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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - September 30, 2020

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

  • New Members of National Organic Standards Board Announced
  • NIFA Announces Award of $53 Million in Grants to Help Farmers Prosper
  • AgEvidence Digital Tool Documents Impacts of Conservation Farming Practices
  • Southern SARE Creates Equity and Prosperity Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Program
  • Indiana Study Identifies Barriers to Organic Certification for Grain Producers
  • FarmRaise Resource Matches Farmers with Funding Sources

Funding Opportunities

  • North Central SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program
  • Minnesota Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant
  • Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program

Coming Events

  • Food Justice is Racial Justice: National Farm to School Network Movement Meeting
  • Urban Food Systems Symposium
  • Manure and Pasture Management to Reduce Swine Parasites in Organic Pastured Pork

News & Resources

New Members of National Organic Standards Board Announced
USDA announced five new members on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), serving five-year terms beginning in January 2021. Nebraska organic farmer Amy Bruch will fill a Farmer Seat, as will Logan Petrey, farm manager for Grimmway Farms. Dr. Carolyn Dimitri of New York University will serve in a Public/Consumer Interest Seat, and so will NOFA-NY member Brian Caldwell. The USDA-accredited Certifier Seat will be filled by Kyla Smith, Certification Director for Pennsylvania Certified Organic.

NIFA Announces Award of $53 Million in Grants to Help Farmers Prosper
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced more than $53 million in grants across three programs. The Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) awarded more than $16.7 million in 48 projects. NIFA also awarded grants totaling $28.7 million to four regional entities contributing to the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network. Additionally, NIFA announced $9.6 million in awards to 17 projects through the Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program (AgVets) program.

AgEvidence Digital Tool Documents Impacts of Conservation Farming Practices
AgEvidence is a newly available visualization dashboard of data from nearly 300 peer-reviewed research papers about the environmental impacts of agriculture practices. The 40 years of research compiled in AgEvidence focuses on the environmental and agronomic impacts of cover crops, tillage management, pest management, and nutrient management practices used in growing corn and/or soybean crops in the Midwest.

Southern SARE Creates Equity and Prosperity Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Program
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SSARE) has created an Equity and Prosperity Sustainable Agriculture Leadership Program. The sponsorship offers up to $3,000 to support education and training activities for historically underserved farmers and ranchers in areas of sustainable agriculture. Program participants can receive support to conduct education and training activities specifically targeted to historically underserved farmers and ranchers. Sponsorship funds may also support program participants who want to attend a training.

Indiana Study Identifies Barriers to Organic Certification for Grain Producers
A study led by Purdue University Extension surveyed more than 300 Indiana grain farmers to identify barriers to organic certification. The study results, published as Supporting the wider adoption of organic certification for Indiana grain farmers, are available online as a nine-page PDF. Issues that participants identified included production loss due to weed pressure, certification ineligibility caused by GMO pollen drift, and crop damage and contamination caused by pesticide drift. Conventional farmers also cited a lack of successful organic farmer mentors.
Related ATTRA Publication: Protecting Organic Crops from the Impacts of Genetic Modification Technology

FarmRaise Resource Matches Farmers with Funding Sources
A new online resource called FarmRaise serves as a one-stop shop for farm funding that matches farmers with grants, cost-share programs, and loans, and then helps them apply by simplifying and de-jargoning the paperwork. FarmRaise is free for farmers to use to access more than 40 federal funding opportunities. Participating farmers fill out a brief eligibility quiz that determines which opportunities they match.
Related ATTRA Publication: Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

North Central SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program
North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE)'s Farmer Rancher Grant Program supports exploration of sustainable solutions to problems through on-farm research, demonstration, and education projects. Farmer Rancher grants are offered as individual ($9,000 maximum), team of two ($18,000 maximum), or group ($27,000 maximum) grants for ideas initiated by farmers and ranchers in the 12-state North Central Region. Grants support producers who are protecting natural resources, enhancing communities, and boosting profitability.
Proposals are due December 3, 2020.

Minnesota Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant
Minnesota's Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant (GFAP) increases the availability of and access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food (including produce) for underserved communities in low- and moderate-income areas. Grants help grocery stores and small food retailers make physical improvements and purchase equipment. Grants from $2,500 to $50,000 are offered.
Applications must be received by November 19, 2020.

Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program
USDA is accepting applications from non-federal, nonprofit partners for projects to help agricultural producers and private landowners trap and control feral swine as part of the Feral Swine Eradication and Control Pilot Program. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is making $12 million available and will accept applications for projects to carry out activities as part of the identified pilot projects in Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
Applications are due by November 5, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Food Justice is Racial Justice: National Farm to School Network Movement Meeting
October 14, 2020
Online
Join National Farm to School Network for a virtual Movement Meeting featuring Karen Washington, food justice activist, for deep conversation and action-oriented reflection on racial justice in the farm to school movement and wider food system. Connect with fellow farm to school and food justice advocates and help shape the next steps of progress towards a just food system for all. This free meeting is open to everyone.

Urban Food Systems Symposium
October 7, 14, 21, and 28, 2020
Online

The 2020 Urban Food Systems Symposium will bring together academic and research-oriented professionals to share and gain knowledge on urban food systems and the role they play in global food security. This symposium addresses urban agricultural production, local food systems distribution, climate change, nutrition, urban farmer education, urban ag policy, planning and development, food access and justice, and food sovereignty.

Manure and Pasture Management to Reduce Swine Parasites in Organic Pastured Pork
October 8, 2020
Online
This free webinar from Rodale Institute will provide research updates from a grant-funded project.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
High Tunnel Grapes: Harvest and Quality Considerations

Question of the Week
What are symptoms of Coccidiosis in poultry?

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Managing Pests Organically in the Garden and Orchard
October 7, 2020
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