Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 13, 2017
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
- Global Map of Carbon Stocks in Soil Released
- With Farm to School Programs, Kids Eat More Produce
- New Resource Helps Farmers Look at Coordinating Labor Across Farms
- Penn State's Online Cheese Tracking System Aids Small Cheesemakers
- New York Report Finds Local Food Benefits Health and Economy
- Georgia Pasture Rental Rate Calculator Available Online
- "Our Farms, Our Future" Scholarships
- North Carolina Agricultural Reinvestment Fund
- Kaiser Conservation Endowment
- Emerging Farmers Conference
- Southern New England Livestock Conference
- Western Montana Grazing and Agriculture Conference
News & Resources
Global Map of Carbon Stocks in Soil Released
On World Soil Day, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations released the Global Soil Organic Carbon Map, the most comprehensive global map to date showing the amount of carbon in the soil. The map illustrates the soil organic carbon stock in the first 30 cm of soil, revealing areas with high carbon storage that require conservation, as well as regions where there is the possibility for further sequestration.
With Farm to School Programs, Kids Eat More Produce
University of Florida research found that students at schools with a Farm to School program ate an average of 37% more vegetables and 11% more fruit after their school adopted the program. "These results indicate that sourcing produce locally has a positive impact on the consumption of vegetables and fruits," said lead author Jaclyn Kropp.
New Resource Helps Farmers Look at Coordinating Labor Across Farms
Farm Commons has released Coordinating Farm Labor Across Farms: A Toolbox for Diversified Farmers and Farmworkers. This online toolbox helps farmers explore coordinated farm labor as an option for meeting their diverse and fluctuating labor needs. The toolbox divides the process of assessing feasibility into four steps, addressing operations, ownership, structure, and financial viability.
Related ATTRA Publication: California Guide to Labor Laws for Small Farms
Penn State's Online Cheese Tracking System Aids Small Cheesemakers
Penn State has developed an online tool to aid small-scale cheesemakers in achieving product consistency. The Penn State Cheese Tracking System consists of customizable documents and spreadsheets to record, track, and evaluate data for milk composition and quality, the cheesemaking process, processing after the initial cheesemaking day, cheese chemical composition, and cheese sensory characteristics.
New York Report Finds Local Food Benefits Health and Economy
American Farmland Trust and The New York Academy of Medicine have released The Public Plate in New York State: Growing Health, Farms and Jobs with Local Food. The report found that if New York institutions currently receiving public funding to buy food spent at least 25% of their food dollars on New York-grown food, it could positively impact the health of six million people and generate more than $200 million in additional economic activity in the state.
Related ATTRA Publication: Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions
Georgia Pasture Rental Rate Calculator Available Online
The University of Georgia Beef Team has adapted a decision tool developed by Kansas State University Extension to help determine a fair pasture rental rate. Landowners and tenants can use the tool to assist in the process of negotiating a fair rent. First, the tool determines the stocking rate of the pasture, and then it allows producers to calculate the amount a producer can pay and the landowner's cost of the pasture for stockers and for cow-calf operations.
Related ATTRA Publication: Grazing Contracts for Livestock
>>More Breaking News
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"Our Farms, Our Future" Scholarships
The North Central SARE Administrative Council wants to have diverse voices and perspectives represented at the "Our Farms, Our Future" Conference April 3-5, 2018 in St. Louis. A limited number of scholarships are available for qualified applicants from one of the 12 states of the North Central region. Scholarships will be awarded to encourage attendance by young farmers and ranchers, graduate students, and long-time sustainable agricultural practitioners from diverse backgrounds.
Applications will be evaluated weekly until all scholarships are awarded.
North Carolina Agricultural Reinvestment Fund
Farmers in designated counties of North Carolina can apply for 2018 Agricultural Reinvestment Fund cost-share grants. This grant program, administered by RAFI, assists entrepreneurial and innovative farmers and collaborative groups in developing new sources of agricultural income. Cost-share grants provide up to $9,000 for individual farmers and up to $11,000 for collaborative groups.
The final application deadline is January 10, 2018.
Kaiser Conservation Endowment
The Kaiser Conservation Endowment is accepting proposals up to $5,000 for projects that promote and demonstrate conservation practices targeting soil erosion. Projects may include training of students and constituents, including curriculum development, field trips, teaching aids, audio/visual or other education-related activities. Applications are open to Washington State University, University of Idaho, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Conservation Districts, and colleges in Washington and Idaho, for projects in the Inland Empire.
Application deadline is January 22, 2018.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Emerging Farmers Conference
January 26-28, 2018
St. Paul, Minnesota
This conference serves to advance the success and sustainability of farmers who traditionally face barriers to the education and resources necessary to build profitable agricultural businesses, including immigrant farmers and farmers of color.
Southern New England Livestock Conference
January 28, 2018
The conference will include workshops and panel discussions ranging from beginner discussions on raising animals to more advanced seminars and panel discussions on certifications, pasture management, marketing, and slaughter.
Western Montana Grazing and Agriculture Conference
January 25-26, 2018
This second annual conference will continue the conversation of sustainable, profitable, and environmentally sound on-farm practices.
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ATTRA was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program is funded through a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Business-Cooperative Service.
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