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Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 12, 2007

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.

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News & Resources
* FAO Urges Protection of Livestock Diversity
* Eat Local Challenge Offered in Wisconsin
* IATP Hosting Rural Youth Summit
* 'Real Seal' Introduced for California Dairy Products
* Activists Uphold Organic Standards

Funding Opportunities
* Southern SARE Producer Grant
* Pulling Together Initiative
* Love Your Veggies Grants

Coming Events
* Sierra Nevada Small Farm Progress Day
* Growing Communities Workshop
* How to Get (and Stay) Certified Organic

News & Resources

FAO Urges Protection of Livestock Diversity
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is urging the international community to adopt a global plan of action to stem erosion of the world’s farm animal diversity and protect the global food supply. The first International Technical Conference on Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, held in Interlaken, Switzerland, highlighed concern that a high rate of livestock breed extinctions is weakening the ability of livestock to deal with climate change and disease. Many breeds at risk of extinction have unique characteristics that may be useful in confronting these and other challenges in the years to come, FAO says. Around 20 percent of the world’s breeds of cattle, goats, pigs, horses and poultry are currently at risk of extinction, according to FAO’s State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources report, the first global assessment of livestock biodiversity and of the capacity of countries to manage their animal genetic resources.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Poultry Genetics for Pastured Production

Eat Local Challenge Offered in Wisconsin
Wisconsin Eat Local Challenge is encouraging state residents to spend at least 10% of their food budgets on locally grown and locally made foods from September 14-23. The challenge defines local food as anything grown or made in Wisconsin, or within a 100 mile radius of participants' homes. Participants are asked to report their local food purchases on a scorecard. Resources are offered online, to help people locate sources of local food. In related news, The Spectator, reports on its editor's participation in the month-long Chippewa Valley Local Food Challenge.

IATP Hosting Rural Youth Summit
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is hosting a Rural Youth Summit this fall. Rural Youth Summit is an exciting opportunity to connect with rural youth from across the Midwest to discuss the challenges and opportunities you face in rural areas. Young farmers, rural residents, college and technical college students, new Americans and youth who wish to live and work in rural areas are invited to participate. Event highlights include an invited 2008 presidential candidate forum, rural youth presentations and discussion, leadership training and networking opportunities.

'Real Seal' Introduced for California Dairy Products
USAgNet reports that the California Milk Advisory Board has created a Real California Milk seal. The seal certifies that dairy products bearing the seal are made exclusively with California milk. The seal will begin appearing at retail on California dairy products, notably butter, yogurt and ice cream, starting this fall. The hope is to create a demand for products from a specific region.

Activists Uphold Organic Standards
With the organic market growing, and industrial-scale operations producing organic foods, some activists are concerned about erosion of organic ideals and standards. Time magazine reports on the Cornucopia Institute's efforts to uphold organic standards by rating organic milk producers and filing complaints with USDA against Wal-Mart and Aurora Organic Dairy. There is controversy within the industry over whether Cornucopia's actions help or hurt consumer perceptions of organic food.

> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Producer Grant
Southern SARE Producer Grants are for producers or producer organizations in the Southern Region. Grants are awarded to on-farm research and marketing projects that promote sustainable agriculture. Projects should be innovative, generate results that are useful beyond one year, and produce information that many farmers can use.
Proposals are due November 15, 2007.

Pulling Together Initiative
This program offers support on a competitive basis for the formation of local Weed Management Area (WMA) partnerships. These partnerships engage federal resource agencies, state and local governments, private landowners, and other interested parties in developing long-term weed management projects within the scope of an integrated pest management strategy. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the USDA Forest Service (FS), the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), is pleased to solicit proposals from non-profit organizations and government agencies interested in managing invasive and noxious plant species. The grant awards range from $30,000-$75,000.
Proposals are due October 26, 2007.

Love Your Veggies Grants
Hidden Valley announces the 2008 Love Your Veggies™ Nationwide School Lunch Campaign, an initiative that will award $10,000 grants to 51 elementary schools nationwide to support programs that increase student access to, and consumption of, fresh vegetables and fruits during school meals. Each grant award will support an elementary school in developing a program offering fresh vegetables and fruits beginning in March 2008 and lasting through the 2008-2009 school year.
Proposals are due November 30, 2007.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Sierra Nevada Small Farm Progress Day
October 19, 2007
Grass Valley, California

Nevada Co. Land Trust and UC Co-op Extension sponsor a small-farm equipment show, including demonstrations and workshops on farming practices in the foothills. Topics include both tractor- and horse-drawn equipment for vegetable, row crop, forestry, and orchard work, as well as livestock equipment demonstrations and production workshops.

Growing Communities Workshop
October 12-14, 2007
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Urban garden projects provide essential connections between communities and the natural world. This three-part workshop will help you to understand the vitality of urban green spaces and lay out the necessary steps for bringing neighborhoods and communities together to develop green spaces. Day one and two will be held at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee and will be jointly hosted by Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and the American Community Gardening Association. Day three will be hands-on tour day where you will visit urban gardening projects throughout the city of Milwaukee.

How to Get (and Stay) Certified Organic
September 27, 2007
Decatur, Georgia

This in-depth workshop, presented by Georgia Organics in partnership with USDA Risk Management Agency, will cover the nuts and bolts of obtaining organic certification for your farming operation. Topics include: understanding the USDA National Organic Program, principles of organic farm management, and choosing and working with a certifier.

> More Events

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