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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 26, 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

  • Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Results Tallied
  • National Organic Standards Board Invites Public Comments
  • Leopold Center Publishes New Grower’s Manual
  • APHIS Announces Nonregulated Status for GE Cotton, Soybean
  • Massachusetts Launches Gleaning Network
  • Organic No-Till Testing Underway in North Dakota

Funding Opportunities

  • NCR-SARE Youth and Youth Educator Grant
  • Healthy and Humane Farm Funds
  • 1772 Foundation Funding for Northeast Land Trusts

Coming Events

  • Sustainable Agriculture Pest Management Conference
  • Small Scale Anaerobic Digestion Conference
  • Sustainable Agriculture Conference

News & Resources

Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-Up Results Tallied
USDA committed more than $191 million a year to enroll 12.75 million new acres in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in fiscal year 2011, says the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. NSAC has compiled list of leading states in the program, providing contract, acreage, and payment data.
Related ATTRA Publication: Federal Conservation Resources for Sustainable Farming and Ranching

National Organic Standards Board Invites Public Comments
Proposed recommendations of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) are open for public comment in advance of its fall meeting in Savannah, beginning November 29. The full agenda of topics and currently proposed recommendations is available at www.ams.usda.gov/nosbsavannah. Written comments on the proposed recommendations can be submitted until November 13, 2011.

Leopold Center Publishes New Grower’s Manual
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and GROWN Locally have developed a "Grower's Manual" to help local food cooperatives improve their handling practices and meet food safety standards. The Grower's Manual describes requirements for personnel procedures, general handling, cleaning, sanitizing, packaging, labeling and transporting, and offers information for planning a mock recall.

APHIS Announces Nonregulated Status for GE Cotton, Soybean
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is announcing its determination of nonregulated status for Bayer CropScience LP TwinLink™ cotton, which has been genetically engineered to be tolerant to the herbicide glufosinate and resistant to several insect pests. In addition, APHIS is announcing its determination of nonregulated status for a Monsanto soybean, which has been genetically engineered for insect resistance.

Massachusetts Launches Gleaning Network
The Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is launching the Massachusetts Gleaning Network. The network will include farms, volunteers, service agencies, food banks and other organizations, helping them to partner with others in gleaning projects in counties across Massachusetts. MDAR will serve as a clearinghouse for the network.

Organic No-Till Testing Underway in North Dakota
Kidder County Soil Conservation District is in year one of multiyear study on how organic grain producers can reduce tillage, reports Agweek. The district hopes the study will help the 47 organic farmers in the county increase organic matter in their soil, in order to improve infiltration rates and nutrient holding capacity.
Related ATTRA Publication: Weed Management in Organic Small Grains

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

NCR-SARE Youth and Youth Educator Grants
The 2011 North Central Region SARE Youth & Youth Educator Grant Call for Proposals has been issued. Youth Grants of up to $400 are for on-farm research, demonstration, or education projects by youth ages 8-18. Youth Educator Grants of up to $2,000 are for educators to provide programming on sustainable agriculture for youth.
Proposals are due by January 12, 2012.

Healthy and Humane Farm Funds
Food Animal Concerns Trust's (FACT) Healthy & Humane Farm Funds Project will provide small grants to qualifying humane farmers who need assistance in improving the welfare of their farm animals. FACT is committed to funding at least five farms each year, with the anticipated grant size of ranging from $500 to $1,500 per farm.
Applications are due by April 1, 2012.

1772 Foundation Funding for Northeast Land Trusts
The 1772 Foundation has announced that funding will be made available for land trusts that meet the following criteria: Have a primary interest in farmland protection; Protect farmland within a 100-mile radius of Boston or New York City; Have adopted the Land Trust Alliance's Standards and Practices.
Letters of inquiry will be accepted until February 10, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Sustainable Agriculture Pest Management Conference
December 2-3, 2011
San Luis Obispo, California
The conference agenda includes topics related to California's approach to integrated pest management, including tools for organic production practices, biologically integrated pest control, pesticide resistance management, beneficial soil organisms, and updates on important regulatory issues.

Small Scale Anaerobic Digestion Conference
November 29 or December 1, 2011
Stevens Point, Wisconsin or Holland, Michigan

This conference will outline the basic principles behind anaerobic digestion and highlight the key issues facing small scale adoption and options for the small scale farmer.

Sustainable Agriculture Conference
November 19, 2011
Emporia, Kansas
Kansas Rural Center announces its 2011 Sustainable Agriculture Conference, titled "Options, Opportunities and Optimism: Cultivating Our Food and Farm Future." Speakers, workshops and panels will explore and share ideas and information for building a local and regional food and farm system.

>> More Events

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