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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 12, 2018

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

  • Farm Financing Course Offered Free Online
  • Farm Bill Conference Committee Delivers Final Bill
  • North Central Region SARE Seeks Administrative Council Members
  • Free Yearlong Training Program Offered for Beginning Farmers in Louisiana
  • Fund Offers Low-Interest Loans to Carolina Farmers for Hurricane Recovery
  • Purdue Study Identifies Hot Spots for New American Farmers

Funding Opportunities

  • Arkansas Conservation Partners
  • North Dakota Specialty Crop Season Extension Grants
  • Scholarships for MOSES Conference

Coming Events

  • EcoFarm 2019
  • Cascadia Grains Conference
  • Western Montana Grazing and Agriculture Conference

News & Resources

Farm Financing Course Offered Free Online
Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) partnered with Western Technical College to create a series of free online webinars designed to help farmers develop the systems and knowledge they need to understand and manage their farms' finances. The Fearless Farm Finances webinars cover subjects ranging from goal-setting and recordkeeping systems to developing statements of income and cash flow for bankers and tax purposes.
Related ATTRA Tutorial: Getting Started in Farming: An Introduction to Farm Business Planning

Farm Bill Conference Committee Delivers Final Bill
The 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee has released a final bill for Congress to vote on. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) notes that the bill provides permanent, baseline funding for programs such as the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program, and Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program. However, the bill contains significant budget cuts for the Conservation Stewardship Program.

North Central Region SARE Seeks Administrative Council Members
North Central Region SARE is seeking nominees for two seats on its Administrative Council: a farmer or rancher representative and a non-profit organization representative. Council members must live and work in one of the 12 North Central states. The term is three years. Nominees should have a basic understanding of sustainable agriculture and be comfortable with reviewing grant proposals and participating in a group decision-making process. To nominate yourself, submit information online by December 31, 2018.

Free Yearlong Training Program Offered for Beginning Farmers in Louisiana
In January, LSU AgCenter begins Grow Louisiana, a free yearlong training program for beginning Louisiana farmers. Grow Louisiana provides whole-farm planning, horticulture and business training, online resources, support, and mentoring. Classes are held weekly in New Orleans for eight weeks in the spring and eight weeks in the fall. Participation is free, and travel to the annual Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Convention is included. Applications to participate are due by December 14, 2018.
Related ATTRA Resources:
Beginning Farmer

Fund Offers Low-Interest Loans to Carolina Farmers for Hurricane Recovery
The Natural Capital Investment Fund has launched the RESEED Recovery Fund, a $250,000 program that will provide low-interest, easily accessible loans to North Carolina and South Carolina farmers and value-added producers who sustained damages from Hurricanes Florence or Michael. Loans will range from $2,500 to $10,000 and will be offered at 1% interest with a maximum term of one year.

Purdue Study Identifies Hot Spots for New American Farmers
Purdue University environmental anthropologist Andrew Flachs has published a paper that identifies hot spots where younger people new to agriculture are taking up farming. Many of these hot spots are on the peripheries of hip cities on the West Coast, in central Texas and Oklahoma, in central Florida, and in the Great Lakes region. Modeling showed that newer farmers appear to thrive on the outskirts of cities that provide high demand and purchasing power, a large population, and a healthy number of farmers markets.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Arkansas Conservation Partners
USDA-NRCS Arkansas State Office is seeking support from and opportunities to partner with natural resource conservation partners to assist producers to plan and/or implement conservation practices. NRCS anticipates that approximately $5 million will be available. Proposals are requested from eligible entities, nonprofits, governmental or nongovernmental organizations, and institutions of higher learning. Objectives, eligibility criteria, and application instructions are available online.
Proposals are due by January 30, 2019.

North Dakota Specialty Crop Season Extension Grants
North Dakota Department of Agriculture has announced that $50,000 is available to help research extending the season for fruit and vegetable production through the use of high tunnels. North Dakota schools and communities are eligible to apply for competitive grants up to $10,000 that include a yield trial to compare growing specialty crops with and without season extension. The grant would include the construction of a high tunnel.
The application deadline is January 25, 2019.

Scholarships for MOSES Conference
Several different scholarships are available to help with registration costs for the 2019 MOSES Organic Farming Conference and for the associated Organic University. Farmers who have not yet attended the conference receive priority. Prior recipients are not eligible. The conference is scheduled for February 21-23, 2019, in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Applications are due by December 13, 2018.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

EcoFarm 2019
January 23-26, 2019
Pacific Grove, California

The Ecological Farming Association presents the 39th annual EcoFarm Conference, "Resistance is Fertile," featuring more than 70 workshops, intensives, keynotes, farm tours, an exhibitor marketplace, and organic culinary fare.

Cascadia Grains Conference
January 18-19, 2019
Olympia, Washington

The Cascadia Grains Conference convenes and connects growers, processors, brokers, investors, and policymakers across the grains value chain to consider how to make a local grain economy work.

Western Montana Grazing and Agriculture Conference
January 17-18, 2019
Missoula, Montana

Livestock and crop producers, as well as natural resource professionals and educators, from across Montana will continue the conversation about improved on-farm practices.

>>More Events

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New ATTRA Publication
Documentation and Recordkeeping for Whole-Farm Revenue Protection

Question of the Week
Can vertical farms be certified organic?

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

Pastured and Free-Range Poultry Workshops and Webinars
January 7,15, 23, 31, and February 8, 2019
Davis, California and online
Learn more!

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