Saturday, November 30, 2013

ARS Newslink

Web links to stories issued November 25-29, 2013 ___________________________________________

ARS News Service
USDA Agricultural Research Service
November 29, 2013

Ramping up pterostilbene in crops:
USDA scientists have developed a way to boost production of a beneficial plant compound called pterostilbene, a beneficial plant phytochemical. The finding could pave the way for ramping up levels of potentially healthful pterostilbene in crops that normally produce it, such as grapes and berries. (11/25)

The benefits of a healthy breakfast:
Eating breakfast-or choosing to skip it-may significantly influence a child's ability to solve math problems, a USDA-funded nutrition study suggests. Research with 81 healthy children has indicated that those who ate breakfast were better able to tackle dozens of math problems in rapid-fire succession than peers who didn't have a morning meal. (11/27)

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Weekly Harvest, November 27, 2013

ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service

Weekly Harvest Newsletter
Sustainable Agriculture News Briefs - November 27, 2013

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.

December 3, #GivingTuesday, is the perfect time to show your support for the National Center for Appropriate Technology, the non-profit organization that keeps you up-to-date on the latest news in sustainable agriculture.  Plan to make your donation on Tuesday, December 3, using our secure online form. Thank you for helping us promote sustainable solutions!

News & Resources

  • Agricultural Law Center Launches Online Legal Guide
  • Updated Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding Released
  • USDA Names Members to Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Committee
  • U.S. Committee Kicks Off International Year of Family Farming
  • Materials from National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture Available Online
  • FDA Releases FSMA Proposed Animal-Food Rule for Public Comment

Funding Opportunities

  • Value-Added Producer Grant Program
  • Vermont Agriculture, Forestry & Forest Products: Working Lands Enterprise Investments
  • Open Meadows Foundation

Coming Events

  • Midwest Value Added Agriculture Conference
  • Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Winter Conference
  • Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference

News & Resources

Agricultural Law Center Launches Online Legal Guide
The Drake University Agricultural Law Center has developed an online version of The Legal Guide for Direct Farm Marketing to provide farmers the information they need to deliver produce, dairy, meat, and value-added foods directly to consumers. This update of the original print publication includes an extensive checklist, video interviews, interactive responses to questions, and a state-by-state listing of organizations and agencies that can provide additional services.

Updated Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding Released
In order to assist producers with the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) application process, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) has released a free, online, updated Farmers' Guide to Value-Added Producer Grant Funding. The guide provides helpful hints to improve a producer's chances of obtaining funding and includes information on application requirements.

USDA Names Members to Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Committee
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced the appointment of 20 members to serve on the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. The Committee will provide guidance to the Secretary on expanding opportunities that will help beginning farmers and ranchers succeed in agriculture.

U.S. Committee Kicks Off International Year of Family Farming
The United Nations has declared 2014 the International Year of Family Farming and many countries have formed national committees to carry out activities in cooperation. The U.S. executive committee is comprised of 25x'25, the Alliance to End Hunger, American Farmland Trust, the Consumer Federation of America, the National Cooperative Business Association, and National Farmers Union.

Materials from National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture Available Online
Presentations and handouts from the 4th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture,"Cultivating Our Food, Farms and Future," held November 6-8, 2013, are now available online. Descriptions of wide-ranging workshops are available, along with presentations and/or handouts for many of the workshops and keynote speeches.

FDA Releases FSMA Proposed Animal-Food Rule for Public Comment
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released FSMA Proposed Rule to Establish Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals and will accept public comments on the rule until February 26, 2014. The preventive controls provisions of the proposed rule would apply to domestic and imported animal food, including pet food, animal feed, and raw materials and ingredients.

>> More Breaking News

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Funding Opportunities

Value-Added Producer Grant Program
USDA has announced the availability of nearly $10.5 million in grants to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. Grants are available to help agricultural producers create new products, expand marketing opportunities, support further processing of existing products or goods, or develop specialty and niche products. The maximum working capital grant is $200,000; the maximum planning grant is $75,000. Funding priority is given to socially disadvantaged and beginning farmers or ranchers, and to small- to medium-size family farms, or farmer/rancher cooperatives.
Grant applications are due by February 24, 2014.

Vermont Agriculture, Forestry & Forest Products: Working Lands Enterprise Investments
Matching grants of $3,000 to $20,000 are available to Vermont agriculture, food systems, forestry and/or forest products enterprises. Investment areas may include infrastructure, marketing, market development, business development, and technical assistance.
Applications are due December 11, 2013.

Open Meadows Foundation
Open Meadows Foundation is a grant-making organization seeking projects that promote gender/racial/economic justice. The projects must be led by and benefit women and girls, particularly those from vulnerable communities. The foundation offers grants up to $2,000. Small and start-up organizations are strongly encouraged to apply.
The next deadline for submitting proposals is February 15, 2014.

