Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 22, 2017
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
- Registration Opens for Once-in-a-Decade Event, Our Farms, Our Future
- Toolkit Helps Communities Revitalize Using Local Food Systems
- Healthy Food Policy Project Highlights Innovative Initiatives
- Management Practices Can Help Soil Minerals Store Carbon
- Study Explores Impact of Removing Animals from U.S. Agriculture
- Organic Farming, with Other Measures, Can Contribute to Sustainable Food Supply
- Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
- Mary Boyer Sustainable Food and Agriculture Grants
- New Mexico Regional Conservation Partnership Programs
- Utah Farm Conference
- Southern SAWG Annual Conference: Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms
- Pasture Poultry Workshop
News & Resources
Registration Opens for Once-in-a-Decade Event, Our Farms, Our Future
The Our Farms, Our Future Conference, hosted by the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and the National Center for Appropriate Technology's ATTRA program, will be held on April 3-5, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri. This national event will bring together farmers and ranchers, agribusiness stakeholders, students, researchers, scientists, agency representatives and nonprofit leaders. Early registration ends February 22, 2018.
Toolkit Helps Communities Revitalize Using Local Food Systems
The Local Foods, Local Places Program has released Local Foods, Local Places Toolkit: A Guide to Help Communities Revitalize Using Local Food Systems. The toolkit was developed over the course of delivering technical assistance to 80 communities, and it compiles best practices and lessons learned. It is intended to help communities interested in undertaking a similar process to develop their own plans for setting and achieving local-food and revitalization goals.
Healthy Food Policy Project Highlights Innovative Initiatives
Food law and policy experts have launched a national Healthy Food Policy Project (HFPP) that identifies and elevates local laws and policies that promote access to healthy food and contribute to strong local economies, improved environmental quality, and health equity. The HFPP website contains a curated, searchable database of local healthy food policies, a crosswalk of local laws and policies organized by food system category and type of law, and case studies that showcase healthy food policy initiatives.
Management Practices Can Help Soil Minerals Store Carbon
Washington State University researcher Marc Kramer is revealing the extent to which minerals deep in the soil act as a carbon sink. Kramer and his colleagues noted that almost three-fourths of all carbon sequestered in the top three feet of the soil is affected by agriculture, grazing, or forest management. Farming and other land-management practices can be tailored to keep carbon in the ground, say the scientists.
Study Explores Impact of Removing Animals from U.S. Agriculture
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences modeled removing farmed animals from U.S. agriculture to determine the effect on food supply and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. According to the abstract, removing animals from U.S. agriculture would reduce agricultural GHG emissions, but would also create a food supply incapable of supporting the U.S. population's nutritional requirements.
Organic Farming, with Other Measures, Can Contribute to Sustainable Food Supply
A new international study found that organic farming can contribute to a sustainable food system, when combined with a one-third reduction of animal-based products in the human diet, less concentrated feed, and less food waste. One of the study's authors explains that with these measures combined, "it would be possible to secure the provision of food for the global population even in the event of a population size above nine billion in the year 2050."
>>More Breaking News
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Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) plans to invest $250 million in technical and financial assistance in 2018 to help private landowners, tribes, land trusts, and other groups protect critical wetlands, agricultural lands, and grasslands through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program. Wetland reserve easements help landowners and tribes restore and protect wetland ecosystems. Agricultural land easements provide funds to conservation partners to purchase permanent conservation easements on private working lands. The cooperating entity applies for matching funds from NRCS for the purchase of an easement from the landowner.
Applications are taken continuously; 2018 consideration cutoff dates vary by state.
Mary Boyer Sustainable Food and Agriculture Grants
Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture is accepting applications for the Mary Boyer Sustainable Food and Agriculture Grants. These grants strengthen the local food system by supporting female farmers, ranchers, and processors who plan to create sustainable solutions to expand or increase farm production in the High Country. The grant is open to female farmers, ranchers, and producers in specified North Carolina counties.
Proposals are due November 30, 2017.
New Mexico Regional Conservation Partnership Programs
USDA-NRCS in New Mexico is accepting applications for three different Regional Conservation Partnership Programs. The Canadian River Watershed Restoration Project will encourage ranchers and landowners operating within the Prairie Grasslands Region to utilize the Environmental Quality Incentives Program. The New Mexico Range and Forest Soil Health Initiative will bring Environmental Quality Incentives Program and partner funds together for ranchers whose operations include Federal lands. The North Central NM Watershed Restoration Project is aimed at reducing wildfire risk while improving soils, hydrology, and vegetation, as well as enhancing social/economic needs. Producers can apply by visiting USDA Service Centers.
Applications are due by December 15, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Utah Farm Conference
January 12-13, 2018
Cedar City, Utah
Learn to utilize your local resources and return home with new connections, tools, and inspiration to enhance your farm and empower your community.
Southern SAWG Annual Conference: Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms
January 17-20, 2018
Pre-conference events include intensive short courses and half-day field trips and mini courses. The general conference includes nearly 60 educational sessions, plus 13 state networking sessions and 13 information-exchange sessions.
Pasture Poultry Workshop
December 4-7, 2017
A Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program project on Pastured and Free-Range Poultry is offering a four-day course for any prospective, beginner, or intermediate farmer interested in raising poultry flocks (layers and/or broilers) on pasture. Topics will include husbandry practices, housing, records maintenance, biosecurity, and more.
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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.
Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.
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