Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 23, 2015
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
- Survey Results Show Increase in Sales from Organic Farms
- USDA Releases Guide to Running a Food Hub
- SARE Offers Organic Transition Business Planner
- Farm to Institution New England Issues Publications on Local Food Purchasing
- New Grants to Help New and Underserved Farmers Understand FSA Programs
- New USDA Market News Report Focuses on Non-GMO Grain
- Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America Safety Grants Program
- Arizona Livestock and Crop Conservation Grant Program
- New York Farm Viability Institute Request for Proposals
- Latino Farmer Conference
- Farm to Table: Agriculture Law in the Era of Sustainability
- Paving the Way for an Organic Planet: Growing with Healthy Soil Biology
News & Resources
Survey Results Show Increase in Sales from Organic Farms
USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service has released the results of the 2014 Organic Survey, showing that 14,093 certified and exempt organic farms in the United States sold a total of $5.5 billion in organic products in 2014. These sales were up 72% since 2008. Approximately 5,300 organic producers say they intend to increase production over the next five years, and another 688 farms are currently transitioning.
USDA Releases Guide to Running a Food Hub
USDA Rural Development has issued Running a Food Hub: A Business Operations Guide. The 83-page publication is Volume 2 in a food hub technical report series. This report focuses on operational issues faced by food hubs, including choosing an organizational structure and a location, deciding on infrastructure and equipment, and arranging logistics and transportation. The report is available online in PDF.
SARE Offers Organic Transition Business Planner
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has a new publication available, Organic Transition: A Business Planner for Farmers, Ranchers and Food Entrepreneurs. It explores organic transition strategies and asks critical questions that help you decide whether organic makes sense for your farm or business.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Certification of Farms and Businesses Producing Agricultural Products
Farm to Institution New England Issues Publications on Local Food Purchasing
Farm to Institution New England has issued two publications. Food Service Management Companies in New England: Phase 1 Research Findings: Barriers & Opportunities to Local Food Procurement provides an overview of FSMC operations and the role of FSMCs in purchasing local food products for their institutional clients. The second publication, Leveraging Contracts for Local Food Procurement, assists institutions that are managed by FSMCs in influencing the request-for-proposal and contract-negotiation processes to increase purchases of local food.
New Grants to Help New and Underserved Farmers Understand FSA Programs
USDA has announced that $2.5 million in grants is available for projects to educate new and underserved farmers about USDA Farm Service Agency programs that can provide financial, disaster, or technical assistance. Grants of $20,000 to $100,000 will be awarded to nonprofits and public higher education institutions for projects that improve farmer education on topics such as financial training, value-added production, recordkeeping, property inheritance, and crop-production practices. USDA will conduct four reviews of applications, with deadlines of November 20, 2015, and January 22, March 18, and May 27, 2016.
New USDA Market News Report Focuses on Non-GMO Grain
USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service is issuing a new Market News report each Wednesday focusing on non-genetically engineered/genetically modified (non-GE/GMO) grain commodities. The new report covers non-GE/GMO corn and soybeans with two price types: future delivery contract prices and spot market cash prices. In the future, AMS plans to add other commodities, distinguish prices by geographical region, and include other pricing mechanisms in the report.
>> More Breaking News
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Agricultural Safety and Health Council of America Safety Grants Program
The ASHCA Safety Grants Program offers grants up to $10,000 for agricultural safety and health interventions at the local and/or regional level in order to facilitate timely application of evidence-based safety/health strategies to protect agricultural workers. Applicants should be engaged in agriculture-related production, education/training, and/or research.
Applications are due by January 7, 2016.
Arizona Livestock and Crop Conservation Grant Program
This program assists ranchers and farmers with the implementation of conservation projects that provide for the preservation of open space. Eligible projects restore grassland habitat, provide and/or ensure reliable water on grassland habitat, and eliminate fencing barriers within two focal areas. Grant awards will not exceed $50,000.
Applications are due October 13, 2015.
New York Farm Viability Institute Request for Proposals
New York Farm Viability Institute is seeking proposals that have clear relevance to New York's agriculture community, demonstrated producer support, and the ability to deliver farm-level impact. Eligible applicants include farmer groups, researchers, educators, organizations, agencies, and businesses. Proposals up to $150,000 will be accepted.
Applications are due by November 15, 2015.
>> More Funding Opportunities
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Latino Farmer Conference
November 3, 2015
The National Center for Appropriate Technology's first Latino Farmer Conference will bring together Spanish-speaking farmers from around California to share their experiences, network with other farmers, and attend workshops about marketing, production practices, farm finances and programs, and other topics relevant to Spanish-speaking farmers. Registration for the event is free.
Farm to Table: Agriculture Law in the Era of Sustainability
October 30, 2015
Ft. Worth, Texas
This innovative symposium sponsored by Texas A&M Law Review will feature presentations from practitioners, scholars, and agriculture experts. Presenters will provide insights into the most significant legal issues affecting the sustainability of our agriculture and food systems.
Paving the Way for an Organic Planet: Growing with Healthy Soil Biology
October 29-30, 2015
This Rodale Institute course is hosted by Chipotle Mexican Grill and conducted by Rodale Institute's Chief Scientist Dr. Kris Nichols and Farm Director Jeff Moyer.
This workshop is designed to explain the relationships between soil biology and healthy soil and the roles of management practices in soil health.
>> More Events
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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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