Monday, March 3, 2014

2.28.14 Updates

**New items noted in RED**


2014 Small Farms & Alternative Enterprises Conference Innovative Farmer Award –Call For Nominations

Nominations Due April 25

This is your opportunity to nominate an outstanding small farmer/rancher that deserves to be recognized as a role model for the other small farmer/ranchers and attendees of the 2014 Small Farm and Alternative Enterprise Conference. The goal of the Award is to recognize farmers and ranchers who are leaders and innovators. The three most exceptional farmer and/or rancher nominations will be selected and will receive complementary registration and lodging for the 2014 conference. In addition, the farmer/rancher will be presented the 2014 Innovative Farmer Award at the Saturday morning opening session. See the attached documents for more information.


We want your farm products!

Submission Deadline: May 20, 2014

The Florida Small Farm and Alternative Enterprise Conference wants to serve your products. The conference wants to offer as much local, Fresh Florida produced food as possible. This is an opportunity to showcase your products and expand your market. See more details.


SARE/NACAA Sustainable Agriculture Fellows

Applications Due March 15

SARE is searching for innovative Extension leaders to apply for this unique and exciting professional development opportunity. The SARE Fellows Program is designed to provide hands-on experience and materials for selected NACAA members to study and become familiar with the basics of sustainable agriculture and alternative farm systems as currently practiced within the four regions of the USDA. Applications are due March 15. The program is open to NACAA members in good standing with their state associations and with responsibility in agricultural production systems. Find complete eligibility and entry details online. NACAA members can submit applications at  


Join the Florida Soil Health and Cover Crop Working Group

An outgrowth of the Florida Forum on Cover Crops and Soil Health earlier this week was the desire to establish a state-wide cover crop/soil health working group. The goal of this working group is to foster communication and develop a coordinated soil health effort in the state. The group will be composed of farmers, agriculture industry, Extension, NRCS, state agency and water management personnel, researchers, and any group interested in promoting the use of cover crops and soil health. Want to be involved? Contact Mimi Williams, to receive more information.




Food Safety in Organic Poultry and Leafy Greens and More

Various Dates

Description: Join eOrganic in February 2014 for free webinars on food safety in organic poultry and leafy greens, spotted wing drosophila management, anaerobic soil infestation and greenhouse gases. The following webinars are not open for registration. Register and find out more about the webinars and view the full schedule of upcoming and archived webinars online at


Upcoming Organic Farming Webinars

March 4, 2014

Using Contans (Coniothyrium minitans) for White Mold Management on Organic Farms Webinar

Alex Stone, Oregon State University

March 13, 2014

Organic Blackberry Production Webinar

Bernadine Strik, Luis Valenzuela, Oregon State; David Bryla, USDA-ARS Corvallis, OR



Free Farm Commons Webinars

Various Dates

Description: The nonprofit firm Farm Commons is hosting a series of free webinars this winter on a variety of legal issues faced by farmers who sell directly to consumers. Registration is now open for all webinars at All webinars are at 6pm CST.

·         Adding Value to Farm Products ­March 10

·         Food Safety Liability and Regulations ­March 25


USDA Farm to School Webinars

Various Dates

Description: The USDA Farm to School Program will host two webinars per month on various aspects of local procurement. The webinars will be held at 2pm EST on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month, and will include guest speakers from state agencies and school districts. For more information and to register, please visit the webinar series website.

·            Using Specifications to Target Local Products –March 13

·            Working with Distributors –March 27

·            Using a Forward Contract –April 10

·            Introduction to Geographic Preference –April 24

·            Using Geographic Preference –May 8

·            Using USDA Foods as Resource to Purchase Local –May 22

·            Using DoD Fresh to Purchase Local –June 12

·            Tying It All Together and Digging In –June 26


Soil Health Webinars

Various Dates

Description: The National Soil Health and Sustainability Team, located at the USDA NRCS East National Technology Support Center, is pleased to offer the following soil health webinars in 2014. Start time for the soil health webinars is 2pm Eastern.  



