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 Issues New Farm to School Fact Sheets
Report Analyzes Hawaii's Organic Food Industry
USDA Schedules Listening Session on Organic Agriculture
Washington State Law Expands Farm Internship Program
Student Film Highlights Small Farmers Producing Food Sustainably
California Organic Wheat Trial Report Published
New Mexico Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds Program
Conservation Innovation Grants in Iowa
Growing Leaders Youth Initiative Local Harvest Event Grant
Beginning Grazier School
CSA Open Farm Day
Low Stress Livestock Handling Ranch Tour
News & Resources
USDA Issues New Farm to School Fact Sheets USDA Farm to School has published two new fact sheets, available online. Selling Local Food to Schools: A Resource for Producers outlines four ways producers can help districts serve more local foods and introduce students to farming and agriculture. USDA Foods: A Resource for Buying Local is a resource for districts looking to expand their local purchasing efforts.
Report Analyzes Hawaii's Organic Food Industry A new report from the Kohala Center, Growing Organics: Moving Hawaii's Organic Industry Forward, puts forth 58 recommendations to increase organic food production and distribution, improve access to technical assistance, promote producer and consumer education, reduce costs, and foster greater advocacy for certified organic food production in Hawaii.
USDA Schedules Listening Session on Organic Agriculture USDA agencies engaged in supporting organic agriculture will hold a Stakeholders Listening Session on organic provisions in the Agricultural Act of 2014 on April 14. An RSVP for in-person or call-in attendance is required by 12pm on April 10. Please email your RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Washington State Law Expands Farm Internship Program Washington's governor signed a new law that expands the state's Small Farm Internship Program to 16 counties. Under the legislation, small farms can apply for certification to have up to three paid or unpaid interns work on the farm and receive curriculum instruction. The farm pays worker's compensation premiums under a special risk class for farm interns. The text of the law is available online.
Student Film Highlights Small Farmers Producing Food Sustainably Students at Ball State University created a 35-minute film called "Down to Earth" that focuses on creating a more sustainable and local food system and the challenges small farms face in a large industry. The film, with dozens of interviews, including Will Allen and Joel Salatin, can be viewed online.
California Organic Wheat Trial Report Published Organic Seed Alliance has published data results from organic wheat variety trials conducted in five California counties. The report, 2013 California North Coast Organic Wheat Trials, is available for free download. Results include data on lodging, rust, plant height, yield, moisture, protein, and informal baking trials on harvested wheat.
New Mexico Agricultural Development and Promotion Funds Program Agricultural companies in New Mexico may apply for funds for marketing, production demonstration, and promotional activities; market potential surveys; specialty crop production demonstrations; marketing facilities development; participation in national and international trade shows; and administrative costs. Applications are due May 1, 2014.
Conservation Innovation Grants in Iowa USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service is requesting project proposals for the Conservation Innovation Grants program in Iowa. Selected applicants may receive up to 50% of the total project cost, not to exceed $75,000. Proposals should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address one or more of the following: soil health/quality, Iowa nutrient management strategy, grassland management, marketing of grass-fed beef, drought mitigation, or technology related to establishing cover crops. Proposals are due by April 30, 2014.
Growing Leaders Youth Initiative Local Harvest Event Grant The National Center for Appropriate Technology will partner with two teams of Montana high schoolers to plan Growing Leaders Local Harvest events for their communities. The youth-led events will celebrate and educate about healthy, local food. Teams of Montana high schoolers working with a qualified adult are eligible to apply. Applications are due May 4, 2014.
Beginning Grazier School May 6-7, 2014 Meadows of Dan, Virginia Virginia Forage and Grassland Council, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and NRCS are hosting this event. Participants will receive an introduction to grazing management as well as an overview of key considerations for grazing systems. They will also travel to farm sites for demonstrations and a grazing plan exercise.
CSA Open Farm Day May 4, 2014 Vermont statewide NOFA Vermont and local farmers are holding an Open Farm Day. More than 45 CSA operations across the state are offering farm tours and activities during the afternoon.
Low Stress Livestock Handling Ranch Tour May 3, 2014 Olsburg, Kansas This tour is the concluding "Amazing Grazing" event. Partners include the Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas SARE, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, Kansas Graziers, Kansas NRCS, and Kansas Grazing Land Coalition. Two Olsburg ranches will highlight working facilities that utilize low-stress methods to quietly and effectively process cattle, sheep, and goats.
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 Webinar April 29 ~ Urban Farms: Commercial Farms or Socially Minded Operations? This webinar provides an analysis of the differences between nonprofit and commercial urban farms, based on research at NYU, Penn State, and NCAT-ATTRA. Register now!