>> More Funding Opportunities

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Coming Events

Midwest Value Added Agriculture Conference
January 23-24, 2014
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

This 15th annual conference provides valuable education to small-scale farmers, regional educators, and farm-service professionals to help increase the economic vitality of rural agricultural communities. There will be conference tracks on Marketing, Business Management, Food Handling & Regulations, and Networking Across the Supply Chain, as well as a SARE Farmer Forum and Farmer-to-Farmer sessions.

Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society Winter Conference
January 23-25, 2014
Aberdeen, South Dakota

The 35th annual winter conference includes keynote speakers Melinda Hemmelgarn and Will Winter, pre-conference workshops, exhibitors, and more. Workshops are planned on livestock, growing herbs, greenhouses, soil health, weed control, and more.

Practical Farmers of Iowa Annual Conference
January 23-25, 2014
Ames, Iowa

This conference, "Well Grounded," will examine permaculture and grazing systems, as well as the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy. Attendees will learn about profitable vegetable systems, biodiversity on farms, nonfarmers who are building partnerships with farmers, and more.

>> More Events

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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.

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Conservation Financing for Farm Transfer

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UF/IFAS news for 11/27

Happy Thanksgiving! Here is your UF/IFAS news for 11/27:


Two engineering professors named Fellows by AAAS


Northeast Florida family farms carry on tradition


EXTENSION CONNECTION: Identify strange plants to prevent spread of poisonous ones (Okaloosa)


Autumn leaf color (Gulf)

Bay Area Food Bank preps for holiday (WFREC)




And here is other UF, Gainesville, State and global news for today:


UF: Florida’s consumer sentiment bounces back in November


UF to host online learning conference to kick off pioneering effort in digital education


Cooking Chemistry Camp

Restaurants that are open on Turkey Day

Nasty Storm Threatens to Upend Holiday Travel


Shoppers mull 'dessert or doorbusters?’ as stores plan Thanksgiving Day sales


Google Earth spies unreported fish traps, study reveals



Upcoming Program Reminders

This is a reminder of some upcoming Extension Program Opportunities in December:


December 10 – Winter Weather School in Tavares (Pre-registration ends December 4):


December 11 – Winter Weather School in Dade City


December 11 – Osceola and Brevard Asian Citrus Psyllid Management and CHMA Workshop:


December 12 - CREC Citrus Rootstock Field Day


December 16 – Winter Peach Pruning Seminar in Ft. Pierce


Please let me know if you have any questions.


Thank you,


Gary K. England

Multi-County Extension Agent III – Fruit Crops

Lake County Extension

1951 Woodlea Road

Tavares, FL 32778

(352) 343-4101 Ext. 2729

(352) 343-2767 Fax



Farm legal issues webinar reminder


Please be sure to like the Wisconsin Local Food Network on Facebook!
WiLocalFoodNetwork mailing list

Next Week, Monday Dec. 2nd, at 6pm Central, tune into Farm Commons’ free webinar: Overview of Farm Legal Issues for direct-to-consumer and organic farms. 



This webinar is geared to for the beginning farmer and the experienced farmer interested in creating a plan to tune-up their operation, legally speaking. Attendees will walk away with action items and understand which of Farm Commons’ detailed winter webinars will be most relevant to their farm.


This winter, Farm Commons is offering a series of eight free webinars on legal issues for farmers who market their product directly to consumers. Direct-to-consumer farmers are building a new food system, but farmers and advocates alike often don’t realize the unique laws and regulations that affect these unique farm operations. Addressing these potential issues before problems grow is essential to the growth of a stable, resilient community of farmers. The webinar series will begin with an overview session on December 2nd with more detailed webinars to follow. Farmers may attend the overview to decide which legal subjects apply to their farm, or go straight to the detailed webinars that address on-farm events, CSA programs, adding value to farm products, and legal issues such as contracts and food safety. Our schedule addresses the legal needs of beginning and established farmers alike.


Farm Commons provides fast-paced webinars that help farmers move forward. Our webinars break down legal concepts into actionable steps. Although not specific to state laws, we help farmers figure out when they have an issue and how to begin resolving it. We understand that farmers are busy. Our webinars are scheduled in the evening to be accessible to farmers with field work or a day job. Farmers with no or a slow internet connection will be able to join by phone. Questions are welcome and we will leave enough time for discussion after the presentation. Each webinar will be recorded and available for later viewing. Register at


December 2: Overview of Farm Legal Issues

December 17: Community Supported Agriculture Legal Issues

January 13: Hosting On-Farm Events

January 28: Workers and Employees

February 10: Selling Products to Larger Buyers

February 25: Starting a Farm 

March 10: Adding Value to Farm Products

March 25: Food Safety Liability and Regulations


Farm Commons is a nonprofit organization that provides the legal resources sustainable farmers need to become the stable, resilient foundation of a community-based food system. For more information, contact Rachel Armstrong at or 608 616 5319.



