Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 1, 2008
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* Farmers' Market Numbers Increase
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* COOL Law Takes Effect
* Plain Language Guides Available
* Sustainable Agriculture Network Gets a New Name
* Insurance Program for Pasture and Forage Available
* North Dakota Farmers Open Second DC Restaurant
* Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grant
* Southern SARE Advancing Sustainable Agriculture Matching Planning Grants
* Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program - Western Region
* Alabama Organic Production Conference
* Tilth Producers of Washington Annual Conference
* Sustainable Ag Expo
* Making the Organic Transition: Is Organic Farming Right for You?
News & Resources
Farmers' Market Numbers Increase
The number of farmers' markets in the United States continues to grow, reports USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), reaching a total of 4,685 in August 2008. This represents a 6.8 percent increase since mid-August 2006, when AMS reported 4,385 farmers' markets nationwide. AMS focuses on direct-to-consumer marketing issues and continually updates a comprehensive list of U.S. farmers' markets. The database can be accessed on-line at http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets.
COOL Law Takes Effect
A new food labeling law takes effect in the U.S. this week, requiring country-of-origin labels (COOL) on fresh produce and meats. An Associated Press article describes the changes consumers will see as a result of the rule, and explains some of the exemptions. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service has a web page devoted to COOL information, including links to guidance documents.
Plain Language Guides Available
With funding from Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, and the USDA Risk Management Agency, the Northeast Network of Immigrant Farming Projects developed a series of documents which are geared towards low-literacy populations. These guides provide clear, simple, and more accessible text for readers, to help reduce misunderstandings, errors, enquiries, and overall lack of comprehension. Titles available are Plain Language Guide to Starting a Value Added Food Business (PDF/632KB); Plain Language Guide to USDA's NASS End of Season Fruit and Vegetable Inquiry(PDF/238KB); Plain Language Guide to Harvesting Your Crops (PDF/810KB); Plain Language Guide to Managing Risks on the Small Farm (PDF/746KB); Plain Language Guide to Applying for a Farm Service Agency Loan (PDF/988KB); and Plain Language Guide to Selling at a Farmers' Market (PDF/1.1MB).
Sustainable Agriculture Network Gets A New Name
SARE’s Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) has changed its name to SARE Outreach. The national outreach office aims to advance the findings of SARE’s regional grant program to the nation’s farmers, ranchers, educators, and researchers by developing and disseminating educational resources from its Beltsville, MD location.
Insurance Program For Pasture and Forage Available
Fay Benson at Cornell University's Small Farms Program is working with the USDA Risk Management Agency to get the word out about a new insurance program for pasture and forages, which is being piloted in the Southern Tier region and in Cortland County, NY. The Pasture, Rangeland, Forage (PRF) (PDF/27KB) is an insurance program for farmers who want to manage the risk of weather fluctuations on their pastures and forage fields. The program began last year in parts of the country including Pennsylvania. This year the RMA is including the NY Southern Tier and Cortland County. If farmers find it useful it will be offered across the United States.
North Dakota Farmers Open Second DC Restaurant
North Dakota Farmers Union has opened its second Washington, DC-area restaurant. Founding Farmers opened September 18, just three blocks from the White House. Founding Farmers focuses on providing meals made from fresh, locally-sourced and family farm-sourced ingredients. The menu includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, centered on homemade “scratch” cooking, with a blend of old and new recipes. In 2006, NDFU opened Agraria, another restaurant featuring family-farm sourced ingredients, in lower Georgetown.
> More Breaking News
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Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Grant
The Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program (OASDFR) provides funds to organizations to conduct outreach and technical assistance to encourage and assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to own and operate farms and ranches and to participate in agricultural programs. The OASDFR will support a wide range of outreach and assistance activities in farm management, financial management, marketing, application and bidding procedures, and other areas.
Proposals are due December 12, 2008.
Southern SARE Advancing Sustainable Agriculture Matching Planning Grants
Southern SARE is offering competitive planning grants to enable states, and other organizations, in the southern region, to gather information they need to design a comprehensive plan to make use of SARE Matching Grant funds when they become available. Southern SARE Matching Planning grants will fund up to $15,000 to individual states (or two or more states working together) who wish to prepare for the time when SARE Matching funding is available. SARE Matching Planning Grants are to help states spend time thinking and designing what they would do with up to $1,000,000 and how they would supply the required match.
Proposals are due December 1, 2008.
Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program - Western Region
The Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program (RIPM) supports the continuum of research and extension efforts needed to increase the implementation of IPM methods. The RIPM program supports projects that develop individual pest control tactics, integrate individual tactics into an IPM system, and develop and implement extension and education programs. Organizations eligible to receive Research awards are: state agricultural experiment stations and certain colleges and universities. Organizations eligible to receive Extension awards are 1862 and 1890 land-grant colleges and universities.
Proposals are due November 17, 2008.
> More Funding Opportunities
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Alabama Organic Production Conference
November 11-12, 2008
This 6th annual event features farmers, educators, and researchers from Alabama and the region. Learn about the latest in organic production in Alabama, from pest control and soil management to marketing and research needs.
Tilth Producers of Washington Annual Conference
November 7-9, 2008
The theme for this conference is "Farming for the Ages: Exploring Our Roots, Adapting to Change." The agenda includes 25 workshops, a trade show, keynote address by Paul Hepperly of Rodale Institute, and a Washington State University Symposium on Food Safety and Risk Management for Farmers.
Sustainable Ag Expo
November 13-14, 2008
The event includes a trade show and exhibits, as well as crop specific and general seminars featuring researchers, extension, consultants and growers. Topics addressed are appropriate for row crops, strawberries, vineyards, orchards, nurseries and more.
Making the Organic Transition: Is Organic Farming Right for You?
October 16, 2008
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nevada Organic Advisory Council is sponsoring this one-day workshop for anyone considering transitioning your farm to an organic production system and interested in the steps to becoming a certified organic farmer. Speakers include Dr. Elaine Ingham of Soil Food Web,Inc., who will discuss soil organisms and the role they play in healthy, productive soils. Pre-registration is required.
> More Events
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