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Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 21, 2011

Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.

News & Resources

  • On-Farm Food Safety Project Introduces Tool to Help Produce Farmers Manage Risk
  • Organic Seed Availability Database Planned
  • Winter Farmers Markets Increasing
  • USDA Revises Nutrient Management Standard
  • Oilseed Production Case Studies Released
  • Food Warrior Program Documents Food System, Seeks Interns

Funding Opportunities

  • Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
  • Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority Grants
  • Co-op Farm Fund

Coming Events

  • Farming for the Future Conference
  • PlacerGROWN Food and Farm Conference
  • CSA Planning Course

News & Resources

On-Farm Food Safety Project Introduces Tool to Help Produce Farmers Manage Risk
The On-Farm Food Safety Project is a new voluntary online tool, available free to farmers, that enables produce growers to create customized food safety plans and thus adopt and document best practices in food safety. The tool is designed for use by small- to mid-scale fruit and vegetable growers and provides a full set of record keeping tools to document their food safety programs and to provide training to their employees.

Organic Seed Availability Database Planned
American Seed Trade Association, the Organic Seed Alliance, and the Organic Trade Association, with additional input, are proposing to develop a database where seed producers and growers will be able to determine what organic varieties of seed are available. Elements of the new database include easy searching by seed type, classification, organic certification, and region of adaptation.
Related ATTRA Publication: Directory of Organic Seed Suppliers

Winter Farmers Markets Increasing
According to the updated National Farmers Market Directory, since 2010 the number of winter markets has increased 38 percent, from 886 to 1,225. USDA says that the expanded adoption of hoop house technology, which has enabled many smaller growers to extend their production seasons at low cost, has been a contributing factor to the growth of winter farmers markets.
Related ATTRA Resource: Sustainable Season Extension: Considerations for Design

USDA Revises Nutrient Management Standard
USDA has revised its national conservation practice standard on nutrient management to help producers better manage the application of nutrients on agricultural land. Key changes in the standard include expanding the use of technology to streamline the nutrient management process and allowing states more flexibility in providing site-specific nutrient management planning.

Oilseed Production Case Studies Released
The stories of five farmers are related in a new, free publication from Washington State University Extension, Oilseed Production Case Studies. Farmers who are interested in producing oilseed crops have an opportunity to learn from the experiences of those already doing so in eastern Washington's high rainfall zone.

Food Warrior Program Documents Food System, Seeks Interns
The Real Time Farms Food Warrior Program is an educational internship program that enlists participants to help document the food web. The program is currently seeking winter/spring 2012 interns in Atlanta, Austin, the Bay Area, and throughout Hawaii. The application deadline has been extended until December 30, 2011.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
EPA will award grants that support activities designed to educate, empower, and enable communities to understand environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address these issues at the local level.
Applications are due by February 29, 2012.

Missouri Value-Added Grant Program
Missouri Agricultural and Small Business Development Authority is now accepting applications for grants to assist farmers with business planning expenses for projects that develop, process, or market agricultural goods.
Applications are due by January 13, 2012.

Co-op Farm Fund
Community Food Co-op in Bellingham, Washington, offers Farm Fund grants to support projects that strengthen local, sustainable farms and the local food system.
Applications are due by February 3, 2012.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Farming for the Future Conference
February 1-4, 2012
State College, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture's 21st annual Farming for the Future Conference offers 12 in-depth pre-conference tracks, a trade show, speakers, discussions, and more than 100 workshops, on topics including poultry, fruit and vegetables, livestock, and policy.

PlacerGROWN Food and Farm Conference
February 4, 2012
Lincoln, California

PlacerGROWN and UC Davis Extension co-host this annual conference, with workshops on food, farming, agriculture, and local sustainability. The Conference also features a trade show and valuable networking opportunities.

CSA Planning Course
January 20-21 and 27-28, 2012
East Troy, Wisconsin

Michael Fields Agricultural Institute offers this four-day course both for those contemplating a CSA and those who have started a CSA program but would like to learn new planning and decision-making tools.

>> More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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