Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 28, 2016
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
- USDA Releases Results of First Local Food Marketing Practices Survey
- New Cost-Share Opportunities Available for Organic Producers and Handlers
- High Tunnel Growing Guide Released by Kansas Rural Center
- AgrAbility Video Helps Veterans Transition to Agricultural Careers
- National Sustainable Strawberry Initiative Seeks Input Via Survey
- Farm Household Well-Being Not Equivalent to Performance of Farm Sector
- Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
- Montana Specialty Crop Block Grant
- Massachusetts Drought Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program
- North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association Annual Convention
- Nevada Small Farm Conference
News & Resources
USDA Releases Results of First Local Food Marketing Practices Survey
According to the results from the first Local Food Marketing Practices Survey, released by USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, more than 167,000 U.S. farms locally produced and sold food through direct marketing practices, resulting in $8.7 billion in revenue in 2015. The states with the highest value of total direct food sales were California, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
New Cost-Share Opportunities Available for Organic Producers and Handlers
USDA has announced that starting March 20, 2017, organic producers and handlers will be able to apply at USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices for Federal reimbursement to assist with the cost of receiving and maintaining organic or transitional certification. Once certified, producers and handlers are eligible to receive reimbursement for up to 75% of certification costs each year up to a maximum of $750 per certification scope—crops, livestock, wild crops, and handling.
High Tunnel Growing Guide Released by Kansas Rural Center
Growing Under Cover: A Kansas Grower’s Guide is now available free online from the Kansas Rural Center to assist specialty crop growers. The guide provides success stories from Kansas farmers who use high tunnels on their farms, general management strategies, and specific cropping advice for some of the most successful crops grown in high tunnels in Kansas.
Related ATTRA Publication: High Tunnels in Urban Agriculture
AgrAbility Video Helps Veterans Transition to Agricultural Careers
The National AgrAbility Project has released a new video explaining the therapeutic and economic benefits of agriculture for members of the armed services and how veterans can successfully transition into careers in farming. The Next Mission: Breaking Down Barriers for Veterans in Agriculture is based on the premise that military members are highly trained, self-disciplined, and mission-oriented, characteristics that translate well into agricultural careers.
Related ATTRA Publication: Veteran Resources
National Sustainable Strawberry Initiative Seeks Input Via Survey
The National Strawberry Sustainability Initiative is leading efforts to identify the critical research and outreach needs of the strawberry industry and to develop a project around these issues. If you are a strawberry grower, nurseryman, Extension Educator, or advisor to strawberry growers, please contribute to this national strawberry-industry needs assessment by taking the online survey before February 10, 2017.
Farm Household Well-Being Not Equivalent to Performance of Farm Sector
USDA Economic Research Service found that the well-being of farm operator households is not equivalent to the financial performance of the associated farm business or of the farm sector generally. Farm operator households often have non-farm investments, jobs, and other links to the non-farm economy. In fact, off-farm sources are the main income contributor for most farm-operator households in the United States.
>>More Breaking News
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Environmental Justice Small Grants Program
EPA will award grants that support activities designed to empower and educate affected communities to understand environmental and public health issues and to identify ways to address them at the local level. Approximately 40 one-year projects will be awarded $30,000 each. This year's opportunity will place special emphasis on underrepresented states and new potential grantees.
Applications are due on January 31, 2017.
Montana Specialty Crop Block Grant
The Montana Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for Specialty Crop Block Grants. Grant funds are available to state and local organizations, government entities, producer associations, academia, community-based organizations, and other specialty-crop stakeholders working on projects to enhance Montana's specialty-crop industry. Program priorities are listed online.
Applications are due February 22, 2017.
Massachusetts Drought Agricultural Environmental Enhancement Program
Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources is accepting applications for the implementation of water-conservation practices that help farmers prepare for, manage through, and recover from drought in Massachusetts. Farmers/growers engaged in production agriculture for commercial purposes can apply for as much as $25,000 per applicant or 85% of total project costs.
Applications must be received by January 6, 2017.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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February 2-4, 2017
With intensive training sessions, workshops, world-class keynote speakers, and networking, Organicology brings stakeholder groups to the table to develop skills and gain exposure to the challenges and accomplishments of those in other areas of the trade and movement.
North American Farmers' Direct Marketing Association Annual Convention
February 3-9, 2017
The NAFDMA "farmers inspired" event includes bus tours, educational sessions, workshops, and a business exchange. Two days consist of bus-tour farm visits, followed by three days of sessions and workshops.
Nevada Small Farm Conference
February 3-4, 2017
This conference offers a selection of half-day intensive workshops, followed by a wide range of conference sessions in four different tracks.
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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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