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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 15, 2010

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

Funding Opportunities

Coming Events

News & Resources

California Appoints Environmental Advisory Panel for Agriculture
California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura has announced the formation of a five-member scientific advisory panel on environmental farming to advise state agencies on sustainable agriculture. The Scientific Panel on Environmental Farming will review and recommend data on the impact that agriculture has on the environment and make recommendations to appropriate state agencies. In addition, the panel will publicly document agricultural activities that produce net benefits for the environment and ecosystems. Members of the panel are appointed by the Secretaries of Food and Agriculture, Environmental Protection and Natural Resources to three year terms.

Agriculture and Food Systems Publication Debuts
The inaugural issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development is available free online until October 1. JAFSCD is an online, international, peer-reviewed publication focused on the practice and applied research interests of agriculture and food systems development professionals and scholars. The publishers are also introducing a companion community of practice website, AgDevONLINE, with maps and articles that are intended to support the work of a wide range of professionals, academics, and activists who focus on agriculture and food issues.

Food System Framework Identifies Levels of Relationships
Researchers at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems have released the Tiers of the Food System framework, identifying five different levels of relationships between food producers and consumers. Small-scale, local food production is often contrasted with the anonymity of global, industrial food production, resulting in a black-and-white portrayal of local and global food systems. In reality, the food system is far more complex than local versus global and artisanal versus industrial, according to the framework's developers.

FoodHub Links Oregon Buyers and Sellers Online
A feature in The Oregonian calls EcoTrust's online marketplace FoodHub the "Facebook of local food." FoodHub, an interactive online tool that connects Northwest region food service professionals who want to buy locally produced food with growers and processors, was launched in February. A new version of FoodHub will debut in September, with an improved product management interface to better serve members, who pay an annual fee to use the service.

Researchers Produce High-Value Chemicals from Biomass
Researchers at Iowa State University have found a way to produce high-value chemicals such as ethylene glycol and propylene glycol from biomass rather than petroleum sources, reports Iowa Ag Connection. Researchers were studying the reactions of cellulosic materials in alcohols at high temperatures and pressures when they noted significant yields of ethylene glycol and propylene glycol. The biomass conversion process is based on the chemistry of supercritical fluids, in what the researchers say is a simple process better for the environment than conventional biomass conversions.

Connecticut Sets Farm-to-Chef Harvest Week
In conjunction with the state of Connecticut's 375th anniversary celebration, Governor Jodi Rell announced the first-ever Farm-to-Chef Harvest Celebration Week, September 26 to October 2. More than 80 restaurants, farms, and cafeterias participating in the event will offer special Farm-to-Chef menus that week, showcasing a bounty of Connecticut-grown ingredients.

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Funding Opportunities

Community Food Projects Competitive Grant Program
The USDA's Community Food Projects (CFP) Competitive Grants Program provides the major funding source for community-based food and agriculture projects nationwide. Funding preference is given to projects that develop linkages between two or more sectors of the food system, support the development of entrepreneurial projects, involve public and for-profit as well as nonprofit entities, and promote multi-system, interagency approaches. The program is looking for multi-stakeholder collaborations that build the long-term capacity of communities to address their food and agricultural problems. Only private non-profit organizations are eligible to receive CFP funds directly, but collaborations with public and private, for-profit entities are recommended. Applicants may request up to $300,000 for projects of up to three years' duration. CFP funds requested must be matched dollar for dollar with non-federal resources.
Deadline to apply for fiscal year 2011 is November 17, 2010.

Southern SARE Sustainable Community Innovation Grant
These grants link sustainable agriculture activities to healthy rural community development. Activities that will increase knowledge, build capacity and make connections between farms and rural communities to the benefit of people who live in those communities may be funded for up to $10,000 for up to two years. The Southern Region includes: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Proposals are due October 1, 2010

North Carolina Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund Central Region
The Reinvestment Fund assists farmers in developing new sources of agricultural income through provision of cost-share grants. NC farmers are eligible to apply for Producer Grant Awards of up to $10,000 for individuals and Community Grant Awards of up to $30,000 for collaborative farmer projects.
Proposals are due November 19, 2010

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Team Agriculture Georgia Workshop
September 28, 2010
Mt. Berry, Georgia

Team Agriculture Georgia is hosting a free one-day workshop for small, beginning, and limited-resource farmers. Topics to be covered include forestry, organics, farmers markets, financing, value-added products, and more.

Growing Health 2010
October 5, 2010
Binghamton, New York

Growing Health 2010 features a full day Farms, Food and Health Conference for people interested in locally driven solutions that benefit local communities. An evening celebration featuring local food follows the day-long conference.

Hoes Down Harvest Festival
October 2-3, 2010
Yolo County, California

The Ecological Farming Association's 23rd annual Hoes Down Harvest Festival at Full Belly Farm offers educational farm tours, a magical children’s area, hands-on workshops, farm products and an abundance of organic food, live music and good times.

Producing Biogas Inexpensively Workshop
October 8-9 and October 16-17, 2010
Hawaii and Pennsylvania

Biogas is a burnable fuel, like natural gas, but produced by the anaerobic (oxygenless) decomposition of almost anything once alive (grass, fruit waste, manure, etc.) in a container called a "biogas digester". In an on-going series of classes, and in co-operation with several other organizations, David House (author of The Complete Biogas Handbook) is offering workshops about how to understand, make, and use biogas using very low-cost digesters. Attendees will be given a kit for a digester capable of producing enough fuel for a small family to cook meals. Classes now scheduled include Oct. 8-9 in Hawaii, and Oct. 16-17 in Pennsylvania, where a scholarship for some state residents covers up to 75% of the cost of the class.

>> More Events

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New & Updated Publications
Converting Cropland to Perennial Grassland

Sheep: Sustainable and Organic Production

Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Farm Internship Curriculum and Handbook

Question of the Week
How Can I Control or Treat Blossom End Rot?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA on the Radio
Next week's topic on the Sustainable Agriculture Spotlight: The Farmer Veteran Coalition: Sustainable Agriculture Careers for Returning Soldiers.
Tuesday, September 21
10 a.m. PDT/1 p.m. EDT

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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