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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 20, 2013

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

Register Today for Harvesting Clean Energy Conference
Registration is now open for the 2014 Harvesting Clean Energy Conference to be held in Helena, Montana, on February 4-6, 2014. Plan to join us to learn all about strategies to maximize local job creation and economic benefits from developing our clean energy resources.

News & Resources

  • USDA Announces Farm to School Grant Awards
  • FSMA Proposed Rule Comment Deadline Extended to November 22
  • New Report Shows How Local Food Helps Iowa Economy
  • Buffaloberry Tabbed as Next 'Superfruit'
  • University of Florida Releases Smartphone Irrigation Apps
  • NCAT Seeks Partners for Service Program To Help Communities Cope with Drought

Funding Opportunities

  • Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program
  • Weed Science Society of America Undergraduate Student Research Grant
  • "Making Your Garden Grow" Support Grants

Coming Events

  • EcoFarm Conference
  • Practical Tools & Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms
  • Farming for Profit and Stewardship Conference

News & Resources

USDA Announces Farm to School Grant Awards
USDA has announced grants for 71 projects that support efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through the Farm to School program. These grants help schools respond to the growing demand for locally sourced foods and increase market opportunities for producers and food businesses. A complete list of recipients is available online.

FSMA Proposed Rule Comment Deadline Extended to November 22
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended the comment period for the proposed Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule and Preventive Controls Rule by one week, to November 22, 2013. The extension was granted due to issues with the website for submitting comments online.

New Report Shows How Local Food Helps Iowa Economy
A new report from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, 2012 Economic Impacts of Iowa's Regional Food Systems Working Group, shows that institutional purchases of local food added nearly $9 million to the Iowa economy in 2012. The findings are part of an evaluation of the Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG). The evaluation also measured job creation as a result of local food production, processing, or utilization, and counted funds leveraged by the regional food groups that comprise the statewide RFSWG network.

Buffaloberry Tabbed as Next 'Superfruit'
A research team from the University of Saskatchewan has published the results of their nutritional analysis of buffaloberry, chokeberry, and sea buckhorn, reports Medical Daily. Buffaloberries were high in vitamin C, antioxidants, and lycopene. Buffaloberries grow on a native shrub related to the olive family and could be a candidate for commercial development.
Related ATTRA Publication: Specialty Crops for Cold Climates

University of Florida Releases Smartphone Irrigation Apps
The University of Florida has launched a series of free apps designed to improve irrigation efficiency, reports WUFT. The crop-specific apps collect information from growers on root length and crop location and combine it with real-time information from weather providers to create irrigation schedules. Apps for citrus and strawberries are already available; one for cotton is under development.
Related ATTRA Publication: Measuring and Conserving Irrigation Water

NCAT Seeks Partners for Service Program To Help Communities Cope with Drought
The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is looking for partners in its Drought Relief Corps (DRC), a new service program being developed to help communities prepare for drought, lessen its impact when it comes, and recover from its effects. NCAT is recruiting a range of partner organizations interested in hosting DRC members in their communities for 11 months.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Minnesota Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture's Sustainable Agriculture Demonstration Grant Program will award up to $250,000 in 2014 for on-farm sustainable agriculture research or demonstration projects. Examples of eligible projects include fruit and vegetable production, integrated pest management, livestock production, organic farming, alternative energy crop production, and specialty crops as an alternative market.
Applications must be received by January 29, 2014.

Weed Science Society of America Undergraduate Student Research Grant
The Weed Science Society of America has developed an Undergraduate Student Research Grant program. Awards of up to $2,000 may be used as a stipend, for research budget expenses, and to defray living expenses for summer research.
Proposals must be received by December 15, 2013.

"Making Your Garden Grow" Support Grants
Making Your Garden Grow minigrants are available to support existing and/or emerging community and school gardens programs throughout Arkansas. Applicants may include local and state agencies, hospitals, schools, nonprofits, community groups, neighborhood associations, and small businesses. Grants range from $200 to $500.
Applications are due by December 4, 2013.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

EcoFarm Conference
January 22-25, 2014
Pacific Grove, California

The EcoFarm Conference welcomes all people engaged in the food system. Workshops feature cutting-edge systems, ideas, and perspectives for a range of topics: water and soil management, processing and distribution systems, habitat restoration, livestock and range management, regional food systems, food safety, food and agriculture policies, and more.

Practical Tools & Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms
January 15-18, 2014
Mobile, Alabama

The 23rd annual Southern SAWG conference is for serious organic and sustainable producers, farm to school participants, urban farmers, or those interested in creating more vibrant community food systems. The event offers pre-conference courses and field trips, practical conference sessions, networking, a trade show, and more.

Farming for Profit and Stewardship Conference
January 17-18, 2014
College Park, Maryland

The 15th annual conference presented by Future Harvest CASA offers intensive, pre-conference morning workshops, speakers, and local food. Breakout sessions are offered in six tracks: Beginning Farmers, Scaling Up, Grass-Based Systems, Local Food Communities, Fruit and Vegetable Production, and The Business of Farming.

>> More Events

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

National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.

© 2013 NCAT

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New Publication
Conservation Financing for Farm Transfer

Question of the Week
What advice do you have for designing a vegetable cooler utilizing an insulated truck and a CoolBot system?

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