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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 20, 2019

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

  • National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Releases Recommendations on Agriculture and Climate Change
  • Key Perennial Crops Featured on Information Sheets
  • Dwindling Livestock Gene Pools Put Food Supply at Risk
  • Organic Grain Farmer Learning Hubs Forming
  • Botanical Experts Warn about Dangers of Climate Change for Medicinal Plants
  • Study Finds Cover Crops Increase Water Quality, Not Carbon Storage

Funding Opportunities

  • Food and Farm Communications Fund Core Grants
  • Farm Credit Foundation for Agricultural Advancement Scholarships
  • Minnesota Good Food Access Program Technical Assistance

Coming Events

  • Illinois Specialty Crop Conference and Trade Show
  • Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference
  • Colorado Food Summit

News & Resources

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Releases Recommendations on Agriculture and Climate Change
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has released a new report of policy and practice recommendations based on the latest climate science: Agriculture and Climate Change: Policy Imperatives and Opportunities to Help Producers Meet the Challenge. The paper explores both the impact of climate change on U.S. agriculture, as well as the contribution of U.S. agriculture to global climate-change mitigation.

Key Perennial Crops Featured on Information Sheets
The Savanna Institute has produced a new series of free "Key Perennial Crop" information sheets in collaboration with the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems and the USDA-SARE program. The information sheets offer descriptions of 12 key Midwestern agroforestry crops: Aronia, Asian Pear, Black Currant, Black Walnut, Chinese Chestnut, Cider Apple, Elderberry, Hazelnut, Honeyberry, Northern Pecan, Pawpaw, and Serviceberry. They are available free online.

Related ATTRA Publication: Fruit Trees, Bushes, and Vines for Natural Growing in the Ozarks

Dwindling Livestock Gene Pools Put Food Supply at Risk
A new paper from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology addresses risks associated with the dwindling genetic diversity of livestock and poultry. Protecting Food Animal Gene Pools for Future Generations—A paper in the series on The Need for Agricultural Innovation to Sustainably Feed the World by 2050 argues for greater efforts to protect the genes of animal livestock breeds, noting that "up to 25% of global livestock breeds are either at risk of being lost, or have already been lost."

Organic Grain Farmer Learning Hubs Forming
MOSES and OGRAIN are organizing farmer-led groups to build communities of organic grain farmers around the Midwest. Farmers who are interested in being part of a group can sign up online.
Related ATTRA Publication: Farmer Profiles: Two Organic Grain Farm Case Studies

Botanical Experts Warn about Dangers of Climate Change for Medicinal Plants
A group of botanical experts has published a paper warning of the effects of climate change on medicinal plants. They write that changing temperature and precipitation, increases in pests and pathogens, and habitat fragmentation, combined with unsustainable harvest, could push many plant populations to extinction. Furthermore, they note that increased environmental stresses could alter the chemical content of medicinal plants. The authors recommend conservation and cultivation of plants, harvester education, and efforts to mitigate climate change.

Study Finds Cover Crops Increase Water Quality, Not Carbon Storage
Iowa State University scientists published a study in Global Change Biology Bioenergy showing that cover crops stimulating microbes deep in the soil can lead to improved water quality by preventing nutrient loss. However, the study also found that because the stimulated microbes consume the carbon in the cover crop, carbon dioxide is released to the atmosphere and carbon is not necessarily sequestered in the soil.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Food and Farm Communications Fund Core Grants
The Core Grants Program of the Food and Farm Communications Fund awards targeted communications support to groups working to advance systemic and cultural change across our food and farm systems. Applicants should be a community-based organization or a grassroots network/coalition with 501(c)(3) status and less than $2 million in average annual revenue, among other criteria. Core Grants range from $15,000 to $35,000 over a 12-month term.
A Letter of Interest is due by December 9, 2019.

Farm Credit Foundation for Agricultural Advancement Scholarships
The Farm Credit Foundation for Agricultural Advancement is offering 10 scholarships worth $10,000 each to high school seniors or those currently enrolled in a two- or four-year higher education program, with plans to pursue a career in agriculture. In order to be eligible, applicants must reside in MidAtlantic Farm Credit's territory.
Applications are due by January 10, 2020.

Minnesota Good Food Access Program Technical Assistance
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting grant applications from organizations offering technical assistance to improve access to fresh, affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate foods for underserved communities. Maximum funding of $50,000 is available through the Good Food Access Program. These grants will help nonprofit organizations and public agencies provide needs-based technical assistance to eligible food retailers, such as grocery stores, corner stores, and farmers markets.
Applications are due by January 16, 2020.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Illinois Specialty Crop Conference and Trade Show
January 8-10, 2020
Springfield, Illinois
This conference addresses fruit, vegetables, herbs, cut flowers, organic, and agritourism farming. The event includes pre-conference workshops on produce safety, cut flowers, pumpkins, hemp, and protected culture.

Kentucky Fruit and Vegetable Conference
January 5-7, 2020
Lexington, Kentucky
This event is presented jointly by Kentucky State Horticultural Society, Kentucky Vegetable Growers Association, Organic Association of Kentucky, and Kentucky Wineries Association. The meeting and pre-conference events are devoted to fruit, vegetable, and wine production, handling, harvesting, marketing, storage, and related topics.

Colorado Food Summit
January 7, 2020
Denver, Colorado
CSU Food Systems Initiative and Denver's Department of Public Health and Environment invite anyone connected to Colorado's food system to The Colorado Food Summit, to join some of the main players in the state to spotlight its robust agricultural economy and build linkages with growing Denver food markets
.

>>More Events

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Community Supported Agriculture

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