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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 9, 2013

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Join the NCAT Team: Job Opening for Midwest Regional Director
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a full-time Sustainable Agriculture or Marketing Specialist to direct program work in our Midwest Regional office in Des Moines, Iowa. This is an excellent opportunity for the ideal candidate with a combination of education and experience in agriculture production and/or marketing of agricultural products. Applications will be accepted through October 13, 2013 or until a suitable candidate can be identified.

 

News & Resources

  • National Agricultural Innovation Prize Launched
  • Public Comment Deadline Nears for Food Safety Regulations
  • Farm to Cafeteria Safety Guide Published
  • Report Details How Land Trusts Could Help Young Farmers
  • October is National Farm to School Month
  • High Tunnels in Harsh Climates Case Study Posted

Funding Opportunities

  • Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship Program
  • Scholarships for 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture
  • The Carrot Project

Coming Events

  • Quivira Conference: Inspiring Adaptation
  • Tilth Producers 2013 Conference
  • Simple Steps to Strategic Ag-Marketing

News & Resources

National Agricultural Innovation Prize Launched
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is launching a competition for teams of undergraduate and graduate students across the country to submit proposals and business ideas that address challenges in 21st-century agriculture. The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is funding a top prize of $100,000 for the competition, the Agricultural Innovation Prize: Powered by 40 Chances. The contest has a February 28, 2014, entry deadline. Organizers are gathering real-world challenges related to food systems and agriculture to use as "seed" ideas for student teams. Ideas can be submitted online.

Public Comment Deadline Nears for Food Safety Regulations
The deadline for public comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act regulations is November 15, 2013. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has posted information about the proposed regulations, who is affected, and what the top issues are, as well as instructions for how to submit comments, on its FSMA Action Center (http://sustainableagriculture.net/fsma). In addition, Southeastern Massachusetts Agricultural Partnership (SEMAP) has posted a recording of a recent information session on the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Farm to Cafeteria Safety Guide Published
Minnesota's Statewide Health Improvement Program has released MN School Garden & Farm to Cafeteria Safety: A Food Safety Operations Manual. Following the guidelines outlined in this 28-page manual will help cafeteria and school management ensure food safety and prevent it from becoming a barrier to using local foods or establishing a school garden. The guide addresses pre-season planning, site selection, harvest safety, training, and produce safety in the cafeteria. The guide is online in PDF.

Report Details How Land Trusts Could Help Young Farmers
Farmland Conservation 2.0: How Land Trusts Can Protect America's Working Farms, a report from The National Young Farmers Coalition, surveyed 200 land-trust leaders from across the United States and found that one-quarter of land trusts have seen protected farmland move out of production. The report finds that very few land trusts are making use of new conservation practices that ensure farms stay in production.

October is National Farm to School Month
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. The National Farm to School Network offers news, resources, and advice on starting a farm to school program in your community.
Related ATTRA Publication: Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions

High Tunnels in Harsh Climates Case Study Posted
Minnesota High Tunnels, a project of the University of Minnesota, has posted a new case study, High Tunnel Operation in Harsh Climates: Lessons Learned. The case study presents challenges and solutions related to dealing with high winds and thunderstorms, hail, pests and diseases, and heat.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sustainable Season Extension: Considerations for Design

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship Program
Annie's is offering $100,000 in funds to students studying sustainable agriculture. Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship Program is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited U.S. two- or four-year college or graduate school for the 2014/2015 school year.
Applications must be postmarked by December 2, 2013.

Scholarships for 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture
Female conservation and sustainable agriculture educators, both formal and informal, are invited to apply for scholarships to attend the 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture, being held November 6-8 in Des Moines, Iowa. Scholarship amounts vary from $125 for educators in Iowa and Minnesota to $250 for those working in Nebraska.
Awards are given on a first-come, first-served basis, and will be available until filled.

The Carrot Project
The Carrot Project collaboratively administers programs that make loans to small and mid-sized farms and farm-related businesses using sustainable or organic practices and serving local or regional markets. The Carrot Project offers financing through loan programs in four areas: Greater Berkshires, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont.
Applications are reviewed monthly.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Quivira Conference: Inspiring Adaptation
November 13-15, 2013
Albuquerque, New Mexico

The 2013 Quivira Conference will explore the theme of Inspiring Adaptation, with presentations from scientists, ranchers, farmers, conservationists, urban planners, and others who have bright ideas and important tools to share from their adaptation toolbox.

Tilth Producers 2013 Conference
November 8-10, 2013
Yakima, Washington

Tilth Producers presents Nourishing the Future: Cultivating our Farming Legacy. Highlights will include keynote speakers David Mas Masumoto and Nikiko Masumoto, along with 25 topical workshops, including tracks for Spanish-speaking farmers, beginning farmers, and experienced growers. All-day sessions on Friday are a poultry-focused livestock symposium or a high-tunnel tour.

Simple Steps to Strategic Ag-Marketing
November 12, 2013
Charlottesville, Virginia

The Virginia Farmers Direct Marketing Association is offering this workshop to enhance the competitiveness of direct marketers by helping growers develop more strategic technology tools.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.

© 2013 NCAT

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Sustainable Producer Spotlight
Homestead Organics Farm

Question of the Week
Where can I find a set of holistic or sustainable principles or rules I can incorporate into a land lease?

Ask a Sustainable Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online

ATTRA Video
NCAT's 2012-2013 FoodCorps Fellow Lea Howe put together a Farm to School video that demonstrates growing efforts to serve local beef in Montana's school cafeterias.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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