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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 16, 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.

News & Resources

  • USDA Agreement Funds Small-Farm Research at University of Vermont
  • North Central Region SARE Seeking Review Committee Members
  • Continuous Roots Help Soils Hold Water
  • Ohio Initiative Launched to Help Growers Produce and Market Pawpaw
  • Over-seeded Cover Crops Found to Improve Pasture Soil Health
  • Savanna Institute Receives Grant for Network of Agroforestry Demonstration Farms

Funding Opportunities

  • Farm to School Grant Program
  • Veteran Scholarships for Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference
  • Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grants

Coming Events

  • Regenerate: Health from the Soil Up
  • Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference
  • Green Lands Blue Waters Conference

News & Resources

USDA Agreement Funds Small-Farm Research at University of Vermont
USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS), in partnership with the University of Vermont, has established its first food systems research station designed specifically to study diversified food systems and the small farms that contribute to those systems. The research station will identify factors that affect economic and environmental sustainability, with the goal of better understanding how small farms survive and thrive.

North Central Region SARE Seeking Review Committee Members
North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (NCR-SARE) is seeking nominees for its grant review committees. Review committee members must live and work in one of the 12 states that comprise the North Central SARE region. Potential nominees should complete an online form and provide a resume.

Continuous Roots Help Soils Hold Water
A meta-analysis conducted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the Union of Concerned Scientists found that continuous roots are effective at helping soil hold water. Researchers analyzed 89 studies to compare the effects of no-till farming, cover crops, crop rotations, perennial plantings, and cropland grazing on soil's ability to capture water. They found that planting perennials and cover crops were most successful practices for soaking up precipitation.

Ohio Initiative Launched to Help Growers Produce and Market Pawpaw
Ohio State University Extension has launched Marketing and Orchard Resource Efficiency (MORE) Ohio Pawpaw, a statewide initiative to help growers produce and market high-quality pawpaw fruit. This could offer a way for farmers to boost income. Researchers will also identify best management practices for pawpaw orchards, including best varieties and how to make wild pawpaw patches more productive.
Related ATTRA Publication: Pawpaw - A "Tropical" Fruit for Temperate Climates

Over-seeded Cover Crops Found to Improve Pasture Soil Health
Researchers at Louisiana State University found that when a warm-season grass pasture was over-seeded with cool-season annual cover crops, soil organic matter improved, nitrate concentrations decreased, carbon concentrations stabilized, and soil microbial enzyme activity increased, suggesting a healthy soil environment. The research was funded by a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) Graduate Student Grant.
Related ATTRA Publication: Building Healthy Pasture Soils

Savanna Institute Receives Grant for Network of Agroforestry Demonstration Farms
The Savanna Institute has received a grant of nearly $200,000 from the USDA SARE program to establish a network of large-scale agroforestry R&D farms across Illinois over the next two years. In partnership with public and private landowners, these farms will enable a broad range of education, demonstration, and research functions. The Savanna Institute is already establishing R&D farms in Wisconsin this year.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agroforestry: An Overview

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Farm to School Grant Program
USDA awards competitive Farm to School Grants to be used for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. This year, FNS seeks to award up to $10 million. The RFA includes three tracks: Implementation, Planning, and a new State Agency track. Grants ranging in size from $20,000 to $100,000 are available.
Applications are due by December 13, 2019.

Veteran Scholarships for Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference
The National Center for Appropriate Technology is offering limited scholarships to military veterans who would like to attend Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's annual Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference, January 2225, 2020, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Fifteen partial scholarships, which will cover conference registration, and five full scholarships will be awarded.
The deadline to apply for the scholarships is December 6, 2019.

Southern SARE On-Farm Research Grants
Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) is accepting proposals for On-Farm Research Grants intended for agricultural professionals who regularly work with farmers/ranchers. A maximum of $20,000 is available for projects up to two years in duration. Agriculture professionals in Cooperative Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, universities, NGOs, and government agencies are invited to apply. Applicants must work with at least one farmer/rancher on the project.
Applications are due by December 6, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Regenerate: Health from the Soil Up
November 19-22, 2019
Albuquerque, New Mexico
The Quivira Coalition, Holistic Management International, and American Grassfed Association are collaborating to explore ideas of Health from the Soil Up. Regenerate 2019 offers provocative plenary presentations, roundtable discussions, and networking.

Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference
November 17-20, 2019
Austin, Texas
The fifth national Farmer Veteran Stakeholders Conference hosted by Farmer Veteran Coalition features education, workshops, distinguished speakers, guest panels, networking, a farm to table dinner, and state chapter meetings.

Green Lands Blue Waters Conference
November 19-20, 2019
Minneapolis, Minnesota
The 2019 Green Lands Blue Waters Conference has the theme "Over, Under, Through to CLC: Strong partners, new allies, and fresh perspectives moving continuous living cover (CLC) farming forward." The agenda includes keynote, panel, breakout, and lightning sessions.

>>More Events

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