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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 19, 2011

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

News & Resources

  • Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants Awarded
  • Research Team Develops Plan for Feeding World While Reducing Environmental Impact
  • Prairie Conservation Strips Fact Sheet Released
  • Conservation Practices Reducing Sediment, Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Great Lakes Region
  • CSA Savings Account Initiative Launched in Maine
  • CFRA Seeks Wind Development Experiences

Funding Opportunities

  • EPA Brownfields Funding
  • California Small Farm Conference Scholarships
  • Kentucky NRCS Conservation Programs

Coming Events

  • Sustainable Ag Expo
  • Iowa Organic Conference
  • South Dakota Local Foods Conference

News & Resources

Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants Awarded
Nearly 150 farm-to-consumer marketing projects will receive $9.2 million in funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP). The full list of awards granted for fiscal year 2011 is available at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/FMPP.

Research Team Develops Plan for Feeding World While Reducing Environmental Impact
An international team of scientists has proposed a five-point plan for feeding the world while protecting the planet: halting farmland expansion in the tropics, closing yield gaps on underperforming lands, using agricultural inputs more strategically, shifting diets and reducing food waste.

Prairie Conservation Strips Fact Sheet Released
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is offering a free 4-page fact sheet on establishing native prairie alongside crop fields. A Landowner’s Guide to Prairie Conservation Strips contains basic guidelines for planting and maintaining prairie conservation strips, with suggestions for where to find technical and financial help.

Conservation Practices Reducing Sediment, Nitrogen and Phosphorus in Great Lakes Region
A new USDA study shows that farmers using combinations of erosion-control and nutrient-management practices on cultivated cropland are reducing losses of sediment, nitrogen and phosphorous from farm fields and decreasing the movement of these materials to the Great Lakes and their associated waterways.
Related ATTRA Publication: Protecting Water Quality on Organic Farms

CSA Savings Account Initiative Launched in Maine
In Belfast, Maine, city officials, banks and farmers are launching a new initiative, a fee-free savings account that will help people save money for the purchase of a CSA share, aimed at improving access to local food.

CFRA Seeks Wind Development Experiences
The Center for Rural Affairs is creating a wind development "Best Practices" toolkit, using landowner experiences to help create helpful guidelines for developers to consider when contacting landowners. Experiences and comments can be submitted via an online form.
Related ATTRA Publication: Renewable Energy Opportunities on the Farm

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

EPA Brownfields Funding
Available grants from EPA’s Brownfields Program include assessment grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; coalitions are funded up to $1 million over three years); cleanup grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years); and revolving loan funds (each funded up to $1 million over five years).
The proposal deadline is November 28, 2011.

California Small Farm Conference Scholarships
The California Small Farm Conference will be held March 4-6, 2012, at the Santa Clarita Convention Center in Valencia. Scholarships are available now for farmers, ranchers, farm employees, certified farmers market managers and agricultural students.
All applications must be received or postmarked by December 16, 2011.

Kentucky NRCS Conservation Programs
Financial assistance is available to eligible applicants for the following Farm Bill programs: the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), the Mississippi River Basin Watershed Initiative (MRBI), and the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP).
Cutoff date for this sign-up period is November 15, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Sustainable Ag Expo
November 14-15, 2011
Paso Robles, California

The 7th Annual Sustainable Ag Expo provides a unique opportunity for farmers, ag professionals, and pest control advisors to learn about the latest in farming research, resource issues, and business trends related to sustainable agriculture.

Iowa Organic Conference
November 21-22, 2011
Ames, Iowa
The Iowa State University Organic Agriculture Program announces the 11th Annual Iowa Organic Conference, featuring speakers, workshops and a trade show.

South Dakota Local Foods Conference
November 11-12, 2011
Huron, South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture will host the first South Dakota Local Foods Conference on November 11. In conjunction with the conference, the South Dakota State University Extension Service will host a Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) training on November 12. The Local Foods Conference is meant to continue the dialogue on local foods among producers, consumers, school nutrition programs, grocers, restaurants and resource providers.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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New Publication
Specialty Crops for Cold Climates

Question of the Week
What can you tell me about controlling Japanese beetles in fruit trees?

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