Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 7, 2018
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 Harvest of the Month Best Practices Guide Available
- Manure Fertilizer Improves Soil Quality More than Inorganic Fertilizer
- Farmers.gov Introduces Five Social Media Platforms
- Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool Helps Producers with Conservation Planning
- Farmers Market Vendors Need Food-Safety Training, Penn State Study Shows
- Forum on Future of Farming Invites Applications to Participate
- North Central Region SARE Farmer Rancher Grants
- FoodShot Global Challenge
- Western IPM Center Grants
- Soil Revolution Conference
- Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show
- ASAN Food & Farm Forum
News & Resources
Montana Harvest of the Month Best Practices Guide Available
The Montana Harvest of the Month program is working to increase the sale of specialty crops to Montana institutions. The Montana Harvest of the Month Best Practices Guide shares project results from schools and lessons learned from pilots in healthcare and Early Childhood Education settings. It also describes Growing for Success Part 2, which will extend the Harvest of the Month into grocery stores and community business sites. The 16-page publication is available online in PDF.
Manure Fertilizer Improves Soil Quality More than Inorganic Fertilizer
Long-term annual application of manure improved most soil-quality properties more than application of inorganic fertilizer, reports the American Society of Agronomy. A research team applied low, medium, or high levels of either manure or inorganic fertilizer to corn and soybean fields. Soil samples after 12 years showed that manure helped keep soil pH in a healthy range for crops, increased soil carbon, and increased total nitrogen and water-stable aggregates.
Related ATTRA Publication: Manures for Organic Crop Production
Farmers.gov Introduces Five Social Media Platforms
Farmers.gov announced in a blog post that it has introduced five new ways to access farmers' stories. The @FarmersGov Twitter offers daily news, while FarmersGov YouTube offers videos on producers and their experiences. Meanwhile, @FarmersGov Instagram offers photos, videos, and live stories on American agriculture. FarmersGov Facebook shares science and technology, while FarmersGov Flickr shares American agriculture's faces and places.
Related ATTRA Publication: Using Social Media to Grow Your Farm Business
Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool Helps Producers with Conservation Planning
The Resource Stewardship Evaluation Tool (RSET) developed by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service compares an individual operation's attributes and activities to NRCS' stewardship thresholds for soil management, water quality, water quantity, air quality, and wildlife habitat. Then, RSET provides the results of the evaluation in a bar graph that shows how management decisions affect natural resources. RSET is a free service offered to producers on crop and grazing land across the country.
Farmers Market Vendors Need Food-Safety Training, Penn State Study Shows
Penn State researchers who have completed a five-year study on food safety at farmers markets say that many vendors take inadequate precautions to reduce food-safety risks and should receive training in food safety. Researchers found a vast difference between what vendors reported they were doing and what observers saw them doing. Hand washing, personal hygiene, and cross-contamination were specific problem areas.
Related ATTRA Videos: Food Safety
Forum on Future of Farming Invites Applications to Participate
Organic 2051, a forum on the future of farming that is being held on February 21, 2019, in conjunction with the MOSES Organic Farming Conference, is inviting applications to participate. Apply to be one of the 100 change-makers drafting the blueprint for a future shaped by regenerative organic practices and infrastructure that sustains the world's population. Applications will be accepted through November 30, 2018.
>>More Breaking News
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North Central Region SARE Farmer Rancher Grants
Farmers and ranchers in the 12-state North Central SARE region are invited to submit grant proposals for Farmer Rancher Grants to explore sustainable agriculture solutions to problems on the farm or ranch. There are three types of competitive grants: individual ($9,000 maximum); team of two, for two farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($18,000 maximum); and group, for three or more farmers/ranchers from separate operations who are working together ($27,000 maximum). A total of approximately $600,000 is available for this program.
Proposals are due on December 6, 2018.
FoodShot Global Challenge
The inaugural FoodShot Challenge aims to identify groundbreaking solutions that will collectively create a new soil operating system—Soil 3.0—to increase soil organic matter, grow more nutrient-dense food, improve water quality, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and serve as a foundation for a food system capable of sustaining 10 billion people and our planet. Entrepreneurs, researchers, and advocates can submit their business, research, or policy proposals for funding consideration. Best-in-class candidates will be selected to receive equity and debt financing for their businesses. A cash prize will be awarded to Soil GroundBreakers—rising stars working in research, social enterprise, or advocacy.
The deadline to apply is December 1, 2018.
Western IPM Center Grants
The Western Integrated Pest Management Center's annual grant program offers grants in the areas of Project Initiation, Work Groups, Outreach and Implementation, and Planning Documents. Approximately $250,000 is available for this program in 2019. Eligible applicants include private individuals and institutions, faculty and qualified staff of universities, businesses, commodity organizations, and governmental and non-governmental organizations. The primary project director must be in the Western Region.
Proposal submission must be completed by December 7, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Soil Revolution Conference
December 12, 2018
The third annual Soil Revolution Conference will shed light on issues surrounding soil health, including the history of global agricultural production, agronomic and financial benefits for today's producers, and the importance of creating resilient landscapes.
Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference & Trade Show
December 4-7, 2018
At Acres U.S.A. Eco-Ag Conference, farmers and consultants come together to share their experience and expertise. The agenda features Eco-Ag U Advanced Learning Workshops, seminars, consultants, a trade show, roundtable discussions, film screenings, and more.
ASAN Food & Farm Forum
December 7-8, 2018
Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network presents an opportunity to join other farmers, gardeners, and food lovers for two days of learning, eating, making, and community building. Pre-forum intensives are offered December 6, 2018.
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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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