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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 27, 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.

December 3, #GivingTuesday, is the perfect time to show your support for the National Center for Appropriate Technology, the non-profit organization that keeps you up-to-date on the latest news in sustainable agriculture.  Plan to make your donation on Tuesday, December 3, using our secure online form. Thank you for helping us promote sustainable solutions!

News & Resources

  • Agricultural Law Center Launches Online Legal Guide
  • Updated Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding Released
  • USDA Names Members to Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Committee
  • U.S. Committee Kicks Off International Year of Family Farming
  • Materials from National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture Available Online
  • FDA Releases FSMA Proposed Animal-Food Rule for Public Comment

Funding Opportunities

  • Value-Added Producer Grant Program
  • Vermont Agriculture, Forestry & Forest Products: Working Lands Enterprise Investments
  • Open Meadows Foundation

Coming Events

  • Midwest Value Added Agriculture Conference
  • Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Winter Conference
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference

News & Resources

Agricultural Law Center Launches Online Legal Guide
The Drake University Agricultural Law Center has developed an online version of The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing to provide farmers the information they need to deliver produce, dairy, meat, and value-added foods directly to consumers. This update of the original print publication includes an extensive checklist, video interviews, interactive responses to questions, and a state-by-state listing of organizations and agencies that can provide additional services.

Updated Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding Released
In order to assist producers with the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) application process, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has released a free, online, updated Farmers' Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding. The guide provides helpful hints to improve a producer's chances of obtaining funding and includes information on application requirements.

USDA Names Members to Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Committee
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the appointment of 20 members to serve on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. The Committee will provide guidance to the Secretary on expanding opportunities that will help beginning farmers and ranchers succeed in agriculture.

U.S. Committee Kicks Off International Year of Family Farming
The United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming and many countries have formed national committees to carry out activities in cooperation. The U.S. executive committee is comprised of 25x'25, the Alliance to End Hunger, American Farmland Trust, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Cooperative Business Association, and National Farmers Union.

Materials from National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture Available Online
Presentations and handouts from the 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture,"Cultivating Our Food, Farms and Future," held November 6-8, 2013, are now available online. Descriptions of wide-ranging workshops are available, along with presentations and/or handouts for many of the workshops and keynote speeches.

FDA Releases FSMA Proposed Animal-Food Rule for Public Comment
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released FSMA Proposed Rule to Establish Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals and will accept public comments on the rule until February 26, 2014. The preventive controls provisions of the proposed rule would apply to domestic and imported animal food, including pet food, animal feed, and raw materials and ingredients.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Value-Added Producer Grant Program
USDA has announced the availability of nearly $10.5 million in grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. Grants are available to help agricultural producers create new products, expand marketing opportunities, support further processing of existing products or goods, or develop specialty and niche products. The maximum working capital grant is $200,000; the maximum planning grant is $75,000. Funding priority is given to socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers or ranchers, and to small- to medium-size family farms, or farmer/rancher cooperatives.
Grant applications are due by February 24, 2014.

Vermont Agriculture, Forestry & Forest Products: Working Lands Enterprise Investments
Matching grants of $3,000 to $20,000 are available to Vermont agriculture, food systems, forestry and/or forest products enterprises. Investment areas may include infrastructure, marketing, market development, business development, and technical assistance.
Applications are due December 11, 2013.

Open Meadows Foundation
Open Meadows Foundation is a grant-making organization seeking projects that promote gender/racial/economic justice. The projects must be led by and benefit women and girls, particularly those from vulnerable communities. The foundation offers grants up to $2,000. Small and start-up organizations are strongly encouraged to apply.
The next deadline for submitting proposals is February 15, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Midwest Value Added Agriculture Conference
January 23-24, 2014
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

This 15th annual conference provides valuable education to small-scale farmers, regional educators, and farm-service professionals to help increase the economic vitality of rural agricultural communities. There will be conference tracks on Marketing, Business Management, Food Handling & Regulations, and Networking Across the Supply Chain, as well as a SARE Farmer Forum and Farmer-to-Farmer sessions.

Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Winter Conference
January 23-25, 2014
Aberdeen, South Dakota

The 35th annual winter conference includes keynote speakers Melinda Hemmelgarn and Will Winter, pre-conference workshops, exhibitors, and more. Workshops are planned on livestock, growing herbs, greenhouses, soil health, weed control, and more.

Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference
January 23-25, 2014
Ames, Iowa

This conference, "Well Grounded," will examine permaculture and grazing systems, as well as the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Attendees will learn about profitable vegetable systems, biodiversity on farms, nonfarmers who are building partnerships with farmers, and more.

>> More Events

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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.

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