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Weekly Harvest Newsletter

Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 19, 2008

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

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News & Resources
* Agriculture and Public Health Gateway Web Site Launched
* Food Market Size Estimator Tool Online
* Preparation Begins for National Farm-City Week
* Organic Cost Share Program Amended
* USDA Releases 2007 U.S. Animal Health Report
* Guide Aids Beginning Goat Dairies

Funding Opportunities
* The Fair Food Foundation
* EPA Environmental Education Grants
* Missouri Specialty Crop Grant

Coming Events
* Vermont Grazing Conference
* Michigan Family Farms Conference
* Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers

News & Resources

Agriculture and Public Health Gateway Web Site Launched
The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) has launched a website to enable research on the critical links between agriculture and public health. The Agriculture & Public Health Gateway is a unique information resource for public health and agricultural professionals, advocacy and community organizations, policymakers, journalists and educators. Visitors can browse by subject to find reports, peer-reviewed journal articles, relevant organizations and other research tools. The Gateway’s powerful database search provides access to millions of resources related to agriculture and public health. This search tool simultaneously links Gateway users to databases from the National Library of Medicine (PubMed), the National Agricultural Library (AGRICOLA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (National Agricultural Safety Database) and the World Resources Institute (EarthTrends). Other Gateway resources include links to glossaries, listservs and newsletters, online photos and images, and event listings related to agriculture and public health.

Food Market Size Estimator Tool Online
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture has developed a simple on-line tool to help farmers, agricultural organizations, public agencies and local food and economic development groups get a "first look" at potential markets. The U.S. Food Market Size Estimator can find the approximate demand for 204 food products in every county of the United States. Products include milk, cheese and dairy foods; fresh, frozen or canned fruits and vegetables; grains; and meat, fish and nuts. The tool uses information from the USDA Economic Research Service's Food Availability Data System.

Preparation Begins for National Farm-City Week
The people who grow America's plentiful food supply have a special place of honor during the National Farm-City Week, celebrated November 21-27. This week commemorates U.S. food producers and seeks to recognize their efforts among the nation's urban citizens. The National Farm-City Week, recognized by a White House proclamation, is organized by the National Farm-City Council, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing links between farm families and urban residents. The Council provides local organizations with educational programs about people who grow their food. Communities across the nation hold Farm-City events ranging from banquets to tours to job exchanges.

Organic Cost Share Program Amended
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced an amendment to its National Organic Certification Cost Assistance program, first announced Sept. 18. USDA has amended the program by changing the start date from Oct. 1, 2008, to Oct. 1, 2007. The change will make funds available to a greater number of eligible persons, achieving Congress’ intent that use of cost-share funds begin with Fiscal Year 2008. The funds are available for producers and handlers of organic agricultural products in any state of the United States of America, its territories, the District of Columbia, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

USDA Releases 2007 U.S. Animal Health Report
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has released the 2007 U.S. Animal Health Report, which provides a national overview of domestic animal health in the United States. The 2007 report includes a chapter devoted to a number of strategic areas specific to the veterinary services mission, including emergency planning and preparedness; avian influenza surveillance; aquatic health; national animal identification and comprehensive, integrated animal-health surveillance. The report is available online.

Guide Aids Beginning Goat Dairies
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has released a new guide, Starting a Dairy Goat Business, for anyone looking to get into one of the state's fastest growing agriculture sectors. The 104-page guide covers everything from an initial personal assessment to marketing, as well as herd health, milk quality, and working with processors. To receive a copy of the guide, contact Jeanne Meier, jeanne.meier@wisconsin.gov or 608-224-5121.
Related ATTRA Publication:   Dairy Goats: Sustainable Production

> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

The Fair Food Foundation
The Fair Food Foundation is a new foundation with a mission to work with historically excluded urban communities to design a food system that upholds the fundamental right to healthy, fresh and sustainably grown food. They partner with individuals, groups within communities, community-based organizations, government leaders and others to discuss, develop, and implement a variety of strategies. They encourage local selection, ownership and control of food sources that are environmentally sound, socially just, and economically viable. They support communities to imagine and realize opportunities that fit their needs. Fair Food Foundation invites letters of inquiry from qualified tax-exempt organizations working in historically excluded urban communities on projects and programs aligned with their vision.

EPA Environmental Education Grants
The Environmental Protection Agency is soliciting grant proposals to support environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. This grant program provides financial support for innovative projects that design, demonstrate, or disseminate environmental education practices, methods, or techniques. Awards of up to $200,000 are available.
Proposals are due December 18, 2008.

Missouri Specialty Crop Grant
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) made available a Specialty Crop Block Grant to the Missouri Department of Agriculture (MDA) for enhancing the competitiveness of Missouri grown specialty crops. Both fresh and processed specialty crops are included. Proposals that involve collaboration or partnerships between producers, industry groups, academics, or other organizations are encouraged and will be given priority. There is $90,000 available for grant funds. A $5,000 maximum amount is available for each grant.
Proposals are due January 5, 2009.

> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Vermont Grazing Conference
January 17, 2009
Randolph Center, Vermont

The 13th Annual Vermont Grazing Conference, titled "Managing Animal Behavior: It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Do It," will feature grazing behaviorist and NY-NRCS State Grazing Specialist Dr. Darrell Emmick as keynote speaker. The schedule includes themed tracks for dairy, beef, small ruminants, animal behavior, poultry & small animals, research, grazing partnerships, technical and on-farm energy options. A full day kids’ conference will take place on site. Pre-conference workshops on Friday, January 16 will focus on winter livestock management.

Michigan Family Farms Conference
January 17, 2009
Battle Creek, Michigan

This conference is for anyone interested in sustainable agriculture, family farms and new opportunities to help farmers connect to resources, network and improve their operations. Highlights include 18 educational sessions for small and limited resource farmers, keynote speaker Wayne Keith, and youth sessions.

Wisconsin School for Beginning Market Growers
January 16-18, 2009
Madison, Wisconsin

This intensive three-day course demonstrates what it takes to set up and run a successful market garden or small farm. You bring your gardening background and interest and hopes for your own market garden or small vegetable farm. The Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and accomplished organic grower instructors expose you to what you need to know and plan for as you set seeds and grow.

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Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

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