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NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 21, 2011

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Attend a Free AGR-Lite Webinar

The National Center for Appropriate Technology will host a free webinar September 28th at 11:00 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time on a whole farm revenue product called Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite (AGR-Lite). AGR-Lite can assist diversified and specialty crop and livestock farmers with whole farm revenue insurance.

The webinar will demonstrate the new online version of a tool that helps farmers assess the potential benefits of AGR-Lite, a whole farm revenue insurance product supported by the Risk Management Agency (RMA) of the United States Department of Agriculture. The webinar will provide real world examples of the potential of the insurance product to lower risks for the whole farm.

Register for the webinar at http://www.ncat.org/agrlite

News & Resources

  • Rodale Institute Releases 30-Year Results of Farming Systems Trial
  • USDA Announces Renewable Energy Grants and Loans
  • Survey Assesses Sustainable Agriculture Discrimination by Lenders
  • Glyphosate Found in Mississippi Watershed Rain and Rivers
  • Research Reveals Portrait of Central California CSAs
  • TEDxFruitvale To Celebrate Farmworkers

Funding Opportunities

  • Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grants
  • Vermont Farm to School Grant
  • OCIA Research & Education Micro Grants

Coming Events

  • Small Farm Trade Show & Conference
  • Farm-Based Education Conference
  • California Agritourism Summit

News & Resources

Rodale Institute Releases 30-Year Results of Farming Systems Trial
Rodale Institute has announced the latest results of the Farming Systems Trial, America's longest-running side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming practices. After 30 years of a rigorous side-by-side comparison, the Rodale Institute confidently concludes that organic methods are improving the quality of our food, the health of our soils and water, and the conditions of our nation's rural areas. The trial is slated to continue with a new focus on nutrition and human health.

USDA Announces Renewable Energy Grants and Loans
USDA has announced more than $27 million in loans and grants through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for more than 500 agricultural producers and rural small businesses across the country to implement renewable energy and energy efficiency measures in their operations.

Survey Assesses Sustainable Agriculture Discrimination by Lenders
The Center for Rural Affairs, and the Iowa Farmers Union, with financial support from the Leopold Center, recently released results of a survey of Iowa producers, agricultural lenders and crop insurance agents. "This analysis reveals real disparities between how conventional operations and sustainable farms and ranches are treated by lenders and insurance companies," said Traci Bruckner, Assistant Policy Director at the Center for Rural Affairs and an author of the report.

Glyphosate Found in Mississippi Watershed Rain and Rivers
Glyphosate, also known by its tradename Roundup, is commonly found in rain and rivers in agricultural areas in the Mississippi River watershed, according to two USGS studies. The consistent occurrence of glyphosate in streams and air indicates its transport from its point of use into the broader environment.

Research Reveals Portrait of Central California CSAs
The University of California Davis has released Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in and around California’s Central Valley: Farm and Farmer Characteristics, Farm-Member Relationships, Economic Viability, Information Sources, and Emerging Issues. The report is the first published result of a research project in progress since 2009, and is intended to provide a description of important characteristics of CSA — social, economic, and environmental — within California’s Central Valley and surrounding foothills, and to briefly share farmers’ reflections on their experiences.

TEDxFruitvale To Celebrate Farmworkers
On Friday, October 14, 2011, at Mills College in Oakland, California, TEDxFruitvale will bring together farmworkers, farmers, activists, artists, students, professors, filmmakers, and entrepreneurs to celebrate the people upon whom we depend to harvest our food.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grants
Ag professionals in Cooperative Extension, universities, NGOs and government and non-government organizations who collaborate with farmers/ranchers in their research have the opportunity to apply for a grant that affords them the opportunity to conduct research in sustainable agriculture.
Proposal submission deadline is November 15, 2011.

Vermont Farm to School Grant
A school, a school district, a consortium of schools or school districts may apply for this competitive grant to purchase equipment, products, or instructional materials, or to provide for technical assistance, farmer stipends, transportation or professional development.
Application deadline is October 20, 2011.

OCIA Research & Education Micro Grants
OCIA International (Organic Crop Improvement Association) offers grants in the range of $300 to $1,500 for organic research, organic education, and other ideas supporting organic agriculture.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Small Farm Trade Show & Conference
November 3-5, 2011
Columbia, Missouri

Touted as the largest annual small farm show in the country, this event features short courses, seminars, farmers forum talks, and a major indoor trade show.

Farm-Based Education Conference
November 3-5, 2011
Shelburne, Vermont
The 5th Farm-Based Education Conference will bring together nearly 200 farm-based education practitioners, partners, and community leaders for three days of field trips, workshops, panel discussions, networking time with friends and colleagues, inspiring success stories, and new knowledge.

California Agritourism Summit
November 4, 2011
Stockton, California
The first California statewide agritourism summit will be a chance for farm trails groups and everyone else involved in California agritourism to share tools and strategies for supporting California farmers and ranchers in developing successful agritourism operations to meet the growing demand for local food and authentic agricultural experiences.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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