Thursday, May 29, 2014

Updates 5.29.14

**New items noted in RED**


Scholarships for Florida Small Farmers

Florida small farmers who cannot attend the Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference due to financial hardship have the opportunity to apply for a registration scholarship. Up to a $150 value, the scholarship covers the cost of a full conference registration. Send application by June 1 for consideration. See details.


Poster Presentation Submission Deadline

The Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference has a poster presentation opportunity available. Generate visibility for your organization, farm, or company. Share details of your work, successes and lessons learned. Interact directly with Florida’s farming communities. Submit an abstract by 5pm, June 16. See details.


UF/IFAS Seeks Input from Hay Producers on Stem Maggot Damage

Researchers are working to better understand the seriousness of the bermudagrass stem maggot as a pasture pest. As a producer of bermudagrass, you can help by completing an online survey about your experience with this invasive pest, to help researchers develop control and management strategies. Read more about the pest and how you can participate in the survey here. Please complete the survey no later than July 31.


Call for Submissions –Special Issue on "Organic Food"

Food and Nutrition Sciences, a peer-reviewed open-access journal, is seeking papers for the upcoming special issue on Organic Food”. Submissions are due July 16, 2014. Find out more here


Opportunity for Certifying Agencies

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and the National Organic Program have set aside funds this year to support projects that develop sound and sensible organic certification models, training, and outreach. These projects will support consumer confidence that organic products meet defined standards from farm to market, while also making sure that certification is accessible, attainable, and affordable, particularly for small and beginning farmers. An announcement about this opportunity is online at the link below. Certifiers and other organizations are encouraged to form teams to respond to the final solicitation once it is posted. To find other potential project team members, sign up as an “Interested Vendor” at the link below. View Draft Performance Work Statement




Florida Food Connect: A Tool to Help Producers Engage with Consumers

Wednesday, June 25; 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM EST

A new online tool, Florida Food Connect offers an easy-to-use format to promote buying and selling of Florida food products. Florida Food Connect is ready to connect you with consumers and boost the sales of your local products. Join us for a free webinar that will show you all the features of the site. Participate in the Webinar by logging on as a guest here:


American Public Health Association & Healthy Food Action Four-Part Series: “Food, Justice and Health Equity"

Various Dates

This 4-part series (1st part was April 10) co-sponsored by the National Medical Association, APHA and Healthy Food Action. Get webinar descriptions and register for all the webinars here

September 23; 12-1 PM CDT: Culture is Health –Sovereignty and Food Systems

October 15; 1-2 PM CDT: Building Healthy Food Systems, Overcoming Historical Trauma


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 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

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 




UGA to Develop Best Practices Model for Georgia Food Hubs with SARE Grant

A UGA anthropologist received a Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Grant to develop a best practices guide for developing and maintaining successful food hubs. Read about this SARE funded project here.


Studying White Clover as a Living Mulch in Corn

Adding nitrogen to fertilize their crop is a substantial expense corn farmers have to consider when calculating their bottom line. A University of Georgia scientist hopes to help lower that cost by planting clover and corn together. Read about it here.




New UF/IFAS Factsheets added to EDIS

The University of Florida IFAS Extension offers a database of fact sheets available for free download on the Internet called EDIS that has many publications of interest to farmers and ranchers in Florida. As of April 2014 five new articles of interest have been posted:

1.       Goat Parasite Control: General Guidelines

2.       Intestinal and Tracheal Parasites of Poultry

3.       Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides

4.       Iron (Fe) and Copper (Cu) for Citrus Trees

5.       Manganese (Mn) and Zinc (Zn) for Citrus Trees

Read a synopsis of each article and access the full factsheet here.


New SARE Topic Resource Room: Local Foods

SARE Outreach has developed a new Topic Room on local foods: Farm to Table: Building Local and Regional Food Systems. The online resource provides information for farmers, ranchers, ag professionals, community organizers and others who are striving to reconfigure the nation’s food system so more value stays in food-producing communities.


Small Ruminant Toolbox

Sheep and goat enterprises offer diversification opportunities for small and limited-resource farmers. This Small Ruminant Toolbox was developed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) in order to provide a collection of information for small ruminant producers and educators. The Small Ruminant Toolbox includes many publications, presentations and other resources that will be helpful to small ruminant producers. All Toolbox materials can be downloaded from the SARE website, or buy a flashdrive from NCAT for $5 each, plus $3 shipping and handling. Contact or call 1-800-346-9140 for more information.


