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NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 16, 2011

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

Check Your Eligibility for Whole-Farm Revenue Insurance

NCAT's online AGR-Lite Wizard allows farmers to quickly check their eligibility for AGR-Lite whole-farm revenue insurance supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency (RMA); estimate the premium cost of a policy for their farm; explore different future loss scenarios; get a better sense of likely payouts related to possible yield or price changes; and generate useful reports that can assist in purchasing the insurance.

News & Resources

  • Field Guide to the New American Foodshed Introduced
  • ERS Reports on Local Food Marketing
  • Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium Launches
  • USDA Awards People's Garden Grants
  • Virginians Try Ginger as Niche Market Crop
  • Wind Resource Reports Offered in Pennsylvania

Funding Opportunities

  • WaterSMART: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants
  • Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grants Program
  • Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund

Coming Events

  • Great Plains Growers Conference
  • Horticulture Industries Show
  • Planning for Food and Agriculture: Taking a Systems Approach on the County or Community Level

News & Resources

Field Guide to the New American Foodshed Introduced
Farm Credit Council and the National Good Food Network have teamed up to create a website designed to illustrate the myriad ways that farmers have been successful. Many different routes into many different markets are explained and then illustrated with case studies of actual farms and other businesses using each model.
Related ATTRA Publication: Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers

ERS Reports on Local Food Marketing
A new study from USDA Economic Research Service explores farmers' use of both direct-to-consumer marketing (such as farmers markets) and intermediated channels (such as grocers and restaurants) to sell food to local consumers. This study uses nationally representative data on marketing of local foods to assess the relative scale of local food marketing channels.

Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium Launches
The new Georgia Sustainable Agriculture Consortium has published a white paper titled Sustainable Food Systems for Georgia's Agrarian Future, which details the research behind the creation of the Consortium, as well as its specific goals. The PDF white paper is available online .

USDA Awards People's Garden Grants
USDA has announced 10 grants to support 155 People's Gardens—sustainable community gardens that will give residents direct access to fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved neighborhoods. Search the People's Gardens Interactive Map to find out where gardens are located.

Virginians Try Ginger as Niche Market Crop
Virginia State University and Virginia farmers are conducting a ginger production trial in a high tunnel greenhouse. The tropical plant is a high-value crop selling fresh at $15-20 per pound and offering a niche market opportunity.

Wind Resource Reports Offered in Pennsylvania
As part of its Community Wind Power project, Saint Francis University Renewable Energy Center will prepare wind resource reports for agricultural producers and rural small businesses in Pennsylvania, using existing information technology and data. For those with sufficient wind resources, the program will provide follow-on assistance with investment analysis and finding reputable wind installers.
Related ATTRA Publication: Small-Scale Wind Energy on the Farm

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

WaterSMART: Water and Energy Efficiency Grants
The U.S. Department of the Interior's WaterSMART (Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow) Program is offering cost share funding for States, Indian tribes, irrigation districts, water districts, and other organizations with water or power delivery authority. The funding is for projects that seek to conserve and use water more efficiently, increase the use of renewable energy and improve energy efficiency, benefit endangered and threatened species, facilitate water markets, or carry out other activities to address climate-related impacts on water or prevent any water-related crisis or conflict. Applicants must be located in the western United States or Territories. A total of $18 million in funding is available, with individual awards up to $1.5 million.
Applications are due by January 19, 2012.

Biotechnology Risk Assessment Grants Program
NIFA requests applications for the Biotechnology Risk Assessment Research Grants Program to support environmental assessment research concerning the introduction of genetically engineered organisms into the environment. NIFA anticipates that the amount available for support of this program in FY 2012 will be approximately $4 million. Applications may be submitted by any United States public or private research or educational institution or organization.
A letter of inquiry is requested by December 1, 2011. Full applications are due by February 1, 2012.

Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund
The Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund provides cost-share grants to assist farmers and rural communities develop new sources of agricultural income. The program makes awards of up to $10,000 to individual farmers or for collaborative farmer projects in North Carolina.
Applications are due by December 15, 2011.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Great Plains Growers Conference
January 5-7, 2012
St. Joseph, Missouri

This conference features full-day workshops on high tunnel production, CSA, GAPs and honey bees. There are also tracks for farmers markets, agritourism, organic production, urban horticulture, and more, as well as keynote speakers and a trade show.

Horticulture Industries Show
January 6-7, 2012
Tulsa, Oklahoma

This conference involves two days of educational programs and trade show activities for individuals with horticultural interests in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and surrounding states. A trade show, educational sessions, and networking are offered.

Planning for Food and Agriculture: Taking a Systems Approach on the County or Community Level
December 13, 2011
Online

Join American Farmland Trust for a series of webinars that present an opportunity for individuals working in local and regional food systems to learn from successful examples. This webinar will focus on county and community-based food and agriculture plans.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2011 NCAT

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New Publication
Weed Management in Organic Small Grains

Question of the Week
What can you tell me about the use of treated lumber in organic operations?

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Our latest webinars are available for viewing in the Sustainable Agriculture Video Archive

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