Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 31, 2007
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
The ATTRA project is still experiencing a funding problem. The project is normally funded by a federal
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Department of Agriculture. Unfortunately, Congress has not completed passing its appropriations bills, including the one for USDA.
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News & Resources
* New Publication Outlines Fruit and Vegetable Farmers' Payment Rights
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* 'Cows Unite' Movement Promotes Organic Dairying
* Agritourism Pays Off for Colorado
* Farm to School Cookbook Published in Massachusetts
* Hemp Farming Lawsuit Nears Court Date; NDSU Files Amicus Brief
* Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program
* Food Quality Protection Act/Strategic Agricultural Initiative, EPA Region 1
* Minnesota Technical Assistance for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Projects
* Acres U.S.A. Conference
* Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo
* New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference
News & Resources
New Publication Outlines Fruit and Vegetable Farmers' Payment Rights
The Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG) recently released Understanding Farmers’ Rights to Be Paid for Fruit and Vegetable Crops (PDF/1.23MB). This booklet discusses practical and legal steps that farmers can take to protect their right to be paid when they sell fresh fruits and vegetables. To help farmers better understand their rights to be paid for their fruit and vegetable crops, this booklet will describe the legal protections farmers have under the Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA).
'Cows Unite' Movement Promotes Organic Dairying
Cows Unite is an initiative developed by Organic Valley Family of Farms, centered on a "Bovine Bill of Rights" that demands pasturing for cows and the end of the use of synthetic hormones and pesticides, antibiotics and genetically modified feed for cattle. The creative campaign is a way to raise awareness and build grassroots public support for organic dairying. Cows Unite has won support from sustainable agriculture leaders such as Sustainable Table, Beyond Pesticides, Bioneers, Farm Aid, and Ecotrust.
Related ATTRA Publication: Dairy Resource List: Organic and Pasture-Based
Agritourism Pays Off for Colorado
A recent report by Colorado State University found that agritourism accounted for 14% of Colorado's tourism last year. An estimated $2.2 billion in economic activity was attributed to agritourism, with 13.2 million tourists experiencing some form of agriculture-related outing. Western Farmer-Stockman reports the top choices for Colorado agritourism activities include on-farm experiences such as camping and picnicking, photography and art, and bird and wildlife watching.
Related ATTRA Publication: Entertainment Farming and Agri-tourism
Farm to School Cookbook Published in Massachusetts
Better student nutrition and a boost for farm sales are the dual aims of a new groundbreaking book, Fresh From the Farm: The Massachusetts Farm to School Cookbook. The book, which is now available online through the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources website, is a tool for school food service staffs, training them how to work with farm-fresh food and introduce more local produce into school lunches. The book contains 46 recipes using seasonal produce, many emphasizing valued-added farm produce such as already sliced carrots or peeled butternut squash, to ease school preparation time. The book also contains educational tips on preparing fresh produce and seasonal buying, along with resources for procurement from nearby farms..
Related ATTRA Publication: Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions
Hemp Farming Lawsuit Nears Court Date; NDSU Files Amicus Brief
A lawsuit filed by two North Dakota farmers in June to end the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) ban on state-regulated commercial hemp farming is nearing its court date of November 14, says a North Dakota Ag Connection story. Meanwhile, North Dakota State University has filed an amicus brief in support of the farmers, claiming that since DEA has failed to act on the University's application to grow non-industrial hemp since 1999, the agency has no intention of cooperating in licensing farmers.
> More Breaking News
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Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program
CSREES anticipates the availability of grant funds and requests applications for the Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Competitive Grants Program (OASDFR). This program provides outreach and technical assistance to encourage and assist socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers to own and operate farms and ranches and to participate equitably in agriculture programs. Contingent on Congressional action, CSREES anticipates that approximately $5.9 million will be available in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 to support this program. The funding limit is up to $100,000 per year for a maximum project period of three years.
Proposals are due December 14, 2007.
Food Quality Protection Act/Strategic Agricultural Initiative, EPA Region 1
EPA Region 1 Pesticide Program is seeking applications from eligible organizations that will facilitate the implementation of the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA). The program supports efforts to reduce the exposure to toxic pesticides through the adoption of production agriculture pest management practices that transition away from the use of high-risk pesticides. For this competition, the EPA Region 1 Program has approximately $100,300 available for assistance awards. Proposed projects must take place in one or more of the EPA Region 1 states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont).
Proposals are due December 7, 2007.
Minnesota Technical Assistance for Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Projects
The Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams seek to provide limited financial assistance for energy efficiency and/or renewable energy projects requiring technical assistance. Project funding can support technical assistance services (i.e., labor costs), such as consultant, design professional, installer or student labor, for projects in one of the following six Minnesota CERT regions: Central, Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, Southwest and West Central.
Proposals are due November 16, 2007.
> More Funding Opportunities
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Acres U.S.A. Conference
December 6-8, 2007
The annual Acres U.S.A. conference offers an opportunity to find farmers and consultants from every side of eco-farming who come together to share their experience and expertise. Attend the non-stop event, learn the latest in cutting-edge technology and methods, and return home ready to make your farming operation the best it can be. Pre-conference study options are also offered, beginning December 3.
Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable, and Farm Market Expo
December 4-6, 2007
Grand Rapids, Michigan
Michigan State Horticultural Society, Michigan Vegetable Council, and Michigan State University Extension present this event with a trade show of more than 300 exhibitors, and three days of educational sessions on Fruit and vegetable commodities, Farm marketing ideas and issues, and General topics of special interest to growers.
New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference
December 11-13, 2007
Manchester, New Hampshire
New England Vegetable & Fruit Conference and Trade Show will include 27 educational sessions over 3 days, covering major vegetable, berry and tree fruit crops as well as various special topics. A Farmer to Farmer meeting after each morning and afternoon session will bring speakers and farmers together for informal, in-depth discussion. This conference is special because it is put together with close collaboration between growers and Extension from across the region.
> More Events
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Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters
are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter
of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.
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