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
Montana Beef to School Project Issues Case Study Report
New Guide Engages Farm to School Participants
USDA Awards Value-Added Producer Grants
Study Documents Costs of Raising Pastured Poultry on Small-Scale Farms
Sales of Whole-Farm Revenue Protection Insurance Nearly Double
Conservation Reserve Program Helps Protect 24 Million Acres
Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative
REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant
New York Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program
Growing for the Future
Soil & Nutrition Conference
Montana Organic Association Annual Conference
News & Resources
Montana Beef to School Project Issues Case Study Report The Montana Beef to School Project has released Mooooooving Forward Together: Strategies for Montana Beef to School. The report explores factors that make beef to school programs successful and encourages the use of local beef in every Montana school. The report includes an overview of findings, graphics and data, and stories that feature the efforts of schools, beef producers, and meat processors across Montana. Related ATTRA Resource:The Montana Harvest of the Month Program
New Guide Engages Farm to School Participants Farm Aid has created Farm to School Rocks!, a guide designed to inspire everyone to get engaged in the farm to school movement. The 16-page PDF guide includes an infographic that shows benefits of farm to school programs; features farmer, food service, parent, and student "Rockstars" in farm to school programs; and offers tips on how farmers, food service workers, parents, and students, can become involved. A list of further resources is included. The publication is available for free download.
USDA Awards Value-Added Producer Grants USDA has announced the award of more than $45 million through the Value-Added Producer Grant (VAPG) program. Funding will go to 325 projects that will help farmers, ranchers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs nationwide develop new product lines. A complete list of recipients is available online.
Conservation Reserve Program Helps Protect 24 Million Acres USDA will issue nearly $1.7 billion in payments on Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) contracts to protect sensitive agricultural lands. More than 1.3 million acres were newly enrolled in CRP in fiscal year 2016 using the continuous enrollment authority. This was double the pace of enrollment in the previous year, and brings the total number of enrolled acres to nearly 24 million.
Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced the availability of $17.6 million for research and outreach activities to support the organic agriculture sector through the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). Eligible entities include Land-Grant and other research universities, Federal agencies, national laboratories, State agricultural experiment stations, research foundations, and other private researchers. Applications are due by January 19, 2017.
REAP Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Development Assistance Grant This grant is available to a unit of State, Tribal, or local government; institution of higher education; rural electric cooperative; a public power entity; or a council, to establish a program to assist agricultural producers and rural small businesses with evaluating energy efficiency and the potential to incorporate renewable energy technologies into their operations. The maximum grant is $100,000. Applications must be received by January 31, 2017.
New York Climate Resilient Farming Grant Program New York has $2.5 million available through round two of the Climate Resilient Farming grant program to help farms reduce their operational impact on the environment and better prepare for, and recover after, severe weather events. County Soil and Water Conservation Districts apply for the competitive grants on behalf of farmers. Proposals are due by December 12, 2016.
Growing for the Future December 5-8, 2016 Online National Farmers Union presents this online virtual conference for beginning farmers and ranchers. It focuses on beginning farmer and rancher issues, including mentorship, business planning, USDA programs, women and veterans in farming, conservation, and much more.
Soil & Nutrition Conference December 4-6, 2016 Stockbridge, Massachusetts The Bionutient Food Association's 6th Annual Soil & Nutrition Conference explores how the intersection of farm and human ecosystems holds the key to environmental sustainability, quality food, and overall well-being.
Montana Organic Association Annual Conference December 1-3, 2016 Kalispell, Montana "The Heartbeat of Organics: Stimulating the Pulse of our Producers, Consumers, and Policymakers" features presentations from a variety of experts in organic agriculture, including farmers, researchers, policy analysts, and business specialists.
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.