North Carolina
NC Choices Carolina Meat Conference is focused on bringing together every part of the meat supply chain. Farmers, chefs, butchers, and industry leaders convene for two days of unparalleled networking, hands-on training, and technical and business assistance.

Beginning Livestock Workshop
October 4, 2019
Judsonia, Arkansas
Join NCAT for a free beginning livestock workshop at Wholly Cow Farms, with sessions on business planning, marketing, and sustainable livestock production. Farmer Ryan Pace will lead a tour and share his experiences raising organic grass-fed beef.

>>More Events

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