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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 4, 2019

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

  • On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trial Funding Awarded
  • NOP Updates Organic Hemp Instruction
  • Global Map Scores Sustainability of Food Systems by Country
  • Hedgerows Support Beneficial Birds on Farms
  • Soil Health Academy Announces Nonprofit Status
  • Dairy Manure and Food Waste Combine for Renewable Energy in Massachusetts

Funding Opportunities

  • Local Food Producer Outreach, Education, and Training to Enhance Food Safety and FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Compliance
  • The Americana Foundation
  • Scholarships for MOSES Conference

Coming Events

  • Virginia Biological Farming Conference
  • NOFA Massachusetts Winter Conference
  • Pastured and Free Range Poultry Workshops

News & Resources

On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trial Funding Awarded
The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced more than $24 million in grants through On-Farm Conservation Innovation Trials, a new component of the Conservation Innovation Grants program. Nine projects focus on the adoption and evaluation of soil health management systems and practices, and the other seven focus on irrigation water management, precision agriculture, and a variety of management technologies. A complete list of recipients is available online.

NOP Updates Organic Hemp Instruction
The USDA National Organic Program announced that it has updated NOP 2040: Instruction on Organic Certification of Industrial Hemp. The updated instruction applies to all USDA-accredited certifying agents. It allows hemp produced in the United States under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program to be certified as organic under the USDA organic regulations.

Global Map Scores Sustainability of Food Systems by Country
The International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) has developed a global map that illustrates the sustainability of national food systems. The assessment was based on 20 indicators in four dimensions: environment, economic, social, and food and nutrition. The tool can be used to track changes in sustainability over time and has the potential to guide policy and action as climate change, rising populations, and increased demand for food pressure global food systems.

Hedgerows Support Beneficial Birds on Farms
University of California researchers found that hedgerows bordering farmland support beneficial, bug-eating birds that help with pest control. In addition to hedgerows, the presence of mature walnut trees supported bird populations that reduced codling moth populations. The study authors point out that hedgerows can also attract beneficial insects to a farm, including pollinators.
Related ATTRA Publication: Beneficial and Pest Birds: Vertebrate IPM Tip Sheet

Soil Health Academy Announces Nonprofit Status
The Soil Health Academy (SHA) has become a nonprofit organization. SHA's three-day schools feature instruction by David Brandt, Ray Archuleta, Gabe Brown, Allen Williams, Shane New, and other technical consultants. As a nonprofit, SHA President David Brandt said, the organization will be better positioned to deliver programs and services to help farmers make the successful transition from chemically dependent conventional farming methods to nature-mimicking regenerative methods.

Dairy Manure and Food Waste Combine for Renewable Energy in Massachusetts
Some Massachusetts dairy farmers are combining manure with food waste to produce renewable energy, reports PBS. A renewable-energy company builds anaerobic digesters that help farmers manage manure and also take in food waste to produce energy for the farms and surrounding communities. Both a state ban on food waste in landfills and renewable energy incentives helped launch the operations and make them economically feasible.
Related ATTRA Publication: Anaerobic Digestion of Animal Wastes: Factors to Consider

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Local Food Producer Outreach, Education, and Training to Enhance Food Safety and FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Compliance
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is accepting applications for Local Food Producer Outreach, Education, and Training for Enhancing Food Safety and FSMA Compliance. The primary objective of this cooperative agreement is to provide training, education, and outreach; address training gaps; and facilitate identification of appropriate technical-assistance resources for local food producers and processors, related to applicable federal preventive controls regulations under FSMA, especially the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls for Human Food rules.
Applications are due by January 28, 2020.

The Americana Foundation
Through its Agriculture and Natural Resources program, the Americana Foundation supports educational, advocacy, and community-development programs that address the growth and development of American agriculture, community food programs, and natural resource conservation in rural and urban landscapes in Michigan.
Proposals should be submitted by January 10, 2020.

Scholarships for MOSES Conference
Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) offers a number of different scholarships for the annual MOSES Conference, including full-conference, one-day, Organic University, and children's scholarships. The conference will take place February 27-29, 2020, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
Applications are due by December 17, 2019.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Virginia Biological Farming Conference
January 11-13, 2020
Roanoke, Virginia
The 21st annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference, Virginia's premier organic and sustainable agricultural conference, includes pre-conference intensive workshops; 44 sessions, presentations, and panel discussions; 50 trade show exhibitors; and more.

NOFA Massachusetts Winter Conference
January 11, 2020
Worcester, Massachusetts
The Northeast Organic Farming Association NOFA/Mass Winter Conference features workshops for beginning, intermediate, and advanced producers. Topics include crop and livestock production, agroforestry, seaweed production, hemp, and climate resilience.

Pastured and Free Range Poultry Workshops
January 6, 14, 22, 27, and 30, 2020
Davis, California, and Online
University of California Cooperative Extension and partners including NCAT present a series of five Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program Pastured/Free Range Poultry Workshops, each focusing on a different topic.

>>More Events

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How can I control pear psylla organically?

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December 10, 2019
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