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NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 2, 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.

Financing Clean Energy Webinar November 17

You can attend a free webinar about energy efficiency and renewable grants, loans and rebates, brought to you by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, Montana USDA-Rural Development, Montana DEQ's Renewable Energy Program and Harvesting Clean Energy. If you own a farm, ranch or rural business in Montana, this webinar is for you. By the end of the 90-minute webinar, you will have the necessary information about applying for the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and other sources for clean energy financing now available in Montana. Register today!

News & Resources

  • Future Friendly Farming Report Offers Strategies to Protect Habitat, Save Money
  • USDA Supporting Crop Insurance Education Programs
  • Comment Period Extended on Child Labor Regulation Proposal
  • Rangelands Issue Considers Profit in Ecosystem Preservation
  • Niman Ranch Expands Hog Production in Northeast
  • New Nebraska Agricultural Council Involves Farmers, Animal Welfare Advocates

Funding Opportunities

  • Organic Farming Research Foundation Research Grants
  • Specialty Crop Research Initiative
  • Frontera Farmer Foundation

Coming Events

  • Acres U.S.A. Conference
  • Professional Agricultural Workers Conference
  • Conservation Covers

News & Resources

Future Friendly Farming Report Offers Strategies to Protect Habitat, Save Money
A new report from the National Wildlife Federation, Future Friendly Farming: Seven Agricultural Practices to Sustain People and the Environment, offers techniques that farmers and ranchers can use to increase profits, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and protect soil, water and wildlife habitat. The featured techniques include using cover crops, practicing organic agriculture, improving grazing practices, using anaerobic digesters, and taking advantage of carbon offset opportunities.

USDA Supporting Crop Insurance Education Programs
USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) will support crop insurance education and outreach in 47 states to ensure that small and underserved producers get the information they need to effectively manage their risk and remain productive. Awards totaling approximately $13.6 million from two RMA programs—Targeted States and the Education and Outreach programappear on the RMA Website.

Comment Period Extended on Child Labor Regulation Proposal
The U.S. Department of Labor has announced a 30-day extension of the comment period for its proposed rule to revise regulations addressing child labor in agricultural and nonagricultural employment. Nebraska Ag Connection reports that 32 U.S. senators recently sent a letter to the Department of Labor, stating their concerns and requesting an extension of the comment period.

Rangelands Issue Considers Profit in Ecosystem Preservation
The current issue of the journal Rangelands offers several articles focusing on the intertwining of ecosystems and economies in the context of America’s rangelands. Authors discuss topics such as payment for ecosystem services, market-based approaches to climate change mitigation, and carbon offsets.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agriculture, Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration

Niman Ranch Expands Hog Production in Northeast
Niman Ranch has expanded its sustainable hog production with new farmers and a processing facility in the northeast, reports USAgNet. Niman is adding 20 new sustainable hog producers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Northern Virginia and New York. Niman pork in this area will be processed at a third-party facility in Pennsylvania.
Related ATTRA Publication: Pork: Marketing Alternatives

New Nebraska Agricultural Council Involves Farmers, Animal Welfare Advocates
The Humane Society of the United States joined the Nebraska Farmers Union in Lincoln to announce the formation of an advisory body, the Nebraska Agriculture Council of The Humane Society of the United States. The council will work jointly with the Nebraska Farmers Union to pursue market opportunities for farmers and ranchers whose agricultural practices adhere to animal welfare standards, as well as facilitate a dialogue with individual farmers, ranchers and the organizations that represent them.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Organic Farming Research Foundation Research Grants
The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) funds research on organic farming systems and the dissemination of these research results to the agricultural community. OFRF particularly encourages farmers, ranchers, researchers, and Extension personnel to consider applying for funding.
Application deadline is November 15, 2011.

Specialty Crop Research Initiative
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests applications for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative (SCRI) for fiscal year 2012 to solve critical U.S. specialty crop issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research and extension activities. Applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State agricultural experiment stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups of these.
A letter of intent to apply is due by November 25, 2011. Applications are due by January 31, 2012.

Frontera Farmer Foundation
The Frontera Farmer Foundation will award grants for capital improvements of up to $12,000 to individually owned small farms and medium-size farms that sell their local food products to customers in the Chicago area.
All applications must be received by February 28, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Acres U.S.A. Conference
December 8-10, 2011
Columbus, Ohio
Dozens of speakers cover all facets of eco-agriculturesoils, crops, weed and insect control, livestock managementand make the connection between the soil and human and animal health.

Professional Agricultural Workers Conference
December 4-6, 2011
Tuskegee, Alabama

The 2011 conference theme is "Empowering Underserved Farmers and Rural Communities Through Effective Farm Bill Legislation, USDA Program Delivery, and New Market Opportunities and Partnerships."

Conservation Covers: Effective Cover Cropping in the Midwest
December 7-8, 2011
Decatur, Illinois
This conference is targeted to farmers and cover crop service providers. The meeting will provide a forum for farmers to exchange information, discuss opportunities for collaboration, and learn about new and successful practices related to cover crops.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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New Publication
Returns on Renewable Energy Investments

Question of the Week
How can I control poison ivy without using chemical herbicides?

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