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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 29, 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

  • National Young Farmer Survey Results Available
  • Montana Agritourism Resource Manual Released by AERO
  • Bay Area Food and Farm Resilience Strategies Outlined in Report
  • State Farm to School Legislation Resource Updated
  • Texas Organic-Production Study Explores Cover Crop Options
  • Sustainable Farming Association Launches Garlic Project

Funding Opportunities

  • Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program
  • Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
  • Environmental Quality Incentives Program in Colorado

Coming Events

  • Virginia Biological Farming Conference
  • Planning for On-Farm Success Workshops
  • NCAP Organic Farming Conference

News & Resources

National Young Farmer Survey Results Available
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) has released the results of its 2017 national survey of young farmers in a report titled Building a Future with Farmers II. The survey identified major barriers to young farmers' success in agriculture, including access to land, labor, affordable health care, and mounting student-loan debt. NYFC has developed "Young Farmer Agenda," a slate of policy reforms based on survey findings. The full survey, including the executive summary, charts, recommendations, and stakeholder action steps, is available online.

Montana Agritourism Resource Manual Released by AERO
AERO has released Developing Montana's Agritourism: A Resource Manual, designed to help Montana farmers and ranchers decide whether or not they want to pursue agritourism as an additional product offering. It offers basic information on how to start an agritourism business with advice on the process of building a business plan, lists of important contacts and resources, and agritourism success stories.

Bay Area Food and Farm Resilience Strategies Outlined in Report
A new report from American Farmland Trust and Sustainable Agriculture Education outlines strategies for strengthening the Bay Area's agriculture and food cluster as a critical pillar of the region's economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, and vibrant cultural life. The Association of Bay Area Governments commissioned the report, The Bay Area Food Economy: Existing Conditions and Strategies for Resilience, which outlines five recommendations for increasing investments in the food and agriculture sector.

State Farm to School Legislation Resource Updated
The National Farm to School Network updated its signature resource that tracks legislation supportive of farm to school, the State Farm to School Legislative Survey: 2002-2017. The online resource offers a state-by-state review of every proposed farm to school policy since 2002, analysis of legislative trends, case studies of successful advocacy efforts, and other resources for those working to advance farm to school in their communities.

Texas Organic-Production Study Explores Cover Crop Options
A three-year study at Texas A&M is identifying best practices for organic grain and soybean cropping in Texas. The first year of the study involved testing on cover crops and production systems. Subsequent years of the project will test alternative cover crops and conduct demonstrations with producers across Texas.
Related ATTRA Publication: Cover Crop Options for Hot and Humid Areas

Sustainable Farming Association Launches Garlic Project
Minnesota's Sustainable Farming Association has launched "The Garlic Project" to enhance farmers' profitability by increasing premium garlic production in Minnesota. The multi-year project will teach best production and marketing practices, expand markets and supply chains, and conduct research on improved cultivation methods. The project is looking for four collaborating farms to conduct research, as well as 30 partner farms to participate in tracking statistics on planting, harvesting, and sales.
Related ATTRA Publication: Garlic: Organic Production

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture has a new grant opportunity to help military veterans pursue farming and ranching careers. Enhancing Agricultural Opportunities for Military Veterans Competitive Grants Program (AgVets) seeks to increase the number of military veterans gaining knowledge and skills through comprehensive, hands-on, and immersive farm and ranch programs offered regionally that lead to successful careers in food and agriculture. These projects will offer onsite, hands-on training and classroom education leading to a comprehensive understanding of successful farm and ranch operations and management practices. Approximately $4.7 million is available in FY 2018. Applicants must be nonprofit entities.
A letter of intent to apply is due January 11, 2018.

Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for $17.7 million through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which supports the delivery of education, mentoring, and technical-assistance programs. At least 5% of the program's funds will be allocated to address the needs of limited-resource beginning farmers and ranchers, socially disadvantaged beginning farmers or ranchers, and/or farm workers and immigrants desiring to become beginning farmers or ranchers. At least 5% will be allocated to address the needs of beginning farmers and ranchers who are military veterans.
Applications are due February 8, 2018.

Environmental Quality Incentives Program in Colorado
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Colorado is accepting applications for enrollment into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). EQIP is a voluntary Farm Bill program that provides financial assistance for conservation systems such as animal waste management facilities, irrigation system efficiency improvements, fencing, water supply development, riparian protection, and wildlife habitat enhancement. The program also affords veterans, socially disadvantaged, beginning, and limited-resource farmers and ranchers specific opportunities to improve or enhance natural resources on their lands. There are specific opportunities for landowners with interests in improving forest and soil health, as well as those wanting to enhance habitat for sage grouse, southwestern willow flycatcher, and lesser prairie chicken.
Applications for 2018 funding are due by December 15, 2017.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Virginia Biological Farming Conference
January 22-24, 2018
Hot Springs, Virginia

The 19th annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Virginia’s premier gathering of organic farmers, gardeners, and supporters, offers practical learning and insights from more than 30 speakers, an exhibit hall with tools and services, locally sourced meals, and networking.

Planning for On-Farm Success Workshops
January 9 - February 20, 2018
Havre, Plains, Troy, or Montana City, Montana
This seven-week series of evening workshops takes place concurrently in several communities. The workshops teach you how to start a new market farm or livestock business, identify the profit centers on your farm, assess a new enterprise, capture more of the profits from your products, and improve farm brand and marketing.

NCAP Organic Farming Conference
January 20, 2018
Boise, Idaho

Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) and USDA present this conference addressing the Farm Bill, organic certification, risk management, recordkeeping, and more.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Monitoring Checklist

Question of the Week
How should I go about preparing soil for organic fruit plantings?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Southern SAWG Scholarships for Veterans
Scholarships are available for the "Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms" conference in Chattanooga in January. Apply by December 8, 2017.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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