NCAT Tag

NCAT’s headquarters in Butte, Montana, has a complicated growing climate to say the least. That makes John Wallace’s job as farm manager of NCAT’s Small-Scale Intensive Farm Training program – or SIFT – challenging as well.
John Wallace and Victorian Smart...

For more than 35 years, the National Center for Appropriate Technology’s ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture program has been helping farmers and ranchers grow nutritious food and operate successful businesses without synthetic fertilizer. Now, NCAT has released a new toolkit with trusted and practical resources for farmers who want to transition away from the use of synthetic fertilizers.
Emilie Ritter Saunders, Nina Prater and Lee Rinehart...

When I started back to work at NCAT as a sustainable agriculture specialist in August of 2021, after a five-year absence, I was vaguely familiar with the term agrisolar. Having experience working as both a farmer and a solar energy installer, I was aware of an explosion of new solar development projects happening across the country. I also knew that soil identified as prime farmland is, in many cases, prime land for solar development.
By Chris Lent, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist...

How many animals should I have? This is the second session of the three-part Building Strong Foundations series for beginning livestock farmers. Learn about soil structure and its effect on water infiltration​, then find out how to determine the carrying capacity​ of your land. Find out how adaptive management​ helps you “keep your eyes on the prize” through observing, implementing, and adapting. Having the right number of livestock for your farm will help you take better care of your land and make money with fewer costs. Find Part 1 here. Find Part 3 here. This video is produced by the National Center for...

Taking care of your land. Wondering how to get started with livestock? In the first of a three-part series for beginning livestock farmers, NCAT specialists introduce the principles of soil health and explain how healthy land is the foundation of successful livestock production. Presenters explain the concepts of minimizing disturbance, maximizing biodiversity, keeping soil covered, maintaining living roots in the soil, and including animals. Find out how grazing affects the plant, soils, and livestock and learn the importance of grazing plants at the right time and allowing full plant recovery before re-grazing. By respecting the soil health and grazing principles,...

Years of farming and visiting other farms, combined with recent education in soil health, have convinced me of this: We can best serve people, the land, and the livestock by learning to care for the soil FIRST. That’s why NCAT’s Livestock and Grazing Team began with this foundation when they gathered to teach a three-part series for beginning livestock producers. 
By Linda Coffey, NCAT Livestock Specialist...

NCAT's Armed to Farm program has released its first Armed to Farm News. This free, quarterly newsletter highlights Armed to Farm training opportunities for military veterans, as well as funding and other opportunities. The newsletter also features an alumni spotlight that showcases one of the program's participants. Visit the NCAT website to subscribe. ...

USDA has announced that it is investing $50 million in 118 partnerships to expand access to conservation assistance for climate-smart agriculture and forestry. The Equity Conservation Cooperative Agreements, administered by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will fund two-year projects to expand the delivery of conservation assistance to farmers who are new to farming, low income, socially disadvantaged, or military veterans. Projects will support USDA's broader effort to address climate change and equitable access to programs. A full list of the partnerships is available online. It includes funding for an NCAT project, "Investing in Underserved Farmers to Regenerate Their Farms'...

Thanks to funding from Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE), NCAT is offering a six-month course for beginning livestock farmers who are women. This course will be offered in convenient virtual classes where students will interact with each other and with women mentors, including NCAT specialists. It will be capped with a two-day in-person training offered in two locations: Cookeville, Tennessee, June 20-21, 2022, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, June 27-28, 2022. We are excited to gather a group of 30 women to participate in each location. The application is available online. ...

In less than a decade, solar installations are expected to cover more than 3 million acres of the United States, creating a big opportunity to pair solar with agricultural land to produce food, conserve ecosystems, create renewable energy, increase pollinator habitat, and maximize farm revenue. The National Center for Appropriate Technology, a nonprofit focused on sustainable energy and agriculture solutions, has launched the nation’s first AgriSolar Clearinghouse to connect farmers, ranchers, land managers, solar developers, and researchers with trusted, practical information to increase the co-location of solar and agriculture....

In this episode of Voices from the Field, Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Nina Prater introduces us to one of NCAT’s newest staff members, Chris Lent. Actually, it is more of a reintroduction since Chris worked at NCAT several years ago. He took a break when his son was born, and now he’s back as a sustainable agriculture specialist working from northeast Pennsylvania with NCAT’s Northeast Regional Office. Chris has wide-ranging experience, from organic agriculture and high tunnel production to solar power and business planning. He and Nina talk about his journey in agriculture and the projects he’ll be taking on with NCAT. ATTRA...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) will lead a regional partnership to help more than 300 beginning farmers and ranchers across the Northern Great Plains explore the value, viability, and resilience of raising organic field crops. The three-year project is funded by a Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Development Program grant through USDA. Project partners include Montana Organic Association, Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, Center for Rural Affairs, the Intertribal Agriculture Council, Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, International Organic Inspectors Association, North Dakota State, and University of Wyoming...

Soil health has emerged as a central theme in conversations about the future of American agriculture. Soils have become a focal topic due to new scientific understanding, the application of emerging technologies, and a growing interest among producers and policymakers in improving climate resilience and mitigating emissions. NCAT's Soil Health Innovations Conference was held online with live-streamed speakers and panels, as well as virtual halls for exhibitors and student posters. The event allowed participants to network with exhibitors and sponsors and the producers, industry professionals, educators, and students who are at the cutting edge of soil health across the country. This video...

The National Center for Appropriate Technology has launched a new website for its farmer veteran training program, Armed to Farm. The site, ARMEDTOFARM.ORG, features program news, promotes upcoming training opportunities, and connects alumni with sustainable agriculture resources and other farmer veterans. 
By Robyn Metzger, Armed to Farm Coordinator...

For the past growing season, my staff and I have been involved with designing and managing a cover crop mix in pecan orchards in Northern California to attract beneficials, which provide some control of two species of pecan aphids.
Rex Dufour, NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist...