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NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 28, 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.

A Hip Pocket Guide for Irrigators

The California Microirrigation Pocket Guide is a 150-page "take-to-the-field" guidebook that packs an impressive amount of how-to information into a small format. One half of the book explains how to manage and maintain a microirrigation system—irrigating at the right times, and with the right amounts of water, for optimal plant growth and quality. The other half of the book gives exceedingly detailed recommendations for maintaining pumps, motors, and engines. The book will be useful to beginning and experienced irrigators alike—whether or not they live in California. Order online.

News & Resources

  • Dairy Sustainability Awards Seeking Nominations
  • Advice Offered on Managing Flooded Crops and Forage
  • Department of Labor Proposes Revisions to Child Labor Regulations for Agriculture
  • Values-Based Supply Chain Annotated Bibliography Online
  • Push Underway to Tighten Organic Strawberry Production Regulations
  • Technology Could Certify Organic Crops from Satellites

Funding Opportunities

  • Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
  • Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program: Sustainable Bioenergy
  • Western SARE Professional + Producer Grants

Coming Events

  • Food Justice: Honoring Our Roots. Growing the Movement
  • Quivira Coalition 10th Anniversary Conference: New Agrarians
  • Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference

News & Resources

Dairy Sustainability Awards Seeking Nominations
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy has announced that nominations are currently open for the inaugural U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards. The awards recognize dairy farms and businesses for practices that deliver outstanding economic, environmental and/or social benefit. Individuals, groups and organizations involved with, or part of, the U.S. Dairy industry are encouraged to submit a nomination before December 1, 2011.

Advice Offered on Managing Flooded Crops and Forage
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.
Related Resource: Disaster Assistance for Agricultural Producers

Department of Labor Proposes Revisions to Child Labor Regulations for Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Labor is proposing revisions to child labor regulations that will strengthen the safety requirements for young workers employed in agriculture and related fields. The proposal would strengthen current child labor regulations prohibiting agricultural work with animals and in pesticide handling, timber operations, manure pits and storage bins. The department also is proposing to create a new nonagricultural hazardous occupations order that would prevent children under 18 from being employed in the storing, marketing and transporting of farm product raw materials. Additionally, the proposal would prohibit farmworkers under 16 from operating almost all power-driven equipment.

Values-Based Supply Chain Annotated Bibliography Online
SAREP compiled an extensive annotated bibliography of literature relating to values-based supply chains for Know Your Farmer/Know Your Food: A California Project. The bibliography can serve as a valuable resource for anyone involved in creating or researching supply chains, food hubs, and farm to institution programs. The 14-page bibliography is online as a PDF file.

Push Underway to Tighten Organic Strawberry Production Regulations
The Bay Citizen reports that several organic farmers and the Pesticide Action Network have requested by letter that the National Organic Program tighten its requirements for production of organic strawberries. They point out that a loophole in organic regulations allows growers to purchase conventionally grown plant stock and later sell the berries produced from these plants as organic.
Related ATTRA Publication: Strawberries: Organic Production

Technology Could Certify Organic Crops from Satellites
The European Space Agency (ESA) is helping to develop the use of satellite images for certifying crops as organic, reports SpaceRef. Multi- and hyperspectral satellite imagery were used to derive several indicators based on biophysical justification and crop management practices to differentiate between conventional and organic methods.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
NIFA requests applications for the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program for fiscal year 2012 to support: (1) the development of Community Food Projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining; (2) Planning Projects to assess the food security needs and plan long-term solutions to help ensure food security in communities; and (3) a project that provides Training and Capacity Building on a nationwide basis to entities interested in developing new Community Food Projects or assisting current grantees and others to effectively operate their food security projects.
Application deadline is November 17, 2011.

Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program: Sustainable Bioenergy
The AFRI Sustainable Bioenergy Program will fund grants that target vital topical areas related to the development of regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy, biopower and biobased products. Project types supported by AFRI within this Challenge Area include single-function Research Projects, multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects, and Food and Agricultural Science Enhancement (FASE) Grants. Eligibility requirements vary by project type.
Application deadline is December 15, 2011; a letter of intent is due October 25, 2011.

Western SARE Professional + Producer Grants
For these grants an agricultural professional – Cooperative Extension educator or Natural Resources Conservation Service professional – coordinates the project, and a farmer or rancher serves as the project advisor. Applicants can seek up to $50,000 and must have at least five producers involved.
Application deadline is December 2, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Food Justice: Honoring Our Roots. Growing the Movement
November 5-8, 2011
Oakland, California

The conference will begin with two days of pre-conference short courses and Food Justice Tours throughout the Bay Area. The main conference begins Sunday morning and runs through Tuesday afternoon featuring 66 skill building and educational workshops, 20 networking sessions, 5 Community Food Security Coalition Member committee meetings, and a poster session.

Quivira Coalition 10th Anniversary Conference: New Agrarians
November 8-10, 2011
Albuquerque, New Mexico
New Agrarian Conference speakers will feature well-known authors, experts, and practitioners, with 80% being diverse, young agrarian leaders working hard to successfully meet the challenges of the 21st century. Sessions will feature a wide range of agrarians covering topics related to ranching, farming and conservation.

Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference
November 6-8, 2011
State College, Pennsylvania
Telling Your Story is hosted by The Pennsylvania Women’s Agricultural Network. The conference will bring together farmers, growers, educators, agricultural professionals, and policy makers to share knowledge, skills, and stories for building a dynamic sustainable agriculture.

>> 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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