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.
Join the NCAT Team! The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is seeking a Demonstration Farm Manager for its Gulf States Regional Office in Jackson, Mississippi. This is an exciting opportunity for a motivated, enthusiastic individual to grow and manage a small-scale demonstration farm and to share knowledge with young people, community members, and other farmers in the region.
News & Resources
Resources for Adapting to Climate Change Compiled in USDA Report
USDA Offering CRP Grasslands Practice Tailored to Small-Scale Livestock Grazers
Guide Helps Farmers Use Food Waste as Livestock Feed
Study Highlights Ecosystem Services of Weeds
Hoop House to Hotel Video Available
Organic Seed Alliance Surveys Organic Growers on Plant-Breeding Priorities
Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships
New York State New Farmers Grant Fund
Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Service Provider Investment
Sustainable Food & Farm Conference
Virginia Association for Biological Farming's Farming Conference
USDA Offering CRP Grasslands Practice Tailored to Small-Scale Livestock Grazers USDA is offering a new Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) Grasslands practice specifically tailored for small-scale livestock grazing operations. Operations with 100 or fewer head of grazing dairy cows (or the equivalent) can submit applications to enroll up to 200 acres of grasslands per farm. USDA's goal is to enroll up to 200,000 acres. This opportunity will close on December 16, 2016. Small livestock operations should contact their local Farm Service Agency office to learn more.
Guide Helps Farmers Use Food Waste as Livestock Feed The Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic and the Food Recovery Project at the University of Arkansas have released Leftovers for Livestock: A Legal Guide for Using Excess Food as Animal Feed. The publication, available free online, will help both businesses with food scraps, and livestock farms hoping to feed their animals more sustainably, navigate the complex patchwork of Federal and State regulations.
Study Highlights Ecosystem Services of Weeds A study by researchers at Cornell brought new insights into management of crop weeds. Researchers found that weeds can perform ecosystem services such as providing habitat for beneficial insects, and that removing them from the crop ecosystem can end up costing farmers. The study suggests that holistic IPM would be more beneficial.
Hoop House to Hotel Video Available USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Nevada has posted the second video in its Hoop House to Hotel series. The six-minute video features a producer who has taken advantage of the USDA NRCS high tunnel program to extend her growing season, enabling her to produce crops for her CSA, as well as high-end restaurant customers on the Las Vegas Strip. Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling to Restaurants
Organic Seed Alliance Surveys Organic Growers on Plant-Breeding Priorities Organic Seed Alliance is surveying organic vegetable growers in order to better understand the plant-breeding priorities of growers who sell to consumers or wholesale markets. The survey takes approximately 10 minutes for the first crop and five minutes for each additional crop. The survey is available online until December 10, 2016.
Annie's Sustainable Agriculture Scholarships Annie’s scholarship program assists undergraduate and graduate students pursuing studies in sustainable and organic agriculture. This year, 15 winners will each be eligible to receive $10,000. The program is open to full-time undergraduate and graduate students studying at an accredited two- or four-year college or graduate school in the United States for the 2017/2018 school year. Applications must be postmarked by January 6, 2017.
New York State New Farmers Grant Fund The New York State New Farmers Grant Fund will provide grants up to $50,000 to assist with up to 50% of eligible project costs. All owners of eligible farms must be within the first 10 years of ownership, and the farm must have a minimum of $10,000 in income from sales of products grown or raised on the farm. Applications are due by January 27, 2017.
Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative Service Provider Investment The Working Lands Enterprise Board Service Provider Investment offers awards of $15,000 to $75,000 for projects that demonstrate direct impact on Vermont Working Lands businesses. Types of technical assistance provided may include market development, marketing plans, and sales; business and financial planning; succession planning; access to capital; or manufacturing efficiencies or process flow. Letter of intent to apply is due by December 2, 2016.
Sustainable Food & Farm Conference January 6-8, 2017 Grass Valley, California This conference draws farmers, ranchers, homesteaders, and foodies to be inspired by internationally acclaimed keynote speakers and local experts in sustainable farming and ranching. The event features farm tours, a farm expo, and workshops.
Virginia Association for Biological Farming's Farming Conference January 10-11, 2017 Hot Springs, Virginia Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia State University, and the Virginia Association for Biological Farming present this event featuring practical learning and insights from more than 30 speakers. Topics will include vegetable production, specialty crops, pollinators, soil health, livestock, and marketing and business.
Green Lands Blue Waters Conference November 29-30, 2016 Columbia, Missouri "Going Green with Conservation-Based Farming: Market-Based Approaches to Promote Soil Health and Water Quality" brings a market-based focus to complement innovative, science-based approaches to conservation of soil and water quality.
Weekly Harvest Archives Digital versions of recent and archived Weekly Harvest newsletters are available online.
ATTRA 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.
Veteran Scholarships for Southern SAWG Conference Military veterans, apply by December 1, 2016, for scholarships to Practical Tools and Solutions for Sustaining Family Farms, January 25-28, 2017, in Lexington, Kentucky.