Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - October 20, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Portland Farm Showcases Urban Ag and Sustainable Design
* Cost Studies of Organic Broccoli and Lettuce Production Published
* Washington Wheat Growers Win Governor's Sustainability Award
* Marketing to Retail Stores - Is It Right for You?
* Report Traces Iowa's Changing Geography of Taste
* Hoop Barns and Bedded Systems Conference Proceedings Now Available
* CSREES National Integrated Food Safety Initiative
* EPA Region 3 Pesticide Misuse Initiative Program
* Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Ag Education Challenge Grants
* Fourth Annual Iowa Organic Conference
* Soul of Agriculture Conference
* Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo
News & Resources
Portland Farm Showcases Urban Ag and Sustainable Design
The Portland Tribune profiles the 16-acre Zenger farm in southeast Portland, Oregon and the efforts to establish it as a model of urban agriculture and sustainable design. The farm, which operated for a century as a dairy farm, was bought the city as a part of a flood control project. The city set aside 10 acres for wetlands and the remaining has been dedicated to urban agriculture. The farmhouse has been retrofitted with solar photovoltaic systems, and the surrounding site has incorporated bioswales, two rainwater-catching cisterns and a driveway built with permeable concrete. The Zenger farm has also been designated a " legacy project,” meaning it will receive the attention of thousands of visiting sustainable design and building experts in town for the 2004 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, set for Nov. 9-12.
Cost Studies of Organic Broccoli and Lettuce Production Published
New cost of production studies for organic broccoli and lettuce grown on California's central coast are now available from the University of California Cooperative Extension. The studies focus on production costs in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, California’s primary broccoli and lettuce growing areas. The analyses are based upon hypothetical vegetable farms using practices common in the region. Farm advisors, researchers, growers, farm accountants, pest control advisers, consultants and other agricultural associates provided input and reviews. Assumptions used to identify current costs for the individual crops, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead are described. Ranging analyses tables show profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and overhead costs.
Washington Wheat Growers Win Governor's Sustainability Award
The Capital Press reports on Washington wheat growers Fred Fleming and Karl Kuper who recently received the governor’s award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices. The pair, who do business as Columbia Plateau Producers, were honored for their sustainable farming practices that conserve energy, water and soil while producing the first dry-land eco-friendly product, Shepherd's Grain wheat. The winners also used the occasion to highlight the importance of locally-grown food. “We are looking for a few good food activists,” Fleming said. “We’ve got to have people truly embrace the local farmers and put a face to the product they use.”
Marketing to Retail Stores - Is It Right for You?
The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has published a new report that provides background information for farmers who are considering selling their products through retail stores. Based on dozens of interviews with retail buyers, the report gives advice on preparing yourself and your products for market, determining whether retail is your best option, and selecting the right store for your products. The report also discusses the needs of retail buyers and the advantages and challenges of selling locally produced goods. The report, Working with Retail Buyers, is available online (PDF / 214 kb).
Report Traces Iowa's Changing Geography of Taste
Iowa is known for its corn and soybeans, but less than a hundred years ago the state was a commercial center for the production of sweet corn, popcorn, grapes, apples, onions and even sweet potatoes. A new report from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University explores how the integration of Iowa’s history, ecology and culture has created unique food products that may hold economic opportunities for farmers and rural communities in today’s changing markets. “Iowa has a rich food heritage and many cultural traditions,” said Rich Pirog, who directs the Leopold Center’s marketing and food systems initiative and wrote the 45-page report. “It makes sense that some of this history could be used to create niche markets and new food enterprises tied to rural development and agri-tourism.” The report, titled A Geography of Taste: Iowa’s Potential for Developing Place-based and Traditional Foods, documents Iowa’s food heritage using maps to show historical concentrations of various crops, counties where historical and recent immigrant groups have settled, topographical features that favor certain kinds of production, and locations of nearly 30 community food festivals. Pirog said he hopes the report fosters more research on place-based foods -- highly differentiated food products with strong ties to where and how they are grown or processed.
Hoop Barns and Bedded Systems Conference Proceedings Now Available
Presentations from the Hoop Barns and Bedded Systems for Livestock Production Conference are now available online. The conference was held in Ames, Iowa, in September 2004. Hoops are attracting increasing attention for their low-capital cost, competitive returns, and flexibility. Presentations cover topics such as deep-bedded systems for sows and dairy, niche marketing, animal welfare, interfacing hoops with conventional systems, and more. A scientific symposium was held in conjunction with the producer-oriented conference, and abstracts and presentations from the symposium are also available online.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site: Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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CSREES National Integrated Food Safety Initiative
The Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) requests applications for the Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program – National Integrated Food Safety Initiative for fiscal year 2005 to support integrated, multifunctional agricultural research, extension, and education activities that address food safety priorities in the United States. The National Integrated Food Safety Initiative requests integrated research, education, and extension applications that address a broad spectrum of food safety concerns – from on-farm production, post-harvest processing, and distribution, to food selection, preparation, and consumption. The National Integrated Food Safety Initiative creates opportunities for new collaborations between individuals and institutions in an effort to address problems in new ways and/or improve communication with high risk, under-served, or hard-to-reach audiences. In order to fully realize these potential benefits, CSREES strongly encourages applicants to develop applications describing integrated activities that include collaboration with 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, 1994 Land-Grant Institutions, Hispanic-serving institutions, and/or other institutions that serve high risk, under-served, or hard-to-reach populations. Applications are due December 17, 2004.
EPA Region 3 Pesticide Misuse Initiative Program
The Environmental Protection Agency in Region 3 (Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia) , is requesting proposals that will (1) promote the safe use and storage of pesticides in residential, school, institutional and agricultural settings; (2) promote the use of lower risk pesticides and alternative pest control methods in residential turfgrass, ornamental and indoor applications; and (3) promote outreach education on the proper use and storage of pest control products to residential (homeowners) and agricultural (farmers) users. Innovative projects that enable homeowners and farmers to develop a broader knowledge of integrated approaches to pest management in indoor and outdoor environments are also encouraged. Proposals are November 29, 2004.
Secondary and Two-Year Postsecondary Ag Education Challenge GrantsThe Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service requests applications for the Secondary and Two-Year Post Secondary Agriculture Education Challenge Grants Program for fiscal year 2005 to: (a) promote and strengthen secondary education and two-year postsecondary education in agriscience and agribusiness in order to help ensure the existence in the United States of a qualified workforce to serve the food and agricultural sciences system; and (b) promote complementary and synergistic linkages among secondary, two-year postsecondary, and higher education programs in the food and agricultural sciences in order to advance excellence in education and encourage more young Americans to pursue and complete a baccalaureate or higher degree in the food and agricultural sciences. Applications are due January 13, 2005.
For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Fourth Annual Iowa Organic Conference
November 1, 2004
Come learn from organic producers and professionals about the exciting opportunities and issues that make organic farming a great option for the Midwest. Chuck Hassebrook, of the Center for Rural Affairs, will give the keynote address
Soul of Agriculture Conference
November 7-9, 2004
Durham, New Hampshire
The fourth annual Soul of Agriculture conference will present "Healthy Farms, Healthy People: Making the Agriculture-Nutrition Link," a three-day conference exploring how healthy nutrition and healthy agriculture can be integrated to establish common goals across farm, food and health communities.
Southeast Vegetable and Fruit Expo
November 30-December 2, 2004
Greenville, North Carolina
This event offers producers an opportunity to show products and services to top vegetable growers and industry leaders. Educational sessions will be conducted by some of the leading researchers and growers in the country.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
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Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
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of ATTRA, the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is the Web
site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National
Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant
from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural
Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
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