Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - December 31, 2019
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
- Guides Outline Solar Leases for Farmers
- Crop Profitability Analyzer Tool Updated for 2020
- USDA Announces Pilot Insurance Coverage for Hemp Growers
- Profiles Highlight Land Managers Using Livestock for Ecological Management
- Soil Centric's Pathfinder Tool Helps Identify Regenerative Opportunities
- Farmers Markets Help Idaho Farmers Generate Income
- GATHER Food Sovereignty Grant
- FruitGuys Community Fund
- USDA Tribal Scholars Program
- Emerging Farmers Conference
- PASA Sustainable Agriculture Conference
- Fort Bend Regional Vegetable Conference
News & Resources
Guides Outline Solar Leases for Farmers
Two guides to help landowners navigate solar leases are available from the National Agricultural Law Center. The Farmland Owner's Guide to Solar Leasing helps landowners understand solar energy development and the solar leasing process. A second publication, Understanding Solar Energy Agreements, provides information for landowners considering and negotiating leases.
Related ATTRA Publication: Renewable Energy Opportunities on the Farm
Crop Profitability Analyzer Tool Updated for 2020
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service updated its High Plains Crop Profitability Analyzer budgeting tool for 2020. The spreadsheet contains four sections: enterprise budgets that require user input, break-even price estimates, comparative returns, and optimal irrigation analysis. A range of Irrigated and dryland crops are available for analysis. Though budgets are for the High Plains, the tool is flexible enough to modify for use in other areas of the country, as well.
USDA Announces Pilot Insurance Coverage for Hemp Growers
USDA's Risk Management Agency announced a new crop insurance option for hemp growers in 2020. The pilot insurance program will provide Actual Production History coverage under 508(h) Multi-Peril Crop Insurance for eligible producers in designated counties in Alabama, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. The coverage is for hemp grown for fiber, grain, or CBD oil.
Related ATTRA Publication: Crop Insurance Options for Specialty, Diversified, and Organic Farmers
Profiles Highlight Land Managers Using Livestock for Ecological Management
Profiles in Land and Management, a project funded by the McKnight Foundation, the NoRegrets Initiative, and TomKat Ranch, features profiles showcasing land managers who are using livestock as a positive tool to achieve their goals. The profiles feature large and small operations on public and private lands across the West.
Soil Centric's Pathfinder Tool Helps Identify Regenerative Opportunities
Soil Centric has introduced a beta version of its Pathfinder Tool, designed to help identify regenerative opportunities. The tool lists opportunities for farmers, ranchers, and land stewards, as well as nonfarmers. For farmers, opportunity categories include improving soil health, incorporating agroforestry, and integrating animals. The listings range from information resources to internships to online courses.
Farmers Markets Help Idaho Farmers Generate Income
The Idaho Statesman reports that the number of small farms is increasing in some Idaho counties. Some farmers are able to sell what they produce locally, thanks to a network of robust farmers markets that can help farmers generate a significant portion of their income. Markets also play a strong role in building community, and in helping to reduce food insecurity by accepting EBT and SNAP. They also help beginning farmers connect with the farming community and develop markets.
Related ATTRA Publication: How to Accept SNAP Cards at your Farmers Market
>>More Breaking News
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GATHER Food Sovereignty Grant
First Nations Development Institute is offering Gather Food Sovereignty Grants to support building a national movement that will fulfill a vision of Native communities and food systems that are self-directed, well-resourced, and supported by community policies and systems. This opportunity targets emerging projects that focus on developing Tribal Food Sovereignty. Through the first round of the Gather Food Sovereignty Grant, First Nations expects to award up to eight grant awards of approximately $32,000 to support Native American-led food sovereignty work.
Applications are due by February 27, 2020.
FruitGuys Community Fund
FruitGuys Community Fund provides grant awards from $2,000 to $5,000 to support small farms and agricultural nonprofits, as they strive for greater economic and environmental sustainability for their farms, programs, and communities. Applicants should be owner/operators of small to medium-sized farms who are willing to engage in community outreach. Project preferences are listed online. After FruitGuys Community Fund evaluates the 2020 letters of intent, 20 finalists will be invited to continue their applications.
Letters of intent are due by January 10, 2020.
USDA Tribal Scholars Program
The USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement is accepting applications for the USDA 1994 Tribal Scholars Program. This program aims to increase the number of tribal college and university students studying agriculture, food, natural resource sciences, and other agriculture-related disciplines. The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and workforce training to students. The program is available to high school seniors entering their freshman year of college and current college freshmen, sophomores, or juniors.
Application materials must be postmarked by February 9, 2020.
>>More Funding Opportunities
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Emerging Farmers Conference
January 24-25, 2020
St. Paul, Minnesota
The annual Emerging Farmers Conference focuses primarily on the needs and interests of farmers of color and immigrant farmers and supports their contributions to local economic development and building healthy communities.
PASA Sustainable Agriculture Conference
February 5-8, 2020
PASA's annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference offers intensive learning on 100+ food and farming topics. The schedule includes full-day intensives, keynotes, plenaries, educational sessions, and a trade show.
Fort Bend Regional Vegetable Conference
February 6, 2020
The 35th annual Fort Bend Regional Vegetable Conference is a celebration of vegetable production along the upper Gulf Coast region of Texas, focused on teaching sustainable practices to help producers maximize efficiency and profitability.
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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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