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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 19, 2014

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 Announces Availability of Whole-Farm Revenue Protection
  • USDA Appoints Military Veterans Agriculture Liaison
  • Initiative Launched to Increase Farmers Market Sales and Local Food Access
  • Researchers Test Crop Rotations for High-Value, Cool-Season Cash Crops
  • Sale of Carbon Credits from Working Ranch Grasslands Completed
  • Conference Proceedings Report on Strengthening Relationships Between Lenders and Farmers of Color

Funding Opportunities

  • Binational Agricultural Development Fund
  • Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board Water Quality Grants
  • National Gardening Association Youth Garden Grant

Coming Events

  • Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference
  • Cascadia Grains Conference
  • Nevada County's Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

News & Resources

USDA Announces Availability of Whole-Farm Revenue Protection
USDA Risk Management Agency has announced that the new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection insurance policy is now available for the 2015 crop year. The policy allows producers to insure 50-85% of their whole-farm revenue and makes crop insurance more affordable for fruit and vegetable growers and organic farmers and ranchers. Contact a local insurance agent for more information about the program.

USDA Appoints Military Veterans Agriculture Liaison
USDA has announced that Karis T. Gutter will serve as the first USDA Military Veterans Agricultural (MVA) Liaison. The MVA Liaison will coordinate USDA leadership across the Department to provide information, resources, and support for active-duty military and veterans interested in agriculture.

Initiative Launched to Increase Farmers Market Sales and Local Food Access
Two of North Carolina's leading local-food and farmer-advocacy organizations have joined forces on a major new initiative to increase farmers' direct sales and expand local food access. ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) and RAFI-USA (Rural Advancement Foundation International) have partnered on the project, called Connect2Direct.

Researchers Test Crop Rotations for High-Value, Cool-Season Cash Crops
University of Georgia researchers investigated incorporating summer cover crops with high-value, cool-season crops in a series of rotations. The researchers were working to develop a rotation model for organic vegetable production that would increase yields, control insects and diseases, improve crop quality, and build soil biomass. Researchers evaluated two crop rotations over a three-year period and found that the crop rotations would be suitable for any vegetable growers interested in organic production.

Sale of Carbon Credits from Working-Ranch Grasslands Completed
USDA has announced that Chevrolet recently purchased almost 40,000 carbon dioxide reduction tons generated on working-ranch grasslands in the Prairie Pothole region of North Dakota, in a first-of-its kind sale. In this credit system, landowners voluntarily place lands under a perpetual easement but retain rights to work the land, such as raising livestock and growing hay. The carbon-storage benefits of the avoided conversion of grasslands are quantified, verified, and formally registered, resulting in marketable carbon credits. Landowners receive compensation for credits generated on their lands.
Related ATTRA Publication: Agriculture, Climate Change and Carbon Sequestration

Conference Proceedings Report on Strengthening Relationships Between Lenders and Farmers of Color
MSU Center for Regional Food Systems has posted the proceedings from an April 2014 roundtable event. Strengthening Relationships between Lenders and Farmers of Color reports on a meeting between farmers of color and representatives from Community Development Financial Institutions that pursued common ground and explored ways to better support farmers of color with financial products and services.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Binational Agricultural Development Fund
The United States–Israel Binational Development Fund (BARD) is a competitive funding program for mutually beneficial, mission-oriented, strategic and applied research of agricultural problems, jointly conducted by American and Israeli scientists. BARD also supports international workshops and fellowships. The program offers funding in graduate student, postdoctoral, senior research, and workshop categories.
Applications are due by January 15, 2015.

Iowa Watershed Improvement Review Board Water Quality Grants
Approximately $830,000 is available through the Watershed Improvement Review Board to support qualifying projects that will improve water quality in Iowa. Up to $250,000 per project is available to local watershed-improvement committees, soil and water conservation districts, public water-supply utilities, county conservation boards, cities, and counties.
Applications are due December 29, 2014.

National Gardening Association Youth Garden Grant
Twenty awards will be offered this year to support youth garden programs in the United States. The selection of winners is based on the demonstrated relationship between the garden program and education related to the environment, health and nutrition issues, character education, and entrepreneurship in the United States.
Applications must be submitted by December 5, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms Conference
January 14-17, 2015
Mobile, Alabama
The agenda for Southern SAWG's annual conference features outstanding presenters and a full slate of hot-topic conference sessions, plus pre-conference courses and field trips. Programming for both beginning and experienced farmers is offered. Topics include production, grazing management, marketing, food policy, food hubs, and business management. Conference scholarships are available to veterans.

Cascadia Grains Conference
January 10, 2015
Olympia, Washington

This conference brings together farmers, processors, and end-users, as well as investors, brokers, and local government officials to support rebuilding a grain economy west of the Cascade Mountains in Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. The conference focuses on three value-added enterprises: brewing and distilling, baking and other food uses, and animal feed.

Nevada County's Sustainable Food and Farm Conference
January 10-11, 2015
Grass Valley, California

This annual conference brings together a diverse panel of speakers, farming-related businesses, and organizations for a weekend full of informative lectures and a food and farming exposition, plus numerous workshops for all levels of farming and ranching.

>> More Events

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