Florida Food Connect: A Tool to Help Producers Engage with Consumers

A new online tool, Florida Food Connect offers an easy-to-use format to promote buying and selling of Florida food products. Florida Food Connect is ready to connect you with consumers and boost the sales of your local products. Join us on Wednesday, June 25th from 10:30 – 11:30 AM EST for a free webinar that will show you all the features of the site.


Peanut Field Agronomic Resource Manager

The PeanutFARM website is a tool developed by the University of Florida Agronomy Department, to assist peanut farmers, consultants, and extension agents. The program provides irrigation scheduling recommendations and monitoring of peanut maturity, on an individual field basis. PeanutFARM has 3 essential functions: 1) irrigation scheduling management, 2) Adjusted Growing Degree Day (AGDD), and 3) Prediction of digging date by scanning of pod blast samples.


New Reports Available from the Leopold Center

Summaries of six recently completed projects sponsored by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture are now available at: The new research reports include: 


ATTRA Publications Available on Amazon

NCAT has begun putting ATTRA-National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service publications on Amazon. Details can be found in the attachment. 


Farm to Table: Building Local and Regional Food Systems

USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) has recently introduced an online resource created to provide information for farmers, ranchers, ag professionals, community organizers and others who are striving to reconfigure the nation’s food system so more value stays in food-producing communities. Check out the new access portal here



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:

·         2014 Local Food Enterprise Summit, Miami, FL, May 31

·         Beginning Farmers: Planning Your Successful Farm, Locations Vary, FL, June 14, July 12, August 9, September 13

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!


UF/UGA Corn Silage and Forage Field Day

May 29, 2014

The corn silage and forage field day is an Extension and education program promoted by the University of Florida and the University of Georgia that offers the latest educational techniques and resources for forage producers to improve forage yield and quality, and methods of forage conservation. The program offers agronomic information on silage variety trials and extends knowledge on silage making, preservation, nutritive value, grazing management, and pest control of forages. It is a morning and early afternoon event and the 2014 field day will bring experts from Florida, Georgia, and Wisconsin. See the full agenda here. Register on Eventbrite.


Introduction to Garden Pests and Diseases

May 31, 2014; 10AM

The warm weather and approaching summer rains mean that you are likely to see an increase of pests in your garden. This workshop, hosted by Florida Organic Growers, will cover how to identify some common vegetable garden pests and organic methods for control. Bring pictures and or specimens from your garden and we will try to identify and help you come up with solutions. This workshop is led by Travis Mitchell of FOG. For more information or to RSVP, click here or contact Travis at 352-363-1093.


WebCourse: Intro to Food Systems Finance

June 4-5, 2014

A new 2-day web-based course, Intro to Food Systems Finance held by the Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA), examines the development finance programs that sustain a local food system and how investments in that system can drive economic development on a broader scale. The training is specifically tailored for food hubs that work with development finance agencies, or are trying to start a partnership with one. This is fee-based and open to both members and non-members of CDFA. Register here.  


FAMU Farm Fest 2014 Springtime Agri-Showcase

June 7, 2014

This annual event will be held at the FAMU Research and Extension Center in Quincy, Florida. Early registration available. Contact 850-599-3546 or email at


Pond Weed Workshop

June 12, 2014

UF/IFAS Extension faculty from Calhoun, Holmes, Jackson, and Washington counties will be presenting a workshop on Thursday, June 12th to help educate pond owners regarding some of the principles of effectively controlling unwanted weeds in their ponds. Topics covered will include pond week identification, weed control options, aquatic herbicide selection and application, and the use of grass carp for weed control.


Ag-DISCOVERY Summer Program for Teens

June 8-21, 2014

Save the date for the 2014 Ag-Discovery Summer Program for teens ages 14-17 hosted by FAMU College of Agriculture and Food Sciences Cooperative Extension Program. To apply visit: 1), 2) For more information, please contact:

                Dr. Ray Mobley at 850-561-2546

                Dr. Glen Wright at 850-875-8573

                Or Carmen Lyttle N’Guessan at: 850-412-5363


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


Small Farms Dairy Conference

June 19-20, 2014

This 2-day conference is for people who own or work for a small (1-50) animal dairy, or are considering investing their time and resources into this business. The program includes a visit to a dairy farm whose owners create and sell their own artisan cheeses, and will cover many important management topics for dairy cattle and goat farming. The workshop will be held at the Frank Stronach Conference Center in Citra, FL. Registration is $75 per person. See the attached flyer for more details and registration information.


