USDA Seeks Nominations for the Beginning Farmers and Ranchers Advisory Committee
The USDA is soliciting nominations from interested organizations and individuals from among ranching and farming producers (industry), related government, State, and Tribal agricultural agencies, academic institutions, commercial banking entities, trade associations, and related nonprofit enterprises. An organization may nominate individuals from within or outside its membership; alternatively, an individual may nominate herself or himself. Nomination packages should include a nomination form along with a cover letter or resume that documents the nominee's background and experience. The nomination form (AD-755) is attached and also available on the Internet at http://www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2012/AD-755_Master_2012_508_Ver.pdf. Nominations packages must be postmarked by July 17, 2015 and addressed to U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mail Stop 0601, Room 520-A, Washington, DC 20250, Attn: Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Applications may also be faxed to 202-720-7704. Inquires only may be sent via email to: ACBFR@osec.usda.gov or contact Kenya Nicholas, Designated Federal Officer, at 202-720-6350.
SARE Cover Crops Project: Call for Demonstration Proposals and Farmer Survey
The southern region land grant universities and the Southern SARE program are planning a workshop and research on cover crops for farmer leaders, researchers and trainers. SARE needs input to help identify the focus areas for this workshop. Fill out the survey attached to this e-mail and mail it anonymously to:
Lee Meyer, Extension Professor
416 Barnhart Bldg.
Univ. of Ky; Lex., Ky 40546
Topic Room: SARE Resources on Pollinators
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SSARE) program has developed a topic room that includes a collection of educational materials on pollinators, such as honeybees and native bees, from decades of SARE-funded research.
SSARE Seeking Producer Nominations for the Administrative Council
The Administrative Council of the SSARE program is seeking nominations of a producer experienced with sustainable agriculture and its impact on the environment and rural communities to replace an outgoing Administrative Council member. Nomination deadline is July 15, 2015. E-mail your nomination to John Mayne at firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for a person to complete the SSARE On-Line Application is July 31, 2015.
Southern SARE Grantee-Produced Info Product: Food Hub Starter Kit
The Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group (SSAWG) has compiled an annotated list of useful resources for food hubs in their Food Hub Starter Kit. The kit contains resources from projects throughout the country as well as references from the USDA and the National Good Food Network. Read more about the work that SSAWG is doing and access their Food Hub Starter Kit.
National Good Food Network Webinar, "Systemic Change: How Formalizing Processes Increases Efficiency"
Thursday, July 23, 2015 from 3:30PM-4:45PM
From faster training of new hires, to decreasing costly errors, to increasing overall quality (ensuring happy customers!) taking a systems approach to your business positively effects your bottom line. This webinar will introduce how one might incorporate systems to bring your food business to the next level of sophistication, and efficiency. Following an introduction to systems, systems thinking, and its application to business, we will hear two very different case studies to get you thinking of the wide variety of applications. One case study explores achieving third-party food safety certification, the other dives deeply into systematizing employee training. Click here to register.
UF/IFAS Beef Cattle Economics Webinar Series
Various Dates- See Below
This webinar series is being conducted to discuss ways to increase your herd's production, performance, and profitability. Cattle producers saw record feeder calf prices and profits in 2014 that changed the dynamics of the cow-calf industry. The goal of this webinar series is to provide timely production and economic information that can help producers operate in this volatile marketplace. The event is hosted by the Range Cattle Research and Education Center and the South Florida Beef-Forage Program. This series of presentations will take place on Wednesday nights from 6:30-7:00 pm ET (5:30-6:00 ET) during June and July. The following lists all the scheduled webinars:
- July 15th, 2015 – UF 2015 Cow-Calf Budget
- July 22nd, 2015 – Projecting 2015 Cow-Calf Profitability
- July 29th, 2015 – Replacement Heifer Economics
You can register for the webinars here.
Livestock First Aid and Safety
Friday, July 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM EDT
Injured animals and animals under stress react differently than they do in normal circumstances. If you don't work with livestock often, you may not completely understand how to keep yourself and animals safe in stressful situations, or how to provide first aid to injured animals. Connect here.
Integrating Perennial Peanut into Grass Pastures
Rhizoma peanut is a warm-season perennial legume that can really boost livestock performance. Integrating rhizoma peanut into bahiagrass pastures can almost double livestock performance, compared to bahiagrass alone. Researchers are investigating a way to reduce the cost by using a strip-planting technique to establish the peanut over 30-50% of the area. Learn more.
High Tunnels Can Exclude Vegetable Pests
High tunnel crop production has many benefits including crop earliness being the most talked about. Another major benefit being observed through trials at the UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center includes reduced disease occurrence, and insect exclusion. Learn more.
USDA Develops Cover Crop Chart
An online tool called the "Cover Crop Chart" is helping farmers decide which cover crops to plant. Cover crops can help reduce soil erosion, increase organic matter, improve early weed control, and provide forage for animals. Drought conditions in recent years have renewed many growers' interest in cover crops, which are typically grown during the off-season, to help mitigate effects of extreme weather conditions.
