Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 24, 2014
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.
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News & Resources
- Organic Regulations and Handbook Now Available in Spanish
- Potential for Agroforestry Crops in Iowa Evaluated in New Publication
- Life Cycle Assessment Quantifies Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton
- Study Explores How Climate Change Will Affect Agriculture
- Farm to School Webinar Series Announced
- Credit Union Focusing on Small Farms Planned in Maine
- AFRI Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative
- Minor Crop Pest Management Program Interregional Research Project (IR-4)
- Texas Drought Summit Scholarships
- PASA's Farming for the Future Conference
- Healthy Farms Conference
News & Resources
Organic Regulations and Handbook Now Available in Spanish
The National Organic Program is now providing Spanish versions of the USDA organic regulations and program handbook, to make it easier for Spanish-speaking farmers, handlers, and certifiers to understand and comply with the USDA organic regulations. The 80-page Reglamentos Orgánicos Estadounidenses and the 310-page Manual del Programa Nacional Orgánico are both available online.
Related ATTRA Publication: El Proceso de la Certificación Orgánica
Potential for Agroforestry Crops in Iowa Evaluated in New Publication
Results of a study conducted by Trees Forever show promise for several agroforestry crops. The study created enterprise worksheets for six agroforestry crops suitable for Iowa soils and climate. The financial winners in Iowa were aronia berries, Christmas trees, chestnuts, and elderberries. The project is summarized in a 35-page online Landowners Guide to Perennial Crop Options.
Life Cycle Assessment Quantifies Environmental Benefits of Organic Cotton
Textile Exchange recently released the results of an international Life Cycle Assessment that demonstrates the tangible benefits of organic cotton cultivation. The results are overwhelmingly supportive of organic production, showing significant reduction in global warming potential, soil erosion, water use, and energy demand.
Related ATTRA Publication: Organic Cotton Production
Study Explores How Climate Change Will Affect Agriculture
Climate change will require major transformations in agricultural systems, including increased irrigation and moving production from one region to another, according to a new study by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. The study provides a global scenario analysis that covers nine different climates, 18 crops, and four crop-management systems, as well as the interactions between crop production, consumption, prices, and trade.
Farm to School Webinar Series Announced
USDA Farm to School program will present a biweekly 11-part webinar series on building farm to school skills and developing new strategies for bringing local foods into the lunchroom. The first webinar is January 15, and a schedule of webinars through May is available online.
Credit Union Focusing on Small Farms Planned in Maine
Two finance professionals in Maine are planning to launch a credit union that will focus on helping small farms, reports Mainebiz.com. The Maine Harvest Credit Union plans to serve members of Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association and Maine Farmland Trust by offering mortgages, equipment loans, and season loans.
>> More Breaking News
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AFRI Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative
USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) requests applications for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative's Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative, formerly known as AFRI NIFA Fellowships Grant Program. The program provides fellowships to undergraduate, predoctoral, and postdoctoral students in the agricultural sciences.
Applications for predoctoral and postdoctoral fellowships are due February 11, 2015.
Letters of intent to apply for undergraduate fellowships are due February 18, 2015.
Minor Crop Pest Management Program Interregional Research Project (IR-4)
NIFA is accepting applications for the IR-4 program. This program enables the crop-protection industry to provide safe, effective, and economical crop-protection products for growers and consumers of minor/specialty crops. Applications for $1 million to $4.8 million may be submitted by eligible institutions of higher education.
Applications are due by February 18, 2015.
Texas Drought Summit Scholarships
Scholarships are available for Texas farmers and ranchers who would like to attend a summit to learn how to make their operations more resilient. The "Texas Drought Summit" on January 29, 2015, is being sponsored by Farm Aid. It will be held in conjunction with the Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Conference in San Antonio. Farm Aid is offering scholarships to support registration and up to $150 in travel costs.
>> More Funding Opportunities
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February 5-7, 2015
Organicology is an educational conference for organic farmers, activists, policy experts, educators, retailers, and sustainability organizations. It offers intensive training sessions, workshops, world-class keynote speakers, entertainment, and networking. Organicology seeks to bring all stakeholder groups to the table.
PASA's Farming for the Future Conference
February 4-7, 2015
State College, Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture's 24th annual conference has the theme "Nature as Mentor." The event includes intensive pre-conference programming, more than 100 workshops on a diverse array of topics, a trade show, and more.
Healthy Farms Conference
February 6-7, 2015
Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society presents this annual conference. It features keynote presenters and breakout sessions with topics ranging from urban agriculture to hugelkultur to rotational grazing in a drought, as well as a full youth program.
>> More Events
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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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