Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Agriculture News Briefs - November 10, 2004
sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the
Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable
Agriculture Information Service Web site.
* Michigan School Food Service Survey Finds Interest in Local Ag
* Small Organic Farms Thriving in St. Louis Area
* 93-Year-Old Farmer Honored for Farmland Protection Work
* Community Farm Chapbook Celebrates Local Food
* Growing Trend in Number of Female Farmers Noted
* Submissions Sought for Organic World Congress
* Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
* Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2005
* CSREES Higher Education Challenge Grants Program
* Slow Food and Local Agriculture Workshop
* Improving your Organic Production Utilizing Risk Management Strategies
* Developing Local Food Networks Workshop
News & Resources
Michigan School Food Service Survey Finds Interest in Local Ag
The Michigan Land Use Institute features an article looking at the growing interest in local food for school cafeterias. The article cites a new survey from the Michigan Department of Education and the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University that shows 73 percent of food service managers were interested in buying local and that 10 percent were already doing so. “There was fantastic enthusiasm for purchasing locally,” said Michael Hamm, chair of MSU’s C.S. Mott Group. “I think what the report says is that if everything can be worked out with respect to cost and the supply chain, there is a marvelous opportunity for Michigan agriculture to participate in school lunches in a broad way, and to have an impact on nutrition for kids and economics for farms.”
Small Organic Farms Thriving in St. Louis Area
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported recently on increasing demand for organic produce and meat from the area's family farms, and growth in the number of farms becoming organically certified and marketing their products locally. The article offers examples of several area farmers who have chosen to have their operations certified organic, and others who use organic farming practices, though they have not become certified. These farmers are finding a ready market at premium prices for products such as goat cheese and vegetables.
93-Year-Old Farmer Honored for Farmland Protection Work
Capping a remarkable 75-year career in farmland conservation in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Amos Funk recently received the American Land Conservation Award and its accompanying $50,000 grant. The ninth annual award is the largest prize given to honor individual volunteer accomplishments in land conservation. The award is presented by the Catto Charitable Foundation and administered by The Conservation Fund. At 93 years of age, Funk is widely hailed as the father of preservation in Lancaster County, a bucolic area known for its fertile farmlands, rolling countryside, and historic character. Funk’s concern for soil and water conservation began in the 1930s, when he first began developing and implementing conservation measures on his family’s farm. Over the following decades, Funk founded the County Agricultural Preserve Board and was a co-founder of the Lancaster Farmland Trust—two organizations that have now preserved more than 55,000 acres of the nation’s most productive farmlands.
Community Farm Chapbook Celebrates Local Food
Missoula, Montana's Rattlesnake Community Farm has just published a chapbook of reflections on food and farming, reports the Missoulian. The book, titled "Staying Home: Reflections on Food, Farming and Place," combines the contributions of famed writers like William Kittredge, Gretel Ehrlich, Barbara Kingsolver and Wendell Berry with the work of local poets and writers in a celebration of local food production. Proceeds from the book will help to fund Garden City Harvest, the nonprofit organization that grows crops at the farm for the local food bank, offers university students sustainable agriculture education, provides therapy for at-risk youth, and operates a CSA. The Missoulian also published some excerpts from the book.
Growing Trend in Number of Female Farmers Noted
National Public Radio's All Things Considered carried a story recently about the growing number of female farmers in America. Even as the total number of farms has been dropping, the number of farms managed by women has increased. According to the story, women now run one in every ten American farms. The story includes profiles of a few female farmers, including Lyn Garling, who runs an organic farm specializing in chickens, turkeys, eggs, beef and pork in Pennsylvania.
Submissions Sought for Organic World Congress
The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements has issued a call for submissions for its 15th IFOAM Organic World Congress, to be held September 19-23, 2005 in Adelaide, Australia. Contributions are invited from all sectors: researchers, farmers, processors, traders, certifiers, policy makers, advisers and consumers. Submissions are sought for oral presentations (15 minutes); interactive workshops (5 minutes) and poster presentations. IFOAM represents organic agriculture worldwide and holds an international organic congress every three years. The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2004.
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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Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program
The Northeast Center for Risk Management Education (Northeast Center) announces the
availability of grant funds and requests the submission of applications for the 2005
Extension Risk Management Education Competitive Grants Program. The mission of the Northeast Center is to improve the risk management decision-making processes of agricultural producers in the northeast region through a comprehensive educational program. The Center provides funding for projects that improve the ability of agricultural producers to effectively manage the risks associated with their farming businesses. It has been determined by the Advisory Council of the Northeast Center that the full range of risk management areas, including production, marketing, financial, environmental/legal, and labor management education may be addressed by applicants seeking 2005 risk management education funds. Preproposals are due December 17, 2004.
Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program for Fiscal Year 2005
"Water 2025: Preventing Crisis and Conflict in the West" is intended to focus attention on the reality that in some areas of the West, existing water supplies are, or will be, inadequate to meet the water demands of people, cities, farms, and the environment even under normal water supply conditions. "Water 2025" recognizes that state and local governments should have a leading role in meeting these challenges, and that the Department of the Interior should focus its attention and existing resources on areas where scarce federal dollars can provide the greatest benefits to the West and the rest of the nation. The objective of this request for proposals is to invite irrigation and water districts, and other entities with water delivery authority, to leverage their money and resources, in partnership with the Bureau of Reclamation. Emphasis for the program will be directed toward proposals that make more efficient use of existing water supplies through water conservation, efficiency, and water marketing, and that can be completed within 24 months. Estimated program funding is $8 million. Proposals are due January 21, 2005.
CSREES Higher Education Challenge Grants Program
The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service requests applications for the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program for fiscal year 2005 to stimulate and enable colleges and universities to provide the quality of education necessary to produce baccalaureate or higher degree level graduates capable of strengthening the Nation’s food and agricultural scientific and professional workforce. The purpose of the Higher Education Challenge Grants Program is to strengthen institutional capacities to improve teaching programs in the food and agricultural sciences or in rural economic, community and business development, including curriculum, faculty, scientific instrumentation, instructional delivery systems, and student recruitment and retention, to respond to identified State, regional, national or international educational needs.
For additional funding opportunities, visit http://attra.ncat.org/management/financl.html.
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Slow Food and Local Agriculture Workshop
November 30, 2004
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Part of Chatham County Cooperative Extension's Enhancing Sustainability workshop series, this evening event introduces the concept of Slow Food and what it means to consumers and farmers.
Improving your Organic Production Utilizing Risk Management Strategies
December 8, 2004
Concord, New Hampshire
This daylong meeting is offered to help organic producers and food handlers develop a risk management plan. Participants will learn to identify, analyze and develop strategies to deal with five interrelated kinds of risk: production, marketing, financial, legal and human resource risks. Presented by: The NH Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, in cooperation with: The UNH Cooperative Extension, The USDA Risk Management Agency, The USDA Farm Service Agency, and The Northeast Organic Farming Association of NH.
Developing Local Food Networks Workshop
December 11, 2004
Broad Visions: Developing Local Food Networks focuses on added value, and will demonstrate successes in developing new businesses or expansion of existing businesses. After the workshop, there will be an opportunity for 10-15 individuals to take the next step by developing a business plan. The planning committee will work with these individuals during the next year to make sure they the necessary training, assistance, and encouragement to develop a business.
More events at http://attra.ncat.org/cgi-bin/event/calendar.cgi.
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site of the ATTRA project created and managed by the National
Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT), and funded under a grant
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Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT
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