Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 26, 2018
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
- National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Established by USDA
- 2018 Farm Bill Signed into Law
- Agroforestry Research Funding Guide Available
- Biochar Benefits Could be Captured Through Policy Changes, Says Study
- New York Funds Conservation Easements on Dairy Farms
- Minnesota Highlights Resources to Help Struggling Farmers
- FoodShot Global: Innovating Soil 3.0
- National Robotics Initiative: 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots
- Colorado Specialty Crop Block Grant
- GrassWorks Grazing Conference
- PASA Sustainable Agriculture Conference
- Montana Summit on Agricultural Finance
News & Resources
National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard Established by USDA
USDA has announced the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard for foods that are or may be bioengineered. The Standard defines bioengineered foods. Regulated entities have several disclosure options: text, symbol, electronic or digital link, and/or text message. Additional options are available to small food manufacturers or for small packages. The implementation date of the Standard is January 1, 2020, or January 1, 2021, for small food manufacturers. The mandatory compliance date is January 1, 2022.
2018 Farm Bill Signed into Law
President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill on December 20, 2018. Numerous organizations have issued statements reacting to the provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill. Comments are available from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, from American Farmland Trust, and from the National Young Farmers Coalition, among others.
Agroforestry Research Funding Guide Available
The USDA National Agroforestry Center published Guide to USDA Agroforestry Research Funding Opportunities, an overview of external agroforestry research funding opportunities offered by USDA agencies. It is intended as an aid to researchers and academics. The agency listings include a discussion of opportunities for agroforestry research, examples of research supported, eligibility requirements, and additional agency resources.
Biochar Benefits Could be Captured Through Policy Changes, Says Study
A study published in Global Change Biology Bioenergy evaluated the readiness level of U.S. policies, programs, and regulatory incentives regarding the benefits of biochar. The researchers recommend improving policies that allow for the monetization of environmental benefits and avoided costs, recognizing soil as a resource through national preservation policy, and developing a broadly accepted set of product standards for biochar. These strategies would help the country more rapidly capitalize on the benefits offered by biochar utilization.
Related ATTRA Publication: Biochar and Sustainable Agriculture
New York Funds Conservation Easements on Dairy Farms
The New York State has awarded nearly $8.5 million in support of conservation easement projects on several New York dairy farms. The Farmland Protection Implementation Grant program is helping to ensure dairy farms the opportunity to diversify their operations or transition their farm to the next generation while ensuring the land forever remains used for agricultural purposes. Funding for the program is still available, and the state is accepting applications from eligible entities for grants up to $2 million.
Minnesota Highlights Resources to Help Struggling Farmers
In difficult financial times for farmers, University of Minnesota Extension wants to make sure that farmers are aware of resources available to help them. These include free counseling, advice, and round-the-clock helplines. Farmers Liz and Bob Krocak are encouraging other farmers to ask for help the way they did. The Krocaks had to sell their dairy herd in May, but they have embarked on organic crop production that they hope will save their family farm. "Make that call. Get some advice," says Liz Krocak.
>>More Breaking News
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FoodShot Global: Innovating Soil 3.0
FoodShot Global aspires to meet the needs of innovative entrepreneurs in the global food sector through an integrated platform of prize dollars, equity, working capital/debt, and growth capital that will provide a pathway to scale, impact, and success. For-profit companies are invited to submit applications for equity and/or debt investment from FoodShot's partners. Innovating Soil 3.0 moonshots should be mission aligned, have global impact, be scalable, exhibit measurable scale and impact over a time horizon of five to 12 years, and be financially viable. FoodShot Global also welcomes nominations for its $500,000 Groundbreaker Prize honoring rising stars working in research, social enterprise, or advocacy.
Applications and nominations for all of these funding sources are due January 8, 2019.
National Robotics Initiative: 2.0: Ubiquitous Collaborative Robots
The NRI-2.0 program supports fundamental research in the United States that will accelerate the development and use of collaborative robots that work beside or cooperatively with people. The program supports four main research thrusts: scalability, customizability, lowering barriers to entry, and societal impact. The program is supported by the National Science Foundation, USDA, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Defense. Academic institutions and nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply for grant awards ranging from $250,000 to $1.5 million.
Applications are due by February 19, 2019.
Colorado Specialty Crop Block Grant
Colorado Department of Agriculture is accepting concept papers for approximately $550,000 to enhance the competitiveness of Colorado specialty crops. There is a two-step application process, with a concept paper required for the first round. Proposals advancing after the first round will be part of Colorado's submission to USDA for 2019.
Concept papers are due by February 1, 2019.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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GrassWorks Grazing Conference
January 31 - February 2, 2019
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
The theme for the 27th annual GrassWorks Grazing Conference on grass-based agriculture is "Surviving the Storm." The conference includes five tracks featuring notable speakers, a tradeshow, and even a jam session for musicians.
PASA Sustainable Agriculture Conference
February 6-9, 2019
PASA's Sustainable Agriculture Conference offers intensive learning on more than 160 food and farming topics. The conference includes educational workshops, presentations, panel discussions, and learning circles, as well as a trade show, networking and social events, and children's programming.
Montana Summit on Agricultural Finance
February 6-7, 2019
Chico Hot Springs, Montana
People who share a common interest in helping Montana farmers and ranchers access financing are invited to the Montana Summit on Agricultural Finance. Participants will leave with new professional contacts, a working understanding of existing agricultural financing tools, an introduction to exciting new tools, and a plan for filling the gaps in agricultural financing going forward.
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