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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 13, 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

  • Toolkit for Farmland Owners Transitioning to the Next Generation Now Available
  • Cornell Identifies Management Practices to Reduce Produce Contamination
  • Carbon Offset Methodology Rewards Producers for Grassland Preservation
  • California Hospitals Committing to Sustainable Food, Says Report
  • USDA Accepting Comments on Strengthening Agricultural Coexistence
  • Online Bee Guide Helps Identify Wild Pollinators

Funding Opportunities

  • California Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
  • Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative
  • Minnesota Ag Literacy Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference
  • Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference
  • Cascadia Grains Conference

News & Resources

Toolkit for Farmland Owners Transitioning to the Next Generation Now Available
The Farm Transitions Toolkit, a comprehensive resource released by the Land Stewardship Project and the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture with input from the National Center for Appropriate Technology, contains resources, links to services, and practical calculation tables to help landowners establish a commonsense transfer plan. It also features user-friendly resources on the economic, legal, governmental, agronomic, ecological, and social issues that must be considered in order to ensure a successful farm transition.
Related ATTRA Publication: Conservation Financing for Farm Transfer

Cornell Identifies Management Practices to Reduce Produce Contamination
Cornell University researchers have identified agricultural management practices that can boost or reduce the risk of contamination in produce from two major foodborne pathogens. The researchers found that applying manure within a year of harvesting produce boosts the odds of contaminating a field with salmonella. Irrigating fields within three days and cultivating fields within a week of harvest significantly raised the risk of listeria monocytogenes contamination. However, researchers found that establishing a buffer zone between fields and potential pathogen reservoirs provided protection against salmonella contamination.

Carbon Offset Methodology Rewards Producers for Grassland Preservation
The Avoided Conversion of Grasslands and Shrublands (ACoGS) carbon offset methodology is newly approved by the American Carbon Registry. Developed by Ducks Unlimited and project partners, the ACoGS protocol will enable grassland-based agricultural producers to earn income from the sale of carbon credits generated through the preservation of their grasslands.

California Hospitals Committing to Sustainable Food, Says Report
The 2013 California Healthy Food in Health Care report released by Health Care Without Harm and the San Francisco Bay Area Physicians for Social Responsibility shows that 25% of hospitals in California are now committed to putting sustainable food at the center of their healing mission. The report highlights ways that 127 facilities are revolutionizing food service by committing to pesticide-free produce; antibiotic-free meats; and local, seasonal meals.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Institutional Markets

USDA Accepting Comments on Strengthening Agricultural Coexistence
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has published a notice in the Federal Register asking the public to comment on how agricultural coexistence in the United States can be strengthened. Comments are due by January 3, 2014.

Online Bee Guide Helps Identify Wild Pollinators
A University of Wisconsin-Madison entomology graduate student has developed an online bee identification guide titled Spring Bees of Wisconsin. The resource will help users distinguish among different types of bees and learn about the important roles they play in nature and agriculture.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

California Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The California Department of Food and Agriculture has announced a competitive solicitation process to award 2014 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds for proposals that enhance the competitiveness of California specialty crops. Grant awards will range from $50,000 to $400,000 per project.
Concept proposals must be submitted by December 6, 2013.

Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative
First Nations Development Institute is now accepting proposals for its Native Agriculture & Food Systems Initiative (NAFSI). First Nations plans to distribute up to 10 grant awards averaging $37,500 to support projects that address food system control, food insecurity, and increasing access to fresh and healthy foods in Native communities.
The deadline for applications is December 6, 2013.

Minnesota Ag Literacy Grant Program
This program provides cash awards to K-12 practicing educators to encourage them to integrate agriculture and food-systems-related content into their classroom or school.
Grant application deadline is January 15, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference
January 8-12, 2014
Springfield, Illinois

This event will host four concurrent preconference workshops, general sessions, and breakout sessions aimed at helping Illinois specialty growers cultivate their operations. Eliot Coleman is the event's keynote speaker.

Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference
January 9-12, 2014
Savannah, Georgia

Anyone with an interest in specialty crop agriculture is invited to this event addressing food safety, production practices, marketing strategies, and interaction with key suppliers and growers. The schedule includes a track of educational sessions focused on organic production.

Cascadia Grains Conference
January 11, 2014
Tacoma, Washington

This conference brings together farmers, processors, end-users, investors, brokers, and local government officials to support rebuilding a grain economy west of the Cascade Mountains. Three value-added avenues are addressed: brewing and distilling, animal feed, and baking/food uses.

>> 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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© 2013 NCAT

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