An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the US Food System
This publication is an annotated bibliography on selected resources and publications focused on structural racism in the U.S. food system. It provides current research and outreach on structural racism in the U.S. food system for the food system practitioner, researcher, and educator. Download the PDF at their website.
Conferences & Workshops
Hydroponic Veggies: Made in the Shade Workshop
Thursday, July 23, 2015 in Live Oak, FL from 5:00PM-8:30PM
This workshop is for farmers interested in learning about using open shade structures to extend their vegetable production season. The program will feature hands-on training in an actual operating shade production area and discuss a variety of topics. Registration includes dinner and refreshments. Primary participant will get class materials (notebook or digital files). To register online, visit this website. See the PDF attachment for additional information.
2015 Corn Field Day
Friday, July 24th, 2015 in Jay, FL from 10AM-12PM
UF/IFAS West Florida Research and Education Center will hold the 2015 Field Corn Field Day on Friday, July 24th from 10-noon. This year, topics will include the Corn Variety Trial and Demonstration, Environmentally Smart Nitrogen (ESN) and urea blends, and Fertilizer Application Timing for corn production. Come see how varieties from Dyna Gro, Monsanto-Dekalb, Croplan, Syngenta, Pioneer, Terral, and Augusta Seed stack up against each other. Additional information.
Deep South Stocker Conference
August 6-7, 2015 in Montgomery, Alabama
The seventh annual Deep South Stocker Conference is headed to Alabama. This year's conference will be held August 6-7, 2015 in Montgomery, Alabama. This conference is a joint effort between the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the Mississippi State University Extension Service, and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. Additionally, a trade show will be held in conjunction with the conference to allow stocker operators the opportunity to network with industry professionals and to become aware of products and services that can improve their profitably and product quality. Visit the website for more information.
Alabama Extension's Ag Solutions Day- Enhancing Sustainability Options for Farmers
Monday, August 10, 2015, in Orange Beach, Alabama
Producers can learn more about climate adaptation strategies at Ag Solutions Day Aug. 10 in Orange Beach, Alabama. There will be breakout sessions held on the following topics:
· Conservation tillage and high-residue cover crops
· Sub-surface drip irrigation
· Variable rate irrigation
· Sod-based rotation
· Sesame—A New Crop for Southeast
· Use of Drones in Agriculture
The one-day event is free and will be held at the Orange Beach Events Center, 4671 Wharf Parkway. The meeting is slated for 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central Daylight Time and lunch will be provided. Registration is encouraged by July 31. Visit http://www.aces.edu/go/551 to register online. For more information, contact Jeana Baker at (334) 844-3922 or email@example.com.
Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference
Locations and dates vary- See below
The Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference announced five regional conferences across Florida in 2015 and 2016. These regional events will be designed with your region and your needs in mind. Wherever you are in Florida the conference is coming closer to you. More information and updates on these events to come. The planning teams are busy working to put together great events for you. This year make sure not to miss these two regional conferences:
· Northeast Florida, August 14 & 15, 2015 at the University of North Florida Student Union, Jacksonville.
· Central Florida, November 6, 2015 at the Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Apopka.
Small Farms & Alternative Enterprises Events Calendar
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.
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!
Southern Pine Beetle Assistance Program
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Florida Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Southern Pine Beetle Assistance and Prevention Program. The sign-up period will run from June 6 through July 18 and is available for non-industrial private forest landowners. The program provides incentive payments for the following:
· Conducting a first pulpwood thinning
· Conducting prescribed burning operations
· Conducting mechanical underbrush treatments
· Planting longleaf or slash pine
To learn more about this program and obtain an application form, contact a local Florida Forest Service office or visit www.FreshFromFlorida.com/SouthernPineBeetle/Prevention.
USDA-AMS National Organic Program, Organic Certification Cost Share Programs
Deadline: September 30, 2015
The Agricultural Marketing Services' National Organic Program has allocated funding for organic operators seeking assistance in defraying some of the costs of organic certification. NOL offers two organic certification cost share programs this year: The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which is available to producers and handlers in all 50 states, and the Agriculture Management Assistance (AMA) Organic Certification Cost Share Program, available to certified organic producers in 16 designated states. Each state has their own guidelines and requirements for reimbursement, so interested applicants should contact their appropriate state agency.
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education – Farmer Rancher Grant Program
Deadline: Early August-Mid November
The North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (NC-SARE) seeks farmers and ranchers with projects offering sustainable solutions to farm management. The Farmer Rancher Grant Program supports individual grant projects up to $7,500, and offers funding for group grant projects up to $22,500. Find out more information about the Farmer Rancher Grant Program and the application process.*
*NOTE: Visit the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Website for more grant opportunities specific to your state.
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 accepted 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.
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.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture Grants
More information on any of the grant programs listed can be found at http://www.csrees.usda.gov/fo/funding.cfm#.
Small Business Innovation Research Program- Phase I
AFRI Foundational: Exploratory Research
AFRI Foundational Program
Specialty Crop Research Initiative/Citrus Disease Research and Extension
Biomass Research and Development Initiative
AFRI: Water for Agriculture Challenge Area
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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