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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 29, 2014

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 Climate Hubs Website Introduced
  • Food System Policy Database Released
  • James Beard Leadership Award Winners Honored
  • Agricultural and Food Law Consortium Formed, Surveying Stakeholders
  • Stray Voltage Guide Available Online
  • Americans Willing to Spend More on Responsibly Produced Food

Funding Opportunities

  • National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Request for Sheep and Goat Proposals and Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program
  • Cedar Tree Foundation
  • Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program

Coming Events

  • Acres U.S.A. Conference & Trade Show and Eco-Ag U
  • Professional Agricultural Workers Conference
  • Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference

News & Resources

USDA Climate Hubs Website Introduced
The new USDA Climate Hubs website provides a portal for farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and others to find information to help cope with the challenges and stressors caused by a changing climate. The site includes pages specific to each of the seven Climate Hub Regions, with resources related to drought, fire risks, pests and diseases, climate variability, and heat stress.

Food System Policy Database Released
The School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo has released a new Growing Food Connections Policy Database that will assist local governments as they work to broaden access to healthy food and help sustain local farms and food producers. The online database features more than 100 innovative policies that address issues including public investment in food systems, farmland protection, local food procurement, and food policy council resolutions.

James Beard Leadership Award Winners Honored
The James Beard Foundation has announced its 2014 Leadership Award honorees: journalists Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan, urban farmer and activist Karen Washington, President of The National Family Farm Coalition Ben Burkett, and Movement Strategy Center Fellow Navina Khanna. The awards raise awareness by celebrating visionaries responsible for creating a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world.

Agricultural and Food Law Consortium Formed, Surveying Stakeholders
A group of universities is partnering in a new Agricultural and Food Law Consortium that will research regional and national agricultural law issues. The consortium is led by the National Agricultural Law Center. The consortium is collecting information about stakeholders' needs through an online survey that will help define the consortium's long-term research and information agenda. The survey invites participants at nationalaglawcenter.org/consortium/.

Stray Voltage Guide Available Online
Iowa State University Farm Energy Initiative has announced the release of Iowa Stray Voltage Guide. The online guide outlines the steps farmers, electricians, utilities, and their advisors can take to discover and resolve stray voltage concerns on livestock farms. The guide addresses causes of stray voltage, farm wiring, biosecurity protocols, and testing procedures.

Americans Willing to Spend More on Responsibly Produced Food
On average, Americans are willing to spend 31% more per week on grocery food produced in ways that uphold the principles of corporate social responsibility, according to the Conscious Consumer Study issued by Gibbs-rbb Strategic Communications. According to the study, households spend an average of $119.30 per week on grocery food, and consumers are willing to pay an additional $37.30 per week on food produced in ways that advance the well-being of the planet, humans, and safety of food sources.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

National Sheep Industry Improvement Center Request for Sheep and Goat Proposals and Sheep Production and Marketing Grant Program
The National Sheep Industry Improvement Center is accepting proposals designed to improve the U.S. sheep and goat industries. The Center has budgeted up to $100,000 for grants that will support projects on new technologies or knowledge that will improve the efficiency, profitability, and quality of the sheep or goat industry, and provide seed money for the production and commercialization of new and innovative processes. In addition, the Center is offering up to $300,000 for grants to strengthen and enhance the production and marketing of sheep products in the United States through the improvement of infrastructure, business and resource development, and the development of innovative approaches to solve long-term needs.
Applications will be accepted through November 22, 2014.

Cedar Tree Foundation
The Cedar Tree Foundation is a small family fund whose grant making focuses on sustainable agriculture, environmental education, and environmental health. The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals, but welcomes letters of inquiry for U.S.-based work from nonprofit organizations working within its program areas.
Letters of inquiry are accepted at any time.

Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program
The Native Agriculture and Food Systems Scholarship Program from First Nations Development Institute will award six $1,000 scholarships annually to Native American college students majoring in agriculture and agriculture-related fields.
Applications are due by November 17, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Acres U.S.A. Conference & Trade Show and Eco-Ag U
December 3-6, 2014
Columbus, Ohio
Acres U.S.A. presents Eco-Ag U Advanced Learning on December 3-4, with two-day or whole-day educational sessions. The conference and trade show on December 4-6 brings farmers and consultants from every side of eco-farming, who come together to share their experience and expertise.

Professional Agricultural Workers Conference
December 7-9, 2014
Tuskegee, Alabama

This 72nd annual conference has the theme "Dr. George Washington Carver Lives On: Changing the World In Uncommon Ways." Topics will include social media, marketing to large retailers, women in agriculture, minority farmer profitability, veterans and agro-healing, and local food systems.

Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference
December 2-3, 2014
Weyers Cave, Virginia

The theme for this year's conference is "Nutrition, Health and Sustainability from the Ground Up!" The conference will encourage collaboration, conservation, and community. Topics will include soil and community health, as well as scale, ethics, and markets. An in-depth soil biology training will be offered.

>> More Events

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Sustainable Producer Spotlight
King's Crossing Farm

Question of the Week
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