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 Reports Changes in CSA Business Model
Online Toolkit Helps Create Farmers Market Incentive for Children
Farmers Reminded to Re-Enroll in CSP by May 5
New Model Assigns Dollar Value to Grassland Biodiversity
Report Highlights Success of Michigan's 10 Cents a Meal Program
Film and Blog Series Features Young Grain Farmers
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Pollinator Health Fund
NIFA Aquaculture Research Competitive Grants Program
Minor Crop Pest Management Program IR-4
Farm to Plate Conference
Small Ruminant Conference
Michigan Seafood Summit
News & Resources
USDA Reports Changes in CSA Business Model USDA has released Community Supported Agriculture: New Models for Changing Markets. This report features six case studies of farmers using the community supported agriculture (CSA) direct-to-consumer business model and discusses how that model has changed over time. CSAs have modified the traditional model to include new products, partnerships, and technology to create sustainable local food businesses. Related ATTRA Publication: Tips for Selling through CSAs - Community Supported Agriculture
Online Toolkit Helps Create Farmers Market Incentive for Children University of Minnesota Extension is making the Power of Produce (PoP) Club Toolkit available free for farmers markets and partnering organizations. The PoP Club is a farmers market incentive program that provides children a $2 token to spend on fresh fruits and vegetables each week. The toolkit provides all the materials and resources needed to plan, implement, and evaluate a PoP Club program.
Farmers Reminded to Re-Enroll in CSP by May 5 USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from farmers and ranchers who initially enrolled in the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in 2013 to re-enroll for another five years.There are approximately 7,000 farmers and ranchers with CSP contracts that will expire this year, totaling over 9.5 million acres. Applications for re-enrollment will be accepted through May 5, 2017.
New Model Assigns Dollar Value to Grassland Biodiversity A team of scientists has developed one of the first models to assign a dollar value to the loss or gain of species in an ecosystem. Researchers used the carbon capture and storage market to build their model, based on findings that each additional species in a grassland plot increases overall carbon storage, on average. Researchers projected that adding just one species to the 12.3 million hectares of Conservation Reserve Program land could save more than $700 million.
Report Highlights Success of Michigan's 10 Cents a Meal Program A report on Michigan's 10 Cents a Meal pilot program says that in its first half-year, the program catalyzed sales for 86 different farms and 16 additional businesses. The pilot program offered $210,000 in match incentive funding to 16 selected school districts, providing up to 10 cents per meal to purchase and serve Michigan-grown produce to an estimated 48,000 students. Michigan is one of four states to enact this legislation.
Film and Blog Series Features Young Grain Farmers National Young Farmers Coalition is introducing Heart and Grain, a new blog and video series that features three young grain farmers who are bringing innovative ideas to the field. The series will follow John and Halee Wepking in Wisconsin, Andrew Barsness in Minnesota, and Mai Nguyen in California through the challenges and joys of growing grains. New blog posts will be shared every week and a new film each month. Related ATTRA Publication: Farmer Profiles: Two Organic Grain Farm Case Studies
Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research Pollinator Health Fund The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research is accepting pre-applications for Pollinator Health Fund matching grants of $100,000 to $1.5 million. The Pollinator Health Fund focuses on research and technology development with direct impacts on pollinators in agricultural landscapes and applications to beekeeping, land management, and farming practices. Public and private institutions of higher education, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Pre-proposals are due April 17, 2017.
NIFA Aquaculture Research Competitive Grants Programm National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is soliciting applied aquaculture research applications that directly address major constraints to the U.S. aquaculture industry and focus on identified program area priorities. In total, $1.2 million is available for aquaculture research projects in the areas of genetics, disease, production systems, and economics. Applications are due by May 17, 2017.
Minor Crop Pest Management Program IR-4 NIFA requests applications for the Minor Crop Pest Management Program – Interregional Research Project #4 (IR-4) for fiscal year 2017 to provide safe, effective, and economical pest-management solutions for minor agricultural use and use on specialty crops. NIFA anticipates funding five projects: one to establish a national headquarters and four to establish geographically based regional IR-4 centers. Applications may be submitted by eligible colleges and universities. Applications are due May 1, 2017.
Farm to Plate Conference May 11-13, 2017 Ithaca, New York The vision of the Finger Lakes Farm to Plate Conference is to bring together people from multiple sectors of the community to collectively develop strategies towards creating resilience in the local food system.
Small Ruminant Conference May 18-20, 2017 Knoxville, Tennessee University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture presents a conference that offers comprehensive information about the production of meat and dairy goats, as well as sheep. Topics for the program will include nutrition, reproduction, harvest and sales regulations, predation, guardian animals, and more.
Michigan Seafood Summit May 16, 2017 Detroit, Michigan To bring attention to Great Lakes fish and Michigan producers, Michigan Sea Grant will be hosting a Michigan Seafood Summit. The three main sessions are Aquaculture Systems, Commercial Fishery Management, and Local Seafood as an Emerging Product.
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.