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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 26, 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.

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News & Resources

  • Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant Awards Announced
  • Organic Seed Finder Database to Debut
  • UC Davis Plans Clean AgTech Innovation Center
  • NOP Publishes Final Rule on Methionine
  • New Publication Addresses Labor Laws for Family Farms
  • USDA Expands Drought Assistance

Funding Opportunities

  • Northeastern IPM Center IPM Partnership Grants Program
  • Western SARE Farmer-Rancher Research & Education Grants
  • 10th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet

Coming Events

  • CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Conference
  • It Takes a Region
  • National Small Farm Trade Show & Conference

News & Resources

Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant Awards Announced
USDA has announced over $9 million in Farmers Market Promotion Program grants to organizations across 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, for initiatives that bolster the connection between agricultural producers and their consumers while improving access to healthy food and strengthening local economies. The full list of awards granted for fiscal year 2012 is available at www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/FMPP.

Organic Seed Finder Database to Debut
On October 1, the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA) will launch Organic Seed Finder, a free online tool for farmers, certifiers, and others looking to source certified organic seed, at www.organicseedfinder.org. The database aims to facilitate the growth and success of the organic seed sector and support farmers in meeting the National Organic Program's organic seed requirement. If your business or organization would like to sponsor the database, or if you are a seed vendor interested in posting organic varieties, contact AOSCA at organicseedfinder@aosca.org or (309) 736-0120.
Related ATTRA Publication: Directory of Organic Seed Suppliers

UC Davis Plans Clean AgTech Innovation Center
UC Davis has received a $1 million grant to establish a Clean AgTech Innovation Center that will focus on accelerating entrepreneurial thinking among researchers and businesses in the agricultural field, and developing a network of experts. The center will also create an AgEntrepreneurship Academy that will help agriculture entrepreneurs identify market needs and opportunities, and create "food chain" clusters of innovation.

NOP Publishes Final Rule on Methionine
The USDA National Organic Program published a final rule that extends the allowance for synthetic methionine in organic poultry production at reduced levels after October 1, 2012. The rule provides for basic maintenance requirements while urging the organic poultry industry to continue to find commercially sufficient, yet allowable, natural methionine sources.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Poultry Production: Providing Adequate Methionine

New Publication Addresses Labor Laws for Family Farms
Farmers' Legal Action Group has a new publication available online, titled Farmers' Guide to Farm Employees: Federal and Minnesota Labor and Employment Law for Small-Scale Family Farms. The guide is intended for family-run specialty crop operations that gross less than $500,000 per year and rely extensively on family labor.
Related ATTRA Publication: Positive Practices in Farm Labor Management

USDA Expands Drought Assistance
USDA has announced $11.8 million in additional financial and technical assistance to help crop and livestock producers in 22 states apply conservation practices that reduce the impacts of drought and improve soil health and productivity. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide this assistance through its Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP).

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Northeastern IPM Partnership Grants Program
Projects funded through this program must further the mission of the Northeastern IPM Center, address or identify regional IPM stakeholder priorities, and benefit the region at large. There are four current project types: (1) IPM Working Groups, (2) IPM Issues, (3) Regional IPM Publications, and (4) IPM Planning and Assessment Documents. Public and private institutions or organizations, businesses, commodity groups, and private individuals are eligible to apply.
Applications are due by December 14, 2012.

Western SARE Farmer/Rancher Grants
Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has issued a call for proposals for Farmer/Rancher Research & Education Grants for 2013. Individual farmers or ranchers may apply for up to $15,000, and a group of producers for up to $25,000. Producers typically use their grants to conduct on-site experiments that can improve their operations and the environment and be shared with other producers.
Applications are due by December 5, 2012.

10th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as part of the P3-People, Prosperity, and the Planet Award Program, is seeking applications proposing to research, develop, and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. Public and private degree-granting institutions of higher education located in the U.S. are eligible to apply for up to $15,000 per Phase I grant.
Applications are due December 11, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Conference
October 26-28, 2012
Greenville, South Carolina

This 27th annual conference put on by the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) will feature speakers, tours, networking, exhibits, and hands-on intensive sessions. Topics include livestock, horticulture, organic certification, beginning farmers, federal resources for farmers, permaculture, and many others.

It Takes a Region
October 28-30, 2012
Saratoga Springs, New York

Sponsored by the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, this is the conference for everyone working for food system change. The conference will address food system worker equity, food production and diet, and climate, energy, and agriculture. Participants will tackle the Northeast region's pressing regional and federal policy priorities and explore scale, geography, and partnerships.

National Small Farm Trade Show & Conference
November 1-3, 2012
Columbia, Missouri

The largest annual small farm show in the United States features 150 vendors, 20 seminars, seven three-hour short courses, and 28 talks in the Farmers' Forum, as well as demonstrations, exhibits, association meetings, and more.

>> More Events

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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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