Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 19, 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.
News & Resources
* Leopold Center Releases Results of Consumer Food, Climate, and Health Survey
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* Study Finds High Demand for Locally Grown Food
* SSAWG Releases Cheese Production and Marketing Video
* "Growing Places" Course Guides Starting Ag Businesses
* Report on Effect of Climate Change Posted for Comment
* Fundraiser Helps Vermont Share the Harvest
* Water 2025 System Optimization Reviews
* Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant
* New York Agri-tourism Projects
* National AgrAbility Workshop
* Rural Youth Summit: Revitalizing Rural America
* Upstate South Carolina Farm & Garden Tour
News & Resources
Leopold Center Releases Results of Consumer Food, Climate, and Health Survey
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture recently released "Consumer perceptions of the safety, health, and environmental impact of various scales and geographic origin of food supply chains." This report summarizes the responses of a nationwide sample of 500 consumers who participated in a Web-based survey. The study sought to gauge consumer perceptions regarding food safety; the impact that various scales and production methods of the food system have on greenhouse gas emissions; willingness to pay for a food system that achieves a net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions; and health benefits from local and organic foods.
Study Finds High Demand for Locally Grown Food
A new study released by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project provides a detailed look at the food and farming economy of Western North Carolina and explores the potential to expand local markets for local farm products. The 320-page report, Growing Local: Expanding the Western North Carolina Food and Farm Economy, is the culmination of a multi-year research project funded by the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) program. The research details: (1) what food and farm products are currently produced in the region; (2) how much of what is produced is also consumed in the region; (3) the potential for increasing local consumption of locally produced food and farm products as a way to strengthen the regional farm economy; and (4) where investment of resources and other actions could eliminate barriers currently impeding the purchase of local food. The report may be downloaded from the ASAP Web site.
SSAWG Releases Cheese Production and Marketing Video
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group recently released a new video in their series, "Natural Farming Systems in the South." Artisan Cheese Production and Marketing features Jessica and Jeremy Little, owners of Sweet Grass Dairy. This video provides information about start-up and development of a handcrafted cheese enterprise.
Related ATTRA Publication: Value-added Dairy Options
"Growing Places" Course Guides Starting Ag Businesses
Growing Places, a non-credit course designed to help people explore the possibilities and realities of owning or expanding an agricultural business, will be offered by the Women’s Agricultural Network (WAgN) in Middlebury, Vermont, beginning October 13. Additional online sessions will be offered in early 2008. Participants develop goals for themselves and their businesses, become more familiar with financing options, identify and evaluate available resources, examine marketing strategies, and learn about agencies and organizations that provide support and assistance to farmers. The Middlebury course will run on three consecutive Saturdays, with registration on a first-come, first-served basis.
Report on Effect of Climate Change Posted for Comment
The U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) has announced a 45-day public comment period for the second draft of a report on the effects of climate change. Synthesis and Assessment Product (SAP) 4.3: The Effects of Climate Change on Agriculture, Land Resources, Water Resources, and Biodiversity addresses the effects of climate change on agriculture, land resources, water resources and biodiversity for the next 25 to 50 years. The full draft report, on which USDA is the lead agency, has been posted on the CCSP Web site, along with instructions for submitting comments, which are due by October 26, 2007.
Fundraiser Helps Vermont Share the Harvest
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is collaborating with approximately 75 restaurants, food markets, and food cooperatives throughout Vermont for its 13th annual SHARE THE HARVEST. On Thursday, October 4th, participating restaurants and food outlets will donate a percentage of their food sales to NOFA-VT’s Farm Share Program, which is dedicated to working with Vermont individuals who cannot afford to purchase fresh produce on a regular basis. All funds raised on October 4th will benefit these individuals by supplying them with up to 22 weeks of fresh farm produce from local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms. Participating restaurants and retailers are listed online.
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Water 2025 System Optimization Reviews
A System Optimization Review is a broad look at system-wide efficiency focused on improving efficiency and operations of a water delivery system, water district, or water basin. The Review results in a plan of action that focuses on improving efficiency and operations on a regional and basin perspective. Those improvements may then be eligible for application to the Water 2025 Challenge Grant program for funding. Matching grants of up to $300,000 are available to irrigation and/or water districts, tribal water authorities, state governmental entities with water management authority, or entities created under state water law with water delivery authority within the 17 western states.
Proposals are due December 4, 2007.
Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant
Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grants are for Extension, NRCS, and/or NGO who currently work with farmers and ranchers. Grants of up to $15,000 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.
New York Agri-tourism Projects
The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets invites proposals for a matching grant program for the development, implementation or expansion of programs, projects, activities or events which will promote New York State food and agriculture through agri-tourism. Individuals, public and private agencies and organizations, business and industry, educational institutions and local governments are eligible to submit proposals for funding under this RFP.
Proposals are due October 30, 2007.
> More Funding Opportunities
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National AgrAbility Workshop
October 29 - November 1, 2007
Each year, the National AgrAbility Project, in partnership with a State AgrAbility Project, hosts a four-day educational and training workshop intended to provide technical assistance and resources to professionals interacting with individuals and their families who farm or ranch despite a disability. Workshop participants are offered a wide array of sessions to increase their knowledge of strategies the farmer, rancher and farmworker use to continue working in production agriculture.
Rural Youth Summit: Revitalizing Rural America
October 26-27, 2007
Rural Youth Summit is an exciting opportunity to connect with rural youth from across the Midwest to discuss the challenges and opportunities youth 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.
Upstate South Carolina Farm & Garden Tour
October 13-14, 2007
Greenville, South Carolina
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association is expanding its farm tour offerings to include the Greenville area. Participants in the tour have the option of visiting any or all of eight farms during the two afternoons of the tour.
> More Events
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