Rachel Armstrong

Executive Director and Attorney, Farm Commons


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Join us in saluting World Soil Day, Dec 5

Soil: It's responsible for nearly all life on the planet, but rarely gets the respect it deserves. On December 5th, however, this living and life-giving resource is finally getting its day—throughout the nation and across the globe.


The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization will celebrate World Soil Day in Rome, Italy, under the framework of the Global Soil Partnership. At the NRCS, we're adding the word "Health" to the celebration in an effort to help raise awareness of the importance of healthy soils for food security, ecosystem functions and resilient farms.

We hope you'll join us in this salute to the soil by posting to your Facebook and Twitter (@NRCS_FL) pages. Consider using the following tags in Twitter:  #WorldSoilDay. #soilhealth. #NRCS. Attached is a graphic that can be used.

Below are some sample Facebook postings you may use.  Please join us in highlighting soil health.



Gail Hendricks

Public Affairs Specialist/Webmaster/SharePoint Administrator




NRCS - A Legacy of Conservation Since 1935, the US Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service has provided assistance to help America's private landowners and managers conserve their soil, water, and other natural resources.

Follow us on Twitter - @NRCS_FL

View conservation videos on YouTube



In 2002, the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS), made a resolution proposing December 5 as World Soil Day. This day is designated to celebrate the importance of soil and its vital contributions to human health and safety.

Under the framework of the Global Soil Partnership, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is celebrating World Soil Day 2013 in Rome on December 5.  The goal is to raise awareness of the importance of healthy soils for food security, ecosystem functions, and sustainable development.  The celebration will be followed by a 3 day International Workshop "Soil Spectroscopy: the present and future of Soil Monitoring." 

World Soil Day is a great opportunity for USDA-NRCS to reinforce our soil health messages, while helping to promote World Soil Day.

You've got to watch this 5 min video on #Soil! "Let's Talk About Soil"




Let's talk about soil – today is World Soil Day. The reality of soil resources around the world is overwhelming! 


Unlock the Secrets of the Soil. Soil is a living and life-giving substance, without which we would perish!

We owe our existence to those few inches of living and life-giving top soil. Happy World Soil Day!



Long live the soil! Celebrate World Soil Day - Join Buz Kloot on his "Soil Trek" journey to find the science behind soil health.

Your food gets its start in the soil. Celebrate World Soil Day and Soil Health.

What in the world do you know about soils? Today is World Soil Day.  Learn more about soil health.

Today is World Soil Day. Take a minute to learn more about soil health.

Coolest video!  No matter where your water comes from, it's been filtered by the soil! Happy World Soil Day!

There are more organisms in a teaspoon of healthy soil than there are people on earth!

How can I stand on the ground every day and not feel its power? How can I live my life stepping on this stuff and not wonder about it?  William Bryant Logan


Soil sustains life! Learn more at

Soils: a hidden resource! Soils are a limited natural resource. Find out how their role in food security is crucial. In light of climate change, soil degradation and erosion, farmers everywhere struggle to protect soil health. 

We love working with farmers who are taking their soil health seriously. Celebrate World Soil Day by learning more at (state's soil health webpage) or link to national page.

Learn more about World Soil Day and the importance and benefits of soils and the hazards currently facing them.



When the rains come, where does the water go?  Is your soil healthy?  Celebrate World Soil Day - Unlock the Secrets Of The Soil!



This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.

FAWN eNewsletter Fall 2013


Average temperatures varied during October across the entire state, though most stations reported above normal temperatures. Rainfall was below normal for the most part, with a few stations reporting near/above normal amounts. Neutral ENSO (El Nino Southern Oscillation) conditions continue and are forecasted to continue through Spring 2014. The Climate Prediction Center forecasts normal temperatures and below normal precipitation for the state through January. Click here to see the complete summary.

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Website Enhancements


The FAWN website has been reprogrammed to better accommodate mobile devices. Whether viewed on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, it will display all available information in a way that best fits the screen. Also, several additional parameters can be viewed on the Homepage map, wet bulb temperature, weekly rainfall, and a 12-hour forecasted minimum temperature, for example.

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Tool Enhancements/Additions


• Freeze Alert Tool The FAWN Freeze Alert Tool now includes ALL FAWN stations. With this tool, you can receive text messages when critical conditions occur at any user-selected FAWN station.

• Forecast Tracker - The FAWN Forecast Tracker has been reprogrammed to work on all Internet-capable devices, including tablets and smartphones. This gives the user the flexibility to use this tool in the field.

