Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 6 , 2006
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* New Organization Strives to Increase Agriculture Awareness
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* Farm to College Program Changing Markets and Cafeteria Meals
* Radio Program Highlights Women Farmers
* Central Illinois Farm Beginnings Course Accepts Registrations
* Statistics Available on Certified Organic Acreage
* Biomass Project Funding Announced in Three States
* Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
* Youth Garden Grants Program
* Rocky Mountain Clean Diesel Collaborative
* Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair
* Eastern Triangle Farm Tour
* Exotic/Invasive Pests and Diseases Research Program Workshop
News & Resources
New Organization Strives to Increase Agriculture Awareness
A new national not-for-profit organization has been established in Indiana with a goal of educating the nation about today's food and agriculture technologies. The Grow America Project (GAP) is exploring issues such as consumers' interest in organic foods, livestock and biotechnology. Preliminary assessments of consumer data indicate that consumers are increasingly concerned, and confused, about the safety of commercial foods, intensive livestock and the potential consequences of biotechnology, says GAP.
GAP will hold a national summit in Indianapolis on October 25-26, focusing on both challenges and opportunities in the agriculture industry.
Farm to College Program Changing Markets and Cafeteria Meals
The Montanan's Fall issue contains a feature on the University of Montana's Farm to College program, which recently celebrated both its third anniversary and millionth dollar channeled to Montana food purchases. In-state purchases now exceed 13 percent of the University Dining Service's annual food budget. The program has been a model for Montana, helping producers improve their ability to supply institutions, spawning programs at other schools in the state, and involving students in research that documents the effects of, and potential for, the program.
Radio Program Highlights Women Farmers
The Mainstream Media Project (MMP) has produced a radio program focusing on women in agriculture. During the program, titled "A World of Possibilities," listeners can "hear women farmers tell their stories of success and ingenuity in the face of the daunting challenges of sustaining small farms in an age of industrial agriculture." The program, which runs for 55 minutes, can be accessed online at the link above. MMP is a nonprofit public education organization that uses the mainstream broadcast media to raise public awareness about new approaches to longstanding societal problems.
Central Illinois Farm Beginnings Course Accepts Registrations
Central Illinois Farm Beginnings will begin its second year in October with five months of bi-monthly seminars taught by Central Illinois farmers and business people. The course focuses on the business behind farming. Some topics include planning for profit, multiple marketing strategies, and building a business plan. After the classroom seminar portion of the course, participants go through a mentorship program and participate in field-day workshops on local farms from April through October. For the course syllabus and additional information, visit the Central Illinois Farm Beginnings Web site.
Statistics Available on Certified Organic Acreage
Are you interested in your state's statistics for certified organic acreage and the crops and livestock under production? The Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources offers detailed statistics for Washington, Oregon, and California. Nationally, the Economic Research Service (ECRS) of the Department of Agriculture offers statistics on acreage that is designated certified organic. The statistics are several years old, however. For example, the percentage of all U.S. cropland devoted to organic agriculture in 2003 was measured by ECRS at 0.4 percent. Organic pasture that year was measured at 0.1 percent. California, North Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wisconsin, Colorado and Iowa had the most organic cropland in 2003. Texas, Alaska, and California had the largest amount of organic pasture and rangeland.
Biomass Project Funding Announced in Three States
Illinois, Washington, and Wisconsin have awarded nearly $33 million in grants and loans for biofuels and other biomass energy projects, reports EERE News. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich announced five grants totaling more than $25 million to support biofuels production. The grants will support construction of three ethanol facilities—which will have a combined capacity to produce 141 million gallons of ethanol annually—and two biodiesel facilities that will produce some 84 million gallons per year.
Washington Governor Christine Gregoire announced $6.75 million in low-interest loans for seven bioenergy projects, including five biodiesel plants and two anaerobic digesters, which convert livestock waste into methane fuel.
In Wisconsin, Governor Jim Doyle announced $1 million in grants for a variety of projects related to biofuels, biomass energy, and biobased products.
> More Breaking News
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Illinois Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program
The State of Illinois Department of Agriculture has announced their call for proposals for the FY2007 Sustainable Agriculture Grant Program. Categories include outreach and education and university research. Grants of up to $25,000 are available.
Proposals are due October 12, 2006.
Youth Garden Grants Program
National Gardening Association and The Home Depot™ present the 2007 Youth Garden Grants™ Program. NGA awards Youth Garden Grants to schools and community organizations with child-centered, outdoor garden programs. Schools, youth groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment facilities, and intergenerational groups throughout the United States are eligible. Applicants must plan to garden in 2007 with at least 15 children between the ages of three and 18 years. In 2007, 200 programs will receive $250 Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of gardening materials and supplies particular to the needs of their program, and an activity package from NGA.
Proposals are due November 1, 2006.
Rocky Mountain Clean Diesel Collaborative
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting proposals from States, Federally Recognized Indian Tribes and Tribal Consortia, local governments, international organizations, public and private universities and colleges, hospitals, laboratories, and other public or private nonprofit institutions, to fund projects within the Region 8 states of Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah or Wyoming. The projects will demonstrate effective emission control technologies and strategies, methods or approaches to reducing diesel emissions as part of the Rocky Mountain Clean Diesel Collaborative. EPA Region 8 anticipates awarding approximately 1-4 awards totaling $100,000.
Proposals are due November 30, 2006.
> More Funding Opportunities
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Renewable Energy Roundup and Green Living Fair
September 22-24, 2006
This seventh annual festival is co-sponsored by the Texas Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association. The agenda includes Organic Growing; Solar; Wind; Water Use & Reuse; Green Building; Alternative Transportation; Rainwater Harvesting; free speakers; exhibits & demonstrations; green products for sale; kids' activities; live music; organic & natural foods.
Eastern Triangle Farm Tour
September 23-24, 2006
Wake, Franklin & Granville Counties, North Carolina
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has organized another of its famous farm tours, this time in the Eastern Triangle area. Buy a button, get a map, and tour your choice of up to 10 participating farms during two weekend afternoons.
Exotic/Invasive Pests and Diseases Research Program Workshop
October 3, 2006
Find out about the latest research on exotic invaders by joining the University of California Exotic/Invasive Pests and Diseases Research Program (EPDRP) Workshop. From the glassy-winged sharpshooter that can cause Pierce's disease of grapes and oleander leaf scorch, to fire ants that have infested residential areas in southern California, scientists funded by UC EPDRP are a step ahead in finding ways to prevent, detect, and control or eradicate these and other invaders.
> More Events
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