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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 10, 2012

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.

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News & Resources

  • USDA Releases Results of the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey
  • Farm Management Resource Available to Organic Farmers
  • New Publications Offer Land Leasing Information
  • Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program Grants Announced
  • Enrollment Deadlines for Farm Bill Conservation Programs May Be Approaching
  • Herbicide Use in Genetically Engineered Crops Rising, Says Study

Funding Opportunities

  • Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
  • Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program (SPECA)
  • Wisconsin Agricultural Enterprise Area

Coming Events

  • Quivara Coalition Annual Conference: How to Feed Nine Billion People From the Ground Up
  • 2012 North American Biodynamic Conference
  • Sustainable Ag Expo

News & Resources

USDA Releases Results of the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey
Certified organic growers in the United States sold more than $3.5 billion in organically grown agricultural commodities in 2011, according to the results of the 2011 Certified Organic Production Survey, released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The survey included organic field crops, livestock, fruits and vegetables, value-added products, and marketing outlets. The full results of the survey are available online at http://bit.ly/2011OrganicSurvey.

Farm Management Resource Available to Organic Farmers
Minnesota Department of Agriculture has made a new, free farm management resource available to organic farmers. Organic Farmers: Steps to Success contains five simple worksheets designed to help organic farmers assess their own management and financial strengths and identify areas they want to improve. It can be found at www.mda.state.mn.us/organic.

New Publications Offer Land Leasing Information
The Leopold Center reports that Drake University's Agricultural Law Center has developed two new PDF publications as part of its Sustainable Agricultural Land Tenure (SALT) project. Landowners Helping New Farmers provides an overview of state programs designed to help landowners who want to rent to a beginning farmer, and considerations that landowners might want to include in leases. Rotational Grazing on Leased Land discusses what factors should be considered when setting up a lease for land that will be rotationally grazed.
Related ATTRA Publication: Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program Grants Announced
USDA announced the award of grants for 22 projects under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. USDA will match nearly $1.2 million in grants for state departments of agriculture and state universities. More than half of the projects focus on increasing sales of value-added meat products, aquaculture products, and fresh and processed produce in local and regional food systems.

Enrollment Deadlines for Farm Bill Conservation Programs May Be Approaching
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition advises farmers and ranchers to be aware that states have begun to set Fiscal Year 2013 "ranking deadlines" for enrollment in farm bill conservation programs and initiatives. Producers need to apply by the ranking deadline in order to be considered for FY 2013 funding under the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and EQIP initiatives such as the Organic Initiative and the On-farm Energy Initiative, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), Agricultural Management Assistance (AMA) program, and Cooperative Conservation Partnership Initiative (CCPI). NSAC offers an online list of states that have announced their deadlines.

Herbicide Use in Genetically Engineered Crops Rising, Says Study
A study by Washington State University research professor Charles Benbrook found that the use of herbicides in the production of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant cotton, soybeans, and corn increased from 1.5 million pounds in 1999 to about 90 million pounds in 2011. In the study, which appeared in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe, Benbrook writes that the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds is strongly correlated with the upward trajectory in herbicide use.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship Program is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school. The program offers a total of $100,000 in funds to students studying sustainable agriculture.
Applications must be postmarked by December 15, 2012.

Secondary Education, Two-Year Postsecondary Education, and Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom Challenge Grants Program (SPECA)
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for grants to promote and strengthen agriscience and agribusiness education. Grants of up to $25,000 are available for conference/planning proposals. Regular project proposals up to $50,000 and joint project proposals for up to $150,000 may be submitted. State or regional projects may request up to $300,000. Applications may be submitted by public secondary schools, public or private nonprofit junior and community colleges, institutions of higher education, or nonprofit organizations.
Applications are due by January 18, 2013.

Wisconsin Agricultural Enterprise Area
Wisconsin farmers and local officials can now apply for 2013 Agricultural Enterprise Area designation. Agricultural enterprise areas are created when local governments, together with at least five local landowners, petition the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and the department approves the designation. Farmers within the area can receive tax credits of $5 to $10 per acre if they enter farmland preservation agreements.
Completed petitions are due March 29, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Quivara Coalition Annual Conference: How to Feed Nine Billion People From the Ground Up
November 14-16, 2012
Albuquerque, New Mexico

This conference will explore a variety of innovative practices that are already successfully intensifying food production while preserving, maintaining, and restoring the natural world. Speakers will share their hands-on experience and ideas for feeding all life—from the ground up.

2012 North American Biodynamic Conference
November 14-18, 2012
Madison, Wisconsin

This biennial conference will bring together hundreds of farmers, gardeners, educators, activists, and interested newcomers for inspiring keynotes, informative workshops, networking, exhibits, film screenings, art, and organic and biodynamic foods. This year's theme is "Sacred Agriculture: Creating a New Relationship with the Earth."

Sustainable Ag Expo
November 12-13, 2012
Monterey, California

Farmers, ag professionals, and pest-control advisors can learn about the latest in farming research, resource issues, and business trends related to sustainable agriculture.

>> More Events

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