Soil Health Webinar Topic

Mar 11

Soil Health and Production Benefits of Mob Grazing

Apr 08

Managing for Soil Health on Dryland - A Farmer's Perspective

May 13

Using RUSLE2 to Evaluate Soil Health Planning Principles

Jun 10

Managing for Soil Health in the Piedmont Area of the Southeast - 
A Farmer's Perspective

Jul 08

Managing for Soil Health when Raising Potatoes - A Farmer's Perspective

Aug 12

Managing for Soil Health on an Organic Farm - A Farmer's Perspective


Connection information: For the full list of webinars and information on how to connect, please visit



Broadcast Recording Available from National Cover Crops Conference

To meet some of today’s biggest challenges in agriculture, including rising food demand, a shrinking land base and climate change, farmers should be encouraged to adopt a holistic approach to enriching their most valuable resource –the soil –according to a panel of experts who helped open last week’s National Conference on Cover Crops and Soil Health. To learn more, watch a recording of opening sessions from the conference held Feb. 17-19 in Omaha, Neb. Also available online are presentations from breakout sessions and 10 short videos of innovative farmers describing their use of cover crops.  


Food Hubs and Technical Assistance Providers Added to PolicyMap

PolicyMap, by The Reinvestment Fund, is a GIS-based website that allows users to filter over 15,000 indicators for comparison and analysis of demographics, income, education, unemployment, health, transit and public investments, to name a few. For years, the Wallace Center and USDA have tracked food hubs across the country, and now you can see the location of these food hubs within the context of food access and other demographics. From the map, click on “subscriber-shared sites” then “miscellaneous”. Under “shared by users”, click on “Food Hubs” to see food hubs displayed.


New Farm to School Resources

The National Farm to School Network is excited to release a set of new farm to school and farm to preschool training materials developed by and for farmers, child nutrition directors, educators, and early care providers. Each training template consists of a customizable slide deck, speaker notes, handouts and an evaluation form. Anyone can use these tools to more effectively share the value of farm to school in communities across the country. The materials were developed by the Peer Leadership Network, a group of 18 experienced farm to school and preschool practitioners convened by NFSN and funded in part by the Newman’s Own Foundation.


Conferences & Workshops

Small Farms & Alternative Enterprises Events Calendar

Various Dates

The University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences has a thriving Small Farms & Alternative Enterprises (SFAE) Extension Program. This program offers many different workshops at various locations around the state. Here’s a taste of a few events coming up:

·         Fruit Grower Workshop, Gainesville, FL, March 8

·         Starting a Successful Hydroponic Business, Live Oak, FL, March 17-18 or March 21-23

·         Building Your Own Farm’s Food Safety Manual, Tallahassee, FL, April 4

·         Beginning Farmer Workshop Series, Ocala, FL, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29

·         Encouraging Pollinators, Beneficial Insects and Other Good Guys, Live Oak, FL, May 17

Like what you see? There’s more! For a complete list of events, workshop details, and registration information, visit the SFAE Events Calendar. Check back frequently for updates on opportunities near you!


Panhandle Crop Meeting

March 6, 2014

The 2014 Panhandle Crop Meeting will be held on Thursday, March 6th, at the Jackson County Agriculture Conference Center. Registration opens at 7:15 and concludes at noon with a sponsored lunch. The Panhandle Crop Meeting will contain an array of presentations from Extension specialists from the University of Florida, Georgia and Auburn Universities. The purpose of the meeting is to address important issues for peanut and cotton growers in 2014. Topics include variety selection, weed control, disease control, insect control and more. Pesticide CEU’s will also be available. To view the full schedule and a printable flyer click here


UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County Fruit Grower Workshop

March 8, 2014

The UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension Service office is offering a fruit production workshop on March 8th. This workshop is intended for fruit enthusiasts and fruit growers. Come for the latest information from UF/IFAS experts on variety selection, production, and pest & disease management. Also, you will be able to visit with the different information stations hosted on site. Click here to view the flyer for further information.  


AgriReach Workshop

March 21, 2014

Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program received a capacity building grant from USDA to establish a Farmer-to-Farmer Mentorship Program with community-based farmers in North Florida. The program is designed to identify model farmers to serve as mentors to other farmers in the county who need up-to-date information regarding best farm management practices. The aim is to increase communication efficiency while disseminating information for effective, efficient and safe food production. The purpose of this workshop is to disseminate information, strengthen relationships between farmers and Extension agricultural professionals, to encourage practices to reduce health and food safety risks, and to receive feedback. The workshop is scheduled for March 21 from 9 AM to 3 PM at the FAMU Extension and Research Center located on the FAMU Farm in Quincy, FL. Lunch will be provided at the workshop; however RSVP is strongly suggested. See the attached flyer for details.


