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NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 5, 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.

Is Whole Farm Revenue Insurance Right for your Farm?

A video rendering of our latest webinar is now available online! In this tutorial we demonstrate the new online version of a tool that helps farmers assess the potential benefits of AGR-Lite, a whole farm revenue insurance product. The hour-long video provides real-world examples of the potential of the insurance product to lower risks for the whole farm.

News & Resources

  • National Farm to School Month Begins
  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grants Announced
  • ERS Report Explores Nitrogen Use and Conservation Policy
  • Raw Milk Institute Launched
  • First Animal Welfare Approved Restaurant Announced
  • Ohio Livestock Care Standards Take Effect

Funding Opportunities

  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
  • IR-4 Biopesticide and Organic Support Program
  • Western IPM Center 2012 Competitive Grant Programs

Coming Events

  • American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Annual Conference
  • Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference
  • Tri-State Farm and Food Conference

News & Resources

National Farm to School Month Begins
October is National Farm to School Month, a time to celebrate the connections that are happening all over the country between schools and local food. National Farm to School Network has developed a range of resources that can be downloaded and used by any organization or individual seeking to promote Farm to School Month. National Farm to School Network also has farm to school state leaders who can help schools coordinate classroom visits from chefs and farmers.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Grants Announced
Under its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, USDA has awarded 36 grants totaling $18 million to organizations that will provide training and assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers to help them run successful and sustainable farms. Another $18 million will be made available in fiscal year 2012. A full list of awardees can be found online.

ERS Report Explores Nitrogen Use and Conservation Policy
In this report, USDA Economic Research Service explores the use of nitrogen in U.S. agriculture, assesses changes in farm nutrient practices that could improve its efficiency, and reviews several policy approaches for improving nitrogen management.

Raw Milk Institute Launched
Food Safety News reports on the launch of the Raw Milk Institute, which seeks to responsibly lead the emerging raw milk market. According to its website, the Raw Milk Institute mentors and assists farmers in the production of safe raw milk, by utilizing scale-appropriate conditions-based food safety plans and standards.

First Animal Welfare Approved Restaurant Announced
Animal Welfare Approved announces the October 1, 2011 opening of the first Animal Welfare Approved Restaurant, Grazin', in Hudson, New York; the first restaurant in the U.S. using only Animal Welfare Approved meat, eggs and dairy products.

Ohio Livestock Care Standards Take Effect
Ohio's first-in-the-nation comprehensive livestock care standards became effective September 29, 2011. Rules affecting the care of dairy, beef, swine, turkeys, broilers, sheep, goats, alpacas, llamas, and equine standards have been approved, and educational guides to these approved standards are available online from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
NIFA requests applications for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) for fiscal year 2012. The BFRDP provides resources to support the development of educational outreach curricula, workshops, educational teams, training, and technical assistance programs to assist beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories with entering, establishing, building and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises. NIFA anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2012 will be approximately $19 million.
Applications are due by November 22, 2011.

IR-4 Biopesticide and Organic Support Program
The IR-4 Biopesticide and Organic Support Program announces a request for grant proposals for funding of efficacy research in 2012. IR-4 is especially interested in proposals containing biopesticides as resistance management tools, rotated with conventional products and for use as a part of organic production systems.
Deadline for proposals is November 7, 2011.

Western IPM Center 2012 Competitive Grant Programs
The Western IPM Center has approximately $200,000 available to fund submitted proposals that identify IPM priorities, extend IPM information, or develop IPM methods. Programs available in this RFA include (A) IPM Work Groups, (B) Outreach and/or Publications, and (C) Surveys/Crop Profiles/Pest Management Strategic Plans.
Proposals must be received by November 18, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Annual Conference
November 11-12, 2011
Wichita, Kansas

This year’s two-day conference, themed "Taking Stock – Knowledge, Economics, and Rare Breeds", will explore the many facets of rare breed conservation, from rare breed censusing, to animal husbandry, to product marketing.

Organic Dairy and Field Crop Conference
November 4, 2011
Syracuse, New York
NOFA-NY encourages veteran farmers, new farmers and farmers interested in transitioning to organic management to attend for a day of networking and information exchange. Keynote speakers are Ed Maltby and Mary-Howell Martens. Separate workshop tracks are scheduled for dairy and field crops.

Tri-State Farm and Food Conference
November 4-5, 2011
Huntington, West Virginia
West Virginia University Extension Service Small Farm Center presents "Eat Local, Spend Local", a conference on revolutionary ways to keep both local foods and local food dollars in West Virginia communities.

>> 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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New Publication
Equipment & Tools for Small-Scale Intensive Production

Question of the Week
What information can you give me on organic methods for controlling milkweed?

Webinars
Our latest webinars are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive

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