Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 2, 2016
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
- Montana Beef to School Project Issues Case Study Report
- New Guide Engages Farm to School Participants
- USDA Awards Value-Added Producer Grants
- Study Documents Costs of Raising Pastured Poultry on Small-Scale Farms
- Sales of Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Nearly Double
- Conservation Reserve Program Helps Protect 24 Million Acres
- Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
- REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant
- New York Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program
- Growing for the Future
- Soil & Nutrition Conference
- Montana Organic Association Annual Conference
News & Resources
Montana Beef to School Project Issues Case Study Report
The Montana Beef to School Project has released Mooooooving Forward Together: Strategies for Montana Beef to School. The report explores factors that make beef to school programs successful and encourages the use of local beef in every Montana school. The report includes an overview of findings, graphics and data, and stories that feature the efforts of schools, beef producers, and meat processors across Montana.
Related ATTRA Resource:
The Montana Harvest of the Month Program
New Guide Engages Farm to School Participants
Farm Aid has created Farm to School Rocks!, a guide designed to inspire everyone to get engaged in the farm to school movement. The 16-page PDF guide includes an infographic that shows benefits of farm to school programs; features farmer, food service, parent, and student "Rockstars" in farm to school programs; and offers tips on how farmers, food service workers, parents, and students, can become involved. A list of further resources is included. The publication is available for free download.
USDA Awards Value-Added Producer Grants
USDA has announced the award of more than $45 million through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Funding will go to 325 projects that will help farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs nationwide develop new product lines. A complete list of recipients is available online.
Study Documents Costs of Raising Pastured Poultry on Small-Scale Farms
A Kentucky State University study published in the Journal of Extension compiled data on the costs of raising broilers on pasture on small-scale farms in Kentucky. Four farmers raised four separate 50-bird batches of broilers and provided weekly production data and marketing information after selling the birds. The article presents data on feed consumption, growth, and survival rates.
Related ATTRA Publication: Growing Your Range Poultry Business: An Entrepreneur's Toolbox
Sales of Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Nearly Double
Sales of Whole-Farm Revenue Protection (WFRP) insurance have nearly doubled during the product's second year on the market, reports the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. WFRP coverage includes all types of farm revenue, such as local food and niche-market sales, sales of organic crops, and crops for which no other type of policy is currently available.
Related ATTRA Publication: Primer on Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Crop Insurance: Updates for 2016 (PDF download)
Conservation Reserve Program Helps Protect 24 Million Acres
USDA will issue nearly $1.7 billion in payments on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts to protect sensitive agricultural lands. More than 1.3 million acres were newly enrolled in CRP in fiscal year 2016 using the continuous enrollment authority. This was double the pace of enrollment in the previous year, and brings the total number of enrolled acres to nearly 24 million.
>>More Breaking News
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Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of $17.6 million for research and outreach activities to support the organic agriculture sector through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Eligible entities include Land-Grant and other research universities, Federal agencies, national laboratories, State agricultural experiment stations, research foundations, and other private researchers.
Applications are due by January 19, 2017.
REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant
This grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, to establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations. The maximum grant is $100,000.
Applications must be received by January 31, 2017.
New York Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program
New York has $2.5 million available through round two of the Climate Resilient Farming grant program to help farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for, and recover after, severe weather events. County Soil and Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers.
Proposals are due by December 12, 2016.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Growing for the Future
December 5-8, 2016
National Farmers Union presents this online virtual conference for beginning farmers and ranchers. It focuses on beginning farmer and rancher issues, including mentorship, business planning, USDA programs, women and veterans in farming, conservation, and much more.
Soil & Nutrition Conference
December 4-6, 2016
The Bionutient Food Association's 6th Annual Soil & Nutrition Conference explores how the intersection of farm and human ecosystems holds the key to environmental sustainability, quality food, and overall well-being.
Montana Organic Association Annual Conference
December 1-3, 2016
"The Heartbeat of Organics: Stimulating the Pulse of our Producers, Consumers, and Policymakers" features presentations from a variety of experts in organic agriculture, including farmers, researchers, policy analysts, and business specialists.
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ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
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