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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 14, 2011

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • Minnesota Trial Shows Organic Farming Profitable Long-Term
  • Updated Farmers' Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program Released
  • Cleveland Food Production Potential Assessed
  • USDA Assisting Growers, Livestock and Milk Producers Damaged by Hurricane Irene
  • Minnesota Reports Organic Farming Profits Rose in 2010
  • OFRF Report Says Organic Farming is Good for Health and Jobs

Funding Opportunities

  • Southern SARE Producer Grants
  • Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund
  • Chefs Move to Schools Grant

Coming Events

  • Food Day
  • Chefs Collaborative National Summit
  • Midwest Biomass Conference

News & Resources

Minnesota Trial Shows Organic Farming Profitable Long-Term
New research reported in the September-October issue of the Agronomy Journal performed an analysis of 18 years of crop yield and farm management data from a long-term University of Minnesota trial. The researchers found that an organic crop rotation was consistently more profitable and carried less risk of low returns than conventional corn and soybean production, even when organic price premiums were cut by half.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Standards for Crop Production: Highlights of the USDA's National Organic Program Regulations

Updated Farmers' Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program Released
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has released an updated online version of its popular Farmers' Guide to the Conservation Stewardship Program. The revised Guide includes step-by-step enrollment guidance, key definitions, and helpful hints.
Related ATTRA Publication: Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching

Cleveland Food Production Potential Assessed
Cleveland and other post-industrial North American cities have the potential to generate up to 100 percent of their current needs for fresh produce and other food items -- retaining millions of dollars in the local economy, creating new jobs, and spurring additional health, social and environmental benefits, according to a study published online by the journal Cities.
Related Resources: Urban and Community Agriculture

USDA Assisting Growers, Livestock and Milk Producers Damaged by Hurricane Irene
USDA encourages farmers, ranchers, producers, landowners and rural communities to damaged by Hurricane Irene to contact their local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Center to report damages to crops or livestock loss; their local Rural Development office for housing, business or community assistance information and/or their local Natural Resources Conservation Service office for help with debris removal. Several programs offer assistance: Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP), Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program (SURE), Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm Raised Fish (ELAP), and Livestock Indemnity Program (LIP).

Minnesota Reports Organic Farming Profits Rose in 2010
The profitability of Minnesota organic farms improved in 2010 compared to 2009, according to a new report issued by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The report, titled "2010 Organic Farm Performance in Minnesota," shows improved whole-farm economic performance and stronger returns for crop and dairy enterprises.

OFRF Report Says Organic Farming is Good for Health and Jobs
The Santa Cruz, California-based Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is unveiling a report September 19, documenting how organic farming is good for people, the environment, and the economy in numerous ways. Organic Farming for Health and Prosperity highlights policy recommendations to advance organic farming in the Farm Bill and beyond.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Producer Grants
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education has issued a call for proposals for the 2012 Producer Grants. Producer Grants are used to conduct projects that solve problems farmers face and to develop information on what works and what doesn’t so that other farmers and ranchers facing those same problems can benefit from the results of the funded project.
Proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2011.

Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund
The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has partnered with the Vermont Community Foundation to create the Vermont Farm Disaster Relief Fund (VFDRF), which will assist Vermont farms that sustained damage from Tropical Storm Irene. The relief fund will pool contributions from donors and will make grants directly to farmers affected by the storm.

Chefs Move to Schools Grant
Culinary professionals seeking to implement projects teaching children in a public school about food, nutrition and cooking may seek funding from The Culinary Trust.
Applications are due by December 30, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Food Day
October 24, 2011
Nationwide

Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. A searchable list of events nationwide is available online.

Chefs Collaborative National Summit
October 23-25, 2011
New Orleans, Louisiana

Hands-on trainings, panel discussions and workshops focused on all aspects of sustainability from a chef's point-of-view.

Midwest Biomass Conference
November 2-3, 2011
Dubuque, Iowa
The conference will feature speakers and discussion pertaining to direct use biomass applications, feedstock development and existing resources, feedstock harvest transportation and logistics and biomass market development in the Midwest.

>> More Events

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