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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 17, 2014

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

  • USDA Awards Conservation Innovation Grants
  • Study Assesses Organic Dairy Farm Needs in Northeast
  • USGS Study Shows Pesticide Levels a Concern for Aquatic Life
  • USDA Announces Sound and Sensible Certification Projects
  • Resources Available for Farm to School Month in October
  • Study Shows Drug-Resistant Bacteria Persisting on Hog Workers

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant
  • Environmental Solutions for Communities
  • Minnesota Farm Business Management Scholarship Program for Beginning Farmers

Coming Events

  • Farmland, Food, and Livable Communities Conference
  • National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference
  • AgroForestry Workshop

News & Resources

USDA Awards Conservation Innovation Grants
USDA has announced the award of $15.7 million in Conservation Innovation Grants to 47 organizations that will help develop and demonstrate cutting-edge ideas to accelerate innovation in private lands conservation. These grants are funded through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. A full list of recipients is available online.

Study Assesses Organic Dairy Farm Needs in Northeast
Northeastern organic dairy farms say their top concern is receiving steady, fair prices for their milk, according to a new survey conducted by the University of New Hampshire. The results were published in the Journal of Dairy Science. Working with the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance, UNH researchers surveyed 183 Northeastern organic dairy farms, and 85% ranked a steady, fair milk price as their top challenge.

USGS Study Shows Pesticide Levels a Concern for Aquatic Life
Levels of pesticides are a concern for aquatic life in many of the nation's rivers and streams in agricultural and urban areas, according to a new United States Geological Survey study. The proportion of streams draining agricultural lands with one or more pesticides that exceeded an aquatic-life benchmark was 69% for the decade 1992-2001 and 61% for the period from 2002-2011.

USDA Announces Sound and Sensible Certification Projects
USDA is awarding project contracts to 13 organizations that will advance the National Organic Program's Sound and Sensible initiative by identifying and removing barriers to organic certification and streamlining the certification process. Organizations contracted include California Certified Organic Farmers, Northeast Organic Farmers Association, and the National Center for Appropriate Technology.

Resources Available for Farm to School Month in October
The National Farm to School Network has developed resources and activities to promote October as Farm to School Month in schools, communities, and media outlets. These online materials include logos, posters, and a communications toolkit. In addition, the National Farm to School Network is holding a drawing at its website for $1,000 to spend on a farm to school/preschool project.

Study Shows Drug-Resistant Bacteria Persisting on Hog Workers
A new study suggests that nearly half of workers who care for animals in large industrial hog-farming operations may be carrying home livestock-associated bacteria in their noses, and that this potentially harmful bacteria remains with them up to four days after exposure. A study of hog workers in North Carolina was reported online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant
North Central Region - Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) is accepting proposals for the 2015 Farmer Rancher Grant. There are three types of grants: individual ($7,500 maximum), partner ($15,000 maximum), and group ($22,500 maximum). NCR-SARE expects to fund about 45 projects in the 12-state region, for a total of approximately $400,000.
Proposals are due on November 20, 2014.

Environmental Solutions for Communities
Wells Fargo and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation seek to promote sustainable communities by supporting highly visible projects that link economic development and community well-being to the stewardship and health of the environment. Approximately $2.5 million is available nationwide, in grants from $25,000 to $100,000. One program priority is supporting sustainable agricultural practices and private lands stewardship. Strong preference will be given to applications from specified regions and states.
Proposals are due by December 10, 2014.

Minnesota Farm Business Management Scholarship Program for Beginning Farmers
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is launching a new Farm Business Management (FBM) scholarship program for beginning farmers. Minnesota residents who have farmed less than 10 years can receive scholarships for half the cost of enrolling in FBM education through Minnesota state colleges and universities or the Southwest Farm Business Management Association.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Farmland, Food, and Livable Communities Conference
October 20-22, 2014
Lexington, Kentucky
Join American Farmland Trust for a first-of-its-kind national conference focusing on the challenges faced by American agriculture in the 21st Century. The conference will encourage greater understanding and collaboration to support agricultural viability and vibrant community food systems. Participants will have opportunities to share information, network, and learn more about best-in-class practices, planning, and policy development.

National Small Farm Trade Show and Conference
October 23-25, 2014
Mexico, Missouri

The largest annual small-farm show in the United States features vendors, seminars, three-hour short courses, and talks in the Farmers' Forum, as well as demonstrations, exhibits, association meetings, and more. Ideas and information on income opportunities for the family farm will be presented.

AgroForestry Workshop
October 21-22, 2014
Corvallis, Oregon

Learn basic agroforestry concepts and practical applications and practice design considerations specific to the Pacific Northwest. Presentations, discussion, and a visit to a local agroforestry operation are offered.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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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© 2014 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Cherry Diseases Identification Sheet

Question of the Week
How I can feed mineral to both cattle and sheep grazing in the same paddocks?

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

ATTRA Webinars
"Promoting High-Quality Conservation on Organic Farms" and other recent webinars and videos are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive.

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