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 Sustainable Agriculture website. The Weekly Harvest Newsletter is also available online.
News & Resources
USDA Announces Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Coverage for Fruits and Vegetables, Organic and Diversified Farms
New Resource Designed to Help Beginning Farmers Succeed
How-to Guide Offered for Farm-to-Institution Initiatives
UN Introduces Food and Agriculture Business Principles
Publications Bring Connectivity Approach to California Water Supply
A New England Food Vision Released
Rural Cooperative Development Grant
Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program
Massachusetts Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture
High Country Farm Tour
NPSAS Summer Field Day: Ruso Ranch
Biochar: Charcoal Production for Power & Fertility
News & Resources
USDA Announces Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Coverage for Fruits and Vegetables, Organic and Diversified Farms USDA has announced a new risk-management option that will be available for fruit and vegetable growers and producers with diversified farms. Whole-Farm Revenue Protection will provide flexible coverage options for specialty-crop, organic, and diversified-crop producers. The program will be implemented in counties across the country and will expand in availability over the next several years. The new Whole-Farm Revenue Protection policy combines Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) and AGR-Lite, along with several improvements to target diversified farms.
New Resource Designed to Help Beginning Farmers Succeed American Farmland Trust has released Cultivating the Next Generation: Resources and Policies to Help Beginning Farmers Succeed in Agriculture. The publication reports on state programs and federally funded programs for beginning farmers and profiles 12 beginning farmers. Finding, affording, and negotiating appropriate farmland to lease or own was the greatest overall challenge beginners reported, and the publication suggests ways to address this challenge. Related ATTRA Publication:Financing Your Farm: Guidance for Beginning Farmers
UN Introduces Food and Agriculture Business Principles The UN Global Compact has introduced the Food and Agriculture Business Principles, the first set of global voluntary business principles for the whole food and agriculture sector. The six principles are designed to complement existing initiatives and serve as an umbrella over voluntary standards and technical compliance platforms.
Publications Bring Connectivity Approach to California Water Supply The California Roundtable on Water and Food Supply has released two new publications. From Crisis to Connectivity: Renewed Thinking About Managing California's Water and Food Supply describes the connectivity approach, which provides a whole-systems framework for water-management decisions. The second publication, Applying the Connectivity Approach: Water and Food Supply Projects in California that Connect, Link, and Engage, features five case studies of existing efforts.
A New England Food Vision Released Food Solutions New England has released A New England Food Vision. This 48-page document starts a dialogue on the future of food in the region. It describes a future in which New England produces at least half of its own food—and no one goes hungry. Core values include food rights, healthy eating, sustainability, and community vitality.
Rural Cooperative Development Grant (RCDG) The RCDG program improves the economic condition of rural areas by assisting in the startup, expansion, or operational improvement of rural cooperatives and other business entities. Grants of up to $200,000 are awarded to nonprofits or institutions of higher education for Rural Cooperative Development Centers that in turn provide technical assistance to individuals and entities. Applications are due by June 24, 2014.
Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program Through this program, farmers can qualify for cost shares ranging from $1,200 to $15,000. One portion of the program assists farmers with the cost of livestock equipment, working facility covers, genetics, hay, or grain and feed storage. The other part supports producer diversification by assisting farmer investments in agritourism, fruits and vegetables, honey bees, horticulture, organics, and value-added products. Applications are accepted from June 1 - June 7, 2014.
Massachusetts Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture The Matching Enterprise Grants for Agriculture Program assists new farmers and their commercial farm enterprises in Massachusetts. The Program offers individual business planning and technical assistance and makes available up to $10,000 for equipment, infrastructure, or other capital improvements. The deadline for applications is June 24, 2014.
High Country Farm Tour June 28-29, 2014 Ashe and Watauga Counties, North Carolina The High Country Farm Tour presented by Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture offers the opportunity to visit any of 20 participating farms over the course of two afternoons.
NPSAS Summer Field Day: Ruso Ranch June 27, 2014 Ruso, North Dakota At this summer field day sponsored by Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Society, attendees will see Ruso Ranch and learn about brix testing, cover crops, and more. They will hear Gearld Fry speak on linear measuring and reading hair coats.
Biochar: Charcoal Production for Power & Fertility June 28, 2014 Brookville, Pennsylvania This PASA Field Day at Quiet Creek Herb Farm will focus on easy methods of making charcoal on the farm using small steel drums. There will also be a demonstration on how to use charcoal to replace gasoline in powering equipment.
Weekly Harvest Archives Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.
ATTRA Sustainable Agriculture was developed and is managed by the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). The program 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.