Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 21, 2018
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 Launches Poultry Biosecurity Campaign
- Documentary on Soil Health Available Online
- New Factsheet Introduces Northeast Farmers to Climate Smart Farming Practices
- USDA Grants Support Programs Helping Veterans Pursue Ag Careers
- Farm Shares Plans for Low-Cost Laser Scarecrow
- Environmental Defense Fund and National Corn Growers Association Announce Partnership
- Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program
- Food and Farm Communications Fund Core Grants
- Agricultural Reinvestment Fund
- Horticulture Industries Show
- Utah Farm & Food Conference
- Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
News & Resources
USDA Launches Poultry Biosecurity Campaign
USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has a new outreach campaign for preventing the spread of infectious diseases in both commercial and backyard poultry. USDA launched a new web page for the campaign with a resource section, including checklists covering specific biosecurity principles. USDA will offer a webinar explaining the new campaign and showcasing its resources on November 28, 2018, at 2:30 pm Eastern.
Related ATTRA Publication: Biosecurity Basics Tipsheet for Pastured Poultry
Documentary on Soil Health Available Online
The Soil Health Institute has released a 60-minute documentary on the history and significance of the soil health movement. Living Soil captures the background of the current soil health movement and its momentum. The film features rural and urban farmers from Maryland to California, selling everything from corn to bouquets, united by their care for the soil. The complete film is available online for download.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Soil Health
New Factsheet Introduces Northeast Farmers to Climate Smart Farming Practices
The Cornell Institute for Climate Smart Solutions and the Climate Smart Farming Extension Team have developed a new four-page PDF factsheet and guide for farmers, educators, and agriculture stakeholders. Climate Smart Farming in the Northeast: Six Key Strategies for Farmers provides information about actions that farmers can take to reduce risks and improve the sustainability of their farms.
Related ATTRA Publication: Climate Change and Perennial Fruit and Nut Production: Investing in Resilience in Uncertain Times
USDA Grants Support Programs Helping Veterans Pursue Ag Careers
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has announced the award of six grants through the Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program. This program provides grants to nonprofit organizations for training programs and services to establish and enhance farming and ranching opportunities for military veterans. A list of awardees is available online.
Farm Shares Plans for Low-Cost Laser Scarecrow
Family-owned Elliot Farm in Lakeville, Massachusetts, specializes in sweet corn, but the farm experienced 80% crop loss in 2016 due to damage from red-winged blackbirds. In 2017, Elliot Farm joined a laser-scarecrow feasibility study. Laser scarecrows proved effective, but commercial products are expensive. In 2018, Elliot Farm designed an effective laser scarecrow prototype that costs less than $500. Plans are available free at the Elliot Farm website.
Environmental Defense Fund and National Corn Growers Association Announce Partnership
Environmental Defense Fund and the National Corn Growers Association have announced a first-of-its-kind partnership that aims to improve environmental outcomes while optimizing productivity and profitability. It will work on tracking water quality, soil health, and greenhouse gas emissions, and scale user-friendly technology solutions for data reporting and analysis. The partnership will also address on-farm engagement, as well as policy advocacy.
>>More Breaking News
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Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program
USDA National Institute for Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for the Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Program. This program provides grants to non-profits to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on, and immersive model farm and ranch programs that lead to successful careers in the food and agricultural sector. The program encourages the development of training opportunities specifically designed for military veterans.
Applications are due by January 10, 2019.
Food and Farm Communications Fund Core Grants
The Core Grants Program awards targeted communications support to community-based nonprofit organizations and grassroots networks working to advance systemic and cultural change across our food and farm systems. The program prioritizes work led by communities of color, indigenous communities, farmers, farmworkers, fishermen, and food workers. Non-profits with average annual revenue of less than $2 million and a commitment to equity and racial, social, and/or economic justice are eligible to apply for grants ranging from $15,000 to $40,000 over a 12-month term.
Letters of interest are due by December 28, 2018.
Agricultural Reinvestment Fund
RAFI-USA's Agricultural Reinvestment Fund grant program assists entrepreneurial and innovative farmers and collaborative groups in developing new sources of agricultural income. In partnership with the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, the Agricultural Reinvestment Fund awards grants up to $9,000 to individual farmers and up to $11,000 for collaborative farmer projects located in North Carolina.
Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply by the Early Bird deadline, November 30, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Horticulture Industries Show
January 3-5, 2019
"People, Plants & Pollinators" features a high tunnel tour, a tradeshow, and tracks for fruit, vegetables, organic, master gardener, local foods, and Christmas trees. NCAT's Luke Freeman and Guy Ames are among the presenters.
Utah Farm & Food Conference
January 3-5, 2018
Cedar City, Utah
This conference is a unique opportunity for smaller-acreage producers, small commercial farmers, and homesteaders to gain insight and engage in conversations, workshops, activities, farm tours, and meals.
Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference
January 9-11, 2019
This major conference includes pre-conference workshops and tracks on fruit, vegetables, herbs, agritourism and marketing, organic, and special-interest topics.
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ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
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