• Citrus Pesticide Tool - Make better decisions related to applying chemicals with the FAWN Citrus Pesticide Tool. This tool displays forecasts of wind speed and rainfall on a graph and in a table. There is also a printable form for record keeping.

• Hay Curing Tool (Beta) - FAWN is developing a tool that shows past and forecasted values of several parameters useful in determining the optimal length of time to cure cut hay. We welcome feedback on how to make the tool most useful.

• Vegetable Irrigation Scheduler - Retrieve a 2-week irrigation schedule for summer squash, tomatoes, and watermelons with this tool.

• Interactive Irrigation Scheduler - Get a detailed analysis of your water use over the previous week with the FAWN Interactive Irrigation Tool. Submit site-specific information about your landscape, and FAWN will send you a weekly email that evaluates your water usage over the previous week using real-time data from the closest FAWN station.

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What’s Happening in the Field?


The FAWN Field Team has been very busy installing and relocating stations. Here are the details:

• Dade City - The Brooksville station was relocated to Pasco High School in Dade City.

• St. Lucie West - Fort Pierce was recently relocated further inland to better serve area growers, and renamed St. Lucie West.

• Defuniak Springs - New installation in northern Walton County funded by FDACS to provide better panhandle coverage.

• Mayo - New installation in Lafayette County funded by FDACS to provide better big-bend coverage.

• Lecanto - New installation funded by FDACS located in the agricultural teaching area at Lecanto High School in Citrus county.

• Okeechobee - New installation funded by FDACS located on South Florida Water Management District north of Okeechobee.

• Wellington - New installation funded by FDACS located on South Florida Water Management District in western Palm Beach county. Back to top^ Hr


FAWN will be participating in several winter weather seminars over the next month. Below are the details:

• December 10th - East central Florida Winter Weather School, Tavares. Information can be found here

• December 11th - Winter Weather School, 10am - 12pm in Dade City. Please contact Cami McAvoy at 352-793-2728 for more information

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HOS6545 Advanced Citraculture I will be offered in Spring 2014!

HOS6545 Advanced Citraculture I


Spring 2014 – 3 credits

Section 171B

Wednesdays 7 - 9th Periods

Prerequisite: FRC 3212 and 4223 or equivalent.   
Students that haven’t taken the above courses  and would like to enroll in the course should contact the instructor.

The syllabus for this course is attached.


Instructor: Craig Brodersen

Department: HOS / IFAS – CREC
Office: #1, Building 2079 CREC
Phone: 863-956-8846
Office Hours: by appointment
Lecture Location/Time: Wednesdays, 2-5PM



Course description: 3 credits. This course is designed to provide an overview of the physiological processes essential to biomass and fruit production in citrus and how the biotic and abiotic environment facilitates or impedes productivity. We will address many of these issues by focusing on specific problems growers face on daily and seasonal cycles and how research has led to new management or breeding practices to overcome those problems. 


This course will be taught at the UF Citrus Research & Education Center in Lake Alfred, FL. The course can be taken via Polycom video conferencing with the permission of the instructor. Each online distance learning program has a process for, and will make every attempt to resolve, student complaints within its academic and administrative departments at the program level. See for more details.


Class meetings will be a combination of lectures by Dr. Brodersen and other citrus experts at CREC and student led discussion sessions aimed at providing a comprehensive understanding of the pertinent scientific literature from the rich history of citrus research. Each meeting we will discuss 2 4 papers related to that week’s topic. Starting 2/26/13 (or earlier depending on course enrollment) individual students or groups will lead the discussion are responsible for selecting the papers (to be approved one week in advance).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

UF/IFAS news for 11/26

Happy early Thanksgiving everyone! Here’s your UF/IFAS news for 11/26:


Florida Farm Bureau, agriculture specialists provide produce to students (Okaloosa)


Garden Q&A: Old pecan trees will need care -- and cash (Duval)


Christmas Trees 101: Picking the perfect tree (Duval)


Citrus rootstock field day to be Dec. 12


Get medieval (Pinellas, under “Thursday” in string)




Here is a sampling other news going on at UF, around Florida and globally:


Sanford teen awaiting heart transplant after receiving temporary total artificial heart


Holiday travelers to get sticker shock at the pumps


Federal Alliance for Safe Homes Announces University of Florida "MitiGators" as Winners of RenaissanceRe $20,000 Challenge


Alzheimer's researchers shift their focus from treatment to prevention


Lessons in living the good life here


Can the U.S. and Iran bring the deal home?


Gainesville ranked fifth best small metro in the country


Black Friday to include discounted cat adoptions in Butler Plaza


Newtown shooter Adam Lanza acted alone, had no clear motive: report


Thanksgiving travelers cast wary eye as storm packing snow, freezing rain, sleet heads east


'Late starters' still have much to gain by exercising