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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 9, 2019

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.

Early-bird Registration Available for Soil Health Innovations Conference
NCAT, in cooperation with USDA Rural Development, SARE, and Montana State University, is holding the first annual Soil Health Innovations conference March 30-31, 2020, in Bozeman, Montana. Join producers, educators, and students from around the region and across the country as panelists, keynotes, roundtables, and forums address the hard questions about soil health and the future of agriculture. Early bird registration ends November 30, 2019.

News & Resources

  • USDA Grants Support Projects for Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
  • Guide to Lending and Farm Programs for Veterans Available
  • Study Assesses Urban Agriculture Potential of Phoenix
  • Four Corners Slow Money Makes First Micro-Loan for Agriculture
  • Beneficial Birds Featured in Multimedia Story Platform
  • Stone Barns Center Accepting Applications for Entrepreneurship Intensive

Funding Opportunities

  • FACT's 2019 Fund-a-Farmer Grants
  • NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program
  • Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Business Grants

Coming Events

  • Kansas Rural Center's Farm and Food Conference
  • It Takes a Region Conference
  • Agritourism: Building Connection Between Farmers, Customers and Communities

News & Resources

USDA Grants Support Projects for Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
USDA has announced the award of $16.2 million to provide training, outreach, and technical assistance to underserved and veteran farmers and ranchers through the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program (also known as the 2501 Program). A list of grant recipients and project summaries is available online.

Guide to Lending and Farm Programs for Veterans Available
The Center for Rural Affairs has published a white paper titled Saluting Service: A Guide to Lending and Farm Program Resources for Veterans. The publication highlights the needs of America's next generation of producers and functions as a guide to farm programs that serve beginning and veteran farmers and ranchers. The 14-page publication is available free online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Veteran Resources

Study Assesses Urban Agriculture Potential of Phoenix
A group of researchers led by Arizona State University found that if Phoenix used just 5% of its urban spaces for agriculture, the city could meet its sustainability goal concerning local food systems. The study estimated that nearly 28 square miles of vacant lots, rooftops, and building facades are available for urban agriculture in Phoenix. Utilizing the available space, the city could produce nearly 183,000 tons of fresh produce per year, or almost 90% of the current annual fresh produce consumed by city residents.
Related ATTRA Resources: Urban Agriculture

Four Corners Slow Money Makes First Micro-Loan for Agriculture
The new nonprofit organization Four Corners Slow Money has made its first $3,000 loan. Through a peer-to-peer lending system, Four Corners Slow Money offers zero-interest micro-loans to farmers, growers, and food enterprises in the Four Corners region. Loans are repaid over the course of a year, with the payments going into a revolving loan fund. The first loan, to Adobe House Farm in Durango, Colorado, will help fund construction of a climate-controlled greenhouse to grow tomatoes.

Beneficial Birds Featured in Multimedia Story Platform
Wild Farm Alliance has introduced a Beneficial Birds Multimedia Story Platform highlighting support for wild birds that are beneficial to agriculture. The online resource features farmer success stories, research showcasing beneficial birds, videos, and tools that farmers can use to implement practices that support beneficial birds.
Related ATTRA Publication: Beneficial and Pest Birds: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet

Stone Barns Center Accepting Applications for Entrepreneurship Intensive
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for its Entrepreneurship Intensive for Farmers, in collaboration with Ideagarden and Blue Hill. This immersive, experiential program from January 12-17, 2020, in Pocantico Hills, New York, gives farmers the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with experts and one another. Farm leaders with five to 10 years of management experience, as well as a demonstrated commitment to forming collaborations with culinary partners, are encouraged to apply by October 13, 2019.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

FACT's 2019 Fund-a-Farmer Grants
Food Animal Concerns Trust (FACT) awards competitive grants to working, independent U.S. family farmers who raise beef cattle, broiler chickens, dairy cows, goats, laying hens, pigs, sheep, and/or turkeys. This year there are three types of grants offered: Animal Welfare Certification Grants, Capacity Building Grants, and Pasture Improvement Grants. A What Type of Grant Should I Apply For? Infographic and a grant info webinar on October 29, 2019, provide additional information.
Applications are due December 2, 2019.

NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant Program
North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE) is accepting Farmer Rancher Grant proposals to explore sustainable agriculture solutions. Proposals should show how farmers and ranchers plan to use their own innovative ideas to explore sustainable agriculture options and how they will share project results. There are three types of competitive grants: individual grants ($9,000 maximum), team grants for two farmers/ranchers from separate operations ($18,000 maximum), and group grants for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate operations ($27,000 maximum). NCR-SARE expects to fund about 40 projects in the 12-state North Central Region. A total of approximately $720,000 is available.
Proposals are due on December 5, 2019.

Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Business Grants
Vermont's Working Lands Enterprise Board makes essential, catalytic investments in critical leverage points of the Vermont farm and forest economy and facilitates policy development to optimize the agricultural and forest use of Vermont lands. For the Fiscal Year 2020 grant cycle, the Working Lands Enterprise Board plans to award a total of $1.15 million to $1.2 million in Business Grants ranging from $5,000 to $150,000. The total includes $500,000 in legislatively mandated funds for dairy-focused projects. Vermont-based businesses and nonprofits are eligible to apply.
Pre-applications are due by November 3, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Kansas Rural Center's Farm and Food Conference
November 8-9, 2019
Wichita, Kansas
At this annual conference, speakers, panelists, and workshop sessions feature presentations and discussions on how biological, human, and economic diversity build resilience and how we can make it happen on our farms and in our communities.

It Takes a Region Conference
November 7-9, 2019
Jersey City, New Jersey
Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's annual It Takes a Region conference convenes hundreds of practitioners for workshops, plenaries, networking, and hands-on work to create a just and fair regional food system.

Agritourism: Building Connection Between Farmers, Customers and Communities
November 4, 2019
Greenland, New Hampshire
The 11th Annual New Hampshire Direct Marketing Conference will provide attendees with information about how to start or grow an agritourism business. Topics include signage, promotion, liability, and working with local government.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Soil Solarization and Biosolarization Tipsheet

Question of the Week
What can you tell me about energy-efficient lighting for poultry production?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Profitable Grazing Management with Dr. Allen Williams
October 29, 2019
Piney Woods, Mississippi
Learn more.

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