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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 19, 2012

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

  • New Massachusetts Farm Energy Guides Help Farmers Save Energy and Money
  • ‘More Maine Meat’ Project Launched
  • Cities Evaluate Urban Agriculture
  • Non-Timber Forest Products Publications Available Online
  • Larger-Scale Approach to Sustainable Farming Recommended for Wildlife
  • Rodale Institute Announces National Congress of Organic Farming

Funding Opportunities

  • North Central Region SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program
  • Minnesota Flood Assistance Grants
  • Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Seedstock Sustainable Innovation Conference
  • ASAN 2012 Farm and Food Forum
  • FarmHack Ithaca

News & Resources

New Massachusetts Guides Help Farmers Save Energy and Money
The Massachusetts Farm Energy Best Management Practices Guides have been released by the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program. The five online guide books provide farmers with practical information regarding energy-conscious and cost-effective upgrades. The manuals cover four farming sectors: dairy, greenhouses, maple sugaring, and orchards and vegetable farms. A fifth manual addresses renewable energy systems.

'More Maine Meat' Project Launched
The Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society, in conjunction with University of Maine, has initiated a new project, 'More Maine Meat,' which seeks to improve economic returns for livestock producers in Maine, in addition to growing the meat industry in the state with more forage-based resources.

Cities Evaluate Urban Agriculture
Nonprofit groups in New York, Toronto, and Boston have recently published studies examining what their cities can do at the policy level to support city gardeners and farmers, reports San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR). The reports provide a look at the status of urban agriculture today, explore the potential for urban agriculture in their respective cities, and identify challenges to be overcome.

Non-Timber Forest Products Publications Available Online
The Virginia Cooperative Extension and the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station have teamed up to create two new fact sheets. Native Fruit and Nut Trees and Shrubs of the Virginia Mountains and Piedmont and Woody Florals for Income and Conservation have practical information on native plants and how to include them as an income-producing component in conservation practices.
Related ATTRA Publication: Woody Ornamentals for Cut Flower Growers

Larger-Scale Approach to Sustainable Farming Recommended for Wildlife
A larger-scale approach to sustainable farming could be more beneficial for wildlife than the current system of farm-based payments, according to researchers at the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom. A key advance in thinking is not how to make each farm more wildlife friendly in itself, but how to make the landscape as a whole better for producing both food and wildlife.

Rodale Institute Announces National Congress of Organic Farming
Rodale Institute Executive Director Mark Smallwood announced the formation of the National Congress of Organic Farming, reports the Reading Eagle. The congress will work to advance the organic farming movement and provide organic farmers with a voice in Washington. The group will officially launch at the start of 2013.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

North Central Region SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program
Farmers and ranchers in the North Central Region are invited to submit grant proposals to explore sustainable agriculture solutions to problems on the farm or ranch. There are three types of competitive grants: individual ($7,500 maximum), partner ($15,000 maximum), and group ($22,500 maximum).
Proposals are due on November 29, 2012.

Minnesota Flood Assistance Grants
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for state flood assistance from farmers severely impacted by record rainfall and flooding in June 2012. After all applications are received, MDA will calculate reimbursements based on the number and size of qualified claims.
Applications must be postmarked by October 24, 2012.

Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grant Program
On-Farm Research Grants are intended for Cooperative Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Services, university personnel, government, and non-governmental organizations that regularly work with farmers/ranchers and are interested in conducting on-farm research or marketing projects related to sustainable agriculture. Applicants must work with at least one farmer/rancher on the project.
Proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Seedstock Sustainable Innovation Conference
October 24, 2012
Los Angeles, California

The Seedstock Sustainable Innovation Conference will focus on the economic opportunities inherent in embracing, developing, and investing in sustainable farms, practices, technologies, and startups. In addition to many speakers, there will also be an agripreneur fast-pitch competition, in which a select group of sustainable agriculture entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a group of investors.

ASAN 2012 Farm and Food Forum
October 25-27, 2012
Orange Beach, Alabama

Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network presents its annual conference, including farm tours, keynote speaker, and breakout sessions on beginning farmers, food policy, and Alabama artisanal food.

FarmHack Ithaca
October 20-21, 2012
Ithaca, New York

Groundswell will be co-hosting discussion, presentations, and demos on innovative farm techniques and systems. Farm Hack Ithaca is going to look at organic grain production and processing and visit the Groundswell Incubator site to discuss low-cost infrastructure for small farmers. The event coincides with Groundswell's Local Food & Farm Festival.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2012 NCAT

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