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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 7, 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

  • Farmers and Ranchers Urged to Record, Report Losses from Hurricane Sandy
  • Guide Helps New Farmers Succeed at Farmers Markets
  • Report Examines Barriers to Scaling Up Local Produce Sales
  • Organic Pasture Requirement Variance Expanded
  • Model CSA Contracts Offered Online
  • Biomass Feedstock Profitability Calculator Online

Funding Opportunities

  • Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
  • Food Animal Concerns Trust Fund-a-Farmer Project
  • Iowa Local Food and Farm Program

Coming Events

  • Young Farmers Conference: Reviving the Culture of Agriculture
  • Midwest Value Added Ag Conference
  • International American Ginseng Expo

News & Resources

Farmers and Ranchers Urged to Record, Report Losses from Hurricane Sandy
USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) is urging farmers and ranchers affected by Hurricane Sandy to keep thorough records of all losses, including livestock death losses, as well as expenses for such things as feed purchases and extraordinary costs because of lost supplies and/or increased transportation costs. USDA encourages farmers and ranchers to contact their crop insurance companies and local USDA Farm Service Agency Service Centers to report damages to crops or livestock loss.

Guide Helps New Farmers Succeed at Farmers Markets
The new PDF publication New Farmer's Guide: Cultivating Success at Farmers Markets reveals the information, experience, and knowledge Davis Farmers Market staff gained while opening and managing the Sutter Davis Hospital market. They found that cultivating new farmers in small or emerging farmers markets can help those farmers advance to larger, more successful markets. This 34-page guide addresses how to examine readiness to sell at farmers markets and how to plan, including researching markets, estimating costs, creating a farmers market stand that works, delivering good customer service, expanding your market, and tracking and evaluating results.
Related ATTRA Publication: Farmers' Markets: Marketing and Business Guide

Report Examines Barriers to Scaling Up Local Produce Sales
Practical Farmers of Iowa has released Scaling-Up: Perspectives from Growers and Buyers on Barriers and Benefits to Wholesale Marketing of Local Fruits and Vegetables. This report explores the challenges and opportunities in increasing wholesale fruit and vegetable sales in Iowa and outlines strategies for the statewide Local Food and Farm Initiative.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Produce Distributors

Organic Pasture Requirement Variance Expanded
On August 9, USDA granted a temporary variance on organic pasture requirements to livestock producers in counties designated as primary natural disaster areas. On November 2, USDA granted a second variance for counties designated as contiguous disaster areas. The variance allows that for the 2012 grazing season only, organic ruminant producers grazing non-irrigated pasture must supply at least 15 percent of their dry matter intake from certified organic pasture. In addition, organic ruminant producers in the State of New Mexico must graze ruminants on organic pasture at least 80 days during the grazing season (rather than 120 days).

Model Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Contracts Offered Online
University of Illinois professor of agricultural law A. Bryan Endres and post-doctorate legal researcher Rachel Armstrong have developed easy-to-understand model contracts for CSA owners to use. The downloadable contracts are available online. Endres and Armstrong are also offering a free webinar on the potential legal risks of running a CSA and strategies for crafting CSA member and worker agreements. The webinar will be held on December 10. Instructions on how to attend/register for the webinar are available at www.farmcommons.org.

Biomass Feedstock Profitability Calculator Online
An online calculator developed by University of Illinois agricultural economist Madhu Khanna can help corn and soybean farmers decide whether switching to biomass feedstock crops would be profitable. The feedstock cost and profitability calculator can be found at http://miscanthus.ebi.berkeley.edu/Biofuel/ .
Related ATTRA Publication: Switchgrass as a Bioenergy Crop

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
Regional Risk Management Education Centers are seeking proposals for educational projects designed to help agricultural producers succeed through targeted risk- management strategies. Projects must be producer-focused and address at least one of the five areas of risk management: production, marketing, financial, legal, and human resources. Regions participating in this Request for Applications are the North Central, Southern, Western, and Northeast.
Pre-proposals are due by December 12, 2012.

Food Animal Concerns Trust Fund-a-Farmer Project
The Fund-a-Farmer Project of Food Animal Concerns Trust awards grants of up to $1,500 for projects that help family farmers transition to pasture-based systems, improve the marketing of their humane products, or more generally enrich the conditions in which the farm animals are raised.
Applications must be submitted by May 1, 2013.

Iowa Local Food and Farm Program
The Local Food and Farm Program has issued a Request for Proposals for projects that will help the program meet its goals and lead to focus-area outcomes. Any Iowa nonprofit organization, agency and/or educational institution is invited to submit a two- to three-page concept paper with a maximum request of $10,000.
Submission deadline is November 29, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Young Farmers Conference: Reviving the Culture of Agriculture
December 12-14, 2012
Pocantico Hills, New York

Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture hosts the National Young Farmers Conference: Reviving the Culture of Agriculture. The conference will provide participants with access to inspiring keynotes and more than 50 unique workshops that address soil science, technical skills, agricultural policy, farm business management, marketing, and more.

Midwest Value Added Ag Conference
December 12-13, 2012
LaCrosse, Wisconsin

This 14th annual conference features speakers John Ikerd, Laura Jackson, and Francis Thicke, as well as a farmer forum with SARE grant recipients and workshop tracks for Marketing, Business Management, Accessing Local Food Systems, Bio-Energy, and Farm Success.

International American Ginseng Expo
December 7-8, 2012
Mills River, North Carolina

This first International American Ginseng Expo will bring together federal, state, and regional experts to discuss ginseng's expanding botanical, medicinal, and economic future. Presentations by Southern Appalachian ginseng officials, leaders, and growers will explore prospects for agricultural wealth and how to promote the abundance of
American ginseng in Western North Carolina.

>> More Events

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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.

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© 2012 NCAT

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In the second in a series of four webinars from NCAT and partners, TSP Katy Green will share her efforts at developing conservation activity plans in compliance with NRCS standards.

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