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ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 11, 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.

News & Resources

  • Report Highlights Innovations in Local Food Enterprise
  • Farm Bill Conservation Practices Helped Protect Chesapeake Bay
  • Homegrown by Heroes Brand Goes National
  • Mathematical Model Determines Locations for Wholesale Food Distributors
  • Study Shows Economic Impact of Small Farms in South Carolina
  • Sweet Potato Grown Successfully in Midwest

Funding Opportunities

  • NIFA Fellowships Grant Program
  • Herb Society of America Research Grant
  • Iowa Competitive Educational Support Program

Coming Events

  • Harvesting Clean Energy
  • PASA's Annual Farming for the Future Conference
  • North American Farm Direct Marketing Association Convention

News & Resources

Report Highlights Innovations in Local Food Enterprise
A new report from the Wallace Center, Innovations in Local Food Enterprise: Fresh Ideas for a Just and Profitable Food System, addresses the issue of how consumer price and producer cost can meet in ways that transition healthy, local food from a privilege to a right. The report features innovative solutions to overcoming difficult food access and food equity issues with a focus on market-based, consumer-driven solutions for low-income, underserved communities. The report is available online.

Farm Bill Conservation Practices Helped Protect Chesapeake Bay
A report released by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) says that voluntary conservation practices adopted by Chesapeake Bay farmers since 2006 have significantly reduced the amount of nitrogen, sediment, and phosphorus leaving cultivated croplands. Erosion control has been adopted on 97% of cropland acres in the watershed. Additionally, the report shows increased use of cover crops by Bay-watershed farmers.

Homegrown by Heroes Brand Goes National
A Kentucky initiative to identify farm products produced by veterans will become a national brand administered by the Farmer Veteran Coalition. "Homegrown by Heroes" identifies agricultural products produced by military veterans, providing an incentive for consumers to buy those products and for retailers to stock them.

Mathematical Model Determines Locations for Wholesale Food Distributors
A mathematical model developed by researchers at Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences can help business owners and policy makers determine the optimal locations for wholesale food distribution centers. The research, which will be published in the December issue of Transportation Research Record, shows how optimal distributor locations change based on a number of variables, including distributor size and capacity, road conditions, and gas prices. The work is part of a larger research project called "Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast through Regional Food Systems."
Related ATTRA Publication: Food Hubs: A Producer Guide

Study Shows Economic Impact of Small Farms in South Carolina
Making Small Farms into Big Business, a study commissioned by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, shows that the state's small farms could grow the economy, create jobs, build healthier communities, and increase revenue to $1.2 billion annually. Several private-sector groups and state agencies are working together on a strategic plan to implement study recommendations such as developing food nodes and food hubs, encouraging local food purchasing, and educating consumers.

Sweet Potato Grown Successfully in Midwest
Iowa State University Horticulture Research Station has conducted sweet potato trials that show the vegetable can be grown successfully in the Midwest using black plastic mulch and drip irrigation. Horticulturist Ajay Nair says that Iowa farmers could have a niche market selling local sweet potatoes but advises producers to identify a market in advance, because national average yields are 20,000 pounds per acre.
Related ATTRA Publication: Sweetpotato: Organic Production

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

NIFA Fellowships Grant Program
USDA anticipates that approximately $6 million will be available to support the NIFA Fellowships Grant Program within the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) to provide fellowships to outstanding pre- and post-doctoral students in the agricultural sciences. Project types supported by AFRI include single-function Research, Education, and Extension Projects and multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects.
A letter of intent to apply must be received by December 12, 2013. Applications are due February 20, 2014.

Herb Society of America Research Grant
The Herb Society of America, Inc. offers annual research grants to students, professionals, and individuals engaged in research on the horticultural, scientific, and/or social applications or use of herbs throughout history. Grants are for a one-year period and the maximum amount available is $5,000.
Applications and proposals must be postmarked by January 31, 2014.

Iowa Competitive Educational Support Program
The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will help co-sponsor one-time events, programs, workshops, conferences, or displays that are educational in nature and support the center's mission. Iowa nonprofit organizations, agencies, and educational institutions are eligible to apply for up to $1,000 for each event or program.
Application deadline is the 15th of each month.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Harvesting Clean Energy
February 4-6, 2014
Helena, Montana

Hear from leading experts and practitioners about the steps to successful clean energy projects that can help you cut costs and diversify revenue for your business or facility operations—be it on the farm, in the forest, or in the city. Learn how you can improve efficiencies and produce clean energy, feedstocks, and co-products for yourself and for market.

PASA's Annual Farming for the Future Conference
February 5-8, 2014
State College, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture's annual conference brings together 2,000 farmers, processors, consumers, students, environmentalists, and business and community leaders annually. Typical conference workshops focus on practical topics relating to production, value-added processing, business planning, marketing, and more.

North American Farm Direct Marketing Association Convention
January 31 - February 5, 2014
Kansas City, Missouri

This is the premier farm direct marketing convention in North America, with three days of bus tours integrated with two days of sessions, speakers, workshops, and a trade show.

>> More Events

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Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives
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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

© 2013 NCAT

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Question of the Week
Can I use a cover crop of broccoli to limit Verticillium on my next crop?

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ATTRA Webinars
The National Center for Appropriate Technology and the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition will host New USDA Cover Crop Termination Policy on January 23. The webinar will discuss USDA's policy on when and how cover crops can be terminated without jeopardizing crop insurance coverage. Register now!

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