Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 10, 2008
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service Web site. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
* 'Access to Pasture' Listening Session Transcript Posted
Share The Harvest: Please forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the latest sustainable agriculture news, funding opportunities, and events.
* Christmas Tree Options Include Organic, Sustainable
* Publication Highlights 2008 Glynwood Harvest Awards
* Milo As An Alternative Swine Feed
* Online Tool Mapping Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives
* Report Reviews Sustainability of Oregon-Washington Food System
* Strategic Agricultural Initiative, EPA Region 10
* Wood Education and Resource Center Competitive Grants
* Interpreting America's Historic Places: Planning Grants
* Farming for the Future Conference
* Texas Conference on Organic Production Systems
* North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association Convention
News & Resources
'Access to Pasture' Listening Session Transcript Posted
The National Organic Program has posted a PDF transcript of its first listening session on the proposed Access to Pasture rule, held October 28 in Auburn, New York. An additional session still to be held is set for December 11 in Gap, Pennsylvania. Written and online comments will be accepted until December 23. Meanwhile, the Northeast Organic Dairy Producers Alliance has assembled a web page that offers instructions on how to submit comments, a comparison of the text of the new rule with the existing rule, and commentary and analysis of the proposed rule by NODPA.
Christmas Tree Options Include Organic, Sustainable
Consumers interested in purchasing a Christmas tree that wasn't treated with pesticide have several alternatives, according to a story in The New York Times. In addition to certified organic trees for sale, there are trees grown under sustainable methods in the Certified Naturally Grown program. Consumers can also look for trees grown by producers who participate in voluntary standards programs like the Farmer’s Pledge. Buyers who deal directly with a small-scale grower can simply ask about production practices. Some large-scale tree producers in Oregon formed the Coalition of Environmentally Conscious Growers in 2007, a group whose members farm using methods that are conscious of the environment and submit to audits for certification. Unfortunately, buyers who shop in tree lots can't be certain of the history of their purchase, though the story notes that pesticide use on Christmas trees has been reduced in general, due to IPM programs.
Publication Highlights 2008 Glynwood Harvest Awards
The Glynwood Center, sponsor of the prestigious national Glynwood Harvest Awards, has released Gleanings: 2008 Glynwood Harvest Awards (PDF / 3.8M). The 12-page report profiles the winners of this year's awards. The first Glynwood Medal for Distinguished Leadership in Sustainable Agriculture was given to Frederick L. Kirschenmann. The Farmer Award went to Robert Hastings of Rivermede Farm in New York. The Glynwood Harvest Award for Good Food for Health went to Garden Resource Program in Detroit, while the Glynwood Harvest Award for Connecting Communities, Farmers, and Food was awarded to FoodRoutes Conservancy. Nuestras Raíces in Holyoke, Massachusetts, received the Glynwood Harvest Award for Wave of the Future.
Milo As An Alternative Swine Feed
Many central U.S. swine producers switched in recent years to feeding their stock a corn-based diet. "With our recent harvests, as well as the increasing demand for corn in ethanol production, corn prices have risen dramatically - especially in comparison to milo's (grain sorghum). As a result, milo is emerging in many areas of Kansas as the more economical feed alternative," said Bob Goodband, swine specialist with Kansas State University Research and Extension. Pound for pound, milo can totally replace corn in all swine diets, he said. A milo variety's color (red, yellow, etc.) seems to have no impact on its nutrition. Kansas Ag Connection reports average daily gains of pigs fed milo-based diets have proven to be similar to those of pigs fed a corn formulation.
Online Tool Mapping Sustainable Agriculture Initiatives
In partnership with SAI Platform, the Sustainable Food Lab has launched an online geographic mapping tool of sustainable agriculture and healthy value chain initiatives worldwide. This tool is still in development, and welcomes submissions of new projects. The records are searchable by location, issue, responsible company, or crop.
Report Reviews Sustainability of Oregon-Washington Food System
Sustainability trends in the growing, processing, and eating of food in Oregon and Washington are assessed in a report from the Portland State University Institute of Portland Metropolitan Studies. Planting Prosperity and Harvesting Health: Trade-offs and Sustainability in the Oregon-Washington Regional Food System is available on the Institute's Web site in PDF. The report looks at six key food system resources: land, water, energy, labor and talent, capital, and consumer choice and spending power. IMS worked with stakeholders to develop nine outcome-driven goals for a sustainable food system. The assessment also provides stakeholder suggestions for developing an action plan in the region.
> More Breaking News
Back to top
Strategic Agricultural Initiative, EPA Region 10
American Farmland Trust and EPA Region 10 Strategic Agricultural Initiative are pleased to announce a call for projects to assist producers with transition from high risk pesticides to pest control tactics with reduced human, environmental, and/or ecological impacts. EPA Region 10 serves Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Native Tribes.
Proposals are due January 16, 2009.
Wood Education and Resource Center Competitive Grants
The Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC), Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for cost-share demonstration projects that assist the WERC in meeting its mission of facilitating interaction and information exchange with the forest products industry that will enhance opportunities for sustained forest products production in the eastern hardwood forest region. Priority will be given to projects that accomplish one or more of the following items: • Maintain the economic competitiveness of primary and secondary hardwood industries. • Increase the knowledge and information about how the hardwood industry can contribute to the green building movement. • Increase the knowledge, information, and promotion of how carbon sequestration by wood products can provide a competitive edge to a sustainable hardwood industry. • Develop technology and markets to address urgent issues on a global or domestic scale. • Increase the sustainable use of woody biomass to meet our Nation’s needs for energy and raw materials. Projects may also develop or maintain local markets and forest industry infrastructure by using woody biomass for both energy and value-added products.
Proposals are due February 2, 2009.
Interpreting America's Historic Places: Planning Grants
As part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ We the People program, Interpreting America’s Historic Places grants support public humanities projects that exploit the evocative power of historic places to address themes and issues central to American history and culture, including those that advance knowledge of how the founding principles of the United States have shaped and been shaped by American history and culture for more than two hundred years. Interpreting America’s Historic Places planning grants support planning that leads to the interpretation of a single historic site or house, a series of sites, an entire neighborhood, a town or community, or a larger geographical region. Awards typically do not exceed $40,000. Any U.S. nonprofit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status is eligible, as are state and local governmental agencies.
Proposals are due January 28, 2009.
> More Funding Opportunities
Back to top
Farming for the Future Conference
February 5-7, 2009
State College, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture presents its 18th annual conference, "The Worldwide Search for Food Sovereignty: Finding Your Foodshed." The event begins with 13 diverse, day-long pre-conference tracks, on topics including cheesemaking, sustainable forestry, and farmers' markets. The main conference includes keynote speakers and an array of workshops. Tracks for kids are also offered, along with an array of social activities and exhibits.
Texas Conference on Organic Production Systems
February 6-8, 2009
The agenda for this event includes half-day workshops, featured speaker Joel Salatin, and session presenters including Professional Growers, Master Gardeners, Organic Scientists, Industry Professionals, Chefs, and Value-Added Producers. Networking opportunities for interest groups are also offered.
North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association Convention
February 1-7, 2009
Each year, NAFDMA hosts the premier farm direct marketing convention in North America. The convention includes a three-day Bus Tour, a day of full-day Workshops, and a two-day Conference with concurrent sessions. It also includes a Trade Show.
> More Events
Back to top
to the Weekly Harvest
Comments? Questions? Contact us.
Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters
are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter
of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service. Visit the NCAT Web site for more information on our sustainable agriculture projects.
© Copyright 2008 NCAT
Back to top
|ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter