Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 12, 2007
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.
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News & Resources
* New Web Site Links Georgia Producers with Markets
* Illinois Launches State Conservation Stewardship Program
* New Reports Say Climate Change Impact Could Be Worse than Thought
* Take Part in Environmental Management Survey
* Wisconsin Edition of Renewing the Countryside Released
* Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
* EPA Broad Agency Announcement for Conferences, Workshops, and Meetings
* Tennessee Dairy and Quality Milk Initiative
* PASA Farming for the Future Conference
* Organic Seed Growers Conference
* Virginia Biological Farming Conference and Trade Show
News & Resources
New Web Site Links Georgia Producers with Markets
The University of Georgia Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development has launched Georgia MarketMaker. The interactive Web site has an extensive searchable collection of food-industry data. "Our goal is to help producers sell their products and help provide markets for Georgia's farmers. We'd like to see it evolve into a locally-grown-food network," said Kent Wolfe, a UGA Cooperative Extension marketing and finance specialist. The University of Illinois Extension created the original program in 2004. Other states in the growing national system are Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky and New York. Set to come online soon are Michigan, Indiana and Mississippi.
Illinois Launches State Conservation Stewardship Program
In 2007 Illinois enacted a state Conservation Stewardship Law that offers an incentive of reduced valuation for property taxes to landowners who are willing to commit to maintaining and managing unimproved land. Landowners who wish to receive the special valuation for unimproved land provided by this law are required to prepare a Conservation Management Plan according to rules developed by the Department of Natural Resources. Land accepted into the Conservation Stewardship Program will be valued at 5% of market value for property tax purposes, as long as the landowner complies with the approved management plan. The program is now in effect and applications are available online.
New Reports Say Climate Change Impact Could Be Worse than Thought
Global agriculture, already predicted to be stressed by climate change in coming decades, could go into steep, unanticipated declines in some regions due to complications that scientists have so far inadequately considered, say three new scientific reports. Coauthored by leading researchers from Europe, North America and Australia, they appear in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The authors of the PNAS studies say that much of the previous work is oversimplified, and as a consequence, the potential for bigger, more rapid problems remains largely unexplored. The reports point to spread of weeds, pests and diseases as problems that have been inadequately considered, as well as the effect of drought on pasture lands, changes in animal physiogamy, and extreme temperature events.
Take Part in Environmental Management Survey
The Conservation Technology Information Center (CTIC) and The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) are conducting a national survey of producers. This survey aims to gain a better understanding of environmental management measures on U.S. farms and barriers to adoption, as well as provide information on the best way to distribute educational materials regarding best management practices and environmental stewardship. Click here to take part in the survey.
Wisconsin Edition of Renewing the Countryside Released
Renewing the Countryside has released a publication on Wisconsin, showcasing thirty-nine creative, hard-working people, organizations and businesses that represent energetic, innovative visions for Wisconsin's countryside. Project partners were Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), The Northern Center for Community and Economic Development, and Renewing the Countryside. The book is the latest in a series of photographically rich publications for specific states that feature case studies of people and organizations renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses and projects.
> More Breaking News
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Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
FSMIP provides matching funds on a competitive basis to State departments of agriculture, State agricultural experiment stations and other similar State agencies for applied research projects that address barriers, challenges, and opportunities in the marketing, transportation, and distribution of U.S. food and agricultural products. Proposals may deal with any stage of the marketing chain including direct, wholesale, and retail. Proposals may involve small, medium, or large-scale agricultural entities but should potentially benefit multiple producers or agribusinesses. Of particular interest are proposals that reflect a collaborative approach between the States, academia, the farm sector and other appropriate entities and stakeholders. Approximately 25 to 30 projects are funded annually. The average award is $50,000.
Proposals are due February 11, 2008.
EPA Broad Agency Announcement for Conferences, Workshops, and Meetings
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Broad Agency Announcement soliciting applications from eligible applicants for the planning, arranging, administering and/or conducting of conferences, workshops, and/or meetings that focus on research to protect human health and safeguard the environment. Specifically, EPA is interested in supporting scientific and technical research conferences that address the following research program areas: (1) human health; (2) ecosystems; water and security; (3) economics and sustainability; (4) air and global climate change; and (5) technology. This BAA is open from December 10, 2007 through December 9, 2008. Applications must be received by January 7, 2008; June 5, 2008; and December 9, 2008 depending upon the cycle for which the applicant is requesting funding.
Tennessee Dairy and Quality Milk Initiative
The Tennessee Dairy and Quality Milk Initiative is a program aimed at increasing dairy farm income in Tennessee by providing cost-share funds to farmers to aid in increasing milk quality and production efficiency. The program consists of two major components: a cattle genetic improvement program and a milk quality/handling equipment program. Both programs utilize cost share incentives to encourage producers to improve their herds and facilities, as well as, milk quality.
Proposals are due January 1, 2008.
> More Funding Opportunities
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PASA Farming for the Future Conference
February 7-9, 2008
State College, Pennsylvania
This 17th annual conference presented by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture has the theme "Ready to Go: Sharing the Sustainable Story." The schedule includes an extensive selection of workshops, speakers, pre-conference tracks, and a kids' conference.
Organic Seed Growers Conference
February 14-15, 2008
Organic farmers, plant breeders, researchers, and seed industry professionals will gather for the 5th Biennial Organic Seed Growers Conference hosted by OSA with partnership from Oregon State University (OSU) and Washington State University (WSU). This largest meeting of seed professionals engaged in organic seed production, research, and plant breeding in the United States brings together producers, university researchers and Extension agents, seed industry professionals, and food industry participants from across the country.
Virginia Biological Farming Conference and Trade Show
February 15-16, 2008
The 9th annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference is intended for commercial farmers and farm managers, educators, government agricultural professionals, urban farmers, master gardeners, young people, and just plain consumers. Workshops and speakers will address a variety of soil, livestock, and crop production topics.
> More Events
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