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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 6, 2013

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

  • USDA Introduces Grass-Fed Beef Market News Report
  • National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Invites Session Proposals
  • Shiitake Mushroom Project Teaches Farmers Cultivation and Marketing
  • The Organic Center Announces Science Advisory Board Members
  • FSIS Issues Guidelines for Humane Handling of Livestock at Slaughter Facilities
  • Whole-Farm Training Program for Ag Educators Announced

Funding Opportunities

  • Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
  • Missouri Value-Added Grant Program
  • Scholarships for Small-Scale Farmers to Attend the California Small Farm Conference

Coming Events

  • Acres U.S.A. Conference & Trade Show: Ecological Farming for the Real World
  • Montana Organic Association Annual Conference
  • Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa First Annual Conference

News & Resources

USDA Introduces Grass-Fed Beef Market News Report
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service has developed a new market news report covering grass-fed beef to assist members of the grass-fed industry in marketing their products. The new report includes market commentary, prices paid for live cattle, wholesale beef prices, and direct-market beef prices.

National Farm to Cafeteria Conference Invites Session Proposals
The 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up is set for April 15-18 in Austin, Texas. The goal of the conference is to facilitate networking, learning, and information sharing on topics related to local foods in the institutional setting. Conference organizers are inviting proposals for workshops, posters, and five-minute "lightning talks." Proposals are being accepted until November 8, 2013.

Shiitake Mushroom Project Teaches Farmers Cultivation and Marketing
The University of Vermont and Cornell University are finishing a three-year project designed to give Northeast farmers supplementary income by teaching them to produce a flavorful mushroom alternative that commands a premium price. One result of the project will be a comprehensive online guide to growing and marketing shiitake mushrooms. Research conducted with "farmer advisers" showed that a modest 500-log shiitake operation could add more than $11,000 to a farm's bottom line.
Related ATTRA Publication: Mushroom Cultivation and Marketing

The Organic Center Announces Science Advisory Board Members
The Organic Center has announced the 24 scientists serving on its newly formed science advisory board. The board will augment The Organic Center's internal scientific expertise and act as an outside evaluator voice on issues that arise in the organic field. The science advisory board members and their academic affiliations are listed online.

FSIS Issues Guidelines for Humane Handling of Livestock at Slaughter Facilities
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has announced the availability of a compliance guide to assist livestock slaughter establishments in complying with the regulatory requirements for humane handling and slaughter of livestock. The guidance states that under a systematic approach, establishments should assess the ability of their livestock handling and slaughter practices to minimize distress and injury to livestock and they should design, periodically evaluate, and modify facilities accordingly.

Whole-Farm Training Program for Ag Educators Announced
Holistic Management International has announced The Whole Farm Planning Training for Ag Educators, an intensive three-year training program. The program will provide ag professionals in the western United States with a simple and effective process to use in guiding the producers they serve to develop the farm or ranch of their dreams. Ag educators have until December 1, 2013, to apply to participate in the free distance-learning program.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
The North Central, Northeast, Western, and Southern regional Extension Risk Management Education Centers request proposals for the Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program. Applications for up to $50,000 will be accepted from eligible organizations with a demonstrated capacity to develop and deliver results/outcome-based risk management education and training programs to agricultural producers and their families. Each region has established funding priorities.
Pre-proposals for all regions are due by December 12, 2013.

Missouri Value-Added Grant Program
This program provides grants for creation, development, and operation of projects that add value to Missouri agricultural products and aid the economy of a rural community. Groups of individuals, businesses, and organizations related to agriculture with a proposed value-added agricultural, Missouri-based business concept may apply for grants of up to $200,000.
Applications must be received by December 20, 2013.

Scholarships for Small-Scale Farmers to Attend the California Small Farm Conference
The California Small Farm Conference awards scholarships to small-scale farmers and ranchers, student farmer/ranchers, farmer/rancher employees, and farmers market managers. The conference will be held in Rohnert Park, California, March 911, 2014. Scholarships are awarded based on criteria including farm and household income.
Applications must be received by December 6, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Acres U.S.A. Conference & Trade Show: Ecological Farming for the Real World
December 10-14, 2013
Springfield, Illinois

This event begins December 10 with an Eco-Ag University offering intensive workshops on topics including restoration agriculture, crop nutrition, mob grazing, and biological farming. The main conference, December 12-14, features presentations by some of the world's leading authorities and practitioners of ecological agriculture, an eco-consultants' hall, and a trade show.

Montana Organic Association Annual Conference
December 12-14, 2013
Kalispell, Montana

Topics that will be covered include the facts and fiction of GMOs, breeding and saving seeds for organic systems, cover cropping for weed and pest control, improving the health of the soil, and other events and entertainment.

Farmer Veteran Coalition of Iowa First Annual Conference
December 14, 2013
Des Moines, Iowa

This event will offer farm business and ag career development for military veterans and service members. Presentations and workshops are scheduled on business development, talking with lenders and landowners, tax issues, utilizing assistance programs, and more. The conference is free and open to the public.

>> More Events

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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.

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