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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - October 31, 2012

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

News & Resources

  • Food Facility Registration Renewal Opens
  • Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Health, Says Research
  • Greenbook Highlights Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Innovations
  • Winter Grazing Video Online
  • Fact Sheet Offers Guidance on Integrating Pastured Poultry into Farming Enterprises
  • Value-Added Agriculture Youth Curriculum Offered Online

Funding Opportunities

  • Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
  • EPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
  • North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Small Grants

Coming Events

  • Sustainable Agriculture Pest Management Conference
  • 5th National Conference on Grazing Lands
  • Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO

News & Resources

Food Facility Registration Renewal Opens
Biennial Registration Renewal for Food Facilities under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act began on October 22, 2012. Domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture, process, pack, or hold food for human or animal consumption in the United States must register. Registrants can renew food facility registrations online or submit the paper Form 3537 by mail or fax. Ag Weekly points out that the registration encompasses vehicles used to hold food, and that any garage, shed, trailer, or cooling equipment used to store fruit or vegetables or any food or feed beyond the day of harvest for later sale must also be registered. The deadline for the registrations and renewals to be completed is December 31, 2012.

Diversity Balances Productivity, Profitability, and Environmental Health, Says Research
Increasing cropping-system diversity balances productivity, profitability, and environmental health, according to research published in the online journal PLoS ONE. Researchers conducted a field study from 2003-2011 in Iowa that compared a conventionally managed two-year rotation of corn and soybeans with a three-year rotation of corn, soybeans, small grain, and red clover and a four-year rotation of corn, soybeans, small grain, and alfalfa, managed with lower synthetic N fertilizer and herbicide inputs and periodic applications of cattle manure. The study found that grain yields, mass of harvested products, and profit in the more diverse systems were similar to, or greater than, those in the conventional system, despite reductions of agrichemical inputs.
Related ATTRA Publication: Moving Beyond Conventional Cash Cropping

Greenbook Highlights Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Innovations
The 2012 edition of Minnesota Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Greenbook is now available online and in print. Greenbook highlights the results of projects funded by the MDA's Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program. The new edition features 17 sustainable agriculture projects in four major topic areas: alternative markets and specialty crops; cropping systems and soil fertility; fruits and vegetables; and livestock.

Winter Grazing Video Online
In Winter Grazing - a Better Way to Feed, three livestock producers describe how extending the grazing season has saved them time and money, while also improving the environment, and they demonstrate the methods used to achieve these savings. This 16-minute video produced by the University of South Carolina and the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center shows that livestock producers in any region where there are pastures can take advantage of this system.

Fact Sheet Offers Guidance on Integrating Pastured Poultry into Farming Enterprises
Rodale Institute has released a new fact sheet titled Establishing a Small-Scale, Sustainable, Pastured Poultry Operation that offers proven guidelines on successfully integrating poultry into a farming enterprise. The fact sheet discusses the benefits of raising pastured poultry and provides step-by-step instructions on pastured poultry production, as well as a list of resources for further information.
Related ATTRA Publication: Growing Your Range Poultry Business: An Entrepreneur's Toolbox

Value-Added Agriculture Youth Curriculum Offered Online
The Agricultural Marketing Resource Center (AgMRC) offers a new, free curriculum to educate youth on opportunities for rural development through value-added agriculture. The curriculum provides instructors with full lesson plans on agritourism, aquaculture, livestock, biomass, and renewable energy. Additional materials will be added throughout the fall. The full curriculum is available at www.agmrc.org/curriculum/ .

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for approximately $5 million in grant funds through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants program for fiscal year 2013. The grants support: (1) the development of Community Food Projects with a one-time infusion of federal dollars to make such projects self-sustaining; and (2) Planning Projects to assess food security needs and plan long-term solutions to help ensure food security in communities.
Applications are due by November 28, 2012.

EPA Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
The Environmental Justice Small Grants Program provides funding for projects that address local environmental and public health issues within an affected community. EPA will award grants that support activities designed to empower and educate communities to understand environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level. EPA anticipates awarding one to five grants per EPA region in amounts of up to $30,000 for one year.
Applications are due January 7, 2013.

North Central Regional Center for Rural Development Small Grants
The North Central Regional Center for Rural Development is offering grant awards of up to $20,000 for teams of land grant employees drawn from at least two north central states. Awards will be made for work in any of the following areas: innovation diffusion for rural development; sustainable communities; leadership development; or entrepreneurial communities.
Proposals are due on January 31, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Sustainable Agricultural Pest Management Conference
December 7-8, 2012
San Luis Obispo, California

This annual conference provides active industry professionals, such as pest control advisors, consultants, and growers, with information on innovative strategies for controlling pests using sustainable agricultural practices.

5th National Conference on Grazing Lands
December 9-12, 2012
Orlando, Florida

This one-of-a-kind, producer-based conference brings together ranchers, farmers, land managers, grazing specialists, and conservationists from across the nation for education and technology advancements related to grazing-land sustainability. Over half of the speakers are successful producers recounting their stories.

Great Lakes Fruit, Vegetable and Farm Market EXPO
December 4-6, 2012
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Held in conjunction with the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Expo, the conference offers an informative education program for fruit, vegetable, and greenhouse growers, and for farm marketers. It includes 71 sessions and workshops (including farmers markets and organic sessions), a 4-acre trade show, and a farm market bus tour.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2012 NCAT

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New Publication
No-Till Case Study, Brown's Ranch: Improving Soil Health Improves the Bottom Line

Question of the Week
As a beginning farmer, should I consider pastured poultry production?

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ATTRA Webinars
November 1—Becoming a Technical Service Provider for NRCS: An Introduction
NCAT and 10 other partners are offering the first of four webinars on how to become a Technical Service Provider and what it takes to write conservation plans.  Harriet Behar of MOSES will begin this series with an introduction that will help you navigate the TSP approval process, receive payment for your work, and give you a basic understanding of what is required in a plan.

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