National Food Hub Conference

March 26-28, 2014

Raleigh, NC

Mark your calendars! The Wallace Center and the National Good Food Network Food Hub Collaboration will host a National Food Hub Conference March 26-28, 2014 in Raleigh, NC. There will be pre-conference tours, compelling panes and speakers, and plenty of opportunities for networking. If you missed the 2012 National Food Hub Conference you can read the proceedings here. Registration is now open. A Request for Proposals (RFP) for workshops and intensive trainings is due December 15, 2013. For more information, registration, and links to the RFP and sponsorship form visit the conference website.


Beginning Farmer Workshop Series

Various Dates

UF/IFAS Extension Marion County invites you to participate in their Beginning Farmer Workshop Series. This hands-on, five-part series will provide essential information ranging from soil management to marketing strategies for successful farming. All sessions will be held at the UF/IFAS Marion County Extension Office from 6 PM to 8 PM. For online registration click here. A paper application is attached. The cost of the workshop is $60 and includes dinner and all materials.

·         April 1: Healthy Soils

·         April 8: Determining Fertilizer Application Rates

·         April 15: Designing an Irrigation System

·         April 22: Developing an Integrated Pest Management Plan

·         April 29: Marketing and Financial Opportunities


2014 Florida Dairy Production Conference

April 9, 2014

The mission of the Florida Dairy Production Conference is to create a program which brings together some of the newest research, innovations, recommendations and ideas for improving the sustainability and profitability of the Florida dairy industry. The presented information provides practical take-home messages for dairy farmers and highlights emerging trends in the primary dairy industry. The conference strives to provide a friendly learning and sharing atmosphere with networking opportunities for our target audience of dairy owners and employees, allied diary industry professionals, students and dairy educators. For program details visit: To register click here.  


7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference

April 15-18, 2014

Save the date for the 7th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference: Powering Up, which will be held in Austin, April 15-18, 2014! The conference will convene a diver group of stakeholders from across the farm to cafeteria movement ­more than 1,000 food serve professionals, farmers, educators, youth leaders, policy makers, advocates, state/federal agency professionals, entrepreneurs, public health professionals and others ­working to source local food for institutional cafeterias and foster a culture of food and agricultural literacy across America. Explore the new conference website to preview the event and to learn more about the host city and other travel details. Registration will open in January 2014, and a request for workshop proposals will be released in September 2013.


Florida Sheep, Wool, and Herding Dog Festival

April 25-27, 2014

The MSA Membership Spring Meeting will be held in conjunction with the MSA sponsored sheep, wool & herding dog festival. Check out workshops held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Find out more information here:


Joint Conference: 16th Annual National Value-Added Agriculture Conference & The Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development “What Works III” Conference

May 13-15, 2014

Save the date for this joint conference held in Baltimore, MD. The theme of this conference is “Enhancing food security and rural viability through innovative food system practices and opportunities”. The call for abstracts is currently open through December 15, 2013. See the attached flyer for more information about the conference and how to submit your abstract today.


FAMU Farm Fest 2014 Springtime Agri-Showcase

June 7, 2014

Save the date! This annual event will be held at the FAMU Research and Extension Center in Quincy, Florida. More info to come soon! 


University of Vermont Food Systems Summit

June 17-18, 2014

Abstract Deadline: Feb. 15, 2014

The University of Vermont (UVM) Food Systems Summit is an annual event drawing scholars, practitioners, and food systems leaders to engage in dialogue around the pressing food systems issues facing our world.

·         The Summit welcomes research papers related to local level responses to globalization in the food system. Research should show a connection between local level initiatives to the global context we face in a 21st century food system.

·         Up to 9 competitively selected papers will be featured during panel presentations at the Summit.

·         Authors whose papers are selected for presentation at the Summit will be eligible to submit their papers to a special issue of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD)

The 2014 UVM Food Systems Summit will immediately precede the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS) joint annual meeting June 18-22 at the UVM campus. The UVM Food Systems Summit is an independently organized event and may be attended either alone or in combination with the AFHVS/ASFS conference.

