Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 28, 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
- Videos Help Owners Profit from Woodland
- National Climate Assessment Carries Warnings for Agriculture
- Women for the Land Launched in California
- Kansas Specialty-Crop Grower Discusses Getting Started, Scaling Up, and Scaling Down
- Leopold Conservation Award Winners Announced in Several States
- Researchers Say Citizen Scientists Could Help Advance Agricultural Research
- Southern Maryland Agricultural Farmer Mini-Grant Program
- Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Block Grant
- Minnesota Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant
- Great Plains Growers Conference
- Virginia Biological Farming Conference
- Wisconsin School For Beginning Market Growers
News & Resources
Videos Help Owners Profit from Woodland
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chenango County is developing a series of videos that show woodland owners how they can use forest enterprises and products to supplement their incomes. Nine videos currently available feature forest owners and their enterprises, including a sawmill, local maple syrup businesses, and a forest lease contract. Future videos will address mushroom and firewood business opportunities.
Related ATTRA Publication: Maple Sugaring: An Introduction to Small-Scale Commercial Production
National Climate Assessment Carries Warnings for Agriculture
The U.S. Global Change Research Program has released the Fourth National Climate Assessment, an examination of the effects of climate change on the United States. Chapter 10 of the Assessment is on "Agriculture and Rural Communities." This chapter contains four key messages regarding productivity decline, resource degradation, livestock health, and rural-community capacity to respond.
Women for the Land Launched in California
American Farmland Trust has announced the launch of Women for the Land in California, a program to support female landowners in accessing resources and building strong networks around succession planning, landowner-farmer relations, and whole-farm conservation. The first women-only learning circle will be held for Solano, Yolo, and Napa county female landowners on December 6, 2018.
Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Farm Leases and Contracts: Creating Smart, Effective Documents
Kansas Specialty-Crop Grower Discusses Getting Started, Scaling Up, and Scaling Down
In Kansas Rural Center's latest specialty-crop grower profile, Dan Kuhn relates how his operation has grown since he and his wife began with 1.5 acres in 1989. Now, Kuhn farms 190 acres with as many as 29 employees and has 12 hoop houses in production. Kuhn sells pumpkins in 10 states, including sales to large wholesale customers. Kuhn notes some of the challenges of working with wholesale customers, expresses concern about Dicamba damage, and talks about scaling back to serve more local markets.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Scaling Up for Regional Markets
Leopold Conservation Award Winners Announced in Several States
The Sand County Foundation, which partners with groups in several states to offer the annual Leopold Conservation Award, has recently announced the 2018 winners in North Dakota, Utah, Kansas, Wisconsin, and California. The Leopold Conservation Award is a competitive $10,000 award that recognizes landowner achievement in voluntary conservation. Descriptions of winners' conservation practices are posted online.
Researchers Say Citizen Scientists Could Help Advance Agricultural Research
An international team of researchers says there is potential for citizen science to contribute to agricultural research, particularly in collaboration with Extension. Researchers found dozens of examples of citizen-science contributions to agricultural research. The study authors identify opportunities for engaging citizen scientists and make recommendations for effectively putting them to work on pressing research needs.
>>More Breaking News
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Southern Maryland Agricultural Farmer Mini-Grant Program
Southern Maryland Agricultural offers a Farmer Mini-Grant Program that will award matching grants up to $2,000 for qualified projects. Examples of projects include purchase of foundation livestock, purchase of plant stock, marketing and promotion of current farm operation, fencing, hoop house, materials needed for value-added production, and on-farm upgrades to enhance food safety. The program is open to applicants residing and farming in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Charles, Prince George's, or St. Mary's counties of Maryland.
Applications will be accepted until January 1, 2019.
Pennsylvania Specialty Crop Block Grant
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture is accepting concept proposals for Specialty Crop Block Grant projects that increase the visibility and competitiveness of the state's fruit and vegetable, nursery, horticultural, and nut products. Applicants must submit a concept paper for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through market development, technology innovation, food safety, nutrition knowledge, sustainable practices, and/or pest management. State and/or local organizations, producer associations, academia, community-based organizations, and other specialty crops stakeholders are eligible to apply.
Concept papers are due by December 28, 2018.
Minnesota Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant
Minnesota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for the Good Food Access Program Equipment and Physical Improvement Grant. For-profit and non-profit grocery stores and small food retailers, such as a farmers market, a mobile food market, or a retail food outlet operated by a food hub, can apply for grants to make physical improvements and purchase equipment to stimulate sales of affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food. Projects must serve census-designated Food Deserts, or low- or moderate-income areas with substantial subpopulations who have low supermarket access. Grants range from $2,500 to $50,000.
Applications are due by January 17, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Great Plains Growers Conference
January 10-12, 2019
St. Joseph, Missouri
This conference showcases educational information from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, along with vegetable specialists and growers from those states.
Virginia Biological Farming Conference
January 11-13, 2019
Virginia Association for Biological Farming and Virginia State University host this 20th annual conference with educational workshops and presentations, panel discussions, networking, and more.
Wisconsin School For Beginning Market Growers
January 11-13, 2019
This intensive three-day course taught by growers and University of Wisconsin experts gives students a realistic picture of what it takes to run a successful small-scale produce operation.
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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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