This blog is for Polk County Florida small farms and pesticide applicators as a method of communication and sharing information. This blog is administered by the University of Florida IFAS Extension Polk County Extension Agent, Mary Beth Henry.
Weekly sustainable agriculture news and resources gleaned from the Internet by NCAT staff for the ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
USDA Farm to School Grants Announced
Farm Energy Webinar Series Begins December 4
Report Reveals Economic Value of Organic Dairy Production
APHIS Seeks Suggestions for Projects Funded by Farm Bill Section 10201
Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts Launches Website
MOSES Organic Farming Conference Calls for Poster Proposals
North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund
California Specialty Crop Block Grant Program
Frontera Farmer Foundation
Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference
Cascadia Grains Conference
Direct Marketing Conference
News & Resources
USDA Farm to School Grants Announced USDA announced more than $4.5 million in Farm to School grants to help schools respond to the growing demand for locally sourced foods and increase market opportunities for producers and food businesses. Grants will also be used to support 68 agriculture and nutrition education efforts spanning 37 states, such as school gardens, field trips to local farms, and cooking classes. The full list of awards granted for fiscal year 2013 is available online.
Farm Energy Webinar Series Begins December 4 The University of Wisconsin-Madison will present a series of 10 agricultural energy webinars this winter. Topics for the hour-long webinars include energy efficiency in irrigation, animal housing, greenhouses, grain drying, milk production, and field crop production. A complete schedule is available online, along with registration information.
Report Reveals Economic Value of Organic Dairy Production The organic dairy sector provides more economic opportunity and generates more jobs in rural communities than conventional dairies, according to a report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Cream of the Crop: The Economic Benefits of Organic Dairy Farms calculated the economic value of organic milk production in Vermont and Minnesota. Vermont's 180 organic farms contribute $76 million annually to the state's economy and support 1,009 jobs. In Minnesota, 114 organic farms add $78 million to Minnesota's economy annually and have created 660 jobs. The report also compared the economic value that would be generated by conventional and organic farms in the two states if both experienced the same hypothetical level of increased sales. Related ATTRA Publication:Dairy Resource List: Organic and Pasture-Based
APHIS Seeks Suggestions for Projects Funded by Farm Bill Section 10201 USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is inviting stakeholders to submit suggestions for fiscal year 2013 projects to implement Section 10201 of the 2008 Farm Bill. There are six Section 10201 goal areas: enhancing plant pest/disease analysis and survey; targeting domestic inspection activities; enhancing and strengthening pest identification and technology; safeguarding nursery production; enhancing mitigation capabilities; and conducting outreach and education about these issues. APHIS will accept suggestions for FY 2013 projects through December 7, 2012.
Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts Launches Website The Beginning Farmer Network of Massachusetts has introduced a new website that is the product of a collaborative process involving beginning farmers and farm service providers throughout the state. The site features a searchable resource map for beginning farmers, a Resource Finder, a statewide calendar of beginning farmer events, profiles of successful farmers in Massachusetts, and blog posts with useful advice for beginning farmers.
MOSES Organic Farming Conference Calls for Poster Proposals The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) is inviting researchers to submit poster proposals for display at the 2013 MOSES Organic Farming Conference as part of the Organic Research Forum. Government scientists and staff, academic faculty and staff, graduate/undergraduate students, and farmer researchers are invited to submit poster proposals by January 9, 2013. The conference will be held February 21-23, 2013, in LaCrosse, Wisconsin.
North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund This fund supports the farming, forestry, and horticulture communities within the agriculture industry. The fund supports the purchase of agricultural conservation easements; funds public and private-enterprise programs that will promote profitable and sustainable family farms; and funds conservation agreements targeted at the active production of food, fiber, and other agricultural products. North Carolina county governments and nonprofit groups may apply. The current application period is open until December 17, 2012.
California Specialty Crop Block Grant Program The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting proposals for the 2013 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, which is designed to enhance the competitiveness of the state's specialty crops. Grant awards will range from $50,000 to $400,000 per project. Eligible non-profit organizations; local, state, and federal government entities (including tribal governments); for-profit organizations; and public and private colleges and universities may apply. Concept proposals must be submitted by December 7, 2012.
Frontera Farmer Foundation The Frontera Farmer Foundation will award grants of up to $12,000 for capital improvements to small and medium-size, individually owned farms that sell their food products to customers in the Chicago area at farmers markets and otherwise. Applications must be received by February 28, 2013.
Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference January 10-12, 2013 Ames, Iowa Explore how different farming systems and practices help build the soil and the communities of plants, animals, and people who depend on the soil. The conference features three short courses and two days of in-depth workshops on grazing, field crops, fruits and veggies, marketing, recordkeeping, and other topics.
Cascadia Grains Conference January 12, 2013 Tacoma, Washington The Cascadia Grains Conference brings together farmers, bakers, brewers, distillers, brokers, investors, policy-makers, and others to help rebuild the regional grain economy. Farmers will learn about grain production, connect with scale-appropriate buyers, and learn strategies for increasing demands for cereals used for poultry and livestock feeds, artisan breads, brewing, and distilling.
Direct Marketing Conference January 13, 2012 South Royalton, Vermont NOFA Vermont's annual Direct Marketing Conference provides networking and educational opportunities for farmers market managers and vendors, as well as farmers marketing through Community Supported Agriculture and farm stands.
Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews Archives Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest and ATTRAnews newsletters are available online. ATTRAnews is the newsletter of ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service - ATTRA - was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The project 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.
ATTRA Webinars November 29 — Understanding Whole-Farm Insurance for Specialized, Diversified, and Organic Farms Jeff Schahczenski will explain Adjusted Gross Revenue Lite. Farmers who grow diverse specialty crops, organic crops, or who have mixed crop/livestock operations are especially encouraged to attend, along with educators and other professionals who serve these growers. The webinar will feature regionally appropriate examples from the Southeast.