Download the Call for Papers


Save the Date!! Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference

August 1-2, 2014

Save the date for this annual conference put on by UF/IFAS and FAMU/CAFS. The conference committee has worked hard to revise the conference this year based on your feedback ­so get ready for an exciting new format with many opportunity to learn and collaborate with fellow farmers around the state! The conference will include farm tours, exhibits, a hands-on “Learning Zone”, cutting-edge information, educational workshops, keynote address, Innovative Farmer Awards, and a celebration of local foods. To learn more, visit the UF/IFAS and FAMU/CAFS, Extension Services Small Farms Resource Website, connect with their Facebook page, visit the past conference website, or join the mailing list to receive Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference and educational related announcements.


Save the Date!! 6th Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference

August 3-6, 2014

Join us next summer for the 6th National Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) conference, co-hosted by North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Central Carolina Community College (CCCC). The conference will be held in Raleigh and Pittsboro, NC on the campuses of NCSU and CCCC.  Please consider joining other faculty, teachers, extension agents and students in the only national-level forum focused on the teaching and learning of sustainable agriculture!



Funding Opportunities


Food Hub Development Grant Program Request for Applications

Due March 30, 2014

The Wallace Center is pleased to announce its newest effort to support the work of food hubs nationwide, Strengthening Small-Scale Sustainable Farming and Local Food Systems by Accelerating Food Hub Development. The program will build on the significant work of Wallace’s National Goof Food Network (NGFN) initiative to support food hub development and capacity among small and mid-size farms throughout the U.S. to access regional markets, with an additional intention on building capacity among minority and female farmers. The Wallace Center has released a Request for Applications (RFA) for organizations interested in grant support in pursuit of this goal. The proposal deadline is March 30, 2014. To learn more about the grant program and review the complete RFA process and timeline, visit the Wallace website.


The Wallace Center will host a technical assistance webinar for potential applicants on March 5, 2014 from 3:30 to 4:30 PM EST, to provide an overview of the program and RFA, review the application process, and respond to applicant questions. Register for the webinar here.


SARE Graduate Student Grants

Due May 5, 2014

The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has released the 2014 Call for Proposals for Graduate Student GrantsGraduate Student Grants are one of the few sustainable agriculture research funding opportunities open to Masters and PhD students at accredited institutions in the Southern region. Proposal submission deadline is May 5, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. EST.  Download the Call for Proposals on the Southern SARE website and carefully read the proposal application instructions. All of the guidelines, program goals, review criteria, and the submission process to apply for a Southern SARE Graduate Student Grant can be found within the Call for Proposals. Research projects that address issues of sustainable agriculture of current and potential importance to the Southern region are eligible for submission. Maximum funds awarded for projects are $11,000 for up to three years work on the student’s project. Visit the Southern SARE website for additional information on Graduate Student Grants. Grant awards are announced in late August. Visit the Southern SARE website for more information on sustainable agriculture and other grant funding opportunities.


NIFA AFRI RFA for Food Security

Letter of Intent Due March 14, 2014

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is pleased to announce the release of the FY 2014 AFRI RFA for Food Security. Two program areas are offered in this year’s RFA: 1) Minimizing losses from pests and diseases of crops, and 2) Minimizing losses from pests and diseases of livestock. NIFA Funding Opportunity Page:  This page includes links to the request for applications (RFA), the NIFA Application Guide, the application package, and abstracts of funded projects. 


Value Added Producer Grant

Due February 24, 2014

USDA Rural Development has approximately $10.5 million available to help agricultural producers enter into value-added activities. Awards may be made to either economic planning or working capital activities related to the processing and/or marketing of value-added agricultural products. The maximum amount for a planning grant is $75,000 and the maximum amount for a working capital grant is $200,000. There is a matching funds requirement of at least $1 for every $1 in grant funds provided by the Agency. Click here for more information.


FSA Microloans

The Farm Service Agency offers direct farm operating loans with a shortened application process and reduced paperwork designed to meet the needs of smaller, non-traditional, and niche type operations.


Whole Foods Market Local Producer Loan Program

Whole Foods Market is providing up to $10 million in low-interest loans to independent local farmers and food artisans. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


League of Environmental Educators in Florida ­Grants List

This website gives a great list of grants available for various types of community and classroom projects. Really worth perusing. Due dates vary by grant.



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Kelly Monaghan

Program Assistant

Florida SARE Program, UF/IFAS & FAMU

Center for Sustainable and Organic Food Systems

3031 Mc Carty Hall D, PO Box 110310, Gainesville, FL 32611

Ph:(352)273-3508; Fax: (352)392-8196





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