Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 5, 2016
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 Releases Labeling Guideline for Animal-Raising Claims
- USDA Announces Grants for Local and Regional Food Systems, Farmers Markets, and Organic Research
- Reports Describe Plant Breeding Priorities for Organic Agriculture in Northwest and Northeast
- A Greener World Launches Grassfed Standard for Dairy Cattle
- Organic Farming Research Foundation Releases Research Agenda
- Envision Utah Releases Toolbox to Help Preserve Agricultural Land
- Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
- Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
- Specialty Crop Research Initiative
- Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference
- Women, Food & Ag Network Annual Conference
- Sustainable Agriculture Conference
- Targeted Sheep Grazing in Organic Dryland Systems
News & Resources
USDA Releases Labeling Guideline for Animal-Raising Claims
USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued an updated compliance guideline on documentation needed to support animal-raising claims on product labels. This guideline is for operations that are designing or modifying meat or poultry product labels with animal raising claims such as grass-fed, organic, raised without antibiotics, or raised without the use of hormones. FSIS is accepting public comments on this guideline for 60 days.
USDA Announces Grants for Local and Regional Food Systems, Farmers Markets, and Organic Research
USDA has announced grants to strengthen local and regional food systems, support farmers markets, and fund organic research. First, $26 million in Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program grants will fund more than 100 projects. Organic Research and Extension Program grants will provide $21.4 million for 26 projects. Another $8.6 million in Community Food Projects grants will go to 33 projects that help make healthy, nutritious foods available to people from low-income neighborhoods.
Reports Describe Plant Breeding Priorities for Organic Agriculture in Northwest and Northeast
Organic Seed Alliance and Cornell University released two reports that detail plant breeding priorities for organic agriculture in the Pacific Northwest and Northeast, respectively. The assessments are a result of surveys and regional working groups that gathered input from organic farmers, organic seed and food distributors, and public and private plant breeders. The two reports provide recommendations to inform plant-breeding efforts by ranking crops and traits most important to organic farmers.
A Greener World Launches Grassfed Standard for Dairy Cattle
A Greener World's new grassfed standard for dairy cattle is an optional, additional accreditation for certified Animal Welfare Approved dairy cattle farmers. It guarantees that milk and dairy products come from cattle fed a 100% grass and forage-based diet and raised outdoors on pasture for their entire lives according to high environmental and welfare standards.
Organic Farming Research Foundation Releases Research Agenda
The Organic Farming Research Foundation has released its 2016 National Organic Research Agenda. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the challenges facing today's organic farmers and will serve as a key tool in advocating for increased public investment in organic agriculture. The full report is available online for download.
Envision Utah Releases Toolbox to Help Preserve Agricultural Land
The Utah County Agriculture Toolbox is a 73-page resource from Envision Utah, designed to help prevent the loss of agriculture land to development. The toolbox describes the process a farmer or rancher would go through to designate property as greenbelt for tax purposes. The toolbox also offers examples of how farmers and ranchers can form effective partnerships to develop and implement marketing plans.
>>More Breaking News
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Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program for fiscal year 2017. The program supports the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical assistance programs to help beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States and its territories with entering, establishing, building, and managing successful farm and ranch enterprises. Approximately $17.7 million is available for grants.
Applications are due December 8, 2016.
Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
The Western Extension Risk Management Education Center, in conjunction with the Northeast, North Central, and Southern Centers, has announced a funding opportunity for projects that help farm and ranch families succeed through targeted risk management strategies. The maximum amount of requested funding shall not exceed $50,000 for Education Projects and $2,000 for Exploratory Projects.
Applications are due by November 17, 2016.
Specialty Crop Research Initiative
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting pre-applications for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative. This initiative is designed to address critical needs of the specialty crop industry by awarding grants to support research and extension that address key challenges of national, regional, and multi-state importance in sustaining all components of food and agriculture, including conventional and organic food production systems. Projects must address at least one of five focus areas.
Pre-applications are due by November 15, 2016.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Black Farmers and Urban Gardeners Conference
November 4-6, 2016
New York, New York
The 6th Annual Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference is presented by Black Urban Growers. It offers workshops, panel discussions, demonstrations, and more. The conference begins with a community garden walking tour and includes a day of community action planning.
Women, Food & Ag Network Annual Conference
November 4-5, 2016
Nebraska City, Nebraska
"Women and Permaculture: Making a Living in Harmony with the Land" is the conference theme. A keynote speaker, workshops, and field tours will focus on trees and permaculture, as well as women's leadership, small-scale diversified agriculture, conservation for women landowners, and more.
Sustainable Agriculture Conference
November 4-6, 2016
Durham, North Carolina
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association's Sustainable Agriculture Conference offers workshops, hands-on intensives, farm tours, demonstrations, good food, great conversations, and community building.
Targeted Sheep Grazing in Organic Dryland Systems
October 11, 2016
Join eOrganic for a free webinar on targeted sheep grazing in organic dryland systems. This webinar will summarize Montana State University researchers' experience regarding agronomic and economic performance, weed management challenges, and animal husbandry in an integrated crop-sheep organic system. Advance registration is required.
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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.
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