Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 17, 2008
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
* Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Launched
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.
* New Agritourism Guides Released
* Heirloom Variety Trial Reports Available
* Study Surveys Former Organic Farmers
* Community Food Issue Handouts Offered in English and Spanish
* Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers Released
* Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
* Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Grant
* Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities: State and
Regional AgrAbility Projects
* Healthy Farms - Rural Advantage Conference
* Creating a Sustainable Future for Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest
* Farmers’ Market as a Community Collaboration Conference and Annual
Meeting of the Arkansas Farmers’ Market Association
News & Resources
Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Launched
The Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) is a professional association for the advancement of sustainable agriculture and agroecology in education. The Association has been in the works for the past few years and it was recently granted non-profit status. The SAEA has launched a website and listserv that feature agricultural education resources. Any person who is interested in the mission and goals of the Association may become a member.
New Agritourism Guides Released
The National Children's Center has just released new resources for agritourism operators. The Policies and Procedures Guide and the Worksite Guide include a 10-page checklist for use by agritourism owners and managers, as well as farm owners who host children and groups. The guides are useful in reviewing health and safety considerations already implemented on agritourism operations, and can assist in identifying deficiencies so that remedial action can be taken. These guides can be downloaded at http://marshfieldclinic.org/agritourism
Heirloom Variety Trial Reports Available
This past summer, the Kerr Center's School of Sustainability evaluated 30 heirloom okra varieties and 26 heirloom sorghum varieties. The results are now available online in PDF reports, along with a new overview of heirloom varieties and their importance for sustainable agriculture.
Study Surveys Former Organic Farmers
The California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) conducted a survey of California growers that have discontinued registration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture Organic Program. The research findings shed light on some of the principal challenges affecting organic growers and reasons for exiting organic production. The 33-page report, Factors Associated with Deregistration Among Organic Farmers in California, is available online in PDF.
Community Food Issue Handouts Offered in English and Spanish
The Community Food Security Coalition and World Hunger Year have created three handouts designed to inspire people to learn more about community food issues and take action, and to link them up with local organizations. The three handouts are available online in PDF in both English and Spanish. Their themes are "Community Food Security: Growing Healthy Farms, People, and Communities," "Your Community, Your Food: Seven Ways to Get Healthy Food into Your Community," and "Good Food we Can Afford—Today and Tomorrow."
Resource Guide for Beginning Farmers Released
The Washington State Housing Finance Commission's Beginning Farmer/Rancher Loan Program has released Cultivate the Soil: Resources for Beginning and Small-Scale Farmers and Ranchers in Washington State. The 74-page reference directs beginning and small-scale farmers and ranchers to resources which support agricultural enterprises in Washington State. Fourteen chapters cover topics such as Business Planning, Marketing, Insurance, Education, Sustainable Agriculture and Energy Efficiency. Cultivate the Soil is available online in PDF (161K).
> More Breaking News
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Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture invites state departments of agriculture, state agricultural experiment stations and other appropriate state agencies to submit proposals for matching grant funds under the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. Program funds can be requested for a wide range of research projects that help to market, transport and distribute U.S. food and agricultural products domestically and internationally. USDA anticipates that about $1.3 million will be available for Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program grants in fiscal year 2009, with funds allocated on the basis of one round of competition.
Proposals are due February 11, 2009.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities Grant
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) whose primary goal is to implement healthy eating and active living policy- and environmental-change initiatives that can support healthier communities for children and families across the United States. The objective of this round of funding is to provide support for community initiatives that will increase opportunities for physical activity and improve access to affordable healthy foods for children and families.
Proposals are due February 3, 2009.
Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities: State and Regional AgrAbility Projects
CSREES requests applications for the Assistive Technology Program for Farmers with Disabilities (AgrAbility) – State and Regional AgrAbility Projects for fiscal year (FY) 2009 to increase the likelihood that farmers, ranchers, farm workers, or farm family members with disabilities and their farms experience success. CSREES anticipates approximately $4.3 million will be available for support of AgrAbility in FY 2009. Of this amount, CSREES anticipates approximately $900,000 will be available to fund new state and regional AgrAbility projects. Only Cooperative Extension Services at 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Institutions, including Tuskegee University, West Virginia State University, and the University of the District of Columbia, are eligible to apply.
Proposals are due January 30, 2009.
> More Funding Opportunities
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Healthy Farms - Rural Advantage Conference
February 13-14, 2009
Grand Island, Nebraska
Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society presents this annual event that provides survival skills for today's farm family. Topics to be addressed include holistic management, money-making projects for youth, local food, Farm Beginnings Program, wine-making, bee-keeping,
organic production cover crops and cultural practices, and fruit and nut
Creating a Sustainable Future for Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest
February 10-12, 2009
This special conference is being sponsored by Washington State University Extension, the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, and others. The conference will highlight lessons learned and craft a plan to sustain Pacific Northwest agriculture and rural communities.
The plan will address the interests of decision makers in families, organizations, businesses, cooperatives, communities, higher education, government agencies and the media who influence the future of the region’s agriculture and natural resources. Participation in this conference is open to everyone interested in sustainability.
Farmers’ Market as a Community Collaboration Conference and Annual Meeting of the Arkansas Farmers’ Market Association
February 6-7, 2009
Friday's schedule offers sessions of interest to market managers and board members including: maintaining and growing a small market; sales tax, insurance and other legal issues, farmers' market board development and market evaluation. Saturday's programs will appeal to farmers' market vendors as well as management. Topics include: vendor success stories, market promotion, recruiting vendors, and more. A schedule and registration form are available online in PDF (351K).
> More Events
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