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ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 30, 2020

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.

There Is Still Time to Make a Difference
During this holiday season, please take a moment to give back to your community by making a donation to the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and its ATTRA sustainable agriculture project. We’re working hard to ensure everyone has clean energy, nutritious food, fresh water, and a livable planet in the face of a changing climate. Your donation will make a real difference for real people across the country. Visit https://www.ncat.org/donate/ to make your tax-deductible gift before year-end.

News & Resources

  • NCAT Seeks Participants for Certified Organic Farming Virtual Focus Group
  • Texas Research Highlights Benefits of Grazing Cover Crops
  • Reflectometer to Help Measure Soil Carbon Content
  • Organic Farming Movement Remembers Amigo Bob Cantisano
  • Hudson Valley Food Sovereignty Fund Supporting Region and Farmers
  • Wounded Warrior Project Announces Support for Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund

Funding Opportunities

  • Florida Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
  • Methyl Bromide Transition
  • Community Food Co-op Farm Fund Grants

Coming Events

  • Latino Farmer Conference
  • Future Harvest's Annual Conference
  • NOFA NY's Virtual Winter Conference

News & Resources

NCAT Seeks Participants for Certified Organic Farming Virtual Focus Group
NCAT is seeking certified organic producers to participate in a virtual focus group on January 21, 2021. This is an opportunity to describe the biggest agronomic, economic, and social challenges you are facing. In particular, we would like to understand what kinds of research, information, and technical assistance programs are needed to support your organic production practices. Certified organic farmers who actively participate in decision-making on the farm may apply to participate at the NCAT website events page.

Texas Research Highlights Benefits of Grazing Cover Crops
Research by Texas A&M showed the benefits of grazing multi-species mixed cover crops planted in no-till cotton and wheat systems. The study showed that cover crops could be grazed without impacting their ability to provide soil-health benefits. Economic analysis indicated that grazing summer cover crops could increase net return per acre by as much as $38 to $44 compared to non-grazed cover crops. Furthermore, the soil with cover crops captured more water in rainfall events.
Related ATTRA Publication: Livestock as a Tool: Improving Soil Health, Boosting Crops

Reflectometer to Help Measure Soil Carbon Content
OurSci, an open-source technology company, is developing open software and hardware for measuring soil carbon. With university and organizational partners, OurSci has developed a reflectometer, or spectrometer, for measuring soil carbon. Field testing is helping to correlate spectrometer readings with laboratory testing results. The project is giving farmers a means to quantify their soil carbon and monitor changes that result from management practices, by making it possible to conduct measurements frequently and over a large area.

Organic Farming Movement Remembers Amigo Bob Cantisano
The Los Angeles Times reported on the death this week of Amigo Bob Cantisano, recognized as one of the founders of the organic farming movement. Cantisano, 69, helped found California Certified Organic Farmers and was one of the founders of the Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, which sponsors the annual EcoFarm Conference. He was known for helping to expand organic farming methods into commercial agriculture and for efforts to preserve heirloom varieties of perennial crops in California.
Related ATTRA Podcast: A Conversation with Amigo Bob

Hudson Valley Food Sovereignty Fund Supporting Region and Farmers
The Glynwood Center for Regional Food and Farming reports that efforts to link Hudson Valley farmers with hunger-relief activities during the pandemic have grown into a larger and longer-lasting movement. Glynwood raised funds to contract with 10 regional farms in 2020 to grow thousands of pounds of food for hunger relief. These efforts have evolved into the Food Sovereignty Fund, which strives to increase regional food sovereignty while protecting the bottom line of small, regeneratively managed farms (particularly those led by people from historically marginalized backgrounds).

Wounded Warrior Project Announces Support for Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund
The Farmer Veteran Coalition announced that Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) will provide direct funding to support the Farmer Veteran Fellowship Fund. This small grant program operated by Farmer Veteran Coalition provides assistance to veterans in the early stages of their agricultural careers with the purchase of a piece of equipment. This funding from WWP will support 36 new fellowships, with at least half of them designated for female veterans.

>>More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Florida Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is accepting applications for the 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. Proposals will be accepted from nonprofit organizations, producer organizations, government agencies, universities, and other organizations related to Florida's specialty crop industry. Individuals, individual producers, for-profit businesses, or commercial entities may submit proposals. However, the project must focus on research, education, or demonstration and must benefit the specialty crop industry in a manner that can be replicated by other organizations.
Applications are due by February 5, 2021.

Methyl Bromide Transition
USDA NIFA is accepting applications for the Methyl Bromide Transition Program, which focuses on integrated commercial-scale research on methyl bromide alternatives and associated extension activity that will foster the adoption of these solutions. Projects should cover a broad range of new methodologies, technologies, systems, and strategies for controlling economically important pests for which methyl bromide has been the only effective pest control option. Approximately $1.9 million in matching funds is available for Integrated Projects and Extension-Only Projects. Applications may only be submitted by eligible colleges and universities.
Applications are due by February 12, 2021.

Community Food Co-op Farm Fund Grants
Community Food Co-op's 2021 Farm Fund Grant program will distribute a limited number of grants up to $2,000 each, for projects that address immediate and critical farm needs and market expansion for the 2021 season, with an emphasis on farmers who face systemic barriers. Applicants must either farm in Whatcom County, Washington, or farm in Skagit County and supply Whatcom County.
Applications are due by January 18, 2021.

>>More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Latino Farmer Conference
January 14, 2021
Online
NCAT's Sixth Annual Latino Farmer Conference is taking place as a webinar series over three months, with presentations, virtual farm tours, and networking opportunities. Topics during this second session include Integrated Pest Management (IPM), irrigation management, and the Sustainable Ground Water Management Act. Sessions are presented in Spanish.

Future Harvest's Annual Conference
January 14-16, 2021
Online

Future Harvest's 22nd annual winter conference is "Crisis and Resilience: Farmers Building a New Food Future." The agenda features two keynote addresses, interactive farmer awards, breakout sessions, customizable attendee profiles to help you meet attendees who share your interests, and a virtual exhibit hall.

NOFA NY's Virtual Winter Conference
January 16-23, 2021
Online

Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York's virtual winter conference, "Rooted in Resilience," features more than 90 workshops and events. It is held in conjunction with the Northeast Organic Seed Conference and includes a two-day Organic Dairy Track, as well as sessions on business and marketing, fruit, hemp, livestock, policy, soil health, urban farming, value-added, and more.

>>More Events

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National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) logo and link to home page 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.

Visit the NCAT website for more information on our other sustainable agriculture and energy projects.

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New ATTRA Podcast
Pandemics and the Farm

Question of the Week
How can I be sure I got all my meat from my processor?

Ask an Agriculture Expert
Submit questions to our professional staff online or by calling 1-800-346-9140

Lessons From the Hemp Field: Navigating Opportunities & Risks of the New Market
January 13, 2021
NCAT's pre-conference online event for Eco-Farm. Learn more on this page.

ATTRA Spanish Newsletter
Subscribe to Cosecha Mensual (Monthly Harvest), ATTRA's Spanish-language e-newsletter

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