Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 13, 2006
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
* USDA Seeks Public Input on Defining 'Natural' Label
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.
* Grazing Dairy Farmers More Safisfied with Quality of Life
* New Members Named to National Organic Standards Board
* Agricultural Researchers Address Climate Change Threat to Food Supplies
* New York City Bans Restaurant Trans Fat
* Philadelphia Company Focuses on Waste Culinary Grease to Make Biodiesel
* Conservation Innovation Grants-National
* Methane Recovery as a Clean Energy Source Request for Proposals
* NCR-SARE Graduate Student Grant Program
* North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Convention
* Healthy Farms Conference
* Farming for Profit and Stewardship
News & Resources
USDA Seeks Public Input on Defining 'Natural' Label
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is holding a public meeting December 12 to discuss a petition to establish a definition for the voluntary claim "natural" and to gather comments on conditions under which the claim should be allowed to be used on the labels of meat and poultry products. USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is considering the development of a voluntary standard to address production practices associated with the term "naturally raised" for livestock. USDA is holding three listening sessions to provide for public input on a voluntary marketing claim standard specifically for Naturally Raised Livestock. The first was held December 11; additional meetings are set for January 17 in Denver, Colorado, and January 18 in Seattle, Washington.
Grazing Dairy Farmers More Safisfied with Quality of Life
According to results of a recent survey released by the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, graziers are more satisfied with all quality of life measures than farmers who use pasture less intensively and operators of small confinement dairies. Dairy graziers and operators of large confinement dairies expressed the same high levels of satisfaction with family time, time with spouse, farming system, ability to be a steward of the land, ability to change their farming system and relationship with their animals. Graziers reported the highest level of satisfaction with herd health, even when compared to large confinement farms.
Related ATTRA Publication: The Economics of Grass-based Dairying
New Members Named to National Organic Standards Board
Four new members have been named to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to serve terms beginning Jan. 24, 2007, and ending Jan. 24, 2012. The new appointees are Tracy Miedema, Consumer/Public Interest member; Tina Ellor, Environmentalist member; Steve DeMuri, Handler member; and Katrina Heinze, Scientist member. The NOSB has 15 members representing all sectors and interests of organic producing, handling, and consuming (4 producers, 2 handlers, 1 retailer, 3 environmentalists, 3 consumers, 1 scientist, and 1 certifying agent).
Agricultural Researchers Address Climate Change Threat to Food Supplies
The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research met recently in Washington, DC, and experts from 15 agricultural research centers around the world focused on how climate change would affect world harvests, say reports on BBC and Planet Ark. The researchers predict that both drought and flooding will result in reduced food production. The organization has announced its plans to accelerate development of strains of staple crops that will tolerate conditions such as increased heat, prolonged submergence in water, and salt levels. Highlights from ongoing CGIAR research on breeding climate-resilient crops are posted on the organization's Web site.
New York City Bans Restaurant Trans Fat
On December 5 the New York City Board of Health voted unanimously to require that all City restaurants remove artificial trans fat from items on their menus over the next 18 months. New York City is the first location in the nation to ensure removal of artificial trans fat from restaurants. The proposal allows restaurants six months to switch to oils, margarines and shortening used for frying and spreading that have less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. After 18 months, all other food items-including all margarines and shortenings-must contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. The decision has generated large amounts of press coverage, some applauding the decision and calling it a model for other cities, and other coverage decrying government management of business and food choices.
Philadelphia Company Focuses on Waste Culinary Grease to Make Biodiesel
A start-up company called Philadelphia Fry-O-Diesel is focused on making biodiesel fuel from restaurant trap grease. That's the slimy, sticky gunk that collects at the bottom of restaurant grease traps. Most restaurants pay to have the stuff hauled away, reports National Public Radio's Joel Rose. The process requires some extra steps to convert the grease into biodiesel, Rose reports. But the feedstock is free.
Related ATTRA Publication: Biodiesel: The Sustainability Dimensions
> More Breaking News
Back to top
Conservation Innovation Grants-National
NRCS requests applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applications are accepted from all 50 States, the Caribbean Area (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Basin Area. CIG has two competitions available in fiscal year 2007: National and State. There are three categories in the national competition: Natural Resource Concerns category-Up to $10 million available for proposals addressing one or more of the CIG natural resource concerns; Chesapeake Bay Watershed category-Up to $5 million available for proposals addressing one or more of the CIG natural resource concerns in the Chesapeake Bay watershed; Technology category-Up to $5 million available for proposals addressing one or more of the CIG technology categories. Each State administering a CIG competition will announce funding availability through separate requests for proposals.
Proposals are due February 2, 2007.
Methane Recovery as a Clean Energy Source Request for Proposals
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced recently the availability of funds (approximately $2.5 million) and has opened a period for request for initial proposals for projects that use methane recovery as a clean energy source. Eligible applicants include state governments, nonprofits, tribal jurisdictions, and city or county governments. The Methane to Markets Partnership is a White House initiative designed to advance cost-effective methane recovery and use as a clean energy source. Partner countries include Brazil, China, Argentina, and Columbia, and proposals may include projects in those countries. The full description is available at: http://www.epa.gov/oar/grants/06-08.pdf or contact Erin Birgfeld at 202-343-9079.
Proposals are due January 3, 2007.
NCR-SARE Graduate Student Grant Program
SARE is the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, a competitive USDA CSREES grants program funded by Congress. The North Central region (NCR) includes: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. The Graduate Student Grant Program provides funds to students enrolled in graduate programs or in veterinary medicine residence programs at accredited colleges or universities in the North Central region who are exploring some aspect of sustainable agriculture as part of their educational program.
Proposals are due January 17, 2007.
> More Funding Opportunities
Back to top
North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Convention
February 12-17, 2007
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
"Grow West" will feature several days of bus tours, all-day workshops, conference sessions and a trade show. Tracks include agritourism, farmers' markets, and on-farm retail.
Healthy Farms Conference
February 9-10, 2007
The Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society presents its annual conference, with keynote speaker Dan Imhoff, President of Wild Farm Alliance. Tracks will include food and health, alternative energy, diverse crops, and youth activities.
Farming for Profit and Stewardship
January 12-13, 2007
Future Harvest-CASA brings together outstanding farmers, regionally known researchers and experienced educators in the field of sustainable agriculture in its popular annual gathering. Don't miss the chance to learn from area farmers and agricultural educators with expertise on and insight into new, profitable farm enterprises!
> More Events
Back to top
to the Weekly Harvest
Comments? Questions? E-mail the Weekly Harvest Newsletter editor Norma Pylypuw at
Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Available Online
Digital versions of recent Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters
are available online. ATTRAnews is the bi-monthly 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 2006 NCAT
Back to top
|ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's new Spanish-language e-newsletter