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! This year’s conference motto is “Celebrating our Diversity through Sustainable Agriculture Education”. Submit your abstract by April 1, 2014. Registration begins May 1. Conference schedule available June 15.



Funding Opportunities


USDA Rural Development’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program

The 2014 Farm Bill requires USDA to set aside at least five percent of Business and Industry (B&I) program loan guarantees for projects that focus on local food business enterprises. Details on how to apply for local food funding through the B&I program are available on the Rural Development website. Applications are accepting on a rolling basis. The B&I program has the authority to fund local food infrastructure in urban areas as long as the project supports farm and ranch income and expands healthy food access in underserved communities.


Farmers Market Promotion Program

The Farmers’ Market Promotion Program is a component of the Farmers Marketing and Local Food Promotion Program. Two competitive grant programs are available: The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). The goals of the FMPP grants are to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets by developing, improving, expanding, and providing outreach, training, and technical assistance to, or assisting in the developimg, improvement, and expansion of, domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities.  LFPP offers grant funds with a 25% match to support the development and expansion of local and regional food business enterprises to increase domestic consumption of, and access to, locally and regionally produced agricultural products, and to develop new market opportunities for farm and ranch operations serving local markets. Applications are due June 20.


USDA Microloans Available for Small Farmers

The Microloan Program, available through USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), is a relatively new option to help beginning farmers get started, or to assist existing small farms in expanding their operations. Farmers may borrow up to $35,000 with limited collateral requirements, and have up to seven years for repayment. Find our more information here


USDA: Rural Business Investment Program

Due July 29, 2014

A USDA press release on April 21st announced the “creation of a new investment fund that will help propel the growth of small businesses across rural America”. The new Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) will now allow USDA to facilitate private equity investments in agriculture-elated businesses. “This new partnership will allow us to facilitate private investment in businesses working in bio-manufacturing, advanced energy production, local and regional food systems, improved farming technologies and other cutting-edge fields”. For more information about grant eligibility, check out the program’s website


National Institute of Food and Agriculture Grants

More information on any of the grant programs listed can be found at


Grant Program

Due Date

AFRI: Childhood Obesity


AFRI: Critical Agricultural Research and Extension


AFRI: Water for Agriculture


AFRI: Exploratory



Southern SARE Professional Development Program Grants

Due June 2, 2014

The Southern region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has released its Calls for Proposals for the 2014 Professional Development Program Grants (PDP). The PDP is a “train the trainer” program, providing funding to agricultural professionals to train Cooperative Extension agents, USDA field personnel, and other ag professionals and educators in areas of sustainable agriculture production practices. Training activities may include seminars, workshops, farm tours, on-farm demonstrations, or the marketing and distributing of training materials. Activities may take place in a single state, multiple states, or throughout the entire Southern region. The deadline for the Call for Pre-proposals is 11:59 PM EST on June 2, 2014.


The PDP Program is inviting pre-proposals focused on training trainers in each state/protectorate in the Southern SARE region to help limited resource farmers/ranchers understand how to apply for and participate in Federal and State sustainable agricultural programs available to them. More information can be found here


Southern SARE Research & Education Grants

Due June 2, 2014

The Southern region of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program has released its Calls for Proposals for the 2014 Research & Education Grants program. The organization is accepting pre-proposals for projects that focus on sustainable agriculture based on systems approach to research that aims to understand how complex systems function as a whole, often beginning with a conceptual model. Download the Call for Proposal to follow the guidelines for writing and submitting the grant application. The deadline for submitting pre-proposals is 11:59 PM EST on June 2, 2014. If selected, applicants will be invited to submit a full proposal in August. Grants will be announced in February of 2015.


The objective of the SARE program is to enable farmers and ranchers to move profitably toward production systems compatible with the goal of sustainable agriculture, including promoting good land stewardship, protecting the health and safety of people and animals, enhancing quality of life, and strengthening rural communities. For more information on research and education projects, completed or ongoing, search the national SARE database.


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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