Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - November 3, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* California's GE Crop Bans: One Passes, Three Fail
* Premiere Set for Video of Minnesota Farm Women
* Patrick Madden Awards for Sustainable Agriculture Presented
* Canola Oil Could Aid in Grasshopper Control
* Report Looks at Genetically Engineered Crops and Pesticide Use
* Agritourism and Aquaculture Responsible for Ranch Turnaround
* USDA Rural Community Development Initiative
* EPA Region 8 Consolidated Funding Process RFP
* Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants
* National Farm-City Week
* Restoring Our Seed Conference
* Shiitake Mushroom and Truffle Production and Marketing Workshop
News & Resources
California's GE Crop Bans: One Passes, Three Fail
Residents in four California Counties - Butte, San Luis Obispo, Marin and Humboldt - went to the polls yesterday to vote on initiatives that ban the countywide planting of genetically engineered (GE) crops and other organisms. Marin County successfully passed an initiative with 62 percent support. In Humboldt, 35 percent of voters supported the ban despite the fact that advocates of the measure withdrew their own support of the initiative several weeks ago after discovering legal problems with the language, indicating the likelihood that legislation will pass there in the future. In both San Luis Obispo and Butte, the measures failed to garner majority support, but gathered 41 percent and 40 percent of the vote despite being significantly outspent by agribusiness opponents.
Premiere Set for Video of Minnesota Farm Women
The Land Stewardship Project announces the premiere of "Voices of Minnesota Farm Women" at the University of Minnesota-Morris on November 4. The 26-minute video tells the story of Minnesota's heritage and legacy through oral history interviews of ten contemporary women who are involved in biodiverse farming and local sustainable food systems.
Patrick Madden Awards for Sustainable Agriculture Presented
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) presented the 2004 Patrick Madden Awards for Sustainable Agriculture on October 20, during SARE's biannual sustainable agriculture conference held in Burlington, Vermont. The awards included a $1,000 cash prize and an expenses-paid trip to the conference. Winners Jean-Paul Courtens, Peter Kenagy and Ron Macher's agricultural endeavors are described at the SARE Web site. The winners and entrants who received honorable mention have also been the subject of media coverage in their home regions. Articles appeared in the Albany Democrat-Herald and in Bend.com, among others.
Canola Oil Could Aid in Grasshopper Control
According to researcher Stefan Jaronski, of the Agricultural Research Service in Sidney, Montana, raw canola oil can be used to attract grasshoppers to fungi deadly to the insects. North Dakota Ag Connection reports that the grasshopper control method costs less than using processed canola oil, and could provide a new market for canola as well as offering a means of controlling grasshopper infestations. Jaronski predicts that biological controls using Metarhizium fungus should be available to the public within ten years.
Report Looks at Genetically Engineered Crops and Pesticide Use
Ag BioTech InfoNet is making available online the seventh in a series of technical papers by Benbrook Consulting Services on the development, costs and benefits, and environmental impacts of genetically engineered (GE) crops in the United States. According to the report, "Genetically Engineered Crops and Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Nine Years," pesticide use levels have increased since the introduction of genetically engineered corn, soybeans, and cotton.
Agritourism and Aquaculture Responsible for Ranch Turnaround
An article in the Visalia Times-Delta tells the story of how one family altered the fortunes of their California ranch by introducing agritourism and aquaculture. Live fish from the ranch ponds are sold in Asian markets, and the ranch offers a range of hunting opportunities, with meals and accommodations. Visitors to the ranch are encouraged to help in efforts to reseed grasses that compete with invasive weeds, improving range for grass-fed cattle.
more news and resources, visit the National Sustainable Agriculture
Information Service Web site: Breaking News section: http://attra.ncat.org/management/geninfo.html.
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USDA Rural Community Development Initiative
The USDA announces the availability of $6 million of grant funds for the RCDI program through the Rural Housing Service (RHS). Applicants must provide matching funds in an amount at least equal to the Federal grant. These grants will be made to qualified intermediary organizations that will provide financial and technical assistance to recipients to develop their capacity and ability to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, or community and economic development. Proposals are due Jan. 25, 2005.
EPA Region 8 Consolidated Funding Process RFP
EPA Region 8 has issued a Request for Proposals under its Consolidated Funding Process. In order to more closely align EPA Region 8's environmental accomplishments with the regional priorities, emphasis is being placed on soliciting proposals that support Regional priorities. All CFP funding areas will include ranking criteria that evaluate proposals for both program specific components as well as alignment with regional priorities. Region 8’s priorities are: 1)Agriculture; 2)Energy; 3)Homeland Security; and, 4)Revitalization. Funding range is $10,000-$200,000. Proposals must be postmarked by December 15, 2004.
Southern Region Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants
The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) requests applications for the Regional Integrated Pest Management Competitive Grants Program - Southern Region, for fiscal year 2005 to support the continuum of research and Extension efforts needed to increase the implementation of integrated pest management (IPM) methods. The Regional IPM Competitive Grants Program supports projects that develop individual pest control tactics, integrate individual tactics into an IPM system, and develop and implement Extension education programs. Many colleges and universities are eligible to apply for approximately $1,030,000. Of this amount, $760,000 is expected to be available for research projects, $70,000 for Extension projects, and approximately $200,000 to support one large-scale joint research-Extension project. Applications are due by December 15, 2004.
For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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National Farm-City Week
November 19--25, 2004
This annual event highlights the link between farm families and urban residents with celebrations focusing on food provided by farms. State organizations have scheduled a range of activities across the country during Farm-City Week.
Restoring Our Seed Conference
December 4-5, 2004
Join us to learn to: grow, select and breed organic seed for sustainable farming in New England, integrate seed crops and wild habitats for enhanced biodiversity, develop local markets for 'vintage vegetables' with communities, schools and chefs, and grow a bioregional food and seed system. Workshops with New England's master seed growers, Dr. Raoul Robinson, the Public Seed Initiative, Dominique Guilette of kokopelli-seed-foundation.com, Bret Grohsgal and more.
Shiitake Mushroom and Truffle Production and Marketing Workshop
December 4, 2004
Learn the basics of production and/or marketing techniques for specialty gourmet mushrooms including shiitake, oyster, Stropharia and truffles from UMCA research faculty members, professional mushroom growers and marketers. Workshop topics include outdoor log cultivation of shiitake mushrooms; indoor cultivation for winter production of shiitake; and UMCA progress toward truffle cultivation. Exhibitors from the industry will provide information about mushroom production supplies.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
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