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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 1, 2014

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

  • USDA Awards Over $52 Million to Grow Organic and Local Food Economies
  • Video Series to Feature Farm to School Grantees
  • UN Launches Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture; FAO Director Highlights Agroecology
  • Australian Researchers Have Bees Deliver Brown-Rot Treatment
  • USDA Introduces New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk
  • Local Food Innovations Survey Invites Submissions

Funding Opportunities

  • National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety Mini-Grants
  • Herb Society of America Research Grant
  • California Specialty Crop Taste Test Grants

Coming Events

  • Urban & Small Farms Conference: Building a Fair Food Economy to Grow Healthy People
  • Kansas Rural Center Farm & Food Conference and 35th Anniversary Celebration
  • Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities Farm to Healthcare Conference

News & Resources

USDA Awards Over $52 Million to Grow Organic and Local Food Economies
USDA has announced more than $52 million in grant awards to support the organic food industry and local and regional food systems. The grants come through the Farmers Market Promotion Program, Local Foods Promotion Program, Organic Research and Extension Initiative (OREI), Community Food Projects (CFP), and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program (FSMIP). Details on the grant programs and the projects that were selected for funding are available online. NCAT has been awarded a $750,000 OREI grant to explore organic farming's risk as well as whether the general lack of quality crop insurance acts as a barrier to the expansion of diversified organic systems of food production and markets.

Video Series to Feature Farm to School Grantees
The USDA Farm to School Program is releasing a weekly five-part video series during Farm to School Month in October, featuring testimonials from more than 30 USDA Farm to School grantees. Topics include: Farm to School Impacts, Buying Local, Marketing to Kids, How to Get Started, and Engaging the Community.

UN Launches Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture; FAO Director Highlights Agroecology
Speaking at the UN Climate Summit, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva welcomed the launch of a new Global Alliance on Climate-Smart Agriculture, a broad coalition of stakeholders, including governments; farmers and food producers, processors, and sellers; scientific and educational organizations; civil society actors; multilateral and international agencies; and the private sector. The Alliance will work together to promote sustainable and equitable increases in agricultural productivity and incomes; build greater resilience of food systems and farming livelihoods; and achieve reductions or removals of greenhouse gas emissions by agriculture. Graziano da Silva also highlighted "agro-ecology" as a promising approach to moving food production onto a more sustainable path.

Australian Researchers Have Bees Deliver Brown-Rot Treatment
Researchers at the University of Adelaide are demonstrating a new technique for protecting cherries from brown rot. Bees walk through a biological control agent when leaving their hives, and they distribute it to the blossoms they visit, preventing the brown rot fungus from developing on the subsequent fruit. The innovative delivery method, entomovectoring, could have applications in many horticultural industries.

USDA Introduces New Programs to Help Farmers Manage Risk
USDA has announced new programs, Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC), that offer farmers protection when market forces cause substantial drops in crop prices and/or revenues. Producers will have through early spring of 2015 to select which program works best for them, using new online tools.

Local Food Innovations Survey Invites Submissions
The Wallace Center at Winrock International, Changing Tastes, and Common Market are embarking on a national scan of community-based food system innovations. The organizations are seeking community-based projects and programs that represent a significant shift toward more healthy, fair, affordable, and green methods of production, distribution, and/or consumption. Online submissions of innovative projects are invited.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety Mini-Grants
The mini-grant program of the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety supports small-scale projects and pilot studies that address prevention of childhood agricultural disease and injury. Individuals affiliated with community-based organizations, public or private institutions, units of local or state government, or tribal government are eligible to apply for up to $20,000.
Application deadline is November 7, 2014.

Herb Society of America Research Grant
The Herb Society of America, Inc. offers annual research grants of up to $5,000 to students, professionals, and individuals engaged in research on the horticultural, scientific, and/or social applications or use of herbs throughout history.
Applications are due by January 31, 2015.

California Specialty Crop Taste Test Grants
California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom will provide 250 third- through eighth-grade teachers with grants of $200 each to purchase California specialty crop fruits and vegetables for monthly taste tests over a three-month period. Educators also receive a Specialty Crop Resource Packet with lessons, activities, and recipes.
Applications must be postmarked or submitted online by October 22, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Urban & Small Farms Conference: Building a Fair Food Economy to Grow Healthy People
November 6-9, 2014
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Presenters and attendees at this Growing Power conference will share ideas and inspire others to find ways to create sustainable jobs in their communities and help people live healthier lives. The conference will address Urban Aquaculture, Urban Farming, Youth, Government, Education, Universities, Food Policy, Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative, Food and Farming Around the World, and more.

Kansas Rural Center Farm & Food Conference and 35th Anniversary Celebration
November 7-8, 2014
Manhattan, Kansas

"Sustainable Agriculture: A Once and Future Vision," will celebrate KRC's anniversary and focus on the future of agriculture, food, and community in Kansas and the region. Workshops range from practical farm management, diversification, and transition strategies to community and food-advocacy training.

Nourishing People and Sustaining Communities Farm to Healthcare Conference
November 7, 2014
Livingston, Montana

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and Livingston HealthCare present this one-day conference. Join interested hospital administrators, nutritionists, food service managers, assisted-living dieticians, and farmers and ranchers from around Montana to discuss the challenges and opportunities of bringing local, fresh, healthy foods into healthcare facilities for the benefit of patients, staff, and communities.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2014 NCAT

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New ATTRA Video
Food Safety Regulations for Local Farmers ~ Jan Tusick, Director of the Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, discusses GAP, HAACP, and other food safety regulations in this 18-minute presentation.

Question of the Week
What is the best time to add lime and manure to my soil?

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