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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 14, 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

  • Applications Sought for Two USDA Advisory Committees
  • Conference Helps Latino Agricultural Communities Connect with Resources
  • Planting Marginal Farmland to Bioenergy Crops Offers Multiple Benefits
  • New Program to Help New York Farmers Find Farmland
  • Illinois Reminds Veterans of 'Homegrown by Heroes' Label
  • North Carolina Extension Offering Industrial Hemp Information

Funding Opportunities

  • Specialty Crop Research Initiative
  • Minnesota AGRI Livestock Investment Grant
  • Northeastern Heritage Livestock Micro Grant Program

Coming Events

  • Organic Grower Summit
  • Virginia Farm to Table Conference
  • Agritourism Destination Safety & Health Best Practices Workshop

News & Resources

Applications Sought for Two USDA Advisory Committees
USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement has published a Federal Register notice to solicit applications for the Advisory Committee on Minority Farmers. This committee works to ensure socially disadvantaged farmers have equal access to USDA programs and advises the Secretary of Agriculture. USDA is also inviting applications for the Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, which also advises the Secretary. Applications for both committees are due November 15, 2018.

Conference Helps Latino Agricultural Communities Connect with Resources
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service hosted their fourth annual Latino Farmer Conference on November 8, 2018, in Santa Maria, California. The event, conducted in Spanish, helps make members of the agricultural community aware of opportunities and resources available to them. Coverage of the event on AgNet West and in the Lompoc Record noted the conference's producer and buyer panels and production-oriented breakout sessions.
Related ATTRA Resources: Publicaciones en Espaņol

Planting Marginal Farmland to Bioenergy Crops Offers Multiple Benefits
Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory report that planting perennial bioenergy crops such as shrub willow and switchgrass could make marginal farmland useful and potentially profitable. Research focused initially on how the bioenergy crops could prevent erosion and protect water quality. However, researchers found that the plantings also had other benefits: they can provide biomass for biofuel, offer a resource for pollinators and wildlife, and provide ecosystem services.

Related ATTRA Publication: Switchgrass as a Bioenergy Crop

New Program to Help New York Farmers Find Farmland
American Farmland Trust, the State of New York, agricultural organizations, land trusts, and others have launched Farmland for a New Generation New York. The program will help new and existing farmers and younger generations of farm families access farmland while supporting retiring farmers. It offers a resource center with expert advisors, as well as a website featuring training materials and listings of land wanted or available.
Related ATTRA Publication: Finding Land to Farm: Six Ways to Secure Farmland

Illinois Reminds Veterans of 'Homegrown by Heroes' Label
Illinois Department of Agriculture invites veterans and current active-duty service members to take part in the Homegrown By Heroes program. This program allows Illinois farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and producers who have served or are still serving in any branch of the U.S. military to use a special logo on the agricultural products they sell to the public. Homegrown by Heroes is a free program, with annual renewal.
Related ATTRA Publication: Veteran Resources

North Carolina Extension Offering Industrial Hemp Information
North Carolina Extension educators are supporting producers of industrial hemp by sharing information from a pilot research program. Extension specialists are conducting experiments at agricultural experiment stations, and participants in the state's pilot program must conduct research on their crops and report the results. NC State Extension provides an online industrial hemp portal with news, events, and more about growing hemp.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Specialty Crop Research Initiative
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture requests pre-applications for the Specialty Crop Research Initiative to solve critical specialty crop issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research and extension activities that use systems-based, trans-disciplinary approaches. Approximately $80 million is available through this program in FY 2019. Pre-applications may be submitted by Federal agencies, national laboratories, colleges and universities, research institutions and organizations, private organizations or corporations, State Agricultural Experiment Stations, Cooperative Extension Services, individuals, or groups consisting of two or more of these entities.
Applications must be received by December 10, 2018.

Minnesota AGRI Livestock Investment Grant
The AGRI Livestock Investment Grant encourages long-term industry development for Minnesota livestock farmers and ranchers by helping them improve, update, and modernize their livestock-operation infrastructure and equipment. Minnesota livestock farmers may apply for matching grants to help pay for the purchase, construction, or improvement of buildings or facilities for the production of livestock. Grants can cover 10% of the first $250,000 of an eligible investment.
Applications are due by December 15, 2018.

Northeastern Heritage Livestock Micro Grant Program
The Livestock Conservancy is offering competitive small grants to heritage breed enterprises in the Northeast. Funds may be used for improvements for farm animals and infrastructure, promotion and marketing, improved production efficiency, or farmer education. Applicants must be actively working with heritage breeds on The Livestock Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List. The grants are $500 to $2,000.
Applications must be received by November 15, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Organic Grower Summit
December 12-13, 2018
Monterey, California

The Organic Grower Summit will bring organic growers, producers, and processors together for two days of education, information, and networking opportunities.

Virginia Farm to Table Conference
December 5-6, 2018
Weyers Cave, Virginia

This conference focuses on local and regional agriculture, dealing with farming stressors in healthy ways, cover cropping, value-added products, farm profitability, high tunnels, agroforestry, silvopasture, and other food and agricultural-system topics.

Agritourism Destination Safety & Health Best Practices Workshop
December 14, 2018
Iowa City, Iowa

Join the Visit Iowa Farms Program and Iowa State University experts for a free one-day workshop to learn safety and health best practices for agritourism destinations.

>>More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2018 NCAT

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New ATTRA Podcast
Veteran Helps Veterans Learn to Farm

Question of the Week
How do I choose the right potting mix for organic production?

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Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Scaling Up Your Farm for Intermediated Markets
December 4, 2018
Keene, New Hampshire

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