Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 7, 2016
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
- Changes to Conservation Stewardship Program Announced by NRCS
- Basics of Meat Processing Fact Sheets Available from NMPAN
- FDA Issues Draft Guidances under Food Safety Modernization Act
- Draft Guidance on Treated Lumber in Organic Operations Published for Comment
- Midwest Row Crop Collaborative Launches to Promote Environmentally Preferable Agriculture
- Registration Lottery Open for Young Farmers Conference
- Maryland Value Added Producer Grants for Capital Assets
- Kentucky State University Small Scale Farm Grant
- Texas Organic Cost-Share Reimbursement
- Cultivating Community: Land, Food, Health
- Small Ruminant Field Day
- AERO Expo & Annual Meeting
News & Resources
Changes to Conservation Stewardship Program Announced by NRCS
USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service has announced a significant update to the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). Beginning with this year's enrollment period, the program will feature redesigned planning and evaluation tools and nearly double the number of enhancements and conservation practice opportunities.
Basics of Meat Processing Fact Sheets Available from NMPAN
The Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN) has developed a new set of fact sheets on the basics of meat processing. The four short and easy-to-read fact sheets, available for free download, are titled What is Local Meat Processing?, What are the Rules?, Small Plant Economics, and New Plant Checklist. The publications can be used as an educational tool by processors.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Marketing Sheep and Goat Products: Meat
FDA Issues Draft Guidances under Food Safety Modernization Act
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued two draft guidances to assist industry with the implementation of the Preventive Controls for Animal Food rule and another to assist businesses in determining whether the activities they perform are within the "farm" definition. The guidances are available for public comment until November 23, 2016, for the first two and until February 21, 2017, for the classification guidance.
Draft Guidance on Treated Lumber in Organic Operations Published for Comment
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has announced draft guidance for organic producers and certifiers on using treated lumber in organic production. It describes where treated lumber can be located on organic farms and explains how to prevent crops and livestock from coming into contact with lumber treated with prohibited substances.
Related ATTRA Publication: Pressure-Treated Wood: Organic and Natural Alternatives
Midwest Row Crop Collaborative Launches to Promote Environmentally Preferable Agriculture
Food and agriculture supply-chain companies and conservation organizations including Cargill, Environmental Defense Fund, General Mills, Kellogg Company, Monsanto, PepsiCo, The Nature Conservancy, Walmart, and World Wildlife Fund have formed an "end-to-end" partnership to support farmers in improving soil health and water quality.
Registration Lottery Open for Young Farmers Conference
Due to high interest in the annual, national Young Farmers Conference at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture on December 7-9, 2016, participants will be selected by lottery. Beginning farmers (farming for more than one year and less than 10) will be given preference. The lottery opened September 6 and closes September 19, 5:00 pm EST.
>>More Breaking News
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Maryland Value Added Producer Grants for Capital Assets
The Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corporation (MARBIDCO) has announced a grant incentive funding opportunity to encourage Maryland's agricultural producers to expand or diversify their business operations by installing capital assets (equipment and fixtures) to make a value-added product.
Applications are due October 18, 2016.
Kentucky State University Small Scale Farm Grant
This grant program is for certified organic farmers, value-added producers, and aquatic farmers in Kentucky who sell $1,000 to $250,000 of agriculture produce to the public. Funding limits are $5,000 per farmer and $15,000 for organizations.
The next application deadline is October 1, 2016.
Texas Organic Cost-Share Reimbursement
The Texas Department of Agriculture has a cooperative agreement with USDA to provide cost-share assistance to producers, processors, distributors, or other handlers of organic agricultural products. Operations must possess current USDA organic certification. The cost-share program is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Applications must be received by October 31, 2016.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Cultivating Community: Land, Food, Health
October 14-16, 2016
HMI's 2016 Gathering begins with an Open Gate field day to highlight the holistic management practices that have been implemented at Paicines Ranch. Thought-provoking presentations and breakout sessions on consumer and producer interests will follow on October 15-16, along with keynote speaker Joel Salatin.
Small Ruminant Field Day
October 15, 2016
A Sheep Field Day will be held at the Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Marketing Service. For additional information and to reserve your spot, email Joan Burke, email@example.com.
AERO Expo & Annual Meeting
October 7-9, 2016
With the theme "What We Need Is Here," this weekend of building and empowering sustainable communities features speakers Mary Berry and Fred Kirschenmann, tours, workshops, panels, and more.
>> More Events
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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.
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