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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 15, 2017

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

  • USDA Delays Effective Date of Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule
  • Pocket Guide Helps Farmers with Soil Health, Water, and Climate Change
  • 'Growing Organic' Video Series Highlights NRCS Role
  • Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook Launched by FAO
  • Urban Edge Sustainable Farmers Accepting Applications
  • NRCS Introduces Superhero of the Soil

Funding Opportunities

  • Veteran Scholarships for Southern SAWG Conference
  • Southern Maryland Agricultural Mini-Grant Program
  • Michigan Rural Development Fund Grants

Coming Events

  • Cultivate the Chesapeake Foodshed Conference
  • Horticulture Industries Show
  • Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference and Trade Show

News & Resources

USDA Delays Effective Date of Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices Final Rule
USDA Agricultural Marketing Service has announced that it is delaying the effective date of the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices final rule published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2017. The notice says that "USDA is delaying the rule so that important questions, such as the likely costs and benefits, can be more fully assessed through the notice and comment process prior to making a final decision on the direction of the rule."

Pocket Guide Helps Farmers with Soil Health, Water, and Climate Change
The Land Stewardship Project's new publication, Soil Health, Water & Climate Change: A Pocket Guide to What You Need to Know, provides an introduction to the latest innovations in science and farming related to building soil health. The pocket guide includes mini-profiles of farmers in the Upper Midwest who are utilizing cover cropping, managed rotational grazing of livestock, no-till, and other methods. Free print copies are available, and the publication can also be downloaded as a PDF or mobile app.
Related ATTRA Resource: Soil Health Tutorial

'Growing Organic' Video Series Highlights NRCS Role
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service's new Growing Organic videos highlight NRCS assistance for organic farmers. The series of three-minute videos focuses on different aspects of agricultural production, including irrigation, habitat, weed management, and soil health. The videos describe requirements of organic production and how NRCS staff can help organic farmers meet these requirements.
Related ATTRA Resources: Organic Farming

Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook Launched by FAO
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has produced Climate-Smart Agriculture Sourcebook - Second Edition 2017. The sourcebook offers knowledge and expertise to help make agriculture more sustainable and productive while also contributing to food security and lower carbon intensity. This second edition of the sourcebook adds new modules on climate change adaptation and mitigation, integrated production systems, knowledge-support systems for rural producers, the role of gender, and improving implementation.

Urban Edge Sustainable Farmers Accepting Applications
Urban Edge Sustainable Farmers (UESF) is accepting applications for its first session, which runs from February to November 2018. UESF is a full-time residential training program in Brentwood, California, that provides aspiring specialty crop farmers with the foundational production skills, business knowledge, and confidence they need to establish dynamic and resilient farm enterprises on the urban edge. The deadline to apply is December 1, 2017.

NRCS Introduces Superhero of the Soil
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has introduced a new soil-health-themed educational effort featuring "Mighty Mini Microbe," a tiny, animated superhero. NRCS believes that this superhero of the soil will encourage the next generation of real-life-hero farmers, conservationists, and scientists to further unlock the secrets in the soil.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Veteran Scholarships for Southern SAWG Conference
The University of Arkansas and NCAT are offering scholarships for military veterans who would like to attend Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group's (SAWG) annual Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference. Five full scholarships and 15 partial scholarships are available. The conference will be held January 17-20, 2018, in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The deadline to apply for the scholarships is December 8, 2017.

Southern Maryland Agricultural Mini-Grant Program
Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission's (SMADC) Agricultural Mini-Grant is open to applicants age 16 and older, residing and farming in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George's, or St. Mary's counties. SMADC will award up to $2,000 per applicant for qualified projects, with a one-to-one match by the farmer. Grant funds can be used for a variety of projects.
Applications are due by January 1, 2018.

Michigan Rural Development Fund Grants
The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development is offering grants to promote the sustainability of land-based industries and support infrastructure benefiting rural communities in Michigan. Grants are available for projects addressing expansion and sustainability of land-based industries; worker training related to land-based industries; and energy, transportation, communications, water, and wastewater infrastructure to benefit rural communities and micropolitan statistical areas. The maximum project grant request is $100,000 with at least a 30% match.
Proposals are due January 16, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Cultivate the Chesapeake Foodshed Conference
January 11-13, 2018
College Park, Maryland

Join Future Harvest CASA for local farm and food workshops, farm fresh meals, inspiring speakers, and networking opportunities. The event offers eight pre-conference skill-building workshops, six conference tracks with 30 sessions, and new Farmer-to-Farmer Chat sessions.

Horticulture Industries Show
January 5-6, 2018
Tulsa, Oklahoma
The 37th annual Oklahoma-Arkansas Horticulture Industries Show, "Growing New Roots with Urban Agriculture," includes tours and tracks on Christmas trees, urban farming, fruit, vegetables, and public horticulture.

Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference and Trade Show
January 10-12, 2018
Springfield, Illinois

Pre-conference sessions and food safety training will be offered. Session tracks include fruits, vegetables, agritourism and marketing, herbs, organic, emerging issues, and value-added products.

>>More Events

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Weekly Harvest Archives
Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.

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.

© 2017 NCAT

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New ATTRA Publication
Grazing Plan Checklist

Question of the Week
How can I lease my land and retain some control of the grazing?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Arkansas Produce Safety Workshops
Dec. 6 ~ Forrest City
Dec. 11 ~ Fayetteville
Jan. 9 ~ Monticello
Jan. 16 ~ Hope
Register now!

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