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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 18, 2013

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

  • Results of National Food Hub Survey Released
  • National Organic Program Announces Streamlined "Sunset" Review Process
  • Conservation Innovation Grants Announced by USDA
  • Flame Cultivation Promising as Weed Control Method for Cranberry
  • Study Shows Prairie Strips a Cost-Effective Conservation Practice
  • Entrepreneurs Supply Local Food

Funding Opportunities

  • Southern SARE Producer Grants
  • American Pastured Poultry Producers Association Scholarship
  • North Central Region SARE Youth Educator Grant Program

Coming Events

  • NOSB Fall Meeting
  • Inland Northwest Small Farms Conference: Country Living with Purpose & Profitability
  • Local Food Systems & Urban Farming Conference

News & Resources

Results of National Food Hub Survey Released
A nationwide survey shows that food hubs across the country are growing to meet the need for local food distribution infrastructure. The 2013 National Food Hub Survey was conducted by the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the Wallace Center at Winrock International. Key findings indicate that food hubs are financially viable, contribute significantly to the growth of their local economies, create jobs, support regional producers, and contribute to food access.
Related ATTRA Publication: Food Hubs: A Producer Guide

National Organic Program Announces Streamlined "Sunset" Review Process
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) must review all National List substances every five years. After the NOSB has completed this "sunset" review, the National Organic Program (NOP) must renew or remove the substances on the National List to complete the process. The NOSB and NOP have announced a new policy in the Federal Register that will meet the sunset provision of the Organic Foods Production Act while making the review process transparent, increasing opportunities for public engagement, and streamlining administration of the National List.

Conservation Innovation Grants Announced by USDA
USDA has announced the award of 33 Conservation Innovation Grants worth $13.3 million to entities across the nation. Grant recipients will demonstrate innovative approaches to improve soil health, conserve energy, manage nutrients, and enhance wildlife habitat in balance with productive agricultural systems. A full list of recipients is available online.

Flame Cultivation Promising as Weed Control Method for Cranberry
University of Massachusetts researchers designed a study using flame-cultivation techniques for weed control in cranberry crops. The results, published in the July 2013 issue of HortScience, showed promise for integrating the weed control technique into "certain situations," including organic farming.
Related ATTRA Publication: Flame Weeding for Vegetable Crops

Study Shows Prairie Strips a Cost-Effective Conservation Practice
A new report that calculates the cost of establishing strips of prairie amid row crops suggests that it may be one of the most cost-effective and low-effort conservation practices available to farmers and landowners in the Midwest. The Cost of Prairie Conservation Strips, a two-page fact sheet released by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, discusses estimated costs to install, establish, and maintain prairie conservation strips on row-cropped farms.

Entrepreneurs Supply Local Food
Food entrepreneurs are finding new ways to connect consumers with local food, reports The Guardian. Entrepreneurs are supplying grocery stores with on-site and local produce, aggregating farm produce for larger-scale distribution, and offering home delivery, all of which contribute to building local food systems.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Aggregators/Grower Marketing Co-ops

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE Producer Grants
Southern SARE has issued a call for proposals for the 2013 producer grants. Projects may be funded for up to two years for a project maximum of $10,000 for an individual producer or $15,000 for a producer organization. Farmers/ranchers and farmer/rancher organizations throughout the Southern region may apply.
Proposal submission deadline is November 18, 2013.

American Pastured Poultry Producers Association Scholarship
The American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (APPPA) is offering its third annual Jondle Memorial Scholarship, which includes $500 cash and a two-year membership in APPPA. The scholarship will be awarded to an individual, farm, or organization that can demonstrate an educational need directly related to pastured poultry.
Applications are due by November 15, 2013.

North Central Region SARE Youth Educator Grant Program
NCR-SARE is accepting online submissions for the Youth Educator Grant Program. Youth Educator Grant projects provide opportunities for youth in the North Central region to learn more about sustainable agriculture. The maximum amount for grants is $2,000, and a total of approximately $20,000 is available for this program.
Proposals are due by November 1, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

NOSB Fall Meeting
October 22-24, 2013
Louisville, Kentucky

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) will address several petitions pertaining to changes to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The agenda of topics and current proposals are available online. Public comment periods are scheduled; slots must be reserved by October 1.

Inland Northwest Small Farms Conference: Country Living with Purpose & Profitability
October 19, 2013
Spokane, Washington

This third annual day-long conference will feature three tracks. Topics include business planning, marketing, irrigation, soils, and more.

Local Food Systems & Urban Farming Conference
October 22, 2013
Orlando, Florida

UF/IFAS Extension Orange County educators are helping Orange County farmers, businesses, and residents learn about local food systems and farming. This conference will offer educational workshops and activities in urban farming, cottage foods, and beekeeping.

>> More Events

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Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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